Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kalam was ready to make Sonia PM

NEW DELHI, June 30, 20

President Abdul Kalam raised no objection to Sonia Gandhi becoming Prime Minister in 2004. Instead, he had been prepared to swear her in despite intense pressure from various parties and politicians, as that was the only "Constitutionally tenable" option available to him if the Congress chief had staked her claim.



Mr. Kalam says this in his forthcoming memoir, Turning Points, thus lifting the veil on an episode that has been wildly speculated upon, with right-wing sections till today convinced that he had dissuaded the Italian-born Ms. Gandhi from considering the prime ministership. In the book, the former President reveals that his office had readied a letter inviting Ms. Gandhi to form the government as Prime Minister but that she surprised him by nominating Manmohan Singh in her place: "This was definitely a surprise to me and the Rashtrapati Bhavan Secretariat had to rework the letter appointing Dr. Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister."



The former President says he was inundated with "emails and letters from individuals, organisations and parties" asking him not to accept Ms. Gandhi's prime ministerial claim, all of which he passed on to "various agencies in the government for their information without making any remarks." Visiting political leaders added to the pressure. But these demands were "constitutionally untenable", and if Ms. Gandhi "had made any claim for herself, I would have had no option but to appoint her."



In the same chapter, Mr. Kalam discloses that he wrote out his resignation in the wake of the Supreme Court judgment holding unconstitutional the May 23, 2005 midnight dissolution of the Bihar Assembly. He says he dropped the move after the Prime Minister pleaded with him not to resign as the resulting furore might lead to the fall of the government. The President was away in Moscow when Dr. Singh called him twice and conveyed the Union Cabinet's decision to dissolve the Assembly based on reports from the State Governor. Mr. Kalam writes that he quizzed the Prime Minister on the urgency to dissolve an Assembly that had been in suspended animation for six months but nonetheless signed the midnight proclamation because he was convinced the government had made up its mind. However, despite his explicit request, he felt the government did not properly present the President's action in court, leading to adverse judicial remarks on the Cabinet, which is "mine and I have to take the responsibility."
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PAU AND KSU DUAL PROGRAMME IN FOOD TECHNOLOGY COMMENCES

LUDHIANA, JUNE 29:--



The second year students of B.Tech. Food Technology (Hons), Mr. Tushar Verma and Mr.Manjot Singh, of Department of Food Science and Technology, PAU have been admitted by Kansas State University (KSU), the USA in the B.S. Bakery Science and Management Programme. Dr. K.S. Minhas, Head of the Department of Food Science and Technology informed that the students will be joining KSU, in August, 2012. He added that Ms. Harleen Kaur, third year student of B.Tech. Food Technology has already joined summer internship for two months at KSU, adding that the PAU and KSU signed MOU in April 2001 for strengthening linkages by initiating 2+2 Dual Degree (Twinning) Programme under which students after completing two years of B.Tech. Food Technology (Hons) can join KSU for B.S.Bakery Science and Management Degree Programme. The students will be awarded degrees by both the Universities, said he. The KSU is also providing scholarships for students from PAU joining the Dual Degree Programme, said Dr. Minhas.


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PAU TRAINING FOR FARMERS, FARM WOMEN AND PROGRESSIVE BEEKEEPERS

LUDHIANA, JUNE 30:-----

The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organize two training courses for farmers, farm women and members of Progressive Beekeepers Association (PBKA). On July 3-4, PAU Directorate of Extension Education in association with Department of Microbiology and Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, Chandigarh, will hold a two-day training course on "Preparation of natural vinegar from fruits and non-alcoholic carbonated beverages" for farmers and farm women at PAU Kairon Kisan Ghar (KKG).



Giving course contours, Dr M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education, said that the experts will lay special emphasis on the preparation of natural vinegar and non-alcoholic carbonated beverages from grapes and other fruit juices in addition to their futuristic aspects, economics, scope and significance.



Besides, a state level training-cum-workshop for the PBKA members will take place on July 4 at KKG of the university, informed Dr Gill. The subject-matter specialists will deliberate on honey bee management in rainy season and feeding management of honey bees, he added. Apart from review of last meeting/activities, an interactive session will be held wherein the queries of the participants will be responded by the experts. The registration for both the courses will take place at 9.00 a.m. and 10.00 a.m. on July 3 and 4, respectively, at the scheduled venue, he told.



Meanwhile, Mr PPS Pangli, President of PAU Kisan Club, said a monthly training camp for the club members including women wing will be held on July 5 in place of July 2. The camp for the male members and women wing will take place at Dr Borlaug Wheat Auditorium and Food and Nutrition lab of the PAU College of Home Science, respectively.
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PAU INVITES APPLICATIONS FOR INNOVATIVE FARMER AWARDS 2012

LUDHIANA, JUNE 29



The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has invited applications from farmers of Punjab for the "Innovative Farmer Awards 2012," to be conferred on the eve of PAU Kisan Mela slated to take place in September 2012. Five awards, carrying cash prizes, plaque and citations will be bestowed upon the innovative and progressive farmers, during the mela, for excelling in agriculture and its allied fields.



Divulging details, Dr M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education, informed that S. Dalip Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award, carrying a cash prize of Rs 5000/-, will be given to self-cultivating farmer of field crops, whereas Parwasi Bharti Award, carrying a cash prize of Rs 8000/-, will be presented to self-cultivating farmer engaged in diversified farming system.



S. Ujagar Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award, carrying a cash prize of Rs 3100/-, will be awarded to self-cultivating vegetable grower, who puts atleast 60% area of operational holding under vegetable crops in winter as well as summer seasons. He further said that S. Surjit Singh Dhillon Award, carrying a cash prize of Rs 5000/-, will be given to self-cultivating small farmer (having land upto five acres) while State Awardee Sardarni Jagbir Kaur Memorial Innovative Woman Farmer Award, carrying a cash prize of Rs 3100/-, will be conferred on the farm women involved in agriculture and allied agri-enterprises.



The application forms for the awards can be obtained from the Deputy Director (Training) of Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Director, Regional Stations, District Extension Specialists (Senior Most), Chief Agriculture Officers, Deputy Directors of Horticulture in the different districts of the state and PAU Directorate of Extension Education, told Dr Gill. Saying that for each award, a separate application will be accepted, he informed that the last date for the receipt of the applications in the office of Director of Extension Education is August 9. The interested farmers of the state should apply for the "Innovative Farmer Awards 2012" in time, he urged.
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MONTHLY TRAINING CAMP OF PAU KISAN CLUB ON JULY 5

LUDHIANA, JUNE 29:------



A monthly training camp of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Kisan Club including ladies wing will be held on July 5. The training camp for the members of club will be held at Dr Borlaug Wheat Auditorium whereas for the ladies wing, it will take place at Kairon Kisan Ghar of the university. The PAU experts will shed light on cultivation of direct seeding of basmati, prospects and problems of FDI for Punjab agriculture, cultivation of kharif pulses and bio-safety aspects of transgenic crops. Besides, the trainees will be given tips for group marketing and cure and prevention of milching animals in rainy season. The farm women will be educated about value addition of mangoes.



Dr T.S. Riar and Dr Rupinder Kaur, Coordinators of men and women wings of the Club, respectively informed that the registration for the club members will be held at 9.00 a.m.
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EXPERTS PROVIDE EASY TIPS FOR HOUSEHOLD GRAIN STORAGE

LUDHIANA, JUNE 27:-----



"Food grains constitute the bulk of diet of both rural and urban population. There is a need to grow more and minimize grain losses to meet the requirements of the growing population," said the home scientists of the Department of Family Resource Management (FRM) of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) while imparting tips for grain storage practices. Storage of grains at domestic level is the major responsibility of homemakers, they added, saying that it has been observed in the past that huge quantity of stored grains are lost at home due to faulty grain storage practices and structures.



Dr Muninder Sidhu, Head of FRM, said that the place selected for storage should be clean, dry, cool, dark, well-ventilated and free from rodents and insects. The grains intended for domestic storage should be checked for spoilage and infestation before putting them in clean and dry containers/bags for storage. She told that periodic inspection of the stored grains, generally, reduces the chances of spoilage. Patches of white powdery material on the stored grains are indication of the presence of insects whereas the presence of rodents can be detected by their excreta or tell-tale holes made in the bags, she added.



Referring to the storage containers, Dr Sharanbir Bal emphasised that they should be clean, washed and dried to control insects and pests before grain storage. After storing the grains, fumigation with appropriate fumigants such as Ethylene dibromide and Aluminium phosphate, are effective in eliminating the insects, she told. The rodent population can be controlled by keeping small pieces of baits at different places likely to be visited by rats. She added that the bait may be ready-made preparation available in the market or may be prepared at home by thoroughly mixing flour (cereals and pulses), sugar or jaggery with some edible oil and Zinc phosphide in the right proportion.



Advising that jute bags are not ideal for storing grains, Dr Shivani Sharma stressed on using plastic layered jute bags. Spray these bags with Malathion in the ratio of 1:100 with water. She suggested, "If the old bags are to be used, then these should be washed in boiling water and dried in bright sunlight. Mouth of the bags should be tightly stitched after filling with clean, insect free, cool and fully dried grains. Bags should be stacked 4 to 6 cm above the floor on wooden racks to prevent moisture penetration through floor."
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PAU MAKES EFFORT TO PROMOTE DIRECT SEEDED BASMATI RICE TECHNOLOGY

LUDHIANA, JUNE 29:-----



Taking the cognizance of depleting underground water resource and deteriorating soil health coupled with severe labour scarcity in the Punjab state, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is laying emphasis on the development of resource conservation technologies (RCTs). Recently, the central government has accorded a scheme on direct seeded rice (DSR)/mechanical transplanting of paddy on 15000 ha area following 100 ha cluster approach. The PAU has recommended both the technologies and has taken a lead to implement the programme meticulously.

Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said that Punjab agriculture is passing through a critical stage and promotion of RCTs is the top priority with PAU. The PAU researchers are making all out efforts to promote and popularize the DSR technology, among the basmati rice growers, for the conservation of natural resources. He told that it not only saves labour and water (10-15 %) but simultaneously enables the crops to get the best fit in different cropping systems on account of 7-10 days early maturity. Dr Dhillon said that the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, has accorded a scheme under Punjab conditions to promote the DSR/mechanical transplanting with an incentive of Rs 2200/- per acre in the form of kinds. He informed that a team of PAU experts will create awareness about the technological components of the DSR/mechanical transplanting in the ten districts of the state namely Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur, Bathinda, Sangrur, Roopnagar (Ropar), Barnala and Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, under National Food Security Mission.



Dwelling upon the DSR technology, the Director of Extension Education, Dr M.S. Gill, explained that with the direct seeding, rice seed is sown and sprouted directly into the field, thereby, eliminating the laborious process of planting seedlings manually and reducing the water requirements of the crops. The technology, when experimented at PAU research farm, showed positive results, which led to the adhoc recommendation to the farmers for the direct seeding, said Dr Gill adding that the information has been given in the Package of Practices for Kharif Crops of Punjab. He further explained that precision management in DSR is required like seed depth (upto 3 cm), use of pre and post emergence herbicides. Proper control of weeds is essential for raising a healthy crop, he said adding that the University has recommended weed management technology. The direct sowing in basmati rice can be practiced in medium to heavy textured soils, he said.

According to the proposed plan for the promotion of DSR and conservation of natural resources, Dr Gill said that ten teams of PAU scientists and equal number of teachers of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and Farm Advisory Service Scheme (FASS) will spread awareness among the farmers, and enable them to sow the DSR /mechanical transplanting in a cluster approach, he added.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

PAU MAKES EFFORT TO PROMOTE DIRECT SEEDED BASMATI RICE TECHNOLOGY

LUDHIANA, JUNE 29:-----



Taking the cognizance of depleting underground water resource and deteriorating soil health coupled with severe labour scarcity in the Punjab state, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is laying emphasis on the development of resource conservation technologies (RCTs). Recently, the central government has accorded a scheme on direct seeded rice (DSR)/mechanical transplanting of paddy on 15000 ha area following 100 ha cluster approach. The PAU has recommended both the technologies and have taken a lead to implement the programme meticulously.

Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said that Punjab agriculture is passing through a critical stage and promotion of RCTs is the top priority with PAU. The PAU researchers are making all out efforts to promote and popularize the DSR technology, among the rice growers, for the conservation of natural resources. He told that DSR not only saves labour and water (10-15 %) but simultaneously enables the crops to get the best fit in different cropping systems on account of 7-10 days early maturity. Dr Dhillon said that the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, has accorded a scheme under Punjab conditions to promote the DSR/mechanical transplanting with an incentive of Rs 2200/- per acre in the form of kinds. He informed that a team of PAU experts will create awareness about the technological components of the DSR/mechanical transplanting in the ten districts of the state namely Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur, Bathinda, Sangrur, Roopnagar (Ropar), Barnala and Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, under National Food Security Mission.



Dwelling upon the DSR technology, the Director of Extension Education, Dr M.S. Gill, explained that with the direct seeding, rice seed is sown and sprouted directly into the field, thereby, eliminating the laborious process of planting seedlings manually and reducing the water requirements of the crops. The technology, when experimented at PAU research farm, showed positive results, which led to the adhoc recommendation to the farmers for the direct seeding, said Dr Gill adding that the information has been given in the Package of Practices for Kharif Crops of Punjab. He further explained that precision management in DSR is required like seed depth (upto 3 cm), use of pre and post emergence herbicides. Proper control of weeds is essential for raising a healthy crop, he said adding that the University has recommended weed management technology. The direct sowing can be practiced in medium to heavy textured soils, he said.

According to the proposed plan for the promotion of DSR and conservation of natural resources, Dr Gill said that ten teams of PAU scientists and equal number of teachers of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and Farm Advisory Service Scheme (FASS) will spread awareness among the farmers, and enable them to sow the DSR /mechanical transplanting in a cluster approach, he added.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

FIRST PHASE FOR PAU ADMISSIONS COMPLETE

LUDHIANA, JUNE 29:-----



With the successful conduct of all entrance tests, the first phase of admission is complete at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The University conducted Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to undergraduate programmes; Agricultural Aptitude Test (AAT) for admission to B. Sc. Agriculture after matriculation; Masters Entrance Test (MET) for various postgraduate programmes.



According to Dr. Baldev Singh Sohal, all the UG and PG programmes attracted large number of students this year (session 2012-13) as compared to last year (2011-12). A record number of students – 4232 appeared for CET this year whereas 3117 candidates appeared last year. For the AAT, as many as 1209 candidates appeared for 70 seats. For various postgraduate programmes 979 candidates appeared whereas this figure was 753 last year (2011-12 session).



According to Dr. R.K.Mahey, Registrar, PAU, the second phase of admission process will begin with counselling on June 29, 2012. Results of various entrance tests and schedule for counseling are available on University website www.pau.edu. Dr. Mahey has advised that the candidates should come for counseling session after confirming their dates from the website.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Result B.Sc III Press Note : GCW LDH

Respected Sir/Madam,



Result of B.Sc-III of Govt. College for Women, Ludhiana based on the examination held by Panjab University, Chandigarh in April 2012 is as under:



1. First in Ludhiana : Navneet Kaur D/o Sh. Kawal Pal Singh Marks Obtained - 1787/2000=89.35%

2. Second in Ludhiana: Manu D/o Sh. Vinod Vashisht, Marks Obtained - 1721/2000= 86.05%

3. Third in the College: Shaweta Poplay D/o Shyam Poplay Marks Obtained - 1716/2000= 85.80%

4. Third In college : Taranpreet Kaur D/o Manmohan Singh Marks Obtained - 1716/2000 = 85.80



Overall College Result is 100 %



Principal,

Govt. College for Women,

Ludhiana
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SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH CHILDREN: PAU EXPERTS

LUDHIANA, JUNE 23:-----



Keeping in view, the sweltering heat and on-going summer vacations for children in this month, the home scientists of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have impressed upon the parents to spend quality time with their children and kids, involve them in household chores and keep them healthy.



Advising that not to let the children watch television or play games on computer for a longer time, Dr Sukhminder Kaur said that it affects their eye sight and obstructs thinking and creativity. Children should be involved in household chores, keeping in mind, their age and capability, such as cleaning/dusting of their room, table setting, making artificial flowers and decorative articles using leftover accessories, cloth, wool, paper, etc., she suggested. A regular routine of children should be set for their home work as it will help them to finish their work in time, she said, while emphasizing on encouraging the children to wash and iron their clothes and polish their shoes.



Referring to the household activities, the home scientist, Dr Harinder Saggu said that shoes should be kept in separate cabinets and that low boards should be used to keep them organized. She told, "To avoid deterioration of clothes due to moisture and insects, spread newspapers underneath the garments. Put some natural disinfects viz. dried neem leaves, French chalk and camphor cakes so that clothes remain safe for a longer period of time."



Stressing on proper diet and health care, Dr Kirti Grover emphasized on keeping the children well-hydrated. Ensure that they are drinking, at least, 6-8 glasses of water a day, she added, while suggesting other drinks like squashes, sharbats, lime water, etc. As the rising and hot temperature of summer season is ideal for the growth of harmful bacteria, it is vital to ensure prompt, proper cleaning and treatment of the child's wounds, she said.



Elaborating further, Dr Surinderjit Kaur asked the home makers to serve children with the home cooked meals and snacks as they are fresh, hygienic, nutritious and without any preservatives. Add plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables with higher water content to their diet and serve them in a different and attractive ways, she added. Involve the children in the preparation of nutritious recipes, fruit juices, milk shakes, etc., and motivate them to attend courses and hobby classes, organized by various private institutions and organizations during vacations.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH CHILDREN: PAU EXPERTS

LUDHIANA, JUNE 23:-----



Keeping in view, the sweltering heat and on-going summer vacations for children in this month, the home scientists of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have impressed upon the parents to spend quality time with their children and kids, involve them in household chores and keep them healthy.



Advising that not to let the children watch television or play games on computer for a longer time, Dr Sukhminder Kaur said that it affects their eye sight and obstructs thinking and creativity. Children should be involved in household chores, keeping in mind, their age and capability, such as cleaning/dusting of their room, table setting, making artificial flowers and decorative articles using leftover accessories, cloth, wool, paper, etc., she suggested. A regular routine of children should be set for their home work as it will help them to finish their work in time, she said, while emphasizing on encouraging the children to wash and iron their clothes and polish their shoes.



Referring to the household activities, the home scientist, Dr Harinder Saggu said that shoes should be kept in separate cabinets and that low boards should be used to keep them organized. She told, "To avoid deterioration of clothes due to moisture and insects, spread newspapers underneath the garments. Put some natural disinfects viz. dried neem leaves, French chalk and camphor cakes so that clothes remain safe for a longer period of time."



Stressing on proper diet and health care, Dr Kirti Grover emphasized on keeping the children well-hydrated. Ensure that they are drinking, at least, 6-8 glasses of water a day, she added, while suggesting other drinks like squashes, sharbats, lime water, etc. As the rising and hot temperature of summer season is ideal for the growth of harmful bacteria, it is vital to ensure prompt, proper cleaning and treatment of the child's wounds, she said.



