- Anna Hazare comes again in defense of Baba Ramdev
- No secret deal in Alex Paul Menon Release
- Mumbai business acquires 29 items of Mahatma Gandhi
- Gujarat to replicate Twin City Models to other cities
- Supreme Court reverves verdict on Regulating Media
- Alex Paul Menon returns back home safely
- US removes Racist advertisement against Indians
- Jogging can improve your Life Performance
- Super 30 Founder claims wrong Questions in IITJEE
- Facebook to raise $10 billions by IPO this year
Posted: 04 May 2012 10:10 AM PDT
Coming to the defense of Yoga guru Baba Ramdev over his remarks about MPs, Anna Hazare today said that Ramdev had not referred to all the MPs.
Baba Ramdev‘s statement that there were “dacoits and murderers” in the Parliament has drawn a lot criticism. Talking to reporters here, Hazare, who recently joined hands with the Yoga Guru for the anti-corruption campaign, said that he talked to Ramdev about the statement.
Ramdev did not mean all the MPs when he made the statement but only a few, Hazare asserted. Refuting reports of rift in his team, Hazare alleged that it was a media-creation. Hazare addressed a rally here as a part of his state-wide campaign for stronger Lokayukta Act in Maharashtra.
The anti-corruption crusader also said that he would take up the cause of farmers at the national level in future. Asked about Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s refusal to meet him, Hazare, who recently met prominent leaders of all the parties to push for stronger Lokayukta, said it was no great deal.
Hazare also criticized Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who recently visited drought-hit areas of Maharashtra, saying that the visit did not provide any succour to the people. He said that although Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had agreed on the need for a stronger Lokayukta, he would not be able to do anything unless the high command allowed it.
Posted: 04 May 2012 09:08 AM PDT
Chattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh and the Maoists’ mediators on Friday emphatically said there was no secret deal or any quid pro quo between Naxals and the state government behind the release of Sukma collector Alex Paul Menon after he was held hostage for 12 days.
A day after he was set free, the 32-year-old IAS officer returned to his Sukma home, about 450 km from the state capital, this morning to an emotional welcome from his pregnant wife Asha and other family members.
Menon spent the night at CRPF base camp at Chintalnar before reaching Sukma by helicopter and was brought home under tight security. His mother-in-law offered the traditional ‘aarti’ before he stepped into his official residence.
“There is no secret deal or any understanding to facilitate the release of Alex Paul Menon,” Singh told reporters when asked whether there was any understanding between the state government and the rebels to bring to an end the 12-day hostage crisis.
At a press conference in Sukma, the two Maoists’ mediators--B D Sharma and Prof Hargopal–who facilitated the release of Menon denied any secret deal for the freedom of the Collector.
S K Mishra, one of the two Government mediators, also categorically said there was no “secret deal” or any “quid pro quo” between the two sides.
Under the agreement, the government had agreed to set up a high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Nirmala Buch, one of the two Government mediators, to review the cases of all prisoners languishing in Chattisgarh jails including the cases demanded by the Maoists.
Posted: 04 May 2012 08:05 AM PDT
A businessman from Mumbai has announced that he has acquired 29 items of Mahatma Gandhi memorabilia at a recent auction in the UK.
“I am delighted to acquire the items, which are of national interest. I would happier had the government acquired them,” Kamal Morarka, former Union minister and publisher, said.
Morarka plans to bring the memorabilia, which he acquired through a leading auction house, to India soon.
The memorabilia includes blades of grass and soil pigmented with blood of Mahatma Gandhi and retrieved from Birla House in Delhi, where he was assassinated in 1948. The purchase was done through the Kamal Morarka Foundation for the Arts.
The sale was done by Mullock’s, a Shropshire-based auctioneer. The items include one of Gandhi’s early pairs of iconic spectacles, the famous wooden ‘charkha’ (spinning wheel) he used, a prayer book signed by Gandhi and also several letters and other documents pertaining to Gandhi’s life.
