- India to setup Baaz Airbase at Andaman and Nicobar Islansa
- South African Max Sisulu delivers Nelson Mandela lecture 2012
- Punjab seeks BARC help to check Uranium Level in Ground Water
- Japanese Kobe Steel and SAIL venture for a new Steel Plant in India
- Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development to be setup in India
- India’s First Mega Food Park operational in Andhra Pradesh
- World Population Day 2012 to be celebrated Worldwide today
- Bollywood prays for quick recovery of Dara Singh
- Jackie Shroff goes viral on Internet with Pulse Polio Ad
- West Bengal Urine Drinking Case, Girl still in Trauma
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 07:30 PM PDT
To keep an eye on maritime security around the Malacca Straits and to gain strategic supremacy in the area, India will in about a fortnight from now open a new airbase, aptly named as Baaz (Hawk), in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said defence sources.
The new naval base, which will get an upgraded air base too, will soon be operating heavier military planes from the Indian air fleet including the US-made special forces plane, C130Js, that was inducted last year.
INS Baaz will come up at Campbell Bay, India’s southeasternmost fringe in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands chain, which is actually closer to Indonesia than the Indian mainland.
It straddles a strategically key location in the Indian Ocean/Bay of Bengal overlooking the mouth of Malacca straits, from across Aceh in Indonesia.
This move by India comes even as the US spelt out its future strategy to focus on the Asia-Pacific in in “rebalancing” its military strategy earlier this year, while American Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at the Shangri La Dialogue in Singapore last month that the US will base at least 60 percent of its naval assets in the Asia-Pacific region.
Malacca Straits is a key maritime chokepoint that acts as a link between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, connecting East Asia, Australia and the US with Asia and Africa, which are the key oil resources of the world.
At least a quarter of the world’s trade passes through Malacca Straits and more importantly, at least 80 percent of China’s oil requirements pass through this choke point.
India already operates naval bases at Port Blair and Car Nicobar in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands chain.
It also has at least three air strips at Diglipur in north Andamans, Port Blair, and at Carnic in Nicobar Islands.
The new base will significantly increase India’s strategic reach in the region, considering that Campbell Bay is about 300 nautical miles from Carnic, till now a major forward operating base of the country’s navy in its southeastern fringes.
That’s the distance between Delhi to Bhopal and now India’s navy and air force will be able to launch its operations from that far away deep inside Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 06:30 PM PDT
Delivering the Nelson Mandela lecture in New Delhi on Tuesday, Max Sisulu,the son of the legendary anti-apartheid activist Walter Sisulu and who is now speaker of the South African National Assembly, evoked the special connection between the ideals of Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi and stressed that the two icons continue to animate the contemporary partnership between India and South Africa.
When freedom icon Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990, he was asked which country he would like to visit first. And he said it would undoubtedly be India, recalled Max Sisulu.
“Mandela and Gandhi continue to be a source of inspiration for us,” said Sisulu. “Mandela described Gandhi as a sacred warrior. Gandhi was both an Indian and South African citizen,” added Sisulu during the lecture, organized to mark the 94th birthday celebrations of Mandela.
Recalling Mandelas choice of India as his first overseas destination after becoming president, Sisulu said the visit in 1995 laid the foundations for a solid strategic partnership between the two countries.
“India and South Africa are two great democracies with common values and convergent interests, said the 67-year-old Sisulu, whose father India honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian award, in 1998.
The United Nations General Assembly has declared Mandeal’s birthday July 18 as Nelson Mandela International Day. In fact, the entire month of July is celebrated as the Month of Mandela, said South Africa’s High Commissioner to India H. Majeke.
Alluding to the shift of power from the West, Sisulu said India and South Africa are uniquely poised to exert influence in this fluid environment.
“We need to work together in the UN, G20 and other multilateral organizations as we have common positions on international issues,” said Sisulu, who also heads the African National Congress’ Economic Transformation Committee. In 1967, India became the first country to accord full diplomatic status to the ANC.
India and South Africa are currently non-permanent members of the UN Security Council and have collaborated on a range of global issues, including climate change negotiations.
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 05:30 PM PDT
Punjab government has sought technical help from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to tackle the growing problem of uranium in ground water, particularly in the southwest region of the agricultural state.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said Tuesday that the Punjab government would tackle the problem of uranium in ground water on top priority.