Elaborating further, Dr Surinderjit Kaur asked the home makers to serve children with the home cooked meals and snacks as they are fresh, hygienic, nutritious and without any preservatives. Add plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables with higher water content to their diet and serve them in a different and attractive ways, she added. Involve the children in the preparation of nutritious recipes, fruit juices, milk shakes, etc., and motivate them to attend courses and hobby classes, organized by various private institutions and organizations during vacations.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

DR. DHILLON INAUGURATES TURMERIC PROCESSING PLANT

LUDHIANA, JUNE 23:-----



Inaugurating a turmeric processing plant at village Jodhan, near here, today the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Vice Chancellor, Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon said that turmeric is an important crop which we have been traditionally consuming in various forms since long. Such crops hold potential to shift some area from under rice-wheat rotation, he said adding that processing of turmeric and other such crops is meaningful. He appreciated the progressive NRIs, who have translated their idea of processing into practical shape by setting up and automated processing plant. Dr. Dhillon said that the farming community in the Malwa region will be greatly benefited with the setting up of the plant. He, however, highlighted that any venture is successful if the marketing system is duly considered. The PAU is considering setting up of small niches of new crops at appropriate places in the state and to provide expert guidance to the farmers. The University has provided guidance and advice for setting up of this project that has a capacity of handling 50,000 quintal turmeric in a year.



Sardar Manpreet Singh Ayali, MLA of Dakha constituency and Chairman Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, said that the setting up of the turmeric plant under the aegis of Jodhan Food Products is a revolutionary step that will have a positive impact on the regional economy. With an investment of around rupees 6.5 crore, the processing plant will generate direct/indirect employment to the rural youth. Earlier, the area was famous as a pocket for bhindi cultivation, said he, adding that now the area will also encourage turmeric cultivation.



On this occasion, Mr. Kamaljit Singh Mallah, Mr. Jagdev Singh Grewal, Dr. Jarnail Singh Narangwal, Mr. Avtar Singh Ubhi, Mr. Avtar Singh, Chairman, Mr. Jujhar Singh Vice Chairman, and Mr. Vikramjit Singh honoured Dr. Dhillon and other prominent personalities with the presentation of mementos.



Dr. Ashok Kumar Deogan, Head of the PAU Department of Processing and Food Engineering said that the plant is so far the largest in the region adding that with the advice and guidance of PAU, nearly 150 plants of different sizes have been set-up in the state.



Mr. Jagdev Singh Grewal, the village Sarpanch, responding to the call of the PAU Vice Chancellor, announced a contribution of rupees 21,000/- toward the PAU Endowment Fund.



Prominent among those who were present on the occasion included Mr. Kamaljit Singh Mallah, Dr. Jarnail Singh Narangwal, Dr. H.S.Dhaliwal, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman , scientists of PAU and farmers from the area.



Dr. Narangwal, while presenting vote of thanks said that PAU under the leadership of Dr. Dhillon was serving the cause of welfare of farmers and farming of the state. Earlier, Mr. Mallah said that the setting up of the processing unit in the area will change the agricultural scenario of the region.
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Admission Process for two year Diploma course started at Vet varsity

Ludhiana 23, June-2012

uru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) has started the process for admission to Diploma in Veterinary Science and Animal Health Technology for the year 2012-13. This two-year diploma course was started in 2010 at Veterinary Polytechnic, Kaljharani, Bathinda to cater the requirement of para-veterinary professionals of Punjab state. Registrar GADVASU, Dr. P. D. Juyal, informed that it is likely that this year more students will opt for the diploma, which has practical value in the field, as compared to the last year due to keen interest shown by the 10+2 (med./non-med.) pass-outs for applying to various under-graduate courses offered by University this year. Applications on the prescribed form are invited from the candidates, residing in Punjab/UT Chandigarh, fulfilling the minimum qualification 10+2 medical or non-medical from a recognized board/University. Prospectus, containing details regarding eligibility, counselling, interview, admission procedure, reservation of seats, etc., for admission to diploma can be obtained from the office of the Director of Extension Education, GADVASU, Ludhiana and Veterinary Polytechnic, Kaljharani, Bathinda. Last dates for receiving the applications for diploma are 2nd July (without late fee) and 9th July (with late fee) and the counselling is scheduled to be held at the Silver Jubilee Block of College of Veterinary Science on 27th August, 2012. For details candidates may visit the university website www.gadvasu.in .


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

Saturday, June 23, 2012

PAU THREE-MONTH TRAINING COURSE FOR YOUNG FARMERS

LUDHIANA, JUNE 22:-----



The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organize a three-month training course on "Integrated Crop Production" for the young farmers from August 1 to October 31, 2012.



Divulging course details, Dr M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education, said that the rural youths from across the Punjab (except Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts), in the age group of 20 to 40, with a matriculation qualification, will be eligible for this training course. The trainees will be equipped with the innovative techniques and technologies in agriculture and its allied fields, he added.



The aspiring candidates can collect the application form from the PAU Directorate of Extension Education. Informing that the last date for the submission of form is July 27, he told that the interview is slated for July 30 at PAU Kairon Kisan Ghar at 10.00 a.m. The candidates should bring their matriculation and age proof certificates during walk-in-interview. Dr Gill said that the selected candidate will deposit Rs 500/- as security which will be refunded after the successful completion of the course. The course fee is Rs 300/- whereas lodging charges are Rs 100/- per month, told he.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

PAU STUDENTS BRING LAURELS IN COMPETITIVE EXAMS

LUDHIANA, JUNE 22:-----



The postgraduate students of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) brought laurels to the university in various national and state level competitive examinations. Highlighting the achievements, Dr Neelam Grewal, Dean, College of Home Science (COHS), said that Nisha Verma and Kushagara Joshi of the Departments of Clothing & Textiles and Human Development, respectively, have qualified Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Main Examination (Home Science), conducted by the Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB), New Delhi. Besides, three students namely Deepika Bisht and Kavita Kachhawa of Department of Family Resource Management and Food & Nutrition, and Balwinder Kaur of Department of Home Science Extension & Communication Management, have qualified UGC- NET with Junior Research Fellowship (JRF).



Dr. Grewal added that these achievements not only make them eligible for selection as lecturer/Assistant Professor but also entitles them for fellowships for pursuing Ph.D. anywhere across the country. She told that a former student of Department of Food and Nutrition, Anupriya Singh, has topped the list of candidates, selected for the post of Child Development Project Officers, conducted by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), Patiala.



Meanwhile, the Head, Department of Economics and Sociology (DES), Dr M.S. Sidhu, informed that a Ph.D (Agricultural Economics) student of the PAU namely Amritpal Kaur has qualified UGC-NET with JRF.


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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

PRO-AGRICULTURE BUDGET, JUBILATION AT PAU

LUDHIANA, JUNE 20:-----



Giving his remarks on the budget, the PAU Vice Chancellor, Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon expressed his appreciation that the government has focused on agriculture. He elaborated that the Punjab Government has given priority to the agricultural sector by increasing the allocation to Rs 885 crore in the year 2012-13 as compared to Rs 582 crore in 2011-12, which is 52 % increase. Similarly, the PAU budget has been increased to Rs 189 crore in 2012-13 in comparison to Rs 124 crore (2011-12). This increase will strengthen the research, teaching and extension programmes in the University and enable it to address the emerging concerns in contemporary agriculture, he said.

Dr. Dhillon appreciated that a sum of 72 crore for forest development will help make environment clean and green. The setting up of a new Kheti Bhawan at Ajitgarh will help better coordination among the departments concerned with agricultural development. The modernization of Verka and other Milk Plants is a step in the right direction as it will help dairy farmers and consumers in the state, he said adding that the rural development in Punjab will get a positive thrust with the allocation of rupees 837 crore. He thanked the Hon\'ble Chief Minister, Punjab, Sardar Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, Sardar Sukhbir Singh Badal and the Finance Minister, Sardar Parminder Singh Dhindsa for their pro-agriculture visionary budget.



Discussing the contours of the budget, the Head of the Department of Economics and Sociology at PAU, Dr. M.S.Sidhu said that the total size of the budget is Rs 57,648 crore. The Finance Minister pegged the additional resources requirement of Rs 2000 crore to finance annual plan of Rs 14,000 crore for the financial year 2012-13, he said. There is proposal to generate this Rs 2000 crore by cutting down unproductive expenditure and through other austerity measures, better tax administration and tax compliance. There is also scope for rationalizing some taxes and levies, he added saying that the budget is prudent one.

The compensation to the victim families of farmers' suicides will also be paid during the year 2012-13, said Dr. Sidhu adding that for this purpose, a sum of Rs 30 crore has been provided in the budget. The free power to the farm sector will continue in the year 2012-13 and Dalit/BPL households will also get free electricity up to 200 units for month. In this regard, a sum of Rs 5100 crore has been provided in the budget. For green Punjab, a sum of Rs 72 crore has been provided. Since cancer disease has become a menace in some parts of the state, therefore, there is a proposal to give Rs 1.50 lakh to those stricken by this deadly disease. For development of sports infrastructure, a sum of Rs 104 crore has been allotted.

The budget has been prepared keeping in view the interest of all sections of the society but huge public debt amounting to Rs 87,518 crore in the current financial year is a matter of concern and the Union Government may provide relief to the State Government in the larger national interest, said Dr. Sidhu.

The Dr. Mukesh Siag and Dr. H.S.Kingra, respectively President and General Secretary of Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Association (PAUTA), Mr. Paramjit Singh Gill and Dr. Gulzar Pandher, respectively President and General Secretary of PAU Employees Union, Mr. Pavittar Pal Singh Pangli, President of PAU Kisan Club, have appreciated the budget. Dr. Siag said that the farmers, scientists (retired and serving) will be benefited from the budget and thanked all those concerned with the budget. They re-affirmed their commitment to work as per the new initiatives taken by Dr. Dhillon and their patronage by the Punjab Government in its budget.
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SUMMER VACATIONS: EXPERT TIPS FOR SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH CHILDREN

LUDHIANA, JUNE 20:-----



Keeping in view, the sweltering heat and on-going summer vacations for children in this month, the home scientists of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have impressed upon the parents to spend quality time with their children and kids, involve them in household chores and keep them healthy.



