Saturday, August 31, 2013

Amar Singh to remain a friend for the rest of my life: Big B

Mumbai, August 31, 2013(7star news):-At 70, the star still claims to have butterflies in his stomach and admits to being nervous before a project goes on air. In addition, Bachchan also enjoys exchanging views and thoughts with

Excerpts from the interview.

You are very up-to-date on social media sites such as Twitter and you also update your blog regularly. How do you sustain it?

It's more of an individual effort. I enjoy the medium and like this platform. I have a large number of people who I now call my extended family. They are constants with me on my blog, Twitter and Facebook. It's wonderful to be able to converse with them, exchange ideas, thoughts, be receptive to what they say and to do so regularly on a daily basis. I feel something is missing if I don't converse with them every day. If I don't feel it, they will make me feel it (laughs) because they keep pestering me: 'Ek baj gaya, abhi tak aap aaye nahin' (it's one o'clock and you haven't come online yet). It has become personal.
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Teja gets cold feet in Big shoes

NEW DELHI, AUGUST 31, 2013 (7star news):-Telugu actor Ramcharan Teja, the son of southern cinema icon Chiranjeevi, is well aware of the great risk he has taken by choosing for his Bollywood debut, a role immortalised by superstar Amitabh Bachchan in his heyday. In fact, he expects a section of the audience to reject outright Apoorva Lakhia\'s remake of the 1973-hit Zanjeer.

\"Not only will I be compared (with Big B), a section will be terribly upset to see me playing Vijay. Diehard Bachchan fans would never want to see anyone reprising the iconic character,\" says Teja, who has been paired opposite Priyanka Chopra in the new Zanjeer, set for release on September 6.

He adds: \"The film gave Bollywood its angry young man, and the idea of re-creating the film sounded bizarre at first. When the role was offered to me, I was confused. We all know that one can never recreate the magic of an original film.\" Nevertheless, he says, he is convinced that the film will strike a chord with the youth, for whom the remake has been made. \"Our film has not tampered with the original; rather, it is a re-imagined narration for the new generation.

Young audience, in the age group of 16-33 years, constitutes the main viewership of Bollywood films. We are aware that most of them have not seen the original. So, we are narrating a new story with emotions that the youth will appreciate,\" he says. By virtue of being the son of Chiranjeevi, the actor-turned-politician, Ramcharan is quite the sensation down South. Now, with his entry into Bollywood, he wants to reach out to more people.

\"Hindi films offer a wider reach. As an industry, it has the capability to merge varied states, languages and nationalities,\" says Ramcharan, underlining the fact that the line between Hindi and Southern cinema has blurred to a great extent. \"Several southern actors are coming to Mumbai. Likewise, many Bollywood actors are appearing down South or borrowing ideas from southern films. Dhanush\'s success (with Raanjhanaa) is an example,\" he adds.

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I find committed men attractive: Parineeti Chopra

Aug 31, 2013, (7star news):-

The actress who will soon be seen in the upcoming movie, Shuddh Desi Romance, opens up about relationships and infidelity. Parineeti poured her heart out while talking about love being an amazing feeling and how the show has indeed helped lot of couples to un-complicate their relationships.

The leading actress of one of the most awaited movies divulged about her relationship experiences and shared her opinion about what makes a man attractive. When she was asked to give advice to the cheaters, she exclaimed, \"Koi advice nahi. Thappad padega bus.\"

She further added, \"I find it cooler when one guy is totally committed to one girl. I find that very hot, it\'s very attractive. Why do you love your parents so much? Because you know they\'re together. It\'s an epiphany of a true and honest relationship. When two people who are in a relationship and want to have fun, they should mutually agree and warn the other person to not get serious. If they mutually agree, then it\'s fine because they\'re just having fun.\"

While talking about her character in her upcoming film, Parineeti also gave a piece of advice to the viewers on how to deal with heartbreaks.
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Priyanka Chopra clueless about Milan Talkies

IANS MUMBAI, AUGUST 31, 2013 (7star news):-

While there were reports that Priyanka Chopra will be seen in \"Milan Talkies\", the actress says she doesn\'t know what is happening with the film.

It is said that the 31-year-old will be seen opposite actor Shahid Kapoor in the film, which will be directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia and produced by Ekta Kapoor.

\"I don\'t know what is happening with \'Milan Talkies\'. I haven\'t spoken to Ekta yet. Ekta and Tigmanshu discussed about the script year and half back after that I don\'t know what happened to the movie. I am still yet to discuss with them about the film,\" said Priyanka.

Meanwhile, the actress will be next seen in \"Zanjeer\", a remake of megastar Amitabh Bachchan\'s 1973 film of the same name. Directed by Apoorva Lakhia, the film will release Sep 6.
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Satyagraha collects Rs 11 crore on opening day, biggest ever opener for Prakash Jha

New Delhi, Sat Aug 31 2013(7star news):-Prakash Jha\'s political thriller featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, Ajay Devgn Satyagraha has collected Rs 11.21 crore on its opening day, thus becoming director\'s biggest opener for the director.

The movie started well in the morning with seat occupancy ranging between 70 to 80 per cent.

Film critic Taran Adarsh tweeted the figures of the film\'s collection:

The film\'s screen count was approximately 2400-2500 and it picked up towards the evening, according to reports.

Satyagraha targets the youth of the country and inspires them to channelise their anger in the right direction. It entertains you but at the same time, it leaves a deep impact in your mind. It is an emotional drama which leaves you with an optimistic, positive message,\" Ajay Devgn said.

However, The Indian Express film critic Shubhra Gupta panned the movie, saying that it\'s all been-here-seen-this-and-that before.
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John Abraham\'s Madras cafe going strong at the box office

MUMBAI, AUGUST 31, 2013 (7star news):-

Actor-producer John Abraham is proud that his latest movie \"Madras Cafe\" has worked well on positive word-of-mouth feedback despite being caught in controversies.

John played the role of an undercover officer in the movie, set against the Sri Lankan civil war. The film, directed by Shoojit Sircar, released Aug 16.

Read Story: Madras Cafe brings back uncomfortable memories of the CIA\'s honey trap

The film was reportedly produced on a budget less than Rs.10 crore. But it earned over Rs.20 crore in its opening weekend.

\"I am very happy and proud of \'Madras Cafe\'. The film is growing by word-of-mouth. The film was made in a very smart budget and it is doing well at the box office,\" John said.

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Delhi gang-rape: is juvenile guilty? Verdict due today

August 31, 2013(7star news);-New Delhi: The first verdict in the gang-rape of a student on a moving bus in Delhi in December is expected to be delivered today by a juvenile court.

The fatal attack on the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern provoked national outrage and impelled an overhaul of archaic laws to punish sexual crimes against women.

Six men were arrested for assaulting the student and her boyfriend with an iron rod. One of them was 17 at the time of the attack.

The charges against him include murder and rape, and he faces a maximum sentence of three years at a reform center. He has said he is not guilty.

The family of the young woman who died has demanded that all the accused be hanged; her parents are at the juvenile court for the verdict. Today, her mother said, \"Punishment should be decided by the type of crime, not the person\'s age.\" (read)

The inquiry against the defendant, who is now 18, was completed on August 5 but the ruling was deferred repeatedly because of a Supreme Court case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy which seeks to change the legal definition of a juvenile.

Recently, the Supreme Court said the juvenile court is free to share its judgement on both the gang-rape and the charge that the defendant robbed a carpenter who boarded the same bus on the night of December 16 last year, and was thrown out before the student and her boyfriend were assaulted. (Supreme Court clears decks for verdict on juvenile in Delhi gang-rape case)

Of the five other men who were arrested, one committed suicide in jail in March. The other four are being tried by a special fast-track court and could get the death sentence if convicted.
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Asaram desperate to evade police; journalists attacked in Jodhpur

Indore/Bhopal, August 31, 2013(7star news);-To arrest self-styled godman Asaram, who has been evading questioning in a case involving sexual assault on a minor girl, a Jodhpur Police team left for Indore, where he is believed to be hiding in an ashram on Khandwa Road.

However, superintendent of police, Indore, Govind Ravat said Asaram was not in Indore. In fact, the inspector general of police, Indore, said they will cooperate in arresting the godman if Rajasthan Police provides evidence about his presence in the city.

Also, the police have sealed Jodhpur borders to prevent Asaram\'s supporters from entering the city. The precaution was taken after scores of Bapu\'s supporters attacked a reporter and a cameraman of a TV news channel on Saturday morning near his ashram in Pal area.

Asaram making loose remarks, says Gehlot

Police may take Asaram to Jodhpur for quizzing

After son, Asaram too questions girl\'s credibility

A reporter and a video journalist of CNN-IBN sustained injuries and their camera and equipment were damaged before villagers living near the ashram rescued them.

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot said the RSS activists were to blame for the attack.

Reports said the supporters were evicted and the ashram has been sealed. Reports also said the police have already arrested six persons from outside the ashram.

The incident took place at around 9am, when the TV channel crew had gone to the ashram to report about a gathering of Bapu\'s supporters even as the controversial godman evaded arrest in a sexual assault case filed against him by a minor.

A group of his supporters took advantage of the police\'s absence at the ashram to assault the channel crew and damage their camera.

\"We were rescued by some villagers but the police took one hour to reach the site,\" said the channel\'s reporter Bhawani Singh.

He alleged that senior police officers didn\'t pick their phone calls and a few policemen reached the site only after the police control room was informed.

Asaram\'s supporters have been gathering in Jodhpur since the last two days and more that 2,000 people from different parts of the country have already assembled here.

Lamba added that additional police force, including four companies of the Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC), have been kept on alert. Women constables have also been called from the neighboring districts.

\"Supporters are coming here to express their sentiments and emotions towards Asaram and all are observing satsang peacefully,\" Chanchal Raj Sharma, an ashram spokesperson said.

The Jodhpur Police had asked Asaram to appear before the police for questioning by August 30 based on a girl\'s complaint on August 20, accusing him of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Rajasthan\'s Jodhpur city. The deadline lapsed last night and his arrest seems likely now.
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The case of Afridi

Saturday, August 31, 2013(7star news):- The decision by the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) commissioner to overturn Dr Shakil Afridi's 33-year prison sentence may finally bring some clarity to a case that has always been shrouded in confusion and subterfuge. Afridi is best known for colluding with the CIA in the hunt for Osama bin Laden by administering fake vaccines to collect DNA but he was never charged for that crime. Instead he was incarcerated for working for the militant Mangal Bagh group, an accusation that has never been proven to anyone's satisfaction and which seems unlikely given Dr Shakil's CIA associations. On top of that, Afridi was put on trial in the tribal areas under the FCR, which did not allow him to mount a sturdy defence or even have a lawyer present. The FCR is an anachronistic law which the PPP government had promised to do away with or, at the very least, reform because it frequently leads to injustice. The FCR commissioner has overturned the verdict on technical grounds, saying that the assistant political agent did not have the authority to hand down such a long sentence and Afridi will now be re-tried by the political agent. This does not address the issue at hand. Afridi should be tried for the accusation that he worked with the CIA and his trial should be held under regular law, and not the FCR, since this is a case with significant national security implications.