Asked where he intended to display the items, Morarka said, “I would be happy if the government displays them in a national museum in Delhi. The purchase is not a commercial decision but an emotional one,” he said. “We don’t intend to re-sell such objects but to bring them back to India, so as to share with our people, these important heritage artifacts that have eluded us for long by being kept in private hands outside of India,” Morarka said
Posted: 04 May 2012 06:02 AM PDT
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said that twin city model-Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar-of urban development would be replicated in other cities of the state as well.
“The government will replicate twin city model of urban development for the cities like Halol-Vadodara, Madhapar-Bhuj and Surendranagar-Vadhavan,” Modi said, while speaking at a programme of Gandhinagar Urban Development Authority (GUDA). Modi said that the state government was mulling over a revenue model to make the cities cleaner and it was also suggested to the Prime Minister for implementation in 5,000 towns of India on public private partnership basis.
Under this model, polluted water would be treated first and then supplied to the farmers. The solid waste will also be converted into organic fertiliser and will be given to farmers,” he said.
Modi also outlined the importance of metro rail project being developed between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar as part of this twin city project. He announced that the state government is mulling to implement solid waste management and projects on water treatment, on a pilot basis in 50 towns of Gujarat.
The Chief Minister dedicated four projects and performed ground breaking ceremonies for nine public amenity works undertaken by GUDA, on the outskirts of Gandhinagar at a cost of Rs 165 crore. These projects are expected to benefit 39 villages that falls under GUDA’s periphery. Modi also announced a special grant of Rs 31 crore for the development of infrastructural facilities in GUDA region surrounding Gandhinagar city.
Posted: 04 May 2012 04:50 AM PDT
The Supreme Court was told on Thursday that framing guidelines was a legislative activity and doing so by the court would amount to judicial over-reach. The court concluded the hearing on the framing of guidelines on reporting of sub-judice cases and reserved its verdict.
Senior counsel Fali Nariman told the constitution bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice D.K. Jain, Justice S.S. Nijjar, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice J.S. Khehar that the court could at best go for normative guidelines instead of mandatory guidelines as these would infringe upon the essential freedom of press.
The court was told that framing of guidelines would not only amount to judicial over-reach but also open the flood gates and add to problems instead of easing them.
As Nariman, appearing for Sahara India Real Estate Corp, and senior counsel Soli Sorabjee, an amicus curiae, opposed the framing of any guidelines, Chief Justice Kapadia asked if the court could not frame any guidelines to regulate media reporting in sub-judice matters.
The chief justice asked what could be the objection if there were principles available in other judgments and the same were spelt out by them. They could be called guidelines, regulations or principles.
When Justice Jain wanted to know if the apex court could not frame the guidelines then which institution could do so Nariman told the court that “you can’t do that”.
The constitution bench was hearing an application by the Sahara on its grievance against a news channel reporting its proposal made to the stock market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), on securing the money it had raised from the market.
The court said that it would frame guidelines for reporting of sub-judice matters.
The constitution bench March 27, commenced the hearing on the application of Sahara.
Concluding the arguments on the 17th hearing in the matter, amicus curiae K.K. Venugopal told the court that there should be a bar on journalists entering a court and reporting its proceedings without being accredited.
The accreditation of the apex court reporters be made subject to adherence to the guidelines. He said that such an arrangement would be in the interest of the administration of justice, as well as parties and witnesses in the court. He told the court that these guidelines would also be in the interest of media.
As Venugopal sought to make accreditation subject to adherence of guidelines, the court asked him what about the reporting of proceedings in trial court. At this amicus curiae said that subordinate courts could frame their own rules for coverage of proceedings.
Posted: 04 May 2012 03:47 AM PDT
His wife Asha, who is pregnant, was there to receive him at the door of their home. As he was greeted by his wife and other family members with the traditional ‘aarti’, scores of media personnel jostled with each other to capture the moment. There were also many locals from Sukma to greet Menon.
