Tuesday, June 29, 2010

John Abraham’s Custom Made Bike

What else can be dearer to John apart from a custom made bike? Of course, Bipasha has her own place, but he recently got a custom made bike for him, inspired from American racing bike, 1910.

Passion triggers thoughts that bring out something extraordinary and electrifying. The world knows about the bike-lover, John Abraham. He has garaged every single bike which a normal man just day dreams of.

Right from Suzuki HayaBusa to Yamaha R1, he now owns a classic handmade bike inspired from the American bike race model of 1910.

Vijay Singh from Rajputana customs says, "Everything on the bike — the chassis, gas tank, rims and breaks — has been hand-made over a period of 50 days."

Rajputana Customs specializes in making custom made bikes and what else can better signify their caliber apart from making a handmade custom bike for John.

Vijay further adds, "It's subtle, simple and yet it stands out, much like John."

"And it's not only the actor who has gained from the association. As a bike-connoisseur, John's inputs on the design and technicalities of the bike have been enlightening for Singh too. John is so well versed about two-wheelers that it was a pleasure sitting with him and going over every aspect of the bike."

After delivering the bike to John, Vijay has started to get too many orders for the replica of the custom made model.

He adds, "A similar RE 500cc single-cylinder machine will come for Rs 3-4 lakh... but an exact replica of John's bike is not possible, that's only for him."

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First Look: Abhi-Ash sizzle on Vogue cover

The July issue of Vogue India [ Images ] features Aishwarya and Abhishek Bachchan [ Images ] together on the magazine\'s cover for the first time.

In the cover shot, the couple look hot and sensuous, while inside they open up about marriage and relationships.

As a piece of advice to couples about to get married, Ash says, \"Keep the faith. Believe in it, heart, mind and soul. The body will follow anyway! Be brutally frank with yourself. You are your own best friend. Experience everything for real, and you will cherish it forever.\"

Adding to this, Abhishek said, \"Everything you think marriage is going to be, it\'s all that and more. Don\'t believe the haters. People have joked about marriage for so long that it\'s come to stick. But it\'s great fun. Go for it. Just be 500 per cent sure of the person. Don\'t do it if you have even an iota of doubt, if you\'re not completely convinced.\"

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Bollywood makes it to the Oval!

Three of England's top cricket grounds have opened their doors to Bollywood for the first time. The Oval and Lord's in London and Trent Bridge in Nottingham will be the locations for Akshay Kumar's Patiala House. The film will release post Diwali, alongside Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.

The movie is set entirely in London and revolves around a cross-generation conflict within an immigrant Punjabi family that lives in Patiala House in Southall. The son, Gattu (Akshay Kumar), wants to be a bowler for the England cricket team, while his family completely opposes the idea.

"We have two Test matches in the film," informs Bhushan Kumar, chairman of T-Series, who is producing the Rs 50 crore film with Mukesh Talreja. "It wasn't difficult getting permission to shoot in these legendary cricketing grounds. You don't have to pull strings or go through the bureaucratic hurdles that you usually face when shooting in India. Filming in England is a cakewalk, it just takes time to get the permits in order."

Bhushan Kumar applied for the permissions three to four months ago. "We completed a 14-day shoot at The Oval, part of which was shot at night," he informs. Kumar's friends who are professional cricketers coached him in the intricacies of bowling prior to the shoot. These included former Pakistani captain and fast bowler Wasim Akram.

A professional cricketer was on the sets to ensure that director Nikhil Advani was following the rules of the gentleman's game to the T. Akshay Kumar is a natural cricketer who has played matches at IIFA and bowls to his son, Aarav.

Twelve professional cricketers will make an appearance in the movie with him. These include West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard, South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs, Australia's Andrew Symonds, Simon Katich and Dirk Nannes, Pakistan's Kamran Akmal, England's Nasser Hussain, Graham Gooch, Graeme Hick and Alex Tudor. Commentators Alan Wilkins, Sanjay Manjrekar and Nikhil Chopra are also a part of the cast.

"We wanted the matches to look authentic. People should feel that an actual cricket match is in progress, which is why we roped in so many cricketers," points out Bhushan Kumar. "It was very difficult because they had to take permission from their Cricket Boards. Unfortunately, even though we were in talks with MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh, they could not get permission from the BCCI."

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For Imran Khan, Sonam is an aunty

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Sonam wants to look like Deepika

Sonam Kapoor might have a sleek figure herself, but the actress wishes to have a body like Deepika Padukone\'s. \'Deepika has a great body and I wish I could have a body like her,\' she said.

For Imran Khan, Sonam is an aunty

Parmita Uniyal, Hindustan Times

Email Author

New Delhi, June 29, 2010

First Published: 13:49 IST(29/6/2010)

Last Updated: 18:08 IST(29/6/2010)


Imran Khan pulled many fast ones on Sonam during a press conference in the capital to promote I Hate Luv Storys. Apart from calling her \'aunty\' and \'blind\', Imran had many more witty remarks up his sleeve.

\"If you go by his looks, you\'d never be able to judge him,\" says debutante director Punit Malhotra about the lead actor of his forthcoming venture I Hate Luv Storys. It certainly holds true for Imran, who looks like a serious person, but comes across as a funny guy.

\"Contrary to his sweet looks, Imran is a devil to work with. Sonam is definitely an angel,\" says Punit about the actor.

Sonam, an aunty

You know what is he talking about when he constantly teases co-star Sonam Kapoor throughout the press conference held in Delhi for the promotion of I Hate Luv Storys. He warns the press people, \"She can\'t see any of your faces. She\'s blind as bat. She can just see me and Punit.\"

Not only, this Imran Khan has also nicknamed Sonam as aunty. So when he refers to her as aunty during the event, Sonam explains, \"He calls me Punjabi aunty all the time.\"

Sonam Kapoor also avenged her leg-pulling by saying that she won\'t work with Imran again and suggested that he should work in South Indian cinema now.

Imran, the stripper

Sonam Kapoor had earlier said in an interview that she\'d work only with a co-star who\'ll strip. When asked if Imran has also stripped in the movie, he says, \"I have some deadly shirtless songs and scenes. I\'ve stripped more than the girls do.\"

No competition with Ranbir

When quizzed about his not-so-warm relationship with arch rival Ranbir Kapoor, Imran says, \"I don\'t think I have any competition with Ranbir. Everyone has his own strengths and weaknesses. As actors, we have lots of choices today.\"

One man, multiple avatars

Imran Khan who is reinventing his looks with each film says he gets bored with similar kind of roles, so he explores. Says the actor, \"I\'m not comfortable with repeating myself. So I try to go for fresh look each time. I\'m being offered different roles also, since a lot of new filmmakers are entering film industry.

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Sensex bracing for a negative start on global cues

The Indian markets are likely to open gap down tracking global cues. The SGX CNX Nifty, indicative of early trade, was down 54.50 points or 1.03 per cent at 5,214 at 8.13 am.

The BSE Sensex closed at 17,534 down 240 points or 1.35 per cent while the NSE Nifty fell 77 points or 1.45 per cent to 5,256 on Tuesday.

The Nifty is likely to breach the 5254 mark which is a major support. Nifty\'s next support is the 5192 mark which is the 20 day moving average.

The Asian markets were deep in the red today morning. The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 2.13 per cent to 9,366. The Kospi in South Korea was down 1.04 per cent. The Shanghai Composite declined 1.37 per cent while the Hang Seng fell 1.11 per cent.

Among the stocks to watch today, commodity stocks are likely to remain muted after crude prices fell nearly 3 per cent on Tuesday.

Kotak Mahindra Bank has announced that the Sumitomo Bank of Japan will acquire 4.5% in the bank. The deal size is at around Rs. 1,366 cr.

Overnight, the Dow fell below 10,000 points on concerns about global economic recovery. The Dow skid 268 points or 2.7 per cent to 9,870. Investors pulled back from the market on concerns of China\'s growth after the Chinese markets had slumped to a 14- month low on Tuesday dropping more than 4 per cent earlier in the day. Stocks also took a beating after the latest consumer confidence numbers suggested a sharp decline in June.

European stocks fell 3-4 per cent on Tuesday

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JSW Steel plans Rs750bn capex: report

To expand our brownfield and greenfield capacity to 32MT per annum (mtpa) by 2020.

JSW Steel reportedly plans to invest Rs750bn to enhance its annual capacity from the present 7.8MT to 32MT by 2020.

According to reports, JSW is among a host of steel companies which are ramping up production capacities to have a larger play in the country\'s growing infrastructure sector. Jindal was quoted as saying that we are growing very rapidly and will continue to grow and this is to expand our brownfield and greenfield capacity to 32MT per annum (mtpa) by 2020.

Separetly, Tata Steel earlier had said that it would invest Rs150bn to raise capacity at its Jamshedpur facility from the current 6.8MT to 10MT by next year

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Base rate war: Leading PSBs set base rate at 8%

All the big public sector banks on Tuesday announced their base rate—their benchmark rate below which they can\'t lend. The base rate replaces the opaque benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR). This base rate will include the bank\'s cost of funds and cost of running the bank.

State Bank of India (SBI) said its base rate is 7.5% while Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda (BoB), Union Bank, Central Bank of India, Bank of Rajasthan and Indian Bank announced that their base rate will be 8%. All the private banks said they will announce their rates on Wednesday. So how this new rate going to impact banks and customers? CNBC-TV18's Latha Venkatesh and Gopika Gopakumar report.

Banks announce base rates; do you think this will bring about transparency in home loan rates? Tell us.