If Afridi was part of the Osama bin Laden manhunt and worked as a tool of an agency of a foreign power, putting him on trial would be the most appropriate thing to do. Punishment would be desirable also because his actions have contributed to the paranoia against vaccinations being a western plot against Muslims, even though his lawyers can make a case for leniency since ultimately he helped in the hunt for the world's most wanted terrorist. There have also been suggestions that the developments in Afridi's case have been orchestrated so that he can be swapped for Aafia Siddiqui in a prison exchange. However, the US has never openly hinted at the slightest inclination to release Aafia. Be that as it may, justice calls for Afridi to be tried for his CIA work, and not for unsubstantiated charges of helping militants. Afridi's retrial under the FCR will commence within a week, which is sufficient time for the government or the Supreme Court to intervene and bring him under the ambit of the mainstream judicial system.

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India assured of Hockey World Cup berth

Aug 31, 2013,(7star news);-BANGALORE: India rode on Pakistan\'s defeat at the men\'s Asia Cup on Friday to assure themselves of a berth at next year\'s World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

South Korea did Sardar Singh\'s men a big favour with a 2-1 victory in the first semifinal in Ipoh which considerably lessened the number of aspirants for the three vacant World Cup slots.

Nine teams, including Korea, have already qualified for the global competition.

Later, Korea\'s good turn apparently inspired the Indians to reach the title round with a 2-0 win over Malaysia. VR Raghunath and Mandeep scored for India.

Having defeated Korea 2-0 earlier in the league, India will look for a repeat in Sunday\'s final. A cup triumph will give them a direct ticket to Hague.

The team that the world will miss at the global bash next year would be Pakistan. Quite an irony that the nation would be absent for the first time from a tournament it helped conceive in 1971.

Three-time champions Pakistan\'s ouster is another indication of the plummeting fortunes of the sub-continental teams. With India having missed the Beijing Olympics bus in 2008, the wheel has come full circle.

The complex qualification system, which shifted the primacy to the International Hockey Federation\'s (FIH) World League semifinals, put paid to Pakistan\'s hopes.

The first six qualifiers were selected from the two WL semifinals in Rotterdam and Johor Bahru. The top three teams from Johor Bahru - Germany, Argentina and England - qualified along with Belgium, Australia and the Netherlands (Rotterdam). But with the Dutch already having qualified as hosts, New Zealand (fourth in Rotterdam) made the grade.

The FIH wait list for the remaining five slots read thus: Korea (4th in Johor Bahru), Spain (5th in Rotterdam), Malaysia (5th in Johor Bahru) and India (6th in Rotterdam). Spain were placed ahead of Malaysia thanks to their superior ranking.

Korea were confirmed as the eighth qualifier two weeks ago when Argentina emerged as the Pan American champions.

With the South American nation having already qualified thanks to a second-place finish at Johor Bahru, Korea were immediately handed a World Cup ticket.

They were followed by Spain, who took the slot on offer in Europe although they finished fifth in the continental meet at Boom. Luckily for them, the four teams which finished ahead of them had already earned WC berths.

Though India left for Ipoh with the sole objective of winning the Asia Cup, they knew that the qualification process had left the door ajar for them to sneak in. Pakistan winning the Asia Cup would have ended their chances but that was not to be.

As of now, Malaysia will make the grade if Korea win the final on Sunday. India will then have to wait for the result in the Oceania championship, which over the years has been reduced to a two-horse race between Australia and New Zealand.

With both the teams having already qualified, India will occupy the 11th slot. The African continent will throw up the 12th qualifier.
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In IBL final, second round of Saina Nehwal vs PV Sindhu

Mumbai, Sat Aug 31 2013, (7star news):-The IBL is incidental to this plot. Though, having a dozen-strong cheering squad close at hand — ten teammates and two coaches in your corner — is the closest that PV Sindhu or Saina Nehwal will come to finding a cushion against the fear of failure against each other. Others can carry on the war after the second match between Hyderabad Hotshots and Awadhe Warriors — the women\'s singles — is wrapped up on Saturday. Also Read: Smash-hit Hyderabad Hotshots sail into IBL final

For this pair, the sights are set only on their personal battle.

That isn\'t to say that who wins the duel will, with certainty, set the tone for the rest of the tie at the NSCI stadium. The all-India men\'s singles (either K Srikanth or Guru Sai Dutt vs Ajay Jayaram) might yet prove to be the most decisive skirmish of the day, to land either team the title.

Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, the Thai singles man with Hyderabad — Saina\'s contemporary when she won the World juniors and a bit of a showboat — loves the spotlight on himself at all times. Ajay Jayram is tiring of the giant-killer tag and wants to be reliable and consistent now. Also Read: Sindhu\'s Warriors set IBL final with Saina\'s Hotshots

And the Warriors\' doubles teams, cleverly put together after Danish Mathias Boe trooped in and Markis Kido\'s regular partner Pia Bernadeth arrived by his side to give the Lucknow team the advantage in the crucial fifth rubber, and an air of invincibility, could in fact render the Sindhu-Saina match as a footnote. There\'s also the ill-advised plans to get Nehwal to play the mixed doubles, though she\'s never been at ease sharing the court. Also Read: Work ethic-wise Saina has a huge drive, Sindhu is still a little kid, says Gopichand
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Ankita expresses love for Sushant on \'DID Super Moms\'

Mumbai August 30, 2013(7star news):-Television actress Ankita Lokhande surprised her beau, actor Sushant Singh Rajput, by professing her love for him on the sets of \"DID Super Moms\" through a video.

Sushant, who rose to fame with daily soap \"Pavitra Rishta\", got emotional when he saw a video, with bytes from the cast of the show, including that from Ankita.

The actor was then surprised as he did not expect a confession of love from his long term girlfriend Ankita, which said: \"I am proud to be your girlfriend and the kind of chemistry I share with you. I can\'t have that with anyone else.\"

Sushant almost had tears in his eyes and was too overwhelmed to say anything.

Sushant\'s co-actors of \"Shuddh Desi Romance\" - Parineeti Chopra and Vaani Kapoor, were also present on the show and had a gala time with the Super Moms.

While Parineeti didn\'t hesitate to sing the title track of \"Shuddh Desi Romance\" with the contestants, Sushant and Vaani were enthusiastic enough to dance while she sang.

The star-studded episode will air Saturday on Zee TV.
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Friday, August 30, 2013

Walmart India plans possibly at final stage says govt official: report

August 30, 2013(7star news):-New Delhi: Global retail giant Walmart is expected to soon firm up its plan to foray into India\'s multi-brand sector, a top government official today said.

Walmart Asia Chief Scot Price met top officials of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotions (DIPP) and sought clarity on the recent changes government had made in the multi-brand retail FDI policy.

\"They have indicated to come back to us very soon with a firm proposal.... The consideration by Walmart is very serious for India and their plan is possibly in the last stage,\" the official told PTI.

Mr Price declined to comment after an hour-long meeting. The Walmart chief attended the meeting with two of his team members.

Walmart has been seeking a series of clarifications from the government over the conditions for FDI in India\'s multi-brand segment. It had in July expressed its inability to the government on meeting an earlier sourcing norm that required 30 per cent procurement from small industries. It had

said it can procure only about 20 per cent.

Subsequently, earlier this month the government had diluted the contentious sourcing clause allowing global multi-brand retailers to source 30 per cent of their products from small and medium enterprises only at the time of start of business.

Besides, they have also been allowed to set up stores in cities with less than ten lakh population.

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Forecast darkens for Indian economy

Updated: August 31, 2013 (7star news):-

Mumbai: The statistical evidence is piling up that India\'s economy may be in even worse shape than had been thought.

India\'s economy slowed in early summer to its weakest pace since the bottom of the global economic downturn in 2009, government statistics released on Friday evening showed.

The Central Statistics Office in New Delhi said that the economy grew 4.4 per cent in the quarter ended June 30, well below economists\' expectations of 4.8 per cent. The quarter was the weakest since output grew 3.5 per cent in the quarter that ended March 31, 2009.

The accumulating signs of economic distress - slower growth, a widening current-account deficit, higher oil prices and rising inflation in general - suggest that the monthlong fall of the Indian rupee in currency markets may be a symptom of fundamental troubles in the Indian economy, and not just part of the broader difficulties experienced by Asian emerging market currencies in recent weeks.

Hints that the Federal Reserve in the United States may soon shift to a tighter monetary policy have prompted global investors to shift billions of dollars out of financial markets from Sao Paulo to Jakarta to Mumbai, eroding the value of local currencies in developing economies. But the Indian rupee has fallen the fastest of any emerging market currency in the last month, down 8.1 per cent. Broader investor disenchantment with emerging markets has been compounded here by worries about India\'s economy, the third-largest in Asia after China\'s and Japan\'s.

Hardest hit have been the manufacturing and mining sectors. A court-ordered halt to most iron ore mining across India for environmental reasons has hurt steel and other sectors; state governments have been raising taxes on the sector, and broader demand has begun to falter.

\"The fact is, yes, the manufacturing sector has slowed down,\" said Raj K. Singh, the chairman and managing director of the Bharat Petroleum Corp., an oil refining and marketing company that is two-thirds owned by the Indian government and is one of the country\'s largest businesses.

The data was released after stock market and currency trading had ended for the day, despite government promises to stay with the regular Friday morning release. After a week of considerable volatility, the rupee and the Mumbai stock market both had showed modest gains earlier on Friday.

India enjoyed annual growth of 8 per cent to 9 per cent in the years leading up to the global financial crisis but has struggled to reach 6 per cent since then despite heavy government spending and large fiscal and trade deficits.

From corner stores to corporate boardrooms, the consensus in Mumbai these days is that the next few months may see further stagnation, although almost no one expects a steep downturn.

Sitting in his office Friday morning in front of an abstract Indian painting in blues and yellows, Singh voiced concern about a 7.2 per cent drop in nationwide diesel consumption during the first three weeks of August from a year ago. Nationwide diesel consumption was also down 5.9 per cent in July from a year ago.

But heavy monsoon rains have limited the need for diesel in irrigation pumps, making the comparison less clear, Singh cautioned. Rohit Dawar, the top diesel demand expert at the Petroleum Ministry in New Delhi, said in a telephone interview that diesel consumption had been artificially inflated in July and August last year by a peculiarity in government fuel subsidies, since removed, that temporarily made it cheaper to burn diesel instead of other fuels in industrial boilers.

Even allowing for all of these factors, however, \"there is a slight slowdown\" in diesel demand recently, Dawar said.

Plentiful monsoon rains, a key indicator for the Indian economy for thousands of years, have produced lush fields that could yet help stabilize broader measures of the economy in the coming months and forestall a steeper slowdown. While World Bank data show that value added in agriculture is only one-sixth of the economy these days, a good harvest could still play an outsized role in limiting recent increases in food prices.

Inflation is likely to remain a problem, however, given that India relies almost entirely on imported oil, which becomes more expensive with each drop of the rupee. So important is oil to India\'s trade deficit that it was desperate bidding for scarce dollars by Indian refiners that helped to drive the rupee briefly to a record low Wednesday, before the Reserve Bank of India stopped the rout that evening by arranging to transfer dollars from its reserves to oil importers.