Advising that not to let the children watch television or play games on computer for a longer time, Dr Sukhminder Kaur said that it affects their eye sight and obstructs thinking and creativity, affecting development. Children should be involved in household chores, keeping in mind, their age and capability, such as cleaning/dusting of their room, table setting, making artificial flowers and decorative articles using leftover accessories, cloth, wool, paper, etc., she suggested. A regular routine of children should be set for their home work as it will help them to finish their work in time, she said, while emphasizing on encouraging the children to wash and iron their clothes and polish their shoes.



Referring to the household activities, the home scientist, Dr Harinder Saggu said that shoes should be kept in separate cabinets and that low boards should be used to keep them organized. She told, "To avoid deterioration of clothes due to moisture and insects, spread newspapers underneath the garments. Put some natural disinfects viz. dried neem leaves, French chalk and camphor cakes so that clothes remain safe for a longer period of time."



Stressing on proper diet and health care, Dr Kirti Grover emphasized on keeping the children well-hydrated. Ensure that they are drinking, at least, 6-8 glasses of water a day, she added, while suggesting other drinks like squashes, sharbats, lime water, etc. As the rising and hot temperature of summer season is ideal for the growth of harmful bacteria, it is vital to ensure prompt, proper cleaning and treatment of the child's wounds, she said.



Elaborating further, Dr Surinderjit Kaur asked the home makers to serve children with the home cooked meals and snacks as they are fresh, hygienic, nutritious and without any preservatives. Add plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables with higher water content to their diet and serve them in a different and attractive ways, she added. Involve the children in the preparation of nutritious recipes, fruit juices, milk shakes, etc., and motivate them to attend courses and hobby classes, organized by various private institutions and organizations during vacations.
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Stakeholders in post harvest sector meet to chalk out future strategies

Ludhiana, June 20:

With an aim of providing platform to all stakeholders for effective research in the post harvest sector, Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) organized a Quinquennial Review Team (QRT) meeting here at the institute campus. The meet was marked with presentations of farm innovators and processing machinery manufactures across the region.



"During the meeting farm innovators suggested us for providing them assistance in patent filing, monitoring of quality standards, organic products certification, establishing of farm innovators club and sustained interaction with all stakeholders", informed Vice-Chancellor Junagandh Agricultural University, Gujarat, Dr N.C Patel, who was also chairman of the QRT, adding that members of the QRT appreciated the technologies developed by farm innovators with assistance of CIPHET.



The major technologies exhibited by farm innovators in their presentations included multipurpose food processing machine, carrot washing machine, fish tagging machine and soyabean processing etc. CIPHET Director Dr U.S Shivhare said that they would organize more such interactions involving all stakeholders for the development of effective technologies. "CIPHET is also committed for the development of entrepreneurship in the post harvest sector helping to create more self employment opportunities," he added.



Mr Baldev Singh, President of All India Farm Machinery Manufactures, highlighted various problems faced by the industry. Mr Pavitar Singh Pangali, President of the PAU Kisan Club, suggested various measures for entrepreneurship development and making agriculture sustainable.



Prominent present on the occasion included Principal A.D Patel Institute of Technology Dr R.K Jain, Professor and Head Department of Dairy Microbiology of Anand Agricultural University Dr J.B Prajapati, Professor and Head Department of Agricultural Process Engineering of Dr B.J Konkan Krishi Vidayapeet Dapoli Dr N.J Thakur, Professor Department of Business Management, PAU, Dr Sandeep Kapur and Member Secretary QRT Dr H.S Oberio.
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PAU VARIETIES, TECHNOLOGIES LED TO BUMPER WHEAT: DR. DHILLON

LUDHIANA, JUNE 19:-----



Punjab has witnessed record wheat production this year. Against the target of 108 lakh ton, the state procured 129 lakh ton. Among the factors, the credit for this goes to the favorable weather during the wheat season, development and popularization of improved varieties, production technology by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), the role played by the extension functionaries of PAU and State Department of Agriculture, hard work of farmers, etc.



PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon congratulated the Punjab Government and all those associated with record wheat production. Last year also, Punjab was honoured with Krishi Karman Award, for remarkable wheat production, he said.



The PAU Director of Research, Dr. S.S. Gosal said that the new high yielding varieties like PBW-621 (21.1 quintal/acre) and HD-2967 (21.4 quintal/acre) contributed toward enhancing wheat production. According to Dr. M.S. Sidhu, Head, Deptt. of Economics and Sociology, the PAU recommended varieties (PBW-550, PBW-343, PBW-621 and HD-2967, etc.) covered 68% area of Punjab, during 2011-12. The enhanced production of wheat has made the state richer by Rs.2570 crore, he said.



The PAU Director of Extension Education, Dr. M.S. Gill said that besides varieties, the technology transfer by extension specialists of PAU and State Department of Agriculture played a significant role. The Punjab Government took timely steps to arrange inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, fungicides, etc. that helped the hard working farmers to grow the crops successfully and obtain bumper harvests, he said.



Dr. Gosal, highlighted that this year the conditions for the development of the dreaded yellow rust disease remained conducive. To protect the crop against the disease, PAU carried out the disease surveys and its Centre for Communication and International Linkages released flash messages through radio, television, newspapers and other means enabling farmers to take up the recommended control measures, wherever needed. Moreover, the government supplied the recommended fungicide (Tilt) at subsidized rates that helped farmers to control yellow rust timely and effectively.
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PAU VEGETABLE SCIENTIST PASSES AWAY

LUDHIANA, JUNE 19:-----



Mr. Jaswinder Singh, Assistant Olericulturist in the Department of Vegetable Science, Punjab Agricultural University died due to heart failure, yesterday. The PAU Vice Chancellor, Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon, Director of Research, Dr. S.S.Gosal, Director of Extension Education, Dr. M.S.Gill, Registrar, Dr. R.K.Mahey and Deans of the constituent colleges of PAU condoled the untimely demise of Mr. Singh. They expressed their sympathies with the family of the departed soul. In a meeting held in the Department today, faculty, staff and students expressed their profound grief on the untimely death of the scientist. In a condolence message sent to the grieved family, they described Mr. Singh was an honest and dedicated scientist who contributed a lot to help vegetable growers. Dr. P.S.Brar, Head of the Department informed that the \'Bhog and antim ardas\' for will be held on June 27 at village Nandpur (near Naushehra Pannuan), district Tarantaran from 12.00 noon to 1.00 p.m.


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PAU TRAINING ON GROUP-LED-EXTENSION

LUDHIANA, JUNE 19:-----



A two-day training course on "Group-led-Extension" will be organized at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on June 21-22 for Agriculture Development Officers (ADOs), Horticulture Development Officers (HDOs), District Extension Specialists (DESs) and scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs). The PAU Directorate of Extension Education will coordinate and supervise the training course.



Giving an overview of the programme, Dr M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education, said that the PAU extension specialists will delve upon team building, systematic approach, self-help groups, conflict management, capacity building and sustainability of groups of farmers, stress management through group approaches and programme planning and evaluation. Special focus will also be on nurturing and developing the communication skills of trainees in addition to receiving feed back from them. Dr Gill informed that registration for the course will be held on June 21 at 9.00 a.m. at PAU Kairon Kisan Ghar.
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GOLF CLUB DONATES TO PAU SPORTS ENDOWMENT FUND

LUDHIANA, JUNE 19:-----



For the cause of promotion of sports at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), the PAU Golf Club, Ludhiana donated a sum of Rs.3,58,475/- to the PAU Endowment Fund for sports. A cheque of the said amount was presented to the PAU Vice Chancellor, Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon, today by Mr. Hari Singh Sandhu, Secretary of the Club and other members namely Mr. T.S.Sandhu and Brig. Jagdev Singh. Others who were present included the Registrar, Dr. R.K.Mahey, Director Students Welfare, Dr. D.S.Cheema and Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman.



Thanking Mr. Sandhu for this gesture, Dr. Dhillon said that PAU Endowment Fund is getting contribution from various quarters. The interest income of the account is to be utilized for sports and other co-curricular activities in the University, he said. Dr. Mahey said that the PAU Board of Management at its 254th meeting held on March 30 had approved the establishment of \'PAU Endowment Fund for Sports\'.



Dr. Cheema said that with support from others in the Endowment Fund, the sports will get a boost at PAU.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

French Consulate official arrested

BANGALORE, June 19, 2012

French Consulate official, Pascal Mazurier, accused of raping his three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, was arrested in Bangalore on Tuesday, police said.



The arrest comes a day after the Ministry of Home Affairs clarified to the city police that the accused did not enjoy any diplomatic immunity and action can be taken as per law.



High Grounds Police, under the jurisdiction of which the French Consulate office here is located took Muzurier into custody in connection with the complaint by his wife Suja John Mazurier, police said.



Police had registered a case of rape against Mazurier, Deputy Head of Chancery in the Consulate of France, Bangalore.



French government sources had said in Delhi that Indian law will take its course as the accused working in its Bangalore Consulate does not hold a diplomatic passport and enjoys no immunity.



The Union Home Ministry had asked the Karnataka Police to approach the French Consul General in Bangalore to get access to Mazurier.



Ms. Mazurier, an Indian citizen, has accused him of raping their daughter and has requested that he be restrained from leaving the country till legal proceedings were completed and that under no circumstance should he be allowed custody of their three children who are French nationals.



