Ranchi - The Pioneer

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Ranchi - The Pioneer
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n a revelation that threw
Iconnections
some light on his apparent
with the Pakistani
establishment, incarcerated
Pakistani-American terrorist
David Coleman Headley told a
special court on Friday that
then Pakistani Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani had visited
his residence in Pakistan in
January 2009, weeks after the
26/11 attacks on Mumbai, to
condole the death of his father.
In one more disclosure
made before the anti-terror
court, Headley said at one stage
Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) was
toying with the idea of negotiating with the Israeli authorities
for the release of the lone captured terrorist Mohammed
Ajmal Kasab against Israeli
hostages in Chabad House, the
Jewish outreach centre in
Mumbai — better known as
Nariman House — one of the
26/11 targets.
During the course of his
cross-examination conducted
by Abdul Wahab, the lawyer of
key 26/11 conspirator Zaibuddin
Ansari, alias Abu Jundal,
Headley admitted that the
National Investigation Agency
(NIA) did question him about
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Ishrat Jahan but denied that he
had taken the name of the slain
girl with alleged LeT links at the
behest of the NIA.
Headley, the 26/11 conspirator who turned approver
in Jundal’s trial in December
last year after the Mumbai
court pardoned him in the case,
also denied that special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam
and Mumbai Crime Branch
chief Atul Kulkarni had met
him in the United States ahead
of his deposition before the
Mumbai court through videoconferencing from the US.
On the third day of his
cross-examination held in the
court of special Judge GA
Sanap, 56-year-old Headley
said his father passed away on
December 25, 2008, nearly a
month after the November 2530, 2008, attacks on Mumbai
and that then Pakistani Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
visited his residence in Pakistan
to condole the death of his
father a few weeks later.
Asked if it was correct that
then Prime Minister Gilani had
attended his father funeral,
Headley said, “It is not correct to
say that the then Prime Minister
Gilani had attended the funeral
of my father. In fact, he (Gilani)
visited our house (in Pakistan) a
few weeks thereafter”.
Headley added that he
nursed a hatred towards India
and Indians since December
1971 when his school was
bombed by Indian fighter planes
during India-Pakistan war which
saw the creation of Bangladesh.
“I have this hatred...
towards Indian since December
7, 1971... When Indian planes
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and Pakistan on Friday
Ithendia
confronted each other over
latter’s claim of having
caught a Research and Analysis
Wing (RAW) spy, an exNavyman, in Balochistan. New
Delhi said, “The person arrested has no link with the
Government since his premature retirement from Indian
Navy.”
MEA spokesperson Vikas
Swarup said the matter was
raised by Pakistan’s Foreign
Secretary with the Indian High
Commissioner in Islamabad.
“The said individual has no
link with the Government since
his premature retirement from
Indian Navy. We have sought
consular access to him. India
has no interest in interfering in
internal matters of any country
and firmly believes that a stable and peaceful Pakistan is in
the interest of all in the region,”
Swarup said while refuting
Pakistan’s allegation.
India’s reaction came after
Pakistan summoned Indian
High Commissioner in
Islamabad Gautam Bambawale
to lodge its protest over “subversive activities” of an alleged
RAW officer, a day after
Pakistani security forces arrested him in Balochistan.
“The
Indian
High
Commissioner was summoned
by the Foreign Secretary today
and through a demarche conveyed our protest and deep
concern on the illegal entry into
Pakistan by a RAW officer and
his involvement in subversive
activities in Balochistan and
Karachi,” the Pakistan Foreign
Office said in a statement.
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he BJP and PDP are expectT
ed to jointly call on
Governor NN Vohra on
Saturday to stake claim to form
a coalition Government in
Jammu & Kashmir. There was
no official confirmation in this
regard from either side.
The reported move came
only after the two triggered
fresh speculation about their
continuing differences as PDP
chief Mehbooba Mufti cancelled her scheduled meeting
with the Governor and the BJP
maintained it will do so only
after holding discussions with
the PDP.
Intriguingly, the BJP and
PDP leaders despite being present in the State guest house
could not meet each other
during the day to hold fresh
round of talks to iron out their
reported “differences” over
‘portfolio allocation’.
Sources said the leaders of
the two parties reportedly
remained in touch on telephone and tried to play down
media speculation about ‘all not
being well’ within the coalition.
The move to meet the
Governor jointly was agreed
upon later in a separate meeting between the leaders of the
two parties and after an
“understanding” between
them, the sources maintained.
Sources said Mehbooba
was forced to postpone her
meeting with the Governor
after the BJP stood its ground
on retaining key portfolios and
wanted to extract concrete
assurances from the PDP top
brass
Continued on Page 2
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had bombed my school... The
school was destroyed and many
people who worked there had
died,” Headley claimed.
The childhood incident
when he was barely 10-year-old
left such an imprint on his tender mind that Headley decided
to join the LeT later to avenge
the bombing of his school.
He admitted that it was one
of the reasons why he joined
the LeT years later. On whether
his late father — who retired as
the Director General of
Pakistan Radio — knew of his
links with the LeT, Headley
replied in the affirmative. “Yes,
I told him... But he did not like
it,” he said. Queried if his
“half-brother” Daniel also
worked in Pakistani establishment, Headley said,
Continued on Page 2
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6^ecX]9:
he Right to Guarantee of
Service Act (RTGS Act),
implemented in the State in
2011, seems to have utterly
failed to achieve its objectives
as the implementation of the
provisions of the law has been
pathetically slow.
The report of the
Comptroller and Auditor
General (CAG) recently tabled in
the Assembly has specifically
mentioned that the implementation of RTGS Act in the State
was slow and institutional
arrangements for implementation of the Act were inadequate.
The Government did not provide staff and fund for rendering
the services under the Act.
The report also stated that
the works of the Department of
Personnel, Administrative
Reforms and Rajbhasha (the
Nodal department), which has
to oversee implementation of
RTGS Act in the State, service
delivery of 14 out of 54 services
pertaining to the Labour,
Employment and Training,
Food and Civil Supplies and
Home Departments for the
T
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period 2012-13 to 2014-15
were assessed. And, the assessors found discrepancies in
the implementation of the Act
with significant lethargy on the
part of Government to make it
effective and people friendly.
It was found that there were
delays of up to 552 days in delivery of services of police verification for appointment, passport
and character certificate under
the Home Department.
"Out of 1,814 applications
waiting for police verification
report for various appointments 89 per cent were delayed
by two to 552 days, while two
per cent of them were disposed
of in the stipulated time frame.
It further added that out of
53,687 cases taken up for test
check, 83 per cent of them were
not verified within stipulated
timeframe," stated the report.
However, the Regional
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Passport Office denied any such
delay. "Till Friday only 1,500
applications were pending for
verification beyond 21 days till
I left the office," said Regional
Passport Officer Sanathan.
According to the report,
reason behind the delay was
attributed to the lack of awareness and sensitisation among
the citizens of the state. Police
verification for character certificate test checked for six
districts, three of them were not
found to be maintaining the
diary in this regard.
The report said that Deputy
SPs of Ranchi, Pakur and
Palamu accepted that delays in
delivery of services were due to
delay in police verification by
the concerned police station,
shortage of manpower and
engagement of personnel in
maintaining law and order.
Continued on Page 2
BC055A4?>AC4AQ =4F34;78
undreds of Indians —
H
stranded in Brussels following the deadly terror attacks
on airport and metro station in
the Belgian Capital on Tuesday
that left 31 dead and 300
wounded — were brought back
home safely on Friday by a Jet
Airways aircraft.
“The flight 9W 1229 carrying 214 passengers, including
69 bound for Mumbai, along
with 28 Jet Airways crew members landed at IGI airport at
5.10 am,” a Jet Air ways
spokesperson said.
After arriving in Delhi, a
woman passenger said, “I was
coming from Toronto and as
soon as we arrived at the airport and went to the arrival bay,
within 15 minutes they were
asking us to evacuate as soon
as possible. We had no idea
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what had happened.”
She said there were hundreds of passengers running
out with their baggage. “From
there we found out that there
were three blasts,” she said.
Another passenger said the
blast occurred in the departure
area of the airport as soon as
their flight had landed. “They
took all of us out and we
remained stranded there for
quite some time,” added the
passenger.
The ‘recovery’ flight from
Amsterdam also carried the
passengers who were bound
for Mumbai as their flight was
cancelled at the last minute due
to a technical problem in the
aircraft.
Jet Air ways had on
Thursday operated two flights
from Amsterdam for Toronto
and Delhi after transporting all
its stranded passengers in
Brussels to the Dutch Capital
by road.
Brussels: Belgian state media
is reporting that two explosions
have been heard and one person has been detained in police
raids in the Brussels neighbourhood of Schaerbeek. It is
not clear whether the raids are
linked to the investigation into
deadly attacks on Tuesday on
Brussels’ airport and subway
system. At least one suspect in
those attacks is at large, and it
is unclear whether there were
other accomplices.
Detailed report on P12
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New Delhi: Searching with
key words such as “anti-national”, “sedition”, “patriotism” and
“Bharat Mata ki jai” on Googlemaps will now direct the users
to Jawaharlal Nehru University
(JNU), which is caught in a row
over its students being booked
under sedition.
The students of the university, who have been agitating against the alleged “branding” of JNU as “anti-national”
after three of its students were
arrested in connection with an
event, have taken strong objection to the “technical certification”.
Google authorities, when
contacted, said they are trying to
resolve the issue. “We will raise
the issue with the administration
to send an official communica-
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hat has been an acrimoW
nious Republican presidential race for most of the
BRaTT]VaPQ^U6^^V[T<P_b
tion to Google in this regard. We
have been protesting against
the branding of an institution as
anti-national and now the search
giant has gone a step ahead in
certifying that,” JNU Students’
Union vice-president Shehla
Rashid Shora said.
time has now turned completely nasty with front-runner
Donald Trump and his rival
Ted Cruz feuding bitterly over
their wives.
“Donald, you’re a snivelling
coward,” screamed Cruz on
Thursday after Trump retweeted juxtaposed images of
his wife, Melania, with Cruz’s
wife, Heidi, apparently mocking the latter’s appearance with
the caption, “A picture is worth
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a thousand words.”
Trump went on the offence
after a Super PAC opposing his
candidacy ran a Facebook ad
with a nude photo of his wife,
under the caption, “Meet
Melania Trump, your next First
Lady. Or you could vote for Ted
Cruz on Tuesday.” The picture
had originally been featured on
the cover of Britain’s GQ magazine back in 2000 when
Melania was a supermodel.
She married Trump in 2005.
Although Cruz made it
clear that his campaign had
nothing to do with the PAC or
the ad put out by it, Trump
trained his guns on Cruz,
warning him on Twitter, “Be
careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill
the beans on your wife!”
On Wednesday night,
Trump re-tweeted the pictures
of Melania and Heidi that had
been sent by a supporter, with
the caption, “No need to ‘spill
the beans’…The images are
worth a thousand words.”
“I didn’t start the fight with
Lyin’Ted Cruz over the GQ
cover pic of Melania, he did.
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dentist was allegedly murdered in the Vikaspuri area
A
of West Delhi on Wednesday
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night merely because a cricket
ball that he was playing with his
son had grazed the wheels of a
bike. The dentist was attacked
by a gang of over dozen people
with sticks and iron rods. The
40-year-old dentist was identified as Dr Pankaj Narang who
lived with his wife also a doctor and their eight-year-old
son in bungalow number B-60
of the Vikaspuri area.
The Delhi Police has
arrested five people — including a middle-aged woman on
the charges of murder — and
detained four juveniles. All
the accused persons are resi-
dents of JJ Colony Indira Camp
just 150 metres away from the
doctor’s residence.
The provocation for the
brutal murder of the dentist
was a convas cricket ball that
had rebounded after hitting the
tyre of a scooty. Dr Narang was
playing cricket with his son and
a nephew in their bungalow’s
passageway outside his house
after India’s nail biting win
against Bangladesh on
Wednesday night, said a police
official of West Delhi.
While playing cricket, the
ball allegedly hit two men who
were passing by on the
scooty, triggering a heated
argument between the doctor
and the duo.
After the argument, the
duo left the spot, abandoning
their scooty there and returned
within no time with others
armed with sticks and rods.
It has been revealed that
four to five people held Dr
Narang and others hit Narang
with bats, sticks and rods.
7TPS[ThaTeTP[bW^f
From Page 1
“Just refer to him as my
brother, not half.”
On whether it was true that
Danial had known about his
links with the LeT, Headley
merely said he and his brother were not living in the same
city (of Pakistan).
Headley, who is currently
serving a 35-year sentence in a
terror case in a US jail following a plea bargain that saved
him from death sentence and
extradition, denied having used
Daniel’s mobile phone during
his visit to Pakistan ahead of
the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai.
When the defence lawyer
about his another brother
Hamza Headley said, “He is my
brother”. Asked if he knew of
his links with LeT, he said,
“Very little.” On whether
Hamza was aware of 26/11, he
said, “Only after the attacks”.
Headley said he disclosed
to Hamza about his involvement in the Mumbai, six
months after the attacks — that
was sometime before his March
2009 visit to India.
Responding to another
question, Headley said his friend
Shaukat Rana was aware of his
LeT links. Queried whether
Rana had accompanied him to
26/11 targets, Headley said,
“No…to attack India why
should I visit Pakistan.”
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From Page 1
Further, under the food
and civil supplies department
pertaining to the services for
issuing licences for ration shops
and revocation of ration shop
licenses there were delay of up
to 1,008 days.
Surprisingly, in case of
applications received related to
Labour, Employment And
Training Departments for the
six ser vices (Building
Constructions Workers Act,
certificate under Contract
Labour Act, certificate under
Motor Transport Employment
Act, certificate under
Regulation of Bidi and Cigar
Workers Act, registration
Certificate for Shops And
Establishment Act and licences
for Industrial Establishment
Under Dal Mill/Atta Chakki
Act) on the other hand, it was
revealed that 97 per cent of the
cases were serviced in time and
only three per cent of the cases
were delayed ranging between
3 and 234 days.
The Government of
Jharkhand enacted Right to
Guarantee of Services Act 2011
to provide rights based delivery of public services to the citizens of the state within a stipulated timeframe. Rules prescribe maintenance of requisite
records for monitoring services delivered, for training
and capacity building of service
providers, for designation of
appellate authorities and realization of penalty from the
erring officials. Rules prescribe
time bound delivery of 54 ser-
vices across 11 departments Revenue and Land Reforms,
Social Welfare, Energy
Department,
Medical,
Transport
Department,
Agriculture, Mining, UDD,
Home, Food and Civil Supplies
and Labour and Employment.
It was also observed by the
Accountant General's Office
that 45,695 cases of delayed
provisions of services in the test
checked offices defeated the
objective of the Act to provide
rights based public services to
the citizens of the state within
a stipulated time.
The AG recommended
development of IT application
and use of mobile phones for
receiving and acknowledging
applications for the services for
timely delivery.
IT Secretary Sunil Barnwal
passed the buck on the personnel department for the poor
show.
"Personnel department is
the nodal department related to
this; we provide only technical
support in this regard. A software has also been prepared
which is used for 54 of the services of different departments
are monitored. There are also
provisions of imposing penalty in the cases where stipulated time frame was not maintained," said Barnwal.
"DCs have been authorized to take action against
them and we can only monitor
the situation through technology while rest of the things is
to be done by the Personnel
Department," added Barnwal.
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amily members of cattle
traders --- Majlum Ansari
F
and Imtiaz Khan -- allegedly
lynched to death in Latehar on
March 16 by a group of people,
today did not turn up to meet
Chief Minister Raghubar Das
and receive compensation
announced by him on March
22. The family members had
declined the invitation extended to them by Das asking the
CM himself to come down to
the place and witness the
ground reality.
Family members of
Majlum and Imitiaz were
scheduled to visit Ranchi on
Friday to meet the CM. The
officials of the CM Secretariat
however, said that their visit
was p ostponed due to
‘jumma.’
“They said that they will
not be able to visit Ranchi on
Jumma and have sought some
more time to think over it.
The offer of compensation is
always at its place as they can
come and receive the compensation anytime. We are
still open to the idea,” said
Principal Secretary to CM
Sanjay Kumar.
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Latehar DC Ravishanker
Shukla also asserted that the
victim’s kin have asked for
some more time. “In the mean
time, they also want to consult
the elders in the community.
CO of the area was asked to
take them to Ranchi to receive
the compensation from the
Chief Minister but the day
being Friday, they said that they
will come along with him some
other day,” said Ravishanker
Shukla.
According to family members, the promised compensation of Cone lakh was not
going to help them in sustaining their families; they
demanded at east C50 lakh to
make their ends meet. “The
CM should come and witness
for himself the ground reality
in the villages,” said one of the
family members.
Before the refusal came
on Tuesday, CM Das had
announced compensations
worth Rs one lakh each to the
families of the two victims,
along with instructions to district officials in Latehar to
handover the ex-gratia amount
on the same day. He also invited them to meet him in Ranchi
on March 25.
Following orders, Latehar
Deputy Commissioner Ravi
Kant Shukla, Superintendent of
Police Anoop Birthare and a
delegation of administrative
officials visited the villages to
deliver the promised compensation to the kin of the
deceased and inform them
about the invitation from the
CM.
According to Police, eight
persons were identified for
heinous crime at Jhaber, out of
which 5 persons -- Manoj
Kumar Sao, Awadesh Kumar
Sao, Pramod Sahu, Mithilesh
Kumar Sao and Manoj Sahu
were arrested within 24 hours
time. Remaining three persons -- Sahdeo Soni, Vishal
Tiwari and Arun Sao went
underground but following
tremendous police pressure,
they surfaced and surrendered
before the court.
Mazloom and Imtiaz were
caught by a mob in Balumath
area of Latehar at 2 am on
March 16, beaten to death
and hanged from a tree in a
ghastly spectacle that shocked
the nation. The villagers
blocked NH-99, demanding
immediate arrest of the culprits
and compensation to bereaved
families. The mob also
attacked Balumath police
station.
Latehar SDO and over half
a dozen police personnel were
also injured in stone-pelting,
following which the police also
had to fire in the air and
impose lathicharge to disperse
crowed.
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elcoming the approval given by the
Cabinet Committee on Economic
W
Affairs (CCEA) for the doubling of HatiaBondamunda Railway line, Chief Minister
Raghubar Das called it a “Holi gift” that
will further increase business opportunities for the people of Jharkhand. Doubling
of this line will augment the line capacity
of the section and serve freight traffic needs
of the upcoming Super Thermal Power
Plant at Barch and other Thermal Power
Plants like Katni and Baruni. The construction of double line will also ease traffic bottlenecks on the line.
The CCEA, chaired by Prime Minister
Narendra Modi recently gave its approval
for doubling of 158.5 km stretch RanchiBondamunda Railway line with a completion cost of C921.94 crore. The project
is likely to be completed in the next six
years during the 12th and 13th Plan period.
Ranchi, Gumla and Simdega districts
of Jharkhand along with Sundargarh dis-
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trict of Odisha will be benefited through
this project.
The business fraternity has also welcomed the move and said that it will further increase business opportunities for the
people of Jharkhand.
“With this we expect more trains for
the destinations like Ahmedabad and
Surat which will further increase business
opportunities here in Jharkhand,” said
Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of
Commerce and Industries president Pawan
Sharma. Common people will also get
benefitted as it will further lead to increase
in connectivity to some of the import cities
like Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and
Surat, added Sharma.
With the expansion of the Bokaro Steel
Plant and Rourkela Steel Plant, the utilization of the existing line capacity will be
to the tune of 226 per cent and 171 per cent
respectively. The additional volume of raw
materials and finished steel that will move
over the project section will be at the level
of 10 MTPA by 2025-26.
Proposed
Ranchi
(Hatia)Bondamunda line is a single line section
which is being used for goods traffic to and
from Bokaro Steel Plant and Rourkela Steel
Plant and an average of 22 trains each way
per day run over these sections. This indicates that the line is over saturated with utilization to the tune of an average of 160 per
cent resulting in detention of trains and
consequential loss of revenue.
Hence to cope up with the existing as
well as additional traffic, doubling of the
whole section is required or else the
Railways will face capacity crunch in this
already saturated section.
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?A06H0?0;;0E8Q A0=278
o empower all the 40 trained
women constables, who are
T
patrolling on scooters to keep
eyes on the malicious activities
especially in the women centric
precincts, are being imparted
training in varied dimensions to
curb violence against women in
the State capital.
Shakti Commandos, a
team of 40 trained women
constables are on mission to
keep a strict vigil in the State
capital, as outsize women
workforce reside here. The
police department has planned
regular training for these
women personnel to empower
them so that they can combat
any tough situation, as per
required in time of crisis.
With two basic dictums,
the women constables are all set
to deliver their duties with
utmost sincerity and responsibility. These women constables
will not only patrol in the sensitive zones but also impart
knowledge to school children
especially adolescent girls
against sexual violence, an initiative of CID team and under
operation Nirbhik, Hum-Tum
which kicked off in October
2015 to sensitize school girls on
several legal facets and other
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aspects of child rights.
“First round of training
has been completed covering
vital dimensions; the department is also planning to train
all these women commandos in
judo, karate and other physical
activities to make them both
mentally and physically fit to
warfare any untoward inci-
5X[T_W^c^
dents and intricate challenges,”
informed, Inspector General,
CID, Sampat Meena.
Nevertheless, the police
department is in quandary,
whether to institute similar
women constable service in
other districts too or not. “We
have started the service on
experimental basis, after getting
the response; the department
will initiate the service in other
districts also. The service has
been started with the ‘Shakti
Mobile App’, as these women
police force will immediately
respond to the complaints and
will reach the spot in time to
rescue the plaintiffs,” Meena
pointed out.
CM, Raghubar Das on the
occasion of International
Women’s Day had launched
Jharkhand’s first women safety android application Shakti
App at JAP 1 ground in the
state capital and flagged off 20
scooters on which 40 trained
women constables, who would
patrol the city to ensure safety
for women.
The response of Shakti
mobile app is yet to gain pace
among the denizens and
accordingly, the service will be
upgraded and women police
force will be amplified. “We are
working to modify the service
more and will also create
awareness among the people
especially women in the coming days. So far, we have made
100 test calls on the investigational basis, actual work is yet
to get impetus. But, the women
constable service will boost
the police image among masses,” added Meena.
enowned poets from across
the nation with expertise in
various forms of Hindi poetry
came together on a stage to
spread a laughter and fun on
the eve of festival of colours,
Holi.
On the occasion of Akhil
Bharatiya Hasya Kavi
Sammelan-2016 this Tuesday,
six well-known poets of India
— Pratap Faujdaar, Anamika
Jain Ambar, Gaurav Chouhan,
Sampat Saral, Sudeep Bhola
and Satish Madhup — presented verses in forms varying
from hasya ras (comedy) to
veer ras (gallantr y) and
shringar ras (romance).
Keeping up with the peculiarly comic atmosphere, the
poets and dignitaries were welcomed with garlands made
out of vegetables.
While inaugurating the
kavi sammelan, Urban
Development Minister CP
Singh expressed his joy on the
event once again being held on
the occasion of Holi. “Back in
the day, we used to enjoy such
programmes around Holi but
the tradition was lost in due
course of time. It is a matter of
joy to listen to poetry once
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again before Holi,” Singh said.
With their poetry, the poets
voiced their views on the prevalent social issues and current
events with a comical twist. But
Holi remained on the top of
them all.
Satish Madhup opened the
kavi sammelan poems with
his familiar cynical verse style
on various issues including
women security and social fabric of Indian society. Anamika
Jain presented her poetry on
shringar ras with Holi as its
theme.
Gaurav Chouhan from
Uttar Pradesh presented poems
in veer ras on the ongoing conflicts in the nation. Through his
poems, he expressed his belief
that India will once again
emerge as a world leader.
Sudeep Bhola used his
verses to voice his opinions on
the recent uproar about JNU.
Apart from that, he also presented poems on other significant incidents the nation witnessed recently.
Eminent dignitaries present at the kavi sammelan
included IAS PK Jajoria,
Deputy Mayor Sanjeev
Vijaywargia, The Pioneer,
Jharkhand Edition, MD, Pawan
Bajaj and many others.
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90<B743?DA
rime Minister Narendra
Modi will participate in
P
National Panchayati Raj Day
function scheduled in the city
on April 24.
On Wednesday, Chief
Minister Raghubar Das carried
recce of the venue of the Prime
Minister’s visit — the sprawling
JRD Tata Sports Complex in
Northern Town — having a
capacity to accommodate nearly 40,000 people.