\"Prices are rising for everything - petrol is more expensive, vegetables are more expensive,\" said Bharat Hirji Gada, a local shopkeeper.

India has some advantages compared with European and other Asian countries that have seen steep economic downturns following currency declines over the past two decades. The biggest advantage may be that the Indian government has long prohibited borrowing in foreign currencies by poor or middle-class households and by small and medium-size businesses.

Foreign debt has been concentrated among blue-chip companies and wealthy individuals. Many of these loans are to borrowers whose revenue is largely denominated in dollars, limiting their currency exposure, said Haseeb A. Drabu, the chief economist for the Essar Group, one of India\'s heavy industry giants.
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Immense pain ahead as GDP growth slumps further to 4.4 per cent

August 30, 2013(7star news):- Manufacturing, the backbone of the Indian economy, shows negative growth, it is down 1.2 per cent compared to the same quarter last year. This is a near 20-year low. India was manufacturing more in the 1980s than it is today while its population has nearly doubled since. Where will the jobs for the millions of young Indians, the great demographic dividend, come from?

Following a host of corruption scams, mining has literally come to a standstill. It has fallen 2.8 per cent in the April-June quarter compared to the same quarter the previous year. The country is importing commodities like coal and iron ore, which were part of our export basket until two years ago. And this is not likely to change unless policymakers make a concerted effort to bring transparency and accountability into the sector.

Agriculture showing 2.7 per cent growth, is perhaps the only silver lining, and literally the last straw the government is holding on to keep the economy afloat. Buoyed by a good monsoon this year, the farm sector is expected to grow between 4 and 5 per cent in the current fiscal year, which will boost rural incomes and drive consumption.

Both construction activity and electricity generation have slowed considerably, nearly down by half from the first quarter of last fiscal year, which means power is going to get increasingly expensive for industry. This is proving to be a clear deterrent for domestic and global investors.

Consumption has declined substantially by 1.2 per cent. It had grown 3.4 per cent in the last quarter of 2012/13.

What\'s worse is that things will get worse before they can get better. If the Food Security Bill is cleared and ratified, it will fuel further inflation, and put further pressure on the country\'s faltering finances. Industry is also wary of the recently tabled Land Acquisition Bill, which it says will add to costs.

\"The GDP figures for first quarter clearly show that the economy continues to be in the throes of a slowdown. The concern becomes more acute when we see that at the present moment, there are no clear indications that the economy has bottomed out. With monsoons being normal, a good agricultural performance coupled with rise in rural wages would help bolster rural demand. But, that by itself is not adequate, when the other indicators are all southward bound. We do not wish to sound alarmist, as there are enough panic reactions visible around us, particularly on the rupee, but the concern on the economy can hardly be overstated. The economy needs undivided attention of policy makers,\" said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry, in a statement.
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NATO not to participate in Syria attack

31 Aug 2013,(7star news):-\"I see no NATO role in an international reaction to the (Syrian) regime,\" Rasmussen told reporters in the Danish town of Vejle, daily Politiken reported. He said the alleged use of chemical weapons was \"a terrifying and horrible act. Chemical attacks are a clear violation of international standards -- a crime that can\'t be ignored.\"

\"It demands an international response, so it doesn\'t happen again,\" Rasmussen said. The NATO secretary general has in the past insisted on the need for a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

UN inspectors have visited the scene of the August 21 suspected gas attack near the Syrian capital. The opposition says more than 1,300 people died when toxic gases were unleashed on Eastern Ghouta and Moadamiyet al-Sham. Doctors Without Borders said 355 people died of 'neurotoxic' symptoms in the affected areas.

Rasmussen said he firmly believed the Syrian regime was behind the attack.

\"I have no doubt that the regime carried out a chemical attack,\" he said, adding: \"When you look at who has the chemical stocks and the means to use them in an attack, you have to say that it is the regime.\"

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ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹੇ ਦੇ ਸਕੂਲੀ ਪਖ਼ਾਨਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਮੁਰੰਮਤ ਲਈ 1 ਕਰੋੜ 17 ਲੱਖ ਰੁਪਏ ਖ਼ਰਚ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ: ਸੇਖੜੀ

ਫ਼ਤਹਿਗੜ੍ਹ ਸਾਹਿਬ, 30 ਅਗਸਤ: (ਹਰਪ੍ਰੀਤ ਕੋਰ ਟਿਵਾਣਾ)

ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਵਿਕਾਸ ਕਮੇਟੀ ਦੀ ਮੀਟਿੰਗ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ ਦੇ ਕਾਰਜਾਂ ਲਈ ਆਈਆਂ ਗ੍ਰਾਂਟਾਂ ਦੀ ਸੁਚੱਜੀ ਵਰਤੋਂ ਯਕੀਨੀ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਦੀ ਹਦਾਇਤ ਕਰਦਿਆਂ ਡਿਪਟੀ ਕਮਿਸ਼ਨਰ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਰੁਣ ਸੇਖੜੀ ਨੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਫ਼ਤਹਿਗੜ੍ਹ ਸਾਹਿਬ ਦੇ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥਣਾਂ ਦੇ ਪਖ਼ਾਨਿਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਨਵਿਆਉਣ ਅਤੇ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਮੁਰੰਮਤ ਲਈ ਚਲ ਰਹੇ ਕੰਮਾਂ 'ਤੇ ਹੁਣ ਤੱਕ 1 ਕਰੋੜ 17 ਲੱਖ 6 ਹਜ਼ਾਰ 36 ਰੁਪਏ ਖ਼ਰਚੇ ਜਾ ਚੁੱਕੇ ਹਨ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ 81 ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚ ਪਖ਼ਾਨਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਮੁਰੰਮਤ ਅਤੇ ਇਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਨਵਿਆਉਣ ਦੇ ਕੰਮ ਚਲ ਰਹੇ ਹਨ।

ਸ੍ਰੀ ਸੇਖੜੀ ਨੇ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਇਸ ਤੋਂ ਇਲਾਵਾ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ 3223 ਮੀਟਰ ਚਾਰਦੀਵਾਰੀਆਂ ਬਣਾਉਣ 'ਤੇ 1 ਕਰੋੜ 11 ਲੱਖ 21 ਹਜ਼ਾਰ 150 ਰੁਪਏ ਖ਼ਰਚ ਕੀਤੇ ਗਏ ਹਨ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਇਸੇ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ 2 ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚ ਵਾਧੂ ਕਲਾਸ ਰੂਮ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਲਈ 8 ਲੱਖ 49 ਹਜ਼ਾਰ 621 ਰੁਪਏ ਖ਼ਰਚੇ ਗਏ ਹਨ। ਡਿਪਟੀ ਕਮਿਸ਼ਨਰ ਨੇ ਸਮੂਹ ਐਸ.ਡੀ.ਐਮਜ਼. ਅਤੇ ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਅਫ਼ਸਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਹਦਾਇਤ ਕੀਤੀ ਕਿ ਮਿਡ ਡੇ ਮੀਲ ਦੀ ਨਿਰੰਤਰ ਚੈਕਿੰਗ ਯਕੀਨੀ ਬਣਾਈ ਜਾਵੇ ਅਤੇ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ ਦੇ ਨਿਰੰਤਰ ਦੌਰੇ ਕੀਤੇ ਜਾਣ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਇਹ ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਸਿਹਤ ਨਾਲ ਜੁੜਿਆ ਮਸਲਾ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਇਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਕੋਈ ਕੁਤਾਹੀ ਬਰਦਾਸ਼ਤ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾਵੇਗੀ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨਾਲ ਹੀ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹੇ ਦੇ 683 ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚ ਮਿਡ ਡੇ ਮੀਲ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਵਾਲੇ 1163 ਕੁੱਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਅਪ੍ਰੈਲ ਤੋਂ ਜੂਨ ਮਹੀਨੇ ਤੱਕ ਦੇ 27 ਲੱਖ 91 ਹਜ਼ਾਰ 200 ਰੁਪਏ ਮਿਹਨਤਾਨੇ ਦੀ ਅਦਾਇਗੀ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤੀ ਗਈ ਹੈ। ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚ ਮਿਡ ਡੇ ਮੀਲ ਦੇ ਸਿ¦ਡਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਚੋਰੀ ਦਾ ਨੋਟਿਸ ਲੈਂਦਿਆਂ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਹਦਾਇਤ ਕੀਤੀ ਕਿ ਉਹ ਯਕੀਨੀ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਕਿ ਅਜਿਹੇ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚ ਖਾਣਾ ਬਣਾਉਣ ਵਿੱਚ ਰੁਕਾਵਟ ਨਹੀਂ ਆਉਣੀ ਚਾਹੀਦੀ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਹਾਊਸ ਦੇ ਮੈਂਬਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਵੀ ਅਪੀਲ ਕੀਤੀ ਕਿ ਉਹ ਪ੍ਰਸ਼ਾਸਨਕ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀਆਂ ਤੋਂ ਇਲਾਵਾ ਖ਼ੁਦ ਵੀ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚ ਜਾ ਕੇ ਮਿਡ ਡੇ ਮੀਲ ਚੈਕ ਕਰਨ ਅਤੇ ਉਥੇ ਲੱਗੀ ਵਿਜ਼ੀਟਰ ਬੁਕ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪਣੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਦਰਜ ਕਰਾਉਣ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਮਿਡ ਡੇ ਮੀਲ ਸਕੀਮ ਤਹਿਤ ਜੁਲਾਈ ਮਹੀਨੇ ਤੱਕ ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹੇ ਦੇ 40 ਫ਼ੀਸਦੀ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਮੈਡੀਕਲ ਨਿਰੀਖਣ ਕੀਤਾ ਜਾ ਚੁੱਕਾ ਹੈ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨਿਰਦੇਸ਼ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਕਿ ਮੈਡੀਕਲ ਅਫ਼ਸਰਾਂ/ਡਾਕਟਰਾਂ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਸਾਲ ਵਿੱਚ ਦੋ ਵਾਰ ਮੈਡੀਕਲ ਨਿਰੀਖਣ ਯਕੀਨੀ ਬਣਾਇਆ ਜਾਵੇ ਅਤੇ ਇਸ ਵਿੱਚ ਕੋਈ ਕੁਤਾਹੀ ਨਾ ਵਰਤੀ ਜਾਵੇ।