She had appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to intervene in the matter.



Ms. Mazurier had reported the case to police with the help of a Bangalore-based NGO after her maid told her that her child was sexually abused by her father.
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Uday Chopra: Parineeti Chopra and I are not dating

June 19, 2012

Actor Uday Chopra has rubbished all the rumours that he is dating actress Parineeti Chopra. In fact, the actor posted on the social networking site that he finds their \'brewing relationships\' news pieces \'ridiculous\'!





PARINEETI CHOPRA UDAY CHOPRA



Earlier, the duo was spotted a couple of times at various nightspots which made the gossipmongers spread the news that there\'s something beyond a professional camaraderie.



CHECK OUT: Is Parineeti Chopra a threat to Anushka Sharma?



\'\'Whoa! Parineeti Chopra and I are NOT dating guys...it\'s kinda ridiculous! And she doesn\'t call me Sir, though I think she should start,\'\' tweeted Uday Chopra.
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Kareena\'s back to size zero, says fat is not sexy

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 (New Delhi)

Kareena Kapoor, the poster child for size zero, has gone on record to say that she doesn\'t believe big is beautiful.



Watching Kareena\'s fluctuating weight has become something of a national obsession in the past year or three. She\'s yo-yoed between her ultraslim self in Tashan to the curvier Chammak Challo look.



But it seems she personally subscribes to being thin. A leading daily quotes her as saying: \"Being fat is not sexy! Anyone who says that is talking crap. Voluptuous is sexy, but fat is out. Any woman who says she doesn\'t want to be thin is talking nonsense. It\'s every girl\'s dream.\"







Kareena\'s famous for her devotion to yoga. And she\'s also on a strict, tailor-made diet. Bebo\'s hard work is put on stunning display in the first look of Halkat Jawani, her new song and dance number from Heroine.



But what of Vidya, Sonakshi and the rest of Bollywood\'s curvier brigade?







Shotgun Jr diplomatically says she doesn\'t believe everything she reads. Parineeti Chopra, who has made no secret of her battle against the bulge, says she\'s comfortable in her own skin and loses weight when a role requires it.







And perhaps the biggest advocate of being comfortable with the size you are is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who blithely ignored the cruel comments of her failure to drop the extra baby weight, and told NDTV: \"This is reality, this is who I am. I am a mother, this can happen and it happened with me, that\'s fine. I have never been the one who has endorsed size zero anyways.\"


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Aishwarya says life has become quieter after Aaradhya’s birth

Tuesday, Jun 19, 2012

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has admitted that her life has changed for the better since the birth of her daughter, Aaradhya, last November and insisted that family is now her priority.



But the former Miss World said she'll be back in front of the camera when the right role comes, Gulf News reported.



Rai Bachchan, who has been voted as Best Mother alongside Angelina Jolie in an online poll, travelled to Cannes with her baby, as one of L'Oreal's longest-standing global ambassadors.



In an exclusive interview with tabloid! after her first post-pregnancy Cannes appearance, Rai Bachchan talks about life with Aaradhya, getting back to work and her post-pregnancy body — and her advice to working mums: "Don't be too hard on yourself.



Asked how has life changed after giving birth to Aaradhya, she relied: "Life has become quieter, which is very nice; I am spending a lot of time with her and just enjoying being a family.



And when asked whether travelling and keeping your work commitments such as brand appearances has become difficult after becoming a mother, she said: "I have learnt to manage my time better with work so that my family time isn't compromised too much. I prefer to take her with me on travels when the commitments are not too tight. My mother accompanies me to help with Aaradhya, so I am blessed that way.



While many people have commented online about your post-pregnancy body, but Rai Bachchan says she's not bothered about it.



"It isn't surprising because in this industry it comes as standard when an actress becomes a mother the focus isn't on her health, it's how fast she lost her weight, I don't worry about this; to me, the well-being and the health of my family is more important than focusing on going back to my pre-pregnancy body in miracle time. It should not be taken to extremes," she said.



She also offered some advice to women who are trying to tackle both motherhood and their work.



"Don't be too hard on yourself, and take time to relax and connect with your newborn. At times this seems impossible but it's an essential part of juggling motherhood and a career successfully," she stated.



"And no matter what you do, don't forget about yourself. I believe that when you look good, you feel good and more confident, so caring for your hair, skin and body should not stop. If anything, you should do more of that so you are refreshed and positive when you're around your child and family," she added.



Asked when she will make a comeback to films she said: "I like to choose roles that are meaningful and where I can contribute to the telling of a story. When the right role arises I will be back in front of the camera.



According to her motherhood is a beautiful experience that "makes you recognise so many things in life that you never realised before. Your priorities, your feelings and your future completely changes."
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Impact of global slowdown ‘marginal’, says SAIL chief

HYDERABAD, June 19, 2012



Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has asserted that the impact of the prevailing global economic uncertainty on the company's operations was marginal and the company was gearing up for an incremental capacity addition of 15 million tonnes during the current fiscal.



"We cannot claim that we are insulated from the global economic developments. But the impact will be marginal," SAIL Chairman C. S. Verma, who was given additional charge as the chairman of NMDC, said.



Insulated by demand



While the robust fundamentals helped it insulate from the global developments to a large extent, growth was ensured as the country was a demand centre.



Per capita consumption of steel, for instance, was 55 kg a year in urban areas and 15 per cent in rural areas against the global average of 200 kg. This would continue to drive the market in the coming days.



Giving comfort to the sector was the huge allocation, of the order of $1 trillion, made for infrastructure in the XII Plan. The current capacity, estimated at 80 million tonnes, is planned to be enhanced to 150 million tonnes by the end of the XII Plan, 2016-17, to meet the emerging demand.



"Other economies are either saturated or overheated. This is not the case with us," he told The Hindu. Replying to queries, he said there were no constraints as far as availability of iron, the prime raw material, was concerned, while several steel majors were dependent on import of another ingredient, coking coal.



On the plans for NMDC, he said the public sector company had aggressive plans for overseas operations and set aside Rs.1,200 crore for acquisitions. "The capital expenditure for the current year is over Rs.4,500 crore, and we will not leave any good deal that comes up," he said.



NMDC was conducting the due diligence process relating to some proposals, he said while declining to divulge the details of the projects.
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Fitch downgrades India’s credit rating outlook to negative

NEW DELHI, June 19, 2012

Within three months of Standard & Poor's action in April and its follow-up threat last week, global rating agency Fitch, on Monday, scaled down India's sovereign credit outlook to 'negative' from 'stable' while citing much the same reasons as S&P — corruption and the absence of or inadequate reforms.



However, unlike in the case of S&P's strictures when the government appeared to go on the defensive, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee junked the downgrade saying that the rating agencies' observations were based on "old data" and did not reflect the recent developments.



In a statement, pointing out that the revision in rating outlook by Fitch to the lowest investment grade notch was because it had ignored the recent positive economic trends, Mr. Mukherjee said: "While the markets had already anticipated that Fitch would revise the outlook and so there is no surprise in the announcement, it must be pointed out that Fitch has primarily relied on older data, and has ignored the recent positive trends in the Indian economy". Chief Economic Advisor Kaushik Basu, on the other hand, dubbed Fitch's action as "herd mentality" and expressed no surprise over the outlook downgrade. "There is a herd mentality among policymakers, herd mentality among corporates. There is also little bit of herding among credit rating agencies. We were pretty much expecting Fitch to do so," he said. He, however, admitted that even while there was some deep strength in the country, "there is lot to be done. I think that the next six months will be crucial," he said.



Announcing the lowering of sovereign rating oulook, Fitch Ratings, in a statement, said that India was faced with an "awkward combination" of slow growth and elevated inflation as well as structural challenges surrounding its investment climate in the form of corruption and inadequate economic reforms.



Outlook for PSUs



Fitch went on to point out that the revision in outlook reflected the "heightened risks" that India's medium-to-long-term growth potential would gradually deteriorate if further structural reforms are not hastened, including measures to enhance the effectiveness of the government and create a more positive operational environment for business and private investments. It, however, retained India's sovereign rating at 'BBB-', a notch above the speculative grade.



Alongside, the rating agency also downgraded the credit outlook of seven PSUs — NTPC, SAIL, IOC, PFC, GAIL, REC and NHPC.



Countering the Finance Minister's comment on the economic data used for the credit rating analysis, Director of Fitch's Asia Pacific Sovereign Ratings Group Art Woo said that Fitch reviewed India most recently, typically, on a broad range of factors, such as macroeconomic policy, economy and public finances. "Negative, more precisely mean over 12-24 months there is a chance that India's rating could be downgraded," he told a TV channel.



The Indian government, Fitch said, had repeatedly delayed tax and subsidy reforms and thus the confluence of weaker economic growth and a large subsidy bill "means India will likely miss its 5.1 per cent of deficit target for 2012-13". While pegging the fiscal deficit target at around 5.6-5.9 per cent of the GDP, the rating agency also lowered the GDP growth forecast to 6.5 per cent in 2012-13 from its earlier projection of 7.5 per cent.



Mr. Mukherjee, on his part, asserted that Fitch had not taken cognizance of many of the government's recent initiatives which include fertilizer subsidy reform, capping of subsidies as a fraction of GDP (gross domestic product), the new manufacturing policy and the telecom policy.



The Finance Minister also highlighted the fact that foreign institutional investors (FII) have since reposed renewed faith in the country's economy and have already brought in a net $12.3 billion in the first five months of 2012 as compared to $8.3 billion invested during the full calendar year of 2011.
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RBI’s status quo leaves India Inc disappointed

NEW DELHI, June 19, 2012

After the hype and the anticipation by India Inc. and the government alike, regarding an easing in liquidity and key policy rates by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to spur growth, came the status quo. The apex bank decided to maintain its short-term lending (repo) rate at eight per cent as before and left the cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4.75 per cent.



