- Bill Gates, Tata and Premji to jointly Contribute towards development of Scoiety
- Massive Violence during the last Rites of Brahmeshwar Mukhiya
- 15 Children die Last Week due to Encephalitis in Bihar
- Education Minister’s Children Fail Board Examination in Jharkhand
- St Vincent and the Grenadines celebrates its Indian heritage
- Air India would get bankrupt if Pilot Strike continues
- Foreign Reserve in Country dips by $1.74 Billions
- Poor and Physically Challenged Student scores 85 % in West Bengal Board
- Petrol Prices to decrease by Rs 2 per Litre from Tomorrow
- Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev ready for One-Day Fast Tomorrow
Posted: 02 Jun 2012 10:30 AM PDT
Billionaires Bill Gates, Ratan Tata and Azim Premji Friday held a brain-storming session here with other billionaires and millionaires on the need to integrate philanthropy and social service for societal development.
“At the initiative of (Wipro chairman) Azim Premji, about 40 philanthropists and business leaders from India Inc and abroad met over an extended luncheon session to discuss issues related to societal development through philanthropic activities,” a spokesperson of the Azim Premji Foundation told IANS later.
The ‘billionaire-turned philanthropic club’ exchanged ideas and endorsed a consensus view that philanthropy and social service were integral to the development of any society.
“They focused more on social work in areas of education, health, water and agriculture than on making or announcing pledges (funds) on this occasion,” the spokesperson said.
Acknowledging that India had a hoary tradition of philanthropy and social service, the articulate group was of the view that there was vibrant thinking and action on philanthropy across the country.
The peer group also discussed on the need to set up a pan-India foundation to facilitate more Indian firms to work together for the betterment of humanity and society.
After visiting Lucknow and New Delhi, Gates came-calling to the garden city for roping in as many billionaires and millionaires to take up philanthropic activity for improving the quality of life and improve living standards with affordable education and health care, housing and jobs for the less deprived and the vast millions of people in the countryside.
The meeting has also been convened as part of ‘The Giving Pledge’ initiative of Gates and billionaire Berkshire Hathway chairman Warren Buffett as in 2010 in New Delhi.
The US-based global non-government and philanthropic organization (Giving Pledge) beckons billionaires and millionaires in the Americas to pledge a substantial share of their wealth in achieving the MDGs through local societies.
Posted: 02 Jun 2012 10:00 AM PDT
Violence erupted as thousands people joined the funeral procession of Ranvir Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh alias Mukhiyaji, who was killed a day earlier at Ara in Bihar.
As the procession entered Patna for the cremation, Singh’s supporters set afire a police outpost, and attacked police personnel and mediapersons, said the police.
They also attacked state Bharatiya Janata Party president C.P. Thakur and damaged his vehicle, a police official said.
Brahmeshwar Singh, in his 70s, was killed Friday morning in Ara town in Bhojpur district, triggering violence by supporters of Ranvir Sena, an outlawed upper caste vigilante group.
The procession began from Ara, about 60 km from here.
Hundreds of people on motorcycles carrying bamboo sticks and iron rods targeted vehicles in Bihta and Danapur near Patna before entering the city, said a police official.
As the procession entered Patna, they indulged in arson, said the official.
“The supporters pelted stones at vehicles of top police officials and also damaged vehicles of mediapersons,” said the official.
Police said the supporters also chased away rebel Janata Dal-United MP Lalan Singh, former union minister Akhilesh Singh, BJP legislators Anil Kumar Sharma and Usha Vidayarthi when they came to take part in the funeral procession.
Hundreds of vehicles formed part of the three-kilometre long convey. As they walked, Singh’s supporters shouted slogans against the Bihar government and demanded death to the killers.
Police said the supporters were pouring into Patna from Gaya, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Arwal, Bhojpur and Patna districts.
Elaborate security has been made in Patna to ensure peace, police said.
Deputy Inspector General Sunil Kumar said the Rapid Action Force, the Central Reserve Police Force and the Bihar Military Police have been deployed along the funeral route.
After Singh was killed Friday, his supporters attacked police vehicles and government offices in Ara.
The circuit house in the town was set on fire and nearly a dozen other vehicles, including a bus, were torched.