ਸ੍ਰੀ ਸੇਖੜੀ ਨੇ ਉਚੇਚੇ ਤੌਰ 'ਤੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚ ਪਾਣੀ ਦੇ ਨਮੂਨੇ ਚੈਕ ਕਰਵਾਏ ਜਾਣ ਅਤੇ ਆਲੇ-ਦੁਆਲੇ ਖੜੇ ਗੰਦੇ ਪਾਣੀ 'ਤੇ ਡੀ.ਡੀ.ਟੀ. ਦੀ ਸਪਰੇਅ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾਵੇ ਤਾਂ ਜੋ ਮੱਛਰ-ਮੱਖੀ ਨਾ ਫੈਲ ਸਕੇ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ ਦੀਆਂ ਟੈਂਕੀਆਂ ਸਾਫ਼ ਕਰਵਾਈਆਂ ਜਾਣ ਅਤੇ ਟੈਂਕੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਢੱਕੀਆਂ ਹੋਣਾ ਯਕੀਨੀ ਬਣਾਇਆ ਜਾਵੇ। ਡਿਪਟੀ ਕਮਿਸ਼ਨਰ ਨੇ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀਆਂ ਤੋਂ ਅਗਲੀ ਮੀਟਿੰਗ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਮਿਲੇ ਕੰਪਿਊਟਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਗਿਣਤੀ, ਚਾਲੂ ਹਾਲਤ ਅਤੇ ਨਕਾਰਾ ਕੰਪਿਊਟਰਾਂ ਦੀ ਵਿਸਥਾਰਤ ਰਿਪੋਰਟ ਮੰਗੀ।

ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਹਦਾਇਤ ਕੀਤੀ ਕਿ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚ ਪਾਰਦਰਸ਼ਤਾ ਲਿਆਉਣ ਲਈ ਸ਼ੁਰੂ ਕੀਤੇ ਵੈਬ ਪੋਰਟਲ ਾ.ੲਪੁਨਜੳਬਸਚਹੋਲਸ.ਗੋਵ.ਨਿ 'ਤੇ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਪ੍ਰਾਇਮਰੀ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ ਦੇ ਸਮੂਹ ਸਟਾਫ਼ ਅਤੇ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ 31 ਅਕਤੂਬਰ ਤੱਕ ਹਰ ਹੀਲੇ ਅਪਲੋਡ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾਵੇ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਹੁਣ ਤੱਕ 464 ਪ੍ਰਾਇਮਰੀ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚੋਂ 442 ਸਕੂਲਾਂ ਦਾ ਡਾਟਾ ਅਪਲੋਡ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਪ੍ਰੀਸ਼ਦ ਅਧੀਨ ਬਾਕੀ ਰਹਿੰਦੇ 22 ਸਕੂਲਾਂ ਦਾ ਡਾਟਾ ਅਕਤੂਬਰ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ-ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਦਰਜ ਕਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਜਾਵੇਗਾ।

ਸ੍ਰੀ ਸੇਖੜੀ ਨੇ ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹੇ 'ਚ ਇੱਕ ਹੋਰ ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼ ਸਿਖਲਾਈ ਕੇਂਦਰ (ਐਸ.ਟੀ.ਆਰ.) ਖੋਲ੍ਹਣ ਲਈ ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਐਸ.ਡੀ.ਐਮ. ਨਾਲ ਖ਼ੁਦ ਜਾ ਕੇ ਥਾਂ ਦੀ ਨਿਸ਼ਾਨਦੇਹੀ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਕਿਹਾ। ਡਿਪਟੀ ਕਮਿਸ਼ਨਰ ਨੇ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਨਿਰਦੇਸ਼ ਦਿੱਤੇ ਕਿ ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹੇ ਦੇ ਮਾਨਤਾ ਨਾ ਲੈਣ ਕਾਰਨ ਬੰਦ ਹੋ ਚੁੱਕੇ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ ਦੇ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀਆਂ ਦੇ ਹੋਰਨਾਂ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚ ਦਾਖ਼ਲੇ ਯਕੀਨੀ ਬਣਾਏ ਜਾਣ ਅਤੇ ਇਸ ਦੀ ਰਿਪੋਰਟ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਦਫ਼ਤਰ ਨੂੰ ਭੇਜੀ ਜਾਵੇ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਕੁਆਲਿਟੀ ਐਜੂਕੇਸ਼ਨ ਪ੍ਰੋਗਰਾਮ ਤਹਿਤ ਜਿਥੇ ਮੈਥ, ਇੰਗਲਿਸ਼ ਅਤੇ ਸਮਾਜਕ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਦਾ ਕੰਮ ਹੋਰ ਤੇਜ਼ ਕਰਨ ਲਈ ਕਿਹਾ, ਉਥੇ ਸਾਇੰਸ ਵਿਸ਼ੇ ਨਾਲ ਸਬੰਧਤ ਪ੍ਰੋਗਰਾਮ ਉਲੀਕਣ ਲਈ ਵੀ ਕਿਹਾ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੱਸਿਆ ਕਿ ਸਕੂਲਾਂ 'ਚ ਹਰੇਕ ਵਿਦਿਆਰਥੀ ਤੋਂ ਇੱਕ ਰੁੱਖ ਲੁਆਉਣ ਦੀ ਮੁਹਿੰਮ ਤਹਿਤ ਹੁਣ ਤੱਕ 8,000 ਰੁੱਖ ਲਾਏ ਜਾ ਚੁੱਕੇ ਹਨ।

ਇਸ ਮੌਕੇ ਐਸ.ਡੀ.ਐਮ. ਅਮਲੋਹ ਮਿਸ ਰਾਜਦੀਪ ਕੌਰ, ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਖ਼ੁਰਾਕ ਤੇ ਸਪਲਾਈ ਕੰਟਰੋਲਰ ਸ੍ਰੀਮਤੀ ਹਰਜੀਤ ਕੌਰ, ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਅਫ਼ਸਰ (ਸੈਕੰਡਰੀ) ਸ. ਹਰਵੇਲ ਸਿੰਘ, ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਅਫ਼ਸਰ (ਪ੍ਰਾਇਮਰੀ) ਸ੍ਰੀ ਨਵਤੇਜ ਇੰਦਰ ਕੁਮਾਰ, ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਅਫ਼ਸਰ (ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਪ੍ਰੀਸ਼ਦ) ਸ੍ਰੀ ਸੁਭਾਸ਼ ਮਹਾਜਨ, ਉਪ ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਅਫ਼ਸਰ (ਸੈਕੰਡਰੀ) ਸ੍ਰੀ ਪ੍ਰਵੀਨ ਕੁਮਾਰ ਉਪ ਜ਼ਿਲ੍ਹਾ ਸਿੱਖਿਆ ਅਫ਼ਸਰ (ਪ੍ਰਾਇਮਰੀ) ਸ. ਰਵਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ, ਫ਼ਾਦਰ ਜਸਟਿਨ, ਸਮਾਜ ਸੇਵੀ ਸ. ਕਰਮਜੀਤ ਸਿੰਘ, ਸ੍ਰੀ ਗੁਲਸ਼ਨ ਰਾਏ ਬੌਬੀ ਸਣੇ ਗ਼ੈਰ ਸਰਕਾਰੀ ਮੈਂਬਰ ਅਤੇ ਅਧਿਕਾਰੀ ਵੀ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਹੋਏ।
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A three-week summer school on "Machinery for Natural Resource Management and Technologies" sponsored by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), was inaugurated at the Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering (FMPE) of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The scientists/researchers from across the country, working in the ICAR/state agricultural universities/central agricultural universities, are attending the summer school, which will conclude on September 18, 2013.

In his address, the Chief Guest, Dr S.S. Gosal, Director of Research, said that the training will accelerate the collaborative development and application of farm innovations amongst the public research organizations, farmers, private sector and other stakeholders. He stated that the use of innovative technologies to produce food and fibre in farming systems are ecologically, economically and socially beneficial. Dr Gosal informed, "The PAU is carrying out various research projects in the area of natural resource management and in recommended technologies like laser leveler, leaf color chart, tensiometer and drip irrigation system for farmers' use. The leaf color chart and tensiometer, developed by the University, are very useful precision tools for saving precious inputs like water and nitrogen for the crops."

Dr PPS Lubana, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, expressed concern overwidespread land degradation, and ground water imbalances, thus, resulting in impaired soil health, contamination of food, and environmental pollution. The situation is getting further compounded with the recent climate change impacts on agriculture, he observed.

Dr J.S. Dhiman, Additional Director of Research, (Natural Resource and Plant Health Management), emphasized that sustainable management of natural resources is vital as agricultural development with positive growth and long term sustainability cannot thrive on a deteriorating natural resource base.

Welcoming the dignitaries and the participants, DrGursahib S. Manes, Senior Research Engineer and Head of FMPE, said that to have a holistic solution to the emerging agri-problems, there is a need to set future priority research on precision farming, climate resilient agriculture, conservation agriculture and development of decision support systems for micro level land use planning.

Dr Manjeet Singh, Director of Summer School, said that interactive discussions on theoretical concepts, and hands-on exercises on tools and techniques will be organized for better comprehension and application in the area of machinery for natural resource management. Participants will also be acquainted with conservation farming, precision farming concepts, in addition to receiving hands-on experience through demonstrations on farm machinery, he added.

Dr CJS Pannu, Senior Research Engineer and former Coordinator of Research (Engineering), proposed the vote of thanks.

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Van Mahotsava Day Celebration in MLU DAV College, Phagwara

Phagwara August (Ashok Sharma,Lubhaya)

Mohan Lal Uppal DAV College, Phagwara celebrated Van Mahotsava in College Campus with the help of Environment Association of Phagwara. The purpose of this celebration was to preserve the environment and make the environment green and pollution free and it help to create an enthusiasm in the mind of the people for the conservation of forests and planting of trees and it would create tree consciousness among the people. Chief Guest Sh. Daljeet Singh Mangat, Deputy Commissioner of Kapurthala emphasized on the preservation of the environment by growing more and more plants. Sh. Prem Mittal MLA Mansa, Chairman Local Bodies Punjab and Sh.Balwinder Singh Bains, MLA, Ludhiana were also present on the occasion and The chief guest also explained the main purpose for planting the trees during Van Mahotsava was to: Provide fuel and thus release cow dung for use as manure. Increase production of fruits and add to the potential food resources of the country. Additional Deputy Commissioner Sh. S.K. Singla, SDM S. Parvinder Pal Singh also initiated on to grow more and more plants as it helps creation of shelter-belts around agricultural fields to increase their productivity. Provide fodder leaves for cattle to relieve intensity of grazing over reserved forests. Provide shade and ornamental trees for the landscape. Mrs. Suman Tandon Offg. Principal welcomed the guests and urged the people to plant more and more trees to face the problem of Global Warming. She also highlighted the achievements of the college. Madam Suman Tandon and Sh. Vikas Uppal presented a Momento to the Chief Guests. On this celebration, Additional Deputy Commissioner Sh. S.K. Singla, SDM S. Parvinder Pal Singh, Sh. Vikas Uppal, Sh. Tara Chand Chumber, Sh. S.N. Chopra, Sh. Surinder Varmani, Sh. O.P. Gupta, Sh. Gurmeet Palahi, Sh. Om Uppal, Sh. Tarsem Lal Batra, Sh. T.D. Chawla, Sh. Hari Pal Singh, Dr. Raman, Sh. K.K. Sardana, Sh. Malkeet Singh Ragbotra were also present. Mrs. Suman Tandon, Offg. Principal thanked all the guests. The college staff members and students of the college planted trees to provide better abode for the coming generations. The celebration was well organized with the help of Prof. Kuldeep Singh(NSS Incharge), NSS Volunteers and worthy staff members of the college .