Addressing a gathering at Sangrur town, 120 km from here, he said that Punjab, which had already fought a battle against insurgency and suffered because of India-Pakistan wars, would now launch a war against uranium pollution in water which was only specific to Punjab.
A recent report had pointed out to the presence of uranium in ground water in Punjab. Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had also confirmed the same.
Scores of people in the districts of Bathinda, Mansa, Sangrur and others have died or are suffering from cancer and other diseases owing to uranium contamination.
Badal said that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had already requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to allocate a special budget to tackle the problem of uranium as it has been done in the case of arsenic and fluoride contamination in other states.
He said the BARC team was trying to locate the source of uranium contamination and the Punjab government was taking all possible measures to provide reverse osmosis (RO) system in the affected areas.
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 04:30 PM PDT
India's largest steel maker Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) & Kobe Steel of Japan have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) at Kobe's headquarters in Tokyo today for setting up a 0.5 million tonne per annum iron nugget making plant using Kobe's patented ITmK3 technology at SAIL's Alloy Steels Plant in Durgapur, West Bengal, India. As per the agreement, SAIL and Kobe Steel will be entitled to equal share of production from the plant for captive use.
The agreement was signed by SAIL Chairman Shri C.S. Verma and Kobe Steel President & CEO Mr. H. Sato in presence of the Union Minister for Steel, Shri Beni Prasad Verma, the Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Shri D.R.S. Chaudhary and other senior officials from the Ministry of Steel and SAIL. Several senior officials of Kobe Steel were also present on the occasion, including Executive Vice President & Board Representative Mr. Jun Tanaka, Senior Managing Director Mr. Kawasaki and Director & Head of Iron Unit Division, Mr. Kazuyuki Tanaka.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Beni Prasad Verma expressed his happiness at the joint venture of SAIL and Kobe Steel and was optimistic about setting up of more projects for the Indian steel industry with the help of Japanese technology. "The ITmK3 technology will also utilise dump iron ore fines, disposal of which is an environmental issue," said the Steel Minister.
Kobe Steel is one of the prominent steel makers of Japan, which is the world's second largest steel producing country. It is one of the largest suppliers of alloy steels to Japanese automobile companies. Besides ITmK3, Kobe has also developed new cutting-edge technologies like the Midrex process which has been recognised the world over for producing iron using gaseous fuel. Both ITmK3 and Midrex technologies have successfully replaced coal as an input material for iron making and are recognised for their low energy consumption and environment friendliness.
Known as pioneers in iron & steel R&D, Kobe Steel has developed new products and technologies which have enormous utilisation potential in numerous industries and social infrastructure development. This gives an opportunity for Indian steel firms to enter into strategic relationships with Kobe Steel so that strengths of respective companies could be leveraged.
The SAIL-Kobe Steel JV project will harness the strengths of both the leading steel companies. While SAIL will contribute land, iron ore and other engineering services for the project, Kobe steel will provide the technology for setting up the plant and its operation.
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 04:06 PM PDT
India has joined hands with UNESCO to setup Mahatma Gandhi Institute Of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development on 9th July 2012 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.
“The challenges of the 21st century are qualitatively different from the challenges of the 20th century. Global understanding and education would assist in appreciating the impact of these challenges on peace and its relation to sustainable development. The Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development comes at the right time – a time when the world is debating the contours of the century ahead.” This was stated by the Union Minister of HRD, Communications and IT, Kapil Sibal, at UNESCO following the signing of an agreement for establishing the MGIEP as a UNESCO Category-I Institute in New Delhi, the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region.
The signing of the agreement is the culmination of a process of three years commencing with the decision by UNESCO's 35th General Conference in 2009. The Institute to be located in India, is the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region.
Ms. Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO said, "The Mahatma Gandhi Institute comes at the right time – a time when the world is debating the contours of the century ahead, when UNESCO is preparing its next strategy to advance peace and promote sustainable development,"
The Institute's core activity will lie in research and capacity building. It will encourage knowledge exchange, regional networking and catalyse innovation by helping to design and test new approaches to education. The Institute would be greatly inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's vision of peace and sustainability.