Posted: 02 Jun 2012 09:22 AM PDT
15 Children died Last Week due to Encephalitis in Bihar ’s Muzaffarpur and Gaya districts in the last week, officials said Saturday
The mosquito-borne disease, which claimed nearly 150 lives last year, has returned with a vengeance.
Eleven children have died in Muzaffarpur and four in Gaya. Over two dozen children have been admitted to hospitals in both places.
According to officials, 24 children have been admitted for treatment in hospitals in Muzaffarpur, about 70 km from here.
Muzaffarpur civil surgeon Gayan Bhusan said the children died after contracting high fever followed by convulsions.
“Nearly half a dozen children are battling for life in one Gaya,” said A.K. Ravi, a child specialist at one hospital.
Encephalitis is a condition of acute inflammation of the brain resulting either from a viral infection or when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the brain tissue.
Posted: 02 Jun 2012 08:30 AM PDT
Jharkhand Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Baijnath Ram’s son and daughter have failed in their intermediate examinations for the second consecutive year, according to results declared Friday.
The Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC) released the results of the 2012 Intermediate examination Friday. In science, arts and commerce, 48 percent, 71 percent and 66 percent students, repectively, passed the examination in the state.
Poonam and Prabhat, daughter and son of the HRD minister and studying in Ranchi’s Doranda college, failed in the examination for a second successive year. They had also failed in the 2011 Intermediate examination.
Out of 500, Poonam and Prabhat respectively secured 240 and 183 marks. They failed in the English paper in which they secured only 22 and 23 marks, respectively.
The 2012 result was scheduled to be released by the minister himself. He, however, could not release the result due to ill health. JAC chairperson Lakshmi Singh released the result.
Posted: 02 Jun 2012 07:34 AM PDT
St Vincent and the Grenadines, a string of small islands in the Caribbean, celebrated its Indian heritage on a grand scale Friday. A commemorative function and an international conference on the Indian diaspora were held on what is officially recognised as Indian Arrival Day, according to the organisers.
The first group of Indians reached St Vincent in June 1861. The Indian Heritage Foundation of St Vincent and the Grenadines re-enacted the landing of Indians at Indian Bay. This was followed by a procession through the streets of Kingstown culminating at Heritage Square where an Indian mela was organised.
The Indian Arrival Day functions were organised by the Indian Heritage Foundation with support from the St Vincent ministry of tourism and culture and the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO). The celebrations began at an opening ceremony in the presence of St Vincent Prime Minister Ralph E. Gonsalves at the Peace Memorial Hall.
According to the organisers, while there have been international Indian diaspora conferences held in other countries of the Caribbean such as Trinidad and Tobago, this is the first such in St Vincent. The three-day conference will end on June 3.
The Indian migration to Trinidad, Guyana and Suriname is well documented but there is a lack of knowledge about Indians who were brought to the smaller island territories in the Caribbean.
St Vincent and the Grenadines is among a number of small Caribbean island nations where Indian workers were brought to work on sugarcane plantations during the years when sugar ruled the global economy. Jamaica, Barbados, Martinique, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Belize and St Lucia also have small Indian communities.
Unlike the larger territories where Indian workers retained their cultural traits due to their substantial numbers, in St Vincent the churches were very active in baptising Indian children. The distance from India and the small size of the Indian community meant a slow loosening of links with India and a gradual assimilation in St Vincent society.
“In recent years there has been a revival of interest amongst the people of Indian descent in their Indian heritage. The SVG Heritage Foundation was established five years ago to promote cultural and social links with India. The new interest led to June 1 being officially declared as Indian Arrival Day and October 7 as Indian Heritage Day,” said an e-mail from the Indian Heritage Foundation.
St Vincent and the Grenadines consists of St Vincent, the main island and the Grenadines, a string of 32 low lying tiny islands. St Vincent’s rich volcanic soil was considered good for growing sugarcane in the late 19th century but a devastating hurricane followed by a volcanic eruption two years later destroyed the big sugar estates.
The Indian population in St Vincent was about 500 when the Indians moved off the sugar estates in the early years of the 20th century and settled in Indian villages on other parts of the island. Several decades later, the Indian community had grown to about 5,000 in a population of a little over 100,000. However, the lack of employment opportunities has led to a high rate of emigration from St Vincent to Britain and Canada.