“Modiji has given his consent to participate in the
National Panchayati Raj Day
function on April 24. We have
selected JRD Tata Sports
Complex. More than 2,000
delegates comprising members
from best performing Gram
Panchayats will be awarded
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with Rashtriya Gaurav Gram
Sabha Puraskar by the Union
Panchayati Raj Minister,” said
Raghubar Das.
The Prime Minister will
also give away the annual devolution Index (states) awards
and e-panchayat awards on
the occasion.
Incidentally, the Union
Government celebrates April
24 as National Panchayati Taj
Day as the Constitution (73rd
Amendment) Act 1992 came
into force with effect from this
day in 1993 institutionalising
Panchayati Raj.
The chief minister who
was accompanied by Tata Steel
vice-president (corporate services) Sunil Bhaskaran, East
Singhbhum deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal and
East Singhbhum SSP Anoop T.
Mathew during his 40 minutes
inspection of the JRD Tata
Sports Complex took stock of
situation and discussed about
the seating arrangements for
the Prime Minister and the delegates from different panchayats across the country and
other security measures.
The chief minister also
suggested Sunil Bhaskaran to
repair and renovate the historic
Keenan Stadium along with
state government so that city
can hosts international cricket
matches again.
The Chief Minister later in
the day held a closed door discussion with the East
Singhbhum deputy commissioner, SSP and city SP
Chandan Jha at Circuit House.
“It was an initial discussion
on different aspects at the
venue and city in view of the
Prime Minister’s visit on April
24. However, the final decision
will be taken by security wings
of the Prime Minister’s office
who will be visiting city in the
first week of April,” said East
Singhbhum deputy commissioner.
Earlier, in the day, chief
minister paid homage at a statue of Shahid Bhagat Singh at
Jemco roundabout in city.
Addressing a gathering,
the Chief Minister asked the
people to be cautious about
those divisive forces who are
trying to belittle contribution of
martyrs such as Bhagat Singh,
Rajguru and Sukhdev by comparing them to anti-nationals.
The Chief Minister who
also happens to be the local legislator (MLA Jamshedpur East)
also assured the local residents
of an early solution to their
water problem in view of the
approaching summer.
?A06H0?0;;0E8Q A0=278
he State capital will now
commute in coloured auto
T
rickshaws, as the transport
authorities and district administration are going to implement the recent Jharkhand
High Court (HC) order.
A High Court bench issued
the direction, while hearing a
PIL against that claimed that
while only 2,335 autos had permits, in reality, more than
8,000 operate within the State
capital.
The officials have planned
a massive checking drive initiating from Saturday to curb
traffic menace. “March 25 was
the last day to follow the colour
code system issued by the
administration, six months ago.
The concerned department is
following all the norms as prescribed under Motor Vehicles
Act. Associations have to abide
by the laws, as HC has recommended it, to cover the plan as
earliest,” said, Regional
Transport Authority (RTA),
Secretar y, Rajesh Kumar
Barwar.
To check all those autos
which are painted in the prescribed colour format but do
not have legal permits, is a
major challenge. “The colour
code has been suggested under
Section 179 of the Motor
Vehicles Act, 1988,” added,
Barwar.
“Moreover, following the
guideline of Jharkhand Motor
Vehicle Act which permits the
state government to amend
the existing laws under Article
127, the decision has been
considered and must be abided by all. Those who will not
trail the instructions, their
autos will be seized and have to
pay hefty penalty too,” Barwar
pointed out.
Proprietors of all threewheelers with legal permits
within Ranchi Municipal
Corporation (RMC) vicinity
were expected to paint their
autos green by March 25.
Those auto drivers, who operate outside RMC jurisdiction
but within the district limits,
will paint the auto body of
their vehicles black and yellow. Pink auto which are
meant for women service,
will not have to change their
stipulated colour.
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oli was celebrated with
traditional zeal and zest in
Bokaro and Dhanbad. Except
few, no untoward incidents
were reported across the twin
districts.
Taking advantage of the
confusion over the day of
celebration of the festival,
boozers, tipplers and occasional drinkers enjoyed the
festivity.
The traditional drink
bhang was found losing its
charm this holi. More people
were seen opting for liquor over
the traditional drink. Liquor
sale ranked top, sold in ‘black’
in a bid to set the mood to
make a splash with colours. All
brands sold for as high as 30 to
40 per cent more than its print
price here.
“There is no control over
market, we are forced to pay
high price as its Holi”, said
Ritesh a tippler.
“We have tried to contact
H
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Excise Commissioner in this
concern but he did not pick-up
his mobile and later switched
off his mobile”, said Deepak
Chowrasia another buyer. “I
have purchased a full bottle of
Whisky and was forced to pay
C250 higher than the price I pay
for it on normal days”, said
Vinod a resident of City Center
Bokaro.
Meanwhile liquor sellers
have their own plea; “we are
compelled to sell it at a higher
price as we have to make liquor
free (in boxes) to the
Government officials, police
officials including DSP, OC of
local police station as well as
scribes during Holi”, said a
liquor seller on anonymity.
“In a bid to manage our
loss we have to sell it on higher price. Though we have paid
additional C1 lakh per shop to
the Excise official for the same”,
said another seller.
Besides, on authorised
shops, liquor also goes on sale
through different sweets and
battle shops in Bokaro on higher price, said Krishna another
buyer.
The Excise department
sources said that there was an
impressive increase in liquor
supply and sales during Holi.
“There was an approximate
35 per cent increase in liquor
sale during this festival, as
compared to daily sales”, he
added.
?=BQ 30;C>=60=9
?=BQ 90<B743?DA
ata Power won two prestiT
gious communication
awards at the 55th 'Association
of Business Communicators
of India' (ABCI) Awards Nite
2016. Tata Power bagged two
distinct awards in categories –
‘Special Column Award' and
‘Civic & Moral Values’.
Enerji Talk, Tata Power's
internal magazine reaching
about 4000 employees won
bronze for its Travelogue section in the category of ‘Special
column award’. Travelogue is a
quarterly double spread in the
magazine and includes personal experiences of employees
travelling to various destinations.
Speaking on the occasion, Anil Sardana, CEO and
managing director, Tata
Power said, "We are honoured to be recognised and to
have received these prestigious awards in the field of
Business Communications. It
encourages us that our team
efforts towards internal communications and promoting
awareness towards moral and
civic values through our
brand property, Club Enerji
has been appreciated by the
jury members. I thank the
jury members for recognising
the hard work put in across
various domains by the Tata
Power team members who
made this possible".
ABCI is India's largest nonprofit organisation for Business
communications professionals
since 1957. ABCI builds the
Business Communications profession and the public relations
profession. Comprising of
nearly 1,000 members, it represents business and industry,
technology, counseling firms,
government, associations, and
hospitals, schools for communications, professional services
firms and non-profit organisations.
RTI-cum-civil society
activist Akhtar Zaman has
Surgedenior
the leaders of various
political parties to immediately stop making any political
pilgrimage to the two bereaved
families in Balumath, suggesting them in the strongest term
that these two bereaved families one of the Ansari and the
other of Khan need privacy to
mourn the loss. Akhtar added
‘ The families need hours to
reconstruct themselves and
such visits destroy them emotionally’.
Terming this ‘neta yatra’ to
Balumath as ‘lash ki rajneeti’,
Akhtar said ‘ Time has come
when these two victim families
muster courage and ask any
outsider not to disturb them in
this hour of extreme grief ’. He
said in anger ‘ The families
must show the political leaders
the exit’.
Akhtar came very heavily
upon leaders who made a bee
line to these two families. This
senior civil society activist said
the leaders who went to these
two families have done no
good to them, instead have
caused ‘un seen damages’ to
them and to the minority
community there.
Explaining the ‘un seen
damages’ Akhtar said this pilgrimage of the politicians further alienate these victim families socially and in wider context the minority community
too feels isolated in such an
hour of human tragedy.
He further said ‘ Beating
Muslim drum harms the community most and these leaders
have caused it tremendously. ‘
He said the social fabric in the
country is such where ‘Muslim
love’ which is time and spot oriented mostly create more distrust and repulsion among the
majority community and the
minority losing sympathy and
understanding in bulk gets
larger and stronger.
Akhtar said leaders like
Babulal Marandi (JVM P).
Sukhdev Bhagat ( Congress)
Brinda Karat , Hemant Soren
JMM and others took journey
down to Nawada and Balu villages in Balumath and pained
the families time and again to
recount the horror and trauma
of the two who were hanged to
death from a single tree.
This RTI activist posed a
serious question to Brinda Karat
asking her ‘ What purpose has
she served by going and meeting them in Balumath? Does
Jharkhand mean anything to
this lady ?’ He said every leader
has interpreted this tragedy in
his own political back drop but
none talked about the economic rehabilitation of these
two families.
He described the entire
platitudes of these politicians as
nothing but ‘crocodile’s tears’
shed only to hog the lime light
in the print and electronic
media. He quipped most sarcastically ‘How many of these
visitors doled out any cash to
the two bereaved families?’
He said words of leaders do not
fill the belly.
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t is not good for democracy
Iislative
to disturb the session of legassembly. The attitude
of State Govt over Balumath
dual murder case is astonishing. On humanity basis there
must be something different.
But it is not done,” said
Jharkhand State Congress
chief-cum-Lohardaga MLA
Sukhdeo Bhagat at Rajendra
Bhawan office during a Press
meet.
Bhagat further said, “In
democracy the public is all
important. There would not be
any agreement. I am not leader
merely of a party, but of public too. I would raise voice for
the people always. I have risen
as may as 44 questions during
the State assembly session of 17
days. It included 27 questions
related to other district and the
rest related to Lohardaga. The
reply of the State Govt was
noticed satisfactory during it.
When I asked to include the
Sarna Code in census column
then the Chief Minister assured
to approve it and to send it to
Central Govt. likewise the govt
accepted to develop the SiraSita runnel as visiting site as it
is the pious place for aadiwasies, to recruit the 3670
TET passed trained graduate
candidates in the vacant post of
Urdu teachers.”
Bhagat put forth the matter of land scandal of two
crores in name of establishment
of water treatment plant. On
this the investigation team was
directed to do. Likewise the
MLA raised the matters of
scarcity of teachers and
resources in Sadar hospital,
the studies of BA in Women’s’
college, renovation of Victoria
pond, construction of by-pass
road, start the studies of ITI in
the building newly constructed for the same in Kujra,
replace the defected electric
wire older than 60 years and to
make it underground, electrification in 55 villages of Kisko
and Peshrar block and restart
Bamandiha
Gangupara
checked road construction
work. In all these matter the
govt assured to take positive
steps.
Moreover the matters of
regular supply of drinking
water in Ranchi, payment of all
labors of MGNREGA in all the
districts of the state, supportive value of wheat Rs 1410 per
quintal, open of buying centre
of wheat at each block, establishment of independent directional office for social auditing
of all rural development plans,
recruitment of principal and
lecturers in all the 13 polytechnic colleges of the state,
provide the urban markets of
the sell of hand made items by
small scale industries, replace
the 569 transformers those are
out of order in several districts
were also put in the assembly
by MLA.
Bhagat said, “For development the cooperation of the citizens is expected. We are all
devoted for the development of
the region.” On the occasion
Congress district head Sabir
Khan, Alok Sahu, Kunal
Abhishek, Arun Verma and
many others were present.
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day ahead of the arrival of
the Pakistan JIT here, the
NIA on Friday summoned
three persons, including SP of
Punjab Police Salvinder Singh
for questioning in connection
with the Pathankot terror strike.
The five-member Joint
Investigation Team headed by
Punjab Counter Terrorism
Department (CTD) additional
Inspector General Muhammad
Tahir Rai is all set to arrive here
on Sunday.
While the Pak SIT is seeking to gather evidence and
carry forward the probe into
the Pathankkot airbase attack
carried out by Jaish-eMohammad, Islamabad is yet
to send a Letters Rogatory to
India to seek information related to the case legally.
Officials remained tightlipped over the issue of granting access to the Pak team to
the sensitive forward base or
granting it access to NSA Ajit
Doval on whose complaint
Islamabad had initiated the
A
probe into the case.
NIA officials said that
Salvinder Singh, his jeweller
friend Rajesh Verma and cook
Madan Gopal have been summoned for a routine questioning as the agency is
preparing to receive a fivemember Special Investigation
Team (SIT) from Pakistan on
March 27.
This is a routine investigation as some formalities have to
be completed before a
chargesheet is filed in the case,
the sources said, adding they
may be presented before the SIT.
All the three were allegedly kidnapped on the intervening night of December 31 and
January 1 allegedly by Jaish-eMohammed terrorists, who
had launched an audacious
attack on the Pathankot IAF
base on January 1 morning.
The NIA that is probing
the case here is likely to share
the evidence gathered so far
during the investigation with
the Pak SIT comprising officials
from different departments of
that country.
³2aXcXRXb\^U_^[XcXRP[
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he Congress on Friday
said criticism of political
T
adversaries should be
“restrained and kept within
limits”. Congress leader Sachin
Pilot said that the tendency
these days is to make serious
allegations against political
adversaries like dubbing them
as anti-nationals.
Pilot made the statement
while referring to the debate
on nationalism started by BJP
in which it was showing its
political opponents in poor
light. Interestingly, two days
back Congress had utilised the
death anniversary of Bhagat
Singh to run down RSS ideologue VD Savarkar by juxtaposing him against the latter.
“Bhagat Singh dared the
British Raj to send the executioners. BJP-RSS ideologue
Savarkar begged for his own
release,” Congress had said on
social media.
During the Budget session
of Parliament, Congress vice
president Rahul Gandhi too
had targeted Savarkar suggesting that the ruling party
runs on his ideals, while the
Congress path was shown by
Mahatma Gandhi.
Meanwhile, batting for
JNUSU president Kanhaiya
Kumar, C ongress leader
Shashi Tharoor said the student leader has never said he
is not proud to be an Indian.
“When this young man, who
you object to so strongly,
stands up and says I want freedom from...He mentions
casteism, he mentions capitalism. I don’t agree necessarily to things that he talks
about. He has never said that
he doesn’t take pride in being
an Indian. What he says is
contrary — that he is proud
enough of India that he wants
to change it into a better
place...He is also proud of
jawans fighting on border,”
Tharoor said during a session
on “India Shastra: Reflections
of our time” at the annual
‘Take Pride’ summit organised
by CII.
Sharing an anecdote about
KR Narayanan, the first Dalit
president of the country,
Tharoor said, “Despite being a
brilliant student, he was not
given his degree at the same
ceremony as his upper caste
classmates. This man could
have easily turned bitter
against India but he wanted
to change the system
within.”
In a veiled jibe at HRD
Minister Smriti Irani, Tharoor
said: “In Afghanistan, in the
last decade, nobody could call
an Afghan at 8.30 in the
evening and get him to pick
up the phone because that was
the time when ‘Kyunki saas
bhi kabhi bahu thi’ would be
telecast, it was such a popular
show....Why we would rather
prefer Tulsi on TV serials
than try and run the HRD
Ministry.”
Tharoor lauded NDA
Government for the UN resolution for World Yoga Day.
“One thing I have always been
willing to give the current
Government a credit for is
adoption of the UN resolution
on celebration of an
International Yoga Day. So we
actually have an Indian practice
being celebrated across the
world which in a way would be
tremendous enhancement of
the country’s soft power,”
Tharoor said.
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India has already sent a
Letters Rogatory to Pakistan
seeking certain details about
the four terrorists. India has
been seeking details of the
phone numbers dialled by the
four terrorists ahead of the
attack on the airbase on the
intervening night of January 1
and 2.
The numbers are suspected to be in the names of people connected with Jaish-eMohammed terror group,
including Mullah Dadullah
and Kashif Jaan. The numbers
shared belong to the Pakistani
telecom operators like
Mobilink, Warid and Telenor.
NIA has also sought details
and picture from Khayam
Baber of her son who was part
of the suicide squad that carried out the attack.
Kashif Jaan, one of the key
handlers of the attackers, had
accompanied the terrorists till
the border, the sources said.
The bodies of the four terrorists have been preserved.
Out of the four, two of them
have been identified as Nasir
and Salim. Nasir was the one
who had called his mother
Baber in Bhawalpur using the
phone snatched from the jeweller friend of Punjab Police SP
Salwinder Singh.
Enemy property survey in 5
States — UP, Bengal, Madhya
Pradesh, Kerala and Delhi
?=BQ =4F34;78
he Union Home Ministry
T
has initiated a fresh survey
focusing on five States to
update the identification of
movable and immovable
assets, known as enemy properties, once held by people
who migrated to Pakistan.
“The survey work has started
in five States — Uttar Pradesh,
West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh,
Kerala and Delhi — for identification of new enemy properties,” a Home Ministry official said.
In order to detect more
enemy properties in the States
by conducting the survey in an
organised manner, the Home
Ministry has appointed 65
personnel for the task that
include 50 surveyors and 15
accountancy and management
personnel.
After the Indo-Pak war of
1965 and 1971 many people
migrated to that country subsequent to which Indian
Government, in accordance
with the Defence of India
Rules framed under the
Defence of India Act, took
over the properties and
companies of such persons
who had taken Pakistani
nationality.
These ‘enemy properties’
were vested by the Central
Government in the Custodian
of Enemy Property for India.
Apart from thousands
crores rupees worth land and
buildings, there are several
hundreds crores or rupees
worth investments and jewelries in several banks kept as
frozen across the country.
Among the enemy properties
under the jurisdiction of custodian of Enemy Property of
India in Mumbai are C310
crore worth fixed deposits,
treasury bill and Government
stock, C177.6 crore worth bank
balance and C37.54 lakh gold
and silver jewellery, as on
December 31, 2015.
The survey was ordered
before the Enemy Property
(Amendment and Validation)
Bill, 2016, which sought to
amend the Enemy Property
Act, 1968, was referred to a
Rajya
Sabha
House
Committee for detailed scrutiny last fortnight.
The proposed amendments include that once an
enemy property is vested in
the Custodian, it shall continue to be vested in him as
enemy property irrespective of
whether the enemy, enemy
subject or enemy firm has
ceased to be an enemy due to
reasons such as death etc.
The amendments are
aimed at plugging the loopholes in the Act to ensure that
the enemy properties that have
been vested in the Custodian
remain so and they do not
revert back to the enemy subject or enemy firm.
The Enemy Property Act
was enacted in 1968 by the
government of India which
provided for the continuous
vesting of enemy property in
the Custodian. The central
government through the
Custodian of Enemy Property
for India is in possession of
enemy properties spread
across many states in the
country. In addition, there are
also movable properties categorised as enemy properties.
43: RccVded3D?=8>
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?=BQ =4F34;78
he CBI has arrested a
T
General Manager of Bharat
Sanchar Nigam Limited
(BSNL) from Ratnagiri in
Maharashtra in a bribery case
involving C2 lakh allegedly for
clearing bills of contractors.
CBI sources said Subhash
Kamble, General Manager,
Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg
(Maharashtra) and a middleman, Tanveer, were arrested
late last night in connection
with the case.
“A case was registered
under sections 7, 12 of
Prevention of Corruption Act
and 120-B of IPC against a GM
of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg
(Maharashtra) and one private
person. It was alleged that the
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GM, BSNL was demanding
^]CWdabSPh
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=6C[T]b^]EaX]SPeP]fPbcT
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he indiscriminate dumping
and burning of municipal
T
solid waste in the temple town
of Vrindavan has come under
the scanner of the National
Green Tribunal, which has
appointed a local commissioner to investigate the issue.
The green bench headed by
Swatanter Kumar, appointed
advocate Rahul Khurana as
Local Commissioner, who shall
visit the site in question as well
as take a general round of
Vrindavan city. He would then
submit a comprehensive report
on collection, dumping, transportation and burning of
municipal solid waste to the
Tribunal. This will be discussed during the next hearing
scheduled on April 7.
The directions came while
hearing of a plea filed by seer
Madhumangal Shukla against
illegal and unregulated disposal of solid waste in the city.
During the hearing, advocate
appearing for Shukla, also submitted photographs, showing
reckless dumping and burning
of municipal waste in the city.
The green panel however
did not admit the photographs.
It contended that those shown
do not depict the proper state
of affairs. On the contrary
even if some of the photographs shown to the Tribunal
are correct, even then, it only
reflects the problem of waste
burning. But simultaneously,
there is also the additional
factor of serious repercussions
to human health, which also
need to be addressed. Hence, It
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is necessary for the Tribunal to
have the correct facts before it
can proceed to decide the matter on merits.
The counsel on behalf of
Vrindavan Palika Parishad,
however, refuted the veracity of
the photographs adding that
dumping of waste as seen in the
pictures was a mischief by
somebody. He also assured the
tribunal that the Palika was taking adequate steps in this
regard.
The NGT had earlier
restrained the Vrindavan
municipal corporation from
burning domestic waste in the
open and issued notices to the
Environment Ministry, Central
Pollution Control Board
(CPCB) and others while seeking their reply.
Shukla further alleged that
entire environment of
Vrindavan was suffering due to
the lack of implementation of
Municipal Solid Wastes
(Management and Handling)
Rules, 2000 as garbage was
being disposed of carelessly in
drains and on the banks of river
Yamuna, leading to clogging
and stagnation.
The plea claimed that the
only landfill site in the city has
been sold to Mathura Mandi
Samiti for setting up of a
wholesale market, resulting in
reckless accumulation of
garbage on the streets.
relating to contractors,” the
CBI said in a statement.
The middleman was
allegedly helping in depositing
the bribe money in a third
party account to evade any suspicion from the anti-corruption
agencies, it said.
The agency said the GM
allegedly demanded C2 lakh
and the private person subsequently accepted the bribe in
the account of third party from
the complainant.
“The GM and private person have been arrested from
Ratnagiri and Goa, respectively. Searches were conducted at
the premises of accused persons in Ratnagiri, Sangli (both
in Maharashtra) and Goa
which revealed immovable and
movable property documents,
locker key, several ATM cards
and gold,” it added.
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he Election Commission
has given its nod to the
T
Prime Minister’s ‘Mann ki
Baat’ radio broadcast on
Sunday with instructions
that the programme should
adhere to the Model Code of
Conduct in force due to
Assembly polls in five States.
The Information and
Broadcasting Ministry had
approached
the
Commission to clear the
broadcast of the monthly
radio address due to Model
Code.
Sources said the
Commission gave its green
signal to the address on
Wednesday with instructions that the Model Code
should not be violated.
“Nothing should be said
which influences or impacts
the voters of the five pollbound States. These are the
instructions which have
been given while clearing
the address,” a source said.
He said since it is an
“ongoing programme”, the
clearance was issued like in
the past.
The Commission had
been clearing the broadcast
during Assembly polls.
It had given its nod for
the programme during
assembly
polls
to
Maharashtra and Delhi and
recently during the Bihar
Assembly polls.
The Opposition, especially the Congress, had
approached the poll watchdog to stop the programme
saying state machinery could
be used to influence voters.
West Bengal, Tamil
Nadu, Assam, Kerala and
Puducherry are going to
polls beginning April 4. The
Model Code came into force
on March 4 when the polls
were announced by the
Commission.
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Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party
(BSP) supremo Mayawati has hit
out at Prime Minister Narendra
Modi over the reservation issue
saying that people of the country were now fed up with the
Jumla baji (rhetoric) of the BJP
leaders particularly of the PM.
“In the one end PM says
that reservation will continue
but on the other hand the RSS
and other BJP leaders demands
for its abolishment which is
unfortunate,” she said while
demanding that such confusion
should end.
Mayawat said if PM is really concerned for the Dalits then
he should bring the reservation
under the ninth schedule of the
Constitution, besides extend
reservation facilities in the private sector and implement
reservation in promotion in all
Government jobs.
In a Press statement
released here on Friday afternoon, the former UP CM said
though the PM has announced
for a Memorial and Museum on
the name of Dr B R Ambedkar,
but till the reservation issue is
sorted out permanently, Dalits
in the country would continue
to live under apprehension over
their future. “We are fed up with
the jumla baji (rhetoric) of the
PM and it would be better if he
should ask the BJP and RSS
leaders to clarify their stand and
stop raking up the issue of
reservation,” she said.
The BSP president also
expressed her concern on the
rising backlog in the appointment of Dalits in the reservation
quota in Government jobs.
Government should do something to fill the vacancies at the
earliest, she added.
PNS
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0A270=09H>C8Q =4F34;78
s was with the first phase,
Members of Parliament
A
are giving a cold shoulder to
the second phase of Prime
Minister Narendra Modi’s pet
scheme Saansad Adarsh Gram
Yojana (SAGY).
For, even as the deadline
for adoption of a village to be
developed as ‘ideal village’
under the second phase of the
scheme expired on January 31,
2016, just 33 Lok Sabha MPs
and seven from Rajya Sabha
have done so far.