Both Shri Sibal and the DG UNESCO paid tributes to Gandhi's universal legacy and his vision of peace and the defense of human dignity. Shri Sibal paid tributes to Gandhi's vision of education, highlighting its relevance for confronting challenges such as the overuse of natural resources and learning to live together. He said, "Gandhi said that we have enough for everyone's need but not enough for everyone's greed. This is the source of conflict. The crises the global community faces needs to be addressed through the inspirational wisdom of Gandhi, who said that for a person to be truly educated, you had to have a united approach, by training the mind to think, the hands to acquire skills and the heart for human values and ethics."
An Expert Advisory Group would soon be set up by UNESCO to develop an agenda for the Institute. Shri Kapil Sibal also extended a formal invitation to DG UNESCO for visiting India later this year for launching the Institute.
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 03:48 PM PDT
India’s First Mega Food Park, Srini mega food park has come up at Chittor Andhra Pradesh. From seed to shelf, Srini Food Park facilitates end-to-end food processing with beneficial forward and backward linkages.
On par with software parks, this new-age facility is equipped with Central Processing Centre and Primary Processing Centres. It aims at becoming a pioneering infrastructure enabler and facilitator for the Food Processing Industry.
As a model ‘Mega Food Park’ and the first of its kind in India, Srini provides state-of-the-art food processing infrastructure designed as per global standards and develops a veritable market place with common facilities on the lines of a software park or a textile park. Mega Food Park is promoted by experienced professionals and supported by the government (the Ministry of Food Processing Industries and the Andhra Pradesh Infrastructure Investment Corporation) and is intended to benefit all components of the value chain.
Nestled in a sprawling 147-acre space, Srini Food Park provides world-class facilities for pulping, IQF, bottling, tetra packing, modular cold storage, warehousing and advanced testing lab. It enables basic and supply chain infrastructure, cluster farming and is ably backed by field collection centers, self help groups and individual farmers. Srini Food Park will empower food industry with state-of-the-art infrastructure and quality raw material sourcing.
With the highest growth in the fruits and vegetables sector (20%) and with Chittoor being the largest fruits and vegetables cluster in India, this Mega Food Park becomes an ideal destination for food processing units.
A mega food park provides various facilities to food processors, farmers, retailers and exporters, thus help in fast growth of food processing industries. The key benefits to these stake-holders are:
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 03:40 PM PDT
Today is World Population Day. It is an event, observed on July 11 every year with aim to raise awareness of global population issues. It educates the public about the problems of overpopulation and continuing population growth.
The event was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989. It was inspired by the public interest in Five Billion Day on July 11, 1987, approximately the date on which the world’s population reached five billion people. A quarter century later, world population now exceeds 7 billion and is growing by 80 million per year.
In 1989, in its decision 89/46, the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme recommended that, in order to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in the context of overall development plans and programmes and the need to find solutions for these issues, 11 July should be observed by the international community as World Population Day.
World Population Day 2012 Theme – "Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services".
This year’s World Population Day, 11 July 2012, focuses on the theme of "Universal Access to Reproductive Health Services." Reproductive health problems remain the leading cause of ill health and death for women of childbearing age worldwide. Some 222 million women who would like to avoid or delay pregnancy lack access to effective family planning. Nearly 800 women die every day in the process of giving life.
About 1.8 billion young people are entering their reproductive years, often without the knowledge, skills and services they need to protect themselves. On the World Population Day, many activities and campaigns will call attention to the essential part that reproductive health plays in creating a just and equitable world.
The world population on July 9, 2012 (As of 6.31 UTC), was estimated to have been 7,025,071,966.
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 02:02 PM PDT
“He is my darling brother. Let’s pray for him. Doctors are trying their best. Please pray for him,” Dharmendra told reporters after his visit.
Dara Singh, who was hospitalised at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital Saturday, continues to be very critical and is now undergoing dialysis, a doctor had said Monday.
“He is still very critical. His condition has not deteriorated and he is holding up, but he requires a high dose of medication.The problem he came up with during hospitalization has now affected hiskidneys.
His kidneys are not functioning the way they should, so we have to put him on dialysis,” hospital COO Ram Narain told IANS.
Dara Singh, who won the title of Rustam-e-Hind for his wrestling prowess, entered the film world in the 1960s.
