Saturday, January 29, 2011

FAREWELL PARTY at G. N. INTERNATIONAL SEN. SEC. PUBLIC SCHOOL

The Faculty & Students of Class XI of G. N. International Sen. Sec. Public School, Model Town, gathered today on 29/1/11, to bid adieu to Class XII students.

The events unfolded one by one making the morning, very refreshing, full of colors & zest.

Junior students presented a very splendid show of songs, dances, jokes, mimicry & games etc. There was a very energetic performance presented by Avleen, Japneet, Navdeep on the popular song 'Twist Twist…' ,followed by a medley based on moral values 'Zindagi ki rah pe milenge hum fir….'.

A rocking performance full of colors & enthusiasm was a dance on 'Hallah re Hallah…' presented by Ishneet, Jasleen & Arshdeep which send the audience tapping their feet.

Students of School Carol team presented a song 'Hanste Hanste…' in their melodious voices, which was enjoyed thoroughly by everyone present there.

"Always retain your individualism & know that you are a very important entity in life & are born for a reason. Never give up your goal, until you taste success" was the way, Rippanpreet, Vice President, School Council described her views on behalf of junior students.

The much awaited modelling , by the smartly turned out students of class XII was appreciated by one & all. They really stole the show & it ended up with a loud applause by the audience.

"As you step out of your cocoon & spread your wings, to take flight- don't be scared, dare to have the courage to soar high & never stop dreaming", was very aptly wished by Gurleen, a Commerce Student of Class XI.





The cultural programme concluded by a Western Song in which the students wished & prayed that the God Almighty may shower His blessings on one & all, the lyrics of the song were "May the good Lord bless & keep you, whether near or far away."

"A kind of security and togetherness always clouded our minds in the campus. Every corner and every wall of the school narrates a story, of last 15 years spent here. These memories can never fade away with time" said Harjot Kanwal, President of School Council, a Medical Student of Class XII.

Director Mrs. P Kahlon & Principal Mrs. Gurmant Kaur Gill praised the performance of the students whole heartedly. "Key to success & happiness is the way you think. Its your thinking, that will lead you to self acceptance & happiness. Feel good about yourself, think positive throughout, do not be critical about yourself. Form your own opinions & decisions".

The afternoon ended with a sumptuous lunch, hosted by School Management which was enjoyed by everyone present there.


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Pakistan beat New Zealand by 43 runs in 3rd ODI

Mohammad Hafeez broke out of a form slump to score his first century and guide Pakistan to a 43-run win over New Zealand in the third One-Day International on Saturday, squaring the series at 1-1.

Hafeez scored 115, reaching his maiden century in his 62nd game, and captain Shahid Afridi smashed a half century from 19 balls as Pakistan made 293-7 in 50 overs after being sent in to bat.

Umar Gul took 2-31 and Hafeez 1-25 as Pakistan held New Zealand to 250-9 in reply, leveling the six-match series. New Zealand won the first match at Wellington by nine wickets and the second match at Queenstown was abandoned because of rain.

New Zealand\'s captain Ross Taylor - filling in for regular captain Daniel Vettori who was rested - sent Pakistan in to bat, expecting his seamers to make the most of a green pitch.

\"When we turned up the pitch was the same color as the outfield,\" Taylor said. \"I\'ve never seen a wicket that color a couple of hours before a match.\"

The appearance proved deceptive. Though Pakistan lost opener Ahmed Shehzad in the second over, batting proved much more easy than Taylor had expected.

Hafeez reached his half century off 65 balls and went on to build a series of productive partnerships, putting on 48 for the third wicket with Younis Khan (12) and 94 for the fourth with Misbah ul-Haq (35).

He reached his century in 175 minutes, providing the foundation of the Pakistan innings and allowing later batsmen - Afridi particularly - to accelerate the scoring.

\"I wasn\'t thinking about the century. I was just concentrating on occupying the crease because I felt I\'d missed out on a couple of opportunities in the test series and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity here,\" Hafeez said.

With Hafeez holding up his end, Afridi was able to lash out and he dashed to a brilliant half century from 19 balls, eventually making 65 from only 25 deliveries with five fours and five sixes.

Pakistan was helped by poor fielding from the New Zealand team. Brendon McCullum - the only specialist wicketkeeper in New Zealand\'s World Cup squad - showed the effects of recent inactivity in tests, dropping two catches and missing an easy stumping.

New Zealand also mismanaged its run chase, failing to establish a steady tempo of its innings and delaying its batting powerplay until its specialist batsmen had been dismissed.

Scott Stryis (46) and Kane Williamson (42) put on 81 for the fourth wicket in the best partnership of the innings but scored too slowly and left too large a task for the remaining batsmen.

By the time its heavier hitters came to the wicket, the run rate was beyond New Zealand.

Umar Gul bowled superbly to contain the home side, taking 2-31 from 10 overs while Hafeez took 1-25 from 5 and Wahab Riaz 2-43 from 8.








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Indian police question Tibetan spiritual leader

DHARMSALA, India—Indian authorities are investigating the source of large amounts of money found in a northern Indian monastery that is the headquarters of Tibetan Buddhism\'s third most important leader, police said Saturday.

Police and revenue officials are tracking about $777,000 found in the Gyuto monastery, the home of Ugyen Thinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, said D.S. Minhas, director general of police in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.

The money was in nearly two dozen foreign currencies, including a large amount of Chinese yuan, Minhas told The Associated Press.

The amount of money we found was so large that we will certainly look into every angle of what could be the source, and what was the purpose,\" Minhas said.

Indian media have been carrying reports that the Karmapa could be a Chinese agent sent to India to become a leader of Tibetan Buddhists who have made their home in the northern Indian town of Dharmsala.

The Karmapa has been living in Dharmsala since his arrival from Tibet in 2000.

Minhas said police questioned the Karmapa on Friday and would talk to him again about the source of the funds.

It was not immediately known what the Karmapa said to police.

A spokesman, Karma Chungyalpa, said the Karmapa\'s lawyers were preparing a statement.

\"We will certainly answer all questions that the press and the public have, but for now we respectfully request you to allow us to concentrate on complying fully with the investigation that is under way,\" he said Saturday.

Dharmsala has been the headquarters of the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile since the Dalai Lama, the 75-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, fled the Himalayan region in 1959.

China\'s government reviles the Dalai Lama, accusing him of pushing forindependence for Tibet and sowing trouble there. A boy named by the Dalai Lama as the second-highest Tibetan spiritual leader in 1995 disappeared shortly afterward and China selected another boy.

Police raided the Gyuto monastery on Thursday and arrested a monk on suspicion of trying to illegally buy land in the region.

The raid followed the arrest of two Indians a day earlier who were found carrying 10 million rupees ($22,200) in cash, said Santosh Patial, a superintendent of police.

On questioning, the two said they had received the money from the monk, an Indian national, to buy a plot of land in Himachal Pradesh where Dharmsala is located.

Patial said the Indians, who come from other Indian states, need special government permission to buy land in Himachal Pradesh state.


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Adarsh scam: CBI registers case against Ashok Chavan, 12 others

Mumbai:

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday named former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and 12 others in an FIR in connection with Adarsh society scam.

The probe agency named former Major General M M Wanchoo besides R C Thakur and Kaniah Lal Gidwani as main the conspirators in the case.



The case was registered after the CBI last week received flak from the Bombay High Court for its tardy probe in the case.

It was not immediately clear whether the name of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan figures in the FIR registered at the special designated court in Mumbai.

The CBI FIR names two former senior Army officials of the rank of Major General and Brigadier, sources said.

The agency had registered a preliminary inquiry into the scam in November last year.

The decision to register a case was taken after seeking a legal opinion on the evidence which had favoured registering of a case against some people for allegedly forging the documents and abusing official position.


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Nelson Mandela\'s release from hospital calms national alarm

South Africans breathed a collective sigh of relief today when Nelson Mandela was discharged from hospital after treatment for an acute respiratory infection.

Speculation about the frail 92-year-old\'s health went into overdrive as he spent a second night in hospital while official details of his condition appeared subject to a virtual blackout.

But Mandela returned home today and officials moved to assure the public he was \"well\" and in high spirits, even joking with his wife and nurses.

Kgalema Motlanthe, acting president of South Africa while Jacob Zuma is abroad, told a packed press conference that he had just visited Mandela, who was sitting up in bed.

When I walked into the ward, his exact words were he was very happy to see me,\" said Motlanthe, adding that Mandela was making light of the situation with his wife, Graca Machel, and ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

He\'s in good spirits and was joking with us and teasing Graca and Mama Winnie and the sisters. Even for me to come to the press conference he told me, \'Look, I won\'t detain you any longer.\'\"

After 48 hours of febrile rumours, some of which suggested South Africa\'s first democratically elected president had suffered a collapsed lung, was in a coma or was already dead, officials said he had contracted an acute respiratory tract infection that was not life threatening.

Motlanthe told journalists gathered at Milpark hospital in Johannesburg: \"What I can convey is that he is receiving the best treatment from the best available health professionals in this country. That should reassure all of us that there is no need for us to panic, there is no need for us to fear for Madiba\'s [his clan name] health. He\'s in good hands.\"

The deputy president added: \"We should remain calm and continue with our prayers and well wishes that Madiba should be with us to celebrate his 93rd birthday in July and beyond.\"

A convoy of security vehicles and a military ambulance carrying the anti-apartheid hero left the hospital today, reaching his nearby home in the suburb of Houghton within minutes.

Vejay Ramlakan, surgeon-general of the South African national defence force, which provides specialised medical care to former presidents, said Mandela would now continue to receive the same level of treatment at home.

\"At present Dr Mandela is in high spirits and has been visited by his family and friends,\" he said. \"Medically, at present, there is no need to panic.

Dr Mandela suffers from diseases common to people of his age as well as conditions that have developed over the years for which he receives chronic medication. He recently developed an acute respiratory infection for which he received treatment and has responded very well. He is stable but will be monitored closely.\"

Ramlakan noted that Mandela had suffered tuberculosis while a prisoner on Robben Island and has had previous respiratory infections. \"Despite all of this, his amazing positive attitude allows him to cope with the difficulties of old age with the greatest of graces.\"

Ramlakan declined to give details of Mandela\'s condition, citing constraints of doctor-patient confidentiality. But he said: \"He is not receiving any kind of assisted ventilation or anything like that. He\'s going home and is subject to intense monitoring.