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Starting July 1, SBI will price all its new loans above 7.5%. This will be the new reference rate or base rate, which will replace the existing benchmark prime lending rate, which stands at 11%. So does it mean rates change for existing customer? Chairman OP Bhatt says the bank will work out the impact on various borrowers in a day but said he expects only marginal changes for customers.

But what if rival banks announce lower base rates? As of now the big PSUs like Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Union and Central Bank have refrained from undercutting and announced a base rate of 8%. All the private banks have decided to announce their base rate on Wednesday. So will those with lower base rates snatch customers from those with higher rates, not so says ICICI Bank's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar.

SBI\'s Bhatt said hasn\'t taken a call on whether he will continue their popular 8% home loan scheme. But added that banks can offer home loan schemes at lower invitation prices, even under the base rate regime.

The fun may start if some private banks like HDFC announce a rate below 7% and try and tempt away some customers. OP Bhatt points out that SBI even now has only 3% of its loans at below 7.5% and adds that the banks can lend to these borrowers through the commercial paper route. PNB sources say that even now they don\'t lend below 8%. Despite these brave words observers don\'t rule out a rate war after July 1.

RBI had directed all the banks to switch over to the base rate system from the existing BPLR system with effective from 1 July.

All new loans sanctioned after 1 July and those falling due for renewal from 1 July, (except exempt categories as per RBI Guidelines) will now be priced with linkage to base rate.

The RBI introduced the new lending rate system or the base rate to ensure that larger borrowers do not bargain for cheaper rates from banks, distorting their asset liability management.

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\'UF lifted price control on fuel\'

NEW DELHI: Oil minister Murli Deora on Tuesday hit back at the Opposition over its \"hypocrisy\" on the issue of motor and kitchen fuels price increase, saying it was the Left-supported United Front government and not UPA that had decided on lifting Centre\'s control on pricing of petroleum products and the NDA implemented the measure in 2002.

\"The NDA government had raised price of kerosene sold to poor through ration shops from Rs 2.52 a litre in January 1998 to Rs 9 per litre in March 2002. This increase was 258%, even though crude prices had risen by just 147% during that period,\" Deora said. The United Front government, of which Left parties, the Telugu Desam and Samajwadi Party were constituents, in November 1997 notified full deregulation of prices of petrol, diesel, cooking gas and kerosene by 2002. According to this schedule, rates of kerosene and cooking gas should have been at least double the revised price of Rs 12.32 per litre and Rs 345.35 per cylinder, respectively.

Before last Friday\'s revision, the UPA government did not increase kerosene prices for the last six years though crude more than doubled from $36 a barrel in May 2004 to $78. \"We raised kerosene rates by Rs 3 per litre against the required increase of Rs 18 per litre. We have ensured that the poor is not unnecessarily burdened.\" \"We will continue to subsidise cooking gas and kerosene which are the common man\'s cooking fuels. Even after last week\'s price increase, kerosene price is Rs 15 per litre below cost and LPG is underpriced by Rs 226.90 per cylinder,\" Deora said.

\"We have freed price of petrol, a fuel that is used in cars. Diesel prices will be eventually freed but government reserves the right to intervene in case of sharp spike or excessive volatility in global prices. What we did was bare necessity. We were compelled to do so because oil PSUs were faced with Rs 74,300 crore losses. The opposition is being a hypocrite in its criticism.\"

Even after the latest round of price increse, oil PSUs would be saddled with Rs 53,000 crore of under-recoveries.

\"Petrol price has increased only 53% and diesel 85% since May 2004 despite crude oil prices rising by 111%,\" he said.
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Alex Becomes Hurricane, Targets U.S. Border

Alex has become the first hurricane of the Atlantic season and is churning through the western Gulf, taking aim at the Mexico-Texas border while staying far away from the massive oil spill.

Alex had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph late Tuesday. The National Hurricane Center says the Category 1 storm is the first June Atlantic hurricane since 1995.

Forecasters say landfall seems likely Wednesday night. Hurricane-force winds extended up to 15 miles from the storm\'s center. Tropical storm-force winds extend 175 miles.

A hurricane warning was posted for the Texas coast from Baffin Bay, south to the mouth of the Rio Grande river and south to La Cruz, Mexico.

Alex is expected to be at the low-end of the hurricane strength spectrum, but still will bring torrential rains to a Rio Grande delta region ill-suited, both economically and geographically, to handle it.

Passing showers Tuesday quickly pooled along parts of downtown streets in Brownsville and Matamoros, a worrisome sign with Alex expected to dump eight to 12 inches of rain in the region and as much as 20 inches in isolated areas.

Nearly 400,000 people live in Cameron County at the southernmost tip of Texas, one of the poorest counties in the U.S. Across the Rio Grande, Matamoros is a sprawling example of the border\'s explosive growth. Colonias, slapdash communities of fragile housing and little to no infrastructure, cling to its outer edges and house some 13,000 families in the lowest lying areas.

Farther north in the Gulf of Mexico, BP PLC and the Coast Guard called ships skimming oil from the water back to shore Tuesday because Alex was making seas too rough to work. Waves were as high as 12 feet in some parts of the Gulf. Only the vessels used to capture or burn oil and gas leaking from the well and to drill two relief wells were left at sea.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued a disaster declaration, allowing the state to pre-deploy resources to south Texas. President Barack Obama also issued a federal emergency declaration for 19 south Texas counties, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide assistance for debris removal and storm-related preparations.

In Matamoros, cab driver Alfonso Lopez still worried people would wait until the last minute to take the storm seriously.

\"A lot of people trust too much that it won\'t be very bad or it will change course,\" he said.

Ana Maria Aguilar, 47, reflected that view as she sat in the shade of a tree near the Matamoros side of an international bridge connecting to Brownsville.

\"For us, it\'s a little early; most of us aren\'t worried because they (hurricanes) always turn (away),\" Aguilar said. \"One has never hit us hard.\"

Still, she said she would make sure she had food, water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio at the ready. And if it gets really bad, she will take her family to a shelter, she said.

Nearby, government workers stuck duct-tape in X\'s across the windows of the immigration office at the main downtown bridge. Trucks cruised slowly down residential streets replacing people\'s large drinking water jugs and cars packed supermarket parking lots.

Matamoros Civil Protection Director Saul Hernandez said they would begin evacuating about 2,500 people from coastal areas east of the city Wednesday morning. But Hernandez said his real concern was 13,000 families in 95 of the city\'s low-lying colonias, unincorporated areas where residents frequently have no public utilities or city services.

He urged residents to make their own preparations to ride out the storm.

\"This is where we live,\" he said. \"We have to confront it.\"

In Brownsville, crews cleared roadside ditches and placed water pumps at flood-prone intersections. Windows were boarded up at government buildings and the University of Texas at Brownsville-Texas Southmost College, which closed Tuesday afternoon.

State emergency officials in Austin predicted the storm would have minimal impact on Texas but were readying equipment for border residents if needed. Interim Emergency Management Division Chief Nim Kidd said 100 buses were on standby in the event of evacuations, 25 of them in McAllen, about 50 miles west of Brownsville. Twenty-five ambulances also were en route.

Kidd said 100 troopers were on standby, as were 500 first-responders if needed for search-and-rescue operations. More than 100 boats also were ready to deployed if needed. Kidd stressed there was no apparent need evacuate in Texas with \"contraflow\" evacuation lanes on highways, but emergency management officials were keeping a close eye on the storm.

The National Weather Service said a hurricane warning was in effect Tuesday for Cameron, Willacy and Kenedy counties. The coastal warning covered Baffin Bay and 100 miles south to the mouth of the Rio Grande.

But even as South Padre Island announced beach closings Tuesday afternoon, visitors and residents tried to squeeze in as much time as possible. They sized up Alex as hardly a terror like Hurricane Dolly, which tore through the island two years ago as a Category 2 storm.

A caravan of missionaries from Bob Jones University in South Carolina played in the rough surf late until an abrupt gust of fierce wind and rain sent the entire beach scrambling to vehicles.

The storm came just as Don and Grace Eaton were to renew wedding vows on their 30th anniversary, in front of South Padre\'s famous \"El Cristo de los Pescadores\" statue overlooking the darkening gulf. The couple from Leander fretted the ceremony would be washed out before the driving rain suddenly slowed to a mist.

\"Let\'s have a wedding,\" said Jackie Walker, the couple\'s photographer, darting out of the car.

The couple renewed their vows on a beach empty of tourists and evacuated campgoers, and a wave crashing against the rocks soaked Grace Eaton moments after saying, \"I do.\"

\"It\'s like a marriage,\" she said. \"Some days are stormy. Then you get clear weather and you overcome it all.\"

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Gillard moves in to Prime Minister\'s office, boots and all

JULIA Gillard has moved into the Prime Minister\'s office in Parliament House, keeping all of Kevin Rudd\'s furniture but adding personal touches to her new digs.

The morning after the Rudds departed from Canberra residence The Lodge to return home to Brisbane – tweeting as they went – Ms Gillard opened her new office to photographers.

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In the place of the Rudd accoutrements are photographs of her partner Tim Mathieson, Ms Gillard's books, including one about leadership by women, and a pair of gumboots given to her by a students at Tasmania\'s Penguin Primary school.

Ms Gillard also displayed a pair of yellow football boots sent to her by a footwear manufacturer to highlight her claim last month that there was more chance of her becoming full forward for her beloved Bulldogs AFL team than prime minister.

As she also placed a cherished Bulldogs scarf on her office shelf she told reporters that Bulldogs player Jason Akermanis had contacted her to ask why she had not attended training this week.