However, leading by
example, Modi, who is the
brain behind the scheme, has
already picked Nagepur gram
panchayat from his parliamentar y
constituenc y
Varanasi under the second
phase of the scheme. In the
first phase, he had adopted
Jayapur gram panchayat
where development activities
are being undertaken
by the Government and
non-government organisations.
The data available from
the website of the SAGY
under the Union Rural
Development Ministry, which
is overseeing the flagship
scheme, suggests that a few
Cabinet Ministers like
Birender Singh Chaudhary
(Haryana), Thaawar Chand
Gehlot (Madhya Pradesh)
Mukhtar Ababs Aaqvi (Uttar
Pradesh), YS Chowdary and
Nirmala Sitharaman from
Andhra Pradesh have come
forward to adopt the villages
under the SAGY’s second
phase.
Under the scheme, each of
the 750 Lok Sabha and Rajya
Sabha MPs are supposed to
choose one village in their
constituencies and ensure that
funding from all schemes are
converged there, in an effort
to make it a model village. The
Prime Minister had urged
MPs to develop one model village in their respective constituencies by 2016 and adopt
two more by 2019.
There are a total 543 Lok
Sabha and 252 Rajya Sabha
members.
In the first phase, which
took off in October 2014
when the scheme was
launched with much fanfare,
44 Lok Sabha members and 53
Rajya Sabha members are yet
to
take
up
the
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villages to be developed as the
aadarsh grams. The first deadline for adopting the villages
was November 11, 2014 to
ensure all-round development
by 2016.
Majority of MPs have
complained lack of provision
for fund under the scheme for
poor pace of the development activities in the adopted villages.
In the second phase the
Lok Sabha MPs who have
identified the villages are
Babul Supriya Baral and Bijoy
Chandra Barman (West
B engal), Shyam Charan
Gupta, Sakshi Maharaj,
Mahendra Nath Pandey and
Mukesh R ajput (Uttar
Pradesh),
Hari
Babu
Kambhampati,
Geetha
Kothapalli, Sriram Malyadri,
Ashok Gajapati Raju Pusapati,
Muthamsetti Srinivasa Rao
(Avnthi), YS Avinash Reddy
and Vara Prasadarao
Velagapalli in Andhra
Pradesh.
From Bihar MPs Cheddi
Paswan, Ram Vilas Paswan
and Rama Kishore Singh,
from Himachal Pradesh it is
Anurag Singh Thakur while
from JK, Tariq Hameed Karra
and Captain Jitendra Singh
have taken lead in picking the
villages under the SAGY.
The others are MP
Nishikant Dubey (Jharkhand),
R a n g a s w a m y
Dhruvanarayana,
KH
Muniyappa (Karnataka),
Sushma Swaraj (MP)
Anandrao Vithoba (,
Maharashtra) R abindra
Kumar Jena, Balabhadra
Majhi, Baijayant Jay Panda,
Pratyusha
R ajeshwari
(Orrissa), Sumedhanand
Saraswati (Rajasthan) and
Bandaru Dattatreya from
Telangana.
The Rajya Sabha members
who have adopted villages
under the second phase are T
Subbarami Reddy, YS
Chowdar y and Nirmala
Sitharaman from Andhra
Pradesh, Dilipbhai Pandya
from Gujarat, Birender Singh
Chaudhary from Haryana,
Thaawar Chand Gehlot from
Madhya Pradesh and Mukhtar
Ababs Aaqvi from Uttar
Pradesh.
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0=D?B70A<0Q 6DF070C8
arely two weeks ahead of the first
phase of polls in Assam, Union
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and
BJP national president Amit Shah on
Friday hit the Congress hard by
accusing Assam’s ruling party of
abetting illegal infiltration from
neighbouring Bangladesh and said
that the party will not only seal the
Indo-Bangladesh Border but also
frame strong laws to prevent industries and enterprises from employing
these illegal infiltrators in the State.
While Jaitley said this at a function to release the BJP's vision document 2016-25 in Guwahati, Shah
said this on Friday while addressing
two public rallies at tea rich Sivsagar
district in Upper Assam-also a traditional vote bank of the Congress.
"The Congress Government in
Assam has failed to curb the problem of illegal infiltration from across
the border. Intiltration from
Bangladesh has been taking place for
a long time but instead of taking concrete measures, the Congress
Government in Assam had always
taken soft measures which have
encouraged the infiltration. This is a
policy of the Congress to create vote
banks," said Jaitley while releasing the
Vision Document 2016-25.
"Our priority is the illegal infiltration and detection and deportation of these infiltrators," he said
while adding that the Vision
Document, which is a roadmap for
progress on all sectors, has also
assured that a law would be enacted
to deal sternly with industries, business establishments, small and medi-
B
5X]P]RT<X]XbcTa0ad]9PXc[Thb_TPZbSdaX]VP2XcXiT]b<TTcX]6dfPWPcX^]5aXSPh
um enterprises or any other agencies
employing infiltrators.
"Vote bank politics of the rival
parties are also leading demographic trouble in Assam and today the
ensured in the State. We are committed to solve the vexed Bangladeshi
infiltration issue and steps have
already been taken for finding a permanent solution in this regard,"
19?E
E8B8>=
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demography of the State is disturbed due to wrong policies of the
ruling Congress," he added,
"The main intention is to make
Assam one of the front raking States
and security in all forms has to be
T D]X^]<X]XbcTaP[b^adTScWT
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Jaitley said.
The Union Minister also rued
the infrastructural gaps in the region
and said that there is an urgent need
to address this issue too for improving infrastructure, particularly the
rail and air connectivity, highways etc.
He said that the
BJP alliance in Assam
will sweep the forthcoming polls. "The
core strength of our
alliance is the youth
and the youth are
leading a campaign
for change in Assam.
The width and geographic spread of the
coalition will play a
crucial role in achieving victory," Jaitley
added.
He also dismissed
the allegations of nonrelease of funds to the
Assam by the Central
Government and said
that funds have been
given to Assam and
other States as per the
guidelines of finance
commissions.
?C8
"Assam will get
148 percent more in
2015-2020 fiscal than compared to
2010-15 due to higher tax devotion
of 42 percent compared to as 32 percent earlier," he added.
BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate
for Assam polls, Sarbananda Sonowal
who was also present on the occasion
said that the BJP is committed to
ensure constitutional safeguards to
the indigenous people of the State.
The BJP national president Amit
Shah on the other hand slammed
the Congress for failing to curb the
illegal infiltration and said that
Assam has become a hub of the infiltrators during the last 15 years rule
of the Congress Government in
Assam.
"If you want to free Assam from
the Bangladeshi infiltrators, the people of the State must unite and vote
for BJP-led alliance in the forthcoming polls”, Shah added.
0iP\:WP]
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?=BQ 6DF070C8
JP national president Amit
Shah on Friday addressed two
B
rallies in tea tribe-dominated
Sivsagar district of Assam and said
that the State has remained backward despite 55 years of Congress
rule since Independence and the
condition of tea tribe communities, which has over one crore population in the State, remained
pathetic during the Congress rule.
"The forthcoming polls in
Assam will decide whether Assam
will go ahead to progress and on the
path of development. If Assam has
to go ahead, there is an opportunity
before the people of Assam now.
They should support the BJP for
five years to make Sarbananda
Sonowal the State's Chief Minister,
I assure you that the Jodi of Prime
Minister Narendra Modi and
Sarbananda Sonowal will make
Assam the number one State in the
country," said Shah while addressing the rallies in tea tribe dominated
Sivsagar, a fortress of the Congress.
While Shah addressed the
first rally at Sivsagar town, the second one was at Sonari. Former All
Assam Students' Union (Aasu)
leader and BJP member Tapan
Kumar Gogoi will contest the
Sonari seat against Congress veteran and State Education Minister
Sarat Barkatakey.
"For 55 years there was
Congress Government in Assam
but the State remained backward
all these years. Assam became a
hub of illegal infiltrators from
Bangladesh. If you want to free
Assam from the Bangladeshi infil-
19?]PcX^]P[_aTbXST]c0\XcBWPWQTX]VUT[XRXcPcTSfXcWcaPSXcX^]P[0bbP\TbT³6P\^RWP´Pc
P]T[TRcX^]RP\_PXV]aP[[hX]6dfPWPcX0bbP\^]5aXSPh
?C8
trators, the people of Assam must
unite and vote for BJP-AGP-BPF
alliance," Shah said.
Shah also highlighted the
problems of the tea tribe communities in Assam and said that 42
percent of the tea tribe communities do not have drinking water
facilities while 32 percent of them
has no access to electricity in
Assam. "The Maternal Mortality
Rate (MMR) is high in the tea garden areas in Assam and 90 percent
of them have no access to primary education, over 80 percent of tea
tribe population are anemic and 20
percent have TB infections in tea
tardens," he said.
He said that Assam remained
backward despite its potential for
growth. "There are so many potentials in Assam-there are oils
beneath the ground and fertile
land in Assam. If proper strategy
is adopted Assam has the potential to become one of the strongest
in the country," he said.
Highlighting the development
agenda of the BJP Government at
the Centre, Shah said that wherever BJP Government assumes
power once, people have been voting for BJP every five year without
any campaigns and announcements. "In Gujarat, BJP came to
power once and since then the
people are voting us to power
there. Similarly, in MP, Rajasthan,
Maharastra and Chattishgarh, BJP
is getting elected in every election,"
he said adding that once the party
comes to power in Assam, people
will vote for the party again without any campaigns.
EX^[T]RT^]RP\_db)3TT_bRPabX]72D
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?=BQ
;D2:=>F
aising
a
R
question
mark over
the credibility of
A z a m
Khan to
be Parliamentary Affairs
Minister, Governor Ram Naik
said the statement of Minister
against Governor in Vidhan
Sabha was “unparliamentary”
and there was an urgent need
to discuss the matter with
Chief Minister Akhilesh
Yadav.
“Out of the 60 lines Azam
spoke in the Assembly against
the Raj Bhawan for not giving assent to the Nagar Nigam
Bill that gives power to the
Government to sack the mayors, 20 lines were deleted by
Speaker. When 33 per cent of
speech of the Minister is
removed from the proceedings of the House because it
is unparliamentar y and
against grace of the House,
then that person does not
deserve to be Parliamentary
Affairs Minister,” Governor
said in a letter sent to UP
Assembly Speaker Mata
Prasad Pandey here on Friday.
“I will also speak to Chief
Minister Akhikesh Yadav on
this issue,” he said without
elaborating whether he wanted Azam Khan to be dropped
from the Cabinet.
On March 8 last, Azam
Khan made a scathing attack
on the Governor for not giving assent to a Bill related to
urban local bodies. Azam
Khan had even termed
Governor as a BJP worker
who was protecting corrupt
Mayors. BJP legislature party
leader Suresh Khanna had
termed Azam Khan’s statement as an attack on the
Constitutional post. Even
Speaker said that Governor
was within his right to delay
giving assent to Bill.
CXQX*1ccQ]dUQdbYRUcbU]QY^UT
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?=BQ 7H34A0103
he raging controversy in the
Hyderabad
Central
T
University (HCU), which got re-
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63UHOHDVHVFDQGLGDWH
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the run-up to the Assembly
Samajwadi Party is
Ithenelections,
first party to get out of
block officially declaring candidates for 142 constituencies
out of 402 sending the message
loud and clear that the party
means business.
It was a deft party move as
it announced candidates for
only those constituencies
where party lost 2012 elections. It even chose those
candidates who have come
second or third in last elections. This move has given
almost 12 months’ time to the
candidates to prepare for the
elections.
“We are battle-ready for
2017 polls. The Samajwadi
party is on a firm footing as it
will showcase its achievements
and will go to the people with
its report card,” SP general
secretary and PWD Minister
Shivpal Singh Yadav said here
on Friday.
Of 142 party has given
ticket to 26 Muslims, 18 Yadavs
B?VT]TaP[bTRhBWXe_P[BX]VWHPSPe
and 12 women. It also declared
candidates for 21 reserve constituencies. The list is clear indication that party means business and does not hesitate
from poaching as Peace Party
MLA Annisurrahman would
contest election on SP ticket
from Kaanth (Moradabad).
Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid
Maulana Ahmad Bukhari’s
Son-in law Umar Ali Khan is
candidate from Behat while
independent MLA Vijay Singh
is SP candidate from
Farukhabad.
Former Minister Ambika
Chaudhry, who was dropped
from the Ministry, will contest
from Fefna in Ballia while in
Lucknow east Shweta Singh
will be party’s face instead of
Juhi Singh who had contested
last election.
Yadav said that these candidates will go to the people
and apprise them of the government schemes. “We are
confident to win this election
so we have declared candidates
such early,” he said.
Meanwhile, the party has
employed services of a US
agency to review the work of
sitting legisaltors. Depending
on that report party decide
whether or not to retain sitting
candidates, he said.
EVV_Z_[fcVUZ_S]Rde
ReSfZ]UZ_XZ_<VcR]R
?C8Q :0==DA
14-year-old girl has beeninjured in a blast that
A
took place in a two-storeyed
building, in which explosive
material meant for temple festivals were stored, at Kottai in
the district, police said on
Friday.
The blast which occurred
at around midnight, also
caused some damage to five
other houses in the neighbourhood, they said.
The girl, her mother and a
man, who stored the explosives
in the building, were residing
there it's only residents.
The man and woman were
not injured, they said, adding
that only a detailed investigation would throw light on how
exactly the explosion occurred.
ignited with the return of the
Vice-Chancellor P Appa Rao
from a two month long hiatus,
took a further turn with the students alleging that they were
brutally beaten up in the police
custody.
The details of how the students were beaten in police vans
while being shifted to police station emerged through social
media causing a fresh round of
outrage against the university
authorities as well as the
Telangana State police.
Hyderabad Police rounded
up 25 students and 2 professors
following the ransacking of the
office of the vice chancellor by
the students demanding Appa
Rao's sacking for his alleged role
in the suicide of a Dalit research
scholar Rohith Vemula.
The students and professors
were now languishing in
Charalapally Central jail awaiting the hearing of their bail petition on Monday.
Photos of Uday Bhanu, one
of the students beaten black
and blue the police on the campus itself were shared on
Facebook by his friends. They
showed several lathi-wielding
policemen thrashing him. Police
violence left Uday so badly
injured that he was kept in ICU
of a hospital for two days.
The agitating students have
also launched a Youtube channel
"Justice For Rohith" to share the
stories of police violence against
them. "While we were physically dragged and beaten up by
police, the university officials
were watching from VC's lodge
as if they were watching a cricket match", said a girl Avishpa
Sengupta, student of MA
Communication.
Many other girl students had
complaints of sexual harassment by the men in uniform.
Andhra Pradesh State
Human Rights Commission
Friday issued a notice to the Vice
Chancellor Appa Rao seeking a
report by Saturday on the incident on the campus including
the total blockade imposed on
the university by closure of the
mess facilities, water and electricity supply and disconnection
of internet facilities for more than
48 hours.
The commission issued the
notice on Friday on the complaint of Prof PL Vishweshwar
Rao, the leader of Aam Admi
Party.
.DQKDL\DIOD\V0RGL*RYW
IRUDVVDXOWRQXQLYHUVLWLHV
><4A50A>>@Q 7H34A0103
he two-day visit of
Jawaharlal
Nehru
T
University Students Union
(JNUSU) president Kanhaiya
Kumar to Hyderabad and
Vijaywada, including his
unsuccessful attempt to enter
Hyderabad Central University
(HCU) proved quite eventful.
Kanhaiya, who attended a
series of meetings in both the
cities and also addressed the
students of HCU at the gate of
the campus, evoked protests
from opponents including an
incident of an intruder throwing a shoe at him in 9=DBD_aTbXST]c:P]WPXhP:d\Pab_TPZbPcPbT\X]Pa^]2^]bcXcdcX^]P[AXVWcb
X]7hSTaPQPS^]CWdabSPh
?C8
Hyderabad.
As Kanhaiya Kumar was
addressing a meeting on under attack from the govern- affiliated organisations of the
"Constitutional Rights" at ment as attempts were being party. Despite the police presSudaraiah Vignana Kendra in made to stifle the voices of dis- ence, the protestors reached
the city, a lone intruder start- sent. "The Government has a closed the venue leading to a
ed shouting slogans against preplanned script to destroy the clash between the workers of
him and hurled a shoe at him. autonomy of the students", he CPI and the AISF on one hand
The volunteers posted at the said rejecting the allegations and the BJYM workers. Two
event immediately pounced that students were indulging in protestors were injured in the
on him and thrashed him politics. ""It is the government clash.
The police booked cases
badly causing bleeding injuries. which is indulging in politics",
against the BJYM and ABVP
Police immediately interevened he added.
Kanhaiya soon after his activists in connection with the
and took him away. He was
identified as Naresh Kumar, an arrival in Hyderabad on incidents.
Speaking on the occasion,
activist of Gau Rakhsha Dal. Wednesday tried to visit the
Police also arrested another HCU to address a meeting Kanhaiya Kumar said that such
protestor Pavan Reddy from organized by the supporters of attempts to frighten him will
Dalit research scholar Rohith not succeed. "Do whatever you
the venue.
Speaking on the occasion, Vemula who had committed want, I will not be scared".
Questioning why similar
Kanhaiya Kumar said that such suicide in January.
Kanhaiya who arrived at incidents of targeting students
attempts to frighten him will
not succeed. “Do whatever the University main gate along were taking place at JNU, HCU,
you want, I will not be scared”. with Rohith's mother Radhika Aligarh Muslim University,
Indirectly blaming the to be stopped by a posse of Fergusson College, FTII Pune,
Prime Minister Narendra Modi policemen made a brief Kanhaiya said that the univerfor the incident he said. “I am speech at the Gate and also sities across the country were
thankful to Mr Modi for giving spoke to the media declaring under attack from the governme free publicity. Some people that the struggle will contin- ment as attempts were being
want to gain publicity by beat- ue till the implementation of made to stifle the voices of disRohith Act to end caste dis- sent. "The Government has a
eing me up,” he said.
Questioning why similar crimination against the stu- preplanned script to destroy the
autonomy of the students", he
incidents of targeting students dents.
On Thursday his visit to said rejecting the allegations
were taking place at JNU, HCU,
Aligarh Muslim University, Vijaywada to address a meet- that students were indulging in
Fergusson College, FTII Pune, ing also evoked a violent protest politics. ""It is the Government
Kanhaiya said that the univer- by the workers of BJP youth which is indulging in politics",
sities across the country were wing BJYM, ABVP and other he added.
However the university
authorities have partially restored
the water and power supply and
also reopened the mess from
Thursday in view of the large
scale protests.
University officials said that
Joint Action Committee of the
administrative staff had decided
to close the mess as a protest
against the man-handling of its
two members.
But the JAC blamed the Vice
Chancellor for the closure of the
mess forcing the students to
starve.
Students also shared the
details of police brutality with the
political leaders who visited
them in jail on Friday.
Hyderabad Member of
Parliament Asaduddin Owaisi
strongly took a swipe at the
police action. "I met the HCU
students and 2 professors in
Jail. I am shocked that police beat
them in vans while being taken
to the police station", he said
demanding their immediate
release from jail and withdrawal of cases against them.
Radhika, mother of Rohith
Vemula, talking to the reporters
along with some other parents
and teachers of HCU demanded immediate and unconditional release of those imprisoned.
"The cases should be withdrawn
against them. They were
demanding justice for Rohith
and action against the police beat
them up brutally", she said.
She also asked as to how
Appa Rao can return as vice
chancellor when a case was
booked against him.
The arrest of the students
has also left their families worried and anxious as they have
not yet been officially informed
about the condition of their
wards. According to a report
from Kerala, a 42-year old
woman has expressed deep
concern that her 19 year-old
son studying at HCU was
arrested but she was not
informed about it. She came to
know about the arrest through
social media.
]PcX^]&
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ood Friday tended to present a rare sight for the
G
Bengal voters with both
Congress and Left parties jointly campaigning for each other
in scores of constituencies, the
one like Bhawanipore where
Mamata Banerjee and former
Union Minister Deepa
Dasmunshi are pitted against
each other to name a few.
Hundreds of Congress and
CPI(M) supports roamed the
Bhawanipore roads in South
Kolkata led by Dasmunshi and
local Left leaders. “This may
appear a rare sight but this is
the reality of today’s Bengal
where we have been forced to
set aside all other issues and
descend on the road in quest
of democracy, peace and
order” Dasmunshi the wife of
ailing Congress leader PR
Dasmunshi said.
“The way the voters are
clogging the road to talk to us
in Chief Minister’s own constituency we hope the people
will listen to our appeal and
vote for the Alliance.”
At Dum Dum up north on
the other hand Congress supports hit the streets in support
of CPI(M) candidate Palash
Das praying to the voters for
what they called “Praivartan II.”
Das said “This is an extraordinary situation. The
Trinamool Congress has fin-
VHDWVKDULQJLQFRQFOXVLYH
:D<0A274;;0??0= Q
274==08
he first-round discussion
between the Congress and
T
the DMK which began here on
FTbc1T]VP[2WXTU<X]XbcTaP]SC<2bd_aT\^<P\PcP1P]TaYTTVaTTcb_T^_[TSdaX]VWTaT[TRcX^]RP\_PXV]aP[[hU^acWT
d_R^\X]VBcPcT0bbT\Q[hT[TRcX^]X]FTbc<XS]P_^aT^]5aXSPh
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ished everything that Bengal
stood for. There is no politics
worth the name here. There is
only hooliganism, corruption
C<2[TPSTab\PZTcfXbchPS\XbbX^]^]=PaPSPQaXQT
?8>=44A=4FBB4AE824 Q
:>;:0C0
he Trinamool Congress conT
tinued to betray frustration
post Narada expose even as the
party leaders from Mamata
Banerjee down the line made
statements that circuitously
amounted to admission of the
recently telecast bribery scam.
Banerjee continued to
appeal to the voters not to vote
for her candidates but for her as
“I am contesting from all the 294
seats” prompting the opposition
to wonder whether she had full
faith in the integrity of the
party nominees after the
Saradha scam and Narada
expose.
On the other hand her
star campaigners like former
India soccer captain Baichung
Bhutia said that “it is a practice
for all the political parties to
take donations. Even the
Congress and the BJP have
taken donation,” leading the
Opposition to say that “Bhutia
has roundly conceded that
whatever was shown in the
Narada video was true.
State Minister Chandrima
Bhattacharya also said that “even
if we concede that the leaders
were accepting money we cannot deny that all such acceptance
is not a bribe. They may be
donations.” However Congress
leader Arunabha Ghosh said
“the rule says that donation
should come via cheque, must
be entered in the book and
shown in the income tax return.
They have say whether these
things were done or not.”
Senior TMC leader Dinesh
Trivedi also hinted that his
party MPs stung by Narada
expose should “sit at home till
the time they come out clean”
from charges levelled against
them.
Trivedi was speaking during a panel discussion, organised
by Confederation of Indian
Industry here in New Delhi.
However, he claimed that
TMC chief Mamata Banerjee
and grass-root workers , are
“absolutely okay”.
which has reached such a level
that even the senior politicians
like Saugato Roy and Subroto
Mukherjee have been caught in
camera taking bribe. We are
appealing to the people to set
aside every other consideration
and vote only for democracy
and restoration of order.”
Mamata Banerjee has
“successfully squeezed out the
instinct of greed among the
people. This greed is of
money, power, pelf, everything. This is why film stars,
players, artists, musclemen,
racketeers, syndicate wallas,
goondas all have clustered
around her in order to satisfy that greed. She has reached
the State on the verge of apocalypse. Her rule must end or
else Bengal itself will end,”
Arunabha Ghosh the
Congress candidate from
Bidhannagar said even as
CPI(M) leader Ramola
Chakrabarty walked by his side.
Friday to finalise the constituencies and number of seats
to be contested in the May 16
election to Tamil Nadu Assembly
remained inconclusive.
Ghulam Nabi Azad, leader
of the Opposition in the Rajya
Sabha, told reporters after the
hour-long meeting with DMK
president M Karunanidhi that
the discussion was preliminary
in nature. “We discussed about
the poll strategy and about
other political parties that are
going to be the part of the
DMK-Congress combine,” said
Azad.
The Congress leader was
accompanied by Mukul Wasnik,
and EVKS Elangovan, the
TNCC chief. Azad had called on
Karunanidhi last month to revive
the alliance between the parties
which was snapped by the DMK
in early 2013 following the failure of the then UPA
Government to bail out
Karunanidhi’s
daughter
Kanimozhi who was arrested
and jailed in connection with the
2G Spectrum Scam.
