- Indians working as change agents in United States
- Wives of African diplomats thank India
- Ekta Kapoor opposes another Dirty Picture
- Air India to use Dreamliner Aircrafts on domestc routes
- TRAI sets extremely high Reserve Price for 2G Auction
- Govt disconnects 28000 telephones for making pesky Calls
- Satyamev Jayate got special screening in remote Villages
- Terrorists seeking Mulayam’s help to Surrender
- Highlights of first Episode of Satyemeva Jayate
- Watch the first Looks of Aamir’s Satyameva Jayate
Posted: 06 May 2012 10:38 AM PDT
Reshma Saujani, the first Indian-American woman to run for the US Congress, now as a change agent wants to create opportunities for immigrants who have made New York City their home.
Although Saujani, a lawyer, politician and entrepreneur, lost her 2010 ambitious run against Democrat Carolyn Mahoney, a nine term member of the US House of Representatives from New York, she is now “exploring a race for citywide office in 2013.”
“My 15 months at the Public Advocate’s office were truly some of the best of my life,” Saujani, currently the deputy advocate for special initiatives in the watchdog body charged with ensuring that all New Yorkers have a voice in shaping the city’s policies, told IANS in an e-mail interview.
“What we were able to accomplish with the Fund for Public Advocacy, from encouraging immigrant entrepreneurship to providing scholarships to undocumented students was powerful,” she said.
“I’m committed to being a leader in charting the future of New York City, and I want to keep creating opportunities for the people who live here.”
Explaining what made her run for the US Congress in the first place, Saujani said: “Things were not getting done in Washington, and I was frustrated by the lack of leadership and the lack of political courage we were seeing in Congress.”
“I was noticing people around me become jaded and I wanted to do something to change it,” she said.
“New ideas are so important for driving innovation in this country, and I wanted a chance to get my ideas out there, and talk to voters in New York City about theirs.”
But “the experiences I had talking with voters every day showed me what a difference could be made by showing up, by being at the senior centre or the street fair and meeting the people that are working to make a difference in our communities,” Saujani said.
“I’ve always been an organizer, and as the daughter of immigrants I have always been especially passionate about engaging people in the political process, who have been excluded from it or who felt no one was listening to them.”
“The Light of India Awards”, are “A powerful way to celebrate the work Indian Americans are doing and to show their innovations and accomplishments,” Saujani said noting that they “are in every form of government from policy leaders to activists to change agents.”
Author Jhumpa Lahiri, television personality Padma Lakshmi and CNN contributor and surgeon Sanjay Gupta are among the nominees for the second annual Light of India awards, recognising excellence and exemplary achievements of Indians abroad.
The winners of the awards, instituted by Remit2India, a Times Group service, in the fields of business, education, science & technology, arts & entertainment and literature & journalism, will be announced June 1 at a gala event in New York.
Posted: 06 May 2012 09:36 AM PDT
Bilateral bridges are often strengthened with acts of selfless giving and paying back to express gratitude. This is what wives of African heads of missions here are doing: starting charity projects for the poor, women and underprivileged children to thank India for helping in the continent’s economic growth.
The low-key projects are currently confined to the capital from where the Association of Spouses of African Heads of Mission (ASAHOM) operates.
One such initiative is the African Gala, an annual African cultural exposition to raise funds for charity.
The 8th edition of the African Gala 2012 Saturday at Hotel Ashok drew representatives from 20 African missions and Indian partners in Africa and was presided over by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
“African women are very hardworking. They carry the burden of civilisation. The continent is slowly opening up,” Dikshit told IANS at the gala.
“I’m happy to see so many women who have stepped out and are working in responsible positions including as ambassadors. It is a wonderful continent with remarkable people,” she said.
Dikshit recalled her with meeting Africa’s first woman Nobel laureate Wangari Muta Maathai, an environmentalist and democracy activist and founder of the Green Belt movement, before she won the prize in 2004.
“Maathai was one of the most inspiring story one has ever heard,” she said.
The gala brought glimpses of several soft diplomatic initiatives between the two countries.