\"We are at the end of the day talking about somebody who is 92 years old. When you are 92 years old, what is routine is very different from when you are 19. But for a 92-year-old he surprises us on a daily basis with his power of recovery.\"

Mandela\'s grandson, Mandla, said the family was delighted he was going home. \"There was a lot of anxiety in the family to be with him,\" he said. \"We always give him that support to be with him as a family and have always over the years enjoyed his sense of humour. The older he gets, he continues to display that sense of humour. As a family we\'ve always enjoyed having my grandfather with us.

\"It comes to us today with great joy to hear that he\'s been discharged.\"

It was revealed that Mandela had received more than 10,000 messages of goodwill from around the world, including from Barack Obama.

Neighbours in Houghton were happy to have him back. \"Everyone was holding their hearts and saying not now,\" said Patricia Ramaila, who has lived across the street from Mandela for four years. \"A person like Mr Mandela – we still need him.\"

Two days of frenzied rumours, fuelled by websites such as Twitter, have forced South Africa to confront the mortality of its national figurehead, and tested to breaking point its ability to deal with global media scrutiny.

Motlanthe said: \"Madiba has received similar check-ups in the past and it\'s never raised the same public panic it has now.\" But he admitted that, with hindsight, communications should have been better. \"From now on we will keep you posted,\" he promised


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Ben Ali allies dropped from cabinet

Mohammed Ghannouchi, the Tunisian prime minister, has reshuffled the interim government, dropping key ministers from the heavily criticised government of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

This is a temporary government with a clear mission - to allow a transition to democracy,\" he said in a live television address on Thursday.

Its mission is to organise elections in which the people will be completely free to choose.\"

Ghannouchi, also a key figure in the previous administration, said he would stay in his post as the country prepares for parliamentary and presidential elections which are expected to be held in the coming months.

Ghannouchi said the elections will be organised by an independent national commission and overseen by international observers to ensure the vote is \"honest and transparent.\"

The new cabinet, Tunisia\'s second in 10 days, includes 12 new ministers and keeps nine from the previous set-up. The newcomers include Farhat Rajhi, interior minister, and Abdelkrim Zbidi, defence minister.

Earlier on Thursday, Kamel Morjane, the foreign minister, resigned saying he was leaving \"so that the popular revolution can bear fruit\".

Ghannouchi said the new foreign minister will be Ahmed Ounais, a 75-year-old career diplomat who studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris and served as Tunisia\'s ambassador to Moscow and New Delhi.

The new line-up had been agreed after consultations with all political parties and civil society groups, the prime minister said.

Protesters, who earlier on Thursday stormed police barricades in Tunis, the capital, had been calling for a purge of Ben Ali loyalists.

Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14 when weeks of violent protests against poverty, repression and corruption toppled him after 23 years in power.

The interim government which was appointed after Ben Ali\'s departure included many officials of RCD, the former ruling party, prompting an angry reaction from demonstrators.

Morjane and the seven other ministers from the RCD quit the party last week but that gesture did not prove enough to appease protesters.

Only three ministers in the government named on Thursday have roots in Ben Ali\'s RCD party, compared to 10 in the previous interim cabinet.

Tunisia\'s powerful labour union, UGTT, will not join the new government itself but said it would approve of Ghannouchi staying in power, a factor that could help appease protesters. The union has a large membership and has been involved in organising some demonstrations.

In what is being seen as an attempt to ease the tension on the street, the union decided to cancel a big protest rally scheduled for Friday.

However, Al Jazeera\'s Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Tunis, later said that the union appeared to backtracking from that position and was now unhappy with the announcement.

\"I spoke to a spokesperson of the UGTT and he told me ... they asked the prime minister to include some faces picked by the UGTT, which he didn\'t, and they asked him to form a \'council of the wise\' that includes practically every independent activist or political figure,\" he said




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Protesters back on Egypt streets

Protesters are returning to the streets of Egypt, following violent overnight demonstrations across the country staged in defiance of a curfew.

Demonstrators gathered in Tahrir Square in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Saturday morning, shouting \"Go away, go away!\", the Reuters news agency said.

Similar crowds were gathering in the cities of Alexandria and Suez, Al Jazeera\'s correspondents reported.

In Alexandria, our correspondent Rawya Rageh reported that scores of marchers were calling on Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to step down.

\"They are calling for regime change, not cabinet change,\" Rageh said.

The Reuters news agency reported that police had fired live ammunition at protesters. Independent confirmation of that report is awaited.

In Suez, Al Jazeera\'s Jamal ElShayyal reported that 1,000-2,000 protesters had gathered, and that the military was not confronting them.

ElShayyal quoted a military officer as saying that troops would \"not fire a single bullet on Egyptians\", regardless of where the orders to do so come from.

The officer also said the only solution to the current unrest was \"for Mubarak to leave\".

He also reported that some people had attempted to loot a police station, but that other locals had stopped them from doing so.

He said that 1,700 public workers in Suez had gone on an indefinite strike until Mubarak steps down.

The latest protests reflected popular discontent with Mubarak\'s midnight address, where he announced that he was dismissing his government but remaining in power.

The several hundred protesters in Tahrir Square demonstrated in full view of the army, which had been deployed in the city to quell the popular unrest sweeping the Middle East\'s most populous Muslim country since January 25.

They repeatedly shouted that their intentions were peaceful.

The road leading from Tahrir Square to the parliament and cabinet buildings has been blocked by the military, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Al Jazeera\'s Jane Dutton, reporting from Cairo, said the normally bustling city looked more like a warzone early on Saturday morning.

Tanks have been patrolling the streets of the capital since early in the morning, and a statement from the Egyptian armed forces asked citizens to respect the curfew and to avoid congregating in large groups.

Cities across Egypt witnessed unprecedented protests on Friday, with tens of thousands of protesters taking to the streets after noon prayers calling for an end to Mubarak\'s 30-year rule.

The number of people killed in protests is reported to be in the scores, with at least 23 deaths confirmed in Alexandria, and at least 27 confirmed in Suez, with a further 22 deaths in Cairo.

Al Jazeera\'s Rageh in Alexandria said that the bodies of 23 protesters had been received at the local morgue, some of them brutally disfigured.

ElShayyal, our correspondent in Suez confirmed 27 bodies were received at the morgue in Suez, while Dan Nolan, our correspondent in Cairo, confirmed that 22 bodies were present at a morgue in Cairo.

More than 1,000 were also wounded in Friday\'s violent protests, which occurred in Cairo and Suez, in addition to Alexandria.

Protests continued throughout the night, with demonstrators defying a nighttime curfew [EPA]

Dutton, in Cairo, said the number of the people on the streets \"increased after president Hosni Mubarak\'s speech shortly after midnight\".

Regarding the situation in the capital on Saturday morning, she said \"there is broken glass everywhere ... a lot of the burnt out shells of the police cars have been removed but you are aware that there were hours and hours of skirmishes on the streets of the capital city [last night]\".

The ruling National Democratic Party\'s headquarters in the capital is still ablaze, more than 12 hours after it was set alight by protesters.

The Egyptian army says that it has been able to secure the neighbouring museum of antiquities from the threat of fire and looting, averting the possible loss of thousands of priceless artefacts.

Armoured personnel carriers remain stationed around the British and US embassies, as well as at the state television station.

Some mobile phone networks resumed service in the capital on Saturday, after being shut down by authorities on Friday. Internet services remain cut, and landline usage limited.

Authorities had blocked internet, mobile phone and SMS services in order to disrupt planned demonstrations.

Maged Reda Boutros, a member of the ruling National Democratic Party, told Al Jazeera that the political regime in Egypt was \"admitting\" that it was not meeting the expectations of the people, and that was why the cabinet was resigning.

Tens of thousands of Egyptians defied the nighttime curfew to take to the streets.

It shows a response to the demands of the people,\" he said.

He alleged that the protests have been taken over by \"mobs\" from the \"lower part of the society\", who are now engaged in \"burning, looting and shooting\".

\"Now it has turned from a noble cause to a criminal cause,\" he said, saying that most of those involved in the protests were criminals.

He said that half of those killed are members of the security forces, who died while acting in self defence.

\"People should wait and see what\'s going to happen. But if they continue doing protests and letting those criminals loose in a large city of 17m people ... we cannot play with the stability of the country.\"

Friday\'s demonstrations involving tens of thousands of people were the biggest and bloodiest in four consecutive days of protests against Mubarak\'s government




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How they see it: leading Egyptian expatriates interpret this photo

Jamal Badawi, Emeritus Professor, St. Mary\'s University

"In spite of the confrontation and the massive presence of police, I see an element of even restraint. But I\'ll ask myself when I look at this massive demonstration with a massive presence of police: Is this a tipping point?"

Look at the people on the sides. The police are massed in a kind of phalanx, but at the sides you have people just discussing things. They might as well be drinking coffee. It captures the sense that people are angry, but I don't see violence. I think of Egyptians as one big crowd, they all act in unison, they all obey orders. You're not having that. Egypt for me is one sentiment, one religion, one party, one everything. And suddenly you have people suddenly thinking differently, as if they'd been thinking like that all along but hadn't been able to express it."

Andre Aciman, author of Out of Egypt and distinguished professor at the City University of New York

"They're just standing there and we can not predict what's going to happen. You never know what's going to come later. I don't know what can make these people feel better or get calm or stop. I was there just last week: I came back on the 24th. There was talk that people would go to the street, but everything was calm. Things are not going in the right direction. It's going too fast and things are going out of hand


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Burnt woman\'s husband charged with murder

Police have charged the husband of a woman burnt alive in Huntly with her murder.

Ranjeeta Sharma's body was found burning last week.

Diwesh Sharma appeared in the Hamilton District Court this morning after voluntarily coming back to New Zealand from Fiji with police.

His four-year-old son also came back to New Zealand with him.

Police say they\'re working with the boy\'s wider family who are in Fiji to determine what\'s best for him


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Silvio Berlusconi \'has made Italians a laughing stock\'

The sex scandal swirling around Silvio Berlusconi has made Italians a laughing stock around the world, the country\'s bestselling Catholic publication said on Wednesday.

Silvio Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with \'several\' prostitutes during wild parties at his villa near Milan Photo: REUTERS By Nick Squires, Rome 11:30PM GMT 26 Jan 2011

\"Our young people abroad are called \'bunga bunga\' Italians and that is not a flattering definition,\" the Famiglia Cristiana (Christian Family) magazine said in an editorial.