Kanimozhi and M K Stalin
were present during the meeting
held at the Gopalapuram residence of Karunanidhi. There
were reports that the number of
seats to be contested by the
Congress would be announced
on Friday. But Azad said the
number of seats to be allocated
to the Congress has not been
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ven as the line-up for the
electoral battle in Tamil
Nadu got ready, tempers have
started flying by Friday. The
DMK has issued a legal notice
to Vaiko of the MDMK for a
“baseless” allegation levelled by
him against M Karunanidhi,
the DMK chief on Friday.
Speaking to reporters at
Madurai airport, Vaiko who is
in an excited state after roping
in the DMDK chief Vijayakant
to the People’s Welfare Front ,
charged that the DMK and its
president Karunanidhi had
offered C500 crore and 80 seats
to lure Vijayakanth to its fold
for the assembly elections
scheduled for May 16. There
were reports in a section of the
media that Vijayakant may
cast his lots with the DMK. A
n army jawan was killed
while another went missing when an avalanche hit a
patrol party in Siachen’s
Turtuk sector Ladhak region
of Jammu and Kashmir Friday
morning.
The avalanche hit the partol party around 8 AM at
Turtuk area of Siachen — the
highest battleground in the
world — following which two
jawans got buried under the
snow, a Defence Spokesperson
said.
Immediately, rescue drills
were launched and one of the
soldiers, Lance Havildar
Bhawan Tamang was rescued
in a “critical” condition and
shifted to a nearest medical
A
facility.
“Lance Havildar Bhawan
Tamang, who was earlier rescued from an avalanche that
hit an army patrol party this
morning in Turtuk sector has
succumbed to his injuries,” the
Spokesperson said, adding the
soldier could not be revived by
the medical team.
Tamang was a resident of
Lopshu village in Darjeeling.
Meanwhile, massive
efforts are on to search and
rescue the missing jawan
despite an inclement weather
in the area.
Army
Commander,
Northern Command, Lt Gen
D S Hooda has expressed his
deep condolences to the family of Lance Havildar Bhawan
Tamang.
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section of political analysts in
Tamil Nadu were of the view
that a combination of DMK,
the DMDK and the Congress
would be an unassailable combination. But by Wednesday
Vijayakant signed a deal with
the four-party alliance of PWF
much to the disappointment of
the DMK and the Congress.
In his interaction with the
media at Madurai airport, Vaiko
went further and levelled similar serious charges against the
BJP, which too he said was ready
to give huge sums of money, a
Rajya Sabha seat and ministership to Vijayakanth’s party if he
chose to stick to the NDA in the
elections. When media persons asked Premalatha, wife of
Vijayakant, about the charges
made by Vaiko, she said she was
in the dark about such charges
and the question should be put
to the person who made such
allegations.
The charge against
Karunanidhi upset the DMK
which immediately issued a
legal notice to Vaiko, himself a
former leader of the DMK. The
legal notice asked Vaiko to
retract his statement within 7
days or face legal action.
“My client, Karunanidhi
said he was shocked to hear the
false and defamatory statement made by you at the
Madurai airport before a large
group of press and media
today accusing him of offering
money to Thiru Vijayakanth
leader of the Desiya Murpoku
Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK)
for joining as an alliance party
along with the DMK party,” the
notice sent to Vaiko said.
“Your statement has been
denied and controverted by the
wife
of
Vijayakanth,
Premalatha, who also said that
no discussions were held
between the DMK and DMDK
regarding alliance as stated by
you,” said the notice.
It is made with an intent to
politically
damage
Karunanidhi, to defame and
bring disrepute to him, the legal
notice said asking him to
retract his statement within 7
days. If Vaiko does not express
regret and withdraw his statement, Karunanidhi will press
civil and criminal charges
against him, the notice has said.
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Thiruvananthapuram: BJP is
planning to field cricketer S
Sreesanth as its candidate for
Kerala Assembly elections to be
held on May 16.
Sreesanth said he would
decide on whether to contest in
the election.
“I will let you know my
decision by tomorrow,”
Sreesanth told PTI but declined
to give further details.
Members of Sreesanths
family said he received a call
from a top BJP leader in Delhi
requesting him to contest from
Thrippunithura Assembly constituency. They also said
Sreesanth is likely to meet BJP
chief Amit Shah when he visits Kerala.
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ore than a fortnight after
she and fellow activists
M
were detained on their way
from Pune to Nashik to storm
the Trimbakeswar temple, gender rights activist Trupti Desai
on Friday quietly visited the
famous Lord Shiva temple in
north Maharashtra, but stayed
away from into its sanctum
sanctorum.
Desai, who along with
activists from Bhumata
Rangranai Brigade (BRB) had
tried unsuccessfully on March
7 to storm the sanctum sanctorum of the Trimbakeswar
temple, Trimbakeshwar temple today and took ‘darshan’ of
the deity from outside the
‘garbhagriha’, the sanctum
sanctorum where entry of
women is banned.
Desai and other BRB
activists, who were accompanying her on his visit to the
temple, were escorted out safely by the police. “Their visit to
the temple was peaceful. They
left the place without making
any attempt to barge into the
sanctum sanctorum of the temple,” a senior police official
from Nashik said.
Desai, who was in Niphad
taluka of Nashik district here to
attend a programme, made a
surprise visit to the
Trimbakeshwar temple, which
houses one of the 12 jyotrilingas.
Before she left for Mumbai,
Desai did not hold any talks
with the temple management
about BRB’s demand for entry
to the sanctum sanctorum of
the temple. Nor was there any
attempt on her and fellow
activists’ part to force their way
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inside the sanctum sanctorum
of the temple.
Talking to media persons at
Niphad on Thursday, Desai
had said that she and BRB
activists would henceforth try
to enter the inner worship
areas of the temples unannounced and without law and
order problems.
“Because of the age-old
tradition that bars women from
entering the core worship areas,
women in towns of the temple
towns of Shani Shinganapur
and Trimbakeshwar are under
tremendous pressure. We are
not against anyone. But we are
just opposing the traditions
that bar us from entering core
worship areas in temples,”
Desai said.
It may be recalled that
after trying unsuccessfully to
storm the Shani Shingnapur
temple in Ahmednagar district
on January 26, the BRB women
activists had embarked upon a
similar mission on March 7.
They were, however, detained
by the police at NandurShingote, 95 km from the temple town of Trimbak.
On March 7, the Nasik
police did not have to face a
high drama akin to the one witnessed on January 26, when the
Ahmednagar police intercepted and detained 500-odd BRB
activists at Supe toll naka,
while they were on their way to
the Shani Shingnapur temple.
On that occasion, the
crowds had become unmanageable for the police considering that the women protesters were travelling in 7 buses
and 15 cars.
The failed attempt by the
BRB women activists on the
occasion of Republic Day had
come in the wake of a sensation
that a still-to-be identified
woman from Pune had created by breaking a five-centuryold taboo, climbed up to “chauthara” (a platform) housing
the idol of Lord Shani on
November 28 last year.
The act of her performing
puja had been captured on the
CCTV of the temple the following morning. Irked by the
incident, the temple management sacked seven security
personnel and “purified” the
idol by performing an
“abhisheka” with milk on the
following day.
When contacted, Kerala
BJP president
Ku m m a n a m
Rajasekharan
said the state
leadership was
not aware of the move but
“things will be clear in two
days.”
A top BJP leader also said
someone from BJPs central
leadership must have contacted Sreesanth directly “as he is
a celebrity”.
If Sreesanth decides to contest the elections, he is likely to
fight against State Excise
Minister and Congress leader K
Babu for Thrippunithura seat in
Ernakulam district.
PTI
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firmed-up.
“We have not firmed up the
numbers. We have been given
sometime. The DMK also has to
think about the numbers. We
will discuss among ourselves,
with AICC president, PCC president and other Congress leaders. Next time we will be able to
firm up the numbers,” said
Azad.
Stalin said Azad had placed
before the DMK his views on
seat-sharing. “Our leader
Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) also
explained his position. Azad
will come back again after apprising his party high-command
about today’s meeting, which was
very cordial,” he said.
In the 2011 Assembly elections, the DMK had allocated 63
seats to the Congress out of
which the party won five seats.
This time the Congress is
demanding at least 40 seats in the
backdrop of a faction led by G K
Vasan walking out of the party
and reviving the Tamil Manila
Congress. The announcement by
the DMDK to join the People’s
Welfare Front (PWF), has
enthused the Congress cadre as
the DMK would have enough
seats to spare.
Though the CongressDMK talks were on expected
lines, what made the political
scene enliven was the Thursday
meeting between Karunanidhi
and his Madurai-based
estranged son M K Alagiri.
The Madurai strongman, who
was expelled from the DMK in
early 2014 called on
Karunanidhi on Thursday,
reportedly at the instance of
Selvi, his sister. According to
sources in the DMK,
Karunanidhi wants Alagiri back
in the party as the latter has considerable influence in the southern belt. The campaign by Stalin
who has usurped the party
control, is yet to make any
impact among the cadre.
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lection officials on Friday
seized unaccounted cash
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amounting to over C58 lakh
during vehicle checks in
Coimbatore and Salem districts.
During a routine check in
Salem, officials intercepted a van
near the city government boys
high school but the driver of the
vehicle suddenly sped away.
However, the officials gave
chase and managed to intercept
the vehicle. During a search of
the vehicle, unaccounted cash
worth C56,56,800 was found,
they said.
In another incident, officials confiscated cash to the
tune of C2.15 lakh from a
banana farmer in Coimbatore
district, after he failed to produce valid documents,
they said.
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n theory, counter-terrorism ought to be made easier by the European
Union. Its 28-member
States can agree on how to
spot and intercept jihadists, then
share tips as they pursue a common enemy. That’s the theory. In
practice, however, it’s a terrifying shambles — as we are now
finding out.
For example, its security database contains 90,000 fingerprints
— but there’s no means of searching it. Member States cannot
even agree on how to spell Arabic
names: A bit of a handicap when
it comes to tracking Islamists who
move across borders. The EU
might have many uses, but security just isn’t one of them.
If such an argument was made
by Nigel Farage, it would be easy
for British Prime Minister David
Cameron to dismiss it. But coming from Richard Dearlove, the
former head of the British Secret
Intelligence Service, it’s devastating. The EU security apparatus, he
says, is a network of talking shops
suffering from “vastly varying
levels of professionalism”. Pulling
out of the EU would have very few
security implications, he says:
Neighbours help each other
regardless. If the Germans learn of
an imminent attack on London,
they would not keep quiet because
we had left the EU.
Week by week, Cameron’s
main argument for staying in the
EU is collapsing. The Prime
Minister decided some months
ago to campaign on security,
rather than economic arguments. It wasn’t plausible, he
thought, to say that Britain
couldn’t thrive on its own —
especially at a time when our
economy had been creating
more jobs that the rest of Europe
put together. So he’d campaign
on the theme that served him so
well in the Scottish referendum
and last year’s election: Security.
Which is a nice way of saying:
Scare the bejesus out of the voters, and hope for the best.
Project Fear worked in
Scotland, because separation
from the UK was a genuinely
scary prospect — it would have
left the new nation’s economy at
the mercy of the (now-collapsed)
oil price. Project Fear worked in
the general election because
Labour party’s Ed Miliband had
a long list of terrifying policies,
and the prospect of his being
propped up by the Scottish
National Party was quite real.
Negative campaigning can work,
if based on a powerful truth. But
I
without the truth, fear loses its
potency. Especially if voters can
see that the EU’s woeful inability to handle security is making
Europeans less safe.
The tragic events of the past
few months have shown, for
example, how the French and
Belgians struggle to share intelligence with each other, let alone
the rest of the EU. The perpetrators of the Paris attacks were
known to the Belgian police, but
in spite of a common border (and
language) they couldn’t communicate. The dismantling of border
controls makes it easier for terrorists move bombs. The freedom
works, but the security doesn’t.
Which is perhaps why, after the
Paris attacks, a French intelligence
chief saidthat his country had
become a “victim of solidarity
with the European Union”.
This week’s attacks in Brussels
have also exposed breathtaking
security failures. We learnt that
one of the perpetrators, Ibrahim
El Bakraoui, was apprehended by
the Turkish police en route to
Syria and sent back — but let go.
The EU’s free movement of people means that the failings of one
9Vc_][email protected]]U]
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European country become a
problem for all. So it’s hard,
almost impossible, to argue with
any honesty that the EU makes us
more secure. Richer? Possibly.
Better neighbours? Certainly. But
safer? Never.
Europhiles (myself included)
have been dismayed to see the
Prime Minister defend EU membership with arguments that don’t
just stretch credulity but actively insult intelligence. The benefits
of freer access to this wonderful
continent, I’d argue, outweigh the
headaches of being more exposed
to its problems. But it doesn’t follow that the Jungle in Calais
would relocate to Kent if we left
the EU, as No 10 says.
Fresh hysterical, implausible
claims arrive by the day. Recently,
we heard Amber Rudd, the
Energy secretary, claiming that
our fuel bills will rise if we leave
the EU. Why, given that a third of
our energy comes from Norway?
Why should we fear Russian
President Vladimir Putin (as she
claims) given that we import
almost no energy from Russia?
What’s more, as she admitted to
The Spectator earlier this month,
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the green agenda means that
fuel bills will rise anyway. She
said, then, that it was important
to be honest about such things.
But honesty is the first casualty of
political campaigning.
The Prime Minister normally panics at the last minute. This
time, he’s panicking early. The
“in” campaign’s polling chief,
Andrew Cooper, has advised him
to calm down and assured him
that there’s a comfortably low
chance of “leave” winning. This,
however, is the same Andrew
Cooper who last year calculated
Cameron’s chances of winning a
majority at 0.5 per cent. So the
Prime Minister can be forgiven
for being nervous: As he knows,
he’s losing the argument. Project
Fear is being impaled by its own
dishonesty. Rescuing the campaign might mean doing something dramatic..
In Scotland, he made what
became known as “the vow” —
a pledge to give Holyrood more
powers. He could try the same
here. His renegotiation was a
failure, but he has another card
to play in the form of his Bill of
Rights. He has already said that
the reform does not stop if he
wins the referendum. So he
could lay out the next stage:
Michael Gove’s Bill of Rights,
which would declare British
courts free from any interference
from the European Court of
Human Rights.
The British constitution is
simple: Whatever the Queen
enacts, through Parliament,
becomes law. So a Bill of Rights
that declared the UK Supreme
Court to be just that would fundamentally alter the balance of
power. It would enrage certain
lawyers in London and
Strasbourg. But Cameron need
not fear their wrath, nor pay their
fines. He needs to do what the
rest of Europe does all the time:
Play some hardball. His Bill of
Rights would be radical, plausible and doesn’t relying on scaring anyone. And it would send a
message to the growing number
of Brexiteers that he hears them.
It is still more likely than not
that Britain will vote to “stay”,
but the chances of Britain voting out — with the Prime
Minister’s subsequent resignation — are rising with each
laughably improbable claim
from Project Fear. It’s time for
him to stop talking about how
awful things would be if we left,
and start talking about how he’d
make things better if we stayed.
(Courtesy: The Daily Telegraph)
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Sir — This refers to the editorial, “Terror re-visits Europe”
(March 24). European countries
are going through one of the
worst economic crises and attacks
like these will further keep
tourists away from these nations.
The need of the hour, therefore,
is to show a strong resolve and
remain united. With connectivity and technology being the
name of the gam, it is going to be
all the more challenging for security agencies across the world to
nab dreaded terrorists.
Bal Govind
Noida
7\_RQ\UVV_bdc
Sir — This refers to the editorial, “Terror re-visits Europe”
(March 24). Human existence has
become synonymous with living
in terror. New York, London,
Mumbai, Paris, Brussels... the
list goes on. There are lessons that
the world must draw from these
terror attacks. Only a global
effort will help contain the problem of terrorism; full resolution
is far away still.
KS Jayatheertha
Bangalore
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Sir — This refers to the editorial, “Terror re-visits Europe”
(March 24). The terror attacks in
Brussels on March 22, prove that
terrorism is devoid of religion.
It affects everyone equally.
On the other hand, India
needs to be vigilant in the forthcoming days. It is time that the
world unites to fight the global
menace of terrorism.
Charvi Kathuria
Via email
Sir — This refers to the article,
“The Sheldon Pollock hold on
Indian minds” (March 23) by
Rajesh Singh. Only a person who
is born in this country will absorb
and understand the nuances in
spirit of the culture/religion/Vedas
etc. For example, a person (even
a scholar) from the West will
pronounce the word ‘bhavana’ as
‘be heyvana’!
Raj Ram
Via web
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Sir — This refers to the article,
“The Sheldon Pollock hold on
Indian minds” (March 23) by
Rajesh Singh. After having read
Rajiv Malhotra’s book, The Battle
for Sanskrit: Is Sanskrit Political
or Sacred, Oppressive or
Liberating, Dead or Alive?, if any
Indian does not close the book
with a salute of gratitude to him,
he is definitely disconnected
from the “lived experience of
himself and his ancestors.”
Certainly, this is something that
Sheldon Pollock, however great
he may be, will never understand.
Wg Cdr
Via web
Sir — This refers to the article,
“The Sheldon Pollock hold on
Indian minds” (March 23) by
Rajesh Singh. Just as the sepoys
assisted the loot of our ancient
scripts and sanskriti, the loot of
India continues with the likes of
Sheldon Pollock and Rohan
Murty. It’s time to stand up and
be counted. Rajiv Malhotra’s
books are a good platform to
expand one’s knowledge for the
battle that is growing.
Jayv
Via web
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(TPP), which was concluded in
October 2015, is all set to change the
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status quo in global trade for the rest
of the 21st century. The TradeRelated Aspects of Intellectual
Property Rights (TRIPS) of the
World Trade Organisation (WTO)
— so far recorded as the most controversial ‘trade deal’ in the business
world — has brought sea change in
the global governance regime of
Intellectual Property (IP). However,
the TPP — dubbed as the ‘WTOplus’ by many in the 21st century —
is heading for making new rules in
global trade, intensifying the ever
increasing gap between the countries
of the North and the South and even
within the North zone itself.
The TPP is a free trade agreement (FTA) negotiated by 12 Pacific
Rim nations: the US, Australia,
Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan,
Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand,
Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Originally, the TPP was launched in
2005 with an agreement among four
of Asia-Pacific’s smallest nations:
Brunei, New Zealand, Chile and
Singapore. Later, the US and the rest
of the seven nations joined the
agreement to make it one of the most
landmark trade deals of the century. On November 12, 2011, the
leader of the nine TPP countries —
Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia,
New Zealand, Peru, Singapore,
Vietnam and the US — announced
the achievement of the broad outlines of the agreement which covers
‘five defining features’: First,
Comprehensive Market Access, to
eliminate tariffs and other barriers to
goods & services and investment, so
as to create new opportunities for
their workers and businesses and
immediate benefits for their consumers; second, ‘Fully Regional
Agreement’, to facilitate the development of production and supply
chains among the TPP members,
supporting their goal of creating jobs,
raising living standards, improving
welfare and promoting sustainable
growth in these countries; third,
Cross-cutting Trade Issues for building on work being done in APEC by
incorporating in the TPP four new
cross-cutting issues, which included
regulatory coherence, competitiveness and business facilitation, small
and medium-sized enterprises and
development; fourth, ‘New Trade
Challenges’, under which it would
promote trade and investment in
innovative products and services,
including relating to the digital
economy and green technologies,
and to ensure a competitive business
environment across the TPP region
and finally, ‘Living Agreement’, which
would enable the updating of the
agreement as appropriate to address
trade issues that emerge in the
future as well as new issues that arise
with the expansion of the agreement
to include new countries.
It seems the TPP is covering the
widest possible features, which will
eventually turn it into purely a ‘21st
century trade agreement’ heralding
a new standard to global business
and incorporating next generation
issues. Unlike, many other FTAs, the
TPP is unique plurilateral agreement,
which is widely dispersed among
members coming from four of the
seven continents. Hence it goes
beyond the nature of a pure regional trade agreement.
To be precise, ‘it is just as economically diverse. Australia’s per
capita income is about 40 times that
of Vietnam. The US economy is
around 1,000 times the size of
Brunei’ (Menon 2014). It provides a
rare opportunity to bring a new
agenda to the global trade but many
are concerned about its longstanding effects particularly on the rest of
the trading blocs and within the
members of the group.
Why is there always a thaw in
reaching consensus among the TPP
members on major issues till date?
Primarily, the TPP members include
countries as varied as Vietnam,
Mexico, Peru and the US where
hardly there are any commonality of
interests, negotiating positions and
principles which clearly guide them
to a single point.
Looking at their huge per capita
income differences, it would be just
obvious not to have a common
ground for a lasting agreement.
Another one serious and controversial aspect of the TPP is its InvestorState-Dispute-Settlement (ISDS) provision, which allows foreign investors
to bring claims for money damages
over violations of the investor protection clause before a private arbitration tribunal that operates outside
the challenged country’s judicial system. Under the ISDS, one arbitrator
comes from the investor’s side, one
from the country being challenged
and a third by agreement of the other
two arbitrators. The irony is that these
three arbitrators are not Government
officials or state appointed judges and
also they need not be nationals of the
challenged country. And, finally these
three arbitrators will have the last
word as to whether the Government
of a particular country will be compelled to pay damages to a business
house, and there can be no judicial
review about the merits of these arbitrary rulings within the country.
Even in America, there has been
a strong opposition growing on the
ISDS which questioned: Can the US
President and the Congress, consistent with Article III (under which
Judges in US are appointed) assign
to three private arbitrators the judicial function of determining the merits of a TPP investor challenge? The
economist and Nobel Laureate
Joseph E Stiglitz, who wrote a letter
to the US Congress supported by
both Democrats and Republicans
highlights that the “ISDS is about
rewriting the rules of how our economy works, tipping the balance of
power in favour of big businesses at
the expense of workers and the
public here and in partner countries.”
Despite the positive spin that has
accompanied the TPP talks so far,
there has been a constant tussle
between the two groups of its members — Asian and non-Asian — on
the implementation part.
“But of all the obvious divisions
among the 12 TPP participants, it is
the clash of capitalisms that is the
most difficult to overcome. The
Anglo-American participants, especially the US, firmly believed in a
market-led approach to economic
growth. The Asian partners —
notably Japan, Malaysia, Singapore
and Vietnam — however, achieved
much of their remarkable economic success by relying on a state-guided approach to economic development. These competing visions of
how to advance economic growth
affect nearly every one of the many
issues that need to be negotiated —
tariff elimination, reductions in nontariff barriers, investment safeguards,
protecting intellectual property rights
and so on” (Stubbs 2014). Japan’s
powerful agricultural lobby is opposing the TPP and in countries like
Malaysia, political arch-rivals like
Mahathir Mohammad and Anwar
Ibrahim have already voiced against
the agreement. Although the deal has
now been signed by its members,
approval from all its 12 legislative
bodies are eagerly awaited.
What is at stake for the US in
TPP? By November 2009, President
Obama announced his country’s
intention to participate in the TPP
negotiations to conclude an ambitious ‘next generation’, Asia-Pacific
trade agreement that reflects the US
economic priorities and values. With
the conclusion of the TPP, the
Obama Administration seeks to
boost the US economic growth and
support the creation and retention of
high-quality American jobs by
increasing exports in a region that
includes some of the world’s most
robust economies, representing
almost 40 per cent of the global GDP.
For Obama, the TPP is crucial for
ensuring US business interests in the
Pacific and do-or-die battle after
China’s move towards the creation of
the Asian Infrastructure Investment
Bank (AIIB) and the New
Development Banks BRICS or formerly referred to as BRICS
Development Bank, both stationing
within the People’s Republic and
largely throwing a challenge to the
age-old dominance of the western
financial institutions or to the
Bretton-Woods Institutions. Apart
from this, the conclusion of the TPP
would also set a legacy in Obama’s
global affairs.
Who gets what out of the TPP?
As for the TPP signatories like
Vietnam and Malaysia, they will have
the opportunity to get access to crucial US markets where they will
potentially be benefitted in the days
to come. As a reaction to the successful conclusion of the TPP, WTO
Director General Roberto Azevedo
announced that the ‘TPP will serve
as an inspiration for the WTO members’ in the 10th Ministerial
Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya
from 15-19 December, 2015.
However, critics argued that neither
the process of TPP talks nor its
inbuilt structure were helpful in
reaching an agreement on Doha
Development Agenda (DDA) at all.
In fact, the WTO was an utter failure to reach a consensus on DDA,
whereas the TPP members concluded the entire deal only within a
span of just five years. However, both
have similar old as well as new issues
like agriculture and non-agricultural market access (NAMA) and
emerging issues like e-commerce and
competition. Within the TPP members, dialogue and discussion on vital
issues were possible despite having
serious differences unlike the WTO’s
huge 161-member club where two
distinct blocs — North and the
South — have their own agendas and
permanent squabbles.