The unexpected inaction on the part of the RBI took one and all by surprise, as it came as a betrayal. Having factored in a repo rate reduction of 25 basis points at the least, along with the good news from Greece in early trading, the markets spooked and India Inc. was livid, with due reason.



Boosting growth



At an Assocham event in Mumbai during the weekend, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee threw enough hints that, apart from the official announcement, an easing of interest rates by the Central bank was a given, by way of a monetary policy measure to boost growth. Pitching for the RBI joining the government in dealing with the ongoing slowdown, the UPA President-elect had said: "I am confident that keeping in view all the factors, the RBI will adjust the monetary policy, as we are adjusting the fiscal policy."



Commenting on the RBI policy here on Monday, even as the Bombay Stock Exchange\'s Sensex tanked by 244 points and eroded Rs. 75,000 crore in investor wealth, Mr. Mukherjee maintained that containing high inflation may have been the primary concern of the apex bank, and it wasn\'t necessary for the RBI Governor to consult the Finance Minister before mid-quarter monetary policy reviews.



Incidentally, this isn\'t the first time that the government and the RBI aren\'t on the same page on monetary policy, and policy analysts find it heartening that the apex bank has held on to its own, despite intense pressure. A Central bank\'s primary concern is to contain inflation and guarantee currency and monetary stability. In a large measure, RBI Governor D. Subbarao appears to be miffed at the government\'s inaction regarding a host of measures, including fiscal consolidation.



This is somewhat clear from the apex bank\'s official statement on mid-quarter policy review. "The Reserve Bank had frontloaded the policy rate reduction in April with a reduction of 50 basis points. This decision was based on the premise that the process of fiscal consolidation, critical for inflation management, would get underway, along with some supply-side initiatives. Our assessment of the current growth-inflation dynamic is that there are several factors responsible for the slowdown in activity, particularly in investment, with the role of interest rates being relatively small. Consequently, further reduction in the policy interest rate at this juncture, rather than supporting growth, could exacerbate inflation-related pressures," it said.



Pointing further to why RBI has decided to maintain status quo, the statement said: "It is relevant to assess as to what extent high interest rates are affecting economic growth. Estimates suggest that real effective bank lending interest rates, though good, remain comparatively lower than the levels seen during the high growth phase of 2003-08. This suggests that factors besides interest rates are contributing more significantly to the growth slowdown."



In a more direct reference to the government\'s inaction on diesel pricing and oil subsidy, the RBI said: "In the absence of pass-through from international crude oil prices to domestic prices, the consumption of petroleum products remains strong, distorting price signals and preventing the much-needed adjustment in aggregate demand. The consequent subsidy burden on the Government is crowding out public investment at a time when reviving investment, both public and private, is a critical imperative. The widening current account deficit (CAD), despite the slowdown in growth, is symptomatic of demand-supply imbalances, and a pointer to the urgent need to resolve the supply bottlenecks."
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Serious moves afoot to form coalition in Greece

ATHENS, June 19, 2012

Europe looked on with wary relief on Monday as Greek conservative leader Antonis Samaras launched coalition talks after coming first in a vote that follow weeks of uncertainty over whether the debt-crippled country could remain in the joint euro currency.



A Greek exit from the 17-nation eurozone would have potentially catastrophic consequences for other ailing European nations and hurt the U.S. and the entire global economy as well.



European Union leaders appeared relieved that a pro-austerity government had a good chance of being formed.



"Continued fiscal and structural reforms are Greece's best guarantee to overcome the current economic and social challenges," said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in a joint statement.



But an early market rally faded quickly on Monday as investors turned their attention back to the other financially unstable economies in the eurozone — Spain and Italy. Sunday's vote "will probably ease fears of an imminent Greek euro exit," said Martin Koehring of the Economist Intelligence Unit. "But the key question is how quickly can a government be formed?"



With 129 of Parliament's 300 seats, the conservative New Democracy party lacks enough legislators to govern alone, and must seek allies among the pro-bailout Socialists, who came third. Mr. Samaras, who now has three days in which to build a coalition, said he wanted to form a government with long-term prospects.



"My position is that there must be a national salvation government with as many parties in it as possible," he said after talks with Alexis Tsipras, leader of the radical left Syriza party. "I will continue the effort because the country has an immediate need of being governed."



Strategies



But Mr. Tsipras, whose party came in second, refused to join his coalition. "Our strategies are opposed," said Mr. Tsipras.



Under former student activist, Syriza campaigned on a pledge to scrap bailout commitments.



The Democratic Left has opposed the harsh austerity program but has said it will do what is needed to help form a strong government.



Final results gave New Democracy 29.66 per cent, followed by Syriza at 26.89 per cent.
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Prince Salman is Saudi Arabian crown prince

RIYADH, June 19, 2012

Saudi Arabia's ruling family named Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz is the new crown prince on Monday.



The royal decree came the day after the burial of the late heir to the throne, Prince Nayef, who died last week in Geneva and was the crown prince only since November. Prince Salman (76) is the third successor for the 88-year-old King Abdullah in the past year.



Prince Salman served for more than four decades in the influential post of governor of Riyadh and is the patriarch of family businesses that include stakes in the pan-Arab daily newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat, an important media tool for Saudi's rulers.



Nayef was considered wary of even the modest changes brought by King Abdullah, including pledges to allow women to vote and run in the next municipal elections in 2015. Prince Salman is also viewed a traditionalist, but not deeply tied to the ultraconservative establishment that gives the monarchy its legitimacy to rule.



Prince Ahmed was promoted from Deputy Interior Minister to take Nayef's place leading the Ministry, which has played the front-line role in crackdowns on Islamist militants following the Sept. 11 attacks. The move appears to put Prince Ahmed, believed to be in his early 70s, in a position to be in line for the throne.
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Romanian PM accused of plagiarism by Nature

BUCHAREST, June 19, 2012

A scientific journal says that Romania's new Prime Minister has copied large swathes of his doctoral thesis without proper attribution.



Nature said in a press release on Monday that it has seen documents that indicate that more than half of the 432-page thesis of Prime Minister Victor Ponta on the International Criminal Court was plagiarised from a work of two Romanian law scholars.



The state news agency, Agerpres, says Mr. Ponta denies the allegation and is offering to submit his work to "any kind of test." Mr. Ponta accused President Traian Basescu, a bitter political rival, of orchestrating the attack.



Mr. Ponta became Prime Minister on May 7 after the previous government was ousted after losing a confidence vote. Two of his appointments for education minister stepped down after they were accused of plagiarism.
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Myanmar president announces second stage of reforms

June 19, 2012

Myanmar President Thein Sein on Tuesday announced economic reforms including plans to pass a foreign investment law.



The President is widely credited with several breakthroughs last year, including freeing hundreds of political prisoners and opening a dialogue with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.



"The foreign direct investment law will be approved soon in the coming parliament sessions," Mr. Thein Sein said in announcing his second stage of reforms.



The next session will open on July 4, with Ms. Suu Kyi participating.



Mr. Thein Sein announced plans to boost gross domestic product by 7.77 per cent annually over the next five years, during which he hopes to double foreign investment.



The President said future foreign investments should not harm the environment and should promote social development.



The government is also considering a minimum wage law, he added.



Myanmar's economy suffered from decades of self-imposed isolation during 1962-88, followed by two decades of Western-imposed sanctions between 1988 and 2011.



The country is ranked by the United Nations among the world's least-developed countries. China is currently its largest investor, primarily in energy and mining projects. The European Union and United States have recently suspended most of their sanctions on Myanmar, in reward for the new government's political reforms.
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Kalam says ‘no’, leaves NDA in lurch

NEW DELHI, June 19, 2012

In a major embarrassment to the BJP-led NDA and the Trinamool Congress, the former President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, politely turned down vociferous appeals from these parties and sections of the non-political class to stand against the UPA Presidential candidate, Pranab Mukherjee.



In a brief statement, Mr. Kalam referred to the Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee and other political parties\' demand that he be their Presidential nominee and observed that he had "considered the totality of the matter and the present political situation, and decided not to contest."



Though hopes of prevailing upon Mr. Kalam to enter the fray for another term in Rashtrapati Bhavan faded after the Samajwadi Party, which originally mooted the idea along with the Trinamool, threw its weight behind Mr. Mukherjee, constituents of the NDA, particularly the BJP, tried till the last minute to convince the "Missile Man."



After vain efforts by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy to persuade Mr. Kalam to contest, NDA Working Chairman and senior BJP leader L.K. Advani got into the act. Mr. Kalam conveyed to Mr. Advani his inability to accept their offer before issuing a public statement.



The decisive 'no\' from Mr. Kalam leaves an already divided NDA in the lurch.



The only option before the BJP at the moment is to line up behind the BJD and the AIADMK and back the former Lok Sabha Speaker, P.A. Sangma, for President. BJP leaders believe that it is a politically prudent option for a party which is on the lookout for potential allies in the 2014 general elections. The moot question is whether it can sell the idea to the other constituents in the NDA.
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Rocking the cradle of hope

June 19, 2012

Against the backdrop of a poor sex ratio in Rajasthan, Mahesh Ashram in Udaipur has been saving the lives of abandoned baby girls and rehabilitating them



Much before the eye-opening first episode of Aamir Khan\'s chat show Satyamev Jayate, which brought the reality of sex-selective abortions to our drawing rooms and triggered a national debate, an initiative in Rajasthan\'s Udaipur has been doing its bit to save newborn girls.