The conference brings together academics, scholars, students, teachers and organisations and people with an interest in the Indian diaspora in the Caribbean. The organisers hope to bring together and gather the different bits of information from diverse people to add to the limited store of public knowledge about Indians in St Vincent.
There are issues of conversion, discrimination, politics, family histories, migration and literature that will be discussed. Aside from formal papers to be presented at the conference by scholars and academics, the conference will seek to gather oral histories and local songs for a more comprehensive understanding of the Indian heritage.
(Shuba Singh writes on the Indian diaspora. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Posted: 02 Jun 2012 07:03 AM PDT
“If the airline has to survive in the long run, achieve the turnaround, it is essential for the pilots to come back,” Nandan told IANS.
“They (pilots) should think about the long-term impact this strike will have on the airline and their future.”
Nandan’s outspoken comments came even as the strike continued for the 26th day, pushing up the airline’s revenue losses to more than Rs.350 crore.
The losses, according to a senior Air India official in Mumbai, are among the biggest suffered by the airline due to any strike.
“Current load factor (passenger traffic) is at an all-time low for the international segment. Being the peak travel season, the overall losses will be far above the predicted revenue drain of Rs.400 crore,” the official in the operations arm of the airline said.
“In the peak travel season, international outbounds are highest for us. We have lost a lot of opportunities to cater to passengers going to the US-Europe and Far-East Asian regions.”
The airline expects to stabilise its international operations through the interim plan which it implemented Friday and cut its losses to less than Rs.5 crore a day from the present Rs.10 crore.
The interim plan has axed seven international destinations including Hong Kong, Osaka, Seoul and Toronto.
The Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), representing aviators of the erstwhile Air India, went on strike May 8 against the move to train their counterparts from Indian Airlines on the soon-to-be-inducted Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh Friday again asked the agitating pilots to resume work so that negotiations could held.
The pilots, when contacted by IANS, reiterated their demand for reinstatement of 101 sacked aviators and said none of their major issues were resolved by the announcement.
Posted: 02 Jun 2012 05:35 AM PDT
Foreign exchange Reserves in India has fallen down by a massive $1.74 billion to $290 billion in the last week of May.
The reserves registered a sharp drop for the fourth week in a row, largely due to suspected sale of dollar by the central bank to defend rupee, according to the data.
The forex reserves had declined by $1.80 billion, $1.37 billion and $2.18 billion, respectively, in the previous three weeks.
Foreign currency assets, the biggest component of the forex reserves kitty, fell by $1.71 billion to $254.40 billion during the week ended May 25, according to RBI’s weekly statistical supplement.
The RBI did not provide any reasons for the change in foreign currency assets.
It said the assets expressed in US dollar terms included the effect of appreciation or depreciation of non-US currencies such as the pound sterling, euro and yen held in reserve.
However, the RBI is understood to have sold dollars from the reserves to curb the slide in the value of rupee.
The Indian rupee slumped to a record low in recent weeks and stood 55.54 against a dollar Friday. The rupee witnessed loss for the ninth consecutive week, the longest losing streak since the 2008 economic crisis.
The value of special drawing rights fell by $18.6 million to $4.38 billion, and India’s reserves with the International Monetary Fund fell by $12.1 million to $2.85 billion.
The value of gold reserves remained unchanged at $26.61 billion.
Posted: 02 Jun 2012 05:30 AM PDT
They faced poverty and physical disability but that could not deter these bravehearts from scoring well in this year’s Madhyamik examinations of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.
Howrah’s Shubh Singh, a student of DMB Boys High School at Bagnan, lost his father when he was a mere toddler. As a result, he had to withstand extreme poverty, which even threatened his education.
But his grit, determination and hard work saw him score 85.3 percent marks and top his school in the secondary or Class 10 examination of the board.
“Arranging two square meals a day is a struggle for us but this has not prevented my boy from striving for a bright future. I’m so happy with his success,” Shubh’s mother Madhvi Singh said.
Daily wager Khalil Mandal, unable to feed his family of five daughters and a son, wanted to marry off his daughter Moumita when she was in Class 9. But the girl wanted to study and said a firm no to marriage.
She has scored 545 (77.8 percent) marks out of 700 this year, much to the delight of her father, who is now willing to let her study.
“I had fixed her marriage as it was difficult for me to feed such a large family. But now I want my daughter to study,” Mandal said.