Ahead of any media interviews, Therese Rein and the former prime minister have been using the social media website Twitter to offer supporters a little window on their new lives.

Last night, about 10.30pm Ms Rein used Twitter as she arrived back at the family home, "So… Back home in Norman Park. Welcomed home to a warm house filled with flowers, the kettle on, and hugs from a dear friend. Thank you!"

Mr Rudd tweeted late last night: "T, Jess & I returned to Qld today. Sad to leave the animals with friends in Canberra for a while. Looking forward to a bit of a break. Krudd."

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Iran to go ahead on nuclear fuel swap talks

Iran has clarified that it does not plan to interrupt its dialogue with the West on the proposed nuclear fuel deal but talks on its uranium enrichment programme have been stalled for another two months.

On Tuesday, Iran\'s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Iran was preparing its response to questions that have been raised by the United States, Russia and France, also called the Vienna group, about an agreement on a nuclear swap that Tehran had reached with Turkey and Brazil last month.

Iran, Turkey and Brazil had on May 17 signed the Tehran Declaration, under which Iran is to transfer 1,200 kg of its domestically produced stocks of lightly enriched uranium to Turkey. In return, it would receive 20-per-cent-enriched uranium fuel for use in a Tehran based medical reactor that is engaged in producing nuclear medicine.

The Vienna group, which had first proposed a nuclear fuel deal in October, has responded in writing to the Tehran Declaration, opening the possibility of further talks in the coming days.

Mr. Mottaki said during a press conference that "the answer to the letters sent by the Vienna group is being prepared". "There have been contacts and communication between Foreign Ministers [of Iran, Brazil and Turkey] last week and we have concluded that this course should continue." He added that "a three-way meeting" on the nuclear fuel swap was on the agenda whose dates would be announced in "one or two days".

Coinciding with these remarks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that the Vienna group had sought a meeting with Iran, with the nuclear fuel swap on the agenda. "Russia, the United States and France suggested that the IAEA Director General [Yukiya Amano] organise a meeting of technical experts from our three countries and Iran to solve issues of fuel supplies for the Teheran research reactor, with the understanding that Iran will halt enriching [uranium] to 20 per cent," Ria-Novosti quoted Mr. Lavrov as saying. "I expect Iran to respond positively, as it will resolve a difficult situation," he observed.

On Monday, Iran\'s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said that in the light of the fourth round of sanctions that had been imposed on June 9, Iran had decided to put off nuclear talks with the global powers in the near future. However, Mr. Mottaki said talks on the nuclear swap deal are separate from the dialogue on the enrichment programme held with the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany.

Fresh diplomatic moves on the nuclear fuel swap follow an assertion on Sunday by the head of the CIA Leon Panetta that Iran has enough stocks of Low Enriched Uranium to make two atomic bombs, should it choose enrich them to a higher weapon-grade level.

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Thousands gather for inauguration of new Philippine president Aquino

Hundreds of thousands of people Wednesday flocked to a park in the Philippine capital where Benigno Aquino III was to take his oath of office as the country's 15th president.

Security was tight at the Rizal Park in central Manila, where the spectators were entertained by local artists while they waited for Aquino's inauguration at noon (0400 GMT).

The spectators were mostly clad in yellow, Aquino's trademark colour, with some carrying yellow streamers, balloons or ribbons.

Manolo Quezon, a spokesman for the inauguration, said Aquino finalized his speech Tuesday evening after nine revisions.

"He really wanted to keep it short and straight to the point," he said as foreign dignitaries and other guests arrived at the grandstand in Rizal Park.

"He would call for the people's support because the work cannot be done by him alone," Mr. Quezon added.

Mr. Aquino, 50, is the son of late democracy icons president Corazon Aquino and senator Benigno Aquino Junior, who was assassinated.

Vowing radical change in government, he clinched a landslide victory in presidential elections in May.

On the eve of his oath-taking, Mr. Aquino presented members of his cabinet, a mix of old and new faces that he said would help him fulfill his promises to fight corruption and poverty.

A graduate of economics at the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University, Mr. Aquino once worked for a company selling sports shoes and ran the family businesses while serving as an aide to his mother.

In 1987, just 18 months into his mother's presidency, he was badly injured in an ambush by rebellious soldiers during an attempted coup d'etat.

Mr. Aquino entered politics after his mother's term ended in 1992, scoring his first victory as a congressman in his home province of Tarlac in 1998. He served three terms before being elected senator in 2007.

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McChrystal to retire as a four star general: White House

US President Barack Obama believes that General Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, should retire as four-star general and his administration would ensure that, White House has said.

General McChrystal, resigned from the position last week after the appearance of an interview in the Rolling Stone magazine in which he was seen highly critical of the Obama Administration.

Obama accepted his resignation and quickly nominated General David Petraeus as his new Commander for Afghanistan.

McChrystal had on Monday requested the Pentagon that he wants to take pre-mature retirement.

\"General McChrystal alerted the Pentagon on Tuesday that he would be leaving active duty. As you also know, he has not been in the position, a four-star position long enough to retire as a four-star,\" White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.

\"The President believes and has talked with (Defense) Secretary (Robert) Gates about this and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that somebody who has served the country as ably as he has, can retire at a four-star level,\" he said.

Praising General McChrystal, Gibbs said, he always provided in the Situation Room the best information that he had available to him about developments in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, several lawmakers praised McChrystal for his leading role in war against terrorism in Afghanistan.

\"I want to express my gratitude to General McChrystal for his great service to our nation over three decades. Fate takes strange bounces at times, and working through them with dignity and honour, as he has, is a hallmark of leadership and of character,\" said Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of Senate Armed Services Committee, during the confirmation hearing for his replacement General David Petraeus.

\"He\'s a man of unrivaled integrity, and what is most impressive about his long record of military excellence is how much of it remains cloaked in silence,\" Senator John McCain said about his at the hearing.

\"Few understand fully how General McChrystal systematically dismantled al Qaeda in Iraq, or how he began to turn around our failing war in Afghanistan. These achievements and other like them are the true measure of Stanley McChrystal, and they will earn him an honored place in our history,\" McCain said.

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‘Illegals’ Network Famed in Lore of Russian Spying

MOSCOW — In the lore of Soviet spycraft, few figures command as much respect as the "illegals," steel-jawed agents with the intelligence of a chess grandmaster and the fortitude of a cosmonaut.


Accused Spies Blended In, but Seemed Short on Secrets (June 30, 2010)

Couples Accused as Spies Were Suburbs Personified (June 30, 2010)

About New York: New York Spycraft, From Nathan Hale to the Cold War, and Beyond (June 30, 2010) Painstakingly trained in the K.G.B.'s Directorate S, the illegals spent years assuming a fake biography, known in Russian as a legend, then awaited orders undercover for years or even decades. Unlike their "legal" counterparts, they worked without a diplomatic cover, which would offer them immunity from prosecution. They were rewarded with the kind of adulation Americans reserve for movie stars.

This week's jaw-dropping arrest of 11 people seems to offer a glimpse into a recent form of the program. Russia has made little comment on the specific accusations, though it called the arrests "baseless" and "unseemly."

But if prosecutors are correct, two things seem clear: First, that Russia's network of illegals has survived, and perhaps even grown, since the Soviet Union's collapse. And second, that the agents' assignment — collecting information about politics and getting to know policy makers — can now be achieved through more straightforward means.

"It strikes me as a very well-organized, very well-thought-out and very out-of-date approach," said Olga Oliker, a senior policy analyst for the RAND Corporation. "I would lay money on bureaucratic inertia. It's a terribly ineffective approach, but it's something that might have made sense in a previous period."

After the 1917 October Revolution, the Soviets had good reason to develop a specialty in undercover intelligence-gathering. Few countries formally recognized the Soviet Union, so no diplomatic cover was available.

It was a simple matter to fabricate a foreign identity — the agency mined records of foreign babies who had died, wrote Galina Fedorova in a 1994 memoir about life as an illegal. What followed was grueling training, psychological screening for a life of isolation and stress. The ideal candidate was single; while some agents enjoyed the comfort of deploying as a couple, any offspring they produced were immediately sent back to the Soviet Union, Ms. Fedorova wrote.

Maj. Gen. Yuri I. Drozdov, 85, who ran the illegals program for more than a decade while he was in the K.G.B, called his recruits "wunderkinds," people who often spoke three or four languages with native fluency. He would say little about the training process, except to call it "very long."

"We have our process of raising them," General Drozdov said. "You have your Dr. Spock method; we have our own ways."

Throughout the Soviet era, such agents were rewarded with adulation. Illegals like Rudolf Abel and Konon Molody became such national heroes that the External Intelligence Service, or S.V.R., still posts their biographies on its Web site. A beloved television serial chronicled the fictional life of one undercover agent, Max Otto von Stirlitz, as he penetrated Hitler's inner circle. Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, who served as a K.G.B. officer in East Germany in the 1980s, has said the Stirlitz character helped shape an entire generation of Soviet youth.

Recent arrests have come as a reminder that the tactic is still in use. In 2006, Canadian officials deported a Russian citizen suspected of spying under an assumed Canadian identity, Paul William Hampel. In 2008, Estonian intelligence services said they had unmasked an S.V.R. handler named Sergei Yakovlev, who was recruiting agents under the assumed identity of Antonio de Jesus Amurett Graf, a Portuguese businessman in Madrid.

Then came this week's arrests of 11 people accused of gathering information on American policy and politics.