Antonio Sciortino, the editor, said Italy\'s image had been \"damaged around the world\" as a result of the so-called \"bunga bunga\" scandal, in which Mr Berlusconi is accused of paying for sex with \"several\" prostitutes during wild parties at his villa near Milan. He has denied any improper behaviour.

Father Sciortino was responding to four pages of letters in which readers expressed indignation over the prime minister\'s conduct and the harm it was doing to Italy\'s image.

One of Italy\'s biggest selling daily newspapers, La Repubblica, has set up an online forum in which Italians living abroad are invited to write about how the country is being perceived in the wake of the sex scandal.

Thousands of Italians have sent messages to the site, saying they are ashamed and embarrassed by what is unfolding back home


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Ishrat encounter fake, says rebel SIT cop

The probe into the 2004 killing of alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Ishrat Jahan and three others courted controversy on Friday when one of the three members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), appointed by the Gujarat High Court, filed an affidavit alleging that the encounter may have been faked by Gujarat policemen.

Joint Commissioner of Police Satish Verma, in his 80-page affidavit in the High Court, also alleged that his other two colleagues in the SIT, Karnail Singh and Mohan Jha, were trying to derail the probe. Singh and Jha are also Jt CPs. While Singh is from Delhi, Jha belongs to the Gujarat cadre.

Verma claimed there was enough material available to suggest that the encounter may have been "staged" by police. He has asked for registration of an FIR against the officers involved.

According to Verma, he came to this inference after recording the statement of Head Constable Moti Talja Desai who was posted with the Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) when the "encounter" took place. He said he also turned to forensic evidence to back his claim


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Full facts about Thomas were not placed before panel: Vahanvati

The Department of Personnel did not place full facts about P.J. Thomas before the high-power committee that finalised his appointment as Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), Attorney-General (AG) G.E. Vahanvati told the Supreme Court on Thursday. The department did not mention about a charge sheet that was pending against him in a palmolein import case and that the Kerala government had granted initial sanction for his prosecution, the AG said.

Mr. Vahanvati made the submission before a three-judge Bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.H. Kapadia and Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar when it wanted to know whether full facts were placed before the committee for its consideration before the selection was made.

The committee was headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and had Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj as members.

Earlier, counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the Centre for Public Interest Litigation that has challenged Mr. Thomas\' appointment, argued that he did not fulfil the criterion of "impeccable integrity" as per the Vineet Narain judgment. For, he was facing a charge sheet in the palmolein case.

At this juncture, the CJI told the AG: "We want to know whether the papers and the file pertaining to the palmolein case pending against Mr. Thomas, request for sanction and subsequent correspondence were circulated before the committee members. If the full facts were not placed before the committee will it not vitiate the process of appointment?"

The AG said: "The papers and file were not so circulated. It was not before the committee. The material pertaining to the sanction for prosecution under Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code was not before the committee. The biodata [of Mr. Thomas] did not reflect this aspect before the committee. This, however, will not vitiate his appointment as it was in accordance with Section 3 of the CVC Act."

When Mr. Bhushan submitted that Ms. Swaraj orally raised at a committee meeting the issue of the pending case against Mr. Thomas, the AG said the note on the committee proceedings showed that she merely endorsed, "I disagree."

He said: "It is not possible for me to tell the court what was or was not discussed among the members of the committee at the meeting."

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for Mr. Thomas, said the CVC, while granting clearance, found that no case was made out and the present Kerala government had appointed Mr. Thomas Chief Secretary.

The CJI said: "We are not going into the merits of the case. We only want to know whether relevant material was brought before the committee. What is the consequence of the committee not being made known the relevant facts? We want to know if the correct procedure was followed in the appointment of CVC or was it vitiated. We want to know how many people were in the zone of selection for the post of CVC; the details of the empanelment; what were the criteria for short-listing of such officers; the circumstances of sanction/charge sheet were against them or not; if there were only three officers, then on what grounds the other two were eliminated


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Commission: BJP, sangh parivar had no role in Karnataka church attacks

Bangalore:

The Justice B.K. Somasekhara Commission of Inquiry, in its final report on the attacks on churches and prayer halls in several places in Karnataka in 2008, has absolved the Bharatiya Janata Party, the "mainstream" sangh parivar and the State government from having been "directly or indirectly" involved in the violence.

The highlights of the report, released to the press after submission of the full report to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Thursday, do not specifically hold any individual or organisation responsible for the attacks, saying the "circumstances were diverse" and treated individually in the full report.

It, however, says "true Hindus" had no role to play in the attacks, holding "misguided fundamentalist miscreants" responsible. These groups "mistakenly presumed that they will be protected by the party in power."

The report strongly reprimands the actions of specific district administrations and the police in specific cases. It says that in its larger observation allegations of top police officials and district administrations colluding with the attackers had "no merit." The police "did their best" in nabbing miscreants and their action is justified, with some exceptions.

The extent of attacks varied from place to place, the report says, adding that some were even "self-inflicted." On the other hand, other attacks were deliberate, well-planned and communally antagonistic.

The commission says there were "no conversions at all by Roman Catholic churches."

It, however, says there were conversions by "a few organisations and self-styled pastors," which were "not necessarily by compulsion or fraud or coercion but definitely by inducements." This, the commission says, has damaged the reputation of "true Christians." Allegations of some organisations indulging in inducements and maligning the Hindu religion appear "mostly probable and true."

The commission recommends law to regulate the activities of such organisations within the scope of Article 25 of the Constitution. It says the demand for an audit of the activities of pastors is justified. While not directly recommending law against conversion, it says that the demand for bringing Christian places of worship under some legislation is "well-founded."

It also says that "Organisations like the Bajrang Dal need identification, registration and legal control."

The only individual named in the highlights of the report is the then Bajrang Dal head, Mahendra Kumar, for "publicly justifying attacks."

The commission has made 21 recommendations, including the formation of a religionregulatory authority to oversee protection and monitoring of all religion-related activities; the formation of a wing in each district to deal with religious conflicts; prohibition of all material that abuses religious sentiments and formation of a "commission of religions


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Terrorism a crime, don\'t complain, act: Rahul

Aurangabad,

After Uttar Pradseh, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi started campaigning for the Youth Congress in Maharashtra. During the visit, Rahul urged youth to join politics in the wake of India being a indomitable presence in the world stage.

Addressing the media, Rahul stated, \"I assure you, after 10 years, you will be proud of your decision (to join politics), and the country\'s politics will take a new direction.\"

Expressing his unhappiness over politics, Congress general secretary claimed, \"Indian politics lack democracy\" and he also asserted, \"to join Youth Congress, candidates don\'t need to show their last name.\"

Comparing \'corruption\' with \'cancer\', Rahul said, \"Everyone points out at corruption but few wants to correct that.\"

Don\'t complain, change the system. Act on right time,\" urged Rahul while reiterating that \"coalition politics\" indeed create more hazards and makes things more complicated.

Stating on the long disputed issue of India, terrorism, Rahul said, \"Terrorism must be treated as another crime. It (terrorism) doesn\'t bind to any specific religion
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Foreign currency seized from monastery

PTI Policemen carry a seized trunk containing foreign currency notes from the Gyuto Monastery at Sidhbari, Dharamsala, on Friday.

Police claimed to have seized foreign currency valued at over Rs. 6 crore during raids on the offices of a trust backed by 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje.

Himachal Pradesh ADGP (Law and Order) S.R. Mardi said huge sums of money in currencies of 25 countries, including China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, the U.K., the U.S., Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and Germany, were seized.

DGP D.S. Minhas said many land deal documents were also found and a probe was on whether these were part of benami deals. Some travellers\' cheques were also found.

The Karmapa, who had fled to India on January 5, 2000 from China as a 14-year-old boy, may be questioned if needed, Mr. Minhas said. He has been living in Dharamsala ever since.

Although Dorje is widely called the Karmapa, officials said that he was one of the four contenders to the seat of Karmapa. The Dalai Lama had also recognised him as 'Karmapa,\' a Buddhist seat that carries forward Tibetan activities.

Evidence emerging during investigation indicated that the currencies of China, Japan, the U.S., the U.K, Australia, Thailand and several other countries recovered from the Gyuto Monastery in Dharamsala have come from Chinese sources.

The official sources said the Karmapa\'s personal secretary Tsering, who is also the secretary of the monastery, was called back here from Dehra Dun. His office and residence have already been sealed by the police. Rabgyal Soshing alias Shakti Lama, a key functionary of the Karma Garchen Trust, was arrested on Thursday


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Stray dogs strike terror in city

LUDHIANA: For the four-year-old Isha Sohar, her birthday became worst and most dreaded day of her life as she got severe injuries after being bitten by a stray dog on her fourth birthday.



Panicked over the incident of Thursday night when a bitch attacked her while she was standing in the street, now Isha feels scared to step out of her home.



\"I was so excited to wear new clothes and celebrate my birthday but the ugly dog tore away my beautiful frock. I hate dogs, will never move out alone in the streets,\" said the little girl in a low voice with tears in her eyes.



\"The celebrations turned into sadness for us after the brutal dog attacked her, it was the worst incident of my life and I can never forget her,\'\' said Manika, mother of the girl. \"Beautifully dressed Isha was happy on the occasion of her birthday as she did not only celebrate with her friends but went out with her grandmother also. Thankfully, Isha was wearing a thick clothes, which saved her skin otherwise the dog would have killed my little daughter,\" added Manika.



She said that they had talked to the area counselor, who had promised to pick the dog, but she did not do anything.



Girl\'s father Rajesh Sohar said, \"Nothing is more valuable than my daughter\'s life and I would go to any extent to fight the issue. The MC should immediately kill the dogs in the area.\"



Holding herself responsible for the incident, girl\'s grandmother Kamesh Kaur said that the she had taken the girl to the satsang and could not accompany the girl due to joint pains when she ran away on the road. \"I wish the dog had bitten me rather than biting my granddaughter. I would be afraid to take her out in the street for future,\'\' she said with tears in her eyes.



\"If anything happens to our child the MC would be responsible for it,\" she added.
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Tax officials attacked in Ludhiana

government officials being targeted while on duty, a vehicle carrying senior personnel of excise and taxation department was attacked during a raid and the driver badly assaulted by people involved in illegal transaction of goods.