Menon, the 32-year-old Indian Administrative Service official, had emerged Thursday from captivity at 6.30 p.m., accompanied by Maoist mediators, in Tarmetla, a tiny forested hamlet.
In a significant comment, Chief Minister Raman Singh had described the release as a ‘first step toward achieving peace with the Maoists in the state’.
Menon had been abducted from a forested area in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh April 21. The Maoists took him away after murdering his two bodyguards Amjad Khan and Kishen Kujur.
He is believed to have been held by Maoists deep in a forest, amid multiple layers of security.
Menon’s release was ensured after Maoist interlocutors and government mediators Nirmala Buch and S.K. Mishra signed a two-page agreement Monday night.
In line with the pact, a high-power committee will be set up to look into all demands made by the Maoists.
These include considering the release of Maoists jailed allegedly on fake charges.
Posted: 04 May 2012 02:45 AM PDT
US snack food maker Popchips has pulled out a new ad campaign featuring Ashton Kutcher, who sports brown makeup and plays a Bollywood producer named “Raj” with a thick accent, after being criticised as racist.
The 88-second video ad has been removed from the California snack food company’s Popchips website and YouTube channel as well as the company’s Facebook page.
The $1.5 million campaign featured Kutcher as four different types of guys looking for love in dating-service style videos: a Brit named Nigel, a Karl Lagerfeld look-alike, a tattooed man named Swordfish and “Raj.”
Raj says that he wants someone “Kardashian hot,” adding, “I would give that dog a bone.” He also talks about competing in a “milking contest.”
Kutcher – as Kutcher – appears at the end of the clip and says to the camera, “Your waiting room is like a freak show… are we all in the same category?”
Indian Americans quickly bashed the ad and Kutcher with tech entrepreneur Anil Dash calling the ad “a hackneyed, unfunny advertisement featuring Kutcher in brownface talking about his romantic options, with the entire punchline being that he’s doing it in a fake-Indian outfit and voice. That’s it, there’s seriously no other gag.”
The indie hip-hop band Das Racist called out to Kutcher’s Twitter handle: “Hey @aplusk, what’s with the racist brownface video you talentless, pretending to care about sex trafficking piece of s**t?”
The “Two and a Half Men” star has yet to respond to the controversy. The 34-year-old Kutcher was named “president of pop culture” for Popchips in 2010.
Popchips founder and CEO Keith Belling wrote on the company’s website that the company “worked hard to create a lighthearted parody featuring a variety of characters that was meant to provide a few laughs. We did not intend to offend anyone. I take full responsibility and apologize to anyone we offended.”
Posted: 04 May 2012 01:42 AM PDT
Regular jogging can add up more than six years to male life expectancy and 5.6 years to women’s longevity, reveals the latest data from the Copenhagen City Heart Study (CCHS).
According to chief cardiologist of the CCHS, Peter Schnohr, the study’s most recent analysis shows that between one to two-and-a-half hours of jogging per week at a “slow or average” pace delivers optimum benefits for longevity.
“We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity. The good news is that you don’t actually need to do that much to reap the benefits,” said Schnohr, based at Bispebjerg University Hospital, Copenhagen.
The debate over jogging first kicked off in the 1970s when middle aged men took an interest in the past-time. “After a few men died while out on a run, various newspapers suggested that jogging might be too strenuous for ordinary middle aged people,” recalled Schnohr, according to a university statement.
The CCHS, started in 1976, is a cardiovascular population study of 20,000 men and women aged between 20 and 93 years. Since then the study, which has prompted in publication of over 750 papers, has expanded to include other diseases such as heart failure, pulmonary diseases, allergy, epilepsy, dementia, sleep-apnea and genetics.