Their assignment, as reported by prosecutors, raises a simple question: Now that United States policy makers routinely visit Russia and engage with foreign lobbyists, much of this information is easily accessible. Why bother with an expensive, high-risk undercover operation?

Experts on Tuesday pointed to institutional politics. Russia's intelligence services were thrown into chaos during the early 1990s, when agents left in huge numbers and vast overseas assets went missing. But within a decade they rebounded, rebuilding their networks to the proportions they had at the end of the Soviet era, said Leonid M. Melchin, the author of five books about cold war intelligence services.

Nikolai Zlobin, an analyst at the Washington-based Center for Defense Information, said the network of illegals received support from people intent on "returning to the old system that they were familiar with."

"It was glorified. It's a romantic business for several Soviet generations, including Putin's generation," he said. "People who work in the central structure, they did everything to rebuild the system. I know some of them, and many of them believe they did the right thing for Russia."

But he, like other experts interviewed on Tuesday, was scratching his head at the details of the alleged spy ring. To Russians, the term "illegals" suggests discipline and a painstaking effort to hide one's nationality; traditionally, they worked strictly in isolation, lest they endanger their carefully developed cover. Among the people arrested this week were several who used Russian names, openly spoke Russian or retained Russian accents.

Amy W. Knight, who has written on Soviet intelligence, said the illegals were famous for their ability to remain under deep cover for years and return to Russia without being caught.

"They had an extensive program and they used illegals a lot," Ms. Knight said. "This new scandal suggests either the S.V.R is not as professional as its predecessors, or it's just easier for the F.B.I. to track them down because of the sophisticated technology that they have."

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India protests new UK immigration rules

NEW DELHI: India has made its first protests against the UK\'s new cap on skilled immigration. Commerce minister Anand Sharma, who met British PM David Cameron, echoed the concerns of Indian industry which is worried that the new rules against non-EU immigration might impact Indian companies who are heavily invested in the UK, particularly in the service sector.

Cameron will visit India in July, and he told Sharma he wanted to focus on attracting greater Indian investment into the UK, supporting India\'s education development and work on joint development of new technologies. India\'s view is the new visa rules might affect these goals.

New restrictions will put a cap on number of workers entering the UK from non-EU countries to 24,100 before April 2011, which is a 5% drop from last year.

British home secretary Theresa May was quoted as saying, \"Introducing this temporary limit is necessary to ensure that we don\'t get a rush of people trying to come through into the UK before that permanent limit is put in place next year. What we have as an aim is indeed to bring immigration down from the hundreds of thousands that it became under Labour to the tens of thousands that it used to be.\"

Over 52% of UK\'s migrants come from non-EU countries. According to British figures, in 2009, UK welcomed 142,000 immigrants, down from 160,000.

Meanwhile, a new Australian visa rule, coming in the wake of the difficulties with Indian students, will make life tough for many Indian students, who thought they could use the skills acquired to get permanent residency in the country.

Minister for overseas Indian affairs Vyalar Ravi has asked Australian authorities for greater leniency for Indian students already there but that may not be possible. According to estimates, about 15,000 Indian students in Australia may be affected, and compelled to return home, because the occupations they now pursue will no longer qualify for permanent residency. In fact, they will need sponsors to be able to stay on. \"I asked the Australian ministers to implement the list prospectively and not retrospectively... I have asked them to give our students two-and-a-half years\' time to find a sponsor and employment,\" Ravi was quoted as saying.

Australia has slashed the existing Skilled Occupations List (SOL) from 400 skills to 181 for vocational courses and jobs, which are prerequisites to acquire permanent resident status and student visas.

India has asked the Australian government to allow students already there to finish their courses, but its unclear how Canberra will react.

While most Indian students will be unaffected, the new rules could affect about 15,000 students, mainly there only to pick up permanent residency status.

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Delhi: Brazilian student alleges rape by landlord

New Delhi: A 27-year-old Brazilian woman, pursuing a Mass Communication course in Noida, has alleged that she was raped twice by her landlord after mixing sedatives in her coffee, police said on Tuesday.

The incident reported from CR Park came to light on Tuesday morning after the woman lodged a complaint.

The woman came to India in the first week of June. She has been staying in a rented accommodation since June 19.

She claimed that on June 19, her landlord came to meet her and offered coffee. She fell unconscious after drinking the coffee and the landlord raped her on that day. He allegedly raped her again on June 20.

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\"On June 27, when he tried to rape her, she resisted and asked him to leave the premises,\" a senior police official said.

The landlord has been arrested and further investigations are on, the police said.

The girl\'s medical examination has been done. However, with the commonwealth games in a few months, this incident again raises the question of safety of women in the Capital. (With PTI inputs)

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Amaranth yatra starts under high security

Jammu: The Amaranth yatra has begun from Jammu amid tension in the Valley. The first batch of 500 pilgrims left in a convoy escorted by heavy security.

For the last few days, there has been tension in several districts of Jammu and Kashmir after civilian deaths due to security forces firing. Most towns in the valley have been put under curfew.

But pilgrims say the worrying security situation will not stop them from going ahead on the yatra.

\"I am satisfied with the arrangement done by military and the organisers. Every year the arrangement is very good,\" said one of the pilgrims.

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Another pilgrim also said he felt authorities were helping them. \"No there is nothing to fear. The situation there is always like this. And the number of pilgrims is growing every year.\" He said.

The DIG of Jammu, Farooq Khan, has also said that different security agencies are working together to ensure that there is no disturbance in the yatra.

Close to 3000 BSF jawans have been airlifted to ensure the safety of the pilgrims.

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Police quiz Viveka\'s boyfriend over suicide

MUMBAI: Former beauty queen and model Viveka Babajee, who is alleged to have taken her life last week, reportedly poured her heart out about her problems to stockbroker Gautam Vora during their last meeting on Thursday evening.

This is what Vora has said in his police statement, which the cops began recording on Monday and continued on Tuesday. The police are probing whether abetment to suicide charges can be filed against Vora.

Legal experts have said that a note in Babajee\'s diary — 'Gautam you killed me\' — is not enough to make abetment charges stick.

Vora has told police that Babajee complained about business problems and about her ex-boyfriend Kartik Jobanputra. In his statement to the Khar police, Vora also gave details about their relationship.

On Tuesday, Vora told police that he met Babajee at a party and they became close friends. He told the police that he visited Babajee\'s flat on Thursday after she called him and they had a drink and a long chat. Vora told police that she was upset and depressed and stated that Jobanputra was snatching her assignments. In an earlier interview to TOI, Jobanputra has denied this allegation.

In his statement, Vora said Babajee requested that he not leave her alone as she needed his company, but he left.

Zonal deputy commissioner of police, K M M Prasanna, said, \"We recorded Vora\'s statement and, after recording the statement of Babajee\'s family members, we will call him for detailed questioning again.\"

The police have prepared a list of Babajee\'s close contacts. \"We will call Kartik and other concerned persons for questioning at a later stage,\" said a police official.

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Rs 1cr fine for UID data theft?

NEW DELHI: With the UPA government keen to roll out its ambitious plan of giving unique identity numbers to nearly a billion people, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is ready with a draft legislation to ensure data security and confidentiality of information. It has also proposed strict punishment for impersonation and breach of privacy, with fines ranging upto Rs 1 crore.

The draft bill proposes to make UIDAI a statutory body and provides for strict penalty for offences like disclosing identity information, impersonation, giving wrong biometrics and unauthorised access to data.

The draft law says that if any person \"intentionally discloses, transmits, copies or otherwise disseminates any identity information collected in the course of enrolment or authentication to any person not authorised\", he will be punished by imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with a fine which may extend to Rs 10,000.

In the case of a company, the fine may extend to Rs 1 lakh. Any person not authorised by UIDAI caught accessing Central Identities Data Repository (central databank) will be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and will be liable to a fine which shall not be less than Rs 1 crore.
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Diesel pricing freedom next on agenda, says Manmohan

On Board:Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addresses journalists on board his special flight to Frankfurt after attending the G-20 Summit in Toronto, Canada. To his left is National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla are seen behind.

On-board Prime Minister\'s Special Aircraft: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday ruled out a Tobin-type tax on capital flows, saying that while the Tobin tax has merit in particular situations, capital flows were not a problem for India, either in the case of portfolio investment or foreign direct investment (FDI). The flows were at "reasonable levels," he said. "We don\'t face situations of the kind that would require the imposition of Tobin tax".

Reserve Bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao has said on a few occasions in the recent past that the Tobin tax was not "off the table." Tobin tax is a levy on capital flows from abroad designed to discourage sudden and large destabilising outflows. Some Latin Americans have imposed it. It is usually about 2 per cent.

The Prime Minister said the next step in the deregulation of petroleum prices was to free up diesel pricing. These were "much needed reforms." He said petroleum subsidies had reached financially unsustainable levels.

"The people are wise enough to understand that excessive populism should not be allowed to derail the progress our country is making."

On June 25, the government freed up petrol pricing so that the oil marketing companies can charge what they like, instead of charging what the government tells them to do, thus driving up their losses and increasing government subsidies.

Appearing cool and relaxed after a gruelling series of meetings over a day-and-half at the G-20 Summit, Dr. Singh answered a range of questions from the need for macroeconomic coordination to the Sikh diaspora in Canada, Bhopal, and the future of the G-20.

On the last, he said, the Toronto G-20 meeting was more in the nature of preparation for the Seoul Summit in November. While each country would have to decide on how to manage the exit from its stimulus, it would also have to keep in view the fact that in an inter-dependent world, sovereignty had to be viewed from that perspective. There was no one-size-fits-all in managing fiscal consolidation. It would have to be done in a growth friendly fashion. Countries that wanted immediate fiscal consolidation have come round to this view, he said. In that sense the Toronto summit was useful.