He appeared in various films like “Watan Se Door”, “Rustom-e-Baghdad”, “Sher Dil”, “Sikandare- Azam”, “Ham Sab Ustaad Hai”, “Raaka”, “Mera Naam Joker” and “Dharam Karam”. He was last seen in a 2007 release “Jab We Met”.
He has also done TV serials and is best known for his portrayal of Hanuman in various film and TV adaptions of the Ramayan.
Dharmendra also visited actor Shatrugan Sinha, who is admitted to the same hospital and said he seems to be recovering.”Shatrugan Sinha is fine now,” he said.
Raza Murad, Farah Khan, Raju Srivastava were among others from the film industry who visited Dara Singh at the hospital.
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 01:24 PM PDT
It has been years since Yesteryears Super star Jackie Shroff gave a solo hit on Box Office, but today he is already hit among netizens. The reason being an old uncensored video trending on Youtube which shows him saying abusive and vulgar words while shooting for a Pulse Polio ad. The video dates back to 1998 when Internet was in its infancy in India.
The video where he seems to have to mouth not more than 4-5 lines in Hindi and Marathi, exhorting people to get their children vaccinated, Jackie Shroff kicks up an expletive storm than could leave the Censor Board scrambling to ban either YouTube or him.
The behind-the-scenes footage was from a 1998 pulse polio ad. After it was posted on Twitter, it soon became the hot topic of discussion for people fascinated by Shroff’s vocabulary of Hindi cuss words.
A volley of hilarious abuses was hurled by the actor who just couldn’t get the chaste script right. As the cameraman soon learnt, whatever you do, do not question his Hindi.
The actor was the butt of jokes on Twitter all day on Tuesday after the ad went viral.Lets see some famous Tweets,
Posted: 10 Jul 2012 10:30 AM PDT
Traumatized and shocked, the 10-year-old girl who was allegedly made to drink her own urine in the Visva-Bharati campus as a punishment for bedwetting is finding it difficult to cope with the situation, her father said Tuesday.
“She is yet to recover from the shock. She has not been eating properly. She is having problems coping with life after what happened with her. The doctors have advised us to keep her happy and try to help her forget about the incident,” Manoj Mistri, the girl’s father, said.
Apprehensive of a repeat of the incident, the girl also does not want to go back to the school.
“I won’t go back to the hostel. I want to study in another school. They may again ask me to do the same thing. It is so shameful for me to lick my own urine, said the Class 5 student of Patha Bhavan school in West Bengal.
Her parents have agreed to her wish.
“After the incident, she is not agreeing to go to the school. What else can we do? We may get her admitted to another school,” said Mistri.
“Being a 10-year-old, when I do not believe in such superstitions, how the warden can have faith in such things?” she said.
The Visva-Bharati university authorities have claimed that the warden, Uma Poddar, asked her to lick the urine since she believed the practice would cure her of bedwetting.
The authorities, after receiving flak from all quarters on the issue, have requested the girl’s parents to make her a day scholar.
“We got a call from the university today asking us to take back our daughter and continue her studies as a day scholar,” said Poonam Mistri, the girl’s mother.
Meanwhile, the police, after being rebuked by the court for going “soft” on the warden, have lodged a case under section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act which deals with cruelty to a child and has a maximum punishment of six months imprisonment or fine or both.
“Following the court’s order, we have brought in section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act against Poddar,” Superintendent of Police (Birbhum) Rishikesh Meena said.
The incident has attracted severe criticism from all quarters and also reached the Prime Minister’s Office.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has sought detailed reports from the university and the state government on the incident.
West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan has also reportedly sought a report from the university.
Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, describing the incident inhuman and shameful, said: “People send their children to hostels hoping they would be taken good care of there. But after this incident, they may not feel the same.
I don’t know how such a superstitious practice can cure bedwetting. Moreover, how a warden from such a distinguished university believe in such things?” he said.
According to the complaint filed by the parents, the incident occurred Saturday evening when Poddar, while on an inspection, pulled up the girl for bedwetting. She allegedly then sprinkled salt on the urine and made the girl lick her urine as a punishment.
After the girl told her mother about the ordeal, her parents and several other people stormed the hostel premises and allegedly manhandled Poddar.
Following the incident, the university set up a four-member fact-finding committee, headed by former dean of students welfare Aruna Mukherjee, to probe the matter.
Acting on the report, the university relieved Poddar of her duty as warden.
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