In August 2006, within a span of two weeks, two female foetuses were reported to be found floating in the city's famed Fatehsagar Lake. Almost simultaneously, another similar incident was reported from the neighbouring district of Chittorgarh. Those incidents changed the life of a city businessman forever.



An inquiry into Rajasthan's child sex ratio revealed that there were only 909 girls in the 0-6 age group for every 1,000 boys, according to the 2001 Census. Unfortunately, this number has only declined over the last decade — the 2011 Census reports just 883 girls for 1,000 boys.



Where have all those missing girls gone? What can be done to turn this dismal situation around? Devendra Agarwal had no answers to these questions that were troubling him. But he was determined to do something to salvage the situation.



Once a successful marketing professional, Mr. Agarwal recalls: "I was moved by the visuals of foetuses floating on the water. I thought if someone could take care of the unwanted girls, they would neither be killed nor abandoned or dumped in hedges and dustbins."



He started out by putting up a cradle outside his home in the city's busy Surajpole area. Within a week, he had three baby girls in his home. He smiles, "We were looking for a sister for my two sons, and suddenly we had three."



The three girl child gave a new direction to Mr. Agarwal's life plans. When the Udaipur Child Welfare Committee (CWC) came to know that he had abandoned newborns in his home, it decided to take them away, saying that they needed to be put up for adoption. When he tried to stop the CWC, legal hassles followed. "I fought the case right up to the Supreme Court where, too, I lost. I couldn't save these girls. In the meantime, I was charged with contempt by the Rajasthan High Court and arrest warrants were issued against me twice."



Those were tough times for him and his family but that was when he decided that saving newborn girls was going to be his new calling. Mr. Agarwal set up an organisation, the Maa Bhagwati Vikas Sansthan, under which the Mahesh Ashram was set up. Built with a loan of Rs. 23 lakh, this home based in Udaipur's Bhuwada locality, today has 19 abandoned baby girls who are getting quality professional care.



Says Mr. Agarwal: "I realise that a lot of women are compelled to give up their daughters because of family and social pressures. In fact, many a time, the mother is not even aware that the girl she gave birth to has been taken away from the hospital bed and dumped. We want to save such lives. All we say is 'Don't throw them, give them to us'."



The Mahesh Ashram has put up two cradles — one outside the busy MB Hospital and the other at the ashram's doorstep. In the five years the ashram has been functional, Mr. Agarwal and his team have been able to save 67 girls. "Unfortunately, we lost six girls, who were very sick when we found them. One of them was thrown from a running car. She was bleeding profusely when my team found her. We rushed her to the hospital, where three units of blood were given, but she couldn't survive. Another one was left under a running tap in a hospital's bathroom on a cold winter night. She was on ventilator support for nine hours before she succumbed," Mr. Agarwal recounts with sadness.



To give the children the best of healthcare, the ashram has acquired photo-therapy machines, warmers and oxygenators besides a dedicated staff of 20 ayahs (local nurses) and one general nurse and midwife (GNM).



Saving the little ones, however, is not Mr. Agarwal's only mission. The Mahesh Ashram has also taken up the responsibility of finding loving, stable homes for them. Says Mr. Agarwal, "I failed in my first attempt because I had no knowledge of what the law said regarding the adoption of abandoned babies. But once we started the ashram, we are more organised in our approach." He formed a childcare committee, comprising senior government officials — an IPS officer, an IRS officer, the Vice-Chancellor of a university, a chartered accountant and Mr. Agarwal himself on the board — to conduct the ashram's adoption-related activities.



In fact, in 2009, Mahesh Ashram became a specialised adoption agency after getting a licence from the Social Justice and Empowerment Department of the Government of Rajasthan. To date, they have found homes for 41 babies, although Mr. Agarwal admits that it's not easy to find homes for them because people in the State are still fixated on boys.
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Presidential poll: Shiv Sena to back Pranab

MUMBAI, June 19, 2012



Giving a major boost to UPA Presidential candidate Pranab Mukherjee, key NDA constituent Shiv Sena has assured him of its support in his bid for the top constitutional post and sought unanimous support for him.



"The Sena will support Pranab Mukherjee (in the Presidential polls)," Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told PTI.



The assurance was given to Mr. Mukherjee, who called up Sena chief Bal Thackeray and his son Uddhav Thackeray, the party executive president, on Monday, Sena sources said.



"Let bygones be bygones. Let us unanimously support Pranab Mukherjee and show the world that "hum sab ek hai" (we are all united)," Mr. Bal Thackeray has said.



"The farce that is on for the top post of President is not justifiable. The country's prestige is at stake for political gains. Those who have no merit are also in the race," the Sena chief said.



He also dismissed allegations of backstabbing raised against the party. "Nobody should dare level allegations of treachery and backstabbing against the Shiv Sena. The Sena is not out to seek vengeance because such allegations were made earlier," he said, in a statement published in the party mouthpiece Saamana.



In an editorial in Saamana, Mr. Bal Thackeray said the Sena, which is celebrating its 46th anniversary on Tuesday, has crossed the borders of Mumbai and Thane and is in a position to decide the country's President.



Sena, the oldest ideological ally of BJP, was understood to be concerned over the approach of the NDA to the Presidential polls and disappointed that the alliance has not been able finalise its candidate.



Shiv Sena had supported Pratibha Patil in 2007, breaking ranks with BJP as Ms. Patil hailed from Maharashtra. BJP and other NDA constituents had at that time backed late Bhairon Singh Shekhawat for the post of President.
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Morsy is President, claims Brotherhood

CAIRO, June 19, 2012

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has claimed victory for its Presidential candidate Mohamed Morsy who had been pitted against Ahmad Shafiq in a bitterly contested runoff that took place in the midst of an assertion of political power by a military group, marked by the dissolution of an elected lower house of parliament and an attack on civil liberties.



\"Mohamed Morsy is the first popularly elected civilian President of Egypt,\" read a brief but triumphant message on the official website of Brotherhood\'s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).



Later, flanked by senior leaders from the FJP at a press conference in the early hours on Monday, Mr. Morsy pledged inclusivity and called for unity. \"I will be a brother and servant to all Egyptians,\" he said. He added: \"Thanks be to God who has guided Egypt\'s people to the path of freedom and democracy, uniting the Egyptians to a better future.\"



During his interaction with the media at the party's Cairo headquarters, he promised "to build a democratic and modern state with a constitution\". As he concluded his address, Mr. Morsy's supporters broke into the national anthem — a carefully choreographed exercise to symbolise national unity and pride.



By daybreak, Mr. Morsy's jubilant supporters had taken to the streets, in convoys of cars that honked in unison and chanted their candidate's name. As the morning mist lifted over the Nile, houseboats played loud music in celebration of an historic event. Small crowds, waving Egyptian flags, also began to gather at Cairo's Tahrir Square, the icon of the Egyptian uprising, where Mr. Morsy was later scheduled to make and appearance.



The Brotherhood claimed that Mr. Morsy had won 52.5 per cent of votes while Mr. Shafiq, a former aviator and the last Prime Minister of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, secured 47.5 percent. Mr. Morsy's campaign official Ahmed Abdel Atti said that the FJP was claiming victory after 98 per cent of the votes had been counted. But supporters in Mr. Shafiq's campaign headquarters deplored the Muslim Brotherhood's triumphalism. Ahmed Sarhan, Mr. Shafiq's campaign spokesperson described the Muslim Brotherhood's claims as "\'absurd\' and an exercise in "media manipulation".



However, Reuters quoted another campaigner acknowledging that their leader was unlikely to make it past the finishing line.



Despite the conclusion of its first presidential election, Egypt's fledgling democracy suffered a grave setback on Sunday when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), a military clique that has been in charge of the country's post-Mubarak political transition, issued a decree that severely curtailed presidential powers. With the Parliament already dissolved last Thursday, SCAF would now be in charge of making laws and controlling the budget.



The President has also been denied powers to declare war, unless the decision has the approval of SCAF — a move that implied that the military would not function under pervasive civilian control.



The decree issued on Sunday night as the counting of votes proceeded was denounced by pro-democracy Liberal and Islamist groups as a "military coup".



"The 'unconstitutional declaration' continues an outright military coup," tweeted Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, a moderate Islamist who had lost elections during the first round of the presidential vote. \"We have a duty to confront it.\"



Elder statesman Mohamed ElBaradei said that the military's declaration was a "grave setback for democracy and revolution". \"SCAF retains legislative power, strips president of any authority over army and solidifies its control,\" he tweeted. The Muslim Brotherhood condemned the decree as "null and unconstitutional."



At the Brotherhood's campaign headquarters, Mr. Ahmed Abdel Atti said that the SCAF's ruling was likely to trigger "popular action," setting the stage of yet another round of confrontation between the pro-democracy campaigners and an authoritarian military top brass.
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Pranab to be third person to occupy Raisina Hill straight from Cabinet

NEW DELHI, June 19, 2012

Seventy-six-year-old Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, UPA nominee for President, if elected, will be the third person after Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed and Giani Zail Singh, to directly occupy Rashtrapati Bhavan from the Union Cabinet.



Most of the former Presidents such as Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Zakir Hussain, Varahagiri Venkata Giri, R. Venkataraman, Shankar Dayal Sharma and K.R. Narayanan held the post of Vice-President before being elevated as President.



While Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, who was the President from August 24, 1974 till his death on February 11, 1977, was the Food Minister in the Indira Gandhi Cabinet, Giani Zail Singh was the Home Minister in her Cabinet before being elected as President on July 25, 1982 .



Mr. Mukherjee will be the 13 person to occupy Rashtrapati Bhavan. Till now, only Rajendra Prasad, lawyer, freedom fighter and head of the Constituent Assembly, holds the record of getting elected to the post twice consecutively. He was in office from January 26, 1950 to May 13, 1962.