So, the TPP in this sense could
hardly motivate the largely divided
WTO members to seal the muchawaited DDA in future. On the
question of WTO’s receding clout and
relevance against the backdrop of the
growing FTAs like the TTP, TTIP and
RCEP, Azevedo remarked that the
path of regional agreements should
continue, but these agreements are
not a threat to the WTO.
On the contrary, they can provide energy and direction to the multilateral trading system. It is worth
noting that these RTAs have WTO
DNA woven throughout them as
their language on many issues is very
close to existing multilateral rules
(and often exactly the same). Thus,
he broadly argued that ‘we have,
therefore, seen no conflict with
WTO rules, but it is true that these
agreements cover areas that are not
currently included in the WTO
agreements’. Therefore, the WTO’s
official version is very clear that
WTO would remain relevant despite
mushrooming of emerging FTAs
and it would rule the roost in glob-
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al trade. But in reality it is not so and
these FTAs’ spearheaded by strong
economies like the US, Japan,
Canada, etc, would soon influence
the vital agendas within the WTO
more vigorously than ever before out
of frustration and will long for faster
growth and better protection of
their worldwide interests.
For countries like India, it may
seriously impact its exports though
it is not part of the deal. India’s
Commerce Minister Nirmala
Sitharaman commented that the
TPP may indirectly have an impact
on several industrial sectors like textiles, leather, clothing, cotton and
yarn, besides the country’s regime on
investment, labour standards, IPRs,
Government procurement and stateowned enterprises (SOE). As the TPP
is setting very high standards, the
Indian Government may have to
work hard to improve its standards
in areas such as labour laws and the
ISDS mechanism might have to be
studied in detail. The Minister also
highlighted the fact that some of the
standards of the TPP are much higher than that of the WTO norms,
including the IPR and possible evergreening of patents, which could hurt
India’s pharma industry. She said the
operations and production methods
of India’s public sector units could
also be constrained due to the TPP.
Besides, the TPP countries will have
the advantage of nil or low duties, so
investors would rather prefer to
invest in them, so it would be wiser
considering investment in these
countries for Indian companies as
well. But once the TPP is completed
it would seriously hurt India’s grand
‘Make in India’ project launched by
the current Modi Government.
Hence, the country needs to be cautious and bring in reforms in major
sectors for wooing large investments.
Given that seven countries within the
Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership (RCEP) are TPP members, there could be a possibility that
they all may push for adoption of
higher standards prescribed by the
TPP. So India needs to set the course
for an overhaul of a fresh round of
economic reforms which are currently on their way.
Of late, the delays and internal
complexities on the way to lock the
TPP deal is largely overshadowed by
another trade pact of the WTO i.e.
Doha Round. The TPP, along with
the TTIP, would surely be a game
changer for the current WTO system. It has been realised for long that
the multilateral trading system initiated by the WTO is mostly making slow progress and fast missing
deadlines on issues of critical importance for developing countries over
the years. In 2013, at the Bali
Ministerial, the WTO members
could somehow pass the Trade
Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in the
midst of acrimonious debates while
sidelining and postponing core issues
related to the Doha Round in the
past. Thus, the WTO is quietly slipping back into the fast growing
demands and issues that most of its
members are seeking early negotiations.
An environment of slow action,
growing concern over the divide
between the North and the South
bloc countries, frustration of the
developed nations over the nonimplementation of the TRIPS-plus
measures and finally, the intensification of pressures from developing
nations for substantial reforms in the
existing global financial institutions,
including the IMF and the World
Bank, might lessen, first the role of
the WTO as the sole arbiter of trade
relations between its members and
gradually, help fading its ‘over imposing neo-liberal economic ethos’ in
the years to come.
Though the TPP is widely hailed
as ‘ambitious, comprehensive, high
standard and 21st century’ deal by its
advocates, yet significant gaps remain
among the members in finally passing it through their cumbersome legislative process to make it a reality.
It is surely making once again a dollar-dominated preferential regional
trade agreement. Another serious
drawback of the agreement is that it
is excluding Asia’s three big emerging economies at the moment:
China, India and Indonesia.
Understandably, Obama desires
to extend Washington’s current trade
alliances with the East Asia to South
and South East Asian nations pushing China behind.
Indeed, the TPP is presenting a
difficult opportunity to choose
between Washington and Beijing at
a time when some of the nations in
Asia are locked in a tight conflict with
China in the South China Sea wherein all of them need a stronger and
resurgent US power to make the sea
waters safe, secure and free for all.
Drawing on the current complexities, the majority of the countries in the region is choosing not
between China and the US, but ironically both and at some point each
of them. Indonesia, the Philippines,
and Thailand are currently out of the
TPP for their own economic compulsions apart from other political
reasons. On the other hand,
Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar are
technically not ready for an FTA like
that of the TPP.
Many of the TPP members have
made it an obvious choice as the
WTO brings a gloomy picture at the
fag-end of the 20th century. The 20th
anniversary of the establishment of
the WTO marks a narrative littered
with missed deadlines, disappointments, and failed negotiations
(Lehman 2015) and hence FTAs like
the TPP is bringing a new horizon
to the emerging global trade. At the
same time, the RCEP which looks
less intrusive, more flexible and less
ambitious than the TPP might attract
more countries than the latter in the
days to come. Whatsoever it may be,
hope the TPP would not turn itself
into another machine to promote
American interests by gradually
sidelining the WTO!
(The writer is independent
political analyst based in Delhi)
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=4F 34;78) The Finance
Ministry is in the process of
filling vacant post of nonexecutive chairman in nine
public sector banks, including
Punjab National B ank,
Oriental Bank of Commerce,
UCO Bank and Corporation
Bank.
A s enior Finance
Ministry official told the
news agency that the process
to fill vacancies of non-executive chairman in nine staterun banks is underway.
Andhra Bank, IDBI Bank
and Indian Overseas Bank are
among the banks where the
newly created post of nonexecutive chairman is vacant.
After splitting the post of
Chairman and Managing
Director in August last year,
government appointed nonexecutive chairmen in five
public sector banks with the
announcement
of
Indradanush, a comprehensive revamp plan for PSU
banks.
The five banks were Bank
of Baroda, Bank of India,
Canara Bank, Vijaya Bank
and Indian Bank.
Separation of the post of
Chairman and Managing
Director was done based on
global best practices and as
per the guidelines in the
Companies Act to ensure
appropriate checks and balances.
Prime Minister Narendra
Modi recently set up Banks
Board Bureau (BBB) to advise
the government on top-level
appointments at public sector
lenders. Former CAG Vinod
Rai has been appointed chairman of the Bureau, which will
init ially func tion from
Mumbai.
The bureau will give recommendations on appointment of directors in public
sector banks and ways to
tackle rising bad loans,
among others.
It will also help them
develop differentiated strategies of capital raising and
innovative financial instruments. The Government
wants to encourage boards of
PSBs to restructure their
business strategy and suggest
the way forward for their
consolidation and merger
with other banks.
?C8
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=4F 34;78) Air passengers will
now get higher compensation that
could amount up to C1 crore in
the event of death, injury, loss of
baggage or inordinate delay in
flights, with an amended legislation coming into force.
Indian airlines would have to
pay compensation that is equivalent to the rates paid by their
global counterparts. The quantum would be based on Special
Drawing Rights (SDR) and current exchange rates, and the
compensation amount could be
up to C1 crore.
Providing for increased compensation to air travellers, the
amended Carriage by Air Act
received assent from the President
on March 21, as per a
Government communication.
The Carriage by Air
(Amendment) Bill was cleared by
the Parliament on March 11.
With the amended law coming into force, the Government
can now revise the liability limits of airlines in line with the
Montreal Convention, which was
acceded to by India in May 2009.
Under the amended Act, the
government has powers to issue
notifications for the purpose of
determining the liabilities of the
carriers and extent of compensation for damages.
Among others, the compensation for death in an air accident
and the amount would be calculated on the basis of SDR (Special
Drawing Rights). The liability
limit for damage in case of death
or bodily injury for each person
would rise to 1,13,100 SDR from
1,00,000 SDR.
As per the latest exchange
rate, the compensation limit rises
to more than C1 crore. One SDR
was equivalent to C93.49 as on
March 23.
The currency value of the
SDR is based on market exchange
rates of a basket of major currencies - US dollar, Euro, Japanese
Yen and Pound Sterling.
The liability amount for
delay in carriage for each Person
would be hiked to 4,694 SDR
from 4,150 SDR while in the case
of destruction, loss, damage or
delay of baggage the compensation would rise to 1,131 SDR
from 1,000 SDR.
With regard to destruction,
loss or delay in relation to the carriage of cargo, the liability money
would be 19 SDR compared to 17
SDR earlier.
The liability limits are revised
once every five years by the UN
body International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO)on the basis
of a determined inflation factor
of 13.1 per cent, triggering an
adjustment in the limits.
The Bill was passed in the
Lok Sabha on December 2015
and by the Rajya Sabha, with certain amendments, on March 2.
The bill, along with the amendments, was cleared by the Lower
House on March 11.
?C8
'R7VHHNVWRKDVWHQDSSURYDO :K\,QGLDVKRXOGQ¶WZRUU\
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80=BQ :0C7<0=3D
=4F 34;78) To remove bottle-
necks in getting permissions
from various authorities for
rollout of network by by telecom
companies, the Department of
Telecom (DoT) has proposed
uniform rules and single window clearance system for getting
approvals.
The DoT has written to the
states and various Central
Government ministries and
departments proposing new
rules that would be applicable
uniformly across the country.
“The delay in providing
Right of Way (RoW) permissions and the high RoW charges
impedes the development of
telecom infrastructure adversely affecting the access to telecom
services and Internet.
“Therefore, there is an
urgent need to simplify the
process of granting RoW permissions and provide these
through a single window clearance system in a transparent and
time bound manner,” Telecom
Secretary J S Deepak said in the
letter.
The letter along with draft
rules was sent to state chief secretaries, administrators of all
Union Territories and various
ministries, including power and
defence.
The DoT has sought
responses to the draft Indian
Telegraph Right of Way Rules,
2016 by April 20.
RoW permission is required
for laying out underground
cable network. Telecom companies often blame local authorities in the states for creating
unnecessary hurdles in roll out
of telecom infrastructure, specially in granting RoW permission.
Most of the complaints have
been made regarding abnormally high price for RoW as well
as different levies or fee imposed
by various authorities other
than charges prescribed under
telecom licences.
The DoT in draft rules has
proposed that concerned
authorities should also not
impose any fee, charge, lease
rental, licence fee other than the
expense that authorities will be
incurring as consequence of
the proposed work.
Looking to address issue of
arbitrary rates imposed by various government bodies, DoT
proposes that payments sought
by the authorities should be calculated on the basis of applicable schedule of rates for works
of similar nature executed by it
from time to time.
The new rules propose that
telecom companies should submit application before concerned authorities in a prescribed format and every application shall accompany fee to
meet administrative expenses for
examination but not exceeding
C25,000.
The authorities involve in
granting RoW permit will have
to grant permission within 60
days should decide on the appli-
0DOO\DVDJDFDQQRWXQGRJRRG
ZRUNGRQHE\FRUSRUDWHV1LUPDOD
=4F34;78)Corporate misconduct
happens all over the world and one
episode of liquor baron Vijay
Mallya cannot undo the good
work done by domestic and international companies in India,
Commerce Minister Nirmala
Sitharaman said on Friday.
“All over the world, corporate
misconduct happens. You have
heard of so many different stories
all over the world... it is not only
in India. And just that one incident
cannot be reflective of all the good
work, which is being done by so
many good companies, which are
not just in India but also carrying
the flag abroad,” she told the news
agency in an interview.
The minister was responding
to a question whether Vijay Mallya
episode will dent India’s image
among investors.
Sitharaman, however, said
the nation could learn lessons and
take steps to prevent recurrence of
such corporate misdemeanours in
future.
“Many multinationals from
India today are a performing all
over the world. So I don’t think it
will have a bad impact although we
can use that as an example where
if there are lessons to be learned
about how we need to have a bit
more due diligence, we need to do
the course correction,” he said.
Mallya, whose group company owes over C9,000 crore to 17
banks, had left the country on
March 4 and currently is in the
UK.
His financial dealings are
being probed by several investigative agencies, including CBI,
Enforcement Directorate and tax
department.
RBI Governor Raghuram
Rajan had recently said people like
Mallya could not lead a lavish life
on borrowed money and continue to remain a defaulter, after the
liquor baron threw a lavish party
to celebrate his 60th birthday. ?C8
cation. In case of rejection of the
application the concerned
authority should record reason
in writing, as per the proposal.
“It is necessary to ensure
that
all
government
agencies/local bodies only levy
the reinstatement charges in
case of underground telecom
infrastructure,” the Telecom
Secretary said in the letter.
According to the draft rules,
the concerned authoritywill
need to examine application
within parameters defined
under policy like mode of execution, time duration of project,
estimation of expenses that will
be put in consequence of the
proposed work, responsibility
for damage, public safer etc.
Also, no application should
be rejected unless telecom company has been given a chance to
explain its position.
Telecom companies will
need to make the payment
within 30 days of getting permission as per the draft.
The policy proposes that in
case there is unavoidable reason
demanding removal change in
telecom infrastructure laid down
by companies, the authority
should give the concerned company time for it and the cost
related to the change or removal
will have born by the company.
Any dispute under the
ambit of policy will have to be
directed to concerned officer in
Central Government as per the
draft.
The Telecom Regulatory
Authority of India (Trai) in its
recommendation on model for
implementation of national
broadband network, Baronet,
too identified RoW as a major
risk factor by the private sector.
“Guaranteed provision of
free RoW is a necessary and
non-negotiable precondition
to successful deployment of
Baronet, subject to the reinstatement of public property to
its original condition,” Trai
said.
?C8
,QGLDDLPVWREHFRPH
HYHKLFOHQDWLRQE\*R\DO
=4F34;78)The Government is
working on a scheme to provide
electric cars on zero down payment for which people can pay
out of their savings on expensive
fossil fuels, for becoming 100 per
cent electric vehicle nation by
2030.
“India can become the first
country of its size which will run
100 per cent of electric vehicles.
We are trying to make this programme self financing.
“We don’t need one rupee
support from the Government.
We don’t need one rupee investment from the people of India,”
Power Minister Piyush Goyal said
at an event organised by CII
Young India here.
Elaborating further, he said,
“We are working (on the
scheme). Can we actually give
electric car for free (zero down
payment) and people can pay for
that out of the savings on the
petroleum products. Innovation
is possible, it just needs an open
mind. You need to think of scale
and be honest.”
The minister informed that
a small working group under the
leadership of Road Minister
Nitin Gadkari has been created
with Oil Minister Dharmendra
Pradhan and Environment
Minister Prakash Javadekar on its
board. He said, “We are meeting
in first week of April and see (if)
India can be 100 per cent on electric vehicles by 2030. We are trying to see if we can monetise the
savings then you will have use
cheaper electricity for charging
of your cars.”
“We are thinking of scale.
We are thinking of leading the
world rather than following the
world. India will be first largest
country in the world to think of
that scale.”Goyal cited the example of LED lights.
?C8
ith the signing of the
Transit
and
W
Transportation Agreement
between Nepal and China in
Beijing, there is a sense of anxiety, worry and concern in
Indian strategic circles about
Nepal tilting towards China.
Many have commented that
this has ended India’s long
monopoly in Nepal in doing
third country business through
Indian ports and, overnight,
Nepal will do business, import
fuel from China and so on.
As a landlocked country,
seeking transit rights is Nepal’s
fundamental right and, as of
now, India and Bangladesh have
provided such facilities to Nepal.
Realising that Nepal will
turn to China for transit and
trade rights, India, during the
visit of Nepalese Prime Minister
KP Sharma Oli last month, had
agreed
to
provide
Visakhapatnam port for Nepal’s
use. As of now, Nepal is using
only Haldia in Kolkata for thirdcountry trade but it is smaller
than Visakhapatnam. During
the visit, India also allowed
Nepal land transit via
Bangladesh, implicit being that
India was already aware that
Nepal would turn to China.
It is being said that had India
allowed Nepal this when it was
proposed over a decade ago,
Nepal would not have gone
with China. Second, if India had
not imposed an unofficial blockade, privileging one community and group’s demand, Nepal
would not have tilted towards
China.
After signing the Transit
Agreement with China, it is
widely anticipated that Nepal
will do business through
Chinese ports and end its
dependency on India. Such
interpretations, particularly in
Indian strategic circles, are
beyond the ground realities and
one should understand that a
transit treaty does not necessarily measure up to implementation.
The poor infrastructure on
the Nepali side, difficult geographical terrain on both sides
and without a rail link up to the
Nepali border in Kerung
(Gyirong in Chinese side), Nepal
cannot immediately begin third
country business through
Chinese ports. Physical infrastructure in either side of the
border is important for full use
of transit rights and, on the
Nepali side, it will take years to
upgrade Kerung, the only transit, transportation and trade
route between Nepal and China.
Second, the nearest Chinese
port is Tainjin which is 3,000 km
from the Nepali border and the
nearest Indian port is Haldia
which is just 1,000 km away.
This per se makes a huge difference in doing business in
terms of costs, said Nepal’s former commerce secretary
Purusottam Oja.
If Nepal needs to do business through Tainjin port to
Kerung, it is almost impossible
to import goods via trucks or
containers. The only option is by
rail and Chinese officials say this
will happen only by 2020.
“Of course, a further extension from Gyirong is an even
longer-term plan. It’s up to geographic and technical conditions
and financing ability. We believe
that far in the future the two
countries will be connected by
rail,” Hou Yanqi, deputy head of
the Chinese foreign ministry’s
Asia division, said in Beijing
after the meeting between Oli
and Premier Li Keqiang.
“Strategically it is going to
be a good deal but due to distance per se, it is going to be
a very costly affair for us until
there is rail service from
Tainjin to the Nepal border,”
said Oja. “It also depends on
status of infrastructure in both
sides...and paper work. Hassle
free paperwork for customs
and other purposes are key in
transit rights,” said Oja.
Another Nepal-China
trading point, Tatopani, is
shut down since the April 25,
2015 earthquake and there is
no official confirmation
whether the Chinese side will
open it up or not. In case
China opens it, Nepali traders
have to use trucks, containers
and other light vehicles to
import and export goods from
Tianjin, again very costly for
traders.
“I am not going to use and
do business through Tanjian
that is going to be three-fold
expensive for us,” said Indian
trader Ravi Singh, who is
engaged in third-country business.
“Without stressing on connectivity, the transit agreement will not be productive,”
said noted economist
Bishamber Pyakurel.
“Neither it is a historic
pact nor is it a non-workable
one. Though it is a welcome
move, its success lies in implementation,” he said in an interaction with journalists.
It should also be remembered that Nepal is doing
business with India through 24
small and big trading points
whereas Nepal is doing business with China only through
one trading point.
Then, India has also proposed to build five rail corridors with Nepal and one is
proposed to connect Uttar
Pradesh and Kathmandu.
The ground realities more
than make clear that the
‘China cardÂ’ remains more of
an illusion but Kathmandu has
finally made the strategic
move that New Delhi is bound
to have taken note of.
:K\GLG$SSOHGHOD\ODXQFKLQJLQFKL3KRQH6(LQ,QGLD"
80=BQ =4F34;78
s Apple lovers started preA
ordering their 4-inch
iPhone SE or 9.7-inch iPad Pro
devices from Thursday (the
device will start shipping to
them from March 31), experts
here are disappointed as India touted as an emerging market
for the smallest and “cheapest”
iPhone SE - will only start to see
the first device by April 8.
Billed as a trendsetter for the
smartphone market in India, at
$399 (US pricing), the device
will be available in India for
C39,000 (retail price) which is
within premium segment in
India for smartphones so the
question of its being the cheapest iPhone ever does not hold
any truth.
The first big disappointment is that although the smartphone has been designed for the
emerging markets, it has not
been made available in the first
round in the fastest growing and
one of the largest emerging
markets - India.
“By making it available in
the first round itself in the
country, Apple could have indicated that the Indian market is
high on its priority list. Though
the company had mentioned
about the significance of the
India market for it, not including it in the list of the countries
where iPhone SE would be
made available first is definitely a big turn off,” says Faisal
Kawoosa, lead analyst with
CyberMedia Research (CMR), a
market research firm.
The 64 GB version of the
phone will come at $499 while
the 16 GB model will cost users
$399 (US price).
It will be available in four
colours including sleek rose
gold, the company announced
during its special “spring lineup”
at the packed auditorium at its
Cupertino, California-based
headquarters, earlier this week.
The iPhone SE is a mix
between the iPhone 5 and
iPhone 6 generations of devices
with size and design of iPhone
5S and the specs and capabilities
of the iPhone 6S.
“Fundamentally, iPhone still
remains a premium segment
phone in India even with SE
launch and now it would be
available through the continuum
of premium range of smartphones. In India, smartphones
above Rs.30,000 contribute just
a little over three percent to the
market,” Kawoosa told IANS.
The iPhone will have a 64bit A9 processor and M9 motion
co-processor. The camera is
also carried over from the 6S; it
is the same 12-megapixel iSight
camera with a true tone flash.
With its new image signal
processor it has the ability to
shoot Panorama up to 63MP, 4K
video (1080p up to 60 fps) and
slo-mo up to 240 fps.
The phone is claimed to
have an improved battery life,
Bluetooth 4.2 and new microphones.
But the truth is: India is a
phablet-obsessed nation and 46
percent of the smartphones sold
in the country have a screen size
of five-inch or above.
In the price range C30,000C40,000, iPhone 4SE will be
competing with phablets which
contribute over 60 percent of the
smartphones market.
“In such a scenario, just
positioning it as the Â’most
powerful 4 inch SmartphoneÂ’
wonÂ’t work alone. After all,
size does matter, at least for
India,” the CMR analyst noted.
However, according to
Anshul Gupta, research director at global market research
firm Gartner, iPhone SE will
help Apple broaden their market segment in the country.
“Users will be able to buy a
phone with latest features which
is very different from buying an
older version at lower price. I
think this will appeal more
people to buy an Apple phone
who otherwise couldnÂ’t afford
their flagship phone,” he said.
“This will make market
more competitive at that price
point as Apple is preparing to
take more share,” Gupta
added.
Beetel Teletech Limited, a a
subsidiary of US-based
Brightstar Corporation, will
make available iPhone SE in
India beginning April 8.
“Pre orders open on March
29 at 12:01am,” a company statement said, adding that the phone
will be available at over 3,500
retail locations across India.
“For India to really become
an Apple market, we will have
to wait for a couple of years with
the increased uptake of the premium segment in the country,”
Kawoosa predicted.
In 2015, there was a 53 percent rise in the premium segment smartphone market in
India.
“For 2016, we expect Apple
missing the five-million mark
even with the iPhone SE push,”
he added.
Apple has also launched a
new lightweight 9.7-inch iPad
Pro which is touted as 40 percent less reflective than an iPad
Air 2.
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ussian Government has
approved ONGC Videsh
Ltd’s deal to buy 15 per cent in
the country’s second biggest oil
field of Vankor from Rosneft for
$1.268 billion.
OVL, the overseas arm of
the state explorer Oil and
Natural Gas Corp (ONGC),
had in September last year
signed an agreement to buy 15
per cent stake in Vankorneft,
the developer of the Vankor oil
and gas condensate field in
Turukhansky district of
Krasnoyak Territory in Russia.
“We have received approval
of the Federal Antimonopoly
Service (FAS) for the deal,”
OVL Managing Director
Narendra K Verma told agency.
With this, all approvals for
the deal are in place and
Rosneft now has to restructure
Vankorneft by giving OVL
board positions and carving out
the Vankor fields into a separate
company, all of which is expected to be completed by June.
This month, OVL signed
an initial agreement to raise its
R
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he countr y's foreign
exchange reserves surged
by $2.539 billion to touch an
all-time high of $355.947 billion in the week ended March
18, on account of rise in foreign
currency assets (FCAs), the
Reserve Bank said on Friday.
The reserves had touched a
high of $355.46 billion in the
week ended June 19 last year. In
the previous week, the reserves
had increased by $2.543 billion
to $353.407 billion.
FCAs, a major component
of overall reserves, increased by
$2.505 billion to $332.504 billion in the reporting week,
RBI said in a release here.
FCAs, expressed in dollar
terms, include the effect of
appreciation and depreciation
of non-US currencies, such as
the euro, pound and the yen,
held in the reserves.