One of the attractions was an African fashion show featuring women from Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Gabon, Mali and Uganda and presented by New Delhi-based International Institute of Fashion Technology.
Full HD Collection and Fusion Collection – drawn from colours and fabrics of Africa – was a hit with the women at the gala.
Also on offer were contemporary African dances and a feast of traditional dishes from the continent such up country cassava, Angolan beans, fried chicken, fish cooked in palm oil, peanut butter rice and mutton.
The stars of the gala were more than 100 women from the missions wearing fusion attires — silk ensembles created along traditional African lines of flowing skirts and dresses with matching ornamental head wraps.
The nearly five-hour gala was planned by the ASAHOM members with the help of Hotel Ashok, African embassies and Indian business partners of Africa, including FICCI and the Indian government’s department of science and technology, an ASAHOM spokesperson said.
ASAHOM has members from 40 African countries out of the 54, making it an important multi-cultural body, said its president Marie-Louise Balumene. “The association has embraced the husbands as well,” she said.
“ASAHOM was born in 2003 in India and has expanded. We thought that instead of sitting together and having cups of coffee, as mothers we should give back to the host country. The association extended its mandate from a social entity to giving back,” the associaiton’s chairperson Leonia Nkuruh, wife of the Rawandan high commissioner, told IANS.
“Last year, we were involved in eight charities for women and children in slums around the capital,” she said.
“One of projects that touched my heart was gifting a wheelchair to an old woman who had no arms and legs, in New Delhi. She had to be lifted by her family. The wheelchair was automatic and now she can move on her own. We often visit her,” she added.
ASAHOM’s other projects include adoption of a school for the underpriviledged in the capital, helping women and children aged between one and 25 and organisisng three charities events during Diwali, Eid and Christmas which the woman fund from their kitties, she said.
“The annual Africa Gala is one of our most important charity events,” she said.
The woman have also form a support network helping each other find their way around the capital — and “occasionally going out for heritage trips to places like the museum”.
Social entrepreneur Munish Gupta, who is leading education and infrastructure projects in Africa, told IANS: “The association wanted to do something more for India than just sitting over coffee when they realised that India and Africa have so much in common.”
He said the fund for the ASAHOM charity was generated by three categories of supporters — “the annual supporters or sponsors who help the group all year long, publisher of the association’s magazine and quick personal fundraising for small charities from friends of Africa”.
The members pay an annual subscription and the gala and the association sell tables to embassies at the gala, he said.
Posted: 06 May 2012 08:32 AM PDT
Director Trishul of “Baba” fame has titled his next Kannada film “The Dirty Picture”, but filmmaker Ekta Kapoor is unhappy and has filed a complaint against the use of the title.
The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) cleared the title for producer Venkatappa’s yet-to-be-launched Kannada film, which will reportedly star Pakistani actress Veena Malik in the lead role.
Ekta, who had produced Viday Balan starrer super hit film “The Dirty Picture” in Hindi under her banner Balaji Telefilms, has written a letter to the president of the KFCC requesting him to withdraw the permission for the use of the title by Venkatappa. She has given them five-day deadline.
The KFCC executive committee is considering the issue and sources said that KFCC has referred the matter to a legal expert and that they are awaiting a response.
Meanwhile, Trishul says he won’t change the title and that he is prepared for a legal battle.
Said Trishul: “There is no bar on keeping a title of any other language film to be made in a different language. There are several precedents before. We have a Kannada film called ‘Housefull’ (title inspired by Hindi movie) and ‘Bhadra’ (Telugu title). We have legally obtained clearance from the KFCC. Why should we change the title now?”
Apart from title, there will be no similarity between the two films, said the director adding that while the Hindi film was an unofficial biopic on southern sex symbol Silk Smitha, his film will have a fresh story.
“The title may just remind the viewer of a Hindi film with the same name. That is all. My story is original and realistic. It does not have even an iota of similarity with the Hindi film,” said Trishul who has written the story and screenplay for the film.
Posted: 06 May 2012 07:18 AM PDT
Air India plans to deploy the Boeing-787 Dreamliner aircraft on domestic routes to save on fuel, train the crew and add flexibility to its operations by flying out to select overseas destinations.