Moumita, in fact, wrote a letter to the principal of her school in Nadia district requesting for his intervention after her father fixed her marriage.
“Many girls get married at a tender age. But I saw only Moumita stand up against the decision. She wrote me a letter on her decision. I’m happy at her stand,” said Debashish Mukherjee, the principal of Aishmali United Academy.
“After I said no, my parents did not force me but were unhappy with my decision. I had to score good marks to back my decision not to marry,” said Moumita.
Bankura’s Aveek Mukherjee is hearing impaired since childhood and has been using hearing aids. But these were only rudimentary, providing him with minimal sound. Yet, the disability could not affect his studies.
Aveek, who has taken training in lip reading, has scored 605 (80.7 percent) marks.
Saurya Roy of Asansol’s Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith has secured 675 out of 700, to stand second in the state. Sourya suffers from congenital myopia, but has fought all odds to achieve this score.
Though he has won the battle this time, due to his poor vision he has been advised by doctors not to take up science stream for higher education.
“Studying science brings a lot of stress since it involves working with chemicals in laboratories,” said Saurya’s father.
However, the 16-year-old boy is determined to pursue science and aspires to be a doctor.
A student of Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur, Avirup Datta lost his father to cancer and all the savings were spent on his treatment. But the family tragedy could not douse his determination.
After Avirup scored 560 marks, his mother is elated at his success but also worried about his future.
“I want him to study at a nearby school so that not much is spent on commuting,” she said.
Posted: 02 Jun 2012 05:03 AM PDT
Petrol Prices will be decreased by Rs 2/ litre from tomorrow.State-run oil refiners have agreed to a partial rollback of last month’s petrol price increase, an oil company source said on Saturday, responding to a public outcry over the steepest rise in the country’s history.
The change would come into effect with Midnight June 3, 2012.
Last month, state oil retailers – Indian Oil Corp (IOC.NS), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL.NS), and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (BPCL.NS) – raised petrol prices by 6.28 rupees a litre, excluding taxes.
The net overhead on Petrol Prices has been reduced to Rs 4.28 Per litre.
With international gasoline rates, against which petrol is benchmarked, falling to USD 114-115 from USD 124 (that was taken into account for the steep Rs 7.54 a litre hike effected from May 24), there existed a scope for reducing prices by Rs 1.50-1.60 a litre.
Rupee depreciation raises cost of imports. Every dollar fall in oil price should translates into a cut in product price by 33 paisa. But every time rupee depreciates against US dollar by Re one, it translates into a requirement to raise prices by 77 paisa.
Posted: 02 Jun 2012 04:56 AM PDT
Anna Hazare and yoga guru Baba Ramdev will sit on a day-long fast at Jantar Mantar tomorrow. Tomorrow’s protest at Jantar Mantar is also likely to see Ramdev announcing his strategy with regard to the 2014 General Elections.
The one-day fast to demand bringing back blackmoney stashed away abroad and against corruption and corrupt system will have its echo in the state capitals as well with Ramdev’s Bharat Swabhiman Andolan organising protests.
Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai are expected to join Hazare and Ramdev in the fast.
It is also keenly watched whether retired Army chief Gen V K Singh, who had locked horns with the government on various issues, would attend the protest.
The association with Ramdev had in the past created ripples in Team Anna with a section remaining opposed to have any truck with the yoga guru as he is facing corruption charges.
Ahead of the fast, both Hazare and Ramdev have stepped up their attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Hazare had said that Singh has lost faith in government while Ramdev alleged that the Prime Minister was not “politically honest”.
Before sitting on the fast, both the activists will go to Rajghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi.
A senior police official said they have made elaborate arrangements. Besides Delhi Police personnel, 20 companies of paramilitary forces will be deployed in the area.
Meanwhile, Launching a fresh attack against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare called him a remote-controlled leader. Rejecting CBI probe into the alleged coal block allocation scam between 2006-09, Anna asked why an independent probe had not being ordered.
“If there is no problem then why are you (PM) scared from investigation? And I think we should not call for a CBI investigation into this. There should be a retired judge and other people probe the scam,” said Anna.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a case in the coal block allocations case of 2006-09 on Friday. The CBI registered a preliminary enquiry into the coal block allocations, after the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) referred the allocation between 2006 and 2009 for a CBI probe.
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