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Asaram Bapu case: Narendra Modi asks saints to keep good conduct

Friday, Aug 30, 2013, (7STAR NEWS) | Place: New Delhi |

Launching an indirect attack on self-styled godman Asaram Bapu accused of sexually assaulting a schoolgirl, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said it is a big blot on society if saints indulge in such indecent attacks.

"If saints will indulge in such things then it is a big mark on society," he said, while speaking at an event here.

Asaram Bapu has said the allegations of sexual assault are a political conspiracy crafted by Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

"I don\'t want to oppose any party, but I\'ve been told that all of this has been orchestrated by Madam and her son (Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi). So, I said, let them do whatever they are doing," Asaram Bapu told media yesterday.

In an immediate u-turn, when asked, by a reporter, if he was directly accusing Sonia Gandhi of playing a part in leveling the accusations, the self-styled godman said: \"No, I don\'t accuse anyone. I am just saying what I heard, since you (the mediapersons) asked me the question.

According to sources, Rajasthan Police is unlikely to give more time to spiritual guru Asaram Bapu to appear for questioning in connection with a sexual assault case filed against him by a 16-year-old girl.

The girl has made a complaint at a police station in the national capital on August 20, accusing Asaram Bapu of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur.

Asaram Bapu\'s son has defended his father in the sexual assault case, and has called the victim \'mentally unstable\'.

Earlier, the victim had said in her statement to the police that she was threatened by Asaram Bapu to remain silent about the incident.

Asaram Bapu has been booked under Sections 376, 342, 506 and 509 of the IPC, Section 8 of the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) and Sections 23 and 26 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

Besides the summons served on Asaram Bapu, notices have also been issued to the manager of Chhindwara gurukul in Madhya Pradesh, hostel warden and the main caretaker of Asaram, who was present at Manai ashram in Jodhpur with him on August 15, when the alleged sexual assault took place there.

The 16-year-old girl, who has accused Asaram Bapu of sexually assaulting her at his ashram in Jodhpur, hails from Uttar Pradesh.

The self-styled godman is likely to be arrested by a team on August 31, if he does not appear before the Jodhpur Police today.
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India\'s economic growth slumps to 4.4%, fiscal deficit bites

Saturday, Aug 31, 2013, (7STAR NEWS)| Place: Mumbai |India's economic growth fell to a four-year low of 4.4% in the quarter ended June as manufacturing and mining activity shrunk, data showed on Friday.

The gross domestic product (GDP) was up 5.4% in the same period last fiscal and 4.8% during the last quarter.

To make matters worse, fiscal deficit for the April-July period came in at Rs 3.4 lakh crore, or 62.8% of the target set out by the government for the full year. The net tax receipts for the period stood at Rs 1.45 lakh crore and the total expenditure at Rs 5.21 lakh crore.

Slowdown in consumption threw a nasty surprise on an economy already suffering because of a dull investment climate, though government spending saved the day. Without this, first-quarter GDP growth would have been lower at 4%.

Growth of the manufacturing and mining industries fell by 1.2% and 2.8%, respectively.

However, there was an increase of 9.4% in the community, social & personal segment. Financing, insurance, real estate & business services were up 8.9% compared with the same quarter last fiscal.

"Government spending was a significant driver of growth as private consumption growth weakened further to 1.6% and investments fell by 1.2% compared to a year ago amidst lack of policy reforms, procedural delays and persistent supply-side bottlenecks," said economists Dharmakirti Joshi and Neha Duggar Saraf at Crisil.

Services industry showed a growth of 6.6% and agriculture sector activity rose 2.7% during the first quarter.

Though macroeconomic conditions suggested a lower GDP growth print compared with last year, it was not expected to be this dismal.

CRISIL pointed out that India's economic recovery seems to be following a L-shaped trajectory in line with the sharp V-shaped one post Lehman crisis.

But going forward, recovery may be slower than expected, said Anis Chakravarty, senior director at Deloitte, India. Quarterly GDP is unlikely to look up unless structural deficiencies in the industrial sector are addressed, he said.

"We believe that the outlook for growth is likely to continue to remain challenging through current financial year, particularly in light of the liquidity tightening measures taken by the RBI to contain exchange rate volatility and absence of meaningful impetus to growth," said Bhupali Gursale, economist, Angel Broking.

Economists at Religare Securities concurred. "Our 4.5% overall GDP growth estimate for current financial year faces significant downside, unless things improve meaningfully on the rupee and global front," Tirthankar Patnaik, Prerna Singhvi and Saloni Agarwal said in a note on Friday.
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Russia Running Out of Cards on Syria

(7STAR NEWS):-MOSCOW—The Kremlin said Friday it is still trying to prevent a Western military strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but Moscow appears to be running out of cards to play to protect its longtime ally.

From the start, the Kremlin has ruled out direct military intervention, not wanting to risk a broader confrontation with the West. Moscow has supplied weapons and financial backing, but not enough to turn the tide in the fighting. Regular Russian vetoes of United Nations Security Council resolutions that would have raised the pressure on the Assad government have led the U.S. and its allies to seek sanction for possible military action elsewhere, sidelining Russia.

President Obama feels compelled to send Syria\'s President Assad a message over his alleged use of chemical weapons, says WSJ\'s Adam Entous. But any military action risks sucking the U.S. deeper into the country\'s civil war -- an outcome Washington wants to avoid.

\"It\'s a rather humiliating position now,\" said Alexei Malashenko, an analyst at the Moscow Carnegie Center think tank.

He and other observers see little chance of major Russian retaliation to a military strike on Syria beyond angry rhetoric and further stonewalling in the Security Council. Major new arms or financial assistance to Damascus would further poison relations with the West and risk greater escalation in Syria.

Diplomats and analysts said the Kremlin appears not to have shipped advanced S-300 air-defense systems to Syria, weapons that could help the Assad regime shoot down western or Israeli planes, potentially shifting the balance of power in the region. Such weapons would invite pre-emptive attack by Israel, potentially threatening Russian personnel on the ground.

\"Everything Russia wanted to ship to Syria, it has,\" said Ruslan Pukhov, director of CAST, a Moscow military-analysis center. \"We can\'t do anything more.\"

Military officials said this week that the Russian Navy is dispatching several ships to the Eastern Mediterranean. But analysts said the small Russian force, dwarfed by the U.S. naval presence there, is mainly symbolic. Militarily, the most it is likely to do is provide security in the event Russia evacuates the small resupply base it maintains in the Syrian port of Tartous, analysts said.

Any major moves to pull Russian personnel or equipment out of Syria could also have the unintended effect of undermining the Assad regime by suggesting that Moscow was losing confidence that it could hold on.

Western diplomats who in recent days have been quietly sounding out their Russian counterparts on Moscow\'s likely response to a strike say the initial indications are that Russia\'s actual reaction—thought probably not its rhetoric—is likely to be measured.

At a Kremlin briefing Friday, Yuri Ushakov, top foreign-policy aide to President Vladimir Putin, wouldn\'t be drawn into a discussion of possible Russian reactions to a western strike. \"For the moment, Russia is working actively to avoid any kind of scenario involving force,\" he said. Mr. Putin made that case Thursday in a phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He said Thursday\'s vote the U.K. Parliament against military action was a sign of growing skepticism in the West with calls to punish the Assad regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons against its own citizens on Aug. 21.

\"It seems to me that people are starting to understand how dangerous these scenarios are, especially without sanction,\" he said, referring to proposals to use military force without U.N. backing.

Russian officials argue that they aren\'t seeking to preserve the Assad regime but oppose the principle of intervention without U.N. sanction.

\"We don\'t want the situation to become one where a single state or group of states charges, convicts and imposes their own sentence,\" Mr. Ushakov said. \"This kind of action bypassing the U.N. Security Council, if it takes place, would do enormous harm to the world system.\"

He also reiterated that the Kremlin remains unconvinced by U.S. allegations that the Assad regime was behind the use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21. \"The Americans haven\'t given us their intelligence data. We don\'t believe it,\" he said.

Moscow fears that weakening the Assad regime will strengthen Islamist extremists in the region, spreading instability and terrorism outside Syria\'s borders. Russian officials argue that U.S. claims of humanitarian motives are just a cover for efforts to remove an unfriendly regime in Damascus.

Vladimir Chizhov, Russia\'s ambassador to the European Union, said Friday in an interview with the Interfax news agency that the parallels to U.S. intervention in Yugoslavia and Iraq—both of which Russia vehemently opposed as aimed at regime change—were unmistakable. \"It\'s hard to avoid the feeling that history is repeating itself again,\" he said.

Tensions over Syria are likely to figure high in next week\'s summit of Group of 20 leaders in St. Petersburg. Mr. Ushakov said the issue isn\'t on the official agenda but is likely to come up in discussions.
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Delhi gang-rape case: verdict likely today on alleged role of juvenile

August 31, 2013 (7STAR NEWS)New Delhi: The first verdict in the gang-rape of a student on a moving bus in Delhi in December is expected to be delivered today by a juvenile court.

The fatal attack on the 23-year-old physiotherapy intern provoked national outrage and impelled an overhaul of archaic laws to punish sexual crimes against women.

Six men were arrested for assaulting the student and her boyfriend with an iron rod. One of them was 17 at the time of the attack. The charges against him include murder and rape, and he faces a maximum sentence of three years at a reform centre. He has said he is not guilty.

The inquiry against him was completed on August 5 but the ruling was deferred repeatedly because of a Supreme Court case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy which seeks to change the legal definition of a juvenile.

Recently, the Supreme Court said the juvenile court is free to share its judgement on both the gang-rape and the charge that the defendant robbed a carpenter who boarded the same bus on the night of December 16 last year, and was thrown out before the student and her boyfriend were assaulted. (Supreme Court clears decks for verdict on juvenile in Delhi gang-rape case)

The family of the young woman who was assaulted has said they want all the accused, including the juvenile, to be hanged.

Of the five other men who were arrested, one committed suicide in jail in March. The other four are being tried by a special fast-track court and could get the death sentence if convicted.

The verdict on them is expected in mid-September. (Delhi gang-rape case verdict likely in mid-September)

The young woman and her boyfriend had finished watching a movie at a popular south Delhi mall when they were allegedly tricked into boarding an off-duty bus. The police say the men on board then raped and brutalised the woman and savagely beat the man before dumping them naked on the roadside. The woman died from her injuries two weeks later in a Singapore hospital.
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Rs1 lakh \'eidi\' to wife gave away Yasin Bhatkal\'s Nepal hideou

Friday, Aug 30, 2013, Place: New Delhi(7STAR NEWS);-

Sending Rs1 lakh home as an \'eidi\' (gift) to his wife before the Eid festival early this month perhaps proved to be Yasin Bhatkal\'s undoing and gave away the Nepal hideout of one of India\'s most wanted terrorists.

This transfer of money, which was done through normal banking channels, alerted sleuths of Intelligence Bureau(IB) whose suspicions were aroused on the possible plans by Bhatkal to enter India to indulge in some terror attack or flee from Nepal\'s Pokhra area.

Increased surveillance led to the arrest of 30-year-old co-founder of Indian Mujahideen(IM) at Indo-Nepal border at 5.30 AM yesterday bringing to an end a successful operation of the IB which developed a vast human network spanning from Delhi to Bihar and Nepal to nab the man wanted in two dozen blast cases.