The incident occurred when 10-15 members of local mafia, apparently part of fake billing racket, were taking goods to the booking counter of railway station last night. When the tax personnel stopped the convoy of 30 autos loaded with goods for inquiry, the goons attacked them, officials said.



Excise and taxation officer D S Garcha and others managed to escape as the assailants attacked the vehicle with sticks and sharp-edged weapons at the railway station last night, officials said on Thursday.



The driver, Jarnail Singh, however, was caught by the attackers who badlly thrashed him. He was thrown in front of an approaching train but he managed to save himself, Rishi Pal, assistant excise and taxation commissioner, Ludhiana, said.



Railway police said that they have registered a case against unidentified people under various sections of the IPC.



Sources said the state exchequer was suffering losses worth crores of rupees every day due to illegal transactions of goods.



The driver who suffered injuries, including a fracture in the right hand, has been admitted to a local hospital.



The incident comes days after additional district collector Yashwant Sonawane was burnt alive by suspected members of local oil mafia when his team conducted a raid at a roadside eatery near Manmad town, about 260 km from Mumbai in Maharshtra.
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GNIMT holds annual sports day

LUDHIANA: Guru Nanak Institute of Management & Technology ( GNIMT), Model Town, organized annual sports day on Friday. It was inaugurated by Dr (Colonel) HS Singha, director of the institute.



The function started with a prayer. Students participated in different races, jumps (long, high, triple), throws (shot put, javelin) group events and tug-of-war.



Assistant professor Rajan Sridhar, assistant professor Dr Harmeet Kaur, Ravinder Singh and Shivani (faculty members) were the judges.



Navpreet Singh, a student of bachelor\'s in business administration, was declared the \"best athlete\'\' amongst boys and Lovepreet Kaur of bachelor\'s in computer applications was declared the \"best athlete\'\' amongst girls.



In 100 metres race, Jaspreet Kaur, Lovepreet and Gurmeet Kaur were declared first, second and third, respectively. In 800 meters race, Lovepreet, Harleen Kaur and Balpreet Kaur were adjudged first, second and third, respectively.



In long jump, Navpreet, Lavjot Singh and Gagan Deep were awarded first, second and third prizes, respectively. In tug-of-war, master\'s in business administration women team was declared best.



Towards the end, Singha gave away prizes to winners. Stressing the importance of sports in students\' life, he said, \"Sports not only teaches team spirit, but also plays an important role in your physical and mental development.\'\'




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Ludhiana-Sangrur road to be completed by April



CHANDIGARH(PUNJAB): The World Bank-aided upgradation of Kharar-Banur-Tepla and Ludhiana-Malerkotla-Sangrur roads would be completed by April this year. A World Bank delegation is on a visit to Punjab to monitor the ongoing World Bank-aided road projects in the state.



Punjab\'s public works minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa said on Friday that during the first phase of World Bank\'s Rs 1,500-crore project, about 150 km of upgradation, 200 km of rehabilitation and 350 km of periodic maintenance at a cost of Rs 700 crore has already been completed. The project is the largest ever road sector project undertaken in the state in which 900 km of roads will be improved in a phased manner.



Presiding over a two-day international conference on \"Output and Performance based on Road Contracts (OPRC),\" Dhindsa said that Phase 2 of the project envisages to take up more road network on OPRC basis for 10 years. The first such contract of 200 km road network involving Rs 700 crore is being finalised for which bid documents have already been submitted to the World Bank for approval. Work on the project is likely to start by August 2011, said Dhindsa.



OPRC is relatively a new concept designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of road operations in the state. Under this system, the contractor is paid for the output of works carried out to pre-defined standards and his performance to ensure certain quality level on the road network for certain duration of time.



Read more: Ludhiana-Sangrur road to be completed by April - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ludhiana-Sangrur-road-to-be-completed-by-April-/articleshow/7382044.cms#ixzz1CPwkZy14
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Friday, January 28, 2011

LITTERATURE AND CULTURE CAN STRENGTHEN RELATIONS AMONG PUNJABIS : RAI AZIZULA



LUDHIANA JANUARY 28:

Former Member National Assembly and Chairman of standing Committee of Dairy Development, Government of Pakistan Jenab Rai Azizulla Khan, while releasing the book \' Punjabi Sabhyachar: Rishtian Di Sambadikta\' (Ethics in Punjabi Culture) authored by known Punjabi writer and educationist, Dr. Jalaur Singh Kheeva, said that efforts should be made to strengthen the Punjabi relationship among Punjabis across the world at social, national and international level. He further said that it speaks of our strong relationship that he came to India to attend the marriage of the daughter of one of his Hindu friends. A function was held in Ludhiana by Baba Bulleh Shah Foundation (International) to release the book of Dr Kheeva. .

Briefing about the literary contribution of Dr. Kheeva, President of Punjabi Sahit Academy, Prof. Gurbhajan Singh Gill said that the culture of Malwa region of Punjab is well depicted by the writer in his book. The Chairman of the Foundation Mr Gurcharan Singh Shingaar said that for the new generation, this book will be a landmark to know about our age old relations among Punjabis.

Present on the occasion Additional Director of Communication and Editor of 'Sanjh' magazine Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman said that to familiarize the Punjabi Society with rich Punjabi culture, at International level, the book should be translated in English and Shahmukhi also.

The Secretary of the Foundation, Dr.Nirmal Jaura, said that he felt proud as he had been one of the students of Dr. Kheeva from whom he learnt the intricacies of stage management and the richness of Punjabi culture. Several literary personalities including former General Secretary of Punjabi Sahit Academy Prof. Ravinder Bhathal, President of Mohan Singh Foundation (UK), Mr. Jaswant Singh Grewal, Dr. Prithipal Singh Sohi, Prof. Harinder Kaur Sohi, renowned comedian Dr. Jaswinder Bhalla, Mrs Parampreet Kaur Bhalla, S. Kamaljit Shankar, renowned dhadi singers Rachhpal Singh Pamal and Satwinder Singh Pamal were also present on the occasion.


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PAU ORGANISES SEMINAR ON REAL TIME SENSORS FOR APPLICATION OF NITROGEN

LUDHIANA, JANUARY 28:

A seminar on 'Real time sensors for application of nitrogen for crops' was organized by the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, PAU, in collaboration with Punjab Chapter of Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers. Dr J.S. Panwar, former Head, Division of Agricultural Engineering, IARI, New Delhi, was the chief guest on this occasion.

Delivering a thought- provoking lecture, Dr Joerg Jasper, Nitrogen Sensor Development Research Centre Hanninghof, Germany, dwelt on N- Sensor and N-Sensor ALS technology for precision farming. N-Sensor is a passive system and needs daylight for 8-10h per day while N-Sensor ALS is an active system, having own light source for 24 h per day, he said while sheding light on the relationship of crop N content , crop biomass, crop N uptake with the optimum N fertilizer rate. Referring to colourful map (provided by N-sensor) based fertilizer recommendation, he added that they educate about the plant parameter, accuracy of measurement, calibration of sensor reading and fertilization algorithms. Throwing light on the effects of N-Sensor based variable rate N application (field trials), Dr Jasper said that it leads to yield enhancement, N fertilizer savings, improved crop quality, reduced lodging and enhanced combine harvest. N-Sensor has been adopted by number of countries for commercial use on-farm (cereals, maize, potato) testing and adaptation. The N-Sensor combines high performance sensor technology with site-specific fertilization algorithms have been developed and verified in field trials, said he.

Earlier, Dr CJS Pannu, Chairman Punjab Chapter ISAE, welcoming the chief guest and the participants, said that Dr. Jasper came from the Germany to provide training to the scientists regarding real time sensing of the crop. He added that such seminars would be beneficial for the scientists involved in NAIP Project, postgraduate & undergraduate students. A fruitful scientific interaction with Dr. Manjeet Singh, PI of the NAIP, Dr. B. K. Parida, scientists involved in NAIP and the participants regarding the overview of precision farming in Punjab state. Er. N. K Chhuneja proposed a vote of thanks.
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EFFORTS SHOULD BE MADE TO STRENGTHEN THE PUNJABI RELATIONS AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL : RAI AJIJ ULA KHAN

LUDHIANA JANUARY 28:

Former Member Parliament of Pakistan and renowned philosopher Rai Ajij Ula Khan while releasing the book written by known writer Dr. Jalaor Singh Kheeva regarding the ethics in Punjabi relations said that efforts should be made to strengthen the Punjabi relations at international platform. He further said that to strengthen the relations he came to India to attend the marriage of a Hindu family. In his honor a brief function was held in Ludhiana by Baba Bulleh Shah Foundation.

Briefing about the contribution made by Dr. Singh, President of Punjabi Sahit Academy, Prof. Gurbhajan Singh Gill said that the culture of Malwa region of Punjab is well explained by the writer. The Chairman of the Foundation Sh. Krishan Kumar Bawa said that for the new generation, this book will prove as a landmark for the release of the stress.

Present on the occasion Additional Director of Communication and Editor of 'Sanjh' magazine Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman said that to familiarize the Punjabi Society with rich Punjab culture, at International level the book should be translated in English language also.

The Secretary of the Foundation Dr.Nirmal Jaura said on the occasion that he feel prouded to be as the student of Dr. Singh and had been able to made his recognition in cultural activities due to the patronage of Dr. Singh. Number of literary personalities including former General Secretary of Punjabi Sahit Academy Prof. Raminder Bhattal, President of Mohan Singh Foundation of England Unit S. Jaswant Singh, Dr. Prithipal Singh Sohi, Prof. Harinder Kaur Sohi, renowned comedian Dr. Jaswinder Bhalla, Parampreet Kaur Bhalla, S. Kamaljit Singh Shankar, Rachpal Singh Pamal, Satwinder Singh Pamal were also present on the occasion.


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FOR PROFITABILITY, FOLLOW RIGHT TECHNIQUE AT RIGHT TIME: DR. KANG

LUDHIANA, JANUARY 28:-----

Agriculture has become knowledge intensive. Farmers must be aware about the recommended practices and techniques and apply them as per advice of experts. This was stated by Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU while giving his remarks as the Chief Guest, to the gathering of farmers in a Potato Field Day held in village Dhogri, district Jalandhar, organized by M/s Syngenta India Ltd. He said that proper vigilance of any pest or disease outbreak is essential for taking up timely control measures. Dr. Kang said that PAU, through flash messages and extension outreach mechanism has advised farmers to take timely control measures of diseases like late blight of potato adding that it has helped to manage the disease effectively. Dr. Kang appreciated Syngenta India Ltd., for supporting the dissemination of knowledge and technologies generated by PAU to help farmers.