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stake in Vankor to 26 per cent
from 15 per cent, while three
other state companies -- Indian
Oil Corp (IOC), Oil India Ltd
(OIL) and Bharat Petroleum
Corp Ltd (BPLC) would together pick up 23.9 per cent.
“We are not very clear if the
additional stake would also
need FAS approval,” he said
adding the price for the additional stake is yet to be finalised.
Vankor is OVL's fourth biggest
acquisition ever.
Vankorneft, a subsidiary
of Rosneft, was founded in
2004 to carry out the project of
the Vankor field development,
the largest field to have been
discovered and brought into
production in Russia in the last
25 years. It is located in the
northern part of Eastern
Siberia, in Turukhansky District
of Krasnoyarsk Territory, 142
km from Igarka.
As of January 1, 2015, the
initial recoverable reserves in
the Vankor field are estimated
at 476 million tonnes of oil and
condensate, and 173 billion
cubic meters of gas. The area of
the Vankor field is 447 square
kilometers.
Oil and gas condensate
production in 2015 was 22
million tons. The 15 per cent
stake will give OVL 3.3 million
05?Q ?0A8B
?=BQ =4F34;78
utual Fund managers
have pumped in a whopping over C75,000 crore into
equities in the first eleven
months of the current fiscal
amid sustained volatility in the
stock markets. This comes on
top of C68,121 crore invested
in the entire past fiscal.
Growing participation
from retail investors, especially from small towns and several measures taken by markets
regulator Sebi led to robust
inflows in equity schemes,
industry experts said. The regulator has given extra incentives for those expanding into
smaller cities.
Equity and equity-linked
saving schemes have witnessed
a net inflow of C75,394 crore
during April-February period
M
of 2015-16, according to latest
data with Association of
Mutual Funds in India (Amfi).
Smaller towns have contributed more than 40 per
cent of inflows in equity
schemes.
“Domestic mutual funds
have been bullish on the equities ever since the Narendra
Modi-led BJP Government
came to power at the Centre in
May 2014,” Quantum AMC
Director I V Subramaniam
said. Meanwhile, the 30-share
benchmark index Sensex has
plunged by 17.72 per cent in
the first eleven months of the
ongoing financial year.
MFs are investment vehicles made up of a pool of funds
collected from a large number
of investors and invest in
stocks, bonds and money market instruments, among others.
?C8Q <D<108
it by the economic slowdown, profits of China’s
mighty state-owned enterprises (SOEs) nosedived by 14.2
per cent to $34.2 billion in the
first two months of this year,
according to official data
released here on Friday.
SOEs saw combined profits decelerated to 14.2 per cent
year-on-year in the Jan-Feb
period to 222.6 billion yuan ($
34.2 billion), a much sharper
drop than the 6.7 per cent fall
recorded for 2015, data from
the Ministr y of Finance
showed. The state sector continued to face great downward
pressure, the ministry said in
a statement.
SOEs administered by
local governments were the
worst hit, with their profits
plunging 40.9 per cent from a
year earlier. Centrally-administered SOEs saw profits slip 8.2
per cent year-on-year. Total
business revenue of Chinese
SOEs dipped 5.8 per cent yearon-year to 6.2 trillion yuan in
the first two months, the ministry said. As of the end of
H
?C8Q =4F34;78
ondon-based industrialist
L
Lord Swraj Paul on Friday
met Prime Minister Narendra
Modi and conveyed his appreciation of the recent decision of
Indian Government to treat
NRI investments at par with resident investments.
Paul told Modi that
Government’s decision to allow
such investment on non-repatriable basis was a welcome first step
and that soon after the announcement he had made a personal
investment of C25 crore into a
finance company operated by
his Caparo Group in India.
Aiming to attract overseas
funds, Govt recently decided
that non-repatriable investments
by NRIs, OCIs and PIOs will be
treated as domestic investments
and will not be subject to foreign
direct investment caps.
Investments by NRIs under
Schedule 4 of FEMA regulations
will be deemed to be domestic
investment at par with the investment made by residents.
Welcoming PM’s Make-in-India
initiative, the NRI industrialist
said that he had pumped in
C125 crore in the last 3 months
to upgrade the facilities and
expand the India business.
6=d_g__Y^fUcd_bc
TebY^W1ecdbQ\YQfYcYd
?C8Q <4;1>DA=4
inance Minister Arun Jaitley
will meet top Australian
F
leaders and investors next week
in a bid to woo the country's
cash-rich sovereign funds for
foreign investments in India.
Indian High Commissioner
Navdeep Suri said that during
his four-day visit, the Minister
will meet New South Wales
Premier Mike Baird, Foreign
Minister Julie Bishop, Treasurer
Scott Morrison, Finance
Minister Mathias Corman and
Energy and Resources Minister
Josh Frydenberg. Suri said that
Jaitley might also call on
Australian Prime Minister
Malcolm Turnbull.
Describing Jaitley's schedule
as 'a packed and productive one',
Suri said: “The visit gives us the
opportunity to engage with
Australia at multiple levels.” He
added that the engagements
would cover a wide range of sectors including manufacturing,
technology, service, financial
and superannuation funds, and
the Finance Minister will meet
business leaders from the different sectors. “Australia has a
major sovereign fund called
the Future Fund and it also has
superannuation funds that have
estimated assets of over $2 trillion. These funds want a good
rate of return and we believe
that the India growth story creates a win-win proposition –
decent returns for the funds and
financing for India's infrastructure plans,” Suri told PTI.
Jaitley is arriving in Sydney
on March 29 and will be
accompanied by high-powered
Indian business delegations
from both CII and FICCI
besides a top level team including senior representatives from
the Ministry of Finance, RBI
and SEBI.
“The meetings with government will seek to enhance
bilateral relations in diverse
areas, while those with business
will try to focus on the Make in
India and Invest in India programmes,” he said.
Jaitley would woo
Australia's trillion dollars superannuation funds industry to
invest in India's infrastructure
plans. He will meet top 25
CEOs and executives of
Australia’s largest superannuation funds at the 'Invest in
India Roundtable’ here next
Friday. Suri said the roundtable
would be a key element of the
minister’s visit.
“We estimate that between
them (top CEOs and executives), they would be representing close to $1 trillion of
assets under one roof. And
that's in addition to the highlevel FICCI delegation. We
want to use the opportunity to
project India as an investment
destination to the superannuation funds and also respond
to any issues or concerns that
they may have,” he said.
Jaitley will deliver a public address at the SP Jain
School of Global Management
in Sydney, which will be his
first official engagement.
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tonnes per annum of oil production. Prior to the deal,
Rosneft, Russia's national oil
company, held 100 per cent
stake in Vankorneft.
This will be the fourth
biggest acquisition by OVL. It
had in 2013 paid $4.125 billion
for a 16 per cent stake in
Mozambique's
offshore
Rovuma Area 1, which holds as
much as 75 Trillion cubic feet
of gas reserves.
In 2009, it had bought
Russia-focused Imperial Energy
for $2.1 billion. Prior to that, it
had in 2001 paid $1.7 billion for
a 20 per cent interest in the
Sakhalin-1 oil and gas field off
Russia’s far eastern coast.
Vankor is Rosneft's (and
Russia's) second largest field by
production and accounts for 4
per cent of Russian production.
The daily production from
the field is around 442,000 barrels per day of crude oil on an
average with OVL's share of
daily oil production at about
66,000. Upon completion of
the deal, OVL will have two
seats on the board of
Vankorneft, Rosneft said.
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February, combined debts of
the state firms swelled by 17.9
per cent to 79.7 trillion yuan,
while their total assets expanded 15.6 per cent to 120.3 trillion yuan.
State firms in medical and
machinery sectors posted relatively high profit growth,
while oil, coal, steel and nonferrous metals continued to
suffer losses, state-run Xinhua
news agency reported.
The figures, which exclude
financial firms, were collected
from SOEs in 36 provinciallevel regions and those administered by the Central
Government. China has about
150,000 SOEs, and some have
become ossified by declining
profitability due to a lack of
competition and an industrial
glut.
The Government is trying
to improve their fortunes
through reform, moving toward
mixed ownership and marketoriented management in the
hope that this will improve their
efficiency. The Chinese economy, the world's second-largest,
last year slowed down to 6.9 per
cent, the lowest in 26 years.
&T Infotech, a subsidiary of
Larsen and Toubro Limited
(L&T), on Friday said it intends
to expand its presence in the US
and Europe and is in the process
of augmenting its teams in high
potential markets.
“While we intend to continue expanding our presence in
the United States and Europe, we
also plan to expand our geographical reach in other markets
that we have identified as having
potential, including Australia,
Singapore, Japan, South Africa,
India and the Middle East.
“We are in the process of
augmenting our teams in these
markets to further explore the
opportunities therein,” L&T
Infotech MD and CEO Sanjay
Jalona said in a statement here.
In 2014-15, North America
and Europe accounted for 68.6
per cent and 17.9 per cent,
respectively, of its total revenues. “We have identified
Germany and France as important markets for us going forward and we would like to
enhance our capabilities and
address gaps in language capability, industry expertise, technical expertise and geographic
coverage in these countries.
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rance’s data protection
agency on Friday fined
Google $112,000 for only partially honouring requests by
individuals to have information
about them removed from its
search engines. The European
Court of Justice has recognised
the ‘right to be forgotten’ since
2014, allowing individuals,
under certain conditions, to
have references to them
removed from the Internet.
Google has accorded the
right for its European extensions
-- google.Fr and google.De for
example -- but not for
google.Com.
France’s National Commission
on Informatics and Liberty
(CNIL) says the delisting should
apply to all extensions, regardless of where the search is being
performed.
“Contrary to what Google
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says, delisting on all extensions
does not impinge on freedom of
expression in that it does not
involve any removal of Internet
content,” the CNIL said on
Friday. Google said early this
month that it would close a
loophole that allowed
Europeans to find deleted
entries by using google.Com
instead of the search page for
their local country.
“Starting next week, in
addition to our existing practice,
8CAU^a\bU^a0bbTbb\T]cHTPa
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?C8Q =4F34;78
inance Ministry is likely to
notify by first week of April
F
new income tax return forms for
Assessment Year 2016-17 which
will more or less be similar to the
one that was filed by assessees last
year. As many as 93 per cent of
the individual assessees file
income tax returns online and the
tax department has been working on simplification of income
tax return (ITR) forms.
According to the sources, the
tax department has been working on further simplification of
ITR and current year's form will
substantially be the same as that
of last year’s. “Current year's
form is likely to be notified by first
week of April. The process of simplification is ongoing and efforts
will be made to further simplify
it in the next year,” a source said.
Sources said the tax department is likely to come out with
a revised formula for computation of capital gains tax on sale of
assets. The effort would be to help
such assessees calculate tax liability without any outside support.
The
Income
Tax
Department had in June come
out with a simplified tax return
form for salaried class. Filers were
asked to disclose the total number of savings and the current
bank accounts held by them at
any time during the previous year
(excluding dormant accounts).
we will also use geolocation signals (like IP addresses) to
restrict access to the delisted
URL on all Google Search
domains, including google.Com,
when accessed from the country of the person requesting the
removal,” it said.
Google says it has received
86,600 requests in France involving more than a quarter million
Web pages, and has honoured just
over half of them. Those turned
away can appeal to a judge or,
more often, to CNIL, which has
received 700 complaints of which
45 per cent were deemed legitimate and forwarded to Google.
“As a matter of principle,
we respectfully disagree with
the idea that a national data
protection authority can assert
global authority to control
the content that people can
access around the world,”
Google's privacy chief Peter
Fleischer said in July.
?C8Q 17D10=4BF0A
disha has maximum share
of over 17 per cent in the
O
total live investments worth
about C33 lakh crore attracted
by manufacturing sector across
the country, according to a
study. Gujarat has ranked second (nearly 12 per cent) followed by Karnataka (11 per
cent), Jharkhand (nine per
cent) and Chhattisgarh (seven
per cent), said the study titled
‘Impact analysis of delay in
investment implementation in
manufacturing’ by Assocham.
However, in Odisha about
39 per cent manufacturing
projects remained under implementation as of September
2015. Delayed projects facing
cost escalation have maximum
share of 31 per cent in Odisha
followed by Karnataka,
Rajasthan and Jharkhand (9 per
cent each), the study said.
Manufacturing sector in
the country attracted live
investments worth about C33
lakh crore, about one-fifth of
total live investments worth
over C164 lakh crore drawn by
various sectors across India as
of September 2015, it said.
“Metal and metal products
alone accounted for almost
half (48 per cent) of the total
live investments attracted by
manufacturing sector in India
followed by chemicals and
chemical products (24 per
cent), machinery (8 per cent),
transport equipment (7 per
cent), construction material (7
per cent), food and agro based
products (3 per cent),” it said.
In Odisha, metal and metal
products have acquired over 79
per cent share in total investments attracted by manufacturing sector followed by chemical and chemical products (15
per cent), transport equipment
(three per cent), construction
material (one per cent).
,QGLD¶VH[SRVXUHWR86*RYHUQPHQW
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ontinuing to purchase more US
Government securities, India’s overall
C
holding of such instruments climbed to $119.8
billion in January. Notwithstanding mixed
growth trends in the world's largest economy,
India has been gradually hiking exposure to
these securities in recent months.
In January alone, India bought American
government securities to the tune of $3 billion
taking the overall holding to $119.8 billion, as
per the latest data from the US Treasury
Department. The total exposure stood at $116.8
billion at the end of December 2015. Last year,
India's exposure rose by nearly $34 billion.
In the first six months of 2015, India gradually raised exposure to $117 billion, before
slightly trimming the holding to $116.4 billion
in July. Then, it inched up to $116.8 billion at
December end.
Despite a marginal decline in its exposure
compared to December, China remained the
largest holder of US Government securities with
holdings to the tune of $1.24 trillion in January
this year, followed by Japan at $1.12 trillion.
Among the BRIC nations, Brazil and Russia
too raised their exposure. While the holding of
Brazil touched $255.7 billion in January, that of
Russia touched $96.9 billion during the same
period. Those countries, whose exposure was
more than India in January, include Ireland
($252.2 billion), Switzerland ($237.4 billion) and
Hong Kong ($201.6 billion).
The US economy grew 1 per cent in the
three months ended December last year compared to 2 per cent expansion seen in the 2015
third quarter. According to the second estimate
released last month by the US Bureau of
Economic Analysis, the country’s real gross
domestic product increased at an annual rate of
1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Dec`_XcVT`gVcjZ_7J"(`_T`_df^aeZ`_S``de+>`cXR_DeR_]Vj
?C8Q <D<108
ith both real interest
rate in the positive arena
W
and inflation under check,
private consumption is set to
pick up strongly, leading to a
better overall growth, which
will be better than the 19982002 recovery cycle, says leading Wall Street brokerage
Morgan Stanley.
The report penciled by
Chetan Ahya of Morgan Stanley
India compares both macro as
well as the micro parameters
during the 1998-2002 cycle and
the present downturn cycle that
began in 2013, which according
to him, are very similar.
“We expect private consumption recovery to be
stronger than it was in the previous cycle of 1998-02. Hence,
we expect the overall growth
recovery to be better than the
past cycle even as it remains
slow relative to the 2004-07 period,” said Ahya in a report
'Macro indicators chart-book:
Reminiscent of the 1998-2002
cycle?'
Generally, real interest rate
can be described as nominal
interest rate minus the inflation
rate. More positively, Ahya
noted that domestic demand
revival in the current cycle by
private consumption and public capex is forthcoming, which
was absent in the 1998-02 cycle.
And accordingly, the report
expects private consumption
to gather more speed with higher wages to government
employees after the 7th Pay
Commission implementation
and new job creation.
Reeling out comparable
data between 1998-2002 and the
2013-2016 cycle, Ahya notes
that in 1998-02, global and
domestic factors kept both private as well public capex weak,
leading to slow growth and the
resultant CAD surplus in 25
years at 0.7 per cent of GDP in
FY02. He said today the economy is already witnessing a
trend similar to that of 1998-02
in terms of private capex weakness, with the only two factors
that are different in the present
cycle -- strong public capex and
higher FDI inflows.
Gross FDI inflows continue to pick up, increasing to an
all-time high of $55 billion or
2.7 per cent of GDP as of
December 2015, and on the fiscal deficit front, he says on a 12month trailing basis continues
FTTg_TRc_aXePcTR^]bd\_cX^]
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to track below target at 3.4 per
cent of GDP as of Q3 of the current fiscal against the 3.9 per
cent target for FY16.
On the macro side, consolidated fiscal deficit is likely to
improve to 5.8 per cent of GDP
in FY17, (3.5 per cent for the
Centre and 2.3 per cent for the
states) from 5.9 per cent in
FY16. But this is a massive
improvement from 6.5 per cent
from FY15 and 7 per cent in
FY14 and 6.9 per cent in FY13,
the report said.
Consolidated deficit came
down to 6.5 per cent in FY15
from a peak of 9.9 per cent in
FY09, through expenditure control, it added. On pricing parameters, he noted that WPI
remains in a deflation mode for
the 16th consecutive month in
February while non-food WPI
too continues to contract with
the latest print coming in at 5.4
per cent. This continuing
decline in inflation data-print
has ensured that the real interest entering the positive territory
since January 2014. He, however, noted that present cycle is
despite a strong political mandate in the May 2014 hustings
that raised quicker recovery
hopes.
“But, the recovery has all
along been frustratingly slow
even though the macro stability environment has improved
and government policy action
too has been moving along the
right path,” Ahya said.
“In our view, the prolonged
weakness in the external environment is a key contributor to
the slow pace of recovery.
Indeed, exports account for
20.5 per cent of GDP and not
only act as an important source
of end demand but also have a
bearing on domestic capex
growth.” On price stability, he
says both the cycles saw a sustained fall in inflation. While
CPI inflation declined from
13.2 per cent in 1998 to 4.3 per
cent 2002, and fell from a peak
of 11.5 per cent in 2013 to 4.9
per cent in 2015.
On external stability, the
strength of the external balance-sheet improved in both
cycles. While CAD narrowed
from 1.7 per cent of GDP in
1998 to a surplus of 1.4 per cent
of GDP in 2002, the same
after peaking at 6.5 per cent in
2012, narrowed to 1.3 per cent
in December, 2015. But one of
the biggest negatives is the
high corporate debt in the present cycle.
On the contrary, the past
cycle saw a considerable buildup of public debt, but the same
is declining in the current cycle.
External debt is projected to
marginally rise to $516 billion
or 24.7 per cent of the GDP by
FY17 from 23.7 per cent or
$488 billion by FY16. In FY13,
it was $394 billion or 21.5 per
cent, $427 billion or 22.9 per
cent in FY14, and $459 billion
or 22.4 per cent of GDP.
f^a[S !
A0=278kB0CDA30H k<0A27!%! %
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"!dfdaVTedRccVdeVU
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en more suspects have
been arrested in three
T
European countries as police
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0?Q 20BC4;=D>E>38?>AC>
ope Francis washed and
kissed the feet of Muslim,
P
Christian and Hindu refugees
step up efforts to prevent
further attacks after the
Brussels bombings.
Seven were detained in
Brussels, two reportedly in
Germany and one in Paris.
An investigation is continuing into Tuesday’s
bomb attacks, which killed 31
people in Brussels and have
been linked to November’s
Paris attacks.
At least three explosions
were reported in the
Schaerbeek suburb of Brussels
in a police operation.
The operation is now said
to have finished.
and declared them all children of
the same God, as he
performed a gesture of
welcome and brotherhood at a time of
increased anti-Muslim
sentiment following the
Brussels attacks.
Francis denounced the carnage as a
“gesture of war” carried out by
blood-thirsty people beholden to the weapons industry
during an Easter Week Mass
with asylum-seekers at a shelBTRaTcPah^UBcPcT9^W]:Taah_PacXRX_PcTbX]faTPcW[PhX]VRTaT\^]hPc1adbbT[b
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0? ter in Castelnuovo di Porto,
outside Rome.
The Holy Thursday rite reenacts the foot-washing ritual
Jesus performed on his apostles
before being crucified, and is
meant as a gesture of service.
Francis contrasted that gesture
with the “gesture of destruction”
by the ISIS jehadi group.
05? Q 1ADBB4;B
carried out by the Brussels attaKerry did not give a figure
Dutch brother and sister, but a US official separately Brussels: US Secretary of ckers, saying they wanted to desa Chinese national and a said two US citizens had been State John Kerry defended troy the brotherhood of humanBritish man were on Friday confirmed dead.
Belgium’s counterterrorism ity represented by the migrants.
“We have different cultures
As forensic experts contin- efforts despite a series of secuconfirmed as being among the
31 people killed in Tuesday’s ued to sift through evidence, the rity and intelligence failings in and religions, but we are brothbomb attacks on Brussels air- Dutch foreign ministry the run-up to the suicide ers and we want to live in
announced that a brother and bombings that killed 31 peo- peace,” Francis said in his homiport and the metro system.
US Secretary of State John sister who lived in the United ple this week. Confirming
Kerry also said on Friday that States and a woman from the that several FBI agents are
a number of Americans died in central Dutch city of Deventer involved in the investigation
the attacks, which were claimed were among the victims.
into the attacks, Kerry said the
“carping” about Belgium’s
shortcomings “is a little bit
frantic and inappropriate.”
Kerry’s hastily arranged
visit to Brussels on Friday
came the day after at least six
people were detained in raids
linked to Tuesday’s attacks on
the Brussels airport and subway
system. Belgian prosecutors
are expected to decide later
Friday whether to charge or
release them, and other raids
0\T\QTa^UT\TaVT]RhbTaeXRTbfTPaX]V_a^cTRcXeTR[^cWX]VX]eTbcXVPcTbcWTbRT]T are reportedly under way
X]BRWPTaQTTZ1T[VXd\^]5aXSPh
0? Friday.
AP
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Frenchman in the “advanced
A
stages” of a plot to attack the
country was arrested on Friday
northwest of Paris and security
forces locked down the area
during a major search, France’s
interior minister said.
Bernard Cazeneuve said
there were no links “at this
stage” between the plot and the
attacks against Brussels this week
or Paris in November. Cazeneuve
said bomb squads were on site.
The raid took place in
Argenteuil, on the northern outskirts of the French capital. He
noted that the person arrested
was implicated at a “high level”
in the plot, but offered no details.
Witnesses told The
Associated Press that the
immediate area had been
locked down, and residents
were unable to return home for
hours after the raid began.
France has been on high
alert since the November 13
attacks in Paris that killed
130 people and injured hundreds. Cazeneuve said there
had been 75 arrests since the
beginning of the year, and 28
suspects had been jailed.
A 23-year-old resident of the
neighborhood described seeing
heavily masked and armed officers surround the entrance to an
apartment building before entering and emerging with the suspect, his head covered in a scarf.
“Police told us to get out of
the way, it’s dangerous,” the
resident said, speaking on
condition of anonymity
because of the tense situation
in the neighbourhood.
APS^eP]:PaPSiXR
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Bosnia: Wartime leader of
Bosnian Serbs found guilty of
10 of 11 charges at international
criminal tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia. The former
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic has been found guilty
of genocide over the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica and sentenced to 40 years in jail.
The key verdict from a
United Nations tribunal in The
Hague was delivered 18 months
after a five-year trial of Karadzic,
accused of being one of the chief
architects of atrocities during
the 1992-95 Balkans war.
The 70-year-old, who
insisted his actions were aimed
at protecting Serbs during the
Bosnian conflict, was found
guilty of 10 out of the 11
charges he faced at the international criminal tribunal for
the former Yugoslavia.
Prosecutors said that
Karad ic, as political leader and
commander-in-chief of Serb
forces in Bosnia, was responsible for some the worst acts of
brutality during the war,
including the 44-month deadly siege of Sarajevo and the
1995 massacre of more than
8,000 Bosnian men and boys in
the Srebrenica enclave.
Agencies
ly, delivered off-the-cuff in the
windy courtyard of the centre.
Several of the migrants then
wept as Francis knelt before
them, poured holy water from a
brass pitcher over their feet, wiped them clean and
kissed them.
The Vatican said on
Thursday that four
women and eight men
took part. The women
included an Italian
Catholic who works at
the center and three
Eritrean Coptic Christian
migrants. The men included
four Catholics from Nigeria,
three Muslims from Mali, Syria
and Pakistan and a Hindu man
from India.
Francis was greeted with a
banner reading “Welcome” in
a variety of languages as he
walked down a makeshift aisle
to celebrate the Mass. But only
a fraction of the 892 asylumseekers living at the shelter
attended, and many of the
seats were left empty.
Those who came out,
though, received a personal
greeting: At the end of the
Mass, Francis greeted each
refugee, one by one, posing for
selfies and accepting notes as he
moved down the rows.