Known as a ghost bomber, Yasin, who managed to give the slip to police after the terror attacks in which he was involved, told his interrogators during preliminary questioning that the money sent to his wife in India was meant for expenses for Eid festivities on August 9. The actual identity of Yasin, who is branded as the face of modern day terrorism, is Mohammed Ahmed Zarar Siddibaba.

Yasin, who also had another alias of \"Shahrukh\", told interrogators that he had visited Dubai in 2004 where he worked at a sports shop before leaving for Karachi, official sources said.

He later went to Los Alamos in the New Mexico of the US before returning to India, the sources said.

Tracing his terror career, the sources said that he had allegedly supplied explosive material to suspected IM bomb planters in the 2008 Delhi and Ahmedabad blasts.

Information about the whereabout of Yasin between 2006, the year of Mumbai serial train blasts for which he was allegedly responsible, and 2008 were not available but security agencies suspect he could have flown out of the country to avoid arrests.

Now in 12-day custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Yasin had been earlier arrested by Kolkata police in 2009 in connection with a case pertaining to Fake Indian Currency Notes. The sources said he managed to come out on bail.

Wanted in 2008 Ahmedabad and Delhi blasts, German Bakery blasts (2010), Chinnaswamy Stadium and triple blasts at Mumbai in 2011 and in Dadar Kabutarkhana bomb blasts, Yasin\'s questioning may throw more light on 2010 Jamia Masjid blast ahead of Commonwealth games and Cyberabad blasts. Scores of people have lost their lives in the bomb blasts in which Bhatkal was allegedly involved.

A combined team of intelligence agencies was questioning Yasin in the national capital.
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Angry PM hits back, blames Oppn as economy slumps

New Delhi, August 30, 2013(7STAR NEWS):-An uncharacteristically combative Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday put the blame squarely on the Opposition for stalling key legislation and vowed more steps to turn around an economy that fresh data showed wilted further in the first quarter.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks in Parliament

The octogenarian architect of India's first round of economic reforms in 1991 has a reputation for reticence, but spared no punches on Friday, reminding the BJP in the Rajya Sabha of its responsibility towards orderly conduct in Parliament.

"The principal opposition party has never reconciled to the fact that it was voted out of power nine years back," said a stern-faced PM. "If you are worried about the investors' confidence, conduct of parliament is an important factor."

Growth crashes to 4-year low of 4.4% in Q1

Manmohan stands up for his honour, place in history

Rupee's fall a worry, but reforms won't be reversed: PM

Read: Growth crashes to 4-year low of 4.4% in Q1

Over the past three years, the Opposition has consistently disrupted the working of the House to protest a host of corruption scandals.

Initially the Opposition was taken aback by Singh's frontal attack but recovered to interrupt repeatedly, at one point taunting him about files pertaining to the Coalgate scam that have gone missing from the coal ministry.

"I am not a custodian of files of the ministry," an angry PM retorted.

The situation got so fraught that deputy chairman PJ Kurien expunged from the proceedings some words used by Singh while responding to personal attacks made on him, and sharp references from Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Arun Jaitley to the alleged cash-for-vote scandal of 2008 involving the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

Later, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj tweeted: \"The rupee has lost value, and today the PM has lost grace.\"

Video: RBI and govt have taken numerous steps to stabilise the rupee: PM

Singh called for a wider political consensus on economic issues to spur the economic growth that slowed to 4.4% in April-June this year, the lowest rate since Jan-March 2009.

\"Clearly we need to reduce our appetite for gold, economise in the use of petroleum products and take steps to increase our exports,\" he said, a prescription for closing India\'s current account deficit (CAD)-the gap between dollar inflows and outflows-that hit a record high of 4.8% of GDP in 2012-13.

Video: Big current account deficit hit rupee: PM

But he gave no specifics and hinted that a transition to a more stable economic state could be painful. \"There may be short term shocks to our economy and we need to face them. That is the reality of a globalised economy, whose benefits we have reaped in the last 15 to 20 years,\" he said.

Singh also suggested rollback of subsidies to control the fiscal deficit, pushed for insurance and pension reforms to attract foreign capital and offered the hope that a good monsoon would ease food inflation.
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Pakistan bans mobile phone packages on ‘moral grounds’

LAHORE/KARACHI, August 30, 2013(7STARNEWS)Pakistan's telecom regulator has directed all companies to discontinue voice and text chat packages to stop youth from indulging in activities "contrary to the moral values of society."

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) acted after the federal government received complaints from lawmakers and hardline groups about mobile phone packages that allow users to make cheap calls late at night.

In a communication, PTA told cellular companies that the packages should be stopped forthwith as they are "contrary to the moral values of our society."

"Stop all kinds of chat packages (voice and SMS) irrespective of 'time of the day' and submit compliance by September 2 positively," said the directive signed by PTA Director General Muhammad Talib Dogar.

A PTA official said: "We had sent the telecom companies a letter in November 2012 to comply with our directions but they have still not complied and are offering these packages."

Leaders of hardline groups and parliamentarians from religious parties and the ruling PML-N had demanded that the government should ban such mobile phone packages as young boys and girls were using them to indulge in "immoral" activities.

Speaking in the Punjab Assembly recently, PML-N legislator Sheikh Allauddin said: "Boys and girls talk the whole night on mobile phones and these packages are destroying the moral character of our youth."

The packages also came under fire in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament, with some lawmakers claiming they were against the moral values of Pakistani society.

On the other hand, cellular companies such as Mobilink, Ufone, Zong, Telenor and Warid have reacted strongly to the PTA's directive and said the ban on packages provided during the day is beyond their comprehension.

A large number of people are availing of packages that allow them to call a selected number of friends and relatives at lower rates, officials of the mobile companies said.

"One wonders how these are contrary to the moral values of our society. On the demand of extremists, night and day mobile packages are banned. YouTube is already banned," said an official of a cellular company who did not want to be named.

"These extremists may demand a ban on Facebook and social media as well, as these are also considered by many in our society as instrumental to spreading obscenity," he said.

Pakistan's telecom industry is one of the most profitable in the world. In the past five years, the country has witnessed a boom in the cellular industry with the number of mobile phone users increasing dramatically.

A senior official of a telecom company said the PTA's decision is likely to further strain an industry already burdened with heavy taxation.
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Govt. raises import tariff value of gold

NEW DELHI, August 30, 2013(7STARNEWS)The government on Friday raised the import tariff value of gold to $461 per ten grams and of silver to $803 per kg as prices of the precious metals touched all-time high this week.

Tariff value -- the base price on which the customs duty is determined to prevent under-invoicing -- of gold and silver stood at $432 per 10 grams and $697 per kg, respectively earlier.

The notification, issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs, has come two days after when gold prices has touched the new peak of Rs 34,500 per 10 grams in the national capital. The prices of yellow metal has increased by 9 per cent so far in the month of August.

Prices of gold on Friday fell and closed at Rs 31,700 per 10 grams and silver at Rs 54,000 per kg in the national capital.
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Crude bomb blast in Kolkata\'s Chandni Chowk area

Kolkata: Panic spread in the busy Chandni Chowk commercial hub of central Kolkata on Friday afternoon following a low intensity explosion from a crude bomb. The bomb squad personnel from the Lalbazar city police headquarters rushed to the spot with sniffer dogs and recovered a second crude bomb from the spot.

Police said there were no injuries or casualties. They said that a box, which was lying near the crossing of Central Avenue and Madan street, suddenly exploded in the busy area, where people were on way to their offices.

\"Fortunately, there is no casualty or injury in the incident. An investigation is on,\" the police said. \"Preliminary investigation reveals that the incident was not a serious one. Normalcy has been restored in the entire area,\" the police said.
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UK Syria vote leaves US asking \'what\'s so special?\'

(7STAR NEWS):-The vote of British MPs against military intervention in Syria is likely to send shock waves through the Obama administration. Britain has tended to march in lockstep with the US and this rejection of President Barack Obama\'s argument will leave bruises.

Before the vote the administration was fairly sanguine about David Cameron\'s difficulties and the delay in the UK joining any action.

It may be a different story now that it is clear Britain, so often cast as America\'s poodle, won\'t take part at all.

A senior administration official has told the BBC that they will continue to consult with the UK government, whom they call \"one of our closest allies and friends\".

But the official adds: \"President Obama\'s decision-making will be guided by what is in the best interests of the US. He believes that there are core interests at stake for the US and that countries who violate international norms regarding chemical weapons need to be held accountable.\"

In other words, America could go it alone.

But that is uncomfortable. There is no question that it has the military might, though that is hardly the point.

Mr Obama has always made a point of seeking the widest possible international support.

To be abandoned by such a close ally leaves him looking particularly exposed.

My guess is that there will be renewed emphasis on the role of the French, the Turks and perhaps others. It will strengthen the hand of those in Congress who argue they should have their own vote.

It undermines the effort of the president to sell action to his own people, who seem to be deeply unimpressed by his arguments so far (the last opinion poll I saw had just 9% backing intervention).

I imagine there will be a lot of apologetic British officials in Washington trying to reassure their American counterparts that this is a one-off and won\'t affect the special relationship.

But that relationship is only to an extent about culture and history and language - it is about the military and intelligence relationship above all.

If Britain can\'t deliver, it will leave some in the US asking \"what\'s so special?\"
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Egypt\'s Islamist opposition calls for mass demonstrations

August 30, 2013(7STAR NEWS)Cairo: Egypt\'s Islamist opposition has called for mass demonstrations today against the military-backed regime, saying its peaceful campaign will continue until its demand to reinstate deposed President Mohammed Morsi is met.

The National Alliance in Support of Legitimacy also warned of more sit-ins in the coming few days, weeks after security forces violently dispersed two pro-Morsi protest sites in the Egyptian capital, killing hundreds of protesters.

The alliance said in a statement released yesterday that massacres against peaceful protesters, such as those that took place at sit-ins at Rabea al-Adawiyah and Al-Nahda Square that resulted in the deaths of hundreds, will not deter the group.

The Muslim Brotherhood-linked organisation called on Egyptians to recover their \"stolen revolution\" and to \"restore their freedom.\"

The Brotherhood has been attempting to amass its followers despite the sensed communication difficulties between its cadres after the security arrests.

Meanwhile, leading Brotherhood figure Muhammed al-Beltagy has been arrested ahead of the protests.

Privately-owned papers reported that the Brotherhood is attempting to take over public buildings in Upper Egypt.

On the eve of the planned protests, the only Brotherhood figure who has not been arrested yet, deputy leader of the Freedom and Justice Party Essam al-Irian, addressed the Egyptian people through Qatari TV station Al-Jazeera.

\"Great people of Egypt, you proved that you are capable of leading the march of revolution by yourselves without affiliation to any party, organization, or group,\" he said.

\"I salute the steadfastness of this great people, their resolution, and their continuation for over two weeks to stage rallies in villages, towns and all governorates... They will never allow this regime after Mubarak\'s release and the return of its regime in media, economy, and politics in an attempt to get hold of the future of the nation once again,\" he said.