Neelam Sanjiva Reddy was the only one to get elected unopposed to the post. He held the office from July 25, 1977 to July 25, 1982. He was the Lok Sabha Speaker before his election.



A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (July 25, 2002 to July 25, 2007) was the Scientific Advisor to the Prime Minister before he entered Rasthrapati Bhavan.



Present President Pratibha Devisingh Patil (since July 25, 2007) was the Governor of Rajasthan before assuming office. .



Not bound by party whips



Meanwhile, sources in the Election Commission said that since the Presidential poll is being held in a secret ballot, the provisions of the anti-defection law would not be applicable in the election. Members of the Electoral College (MPs and MLAs) can vote according to their conscience and are not bound by any party whips, the sources said.



There is a provision for a legislator, who is in jail under preventive detention, to vote through postal ballot. However, there is no provision for proxy voting and a disabled/illiterate elector can vote only with the help of the presiding officer and cannot take the help of any companion.



During polling, it is compulsory for an elector to record his first preference. Marking other preferences is optional, the Commission said. A vote could be rejected by the Returning Officer if the figure 1 is not marked; or if the figure 1 is marked against the name of more than one candidate. The vote can also be rejected if the first preference is marked in a manner which renders it doubtful as to which candidate it is intended to apply; or if the figure 1 and some other figure is marked against the name of the candidate; or any mark is made by which the elector may be identified.



A ballot paper will be rejected if the preference is marked in words like one, two, three or first preference, second preference, third preference, etc instead of figures . A postal ballot may be rejected if the signature of the elector on the declaration and the attestation form received with the ballot paper is not duly attested by the authority specified in such form (who is normally the officer-in-charge of the jail or the place of detention).



EC sources said unlike other elections to the Assembly or the Lok Sabha, a contestant for the presidential poll need not file any affidavit – relating to assets or pending criminal cases.
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French Consulate official arrested

BANGALORE, June 19, 2012



French Consulate official, Pascal Mazurier, accused of raping his three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, was arrested in Bangalore on Tuesday, police said.



The arrest comes a day after the Ministry of Home Affairs clarified to the city police that the accused did not enjoy any diplomatic immunity and action can be taken as per law.



High Grounds Police, under the jurisdiction of which the French Consulate office here is located took Muzurier into custody in connection with the complaint by his wife Suja John Mazurier, police said.



Police had registered a case of rape against Mazurier, Deputy Head of Chancery in the Consulate of France, Bangalore.



French government sources had said in Delhi that Indian law will take its course as the accused working in its Bangalore Consulate does not hold a diplomatic passport and enjoys no immunity.



The Union Home Ministry had asked the Karnataka Police to approach the French Consul General in Bangalore to get access to Mazurier.



Ms. Mazurier, an Indian citizen, has accused him of raping their daughter and has requested that he be restrained from leaving the country till legal proceedings were completed and that under no circumstance should he be allowed custody of their three children who are French nationals.



She had appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna to intervene in the matter.



Ms. Mazurier had reported the case to police with the help of a Bangalore-based NGO after her maid told her that her child was sexually abused by her father.
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G-20 agenda getting over-burdened: PM

LOS CABOS, June 19, 2012

India on Tuesday took the G-20 to task when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the Plenary that the G-20 agenda "is getting over burdened. We need to refocus on a few goals rather than dissipating energies on too many fronts."



He also announced that India would contribute $10 billion to the IMF's additional firewall of $ 430 billion meant for the eurozone.



"The International Monetary Fund has a critical supportive role to play in stabilizing the eurozone. All members must help the Fund to play this role," he said.



He strongly emphasised the need to provide liquidity to European banks without neglecting issues of solvency.



"A crisis in the European banking system can choke trade finance quite quickly, and end up choking economic growth not just in the eurozone but in the world in general," he said.



The G20, he told the gathered leaders whose countries account for 80 per cent of global GDP, had to send "a strong signal to the markets that the eurozone countries will make every effort to protect the banking systems and the global community will back a credible eurozone effort and response." But Europe would have to do its bit, too, he said.



The Prime Minister, perhaps relishing the reversal of roles in the sermonising by Europe to developing countries, rubbed in the message saying "… liquidity must be provided in parallel with effective adjustment programmes that ensure an early return to debt sustainability."



But "effective adjustment" also means austerity, which means lower growth. So the Prime Minister said austerity alone would not solve the European sovereign debt problem.



"Financial markets normally favour austerity, but even they are beginning to recognise that austerity with no growth will not produce a return to a sustainable debt position," he said.



Then he delivered a pointed message to Germany. "Austerity in the debt-ridden members of the eurozone can work only if surplus members are willing to expand to offset contraction elsewhere in the currency area."



He then told the Plenary that while it was necessary to solve rich country problems "the less developed and developing countries are also facing serious problems because of the negative impact of the global crisis. Infrastructure investment in developing countries assumes special importance in this context."



For this, he said they need long term capital and that the Multilateral Development Banks could play a major role in this context.



"We now need to take steps to substantially expand the resource base of Multilateral Development Banks so that they have the firepower to help developing countries pursue their development goals."



Europe and developing nations



The World Bank President, Mr Robert Zoeliich, is believed to have said at the G-20 Summit that, as for conditionalities were concerned, Europe was getting away far more lightly than many developing countries had done. Senior government officials confirmed this.



The general view of BRICS is that the developing countries would have used the money for the creation of real assets than merely reduce the extent of the haircut that European banks need to take.



Excerpts from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh\'s speech



"Like other emerging economies, India too has slowed down. Internal constraints have also affected performance and we are working to correct them… The fundamentals of the Indian economy remain strong…We are taking steps to revive investor sentiment…Like other countries, we too allowed the fiscal deficit to expand after 2008 to impart a stimulus. We are now focussing on reversing the expansion. This will require tough decisions, including on controlling subsidies, which we are determined to take.\"
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Monday, June 18, 2012

PAU INKS MoU WITH FOOD CORPORATION OF INDIA

LUDHIANA, JUNE 18:-----



The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Food Corporation of India (FCI), Barakhamba Road, New Delhi, today to impart training to the quality control/field staff of FCI and to identify collaborative research projects in the field of quality control of foodgrains. Dr S.S. Gosal, Director of Research and Mr A.S. Arunachalam, Deputy General Manager, FCI, Punjab, signed the MoU on behalf of PAU and FCI, respectively. Those present in the MoU signing ceremony included the PAU Registrar, Dr R.K. Mahey, Technical Advisor to the PAU Vice- Chancellor, Dr P.K. Khanna, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, Dr. G. Singh, Dean, College of Agriculture, Dr. D.S.Cheema, Dean, College of Home Science, Dr. Neelam Grewal, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Dr. P.P.S.Lubana, Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, Dr. R.S.Sidhu, Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director of Extension Education, Dr. H.S.Dhaliwal and Additional Director of Research (Hort.), Dr. H.S.Dhaliwal and representatives of FCI including Mr Anuj Tyagi, Area Manager, FCI, Ludhiana and Dr Neel Kamal, Assistant Manager, FCI, Ludhiana.



Dr Mahey appreciated the pivotal role of FCI in the procurement and storage of food grains throughout the country for public distribution system and maintaining satisfactory level of operational and buffer stock of food grains to ensure national food security. He said that the signed MoU aims at providing training to the quality control staff of the FCI, based on the advancements across the world, on various procedures and techniques of handling and preservation of food grains, right from the stage of procurement to its final distribution. Besides, the basic objective of the MoU is to jointly identify research projects and the benefits and credits of collaborative work, he added, stating that the fruitful cooperation between the two will be of immense benefit to both in future.



Addressing the participants, Mr Arunachalam informed that the MoU will remain in force for three years, from the date of its execution. Lauding the PAU as a premiere university of national importance, he remarked that it is committed to forge ties with other institutes/universities across the nation and globe involved in developing quality manpower and research partnerships. The FCI has expertise in procurement and storage of food grains but lacks in research and development, he pointed out. Earlier, FCI collaborated with PAU and CIPHET (Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology) to reduce post-harvest-losses but the present MoU with PAU will be helpful in honing the skills of the trainees and in producing quality manpower, he added. There is a need for expertise in detection of wheat disease, Karnal Bunt and other pathogens, emphasized Mr Arunachalam. The FCI has the strength of nearly 5000 workers, disclosed he, while saying that the partnership will help in finding out alternative chemicals for the clearance of consignments.



Earlier, Dr Dhiman, welcomed the dignitaries and the senior officials of the FCI. He said that PAU and FCI, established in 1962 and 1964 respectively, have played good innings in agriculture and its allied fields. Highlighting that the Punjab state has retained its top slot in wheat production, he underlined the need to create scientific manpower to handle the produce. Dr Dhiman also shed light on the problem of the storage capacity for the food grains, being faced across the nation.
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PAU ENTRANCE TEST DRAWS HEAVY RUSH

LUDHIANA, JUNE 18:-----



Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) conducted a Common Entrance Test (CET), today for admission to its various undergraduate programmes. A large number of the students from across the state came to the University to appear for the test.



According to Dr. Baldev Singh Sohal, Controller of Examination, 4861 students applied for admission and 4232 appeared for the test, today which included 1532 girls and 2700 boys. The test was conducted in 17 different centres and will screen students for 250 seats in various undergraduate programmes - B. Sc. Agriculture (Hons.), B. Tech. Food Technology (Hons.), B. Sc. Biotechnology and Integrated M. Sc. programme in Biochemistry, Botany, Agri. Economics, Sociology, Microbiology and Zoology. Dr. R.K.Mahey, Registrar, PAU informed that the result of the test will be made available on PAU website tomorrow and counseling will begin on June 29.
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