Mr. Rajesh Jain, Vice-President, Syngenta India Ltd. discussed about Syngenta\'s efforts in farmers service and highlighted its further programmes. Mr. Malwinder Singh Malhi provided tips for the safe use and handling of pesticides. Members of Confederation of Potato Seed Farmers (POSCON) also participated in the programme. Dr. R.K.Goel, a former Plant Pathologist from PAU, explained the demonstration fields on the management of potato diseases, to the participants. Mr. Pawanjot Singh, the farmer thanked the Chief Guest, experts, members of POSCON and farmer participants.
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GADVASU invites applications for Chief Minister’s Awards



Ludhiana 28.01.2011

Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) will confer Chief Minister\'s Award in the field of Dairy farming, Poultry farming /Fish farming as well as Pig / Goat farming. The Directorate of Extension Education, GADVASU, Ludhiana has invited applications from farmers undertaking different aspects of livestock farming by 15.2.2010. Dr. Kulbir Singh Sandhu, Director of Extension Education, GADVASU revealed that the awards have been funded by the hon\'ble Chief Minister to boost the livestock sector in the state and will consist of cash prize as well as citation, medal & shawl . Dr. Sandhu informed that earlier Chief Minister\'s Award used to be given in the field of Dairy Farming only, to give boost to the other livestock sectors, it has been decided to give the awards to progressive/innovative farmers in the other fields also. It is pertinent to mention that now there are separate awards for cow & buffalo farmers. The cash prize for buffalo category is Rs. 21000/- for cows 21000/- for poultry/Fisheries is 11000/- and for pig/goat farming Rs.5100/-.

The application forms can be obtained from the Directorate of Extension Education, GADVASU, Ludhiana, and from all Krishi Vigyan Kendras in different districts, Deputy Directors of state departments of Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, Fisheries and from the General Managers of all Co-operative and Private Milk Plants of the respective districts also. Application forms may be downloaded from university website www.gadvasu.in. The contesting livestock farmers will be short listed for the awards based on their contributions in respective fields and further a team of Deans and Directors of the university will visit the different farms for making on the spot assessment and winners will be declared by the Committee. The Chief Minister's Awards will act as a source of inspiration for the unemployed youth for starting their own livestock enterprises and as well as it will bring healthy competition among the farmers to adopt the livestock farming on modern scientific lines to improve their productivity and profitability which will help in the diversification of agriculture with livestock enterprises. Whereas visit to farms, helps university experts to brush up their modus operandi to provide updated and fresh remedies ,livestock farmers also get new ideas and knowledge from experts. The desirous livestock farmers should submit their application timely, Dr. Sandhu added.


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PAU HOLDING FORESTRY SYMPOSIUM ON FEBRUARY 10-12

LUDHIANA, JANUARY 28:-----

The PAU Department of Forestry and Natural Resources is organizing an IUFRO Symposium on \'Short rotation forestry: Synergy for wood production and environmental amelioration\' during February 10-12. The Head of the department, Dr. Avtar Singh said that the symposium will discuss short rotation forestry for bio-energy. To meet the energy requirement in domestic, agricultural, industrial and other sectors, conversion of bio-mass into energy is an important activity, he said adding that participating scientists will discuss the issue. He informed that the symposium will be followed by a post symposium training on the subject during February 13-14.
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PAU RESEARCHERS HONOURED FOR THEIR PAPER

LUDHIANA, JANUARY 28:-----

According to the Head, Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering, three researchers namely Dr. Manjit Singh, Er. Aseem Verma and Dr. H.S.Sidhu have been recognized with \'Jyoti Award\' by Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE) for their research paper \'Studies on combined mounted straw managing system for conservation tillage\' at the 45th Annual Convention of the Society held at Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Akola. The paper deals with the management of paddy residue left in the combine harvest field.
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Annual Athletic Meet, GCW Ludhiana



Ludhiana 27jan2011

68th Athletics meet of Govt. College started today. Mr. Sajjan Singh Cheema Additional Deputy Comissioner Traffic Police Ludhiana was the chief guest. Mrs. Gurminder Kaur, principal of the college took a salute from the parade. She also declared the meet open. She told the chief guest that we have won Panjab University Championship in Hocky, Basketball, Weight Lifting and Power Lifting and 2nd position in Kho-Kho. She told that we are providing many facilities to the players in the hostel to encourage them to participate in the sports. Mr. Sajjan Singh Cheema said on this occasion that he said that sports are an essential part of the life. Each student of this college must participate in this Sports Meet. Sports contribute to the all round development of personality in an individual. She said that it is a sad affair that India is not getting medals in Olympic Games. Hockey is our national game but we were not qualified for the Olympic Games, 2008. He further said that if we participate in the sports there is no need of multispeciality hospitals in the country . The big houses must contribute for the overall development of the sports.

He congratulated the Physical Education Department for winning University Championship in Hockey, Weight Lifting, Power Lifting and Basketball.

The following are the results of today?s Athletics meet :

800 Meter Race :

First : Dolly, Class : B.A. III, Roll No. 4555

Second : Preeti, Class : B.A. I, Roll No. 985

Third : Raman, Class : B.A. I, Roll No. 1317

Long Jump :

First : Manpreet Kaur, Class : B.A. II

Second : Sarabjeet Kaur, Class : B.A. II

Third : Nisha, Class : B.SC. III





Cycling

1. Manpreet 2. Pooja Rani 3. Rajni

Shotput

1. Jasdeep 2. Priyanka 3. Ranveer Kaur

100 m Hurdle

1. Preeti 2. Sapna 3. Sarabjeet

Class 4 employee race

1. Narain Singh 2. Gurmeet Singh 3. Ranjeet Singh

1500 m race

1. Dolly 2. Manpreet 3. Preeti
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PAU KISAN MELAS TO GUIDE FARMERS FOR PROFITABLE, SUSTAINABLE AND PRO-ENVIRONMENT AGRICULTURE: DR. GILL

LUDHIANA, JANUARY 28:-----

The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has already announced dates for its Kisan Melas. The Kisan Melas scheduled for the month of March will be held at five places in the state namely Rauni (Patiala) on March 8, Ballowal Saunkhri on March 11, Bathinda on March 14, Ludhiana on March 17-18 and Gurdaspur on March 22. To review the arrangements for these Kisan Melas, a meeting of scientists from PAU Departments, KVKs and outstations of PAU was held today in the Farmers Service Center.

The Director of Extension Education, Dr. M.S.Gill said that various committees have been formulated for the smooth conduct of the event. He shared that during these Kisan Melas, farmers will be guided by PAU experts for profitable, sustainable and pro-environment agricultural practices. He reviewed the proposed arrangements in light of the experience had during previous melas. Dr. Gill said that besides showcasing latest technologies, innovative farm practices and making available planting material, the melas will disseminate know how of relevance to farm women. There will be arrangement for enrolment of membership and sale of farm literature of PAU. Since farmers from different parts of Punjab and adjoining states participate in the Kisan Mela at Ludhiana, the Kisan Mela documentary will be produced at the Ludhiana Kisan Mela by the Centre for Communication and International Linkages, said Dr. Gill. The Kisan Melas will provide a forum to the farmers to learn the new technology and new innovations, on one hand, it will also provide them with opportunity to discuss their field problems with experts in person. It will also help the scientists to get feedback from the farmers that will help them to reorient their programmes to make them as per the requirements of the farmers. Present among others in the review meeting were Dr. A.K.Dhawan, Additional Director of Research (Agri.), Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jaswinder Kaur Sangha, Coordinator Research (COHS), Dr. H.S.Dhaliwal, Additional Director of Extension Education, Dr. Kanwal Mahindra, Associate Director of Extension Education, Dr. H.S.Bajwa, Senior Extension Specialist (Agronomy), Dr. P.S.Chahal, Deputy Director Research, Heads of different departments, representatives of Director Seeds, Estate Officer, Plant Disease Clinic and Extension Specialists of PAU. Dr. Dhaliwal proposed his vote of thanks to all the participants.
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PAU EXPERTS EDUCATE FARMERS ABOUT THE NEWLY RELEASED ‘NIJISSEIKI’ VARIETY OF PEAR

LUDHIANA, JANUARY 28:

Pear, being an important fruit of Punjab, occupies a prominent place in Punjab horticulture and the area under this fruit is increasing mainly because of its hardy nature and remunerative returns," divulged PAU horticulturists while honing the knowledge of the fruit growers about pear cultivation. They added that among the recommended cultivars of pear in Punjab, hard pear cultivation ranks first, both in terms of area and production, followed by semi-soft cultivars. Though, the production potential, keeping quality and ability to withstand distant transportation are good in 'Patharnakh,' yet its consumption as table fruit in north India, particularly in Punjab, is low due to gritty fruit flesh, hardy fruit and average quality. So there exists a demand for pear variety, which possesses soft and juicy fruit. Keeping this in view, PAU has recently released a new variety of pear 'Nijisseiki', which belongs to soft Asian pear group (Pyrus pyrifolia), for commercial cultivation in the state, said the experts.

Referring to the characteristics of the variety 'Nijisseiki,' Dr WS Dhillion told that the trees of this variety are semi-spreading, medium in vigour, its fruit is medium, round and golden brown while the flesh is white, sweet with total soluble solids(TSS) of 12.9%. The fruit is soft with high juice content (74.6%) and juice acid content (0.2%), revealed Dr Dhillon. He added that the variety matures early i.e. by end of June to first week of July. The fruit yield is 80 kg per tree and is suitable for processing for ready to serve (RTS) nectar and squash. Fruit has good commercial potential and can be stored for four weeks at 0-1˚C and 90-95% RH without any deterioration, said he.

Dr PPS Gill shed light on the cultivation technology of 'Nijisseiki' elaborating that this variety can be grown successfully on varied soils ranging from deep sandy loam to clay-loam where water table is below three meters and the sub-soil strata free from hard pan up to two meter depth. The pits of 1m x 1m x 1m in size are dug 6m x 6m apart and filled with well rotten farm yard manure (FYM) and top soil in the ratio of 1:1, added he. To prevent attack of white ants, chloropyriphos @ 5ml or Lindane 30g per pit is applied at the time of filling. The new plants are planted bare-rooted from December to mid-February when they are under dormancy.