\"The civil disobedience that started, the persisting revolution, and the peaceful protests that moved from the Rabea and Al-Nahdah squares to Egypt\'s squares, streets, villages, and governorates, these peaceful and civil protests staged by men, women, and children, can achieve our hope in a free, honourable, and stable life,\" he added.
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Education adds value to actor\'s performance: Big B

Mumbai, Aug 30 (7star news):-Megastar Amitabh Bachchan feels education and general knowledge help an actor in his performance.

\"If I have to study a character which I am playing and requires a great deal of understanding, knowledge and reading then yes a certain amount of general knowledge and education works,\" Bachchan said in an interview here.

Bachchan also seems surprised with the scripting done in Roman Hindi in today\'s time.
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FUN! Shah Rukh Khan Is A Kid Again!

August 30, 2013(7star news):-MUMBAI: Besides being the biggest star of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan has always shown an interest in different fields. He owns the team Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and recently spoke about wanting to own a team in the football league similar to the IPL too. And now, Shah Rukh Khan has bought a stake in Kidzania – a family-based fun and education company for kids.

The actor was present at the launch on Thursday.

Kidzania in Mumbai will be its 14th location in 14 years. Shah Rukh Khan had come across one when he had visited one with his entire family in Dubai on a holiday. Sincet hen, he always wanted to bring one to India. Now if Shah Rukh Khan wants something, how can anyone say no?

The fun-cum-education center has a life-sized city inbuilt for kids aged from 4-14 with roleplay of various occupations so that the kids can learn various skills and talents.

Shah Rukh Khan, himself, dressed up as a firefighter and demonstrated one of the roleplay with a few other kids.

The actor, dressed in a blue suit, stood out among the other black suits.

After celebrating the success of 'Chennai Express', Shah Rukh Khan is gearing up to shoot Farah Khan's 'Happy New Year' in October.
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Live: PM Speaks On The State Of Economy

(7star news):-The passing of the Food Security Bill has sent out the signal that government is going with populism over prudence and at this moment elections will precede economy in priority

Good politics and good economics for long haven't been bed partners. In India we are trying to prove this incorrect. In an election year, the economy is on a nosedive, the policymakers (many of who are influenced by the centre) have no quick fix, and politically the current government wants to ensure they are in fifth gear with populist measures. The Food Bill at this stage is surely that.

If there is any reason why the rupee reverse rocketed from 65 to 69 today, it has to do with the Food Security Bill. The passing of this bill has sent out the signal that government is going with populism over prudence and that at this moment elections will precede economy in priority. The 1,24,000 cr bill is seen as one that will add more to our deficits, and is being considered a wrong move by investors in India at a time the nation should be worried about getting its house in order.
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Falling rupee poses challenges, opportunities for India: IMF

| Aug 30, 2013,(7STAR NEWS)

WASHINGTON: The unprecedented slide of rupees poses both challenges and opportunities for India, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

\"The current situation presents a challenge, obviously, to the government of India, but also an opportunity for the government to continue in its policy efforts on a variety of fronts,\" IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said on Thursday.

\"I wouldn\'t want to speculate on any support or program needs,\" he said when asked on the speculation about India coming to the IMF, possibly selling its gold reserves to the IMF to prop up its currency.

\"But maybe just stepping back on the situation in India, the combination of large fiscal and current account deficits, high and persistent inflation, sizable un hedged corporate foreign borrowing and reliance on portfolio inflows are longstanding vulnerabilities that have now been elevated as global liquidity conditions tighten, and this clearly has affected market confidence,\" Rice said in response to a question.

The US India Business Council (USIBC) president Ron Somers emphasised on taking steps to restore investors\' confidence.

\"Bold leadership that continues to open India\'s economy and which advances reforms will help staunch the rupees\' slide,\" Somers told PTI.

Lifting FDI caps in Insurance should be the highest priority, while resisting protectionist measures - such as forced manufacturing and backsliding on Intellectual Property protection - is crucial.

Demonstrating such leadership will go a long way towards restoring investor sentiment,\" Somers said.

Refraining to comment on the Food Security Bill, Somers said rather than discussing the merits or timing, it is now essential to welcome organised retail into the country such that MNCs may help achieve the Bill\'s efficient implementation and very purpose - to facilitate inclusive growth.

On the Land Acquisition Bill, he said, certainly, the existing law dating back to 1894 requires modernisation.

\"However, my hope is that the outcome does not discourage investment in the essential sector of infrastructure. Both investment and infrastructure are the need of the hour,\" Somers said.

Meanwhile writing for The New York Times, Simon Johnson, former IMF chief economist, said the rupee is able to depreciate without too much drama, and this by itself should, over time, help to reduce imports and increase exports.

Weakening confidence in the Indian economy has been compounded by some policy confusion in recent months, which has further encouraged domestic residents to move funds out of the country, Johnson said.

The former IMF economist said there is political pressure to keep the economy growing ahead of elections in early 2014.

\"So we should not expect fiscal policy to tighten. And if the Federal Reserve does indeed tighten monetary policy in the United States - currently referred to as \"tapering\" its purchase of bonds - that will tend to push up interest rates and is likely to attract more capital out of emerging markets,\" he said.

Johnson said when a country like India faces crisis, for domestic reasons but also perhaps because of what is happening in the United States, capital tends to flow out of that country and toward safe havens (like the United States).

According to The Wall Street Journal, the rupee\'s steep decline is fuelling inflation and posing a threat to public finances as the cost of oil, fertiliser and other critical imports in rupee terms rises.

Companies with foreign-currency debts also face mounting repayment costs.

A poll of 18 economists conducted in recent days by The Wall Street Journal found a median gross domestic product growth estimate of 4.6 per cent for the April-June quarter.

Forecasts ranged from 4 per cent to 4.9 per cent. \"Everything depends on whether the rupee stays at these levels or it bounces back,\" D K Joshi, chief economist at ratings and research firm Crisil, told the daily.

\"If it stays at these levels, it will lead to a lot of trouble from many directions,\" he said.
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Rupee fell on external factors, reduce hunger for gold: PM

(7STAR NEWS):-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday expressed concerns over the falling rupee and said external factors were responsible for it. \"What triggered the sharp depreciation in the rupee value are certain external forces. Global factors like tension in Syria and prospects of US tapering its federal policy also had an impact,\" Manmohan Singh said while making a statement on the economy in the Lok Sabha.

He also urged people to control the consumption of gold and oil. \"We need to reduce our appetite for gold and economise the use of petroleum products and take steps to increase our exports,\" Singh said.

Noting that the rupee has also been hit due to the Current Account Deficit, the Prime Minister assured that the government will take steps to restrict it. \"The Government will do whatever is necessary to contain the fiscal deficit to 4.8 per cent this year,\" Singh said.

Manmohan Singh, however, said that the government won\'t go back on reforms in the current economic situation. \"There is no question of reversing economic reforms. The cabinet decisions to give go-ahead to projects will show results in the second quarter,\" he said.

Manmohan Singh urged the Opposition to help in passing of certain bills for economic growth. \"Many bills are stalled due to lack of political consensus. I urge political parties to come together and get them through for the economic growth,\" Singh said.

However, the Bharatiya Janata Party was dissatisfied with the Prime Minister\'s statement. BJP MPs even walked out of the Lok Sabha after the statement. \"The Leader of the Opposition stood to say something but the PM just left the House. He has insulted the Opposition and the House. So the Leader of the Opposition said that we are hurt by the PM\'s behaviour and so we walk out of the House,\" BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said.
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Navy\'s first satellite GSAT-7 now in space

August 30, 2013(7STAR NEWS):-GSAT-7, the country\'s first advanced and full-fledged military communications satellite, was launched in the early hours of Friday from the Kourou space port of French Guiana space in South America. The multi-band spacecraft, to be used exclusively by Indian Navy, was put in orbit on a European Ariane 5 rocket at 2 a.m., Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said after the launch. It is also the last of ISRO\'s fourth-generation series of seven satellites.

GSAT-7/ INSAT-4F is expected to significantly improve the country's maritime security and intelligence gathering in a wide swathe on either coasts of the Indian Ocean region.

About 34 minutes after take-off, Ariane-5 placed the spacecraft precisely in the intended temporary oval or geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) in space.

In a post-launch address at Kourou, ISRO Satellite Centre Director S.K. Shivakumar said the satellite would be functionally readied by September-end. Scientists at the Master Control Facility in Hassan, about 100 km from Bangalore, unfurled the power-generating solar panel of the satellite within a few minutes of its being placed in space. Dr. Shivakumar said payload operations would begin in a week.

ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan is at Hassan for the first of the three orbit manoeuvres around 2 a.m. on Saturday.

\"Initial checks have indicated normal health of the satellite. The present orbit will be gradually increased to an altitude of 36,000 km and placed in a geostationary [Earth-fixed] orbit by September 4,\" ISRO said.
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Rupee trims initial losses against dollar, still down 32 paise

August 30, 2013 (7star news):-The rupee trimmed its early losses but was still quoted down by 32 paise to 66.87 per dollar in late morning trade on Friday on month-end demand for the U.S. currency from banks and importers.

The rupee resumed lower at 67.00 per dollar as against the last closing level of 66.55 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange (Forex) Market and dropped further to a low of 67.43 per dollar.

However, it recovered to 66.61 before quoting 66.87 per dollar at 1050 hours.

Month-end dollar demand from importers mainly affected the rupee value, a Forex dealer said.

In the global market, the U.S. dollar swung between gains and losses in the early trade, but the currency was poised to notch a weekly advance after Syria-related tensions weighed on risk appetite and aided the greenback.

Oil prices fell in Asian trade as fears eased of an imminent Western military strike against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons, analysts said.

New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in October, was down $1.41 at $107.39 a barrel.

Meanwhile, the BSE-30 share index Sensex firmed up by 145 points, or 0.79 per cent, to 18,545.96 at 1055 hours.
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Land Bill: India Inc wary of rising costs; but welcomes aim

Aug 29, 2013, 10.33 (7star news):-As voting for the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 gets underway in the Lok Sabha, India Inc expresses mixed reactions to the proposal. Some industrialists feel that this will throttle industrial growth in the country, expressing reservations against crucial clauses in the document, yet some others also welcomed the overall intentions of the Bill. While they foresee lesser delays in acquiring land for development, project costs may also see a surge going forward.

Also read: Here is why India Inc is miffed by Land Acquisition Bill

Vinayak Chatterjee, chairman of Feedback Infrastructure believes that the Bill is a much needed reform and needs to be looked from a broader perspective. However, some implementation aspects of it will require restructuring, he told CNBC-TV18.

Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon Industries is also positive about the Bill and its retrospective effect as stalled projects could see a silver lining if it is passed. The Bill is also good for farmers and landowners as it largely favours them, while the industry should be happy on lesser hurdles to projects.

The Bill includes a clause where the compensation to the landowner is four times the market value in rural areas and double in urban areas. Also, consent from 80 percent of displaced people will be required to acquire a chunk of land.

However, Niranjan Hiranandani, managing director of Hiranandani Group of Companies strongly criticised the Bill in its current form. He says that cost of affordable housing will see a spike of 20-25 percent. The state government will also have problems as land acquisition costs will shoot up. As a result, a lot of industrialists will look to invest overseas, Hiranandani affirms.