He said the BRIC countries would have to consult each other more. Asked about the G-8, he said Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada told him that henceforth the G-8 would focus more on its security issues. Economic issues would be the staple for the G-20. Referring to his meeting with United States President Barack Obama, he said they mostly focused on the agenda for Mr. Obama\'s visit in November. The U.S. National Security Advisor would come in July to discuss the agenda for the Obama visit with Shiv Shankar Menon, his Indian counterpart. The Warren Anderson matter was not discussed, said the Prime Minister. "We will cross that bridge when we come to it." India would continue its efforts to extradite him. But India had not approached them yet. Asked how Anderson was allowed to leave the country, he said there were no records to show that the then government knew about it. This was the only time he became slightly irritated. "We are not hiding anything," he said.

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3 protesters killed in protests in Indian Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India — Police and paramilitary troops fired on thousands of anti-India protesters in Kashmir, killing at least three people in the worst street violence in a year, police said.

Faced with more than two weeks of increasingly strident protests in the divided Himalayan region, government forces have been accused of killing a total of 11 people in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Protesters demanding independence have attacked troops with rocks and sticks, and government forces have responded by launching tear gas, charging with batons and opening fire.

Muslim militants have fought in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir since 1989 for independence or merger with Pakistan.

While anti-India demonstrations are frequent in the region, the latest round of street protests was triggered by a police investigation earlier this month that found Indian army soldiers had killed three Kashmiri civilians in May. The investigation said the soldiers staged a gunbattle in order to claim the dead were militants. The army responded by suspending two officers.

Clashes broke out across the region again Tuesday, and three civilians were killed the town of Anantnag, 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of the main city of Srinagar, police said. Local residents said that one of the dead, Ishtiyaq Ahmed Khanday, 15, was not part of any protests and was killed in the compound of his home.

Meanwhile, thousands of police in riot gear patrolled the city of Srinagar, where shops, businesses and government offices were shut.

Police and paramilitary soldiers drove through neighborhoods warning people to stay indoors and not participate in pro-independence protests, said Afaq Wani, a Srinagar resident. He said police were imposing a de facto curfew.

Sajad Ahmed, a local police officer, said that no curfew has been imposed but that the state government has banned the assembly in public of more than five people. Troops also erected steel barricades and laid razor wire across main roads to prevent public gatherings.

\"We\'re imposing restrictions to avoid clashes,\" Ahmed said.

Similar restrictions were also imposed in several other towns in the region. In the violence-torn town of Sopore, 35 miles (55 kilometers) northwest of Srinagar, an indefinite curfew was in force for the fifth consecutive day.

A separate gunbattle near the India-Pakistan frontier broke out on Monday when a group of suspected militants infiltrated into Indian territory in the Nowgam sector, sparking a gunbattle that killed five of the suspected insurgents and three Indian soldiers, said Col. Vineet Sood, an army spokesman.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan and India have fought two wars over Kashmir. India accuses Pakistan of funding and training militants in the Pakistani-held portion of Kashmir and helping them slip over to the Indian side to fight. Islamabad denies the charge.

More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the conflict since 1989.

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Fuel price hike: Wails from Left & Right, bandh on July 5

NEW DELHI: Efforts to convert the July 5 Bharat Bandh, being organised to protest against the Manmohan Singh government's decision to hike the

prices of petro-products, into a success have got a major fillip with almost the entire Opposition, including the Left parties and the BJP-led NDA, coming out in its support.

While the Left parties — CPM, CPI, RSP and the Forward Bloc — had on Monday announced their decision to hold protests across the country, BJP, the largest Opposition party, followed suit a day later, with party president Nitin Gadkari giving a call to the people to back the July 5 bandh. However, the project to present a united picture on the issue has suffered a setback with the RJD-LJP combine in Bihar and BSP refusing to pool their resources with the Opposition. Technically, they have been bracketed with parties which have extended outside support to the UPA government, but they too have decided to register their protest of the fuel price hikes, albeit separately.

While BSP will be holding protests across Uttar Pradesh on July 6, the RJD-LJP alliance has given a call for Bihar bandh on July 10. The Samajwadi Party, however, has decided to back the July 5 bandh being sponsored by the main Opposition parties.

The Opposition was confident of conveying a strong message to the Manmohan Singh government by capitalising on the "growing popular anger'' over the latest round of hikes. JD(U) president Sharad Yadav, who has taken the initiative of coordinating with the other opposition parties in presenting a unified picture on the issue, claimed that the July 5 agitation would, after the JP movement of the 1970s, be the first such instance of mass mobilisation."There has been no difference among the opposition on the issue of fuel price hike. Every party has condemned it and demanded a rollback,'' the JD(U) leader, who is also the NDA convenor, told newspersons here on Tuesday afternoon.

"Check prices or leave the chair (Dam roko ya gaddi chhoro), Price rise affects all communities (Hindu Muslim Sikh Isai, sabke ghar me hai mahangai -- will be the Opposition\'s slogans during the agitation,'' Mr Sharad Yadav said. Besides the four Left parties, AIADMK, TDP, Samajwadi Party, BJD, JD(S) and INLD have decided to call for a country-wide agitation on July 5.

The JD(U) chief downplayed non-inclusion of his party\'s name, as also that of the NDA, in the Left parties\' statement on the strike. BJP came out with a separate statement, making it clear that attempts to bring the entire Opposition on one platform was fraught with difficulties. ``There are so many internal contradictions in the country. But the issue of fuel price hike is a very serious issue. People\'s interest come before parties. It was necessary for all parties to come together so that people can express their anger over the issue,'' Mr Sharad Yadav said.

The Left leaders have said they were in discussions with some other "secular opposition parties" to join the protests, which will be held from 0600 hours to 1800 hours on Monday.

Attacking the Centre over the hike, Mr Sharad Yadav said that the government had ignored the county\'s interests and handed over it ``to the market.'' The BJP president too slammed the hikes while extending his party's backing to the July 5 protests. ``The price rise under UPA regime has been continuing unabated. The prices of items of daily use and consumption by common man have increased manifold, severely upsetting the household budgets. The recent hike in petroleum prices has further burdened the life of common man and made it much more difficult for him to make both ends meet,'' Mr Gadkari said in a statement issued here on Tuesday.
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A day after attacking CRPF party, Maoists call bandh in five states

Raipur: A day after 26 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans were killed and seven injured in what is being seen as another major Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh, the Naxals have called for a bandh in five states of Jharkhand, Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. (Read: Maoists attack CRPF party, 26 jawans killed)

Besides these five states, two Naxal strongholds in Maharashtra, Gadchiroli, Bhandara, and Madhya Pradesh\'s Chandrapur and Balaghat districts would also be under the purview of the bandh.

For the first time, the Naxals have exempted the Railways from the 48-hour bandh, which is apparently in protest against the Centre\'s alleged anti-people policies.

On Tuesday, at least 90 heavily-armed Maoists, perched on a hilltop, opened fire from automatic weapons on a 63-member security contingent which was returning on foot from road opening duty in an area under Dhaurai police station, 3 km from the CRPF camp in Narayanpur district of Chhattisgarh, at about 3 pm. CRPF Director General Vikram Srivastava is visiting the attack site today. All 26 bodies have been brought back to Raipur, where the post-mortem will be done. (Watch: Injured have been evacuated, says Home Secretary)

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The CRPF men from 39the Battalion, E and F companies, were securing the area ahead of a two-day Naxal-sponsored bandh starting Wednesday. The fight went on for about 1.5 hours.

The injured were evacuated and taken to a hospital by a helicopter.

Additional Director General of Chhattisgarh Police Ramniwas said the security personnel, who also included state policemen, retaliated but it was not clear if any Maoist was killed or wounded.

Tuesday\'s attack came nearly three months after the country\'s worst Maoist attack, in which at least 75 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and a state police personnel were killed in an ambush on April 6 in the thick Mukrana forests of Chhattisgarh\'s Dantewada district. (Read: 76 security men killed by Naxals in Chhattisgarh)

Barely a month after the deadly attack on the CRPF, Naxals triggered a bus blast on May 17 in Dantewada in which 31 people were killed, mostly civilians. (Read: Dantewada bus blast toll 31, PM to review Naxal strategy)