The first of the 27 Boeing 787 aircraft is expected to join the fleet at the end of the month. Air India is the third global airline after All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines to receive the fuel-efficient and eco-friendly aircraft.
The domestic air turbine fuel (ATF) prices have been a huge concern for the aviation industry, as the jet fuel sold domestically is 50-60 percent higher than international prices due to the addition of sales tax and value added tax by the states.
The ATF sold on international-bound flights, on the contrary, are considered export and hence exempted from central and state levies.
The Boeing 787 aircraft is made of composite materials. Its newly-developed engine and advanced flight technologies make it highly fuel-efficient. The plane can fly up to 16,000 km non-stop.
“Initially we have proposed that the aircraft be utilised on some domestic routes such as Mumbai-Delhi. This is being proposed keeping in mind the high-end corporate as well as general demand in the sector,” the official said, not wishing to be named.
According to the official, the aircraft could also fly out to Dubai and Singapore.
“We have also proposed the Dreamliner to be utilised on close-by destinations such as Dubai and Singapore. It can fly out from Mumbai to Delhi, then from here (Delhi) to Singapore and then back to Mumbai. It will gives us great flexibility. But all this depends on route planning.”
The aircraft comes with a slew of advanced technologies which reduce noise and emission during all phases of flight, including take-off, cruise and landing.
AI’s 787 will also be equipped with best-in class seats for its 256 passengers.
“We have contracted the world’s best seat manufacturers for our business and executive class seats, including Contour Aerospace and Weber Aircraft,” the official said.
While Contour Aerospace will equip the 18 business class seats, Weber would provide the rest 238 seats for the executive class.
On the in-flight-entertainment system, the official said it would be state-of-the-art 18000 from the aviation electronics major Thales.
Air India had booked 27 Boeing 787s in 2006 in a mega deal for 68 aircraft from Boeing. Air India was to get the delivery in May 2008 but that got pushed forward to the end of the month for a variety of reasons, including manufacturing delays.
Posted: 06 May 2012 07:14 AM PDT
Confederation of Indian Industries, CII has claimed that the reserve price for the telecom spectrum auction recommended by TRAI is extremely high and will hurt inclusive growth and will also be detrimental for the growth of the sector.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has proposed a pan-India spectrum reserve price at Rs.3,622.18 crore for a 5 megahertz (Mhz) block in 1800 Mhz band.
“Reserve price for the auction of spectrum as recommended by TRAI is extremely high, which will hurt the overall national interests, inclusive growth and will be detrimental for the growth of the industry particularly the expansion of telecom and broadband services in the rural areas,” Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said in a statement.
On Feb 2, the Supreme Court had ordered the cancellation of 122 telecom licences and asked the government to redistribute the licences through auction. Now, the TRAI has come up with recommendations for the auction.
The proposals have received strong criticisms from the industry and sector watchers alike, following which the Telecom Commission has sought more information and clarifications from the regulator on its recommendations.
According to CII, this move would lead to expensive mobile tariffs while for the socio-economic benefits and inclusive growth its important that mobile tariffs continue to be affordable. Therefore it is essential that the spectrum should be made available at a reasonable price.
In its recommendations to the Department of Telecom (DoT), CII has said that the amount of reserve price for 2G spectrum auctions as recommended by TRAI do not appear to be based on realistic techno-economic principles.
“It is also extremely high as compared to TRAI’s own recommendations made earlier in February 2011, which were re-confirmed by TRAI in November 2011.”
It has requested that the recent Indian market experience on severe financial constraints being faced by the industry needs to be kept in view.
CII has recommended that the spectrum auctions should be appropriately designed to serve the overall national and societal interests and to encourage faster rural roll-out by operators.
CII has also recommended that all available amount of spectrum should be made open for upcoming auctions to avoid any artificial scarcity. If necessary, some spectrum should be released from other existing users.
Posted: 06 May 2012 06:10 AM PDT
Almost 28,000 telephones have been disconnected and over 44,000 notices issued to unregistered telemarketers till April 24 for sending pesky calls and messages, according to the government.