Ajit Mittal, group ED of Indiabulls group echoed Hiranandani's views on rising housing costs. He felt that not only will cost of housing in India will substantially go up, but industrial projects will become financially unviable in some cases. He is also worried about implementation of the resettlement and the rehabilitation (R&R) clause, which calls for provisioning for land, housing, employment and annuities above a certain threshold of acquisition.
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Nirmal Bang downgrades Infosys shares over senior-level exits

August 30, 2013(7star news):-After founder Narayana Murthy\'s return as executive chairman of Infosys, the company has witnessed a spate of senior-level management exits. Concerned over the sudden departure of several senior level departures, Nirmal Bang has downgraded the Infosys\' stock to \"sell\". In a report the brokerage said,\" While the return of Narayana Murthy is likely to lead to measures to get Infosys back on track, some of which have already been implemented, the senior-level management exits clearly suggest that stability at the top has not yet been achieved.\"

Nirmal Bang has has downgraded the rating on Infosys to \"sell\" from \"hold\" with a target price of Rs2,860.

Infosys shares have seen a run-up after Murthy\'s return, buoyed by good first quarter results and a weak rupee. \"As regards the stock price, we believe the 23 percent rise post Q1 FY14 results is overdone and it will take a few quarters for Narayana Murthry to start showing results in terms of higher revenue growth, even as a weak rupee provides support to margins,\" the report said.

The latest senior executive to leave is Ashok Vemuri, member of the board, head of the Americas region and also global head of manufacturing and engineering services. Most importantly, Vermuri oversaw the verticals that together account for over 56 per cent of revenue. Vemuri was also seen as a contender for future Infosys CEO.

Apart from Vemuri, Infosys also saw the departure of Basab Pradhan, head of sales, and Sudhir Chaturvedi, North America head of financial services. Prior to this, Shaji Farooq, senior vice president and head, consulting and systems integration, and Balaji Yellavalli, vice president and head of client services, US financial services and insurance, had also put in their papers recently.

However, the Infosys shares were trading lower today at Rs. 3,085.10, off 0.75 percent.
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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Landmark Land Acquisition Bill gets LS nod

(7STAR NEWS)New Delhi: After Food Security Bill, the pathbreaking Land Acquisition Bill that aims to give a fair deal to farmers for their land for industrial use was passed by the Lok Sabha on Friday giving a push to Sonia Gandhi\'s another pet project ahead of General Elections.

The key land legislation of the UPA championed by Rahul Gandhi was approved by an overwhelming majority after an acrimonious debate.

The Bill, which seeks to provide just and fair compensation to farmers while also ensuring that no land can be aquired forcibly, will replace the archaic Act of 1894,

\"The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2012\" stipulates mandatory consent of at least 70 per cent for acquiring land for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects and 80 per cent for acquiring land for private companies.

Both the Food Security Bill, that was passed on Monday, and the Land Acqusition Bill, will now have to be passed by the Rajya Sabha.

The bill proposes compensation that is up to four times the market value in rural areas and two times the market value in urban areas. It was passed with 216 votes in favour and 19 against.

Left parties, AIADMK and BJD members staged a walkout. Trinamool Congress voted against the bill while main Opposition BJP as also SP and BSP supported the legislation.

\"There will be no forceful acquisition of land under this law. This legislation will provide lawful right of the farmers over their land and no right of forceful acquisition to government,\" Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh said while winding up the day-long discussion on the Bill.

Asserting that the new law will address \"historical injustice\", the minister said this law is being enacted under the Concurrent list and the states can bring their own law on the subject without derogating from the central law.

Sonia and Home Minister and Leader of the House Sushilkumar Shinde, apparently unwell, did not participate in the voting as they left when amendments were being moved. The National Advisory Council(NAC) headed by the Congress President had given a vigorous push for the land bill.

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Land Acquisition Bill: 10 things you must know

Land acquisition cost may go up to 3.5 times: India Inc

India Inc has expressed fears that the land reforms could push up property purchase costs making industrial projects financially unviable while the Food Security Bill will have a deleterious effect on public finances.

381 amendments were moved to the bill, of which 166 were official ones. Of the Opposition amendments, some were withdrawn and others defeated during voting.
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J&K: Security forces kill five terrorists in an encounter in Ganderbal

Aug 30, 2013 (7STAR NEWS):-Five Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists were on Friday killed in an encounter with security forces in Ganderbal district in Kashmir.

\"Five terrorists belonging to the Qadri Asadullah group of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in a counter-insurgency operation in Preng area of Ganderbal in the wee hours on Friday,\" a Defence spokesman said. He said the identities of the slain terrorists were being ascertained.

According to police sources, troops of 24 Rashtriya Rifles and police laid an ambush near the Najwan forest in Preng area, 65 kms from Srinagar, following input about movement of the ultras.

Ganderbal: Five terrorists killed in encounter with security forces

The terrorists walked into the ambush in early hours on Friday and were asked to surrender, the sources said.

However, they opened fire on the security forces\' positions which was retaliated by the army and police, the sources said, adding five terrorists were killed in the gunbattle.
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Asaram Bapu\'s police deadline ends today

Jaipur, August 30, 2013(7STAR NEWS):-A police team has been formed to track down spiritual guru Asaram Bapu and take him into custody, if he fails to appear in Rajasthan for questioning on Friday in connection with a sexual assault case filed against him by a 16-year-old girl.

Asaram on Tuesday was served notice at his ashram in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, asking him to appear before police in Jodhpur for questioning before or on August 30.

"The deadline for him to appear before the police ends today (Friday). In case, he fails to turn up, we have formed a team that will be rushed to him. He will be placed under custody and brought to Jodhpur. He may be arrested after that," a senior police official said.

The teenager had made a complaint at a police station in Delhi on August 20, accusing Asaram Bapu of sexually assaulting her at his ashram at Jodhpur city in Rajasthan. The spiritual leader has denied the allegation.

The girl studied at Asaram\'s ashram in Madhya Pradesh\'s Chhindwara and stayed in a girls\' hostel there.

Police summoned hostel warden Shilpi, hostel attendant Keshav and Asaram's caretaker Shiva for questioning on Thursday. However, none of them turned up.

A police official said the spiritual guru had sought time till September 20, saying he will participate in several spiritual functions and give discourses over this period.

"The reprieve cannot be granted on the reasons cited by Asaram Bapu. He is facing a serious charge of sexual assault on a minor girl," said the official.

A notice was also served Monday at Asaram's ashram in Ahmedabad in Gujarat.

Asaram has been booked under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act and the Indian Penal Code.

A look-out circular has also been issued against the guru to prevent any attempt by him to leave the country.

A police team also inspected his ashram near Jodhpur and recorded statements of several people to verify whether the girl and her parents were present at the ashram on August 15 when the alleged incident took place.

"During preliminary investigation, it has come up that the girl, her parents and Asaram Bapu were present on August 15. The owner of the land, which is being used for the ashram, told police that the girl and her parents had come to the ashram to meet him," the official said.
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Dollar swap may leave oil marketers with high forex risk: Experts

30 Aug, 2013,(7STAR NEWS)MUMBAI: The Reserve Bank of India\'s special window to sell dollars to state-run oil companies may have helped the rupee rebound on Thursday, but experts say the move puts the oil marketers in high risk of foreign exchange losses.

While the RBI\'s move announced late on Wednesday has eased spot dollar demand and gives a respite for the government to find ways to boost dollar inflows, Craig Chan, executive director and head of forex strategy & fixed income division (Asia-ex Japan) at Nomura Singapore, said oil companies will have to bear the brunt in case the rupee depreciates over the medium term.

\"The measure also runs the risk of a significant increase in dollar demand upon expiration (assuming a six-month tenor of the swap), when oil marketing companies will not only have to deliver dollars back to the RBI, but also purchase dollars through spot (if the scheme is not maintained),\" Chan said.
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Yasin Bhatkal, alleged founder of Indian Mujahideen, to be brought to Delhi today

August 30, 2013 (7STAR NEWS)New Delhi: A special plane carrying Yasin Bhatkal, the alleged operations head of the Indian Mujahideen, will land in Delhi around noon on Friday.

Bhatkal, among the 12 most-wanted terrorists in India, was arrested on Wednesday night in north Bihar, close to the Nepal border. Police from Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka have lined up to interrogate him about terrors attacks in their states.

As alleged chief of operations and co-founder of the Indian Mujahideen, Bhaktal is accused of planning and executing some of the deadliest terror attacks in India in recent years, the most recent being February\'s twin blasts in a crowded market in Hyderabad in which 16 people were killed and 80 injured. (Read: Yasin Bhatkal arrest came after top-secret operation in Bihar)

Teams from Bangalore and Mumbai are already on their way to Delhi to seek custody. Cops hope that the man, who allegedly played bomb-maker, recruiter, planner and executed bombings for the Indian Mujahideen, will provide vital clues about terror networks in India and their funding, about his outfit\'s links with the Lashkar e Taiba and how young men are recruited for terror. (The attacks Yasin Bhatkal is linked to)

Bhatkal, 30, was produced in court in Motihari in north Bihar last evening, his face covered with a black cloth and escorted by nearly 50 policemen and members of the National Investigating Agency or NIA in a bulletproof car.

He first said he had wrongly been identified, then accepted that he is Yasin Bhatkal. During questioning by the NIA, he appeared largely unfazed about the attacks he is accused of, and said, \"Such things (bomb blasts) happen all the time...there\'s nothing new about this.\"

Yasin belongs to Karnataka; a statement issued by his family on Thursday said it is relieved that he has been arrested because \"now the truth can come out\" and said \"he should be punished if he is guilty of any offence after the due process of law is followed.\" His father told NDTV he still hoped the man arrested in north Bihar is not his son Ahmad Sidibappa, who went missing from Dubai seven years ago. (Read)

In 2010, intelligence officials said that he was captured on security cameras wearing a golf cap and leaving behind a bag with a bomb that exploded minutes later at the German bakery in Pune, killing 17 people.

The Indian Mujahideen was banned after that attack.
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An initative to create awareness among students about Conservation of Energy at MLU DAV College, Phagwara

Phagwara 29 August (Ashok Sharma,Lubhaya)

On the day 27th August, 2013, Mohan Lal DAV College, Phagwara in association with Petroleum Conservation Research Association Northern Region, organized a seminar on "Conservation Energy". On this seminar, the Chief Guest S. Rajkiran Singh has said that every citizen must concentrate on energy conservation and make it a mass movement. He made the students aware that every small step is a big effort in achieving conscious of one and all. First he stressed on the careful using of pertroleum and LPG Gas. He also told the ways to conserve energy. Don't make the use old stove, use the new one always use pressure cooker when cooking, don't leave appliances on standby, use less hot water, choose energy efficient appliances when making new purchases. Finally, Offg. Principal Smt. Suman Tandon thanked the guest and aware the students about the method by which one can conserve energy. At this occasion, Prof. Sushil Kumar, Prof. Kajal Kiran, Prof. Dheeraj Giri, Prof.Ramandeep, Prof. Neetu Kanwal and other members of the staff & students were present.

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