7ZXYeZ_XRXRZ_de
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0?Q 30<0B2DB
yrian Government forces
recaptured a Mamluk-era
Scitadel
in Palmyra from the
extremist ISIS group on Friday,
Syrian state media and monitoring groups said, as the fierce
battle for control of the historic
town entered its third day.
Syrian and Russian warplanes
struck at least 56 targets inside
ISIS-held areas of the city and
pro-Government militias supported the Army’s advance,
said the Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights, a Britain-based
monitoring group.
Palmyra has been controlled
by the extremist group since
May. The militants have
destroyed some of its best known
Roman-era archaeological relics.
Government forces Friday
cut the road between Palmyra
and another IS bastion, the town
of Qaryatayn, weakening the
group’s hold over its two central
Syrian outposts, according to the
pro-government Lebanese AlMayadeen TV. The ISIS militants
had been relying on Qaryatayn,
which is now encircled, to reinforce Palmyra’s defense.
A video released by the ISIS
news agency, dated Thursday
and said to show Palmyra, depicted moderate to severe damage
to the buildings in the town.
1P]V[PSTbWXPRcXeXbcb^UePaX^db8b[P\XR_^[XcXRP[Va^d_bP]S^cWTa<db[X\bcPZT
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05?Q 370:0
housands of hardline
Islamists on Friday staged
T
protests across Bangladesh
against an imminent court hearing on scrapping the state religion of the Muslim-majority
nation. Constitutional changes
dating back over three decades
have put Bangladesh in the
unusual position of being officially secular while still having
Islam as a state religion.
More than 90 per cent of the
population is Muslim, with
Hindus and Buddhists the main
minorities. Some 7,000 activists
took to the streets of capital
Dhaka after Friday prayers,
chanting anti-government slogans and holding banners against
"CdaZXbW_^[XRTZX[[TS 6;>14
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05?Q 38H0A10:8ACDA:4H
hree military police were
killed and 22 injured in a
T
car bombing on a barracks in
2WaXbcXP]UPXcWUd[RPaahPRa^bbX]c^cWT2WdaRW^UcWT7^[hBT_d[RWaTX]9TadbP[T\^]5aXSPh
0?
Turkey’s restive southeast suspected to be the work of the
militant Kurdistan Workers’
Party (PKK), security sources
said on Friday.
The attack that took place
yesterday evening in Mermer in
Diyarbakir province, one of the
areas in the mainly Kurdish
southeast where security forces
have engaged an offensive against
the PKK since the collapse of a
two-year ceasefire in July.
The attackers first detonated a van crammed with explosives outside the barracks and
then opened fire on the police
with automatic weapons, the
sources said.
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05?Q <>B2>F
ore than half of Russians
believethe
S oviet
M
dictator Stalin was a wise
leader, a new poll byLevada
independent polling centre
showed on Friday.
Levada found 57 per cent
of Russians said they entirelyor generally agreed that
Stalin was a “wise leader who
madethe USSR powerful and
prosperous.”Levada said the
figure was at a “maximum
level” for itspolls, up 10 per
cent on four years ago.
The pollsters also found
that 71 per cent of
Russiansagreed that “whatever
mistakes or sins are attributed
toStalin, the most important
thing is that he led our people
tovictory in World War II.”That
figure was up 11 per cent on
2012, with Levadalinking
increased levels of positive
feeling about Stalin’srole in
World War II to Russia’s current involvement in armedconflict.
In our view, negativity
towards (Stalin) falls inperiods
of armed conflicts with Russia’s
involvement whenhistorical
memory about ‘enemies’, victory and defence becomesmore vivid,” Levada researchers
said in the analysis of thepoll.
It cited 2008-2009 when
Russia was in conflict
withGeorgia and “the events in
eastern Ukraine,” despite
Russia’sofficial denial that it is
fighting with separatists
inUkraine.
Asked whether they agreed
with the view that Stalin was
a”brutal tyrant” who killed
millions, 62 per cent said
yes,while 23 per cent disagreed.
The figures had changed
slightlysince 2008, from 68
and 19 per cent, respectively.
BA0906>?0;0=Q
F0B78=6C>=
he United States announced
on Friday that ISIS’ secondT
in-command, Abd al-Rahman
Mustafa al-Qaduli, also known
as Haji Imam, has been killed in
an operation carried out in Syria
earlier this month.
US Defence Secretary
Ashton Carter made the announcement at a Pentagon news
conference on a day when news
came that at least two Americans
had been killed in Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels.
Widely regarded as heir
apparent to ISIS leader Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi, al-Qaduli was the
terror outfit’s Finance Minister
and carried a $7 million bounty
on his head. He is the latest top
ISIS commander reported killed
by the US-led coalition forces.
Last week, the Pentagon had concluded that the group’s War
Minister Omar al-Shishani had
the controversial HC hearing
scheduled for March 27.
Earlier this month, the
HC agreed to hear a petition
by secularists who have
argued for decades that Islam’s
status as the state religion
conflicts with Bangladesh’s
secular charter and discriminates against non-Muslims.
“We will save our religion
even at the price of our blood,”
chanted activists of hardline
group Hefazat-e-Islam.
Demonstrations were carried out in nearly all the major
cities of the country including
Sylhet and Barisal, with several top leaders of Hefazat threatening violence if the court
moves to drop Islam as the official state religion.
been killed in American strikes.
“We are systematically eliminating ISIL’s cabinet,” Carter
said, noting: “The removal of this
ISIL leader will hamper the
organization’s ability for them to
conduct operations both inside
and outside of Iraq and Syria.”
At the same time, Carter
conceded that striking the leadership, while necessary, was not
enough since leaders could well
be replaced. Making it clear that
there would be no-let up in the
operations, he said: “The
momentum of this campaign is
clearly on our side.”
Carter did not provide
details as to precisely when and
where the strikes that killed
Haji Imam were carried out.
As the group’s Finance
Minister, al-Qaduli oversaw and
steered ISIS’ funding through its
networks, Carter said. He also
reportedly managed the group’s
day-to-day operations in Syria,
Iraq and Libya.
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hakespeare’s skull appears to
be missing, a British archaeologist has claimed using new
scanning technology, giving
new credence to a centuries-old
tale that grave robbers stole the
English playwright’s skull from
its burial place.
Radar
scans
of
Shakespeare’s tomb have led
experts to conclude his skull
appears to be missing, and
was probably stolen in the
18th century.
“This is the first archaeological investigation ever of
Shakespeare’s burial, and what
we found was quite surprising,”
Kevin Colls, the archaeologist
who led the study, said ahead of
the 400th anniversary of
Shakespeare’s death next month.
Using radar scans, the team
found “an odd disturbance at the
head end” of the grave, he said.
“Our equipment could
S
identify a change of material in
the burial,” said Colls, adding
that the discovery suggested
this foreign material was used
to repair damage of the grave.
Colls said that the findings
matched several details of a robbery story published in British
magazine, Argosy, in 1879.
According to the magazine,
almost a century earlier in
1794 grave robbers stole
Shakespeare’s head from the
Holy Trinity church in
Stratford-upon-Avon.
“It is very likely to me that
the skull is not there,” Colls was
quoted as saying by CNN.
Apparently, the inscription
on Shakespeare’s grave stone,
which has no name on it, was
not enough to keep tomb
raiders away. Part of the inscription on Shakespeare’s grave
reads: “Blessed be the man that
spares these stones, and cursed
be he that moves my bones.”
It is not surprising that
grave robbers targeted
Shakespeare’s final resting
place, according to Colls.
“At the time, stealing skulls
from graves was common
practice,” he said. People wanted the skulls of geniuses and
famous people to analyze them
and trying to figure out what
made them special, the
researcher explained. Or they
were simply trophy hunters
looking for money.
The underground investigation also debunked several
myths surrounding the burial.
According to one of them,
Shakespeare was buried in a
vertical position, while another claims he rested 17ft
beneath the surface.
Yet another story claims
the playwright was buried in a
vault along with wife Anne
Hathaway and other family
members. “None of them is
true,” Colls said.
Instead, Shakespeare is
buried in a simple and shallow
tomb, about one meter deep,
and probably wrapped in a
shroud, say scientists.
Next to him, some family
members, including his wife, rest.
Although conceding that
the evidence is not conclusive,
he believes the skull was taken
from the church.
“William’s skulls is still out
there,” he said. “And we are
going after it,” he added.
Shakespeare, 52, died on
April 23, 1616.
cP[[Tbc_TPZ^]
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n a nod to extraterrestrial
mountaineers of the future,
Iscientists
working on NASA’s
Cassini mission have identified
the tallest peak on Saturn’s
largest moon, Titan, which is
about 3,337 metres high. The
highest point on Titan is found
within a trio of mountainous
ridges called the Mithrim
Montes. Most of Titan’s tallest
mountains appear to be close to
the equator, researchers said.
They found that all of
Titan’s highest peaks are about
3,000 metres in elevation. The
study used images and other
data from Cassini’s radar
instrument, which can peer
through the obscuring smog of
Titan’s atmosphere to show
the surface in detail.
“It is not only the highest
point we have found so far on
Titan, but we think it is the
highest point we are likely to
find,” said Stephen Wall, deputy
lead of the Cassini radar team
at NASA’s Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in California.
Researchers identified
other peaks of similar height
within the Mithrim Montes, as
well as in the rugged region
known as Xanadu, and in collections of more isolated peaks
called “ridge belts.”
The investigation was originally motivated by a search for
active zones within Titan’s crust
— places where dynamic forces
have shaped the landscape,
perhaps in the relatively recent
past.
eXePRXchj#'W^dabl "
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lmost a decade ago, he made his presence felt with
Rabba ishq na hove from the film Andaaz. But it
was Allah ke bande from Waisa Bhi Hota Hai Part
II that put Kailash Kher on the map. And he has not
looked back since. From film songs to independent
albums, he has been charting his journey forward, with
several hit songs to his name.
And why not? His are the songs that console us in
our times of distress and also add to out joys. After a brief
sojourn in the Indian entertainment industry on his own,
he formed his band Kailasa in 2005 with musician brothers — Paresh Kamath and Naresh Kamath. Till date the
band has released four successful albums and has come
up with its fifth — Ishq Anokha — after a gap of four years,
under Saregama’s label.
Talking about his album, Kher said, “There are eight
songs in the album and with Ishq Anokha we are trying
to explain that one does not need any special training to
fall in love because everybody falls in love in their own
way. And that is unique to them. This is the only characteristic that everyone possess and are perfect in their
own way and that is why everyone’s love becomes anokha
because there is no parameter for the emotion.”
It disappoints the singer to see that true love has
ceased to exist in a world full of pretense. “Today everybody is fake and trying to portray what they are not and
impress others throughout their lives,” he added.
This is for the first time when Kher has seamlessly
fused the modern music with the traditional by incorporating musical instruments like the flamenco and the
saxophone and collaborating with international artistes.
“We have few guests musicians in our album. There are
two to three American musicians and one Spanish artiste
who have collaborated with us in a few songs and it was
a delight to work with them. We are planning to tour the
US this summer and we may ask them to join us for the
live performances,” he told us.
It was quite interesting to learn from him that when
he has approached the artistes for a collaboration, they
had no idea of who he or Kailasa was. “They did a research
on us,” Kher could not stop laughing. “Nowadays, it has
become quite easy with several search engines and the
Internet. You can gather information on anything at the
touch of a button. And that was exactly what they did.
When they learnt who we are and what we do, they happily agreed to be a part of the project,” he added.
In fact, Kher justified the international artiste’s queries.
He explained that since artistes are creative, they tend to
live in their own world. “It is because of this that we are
often misjudged and our lifestyle is brought under the
scanner. And we have to come to terms to all these circumstances,” he pointed out.
The Teri Dewani singer with pride in his eyes said,
“The speciality of our music is that the what which we
compose in the studio, we perform the
same at a live event because we
A
QThere’s a reversal at the beginning
of season two with Jimmy going to
work with Davis and Mayne and
that looks like it will be the big
thread for season two, which conflicts with the end of season one.
Was that a surprise to you?
It was, for exactly
the reason you said.
Yeah, it conflicts a little bit. But in season
one Jimmy is really
trying to win the
respect and appreciation of his
brother and then
that goes terribly
wrong.
In season two
the only person
he’s really connected to in an aspirational way is Kim.
And in Kim’s
world view, Davis
and Mayne and
HHM — the world
she’s living. So if he
wants to stay connected with her or make
her proud or make her like
him, he should try to be in
that world. That’s where he
should be if he wants to be
close to her.
So yeah, it’s a surprise
for sure and the only other
thing I would say to you is
that while we see Jimmy
make this choice to try
again to fit into the corporate world, he doesn’t really try as hard and he’s very
aware now of the fact that he
isn’t really going to fit in easily here.
He’s very aware right
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have same people with, and this makes us unique. None
of the other bands perform live with the same musicians
with whom they work in the studio.”
When we asked him about the trend of remixing old
songs or using independent singles in movies, he rued
the fact that the industry is lacking good creatives. According to him, “In terms of creativity, everyone is replicating old
songs. If the musicians do not compose new music then no one is
going to appreciate their work.
Remix of old songs can only be
played for a few hours in a pub but
after that people would like to listen original songs only. So the
validity of these songs is only for
a limited period of time — when
you are on the dance floor. For
example, if you eat dal chawal daily,
then you get bored of it. After having
it for two days, you will ask for something different on the third day.”
Talking about his band Kailasa, he said
that the members of the band have learnt a
lot from their fans and dedicates their
success to them. “We don’t meet our
fan very often but still there are millions of people who shower their
love and blessings on us,” the
singer concluded with a smile.
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QNow you’ve done some more
episodes of this show, did that
change you approach to the
character at all?
No. People have asked me a
lot about the difference between
comic acting and dramatic acting
and in one way they’re very similar — it’s about committing to an
alternate reality person. In comedy
a lot of times you’re really blowing
the characterisation up really big and
it’s only better the bigger it is. In
drama it’s often about tuning it in
a lot more.
But commitment is important in both and for me, I get
rewarded from doing the dramatic scenes that are really intense, interior
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he 6-Pack Band from a renowned Indian tea
company label is probably the single most sigT
nificant non-film music act to debut in the last one
C745A>=CAD==4A#$<8=DC4B
from the start. The scene
where he walks into his
office, he already knows
that it’s going to be hard
to fit in, as opposed to
HHM where he was
wide-eyed and going, “I
can work here now right?
I’m a lawyer now — put in
a word for me.”
14H>=3C74<DB82
"><8=DC4B
and hard. That’s a great feeling, to feel like
you connected and did a good job in
drama. And then it’s a reward for me to
get to do the comedy cause it’s a relief and
it makes me laugh and makes me smile
and I just know the rhythms of it really
well and feel confident in it.
QAs a writer, do you like the background they gave you?
The background is wonderful and
true to a person. It has an emotional truth
to it. They worked really hard.
The thing that’s crazy about the work
that Vince and Peter Goulddo is that they
claim to — and I believe them actually
— not know what they’re doing. Like, we
didn’t know when we started why he
knows this person or where he lives.
There are so many big choices, and then
later as you watch the show everything
affects everything else and it matters and
it all builds and it’s all logical.
I mean, with Walter White there
were choices he made that were kind of
crazy and then as you get to know him,
they ring true to who he is on a deeper
level.
I know they work really, really hard.
I know that they think hard and make
a lot of notes and talk at length with this
group of writers. I know Vince really
sweats every detail.
QDoes it make a difference for you as
an actor knowing that the audience
knows how your character will ultimately end up?
Yeah, but they don’t know because
I think the challenge for Vince and Peter
as writers is to figure out this guy in a
richer way — as a younger guy with
many drives, who’s sympathetic, who you
can relate to and who you can know.
Whereas Saul Goodman is a character who you stand back and laugh at and
you think he’s entertaining, but you don’t
say, “I’m like him.” You say, “He’s like him
and I’m not like that.”
For me, it’s not a problem because
Saul Goodman in the first scene
he’s in, in Breaking Bad, tells
Walter White, “My name isn’t Saul
Goodman and this is all a front.”
He admits it and it’s a show. It’s a
show he’s putting on. You only
saw him in disguise and his only
purpose was as this fixer lawyer.
There were only two things
he did that suggest a richer
human behind the façade. Firstly,
when he tells Jesse to go in and
see Brock and Brock’s mum.
When he goes, “You should go
see Brock and Andrea,” that’s just
out-of-character. In fact, there’s danger because Saul doesn’t want to get
caught. Prime motivation for him is,
“Don’t get caught.” So that’s a weird
moment. And it was okay but I felt that
was a glimpse into a person with some
conscience.
But potentially he’s a more grounded guy than Saul presents himself to be
when we first meet him. When he tells
Walter White, “You know what a smart
person would do when they were where
you are? They’d quit.” Remember that
scene? It’s out-of-character for Saul. Saul
doesn’t really care about Walter’s family or future — he just wants to make
money off this guy.
QSo it’s almost like two characters?
Yeah, three actually. Jimmy, Saul
and then Gene. Yeah, and maybe more.
Maybe one more after Gene. That’s what
I think!
QHow sad were you when you found
out that Saul and Jimmy are Gene?
I loved it. I loved it. I hoped that we
would pull it off and that people wouldn’t go, “Oh, it’s just a joke.” It’s a real job!
People really have it and it’s a job you can
probably get without too much background check going on!
year. Since it’s launch by Y-Films, Yash Raj Films’
youth wing, the first three singles including a
Pharrell Williams’ Happy cover and a Sonu Nigam
collaboration have stacked up over 10 million views
besides huge worldwide buzz.
Now, for its fourth single, the band is joined by
14-year old, Zanai Bhosle, grand-daughter of Asha
Bhosle, for a contemporary rendition of the popular Marathi hit, Hil Pori Hila. The new version sung
in Hindi, English and Marathi is composed by
Shameer Tandon, also the curator of the band. It’s
unique musically as there are no musical instruments
used at all and has been produced using a format
popularly called Stomp where only hands, feet and
various objects like boxes, buckets, bottles, Red Label
tea packs, cups, spoons, whistles are used giving the
song a ‘never-heard-before’ take.
Asha Bhosle said, “I feel proud to
have sung songs for Yash
Chopraji and his entire family for so long, and today, my
granddaughter has sung for
Y-Films. I can’t be happier
and I’m glad the relationship
between us has remained
the same ever since. It is true
that in our society, one
gender has always been
ignored and looked
down upon. We all
need to take a stand to
help them and
empower
them. And
I’m so glad
a company
like YRF
has taken
this up and I
love the way
t h e y ’r e
spreading awareness.”
Added Ashish
Patil, head, Y-Films,
“The world has
always judged the
transgender community but in the eyes of
children, we are all
equal. Zanai comes
in as the voice of that
generation telling you
how to make the
world a more welcoming place through literally a foot-stomping
song. At the end of
Hil Pori Hila’s video
is a sneak into
another such collaboration with
none other than
Hrithik Roshan.”
Apart from the
band and Zanai,
the fun music
video directed by
Nupur Bhargava
and Hitesh Kewalya of
Invisible Rabbit, features 25 underprivileged children
from the Salaam Bombay Foundation, dancing with
abandon. These children are trying to break out of
their circumstances and just like the band itself, are
nevertheless happy to shake their troubles away. The
Hindi lyrics are by Varun Likhate, and the Stomp
Mix has been arranged and conducted by Nishadh
Chandra. The band comprises Asha Jagtap, Bhavika
Patil, Chandni Suvarnakar, Fida Khan, Komal
Jagtap, Ravina Jagtap.
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tanding at six feet, Azeem Banatwalla is shaking, I was pacing around like a crazy person.”
someone you cannot miss for two reasons. “But it wasn’t so bad,” he let out a smile.
If you closely observe his shows and acts you
First, and most obvious, his height, and second, and more importantly, his impeccable sense will realise that most of his stories stem from his
of humour. We have all seen him on Youtube general observations of life. And like a true comevideos, appearing with the East India Comedy, his dian, he translates them to humour on stage. “My
solo sketches at the Canvas Comedy Club in acts are about things that appeal to me,” he put it.
Mumbai and so many other places. And he is as He does not memorise a script or have a rehearsed
comical in real life as he is on stage — barring the act prepared for his shows. Well, he used to but
pitch of his voice. Banatwalla is soft spoken but soon he realised how monotonous it was. So he
started preparing points that he would touch upon
his expressions ring loud and clear.
in his shows. “And that works. I have
Interestingly, he was not as funny
the liberty to improvise my acts on
(“and vocal,” he added) when he has a
how the audience receives them,” he
kid. Things were quite different. “I was
²0B0
said.
not a funny kid growing up. I came up
Also, he is an avid traveller and
with jokes so bad that other kids chased :838F>D;3
mostly travels solo which gives him
me around with sticks,” he said in his sigB8C8=C74 plenty of time to think about things
nature wave of hands, bursting into
laughter. “After that I became the guy, sit- 2>A=4A>50 he would not ordinarily give a
thought to. He did, however, added
ting in the corner observing people and
making fun of them in my head,” he 2;0BBA>>< that his frequent flights give him a lot
of matter for his sketches. “I have a
added, trying to keep a straight face.
>1B4AE4
lot to share about my take on air hostBefore becoming a well known face
esses and crying babies. I have I have
in the stand-up comedy scenario, and
>C74A
20 minutes of jokes about just airalso a much sought after one,
Banatwalla’s career involved writing ?4>?;40=3 lines,” Banatwalla said with an air of
for various publications. He has <0:45D=>5 seriousness, his eyes twinkling with
mischief hidden behind his glasses.
a graduate degree in engiThere is a fine line of difference,
neering and an affinity
C74<8=<H
and a very important one, too, when
for gaming and foot7403³
it comes to writing for a publication
ball and there was a
and for gigs, and Banatwalla happitime when he dably explained it to us. “It’s totally difbled between his
ferent because at a publication you
performances
have an editor who has the final say.
and his writing.
But it was only a couple of But when it’s stand-up, it’s all you. You’re the only
years ago that he realised person accountable if it doesn’t work,” he pointed
that he was having more out.
In a similar way he drew the connection
fun on the stage than at a
desk. “Also because I hate between writing a script for a show and the perwaking up early,” came an formance. He told us that both are two parts of the
obvious quick wit one- same process and that no amount of extravagance
can make up for a bad script,a nd vice-versa. “If
liner.
For every stand-up anything, all my performances have taught me how
comedian, the first act the same material can generate completely differholds prime importance ent results on stage, depending on the audience,”
and we could not help he said.
It was mandatory to ask him about what he
but ask Banatwalla
about it. He did look thought about the growing popularity of stand-up
lost for a split second comedians in India. His face lit up, instantly. “It’s
and then recollected it being great to see so many new rooms and so many peo“nerve wracking.” He took a ple coming out to watch stand up. Comedy is growpause (almost comical) and ing leaps and bounds, comics are evolving.
added, “It’s the most scared Audiences are getting smarter. It’s great,” he
I’ve ever been. My hands were wrapped up with a signature Banatwalla smile.
S
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ctor Vir Das, who has made
A
waves with his stints internationally, will be seen in the first episode
of an American comedy show.
Vir, who was signed by CAA, the
world famous agency that has only
got Bollywood actress Priyanka
Chopra onboard from India, was
noticed by the “American entertainment industry from quite sometime
specially after his comedy tours.”
“Vir was being majorly noticed
by the American entertainment
industry from quite sometime specially after his comedy tours. He
is getting an amazing response
from the audience here,” a
spokesperson said.
The Go Goa Gone actor
also went on a three city US
comedy tour and got recognition. He also performed at the
Carolines
on
Broadway.
After the success of the first
tour, he was invited again to do
27 shows in 35
days in the US.
Seeing the
kind
of response he was getting from the
American market, the world’s biggest
comedy management company —
Entertainment Group — signed Vir.
“We believe that is what prompted the production house to approach
him. He has now started shooting for
the pilot season of this comedy
show. The rest of the schedule is yet
to be decided,” the spokesperson
added.
Levity Entertainment Group has
worked with world renowned comedians such as Jamie Foxx, Jeff
Dunham, Trevor Noah,
Daniel Tosh, Tracy
Morgan, Amy Schumer
and Gabriel Iglesias. And
with this the Delhi Belly
star became the first ever
Indian comedian to
have
been
signed by
the organisation.
80=B
5G0=35G732>=C4BC
ward-winning series The
Affair starting stellar
actors Ruth Wilson, Dominic
West, Joshua Jackson and
Maura Tierney is all set to air
its seasons 1 and 2 back to
back on India’s edgiest English
Entertainment channel, FX
and FX HD.
When there is an extra
marital affair, it’s usually
someone’s fault and the other
is a victim, but is it really like
that?