Dr Nav Prem Singh further educating the farmers, said that full dose of FYM, phosphorus and potash is given while nitrogen is added in two equal splits (i.e. first in early February, before flowering and second in April, after fruit set). For obtaining good fruit size, plants need to be irrigated at weekly interval in summer months. Additional dose of fertilizer should be given for the intercrops, informed Dr Singh. The Department of Horticulture, PAU may be contacted for knowing the availability of plant material and the technical know-how about its cultivation.
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The Communist Party of India Distt. Ludhiana has in strong words condemned the attack

Date: 28.01.2011

The Communist Party of India Distt. Ludhiana has in strong words condemned the attack on the ETO by the petti mafia and demanded strictest against the culprits. Only three days back the official of the high rank of ADC was burnt alive in Malegaon by the oil mafia. This shows clear cut nexus between a section politician, bureaucracy, police and mafia of different types. Such mafia has gained strong ground because of patronage in the past that it is becoming difficult to check them now. Com Kartar Singh Bowani-Distt. Sec., Dr Arun Mitra-Ass. Sec., Com D P Maur and Com Ramesh Rattan have appealed to all democratic and peace loving people to unite in strength to break such nexus.




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VC GADVASU describes future vision on Republic Day



Ludhiana 26. 01. 11

While remembering Dr. B. R. Ambedkar & Martyrs of freedom struggle Dr. V. K. Taneja Vice Chancellor, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University extended his congratulation on 62nd Republic day of country. Dr. Taneja unfurled the National Flag and highlighted the importance and spirit of the Indian Constitution for the development and prosperity of people. R&V Sqn. NCC cadets of GADVASU presented the guard of Honour Dr. Taneja shared the details of University activities in the last 5 years since its emancipation. He explained the new commitments of the University in the present Year. He said that Dairying, Poultry and Fisheries have been accepted as an alternate model to agriculture and there is a great scope to enhance productivity and income in these professions. He said that to provide better services to livestock farmers University has been updated its laboratories, introduced new education courses, improved facilities of Veterinary Hospital. Blue print for establishment of critical care unit, equine hospital and diagnostic unit has been completed.

Explaining details of last years' achievements he specially mentioned International partnership fund programme with University of Saskatchewan, Canada in the area of public health, zoonoses and environmental toxicology. He said that a research project entitled as "Economics of cost of Milk Production and its regular Monitoring in Punjab" sanctioned by Punjab Dairy Development Board will be helpful for regulating the milk prices in state for the growth of dairy sector. Value added fish, chicken, meat and milk products training by different departments of university will increase the income of farmers. He described that the Scientists are working on monitoring, surveillance, diagnosis and treatment of outbreak of foot mouth diseases (FMD), H S, brucellosis and nitrate poisoning.

Dr. Taneja told that the eco friendly Biogas plant set up by university is working profitably using animal dung for generation of electricity. To provide better education GADVASU has implemented the ICAR common academic regulations, course curricula and syllabi for post graduate courses. He said that normal working of Veterinary Polytechnic at Kaljharani (Bathinda) has been started with new college building. He also motivated the teaching fraternity to extract more research funds by submitting new research projects.

He explained the important achievements of teachers and students in the field of Education, Sports & Cultural activities. He said that construction of new Scientists Hostel, Farmer's hostel; new building of College of Dairy Science and expansion of library are in future plans.

Students & invited artists filled colours, emotions and rhythm with their performances in the function. Officers, Teachers, Employees and students of the University attended the function enthusiastically.


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PAU TO HOLD ANNUAL ATHLETIC MEET ON FEBRUARY 4:









LUDHIANA, JANUARY 27:

According to Dr PPS Lubana, PAU Director Students' Welfare, the 45th Annual Athletic Meet of Punjab Agricultural University will be held on February 4 at PAU Athletic Track, which will be inaugurated by PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang. The committees have been constituted and entrusted various responsibilities for the smooth conduct of the show. Dr. Lubana informed that some of the events for both men and women, such as 100 M Heat, 200 M Heat and finals of hammer throw, 110 M Hurdle, triple jump, javelin throw, 400 M Hurdle, 1500 M and 5000 M will be conducted in the afternoon on February 3. Finals of 1500 M, 800 M, shot put, broad jump, 400 M Heat, high jumps, 100 M, discuss throw, 400 M, 4X 100 relay, 200 M and 4X400 M relay for men and women will be held on February 4, which will be followed by the prize distribution function.
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New START by the Russian Duma and the US Senate.

Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) has welcomed the ratification of New START by the Russian Duma and the US Senate. The treaty is a modest but welcome step toward a world without nuclear weapons. Dr L S Chawla-President, Dr Arun Mitra-General Secretary, Dr Bharti Uppal-Finance Secretary IDPD expressed hope that leaders of USA, Russia and other nuclear weapons states will take effective steps for abolition of nuclear arsenals.







Even today there are deployed thousands of nuclear weapons by the nuclear weapon states that contribute nothing to the security of their people, endanger the rest of the world, and give other countries an excuse to retain or acquire nuclear weapons of their own. The focus must be on ways to accelerate the liberation of the world from these weapons of mass annihilation, not on programs to ensure that they will continue to endanger us for decades to come.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sonawane killing expose mafia worth Rs 10,000cr

January 28, 2011

Mumbai, Jan 28: The gruesome murder of Additional District Collector of Malegaon, Yeshwant Sonawane has acted as a rude shock to the administration on the oil mafia that has gripped the country. Now with the Maharashtra administration going into an overdrive to nab the culprits and to bring to the book the oil pilferage rampant in the state, news of the lax attitude of top babus have come to light.

Reports claim that Sonawane had approached the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to file a complaint that he was being harassed by some government officials in the Manmad area for bribes.

The death has sparked a massive manhunt for those involved in the adulteration of oil and so far close to 200 people have been arrested and close to 1250 litres of oil seized. The Oil Ministry is gearing up to reform its policies to curb the disturbing oil adulteration racket that is estimated to be in the range of Rs. 10,000 crore.

Popat Shinde, the main accused of the heinous crime is in hospital after suffering third-degree burns. 11 people have been arrested in the murder of Sonawane so far.

The murder has blown the lid on the massive clout the oil mafia enjoys and how the administration is turning a blind eye to their lawlessness. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has been quoted as saying, \"The bigger thing is the difference between the kerosene prices we give through the PDS and the cost when it is adulterated with diesel. The difference is so huge.\"

The Opposition has cried fowl in the matter and is accusing the government of being fully aware of the mafia that operates with full political support.


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Full facts about Thomas were not placed before panel: Vahanvati

New Delhi, January 27, 2011

The Department of Personnel did not place full facts about P.J. Thomas before the high-power committee that finalised his appointment as Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), Attorney-General (AG) G.E. Vahanvati told the Supreme Court on Thursday. The department did not mention about a charge sheet that was pending against him in a palmolein import case and that the Kerala government had granted initial sanction for his prosecution, the AG said.

Mr. Vahanvati made the submission before a three-judge Bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.H. Kapadia and Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar when it wanted to know whether full facts were placed before the committee for its consideration before the selection was made.

The committee was headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and had Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj as members.

Earlier, counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the Centre for Public Interest Litigation that has challenged Mr. Thomas\' appointment, argued that he did not fulfil the criterion of "impeccable integrity" as per the Vineet Narain judgment. For, he was facing a charge sheet in the palmolein case.

At this juncture, the CJI told the AG: "We want to know whether the papers and the file pertaining to the palmolein case pending against Mr. Thomas, request for sanction and subsequent correspondence were circulated before the committee members. If the full facts were not placed before the committee will it not vitiate the process of appointment?"

The AG said: "The papers and file were not so circulated. It was not before the committee. The material pertaining to the sanction for prosecution under Section 120 B of the Indian Penal Code was not before the committee. The biodata [of Mr. Thomas] did not reflect this aspect before the committee. This, however, will not vitiate his appointment as it was in accordance with Section 3 of the CVC Act."

When Mr. Bhushan submitted that Ms. Swaraj orally raised at a committee meeting the issue of the pending case against Mr. Thomas, the AG said the note on the committee proceedings showed that she merely endorsed, "I disagree."

He said: "It is not possible for me to tell the court what was or was not discussed among the members of the committee at the meeting."

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for Mr. Thomas, said the CVC, while granting clearance, found that no case was made out and the present Kerala government had appointed Mr. Thomas Chief Secretary.

The CJI said: "We are not going into the merits of the case. We only want to know whether relevant material was brought before the committee. What is the consequence of the committee not being made known the relevant facts? We want to know if the correct procedure was followed in the appointment of CVC or was it vitiated. We want to know how many people were in the zone of selection for the post of CVC; the details of the empanelment; what were the criteria for short-listing of such officers; the circumstances of sanction/charge sheet were against them or not; if there were only three officers, then on what grounds the other two were eliminated."


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\'Annual Athletic Meet\'

Govt. College for Women, Ludhiana is organizing \'Annual Athletic Meet\' on 28th and 29th Jan. It will be inaugurated by Sh. Sajjan Singh Cheema Additional Deputy Commissioner traffic police Ludhiana on 28th Jan. at 10:30 AM. The prizes will be distributed by Sh. Hira Singh Gabria Cabinet Minister Jails and Cultural Affairs on 29th at 1:00 PM. You are requested to cover the function on both days.



Programme: 28-01-2011 10:00AM to 2:00PM

29-01-2011 10:00AM to 2:00PM
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PAU GEARS UP FOR INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS DURING FEBRUARY

LUDHIANA, JANUARY 27: The preparations are afoot in Punjab Agricultural University(PAU) for the international conference and the workshops on 'Climate Change\', 'Kharif Crops,' \'Home Science\', \'Bee-Keeping mela\' and \'Precision Agriculture\', slated for February. A three-day international conference on 'Preparing Agriculture for Climate Change' will be held from February 6–8 under the auspices of Crop Improvement Society of India (CISI). The conference, involving the participation of eminent agricultural and climatology scientists -- notably, Dr Toby Hodgkin (Italy), Dr Lawrence Gusta (Canada), Dr Martin Barbetti and Dr Robert Norton (Australia), Dr PS Bindraban (the Netherlands), Dr Nicholas Molyneux (Thailand), Dr Daniel Hillel, Dr Jiwan .S. Palta and Dr Bikram Singh Gill (USA) and many more from different parts of the country--centers on following themes: (a) agriculture: abettor and sufferer, (b) mitigation strategies – policy and management interventions, (c) adaptation strategies: genetic interventions, and (d) climate change and biodiversity: extinction and new emergence. An exhibition of portraits 'Faith' celebrating Punjabi students in Australia, by eminent artist Daniel Connell, will be organized from February 3-9 at MS Randhawa Art Gallery in conjunction with the International Conference. The art exhibition will be inaugurated by PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang on February 3 at 4.00 pm.