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Addressing the prize distribution function of little children of PAU campus on the concluding day of a ten-day camp on \'development of creative skills among children\', organized jointly by the PAU Faculty Club and Anurag Trust, an NGO, the PAU Estate Officer-cum-Chief Engineer, Dr. Gurkirpal Singh said that during vocation, children must be involved in some creative activity. The creative skills among children help in their personality development, he remarked. He distributed prizes among the best performing children. The camp was organized in Faculty Club on the PAU campus wherein 30 children in the age group of 6-11 years participated. They were provided tips and hands-on experience in painting, sketching, clay modeling, singing, etc. by the experts of Anurag Trust. Ms Namita of the Trust said that during holidays, the children are provided exposure to creative skills and are made to have interaction with Nature so that they can imbibe these trait in their personality. Present on the occasion were Dr. Pushpinder Pal Singh Aulakh, Dr. S.K.Singla, Dr. O.P.Chaudhary, Dr. H.S.Kingra and Dr. Anil Sharma.
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There was huge rush of people, comprising students and their parents, who visited Punjab Agricultural University in connection with participating in the counseling of different courses, today. They started reaching the University in the early hours of the day. There was an elaborate arrangement for shelter and sitting so that the visitors do not face any difficulty. As a good gesture the PAU staff belonging to Estate Organization and office of Comptroller organized chhabeels of water and snacks for the visitors. This effort was applauded by the visitors. Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU also congratulated all those connected with this activity. The PAU Estate Officer-cum-Chief Engineer, Dr. Gurkirpal Singh said that the helping hand by the staff was welcomed and that the University takes care for the visitors especially during entrance tests and counseling. He appreciated the efforts in particular of Mr. Harmanjit Singh, Mr. Inderjit Singh, Mr. Ram Ji Dass, Mr. Ranjit Singh, Mr. Jasbir Singh, Mr. Harjinder Singh and Mr. Ram Parkash.
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Punjab has created wonders in transferring the food deficit state into that of self-sufficiency on foodgrains front. This had been a land mark achievement during the history of independent India. This was stated by Mr. Ashok C. Khosla, Head of module of agri-business during his talk on Punjab agriculture in the Committee Room of the Vice-Chancellor, today. Mr. Khosla said that Punjab is the third largest surplus producer of wheat after Canada and Australia. Discussing the face of Punjab agriculture by the year 2030, he said that there were many factors influencing the futuristic shape of Punjab agriculture. He mentioned that the changing food requirement of the burgeoning population, declining natural resources, needs of farmers income growth, impact of climate change, dynamics of market and supply chain, the public distribution system, etc. were the pulls and pushes for agriculture. Mr. Khosla said that the higher water requirements of sugarcane and paddy will have its socio-economic effects. He said that due to the rapidly happening urbanisation, 3% land is likely to be put to non-agriculture purpose that, he said, would mean 6% loss of cropping area as the existing cropping intensity in Punjab is 190%. He categorically mentioned that agriculture has to transform to agri-business for its well being. Mr. Khosla said that there were 16 Business Incubators in the country adding that Punjab being agriculturally so progressive had none. He projected that by the year 2030, Punjab agriculture would have a different face. There will be sever shortage of available labour, fall in the yield of wheat by about 7% and decline in the availability of water by 6%. He mentioned that there will be a shift in the cropping pattern in that area under wheat will decline, that under cotton, maize, fodder, fruits and vegetables will increase. He said that agricultural research and development needs to be re-oriented in view of the cropping pattern in resurgent Punjab-2030. Dairy can be a single largest turn around agent for farming, said Mr. Khosla adding that milk revolution is to overtake green revolution. For this, technology for production of fodders would be required. Discussing about the handling of foodgrains, Mr. Khosla said that there was a problem of plenty. He emphasized on the creation of energy efficient silos system for proper storage of foodgrains. Since Punjab is a major wheat producer state, Punjab Wheat Authority should be established. Diversification will be the persistent need and horticulture can have a better place in Punjab agriculture, said he. He mentioned that PAU is the portal of knowledge and suggested that it should have an agro-business incubator to cater to the marketing, export and relevant needs of the produce.

Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU said that the suggestions put forth by Mr. Khosla were relevant. He added that for preparing a vision document-PAU-2030, the scientists should make forward their suggestions and inputs. We must keep pace with the developments and be pro-active to meet the newly emerging challenges and harness the opportunities, said Dr. Kang. He thanked Mr. Khosla for his thought provoking discourse.

Earlier, Dr. Sandip Kapoor introduced the audience, comprising Deans, Directors, Officers and Heads of different constituent departments of PAU, about the speaker. Dr. R.S.Sidhu, Dean, College of Basic Sciences proposed his vote of thanks to the speaker, Vice-Chancellor and participants.

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Declaration of B.Sc.-I General Result Guru Nanak Girls College

The declaration of B.Sc.-I General result by Panjab University, Chandigarh has brought laurels for Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana as Mandeep Kaur , Nancy Garg and Raveena Parveen have obtained 91% , 77.86% & 77.14% marks respectively. Maximum students got first division. Principal Dr. (Mrs.) Charanjit Mahal congratulated the staff and students for their outstanding performance and wished them good luck for future.
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6 militants, 3 jawans killed in J&K gun battle

Jammu : Six foreign militants and three Army jawans were killed in a gun battle that broke out along the Line of Control in the Kupwara sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

Acting on a tip-off, troops picked up the movement of a group of infiltrating militants in 104 forward location along the LoC in Kupwara and launched an operation, triggering the encounter, a senior Army official at the Udhampur-based Northern Command.
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Pak hints at giving voice samples of 26/11 handlers to India

Islamabad : Pakistan on Saturday indicated its willingness to provide voice samples of 26/11 handlers and offer any other kind of cooperation to India, which pressed for prosecution of more people involved in the Mumbai terror attacks.

A day after their meeting here that focused on 26/11 attacks, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik talked in a positive tone, saying they were positive about the outcome of their deliberations.

"We will provide every possible assistance in addition to what you are talking about voice samples," Mr. Malik told reporters when asked whether Pakistan would provide voice samples of the handlers of 26/11 attackers.

India has sought the voice samples in a dossier given to Pakistan last week and Mr. Chidambaram is understood to have raised this issue at the meeting with Mr. Malik.

Indian investigators want the voice samples of the handlers, who have been identified in the dossiers given by it, to be matched with the recordings of the conversation the Mumbai attackers had with them.

"It is underway. We received dossier four-five days back. I sent it to investigators, and whatever they requested, we will look into it," Mr. Malik said.

Asked whether Pakistan would supply these to India, he said, "I am not denying anything. We will help them take these terrorists to justice like we are trying abettors and conspirators on this side. I am not denying or refusing any cooperation or any assistance."

The Indian side said the two countries were picking up threads of the process of improving ties interrupted by the Mumbai attacks.

Speaking to reporters separately, Mr. Chidambaram said he had conveyed to his counterpart that while seven LeT activists had been arrested in connection with Mumbai attacks, there were more people involved and they should also be prosecuted.

He noted that the trial of seven 26/11 accused being held here was adjourned again on Saturday.

Mr. Chidambaram said the two leaders discussed whether they could "identify what needs to be done having regard to what has already been done".

"I remain positive that something good will come out of that meeting," he said.

Mr. Chidambaram said: "We know that seven people (are being) prosecuted in the case. How far the prosecution has proceeded, it is for the Pakistani government to tell. We think that more people were behind the attacks and more people should be prosecuted."

"That point has been made to the Pakistani government and as I said, I wish to remain positive on the outcome of the meeting with Rehman Malik," the Home Minister said.

When a reporter said Pakistan had termed "myopic" India's decision to suspend dialogue process after Mumbai attacks and harping on arrest of JuD chief Hafiz Saeed, Mr. Chidambaram said Pakistan government had not used that word.

India considers Saeed, also the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, as the mastermind of the Mumbai attacks that killed 166 people, including foreigners.

While New Delhi has been pushing for expeditious action against Saeed, Pakistan has been maintaining that there was enough evidence to prosecute him.

"But whatever was the process till 26/11 was interrupted by 26/11 and recognising that the process was interrupted is not myopic by any standard. That is the reality," he said.

The Pakistan Interior Minister said he had sent the Indian dossier to investigators and "Whoever is found guilty and if somebody is involved, I will definitely take action. There is no question about it."

He insisted that "we are not there to create any hurdle in the investigation. Rather we will assist and cooperate with India. India has extended hand of friendship. We accept it and we have also extended hand of friendship."
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Curfew violators are not innocent civilians, says Home Secretary

New Delhi : With the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) coming under attack for the death of civilians in Jammu and Kashmir, Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said on Monday that people who broke curfew and attacked police posts could not be called "innocent civilians."

He said Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was handling the situation "to the best of his ability."

"In a place where curfew is imposed, people break curfew, go ahead and attack police posts, CRPF posts… I don\'t think you can call them, by any stretch of imagination, innocent civilians," Mr. Pillai said.

Asked about the death of a nine-year-old boy in the latest incident of firing in Sopore, he said the person killed was in fact a 17-year-old youth.

"Now, the organisers of these mobs are in one way willing to put teenagers in front. I think they are to be blamed. And teenagers should realise that they are being exploited by those who are doing this," the Home Secretary told NDTV.

To a question whether the separatists were fanning public anger, he replied in the affirmative. "Oh yes, I don\'t think there is any doubt whatsoever. I think separatists are definitely instigating the violence. We have seen this happening repeatedly."

"Police should be at the forefront"

Mr. Pillai suggested that the State armed police should be at the forefront in dealing with such situations and the CRPF should be used as the "second line of defence."

He commended the Central paramilitary force for showing restraint in dealing with the situation and said the incident was videographed and shown to the Chief Minister. "What do you want? That the CRPF men should be killed by the mob?" he said.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

I feel proud to be an Indian

Mumbai : Today is a big day for Akshay Kumar. The Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, who landed in Toronto on Saturday for the G-20 Summit, will be attending a formal dinner at 8 pm at Toronto's Westin Harbour Cafe Hotel with the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper.

"Mr Kumar was personally invited by the office of the Canadian Prime Minister," says spokesperson Pauline from Toronto. She refuses to divulge more details about the event "till a formal announcement from the PMO is made", but says that the actor will be making a speech to introduce the heads of state.

Kumar was on a cruise with wife Tina and son Aarav when he received the invitation. He promptly air-dashed to Toronto and will be staying back in the country for a few days.

"It is a huge honour for me to be present at such a prestigious event. I feel like I'm a part of history. A time when I feel proud to be an Indian," says Kumar, one of 14 international torchbearers at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.