For the jogging sub study, the mortality of 1,116 male joggers and 762 female joggers was compared to the non joggers in the main study population. All participants were asked to answer questions about the amount of time they spent jogging each week, and to rate their own perceptions of pace (defined as slow, average, and fast).
The first data was collected between 1976 to 1978, the second from 1981 to 1983, the third from 1991 to 1994, and the fourth from 2001 to 2003.
Results show that in the follow-up period involving a maximum of 35 years, 10,158 deaths were registered among the non-joggers and 122 deaths among the joggers.
Analysis showed that risk of death was reduced by 44 percent for male joggers and 44 percent for female joggers. Besides, the data showed jogging produced an age adjusted survival benefit of 6.2 years in men and 5.6 years in women.
These findings were presented at the The EuroPRevent2012 meeting, in Dublin, Ireland, organised by the European Association for Erdiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EACPR).
Posted: 04 May 2012 01:00 AM PDT
Super 30 Founder and top maths wizard Anand Kumar has claimed that like last year, questions for the IIT-JEE examination were wrong this year also.
Anand, whose efforts to help underprivileged students get through the tough competitive examination were recognised world-wide, said the problem had been detected soon after the examination, but it was confirmed after the JEE uploaded the answers to three questions yesterday.
Anand said it was strange that instead of accepting the mistake, the authorities had once again resorted to average marking, which, he believed, would affect meritorious students adversely.
In respect of one question each in chemistry (Q No. 23) and mathematics (Q No. 60) of Paper 2, the JEE authorities wrote that all students would get zero mark for it. "This means that the problems are wrong and even those students who still made an attempt to solve them would get zero mark. Similarly, in question number 6 of physics, there should be one right choice, but two choices have been given,” he explained.
He lamented this trend of setting wrong questions had been going on for the last three years due to ‘callousness’ on the part of the question-setters. Last year, he pointed out, questions worth 18 marks had been detected wrong and later average marks were given. Anand said that two years ago it came to light that Hindi-medium students had been discriminated against due to low marking.
"This does injustice to the meritorious students, as they suffer due to average marking. What is more, such things raise a question mark over the IIT's credibility and shakes students' confidence," Anand lamented. It is high time, he said, the authorities worked out a foolproof mechanism to prevent repeat of such mistakes in future, as the IIT-JEE is a prestigious examination, he said.
“The teachers should test the answers by solving them before sending them for print," he felt. Anand had a few days ago submitted a detailed proposal to HRD minister Kapil Sibal regarding IIT-JEE reforms.
Posted: 04 May 2012 12:21 AM PDT
The social-networking company plans to sell shares for $28 to $35 each, using the ticker symbol FB. That will raise roughly $10.6 billion, making it the fifth-largest initial public offering U.S. IPO, says Renaissance Capital.
At the midpoint of the initial range, $31.50, the initial sale of more than 337 million shares of Facebook stock would net more than $10.6 billion, with about $5.6 billion of that going to the company.
The rest will go to existing stockholders who are selling their shares, including CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and venture capital investors such as Palo Alto-based Accel Partners.
The company’s valuation at the midpoint of the suggested range would be about $78 billion, short of many projections that Facebook would shoot for a valuation of up to $100 billion.
Initially established in a Harvard dormitory by Zuckerberg and some friends as college-specific social networks closed off to interested outsiders, Facebook eventually opened up to the world and became the most popular social network in history, with more than 900 million monthly active users.
However, Facebook’s profits dipped in the first three months of 2012 when compared with the same quarter in 2011.
While sales hit $1.06 billion in the first quarter, up 45 percent from the year-ago quarter, thanks to a 37 percent increase in advertising revenue, Facebook’s total profit dropped to $205 million, from $233 million a year ago.
Facebook’s most anticipated stock debut for Silicon Valley in several years is expected to set records for funds raised and valuation for an Internet company.
Google’s IPO in 2004, which set the company’s value at $23 billion and reaped $1.9 billion for the Mountain View search giant, is the largest for now.
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