“Government is aware that several calls and SMSs are being sent from private numbers i.e. by subscribers not registered as a telemarketer. 44,810 notices have been issued to unregistered telemarketers and 27,984 telephones have been disconnected till April 24, 2012 since inception of the regulation i.e. Sep 27, 2011,” Communications Minister Kapil Sibal said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
In order to provide relief to millions of mobile subscribers nagged by telemarketing companies, the government last year brought into force a regulation — The Telecom Commercial Communications Customer Preference Regulations, 2010 — barring such communications.
According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), if pesky calls or messages are sent through individual numbers then notice will be served to the customers while the number will be disconnected on second violation.
The guidelines regulating commercial calls levy hefty penalties on offenders including fines ranging from Rs.25,000 to Rs.250,000 depending on the number of times the violation is detected. On sixth violation, the telemarketer’s connection is to be terminated and get blacklisted for two years.
All telemarketing firms are now easily identifiable as their phone numbers will hence forth begin with ’140′.
To avail the service, customers have to get registered with the National Customer Preference Registry, earlier known as the National Do Not Call registry, by dialling toll free number 1909. They can also send a SMS — ‘start 0′ — to the same number to get registered.
Posted: 06 May 2012 05:32 AM PDT
The first episode of Aamir Khan’s debut TV show “Sataymev Jayate” was Sunday screened in some villages in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh where the villagers do not have access to television.
“This is an important and relevant show for all of India and Star India is going all out to make sure that this show reaches out to all Indians even in places with limited or no TV connectivity,” said Gayatri Yadav, EVP- Marketing and Communications, STAR India, in a statement.
“The show is about the people of India and it’s imperative it reaches every Indian,” she added.
The show went on air Sunday on Star Plus as well as Doordarshan. In fact, this is the first ever show to be beamed on a private channel as well as DD simultaneously.
The special screening was organised by Star Plus on community TV sets in villages like Bhingara and Kahupatta in Maharashtra; Chepa in Gujarat; Jhunkar in Madhya Pradesh; Tikeri, Lalpur, Sarauta and Maaniram in Uttar Pradesh. Most of these villages have a population of less than 5,000.
The initiative was taken to ensure that the show reaches all over the country as the show caters to the issues of common man. For instance, the first episode talked about female foeticide and its consequences.
Posted: 06 May 2012 03:17 AM PDT
Buoyed by the Uttar Pradesh government’s moves seeking dropping of charges against terrorists involved in bomb blasts in Faizabad and Lucknow courts, a young Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist is “trying to work out a way to surrender” in a Delhi court.
And pitching for him is Samajwadi Party legislator Wasim Ahmad, also the minister of state for basic education, who is reported to have put up his case with the party leadership including Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and the party president Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Confirming that he was batting for “dozens of innocent Muslims who had been framed by the Congress as easy fodder for trigger happy policemen”, Wasim told IANS that the party leadership was seized of the matter and he would “do all under his might to resolve the issue amicably”.
Reliable sources while refusing to get into the “political entry point” of the matter told IANS that the Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) of UP and the home department had been informally asked to study the matter and brief the top bosses on the workability of the possible surrender.
A senior SP leader avoided a direct question on whether Mulayam Singh Yadav was in receipt of a letter by Javed Akhtar, father of one of the terrorists.
But he said the leadership was “seized of many such matters” and that the party was seriously working towards finding a solution on all those who have been falsely framed and to get them justice.
This particular case pertains to Asadullah Khan and Ariz Khan of Azamgarh who escaped from Delhi after the Batla House encounter of Sep 19, 2008.
Understood to be hiding in UP for the last three years, the two alleged IM terrorists have the Delhi Police in hot pursuit. Their families fear for their lives now.
Together, the duo carries a reward of Rs.6 lakhs on their heads.
Posted: 06 May 2012 03:08 AM PDT
Aamir’s Satyameva Jayate went on Air today at 11AM creating a buzz among Indian TV viewers. The Season 1 will feature 16 Episodes, each with its unique theme. The theme of Episode 1 was Low Gender Ratio and female foeticide in India. Aamir did feature the following issues during the airing of show today
Disbelief, horror, tears, smiles — Aamir Khan evoked all this among his rapt audience as he dealt with the sensitive topic of female foeticide and bias toward the male child in the first episode of “Satyamev Jayate” Sunday – without being preachy.