He has been roped in by the Canadian Tourism Commission that has just launched operations in Mumbai and Delhi, to promote Canada as a tourist destination in India. Several of his films have been shot there, including Anees Bazmee's Thank You, that recently completed a schedule in Toronto and Vancouver.

On May 9, 2008, he was presented with an honourary doctorate of law by the University of Windsor, Ontario, for his work in cinema and social work. After losing his father, Hari Om Bhatia, to cancer, he sponsors a cancer ward at the Trillium Health Care Centre in Mississauga and has helped raise money for the Vancouver Children\'s Hospital.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Saina confident of becoming No 1

Hyderabad : Saina Nehwal, who had a dream run winning three international titles, including the Singapore Open and the Indonesian Open Super Series titles, in the last three weeks, said she can become the World No. 1 but the focus right now has to be on winning tournaments and not on rankings.

The 20-year-old star player was accorded a warm reception on arrival at the Rajiv Gandhi Airport here on Tuesday. She drove from there in an open top, flower-decked jeep in the company of her sister, Pullela Gopi Chand and BAI official Punnaiah Choudhary.

The World No. 3 from India, said it is nice to be ranked World No.3 but it also means lot of hard work and the need to keep improving.

"Yes, I am aware that I will be the most studied player now. But, it doesn't mean that I will be shying away from new strategies," she said.

"There are areas like my defence which I need to improve in the days to come. The fitness level has to be really good. The challenges are bound to be tougher especially after winning these titles," Saina explained to a query.

"It is tough to maintain these rankings for they mean a lot to you as a player too. It is a demanding task. The focus now shifts to the World Championship in Paris next month. It is not going to be easy anyway," the champion shuttler from Hyderabad pointed out.

"And do remember that no player can always keep winning these titles. There are bound to ups and downs. I only pray that I will be injury-free now to focus on the World Championship and the other two big events Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games later," she pointed out.

Laurels to Gopichand academy

"Looking back I do believe that joining Gopi Sir's Academy is one of the turning points of my career. Things have changed so much in terms of my game and this is the same with most of the youngsters training here now," Saina said about her training scheduled in the Gopi Chand Academy here.

"I am really thankful to Gopi Sir for the wonderful support he has been extending over the years and shaping me into a champion player," she added.

In a very diplomatic manner, Saina suggested that Chinese not taking part in the Indonesian Open should not take the sheen away from her triumph.

"It is an acknowledged fact that there many youngsters who are really good at the international level. Proof of that was evident the way Sayaka Sato played in the Indonesian Open final against me," she explained. "Well, since Chinese are busy with some club competitions back home, they did not make it to the Indonesian Open. But that is not my concern," she said.

Saina also said that she is no mood to push herself too far to be the World No. 1 by taking part in too many events. "We will plan it in such a way we do achieve our goals in a systematic manner," she added.

Questioned whether she is now attained the iconic status in Indian sport after the recent wins, Saina refused to believe so. "I only hope that these good things continue. Yes, definitely, there is lot more recognition now wherever I go. I am happy with this and I don't want any comparisons," she said. "I just want to make my country proud with my achievements," she insisted.

What did she miss during her moments of triumph in Singapore and Indonesia Opens? "My parents. I would have loved them to be there," flash came the reply. "Otherwise, it has been a fantastic run," she added.

For his part, chief national coach and Saina's mentor, Pullela Gopi Chand, felt that it was an incredible achievement to win two back-to-back Super Series titles. "This is a huge task for any player and I am glad that Saina has been improving with each tournament," he said.

Saina thanked the sponsors, BAI, APBA and the State Government and the fans for their support.

"I am thankful to the honourable Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Chief Ministers of AP and Haryana and to the Union Sports Minister for their nice gestures to greet me on winning these titles," Saina signed off before being leaving the venue which changed the course of her career.
News From: http://www.Time2timeNews.com

Monday, June 28, 2010

Exam for law graduates: Bar council chief resigns in protest

CHANDIGARH: Lodging a strong protest against the Bar Council of India\'s (BCI) decision to hold an examination for law graduates before they can begin practice, the chairman of State Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana tendered his resignation on Monday.

In a move that has earned it brickbats, BCI made it mandatory for law graduates to take All-India Bar Examination (AIBE) for getting their permit to practice as advocates.

Terming the decision of apex body draconian, unconstitutional and arbitrary, the state bar council also passed a resolution on Monday against the BCI decision of conducting the test.

A meeting of all state bar councils has already been called in Chandigarh on July 10 at Sector 37-based Law Bhawan to discuss the viability of AIBE and for taking a uniform decision on the issue. Sources confirmed that the BCI has taken the decision of conducting the examination without informing or taking consent of state bodies of the bar council.

After resigning from the chairman\'s post, Partap Singh said, \"BCI cannot force the state bodies to implement the rule that has been taken without consulting them.\" BCI, the apex body of the lawyers of country has recently introduced AIBE, which made it mandatory for all those law students graduating from the academic year 2009-2010 to clear AIBE to get licence.

The examination is scheduled for December and the certificate to practice is expected to be given to qualified law graduates in January. The decision had invited ire from all corners of the country, as the law graduates who passed had appearing for LLB final-year examination in April 2010 would have to wait for six to eight months before they can begin work.

Students from the region have already registered their protest against the decision by staging protests and slogans against BCI. A writ petition challenging the move was recently filed by some Chandigarh-base students. It is listed for hearing on July 30 before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

After last year’s paddy high, Punjab’s target area down by 1 lakh hectares

As Punjab awaits the arrival of monsoon for the ongoing paddy transplantation, the state aims to bring down the area under the 'water-guzzling crop' this kharif season. Despite poor rainfall last year, area under paddy in the state shot up to its highest ever of 28.02 lakh hectares bringing the efforts of the State Agriculture department at diversification to a standstill.

"As part of our diversification policy to arrest the falling groundwater table level, we try to bring down the area under paddy every year.

However, last year it went up from 27 lakh hectares to 28.02 lakh hectares. Our target for this kharif is to bring the cultivation area down by 1 lakh hectares to the earlier level of 27 lakh hectares. To achieve this, we have set higher targets for cotton, maize and pulses. Though the final picture will emerge only by the second week of July, area under paddy is not likely to be as high this year," Punjab Agriculture Director B S Sidhu said.

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Neighbouring Haryana, where area under paddy touched 12.05 lakh hectares last year, has kept this year's target at 11.5 lakh hectares. "As of now, paddy transplantation is lagging behind last year's corresponding figure, but it will pick up if rains are good in July. Irrespective of our target, paddy area in the state has not come down. It was 11.5 lakh hectares last year but crossed 12 lakh hectares despite less rains," said Haryana's additional director, agriculture, B S Duggal.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Punjab couple face ‘threat’, move HC

After several cases of honour killings being reported from Haryana, now a couple from Punjab are allegedly facing threat to life as they belong to the same village.

Bhawna and her husband Harpreet Kumar are allegedly being hounded by Bhawna's parents for eloping and tying the knot in 2009 against the consent of their families. The couple have a 10-month-old daughter.

The couple have approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court pleading for police protection. The court has issued notices to the Hoshiarpur SSP and parents of the girl.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Colourful journey of Queen\'s baton continues in Punjab

AMRITSAR/JALANDHAR: The Queen\'s Baton Relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games on Saturday continued to experience Punjabi warmth at its best as it

moved along with a big convoy of cars and jeeps amid tight security in the state.

The baton arrived in India on Friday morning at the Attari border check-post between India and Pakistan amid camaraderie between leaders, sportspersons and people from both countries.

The baton, which was kept at Amritsar overnight, left from Company Bagh on the top of an open vehicle along with a big convoy of cars and jeeps amid tight security.

People thronged on both sides of the busy National Highway-1, between Amritsar and Jalandhar, to witness the spectacle.

Jarnail Singh, a 62-year-old former athlete, said: \"We were waiting here since 9 am for the arrival of the baton. I have come with my two grandsons as I want them to understand the significance of the Commonwealth Games. Such moments are very rare and we do not want to miss them at any cost.\"

\"There is a marriage-like atmosphere in Jalandhar since morning. We are very happy and feeling very proud that the Queen\'s Baton Relay is crossing from here. I\'ve taken a half-day leave from my office to have a glimpse of the baton,\" said Mayank Aggarwal, a young bank executive.

On reaching Jalandhar, Raja Sidhu, nodal officer of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for the Queen\'s Baton Relay, took the baton to the dais and it passed through the hands of nearly 30 sportspersons from Punjab.

It will travel through the state with a big convoy of cars and jeeps.

\"In Punjab, the baton is travelling with a big convoy of cars and jeeps that have been provided by Tata Motors. The baton will travel by road in different vehicles,\" Priya Singh Paul, who is heading the public relations segment of the relay, said.

So far, the baton has travelled nearly 170,000 km through nearly 70 Commonwealth countries before arriving in host country India for the 2010 Games.

By the end of its journey, the baton would have travelled over 190,000 km, through different modes of transport across land, air and sea, in 340 days. This will make the baton relay 2010 one of the longest relays in the history of the Commonwealth Games.

\"The baton started from Amritsar at 9.35 a.m. We then reached Punjab Armed Police complex in Jalandhar. Around 250 sportspersons of national and international repute will carry the baton all across Punjab - 40 to 50 in each city where the baton stops,\" Sidhu said.

He added: \"From Jalandhar, it will move towards Maharaja Ranjit Singh police academy in Phillaur. Then it will reach Ludhiana - the industrial hub of Punjab. There will be a break from 1.30-2.30 p.m. for lunch. Then the baton starts its journey towards Patiala.\"

The baton is scheduled to reach Patiala by 4 p.m. It will be kept there overnight in the museum of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose National Institute of Sports.