A Research & Extension Specialists Workshop for Kharif Crops will be held on February 14-15 in the university premises. The workshop will be inaugurated by Dr Kang and chaired by the Director of Agriculture, Punjab. The Agricultural Officers and field functionaries of the Department of Agriculture, Punjab and extension specialists of PAU working at Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), Farm Advisory Service Scheme ( FASS) and outstations will participate. This forum will help PAU gather feedback and to finalize Package of Practices for Kharif crops in light of latest recommendations. Aiming to improve the quality of life of rural families, in general, and the farm women of economically weaker sections, in particular, PAU in collaboration with Directorate of Research on Women in Agriculture (ICAR), Bhubaneswar, is organizing XIX Biennial Workshop of All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Home Science, on February 16-17 at College of Home Science.

The PAU Department of Entomology, in collaboration with the Directorate of Extension Education, is organizing a Honey Festival-cum-Experience Exchange Workshop (HFEEW) on \'Prospects and Promotion of Beekeeping for Augmenting Hive & Crop Productivity' from February 22-24, under the aegis of National Horticulture Mission (NHM). About 2,000 beekeepers and apicultural scientists from all over India will be participating. The eminent scientists will deliberate on the prospects of beekeeping entrepreneurship, its diversification, research needs, the scientific interventions, the advances in beekeeping, etc. In addition, an apicultural exhibition will be put up by various government organizations, NGOs, beekeeping societies and associations to showcase the latest technologies, innovations and status of bee-keeping in the country. An Indo-US Workshop on 'Precision agricultural techniques and technologies' is being organized from February 28- March 3 at PAU. The USA has been involved in Precision Agriculture for more than two decades, but is still in its infancy in countries like India. The workshop is being organized by PAU in association with Colorado State University (CSU) under the auspices of Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF). The necessary arrangements are being made for the organization of these programmes.
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Indian farmers are also investing in Ethiopia: says Workinesh Abede

Ludhiana, January 27:









\"In Ethiopia, GDP of agriculture is now growing at rate of more than 11 percent. Even some of the farmers from India has invested in Ethiopia as part of our national policy to invite people around the world," this was stated by Workinesh Abede, Director, Agricultural Mechanization Research Processing of Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, who is leading the four member delegation to Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology, for finding various areas of collaboration.





Revealing that agriculture in Ethiopia, an African country, is still very less mechanized, Workinesh Abede said that primarily Animals are used for plowing the fields by the vast majority of farmers. "Dependence on agriculture is quite huge. While more than 85 percent population is directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture, 55 percent of the country\'s GDP comes from agriculture," he said, adding that versatility in soil, irrigation and climatic conditions makes difficult for them to address the problems of farmers. \"Though, opportunity to turn large chunk of land lying waste into fertile is also lying untapped.\"





Abede said that sophisticated technologies developed by the European and American companies would not be of much use for them. "While these would be costlier to afford, we need simple and effective solution for our small farmers," he said, adding that India can help them a lot. "Our visit is aimed at curbing losses in Post harvest and developing a permanent system of collaboration with Indian institutes including CIPHET for getting technologies." He also revealed that Ethiopian government was now also inviting MNC's and leading farmers from other countries to invest in Ethiopian agriculture. "Recently, Indian farmer has bought one thousand hectare farm for agriculture," he said, adding that this would help in making their country a food sufficient nation.





During the interaction, Director CIPHET Dr R.T Patil, informed visitors about the mandate of CIPHET and various initiatives carried out by the institute in the area of post harvest. Dr Deepak Raj Rai, Head Transfer of Technology, told that visitors that more than 20 externally funded projects and two All India Coordinated Projects were also running from CIPHET. This institute is the only one in Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to carry focused research in post harvest, he added. "Besides, training farmers and entrepreneurs, we have also initiated training programme in food processing for prisoners of Ludhiana central jail," he further revealed this to Ethiopian counterparts. Dr Nilesh Gaikwad, Scientist of the Transfer of Technology, took the visitors to various research facilities of CIPHET. They were also shown film focusing on technologies and mandate of CIPHET.
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Ranbir keen for his own item number before world tour

Mumbai:

Ranbir Kapoor's much hyped world tour has been put on hold. Even though the Kapoors had been making lavish preparations for Ranbir's first ever world tour, the plan has been sacked as of now. And it's all owing to the fact that Ranbir doesn't have many jazzy dance numbers to his name. With no huge dance number to perform at, the dashing actor's world tour will only go on floor next year.

As per sources, Ranbir's world tour is set to have performances by Katrina, Bipasha and Malaika Khan. While all these ladies have their respective item numbers 'Sheila ki jawaani', 'Beedi jalaile' and 'Munni badnaam' to dance at, Ranbir doesn't have a matching hit song.

In August last year, Rishi Kapoor told a section of the media, \"You can`t go on a world concert without a bank of songs. Now that Ranbir has a few chartbusters, it`s the right time.\"

However, papa Kapoor seems to have realised that his son needs a hit number before going for live stage performances.

And with Ranbir's next film 'Rockstar' set for release this year, his family members want the film's songs to be a part of his much anticipated world tour.

Confirming the news a source said, \"Now, because of the IPL it isn`t certain if Rockstar and its music will be released before the scheduled concerts. To Ranbir, going on a world tour without the Rahman songs makes no sense. This is the first time that Rahman has scored music for a Ranbir starrer.\"

Talking to a news daily, Rishi Kapoor said, \"We don`t want to go on the World tour without Ranbir`s 'Rockstar' music. And we can only do that if the film is released
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Kajol, Tabu, and Irrfan Khan shine at Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan

This year Padma Shri Award ceremony belonged to three versatile actors from Bollywood: Kajol, Irrfan Khan, and Tabu, who were awarded for their unmatched contribution to the Indian cinema at the ceremony.

Veteran pop singer Usha Utthup known for her unique singing style, who had started her Bollywood singing career in the 70s, too was awarded with Padma Shri. She had became instant hit with her songs such as 'Shaan Se,' 'Hari Om Hari,' 'Dum Maaro Dum\' etc.

Kajol, Tabu and Irrfan's reactions after getting awards

Kajol, who was conferred Padma Shri for her distinguished contribution in the India cinema, told media persons after receiving it that she's feeling happy and honored.

\"I feel honored and proud. This is recognition of hard work,\" said the actress, who had debuted with a flop film 'Bekhudi,' but became hit with masses after films such as 'Baazigar,' 'DDLJ,' 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,' etc.

Tabu, who's maintaining a low profile for some time and had carved a niche for herself with films such as 'Maqbool, 'Maachis,' and 'Chandni Bar' etc, revealed that even after receiving the award, she's still finding it hard to believe that she has actually won.

Irrfan, who won award for his power-packed performances in films like 'Maqbool' and 'Slumdog Millionaire,' could not be reached for a comment but a source revealed that actor seemed happy and content with the recognition


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Raja physically abused Shweta

Bigg Boss 4 winner Shweta Tiwari's ex-husband Raja Chaudhury again physically abused Shweta. He illegally barged into Shweta's house and physical and verbally abused her and her family. The actress lodged a complaint against Raja at the police station. Already several cases of harassment were lodged against Raja.

Senior Inspector R Prabhu of Malad police station said, \"Raja Chaudhary forcefully entered Shweta\'s house and assaulted her and her friend Abhinav Kohli. As per court order, Raja is not supposed to go to Shweta\'s residence. But he breached the order. We have booked him for assaulting, trespassing, and abusing Shweta and Kohli. He already has a number of cases against him, some at Oshiwara police station. And now we will extern him.\"

Shweta in her complaint said that Raja has forcefully entered her house, assaulted her and tried to snatch away her daughter. Earlier in October also Shweta lodged a complaint in the police station that he forcefully tried to take away their daughter away with him and when her friend Kohli stopped him from doing so Raja slapped Kohli and also abused Shweta\'s mother.


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I-T raids on Katrina, Priyanka\'s premises

Income Tax officials on Monday raided the houses and offices of actors Katrina Kaif and Priyanka Chopra, on suspicion of tax evasion.

The raids began at 7.30 a.m. and were going on, a senior official told The Hindu. He refused to give more details. "The findings will be known on Tuesday," he said.

The actors did not respond to the calls or messages regarding the raids


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Shah Rukh set to play professor in Karan Johar’s next

Mumbai:

Speculations were rife that Karan Johar's next will be shot without his favorite star Shah Rukh Khan. However it now seems that the news was nothing but a mere rumour. If the latest reports are any indication, then Shah Rukh Khan will play a significant role in Karan Johar's next film.

Earlier it was reported that SRK was just to play a cameo in the film 'Student of the Year', being directed by KJo who is launching Mahesh Bhatt's daughter Aalia along with David Dhawan's son Varun.

However, Karan ramped up old friend Khan's performance from a cameo to a much bigger role, most likely of a professor.

Speaking to a daily, a source said, "Rumours about SRK acting in KJo`s next had been doing the rounds but Karan`s constant silence about the film started giving people the impression that SRK was only planning to produce the film."

"But actually, both SRK and Karan are co-producing the film, which will launch newcomers Varun Dhawan , Siddarth Malhotra and Aaliya Bhatt. SRK will play the role of one of the professors in the college. The role will not be limited to a cameo; it will be full-fledged one," the source said.

KJo is said to have taken a month-long break to travel abroad, where he would be finishing the script and flesh out SRK's character for the film.


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Apara Mehta is fighting her battles in the Berry home

Mumbai

: Television actress Apara Mehta, who was so very excited to enter Sudesh Berry's house for 8 days as a task assigned to her in the reality show "Ma Exchange" was taken aback the moment she entered the house.

She could not adjust herself with Sudesh Berry's conservative and patriarchal family. Along with this she also had to put up with Sudesh's younger brother's wife who despite being the youngest is not only rude but also throws her weight around.

She does not do any household work but enjoys instructing her jethani. Much to everyone's surprise, Sudesh gives a blind eye and ear to all this dominating behavior of hers and never stands up for his wife.