There were many moist eyes among those in the TV audience and many more at homes and offices across India as people tuned in to watch the much-awaited programme, which Aamir said in his ads he wanted to replicate the phenomena created by the epic “Mahabharat” and “Ramayana” teleserials of yore on Sunday mornings.
Equipped with well-researched instances and case studies, Aamir’s one-and-a-half hour programme was telecast on Star Plus and Doordarshan simultaneously.
The maiden episode highlighted how unethical medical practitioners are hand in glove with families wanting to kill the female unborn baby.
He also dispelled the perception among people that female foeticide is practised by rural people or those living in small towns with Mitu Khurana’s case. She is a doctor who has left home to save her twin daughters from death from her educated in-law’s family.
The episode started with the case of Amisha Yagnik from Ahmedabad who said she was forced to abort her female unborn child six times in eight years, while Parveen Khan, from Morena, Madhya Pradesh, was brutally bitten by her husband on her face for having given birth to a girl child against his wishes.
Delhi-based doctor Mitu Khurana was asked by her orthopaedic surgeon husband and in-laws to abort her girl twins just after 20 weeks of conceiving.
She said her husband and in-laws “took every wrong step to force me to abort” but thanks to her family (father)”I saved my kids”, Mitu said on the show.
Her mother-in-law, a retired vice-principal from a Rohtak school, kicked a baby basket with one of the babies down the stairs. Miraculously, the child was saved.
The story of the three women brought tears to host Aamir’s eyes as well as that of many in the audience.
According to 2011 Census, the rate at which the unborn female child is killed amounts to killing off 10,00,000 girls a year.
According to the 2011 census, there were 914 girls for every 1,000 boys.
Aamir brought into focus the dangers of female foeticide by showing a village in Khurukshetra in Haryana where marriagable men have not been able to find women to marry as there were no women in that age bracket left.
He highlighted another danger of female foeticide – human trafficking. Virendra Vidrohi, a social activist from Alwar Rajasthan, said thousands of women from poor families in eastern states are being “sold” in some places in Rajasthan due to a dearth of women.
“In the last one year 15,000 women from Bihar, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh have been brought and sold here to families. This has led to human trafficking in Rajasthan,” he added.
Aamir also forcefully stated to the audience that the sex of the unborn child depended on the chromosome of the father.
Aamir also brought on the show two journalists who carried out a sting operation against doctors involved in sex determination in Rajasthan and how the case is still dragging in various courts in Rajasthan.
He kept people glued to the show and promised to tell them of a “magic wand” to get rid of the evil practice of female foeticide at the end of the show. Pointing at the audience, he said it is time to take a stand and all should get involved – and now.
Posted: 06 May 2012 02:45 AM PDT
Aamir Khan‘s Satyemeva Jayate went live on Air startint from Today. Aired on DD National and Star Plus, Satyameva Jayate is the first show ever in the history of Indian Television to be aired simultaneously on a private channel network and a national broadcaster Doordarshan at 11AM on Sunday. The first season of the show will have 16 episodes.
Watch the promotional song of Satyameva Jayate below, featuring Aamir Khan.
The show is also dubbed in several languages including threeIndian southern languages viz., Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam, along with Marathi and Bengali. Apart from Star Plus, the show will also have simulcast on STAR World, STAR Utsav, STAR Pravah, STAR Jalsha, Asianet and STAR Vijay within the STAR Network and other channels including DD National and Eanadu TV. The Kannada version of the show was supposed to be aired in Karnataka but it was banned because the Karnataka state doesn’t allow television programms which are dubbed from other languages.
Aamir Khan tells you to sleep well on Sundays till 11AM, because he will be coming to wake you up at 11AM
Getting up late, lazing in bed all day is the trademark of a Sunday. But now Aamir Khan wants your Sunday, are you ready to share it with him?
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