Cultural programmes and various activities would be held to welcome the baton in all the cities of Punjab where it will stop, Sidhu said.

The 2010 Commonwealth Games Oct 3-14 are the biggest sporting extravaganza being hosted by India after the 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Punjab slammed on sharing of river water

Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Om Parkash Chautala Monday slammed the government of neighbouring Punjab for demanding royalty for river water that enters Haryana through the state.

\'It is an old practice of Punjab that whenever election approaches, their government picks up some irrelevant issue to divert the attention from other burning issues that are plaguing their state. This time they are illegitimately demanding royalty over water,\' said Chautala, a former chief minister of Haryana, while addressing reporters here Tuesday evening.

\'The central government is also not taking this matter seriously. We demand an all-party meeting to deliberate on this issue. They should draft some strict law to ensure that every state gets its due share of water without any problem,\' he added.

In the past few weeks, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has repeated on various occasions his demand for royalty from Haryana over water.

\'We are not beggars, water is our right and we have adhered to all laws in getting our share. It\'s really surprising that a senior leader like Parkash Singh Badal is demanding royalty as there is no law regarding this and no case is pending in any court over this,\' stated Chautala.

\'Nobody knows that which royalty they are talking about. If they have anything beneath their land then they are supposed to get it but for anything that is flowing over the land it is illegal,\' he said.

If his demand is taken seriously then other states like Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir will also start asking for it and even countries like Tibet and China will start demanding it as all water is coming from there, he said.

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Babar Awan announces Rs15.6m grant for Punjab Bar Council

SHEIKHUPURA: Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan on Monday announced a Rs 15.6 million grant for the Punjab Bar Council (PBC), Daily Times has learnt.

Of the total grant, Rs 10.25 million were announced for the PBC, Rs 1 million for the PBC's hostel, Rs 1.5 million for its employees, Rs 0.5 million for the PBC Secretary Akbar Bhatti, Rs 50,000 for Khawaja Jahangir for reciting the holy Quran at the beginning of the ceremony and Rs 50,000 for Malik Shahid for the recitation of the Naat.

Exploitation: Addressing a gathering at a local function, the minister said the exploitation of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Punjab's provincial ministers, members of provincial assembly (MPAs), office-bearers and workers will not be tolerated in Punjab.

"Discriminatory attitude against the party's ministers and officials in the province needs to be put to an end immediately," he said.

"We are giving due respect to the opposition in the Centre but the Punjab government has been playing a blame-game instead of resolving the problems of the poor," the minister said. He claimed that the PPP would clean-sweep the next general elections all over the country. app/staff report

News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Govt. College for Women,Result B.Sc.I

Govt. College for Women, Ludhiana bagged 126 first positions out of 216 students that appeared in B.Sc.I Examination of Panjab University, Chandigarh held in April 2010. Miss Navneet Kaur D/o Sh. Kawalpal Singh stood first in the college securing 90.14%(631/700) marks whereas Miss Shweta Poplay D/o Sh. Shyam Poplay and Miss Taranpreet Kaur D/o Sh. Manmohan Singh stood second and third securing 86.14% (603/700) and 85.14 %(596/700) marks respectively. Principal of the College Mrs. Neelam Bhardwaj congratulated the toppers.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com


During the Queens Baton Relay at Ludhiana, the baton reached Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) where Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor received it. Dr. Kang said it was a historic and prideful occasion for the University as well as the city to have this prestigious event. He conveyed his best wishes to all those participating in the relay. In addition to district administration, PAU senior officials, the sports fraternity and dignitaries from the city were present on the occasion. Many of the sports stars who had done India proud in various sports and games were all gathered in the Parkers House where the baton was received.

The organizing committee of commonwealth games-2010, Delhi has committed itself to hosting \'Green Games\' by inducing, among other activities, behavioural change towards \'low carbon practices\'. As part of the global environment facilities/UNDP small grant programme on \'low carbon campaign\' for XIXth Commonwealth Games-2010, Delhi, the Centre for Environment Education which is partnering with the organizing committee had inked an MoU with PAU for creating sensitivity toward low carbon practices, ensuring plantations in and around educational organizations, symbolic tree plantation was undertaken in the Dr. M.S.Swaminathan Heritage Park on the PAU Campus.

Saplings of traditional neem tree, harad, jamun, dheu and mehndi were planted in the Dr. Swaminathan Heritage Park by Dr. Kang, Sardar Pargat Singh, Director Sports, Punjab, Col. Ban Shtu, Director of the baton relay, Ms Alka Menon, Assistant Director of baton relay and Ms Cheitali Kapoor, Programme Manager, Center for Environmental Education, New Delhi. Present on the occasion were senior officials of PAU and members of Nature Tree Association. The park has earmarked area for the plantation of native and traditional tree species to maintain the bio-diversity which is diminishing over time. The location of the park near the Museum of Social History of Punjab will help creating awareness among visitors about the traditional tree species of Punjab.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com


Humans are continuously exposed to chemicals, such as environmental pollutants in food, water, and air and therapeutic agents. The drugs are also chemicals. These expressions were made by Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU while giving opening remarks on a three-day course on \'Drug Use Prevention Programme\' in the Auditorium of Dr. M.S.Randhawa Library, today. Dr. Kang said that the body constitution and functioning are all chemistry. Some chemicals such as drugs are harmful while some chemicals are useful in curing certain ailments, said he.

Dr. Kang emphasized that addiction leads to some serious consequences involving family and society. He said that for a drug free society all concerned, teachers, parents, NGOs should play their role. He appreciated the efforts of Ministry of Social Justice and empowerment, Government of India and UNODC for piloting a drug use prevention programme for a number of institutions in India. Dr. Kang said that the programmes of creating awareness against drug use should lay a focus on rural areas where the problem is rampant.

Mr. Mehtab Singh, Chairman of the Save My World, NGO welcomed Dr. Kang and other participants. Mrs. Neha Bansal presented an overview of the programme that has been conducted to spread the word against this menace that she said help to initiate discussions with children and other subjects and equip them with the confidence, awareness and ability to say \'No\' when require. The participants were told a variety of techniques and topics.

Mr. Gurbhajan Singh Gill, Editor (Punjabi) said that the delivery of message in vernacular tone can have better penetration. Dr. Sarabjit Singh, Associate Professor of Journalism and Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director of Communication also interacted with participants.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com


The PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Manjit Singh Kang has mourned the sad demise of Mr. Ashok Singhi, senior journalist with Dainik Bhaskar. In the condolence message, Dr. Kang said that Mr. Singhi always worked for the cause of farmers and downtrodden through his reporting which was always balanced. A condolence meeting was held in the Centre for Communication and International Linkages, where Mr. Singhi was a regular visitor and organized media events jointly with PAU. The Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, faculty members and staff participated. Dr. Kang conveyed his sympathies to the bereaved family and prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com


The PAU Kisan Club is organizing its monthly training camp in the Wheat auditorium on the PAU Campus on July 1 at 9.30 a.m.. The Director of Extension Education, Dr. M.S.Gill said that on this occasion, the subject matter specialists of the University will discuss different topics for the benefit of participating farmers. Dr. J.S.Sandhu will talk on bio-safety aspects of Bt crops, Dr. Chander Mohan on management of crops diseases, Dr. Surjit Singh on scientific cultivation of basmati, Dr. R.T.Patil will discuss opportunities of food processing for profitability. The President of the Club, Mr. Pavittar Pal

Singh Pangli said that in a special meeting of the Club Executive held in Kairon Kisan Ghar, today, the programme for the training camp was finalized besides paying homage to the former President of the Club, Mr. Baldev Singh Jhajj who left for his heavenly abode recently. The programme Director and Coordinator are Dr. M.S.Gill, Director of Extension Education and Dr. T.S.Riar, respectively. Dr. Rupinder Kaur is the Coordinator of the Club (Ladies Wing).
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Ranjita to pen \'how to survive a scandal\'

CHENNAI:Three months after the telecast of the controversial tapes that allegedly showed her with godman Nithyananda in a compromising position, actor Ranjita is busy working on a self-help book, tentatively titled \'How to survive a scandal\'. And the book draws on her experience.

\"I am writing this based on my experiences in the past six months, and there are so many people out there feeling traumatised and suicidal,\" the actor told TOI in an exclusive interview, the first after the controversy broke. \"My book will help people come to terms with personal problems, and I am in talks with a couple of publishers,\" she says.

\"I am also writing a fiction, aimed at the youth of today, but the one drawn from my experiences will come out first,\" says the actor, pushing back her smartly cut hair. \'Autobiography Of A Yogi\' and other books by renowned spiritual gurus line the shelf in her living room. \"I was always a bookworm and you move from fiction to philosophy. I am especially fond of Indian spiritual writing,\" says the actor, who came to Chennai early this month. While struggling for the right word or the perfect phrase, she also took time to meet up with CB-CID officials in connection with the Nithyananda case.

Asked why she went underground when the controversy broke, Ranjita goes quiet for a minute. \"I do not want to hang on to the past. I want to move on. I was very hurt and went through stress and trauma. I decided to hibernate for a while,\" she says. \"The media was writing so many negative things about me, and some were fabricating interviews. Things piled up one on top of the other. You need time to deal with such things, to reconcile, but people think actors do not deserve that kind of time,\" she says with a rueful smile.

She quickly adds that her husband, sisters, parents and in-laws were pillars of strength. She has a short role in \'Raavanan\', but she is yet to watch the film.

News From: http://www.s7News.com
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