The series that explores
the emotional ups and downs
between two couples amidst
an extra marital affair sets the
pace in the form of an exquisite narrative that is shown
from the perspectives of both
individuals involved in the
affair — a format that has
never been seen on television
before.
A
So don’t miss tuning-in to
The Affair every Monday to
Friday at 9pm on FX and FX
HD!
What’s more? Answer
these easy questions and stand
a chance to win some super
cool
merchandise!
QWho is the creator of the
series The Affair?
OSarah Treem
OKathy Bates
OSarah Paulson
QThe Affair explores the
emotional effects of an
extramarital relationship
between which two
characters?
ONoah and Alison
ONoah and Helen
OCole and Alison
QWho plays Noah
C
irector duo Abbas-Mustan says that they
are quite impressed with Nishikant
D
Kamat’s acting ability and would want to sign
him for their next film.
“We have already told Nishikant (Kamat)
that we are going to sign him for our next
film. He is such a good actor, we can think
of casting him in our film,” said the filmmakers as they attended the screening of Rocky
Handsome.
For the film, Kamat has donned hats of
director as well as actor. He has played the
role of villain in the flick that also stars John
Abraham.
“We know Nishikant very well. He is a
very good director as well as actor. Being a
capable actor and a filmmaker he knows how
to bring out the best from another actor,” the
director duo added.
Kamat who was present at the screening,
also expressed his interest to act again if he
is offered a suitable role and interesting storyline.
“If I get a suitable role and good story,
may be in future I would do acting,” he said.
The action thriller also stars Shruti
Haasan and revolves around a man who sets
out to take vengeance against the drug mafia
after they take away an eight-year-old girl,
with whom he shares a special bond.
80=B
)DPLO\YDOXHV
Solloway in the series?
ODominic West
OJoshua Jackson
OCollin Donnell
QThe series won the
________ Award for Best
Television Series: Drama.
OAcademy
OCritics’ Choice
OGolden Globe
QNoah Solloway and
Alison Lockhart meet for
the first time in
ONew York City
OMontauk in Long Island
OChalons du Bois
Answer these 5 easy
questions and stand a
chance to win some exciting
merchandise! Hurry up and
send in your responses to
contestwith
[email protected]
HYjd`dVcZ`fd0
omedian Tracy Morgan says he
was plunged into a dark place after
he woke from his coma eight weeks
after he was involved in a near-fatal
car crash in New Jersey in 2014.
The 47-year-old comedian said he
toyed with the idea of suicide on
numerous occasions when he was
strapped to his hospital bed, unable to
walk, for over a year following the
near-fatal accident on June 7, 2014,
reported a magazine.
“I thought I was going to die for
a long time. My thoughts — I was in
a very dark place. I was sitting right
here, contemplating suicide. I couldn’t walk. Emotionally, it's hard for me
to deal with,” said
Morgan, who has three sons
Gitrid, Malcolm, and Tracy, Jr from his
first marriage and two-year-old
daughter Maven with wife Megan
Woolover.
FWPcP_XRZ
The actor miraculously got
through the ordeal, which saw a
Walmart truck on the New Jersey
Turnpike smash into the limousine he
was passenger in, but not without a
fight.
He spent eight days in a coma
before waking up to learn he had gone
blind — a condition that lasted six
days — was suffering from a traumatic brain injury and had a broken leg.
But he also battled feelings of guilt
and regret as his friend-James ‘Jimmy’
McNair sadly died in the accident,
which led to him seeking months of
psychiatric help.
And now, 20 months after the
crash, the 30 Rock star is back on the
road touring his gigs again.
“I don’t think I cheated death. I
think this was the plan. My room wasn’t ready,” he said.
?C8
here have been speculations about
Mira Rajput gearing up for her
T
Bollywood debut since she got married
to actor Shahid Kapoor. And Shahid’s
father and noted actor Pankaj Kapur says
he will “support” her choice regardless of
what she opts for.
“It is her life. She can do what she
wants to do. Why should I have anything
to do with that? It is between her and her
husband. She is a child to me. Why would
I have any objections? For me, she can
do what she wants to do and I am there
to support,” Pankaj told IANS.
Shahid got married to Mira in a
closely guarded affair in Delhi last year.
Since then speculations are rife about her
venturing into Bollywood. In fact,
Shahid’s spokesperson had to refute
reports that Mira will do a cameo in film
AK vs SK in September.
Pankaj also confessed that the mention of the word “daughter-in-law” makes
him uncomfortable.
The Shaandaar star added: “My
children can do what they want to do.
When it comes to this whole category of
daughter-in-law, I get a little uncomfortable as I treat her like my daughter.”
Pankaj, who has explored various
mediums for entertainment — be it films,
theatre or television — shared his views
with IANS after attending an event
organised by a detergent company on the
topic “Why is laundry only a mother’s
job?” in Mumbai.
80=B
1\\V_bQc_^W
ollywood superstar Shah Rukh
Khan has begun shooting with
B
actress Sunny Leone for an item
song for his coming film Raees.
Shah Rukh, 50, is shaking a leg
with Sunny in a reprise version of
the 1980 chartbuster Laila O Laila
from the film Qurbaani. The original track featured Feroz Khan and
Zeenat Amaan.
A special set has been created
here at Mehboob studio. “It’s a
dance track, an item number which
is part of the film and not an endcredit song. The set is that of an old
retro bar. The situation is that it is
a bar where they are selling alcohol
in the pretext of selling cold drinks.
That is where Sunny is dancing,” a
source from the set told PTI.
Directed by Rahul Dholakia,
Raees is set in 1980s Gujarat. It tells
the story of bootlegger Raees Khan
(Shah Rukh) whose business is
challenged and eventually thwarted
by a police officer played by
Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
“The song will be shot for four
days. Right now Shah Rukh’s entry
shot will be filmed. There are 50
junior artistes and 20 dancers,” the
source said.
Recently, Leone’s face-off with a
journalist on a talk show won her lot
of praises. Everyone from Anushka
Sharma to Varun Dhawan and Alia
Bhatt took a stand for the actress.
Superstar Aamir Khan expressed his
desire to work with her.
This will be the first time Leone
will be sharing the screen space with
a superstar, after her cameo in
Akshay Kumar’s Singh is Bliing last
year.
Leone, 34, has previously shot
for items songs in films like Hate
Story 2 (Pink lips) and Shootout at
Wadala (Laila).
Raees, which also stars Pakistani
actress Mahira Khan, is produced by
Gauri Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani and
Farhan Akhtar. The film is scheduled to release this Eid.
?C8
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n the back of a two game winning
run, a confident English side will
look to seal the semifinal birth here
today against an under performing Sri
Lanka side.
On the other hand, Lankan Lions desperately need a win against England to keep
their semifinal hopes alive.
After losing by seven wickets to group
leaders West Indies in the last encounter,
defending champions Sri Lanka cannot
afford any more slip up as it might very well
rule them out of contention for a top-2 finish from their group.
Without the experienced duo of Kumar
Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene — key
components of their 2014 World T20 triumph — Lanka have struggled so far in the
middle order.
As Dinesh Chandimal stressed sever-
O
al times during the pre-match press conference, the middle order has been the one
problematic area for the Asian side so far.
But, the prospect of playing several
times at Feroshah Kotla in the past compared to their opposite number, Angelo
Mathews led side will have a better understanding of the conditions.
For England the fitness of their opener Alex Hales will also be a big worry. After
being rested against Afghanistan in the last
match due to a back problem, Hales participation against Lanka is still unsure.
In the WT20 record chase of 230 against
South Africa earlier in the group, Hales provided the perfect platform for the Poms with
a 7-ball 17 runs. But he was missed badly
in the last game against the Afghan side as
England were loitering at 57/6 in one particular stage, only for Moeen Ali to come
up with the rescue act. So England's captain Eoin Morgan will be hoping for Hales
to be fit for this crucial encounter.
As far as Sri Lanka is concerned there
0?
´=YTT\U_bTUbYccdbeWW\Y^Wµ
=4F34;78)Dinesh Chandimal
admitted that Sri Lanka's main
struggle so far in World T20
has been in the middle order.
Despite accepting that the lack
of experience in the middle
order has been one of the reasons for their inconsistent performances, Chandimal has
refused to use the 'transition
phase' as an excuse for the
team’s performances.
"You cannot always say transition. We need to put
our hands up. We will give our best shot in the next
game," Chandimal said. "We are struggling with middle order. In big games, we don't have experience. The
guys are working hard in practice. We are looking to
do well in our next game. We are concerned with our
middle order but we will have a good chance anyway.
England's pacers can be surprise package."
PNS
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is not any fresh injury worries after their T20
specialist Lasith Malinga was earlier ruled
out of the tournament.
Even though England, who are currently placed second in their group, find themselves in a comfortable position compared
to their Sri Lankan counterparts, the Poms
have already played three games. So the
game against Lanka will be their last
chance to qualify for the knockout stage,
thus leaving them with no alternative but
to go all out for a win. Anything but a slip
up here on Saturday, will most probably rule
England's chances of making the last-4 cut.
Despite not performing to their full
potential in their last game, both England
and Sri Lanka are expected to retain the
same playing line-up.
If Hales is to be ruled out for Saturday's
match, then James Vince, who scored 22 of
18 against the Afghans, is expected to retain
his place in the starting eleven alongside
Jason Roy. With Morgan, Ben Stokes, Jos
Buttler and the in-form Joe Root, England
will have a formidable batting group.
Their bowling is neither bad, if one has
to take into account their spinners Adil
Rashid and Ali are in good touch and they
will fancy their chances in the usually slow
Kotla wicket. Liam Plunkett and Chris
Jordan will be tasked with providing the
pace on the night if Reece Topley is not fit
enough to start.
As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, this
is the weakest squad they have possessed
when going into a World Cup in the recent
years. Beyond the aggressive Tillakaratne
Dilshan and opener Chandimal, it is hard
to look for anyone in the middle except for
their captain Mathews. Apart from them,
it is hard to place the money on the likes of
Lahiru Thirimanne and Chamara
Kapugedera to perform regularly.
They do have a good bowling line-up
in Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara and
Mathews can also bowl.
But the main onus in the spin department will be on Rangana Herath with the
pitch conditions expected to favour him.
Jeffrey Vandersay will be looking to support
Herath considerably. But, the Lankan side
are definitely short in that department without Ajantha Mendis.
[email protected]
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (captain),
Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera,
Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan,
Rangana Herath, Shehan Jayasuriya,
Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara,
Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Sachithra
Senanayake, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda
Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne.
England: Jason Roy, James Vince, Alex
Hales, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Eoin Morgan
(capt), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Sam
Billings, David Willey, Liam Plunkett,
Reece Topley, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid,
Liam Dawson.
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fter missing England's last game against
Afghanistan due to a back problem,
A
Alex Hales is in line to return back to the
starting line-up.
The aggressive opener spent considerable amount of time in the nets on Friday
and if his recovery goes as expected, he could
very well replace James Vince in the playing eleven on Saturday.
Also Reece Topley, who did not start
against the Afghans due to a stomach issue,
was also present in England's net session on
Friday. Thus there is a possibility of the pacer
Reece also making the line-up against
Lanka, says a member of England's coaching staff.
The staff also added that England's focus
on Friday's nets were mainly on spin as the
Kotla wicket could favour the Lankan spin
wizards.
As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, the
team had a regular practice session. The
team's media manager said the sub-continent side is not looking to put the pressure
on their players ahead of the crucial
encounter on Saturday.
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after losing to India
in a cliffhanger, a demorSalisedhaken
Bangladesh will look to
end their campaign on a high
when they face a rampaging
New Zealand in a ICC World
Twenty20 dead rubber at Eden
Gardens here on Saturday.
Their epic one-run loss
from the jaws of victory against
India on Wednesday ended
the semifinal hopes of the spirited Bangladesh team as they're
winless from three matches.
The Black Caps, who have
already sealed a final-four
berth, on the other hand,
would look to top Group 2 with
an all-win record.
With their contrasting
campaigns, Mashrafe Mortaza's
men will seek a consolation win
and restore some pride but it
remains to be seen whether the
Black Caps take their foot off
the gas ahead of the knockouts.
This will be Bangladesh's
second outing of the World
Twenty20 at the Eden and the
familiar conditions in front of
an expected crowd support
closer to home would certainly boost the team's morale
after their heart-aching loss to
India.
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the foundation for their 180/5
against Pakistan in Mohali.
With Guptill at the top and
Ross Taylor in the lower middle order, the batting unit is following the legacy left by
Brendon McCullum.
Captain Kane Williamson,
who is new to the job after the
retirement of the hard-hitting opener McCullum, has
shown his ability to forge a
winning unit.
In all the three matches,
New Zealand have batted first
and defended totals of 126, 142
and 180 successfully and they
may look to test their chasing
ability as well as give others
some chance.
[email protected]
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New
Zealand:
Kane
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0? Williamson (C), Corey
Anderson, Trent Boult, Martin
Opening their Super 10 Rahim and Mahmudullah's New Zealand were the first to Guptill, Grant Elliott, Colin
campaign here, Bangladesh over enthusiasm to go for 'glory' seize their place in semis with Munro, McClenaghan, Nathan
were handed out a 55-run loss shots that cost Bangladesh the a clinical win over Pakistan en McCullum, Adam Milne,
route to securing a third victo- Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi
by Pakistan but they raised match against India.
Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al ry on the trot.
their standards to scare the
(WK), Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim
In the turning wicket of Southee, Ross Taylor.
Hasan and Sabbir Rahaman
mighty Australia and India.
Certainly Bangladesh are have shown flashes of their Nagpur, New Zealand have Bangladesh:
Mashrafe
punching over their weight brilliance and despite the sus- shown their potent spin attack Mortaza (C), Mahmudullah,
with their creditable perfor- pension of their two in-form in Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur
mances against India and bowlers Taskin Ahmed and and the experienced Nathan Rahim (WK), Sabbir Rehman,
Australia and have won the Arafat Sunny, Bangladesh have McCullum to fox India in the Abu Hider, Nurul Hasan, Altournament-opener.
hearts, it's time that they dis- been resilient.
Amin Hossain, Nasir Hossain,
Their batting depth was Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal,
From out-spinning India
play some maturity and calm
with a dose of their own med- also underlined in the previous Mohammed
demeanour to win a match.
Mithun,
Two runs needed from last icine, to outmanoeuvring their match when Martin Guptill Mustafizur Rahman, Saqlain
three balls, it's Mushfiqur trans-Tasman rivals Australia, blasted 80 from 48 balls to lay Sajib and Shuvagata Hom.
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he defending champions and winners of
T
three T20 World Cups,
Australian eves will look to
seal their place in the semifinal when they face a
depleted Ireland side, which
has not won even a single
match in this tournament,
here at the Feroz Shah Kotla
stadium on Saturday.
Healy (12) was out in the
fifth over, as Australia
romped home by reaching
125 for one in 17.4 overs.
Ireland however have had
a horrible run in the T20
World Cup. After losing to
New Zealand in their opener, they lost to Sri Lanka and
then to South Africa. Isobel
Joyce and her girls will look to
leave the tournament on a
high note and if they beat
Australia here they can make
the upset Australia’s chances
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The Australian eves high
on confidence after crushing
Sri Lanka on Thursday.
Captain Meg Lanning and
Elyse Villani struck unbeaten half-centuries and handed the defending champions
nine wicket win over the
Island nation.
Lanning (56 not out)
and Villani (53 not out)
scored 98 runs in 13.1 overs
for the unbroken second
wicket, after opener Alyssa
of finishing in the top-2.
Australia are placed at second
position with four points
from three games. New
Zealand has already qulified
and South Africa are at two
points but they have two
games in hand. It’s a do or die
clash for Australia women.
For Australia, Lanning,
Blackwell, Cheatle and Perry
are in form of their life and
couldn’t have asked for a perfect timing than this WC.
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ustralia on Friday knocked Pakistan
out of the ICC World Twenty20 with
a convincing 21-run victory, setting
up a virtual quarterfinal against hosts India
to be played here on Sunday.
Captain Steven Smith (61 not out off
43) and Shane Watson (44 not out off 21)
hammered 74 off the last 38 balls to take
Australia to 193 for four.
Pakistani batsmen faltered once again
barring a decent effort from Khalid Latif
(46 off 41) and Shoaib Malik (40 off 20) to
end at 172 for eight.
All-rounder James Faulkner starred
with ball, becoming the first Australian to
take five wickets in the shortest formant.
Australia, who have now two wins
from three games like India, meet the home
team in a match that decides the number
two team that goes into the semifinals
alongside leaders New Zealand.
The steep chase was another chance for
Pakistan batsmen to redeem themselves
after they let the team down in the previous two matches.
The start was not promising with both
the opener back in the hut inside six overs.
Ahmed Shehzad lasted only six balls while
Sharjeel Khan, who was the lone bright
spot against New Zealand, dragged one on
to his stumps off Faulkner after smashing
six boundaries at the Punjab Cricket
Association Stadium.
Umar Akmal and Khalid Latif shared
45 runs for the third wicket before Zampa
found the middle stump of Ukmal with a
flighted delivery, reducing Pakistan to 85
for three.
A
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It was a Herculean task for Latif and
Shahid Afridi to pull off. They infused life
into the contest with some crisp hitting but
the one big partnership that the team needed remained elusive. Afridi, in what could
be his final knock before retirement,
departed in his usual style, having got out
stumped after smashing 14 off 7 balls.
Latif and Shoaib Malik were left to get
69 off the last five over, which proved to
be too much in the end.
Earlier, pacer Wahab Riaz provided the
early and important wickets of Usman
Khawaja (21) and David Warner (9) before
Smith and Watson took the attack.
Riaz brought back memories of the
2011 World Cup semifinal against India
here with a fiery spell. He ran through the
stumps of Khawaja, who had welcomed
Riaz by pulling him away for a maximum
two balls earlier. Then the bowler found the
stumps of the dangerous Warner with
another fast incoming delivery, leaving
Australia at 42 for two.
Smith, who had averaged a little more
than five against Pakistan in this format,
improved his record substantially to bail his
team out of a spot of bother.
Smith's knock was busy as usual,
highlighted by seven fours. His last hit was
amazing as he smacked Riaz for four
towards the leg side on a ball he met while
standing way outside the off-stump.
Pakistan pacers leaked runs with
Mohammad Amir going for close 10 runs
per over and Mohammad Sami giving away
53 runs in four overs.
Brief Scores
Australia: 193/4 (Steve Smith 61*, Shane
Watson 44*, Wasim 2/31) beat Pakistan:
172/8 (Latif 46, Malik 40, Faulkner 5/27)
by 21 runs.
7 0 ; 5 C 8 < 4
41D5<9>5 =06?DA
n-form West Indies produced a
disciplined bowling and fielding
Ieffort
to restrict a marauding South
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Africa to a modest 122 for eight in
a crucial Super 10 Group 1 match
of the ICC World Twenty20, here
on Friday.
It was struggle for South Africa
from the word go as they lost wickets at regular intervals and failed to
put on a substantial partnership to
get to a wining total.
Despite having some many big
hitting batsmen in their ranks, the
Proteas could only hit eight boundaries and two sixes in their entire
20 overs.
Left-handed opener Quinton
de Kock top-scored for South
Africa with a 46-ball 47, while
David Wiese made a valuable 28
lower down the order.
Sent into bat, South Africa
were in dire-straits, losing their first
five wickets inside the 50-run
mark.
Hashim Amla became victim of
a terrible mix up in the third delivery of the match, while skipper Faf
du Plessis (9) was
brilliantly holed out by
Suleiman Benn at mid-off off
Andre Russell in the last ball pf the
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ndian tennis star Sania Mirza
and her Swiss partner Martina
IHingis
clinched a facile opening win
in the women's doubles draw but
Rohan Bopanna was knocked out of
the men's doubles event in the
Miami Open tennis tournament
here on Friday.
Top seeds Sania and Hingis
took merely an hour to outplay Lara
Arruabarrena of Spain and Raluca
Olaru of Romania 6-0, 6- 4.
However, Bopanna and his
Romanian partner Florin Mergea
bowed out after squandering a position of strength to go down 6-2, 46, 4-10 the Uruguayan-Spanish
combination of Pablo Cuevas and
Marcel Granollers.
The sixth seeded IndoRomanian pair slogged for an hour
and nine minutes before ending up
on the losing side.
second over, soon after the righthander clobbered Russell over midoff two deliveries earlier.
Rilee Rossouw was the next to
depart for a duck, cutting a Chris
Gayle delivery straight to Russell at
point as South Africa slumped to 20
for three in three overs.
Much was expected of AB de
Villiers (10) but he too perished in
the eight over after being completely foxed by a slower delivery from
Dwayne Bravo.
But next up, the Proteas
received their biggest blow when de
Villiers, trying to flick through
midwicket, was cleaned up by a
slower ball from Bravo in the
eighth over.
The batting side failed to learn
from the earlier mistakes on a
wicket which looked tough for
batting as part-time off-spinner
Gayle, who had dismissed Rossouw,
struck yet again in the ninth over
to shatter David Miller's stumps
and have South Africa in a spot of
bother at 47/5.
Incoming batsman David
Wiese (28) and De Kock took their
time in the middle without trying
anything silly to help team go past
90-run mark in 15 overs.
But as De Kock was chipping in
with ones and twos to get close to
his second T20I fifty, Russell came
in to get rid of the left-handed bats-
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man to have the former three runs
short off half-century.
With wickets falling at regular
intervals, life became difficult for
the Proteas batsmen to post a
respectable total as tail-enders
Chris Morris (16 not out) and
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akistan captain Shahid Afridi on
P
Friday said that he is yet make up
his mind on retirement post the
ongoing WT20 tournament.
"I have not taken any decision. I
will do it in front of my nation," said
Afridi at toss of the crucial game
against Australia.
He was criticized severely after
his team's loss to India and New
Zealand earlier in the tournament.
PCB chief has already made it clear
that he will be removed as captain
post the WT20.
After the defeat against Australia,
Afridi reiterrated that he will take a
call on his retirement after returning
to his country.
"Whatever is better for the country, I will go with that. I will see my
form. There is pressure, media pressure. I will discuss with my family and
even Wasim Akram before taking a
call," said Afridi. "As a player, I am
fit. As a captain, I am not fit. I have
enjoyed my captaincy. The team
management, selection committee,
and (PCB) Shahryar Khan have
helped me out," he added.
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Aaron Phangiso (4) helped team
reach 122/8.
While going for an outrageous
flick through midwicket, De Villiers
got a thick inside edge straight onto
his stumps, much to the disappointment of the capacity crowd.
If that was not enough, Gayle
went through another dangerman
David Miller's defence to see South
Africa in a spot of bother at 47 for
five.
De Kock and Wiese then held
the innings together with a crucial
40-run stand for the sixth wicket to
take South Africa forward.
But just when it seemed things
were starting to look bright for
South Africa, De Kock, on whom
South Africa depended much to get
to a fighting total, perished after
doing all the hard work. He was
bowled by Russell as the left-hander went for an injudicious sweep
to a full ball bowled around his legs.
In search of big shots, Wiese
then skied a slower delivery from
Bravo to West Indies skipper
Darren Sammy at mid-off.
For West Indies, Gayle (2/17),
Bravo (2/200 and Russell (2/28)
picked up two wickets apiece.
Brief Scores
South Africa: 122/8 in 20 overs
(Quinton de Kock 47; Chris Gayle
2/17, Dwayne Bravo 2/20, Andre
Russell 2/28) vs West Indies.
Unfazed by the criticism he drew
for mentioning Kashmir in the previous match, Shahid Afridi on Friday
once again thanked supporters from
the valley for turning up to cheer his
team in match against Australia here.
"I want to thank the people of
Kolkata for supporting us. I thank people who came and supported us from
Pakistan and Kashmir. I also want to
thank the BCCI for taking good care
of us in India," Afridi said in the postmatch presentation after Pakistan's 21run loss to Australia drawing a loud
applause from the stands.
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t turned out to be a dismal day for
India at the New Zealand Open
Ibadminton
tournament after all
the three Indian pairs, including
Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa,
suffered straight-game losses to
bow out of the $120,000 Grand Prix
Gold event here.
2011 World Championship
bronze-medallists, Jwala and
Ashwini, gave a tough fight in the
opening game but ran out of steam
in the second to go down 22-24, 821 to the local combo of Setyana
Mapasa and Gronya Somerville in
the women's doubles competition.
In men's doubles, sixth seeds
Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy,
who had won the Mexico Open last
December, lost 10-21, 20-22 to
second seeded Korean pair of Ko
Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol
here.
Shin Baek Cheol also paired up
with Chae Yoo Jung to defeat
Indian mixed doubles combo of
Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki
Reddy 21-14, 21-18 in another
quarterfinal match.
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