On the one hand Apara is having a tough time in the Berry house; and on the other Berry's wife is leading a wonderful life in the house of the Mehta's.

She bonded well with Apara's daughter and is making the best use of this golden opportunity of living life peacefully which she has been deprived of in her actual sasural.


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RBI: Past policy effect yet to be seen fully

A man talks on his mobile phone as he walks past the logo of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) inside its head office in Mumbai June 14, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

MUMBAI | Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:28pm IST

MUMBAI (Reuters) - The effect of policy actions taken by the Reserve Bank of India in the past is yet to be fully seen, a deputy governor said on Thursday.

Subir Gokarn was speaking at a conference call for analysts after the central bank on Tuesday raised policy rates by 25 basis points


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Sensex erases early gains, down 93 points on food inflation

PTI

The Hindu A file picture of Bombay Stock Exchange. Photo: Vivek Bendre

The BSE benchmark Sensex erased its early gains and tumbled 93 points at mid session today, reacting to a marginal hike in food inflation and the rise in key interest rates in RBI's monetary policy review on Tuesday.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark Sensex, which rose 117 points at the outset, fell 93.77 points to 18,875.68 at 1230 hours following reports that the food inflation went up marginally to 15.57 per cent for the week ended January 15, from 15.52 per cent in the previous week.

The gauge had lost 182 points in the previous session after the RBI increased interest rates for the seventh time since March 2010 and boosted its inflation forecast.

The apex bank had also raised the inflation forecast to 7.0 per cent by March 31, more than its earlier prediction of 5.5 per cent, as food costs soared.

Similarly, the broad—based National Stock Exchange index Nifty fell by 27.20 points to 5,660.20 at the same time with stocks in healthcare, realty and metal sector recorded fresh losses.


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HDFC Bank Q3 net up 33% to Rs 1,088 cr

HDFC Bank reported a 32.9 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 1,087.83 crore for the third quarter ended December 2010.

Total income of the bank rose to Rs 6,357.8 crore at the end of December quarter, from Rs 4,933.9 crore in the same period last year.

The bank\'s net interest income went up by 24.9 per cent to Rs 2,777 crore in December quarter, HDFC Bank said in a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

\"The rise in net interest income came on the back of asset growth and increased interest income,\" HDFC Bank Executive Director Paresh Sukthankar said at a media conference call.

Overall balance sheet size grew by 22.1 per cent at the end of December to Rs 2,49,820 crore.

The branch network increased to 1,780 at the end of December 2010, from 1,725 branches at the end of December 2009. The capital adequacy ratio stood at 16.3 per cent at the end of December


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FM asks states to remove levies to bring down food prices

Worried over rising food inflation, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today asked the states to remove local levies like octroi and mandi tax to bridge the gap between farmgate and retail prices.

\"I would urge you to review all local levies like mandi tax and octroi duty which add to prices of food articles and impede smooth movement of essential commodities,\" Mukherjee said in his address to State Finance Ministers during Pre-Budget deliberations here.

Asking state governments to play their part in controlling inflation, he said, \"There is a need for you to urgently look into supply management of items that are driving the current round of food inflation, in particular local factors that are widening the gap between wholesale and retail prices.\"

Bottlenecks in supply chain have to be removed. States have to take steps to ensure agriculture grows and create efficient distribution and marketing infrastructure, he said.

There is also a need to cut down on the wastage of foodgrains, he added.

Indeed, Mukherjee said, there is a strong case to review and reform the Agriculture Produce and Marketing Act (APMC) in states where it has not been addressed so far.

The government regulated market are not only imposing taxes and facilitating large commission and fees for the middleman but also preventing retailers to integrate their enterprise directly with the farmers, he said.

This leaves no incentive for the farmers to upgrade and inhibits private investment in the agriculture sector. Farmers and consumer both lose in the process, he added.

Talking about efforts taken by the central government, he said, it has taken measures to facilitate imports and, when required restrict exports to ensure supply of essential commodities.

During the last week of December, food inflation touched as high as 18.3 per cent mainly driven by primary articles like vegetables.

Food inflation has remained high and volatile due to significant increase in the prices of few primary items like fruit and vegetables, milk, meat, poultry, eggs and fish even as the prices of cereals and pulses declined sharply in the current year, Mukherjee said.

He also said that there are some weather induced supply constraints on some of the items currently exhibiting high inflation, as a large part of price rise is due to widening gap between the wholesale and retail prices.

The growing demand for these products due to rising income level, he said


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Emerging economies are fed up of West\'s lecturing, says Premji

Davos: Azim Premji, Wipro\'s Chairman, has told the gathering of global CEOs that emerging economies are \"more than fed up\" of being lectured by the west to open up their economies without any reciprocity.

\"I think they (emerging economies) are fed up of being needled for opening their economies,\" Premji said at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

He particularly expressed his disappointment with the US seeking more market for its goods in the developing economies, while putting restrictions on its import of services. The liberalisation of goods and services was being treated differently.

When asked whether the Asian economies are \"fed up by the lecturing\" by the west, Chairman of India\'s third largest software exporter said: \"More than fed up\".

Also See: Bangalore phobia will only hurt the West

\"People don\'t seem to equate, liberalise both products and services. If you are talking about global trade - it is products and services.

\"You cannot have one standards of opening up economy for emerging countries to products and contrary (for the others) particularly the US, which has put all sorts of restrictions on services. This cannot be one way traffic,\" Premji said.

The Indian IT industry which gets USD 50 billion of its revenue from the global outsourcing, mainly from the US is peeved at a string of restrictions by the American authorities for service imports.

These include hiking of the visa fee for professionals.

Also See: Three Indian cities among world\'s fastest growing

India had given deals worth US$ 10 billion to the US, which will create jobs for 50,000 Americans.

Services are of key interest to India, as they provide about 55 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product.


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Central banks in EM lack fiscal in inflation battle

banks in emerging markets are getting precious little help in their campaign to contain the impact of rising food costs that are a major driver of inflation.

After all, higher interest rates cannot make crops grow faster.

Economists bemoan insufficient outlays to boost agricultural productivity; a sharp drop in investment since Asia\'s 1997/98 financial crisis, which has left the region with less spare capacity as output expands; and a reluctance by politicians to counter the threat of overheating by tightening fiscal policy.

The Reserve Bank of India is a good example of a central bank in a bind.

In raising interest rates by a quarter-point on Tuesday, the bank said monetary policy should not have to do all the heavy lifting needed to limit price pressures in an economy close to matching China\'s breakneck growth rates.

Repeating its stock warning, the bank said it might be even harder to manage inflation if there was any slippage in next month\'s budget. The government is targeting a consolidated deficit this year of 8.3% of gross domestic product.

\"The fact that there has been relatively little progress on fiscal consolidation in India has put a greater burden on the RBI to tighten policy,\" said Brian Jackson, a strategist with Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong.

\"That\'s just the way things are: you can\'t always get the fiscal policy that, as a central banker, you\'d want.\"

As a largely rural nation, with 60% of its workforce labouring in the fields, India also needs to tackle glaring inadequacies in agricultural infrastructure.

It was late rains in December that caused onion prices to double, which in turn helped propel food inflation through the roof.

But India\'s patchwork quilt of small land holdings and inadequate irrigation limit overall farm yields, while poor transport and a lack of cold storage prevent many perishables like vegetables from reaching market in time to be sold.

\"Unless meaningful output enhancing measures are taken, the risks of food inflation becoming entrenched loom large and threaten both the sustainability of the current growth momentum and the realisation of its benefits by a large number of households,\" RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said.

With rising incomes enabling hundreds of millions of people in countries like India to afford diets richer in pricier protein, food inflation could be here to stay.

For now, though, the rise in food prices to a record high as measured by the Food and Agriculture Organisation is of a greater concern in emerging economies, where people spend more of their incomes on food than in more advanced countries.

European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said on Tuesday that he agreed with fellow Council member Axel Weber that euro zone inflation, which hit 2.2% in December, should peak in March at around 2.4%.

One reason why rich-country policymakers are not pressing the panic button, but are rather relying on tougher rhetoric to anchor inflation expectations, is that the leap in food costs in recent months has been more modest than in 2007-2008.

Michael Vaknin and Constantin Burgi at Goldman Sachs estimate that higher food and energy costs will, at the peak, contribute around 190 basis points (bps) to headline consumer price inflation in Britain, 170 bps in the United States and 160 bps in the euro zone.

From early 2012, these contributions will likely fade considerably, unless commodity prices surpass our forecasts,\" they said in a note to clients.

By contrast, in 2007-early 2008, the corresponding contributions were 400 bps, 300 bps and 200 bps, respectively, Vaknin and Burgi said.

The importance of food as a driver of inflation in Asia is hard to overstate. JP Morgan calculates that 86% of the rise in inflation in China since 2002 originates from food.

That is not to say that monetary policy does not have a role to play in preventing \"non-core\" increases in food and fuel costs from being passed on to consumers, which could raise demands for higher wages and thus set off a vicious cycle of inflation.

\"You can\'t make onions grow quicker, but you can raise interest rates and that will have an impact on inflation expectations and liquidity conditions,\" said RBC\'s Jackson.

\"It doesn\'t get to every single price pressure point in an economy, but it covers a lot of them,\" he said.

Still, greater agricultural efficiency would give Asian central bankers more time to \"look through\" temporary farm-price spikes and focus on underlying core inflation conditions.

The reason why Asia, including rich nations Japan and South Korea, does not go all-out to raise agricultural productivity is the priority governments attach to preserving farm jobs.

Take China, where corn yields are only half of those in the United States but domestic prices are usually twice as high as the international market.

That is because the government sets minimum procurement prices to encourage farmers to plant and thus maintain close to national self-sufficiency in food, said Bradley Sidwell, head of food and agribusiness research and advisory for North East Asia at Rabobank in Hong Kong.

By not importing more, China protects the incomes of 40% of the labour force that works the land, an important political objective. But the cost is inefficient farming.

Beijing could also boost productivity by extending mechanisation or setting up a US style rural extension service to spread better practice in the use of land, water and seeds.

But again, China would need to create enough jobs for farmers who were no longer needed to till the land. The problem cuts to the heart of the imperative for social stability.

\"You can appreciate the currency, you can raise reserve requirements on banks, you can cap food prices, et cetera. But, really, the one way to release food inflation is to increase the supply side,\" Sidwell said


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