Monday, 13 August 2012

Bihar News, Latest News from Bihar, News of Bihar, Biharprabha News

Bihar News, Latest News from Bihar, News of Bihar, Biharprabha News

Hilton Groups to expand to 25 Hotels in India by 2016

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 07:30 PM PDT

 Hilton Worldwide Hotel Group, the leading global hospitality brand is aiming to create a network of 25 hotels across the country by 2016, a top company official said  on Monday.

“Double Tree by Hilton Goa-Arpora-Baga will reiterate our commitment to welcoming international travellers in key destinations. With the launch of our third hotel in India, we will be well on our way to achieving our target of increasing our network to 25 hotels in the country by 2016,” Rob Palleschi, global head, Double Tree by Hilton said.

Palleschi was speaking at a press conference to announce the launch of Goa’s first Hilton property in Arpora, a resort village that lies adjacent to Calangute, a popular beach in north Goa, around 15 km from here.

“With the opening of this hotel, Hilton Worldwide will operate 10 hotels in Goa. Following on from a great year of growth in 2011, when we opened six hotels, we are expanding rapidly in India and anticipate increasing our presence to 14 hotels by the end of the year,” Martin Rinck, president-Asia Pacific of Hilton Worldwide said.

Aruna Chaddha’s remand extended till August 16 in Geetika Sharma Case

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 07:30 PM PDT

Delhi court has extended by three days the police custody of Aruna Chaddha, an official of the now-defunct MDLR Airlines, in a case related to the suicide of former flight attendant Geetika Sharma here Aug 5.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Devender Kumar Jangala allowed police to question Chaddha till Aug 16. She was arrested Aug 8.

Police sought an extension of her custody to unearth the conspiracy.

Geetika left a suicide note blaming Chaddha for her extreme step. Geetika also named her ex-employer and Haryana’s former minister Gopal Goyal Kanda in the suicide note, police said.

Delhi Police told the court that on the appointment letter of Geetika issued in 2011, it was mentioned that she had to report to the managing director (Kanda) every evening. She was appointed on a high post in an educational society run by Kanda without being associated with the society.

Kanda owned the MDLR Airlines where Geetika worked as a flight attendant. After the airlines ceased to function in 2009, she was given another job by the former Haryana minister.

The court sought the custody of Chaddah to verify some documents of the society and a company.

She wanted to quit Kanda’s group but he compelled her not to leave, police said.

“It has come to our knowledge that since the day Kanda has been absconding, attempts have been made to destroy records of the company (MDLR). So we have to recover them as early as possible with the help of Chaddha,” said police.

Charges of abetment to suicide and criminal intimidation were slapped on Kanda, who has filed an anticipatory bail plea in the Delhi High Court. The plea would be heard Tuesday.

Kanda has not appeared before police for questioning over the suicide of Geetika, whose body was found hanging in her house in north Delhi’s Ashok Vihar.

According to Geetika’s brother, Gaurav Sharma, his sister was being constantly mentally harassed by Kanda and Chaddha.

Pakistani Hindus vow not to return back to Pakistan

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 06:30 PM PDT

A fresh batch of Pakistani Hindus arrived in India  on Monday on board the Samjhauta Express, the peace train between India and Pakistan, and many of them said that they would not return given the atmosphere of fear prevailing where they live.

Talking to media persons after alighting from the train here, 30 km from Amritsar, members of six-seven families said they feared for their lives in Pakistan due to the pressure from Islamists who were forcing them to convert. Immigration officials here said that over 30 Pakistani Hindus arrived by the train here Monday.

Mukesh Kumar Ahuja, a Pakistani Hindu, said: “Things are so bad for Hindus in Pakistan that we have decided that we will not return at all even though we have signed documents in Pakistan assuring authorities that we will return. We will request for asylum here. We have been forced to give up our established business there.

“Religious conversions is being forced, kidnappings, murders and beatings are frequent for Hindus and they are being harassed (by Islamists). There are at least 5,000 Hindu families who are waiting to move to India but the Pakistani authorities are holding them back,” said a visibly-disturbed Ahuja, who lives in Baluchistan.

He said that one of his relatives, Ravi, was kidnapped recently and crores of rupees were sought in ransom. “When the ransom was not paid, they killed him,” he said.

Others who arrived here Monday said that hundreds of Hindu families wanted to leave Pakistan and come to settle in India.

“Even though the Pakistan authorities have set up a commission for the Hindu families to stop their exodus, things are so bad that Hindus just want to leave Pakistan. When the Hindus take a visa for India and come to the border, they are being forced to sign documents promising to return to Pakistan,” said another harried Pakistani Hindu, who did not wish to be identified.

“Our children are not safe there. Whenever they go out of the home, we fear for them,” Suman Devi, who arrived Monday, said.

Another Pakistani Hindu, Pawan Kumar, said: “Though we have signed documents there that we will return, we will not do so. We fear for our lives there. The Pakistan authorities are only resorting to gimmicks (by assuring safety to Hindus there).”

Nearly 250 Pakistan Hindus had arrived in India through the Wagah-Attari land border check-post last week. They were allowed to enter India after being detained on the Pakistan side for several hours and only allowed to proceed after signing documents saying that they would return to Pakistan after their 33-day pilgrimage.

“We will return to Pakistan. We have given this assurance to authorities there,” said Anup Kumar, who led the 250-member pilgrimage group to India.

About 10 families from Pakistan, who had arrived in the train here recently, are camping in Amritsar city and seeking asylum in India.

The Punjab Congress Monday sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to address the plight of Hindus and Sikhs living in Pakistan.

Punjab Congress general secretary Arvind Khanna said Hindus and Sikhs are facing intimidation and forced conversion across Pakistan, particularly in the Sindh province.

He demanded that those who had reached India must be provided relief, shelter and asylum since they are scared to go back.

Khanna urged the central government to talk to the Pakistan government on the issue.

Apex Court grants more time to Amarnath Board in Pilgrim Death Case

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 05:30 PM PDT

Apex Court  has called for “constructive steps” to improve medical and other facilities for pilgrims going for the annual Amarnath pilgrimage in Jammu and Kashmir.

An apex court bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice Swatanter Kumar made the appeal to the Special High Powered Committee, granting it three more weeks to complete its report.

The committee headed by the Jammu and Kashmir governor has 12 members. The judges said they would not entertain any further request for another extension of the deadline.

The court July 20 set up the committee to study the lack of public amenities and medical facilities during the annual pilgrimage that were blamed for a large number of deaths this year.

The court said it was important to make the next pilgrimage less hazardous, beneficial and appropriately managed so that basic facilities were made available to the pilgrims.

The court said health facilities should be provided all through the 14 km pilgrim route. The matter has been listed for Sep 10.

Coal India yet to finalise the Supply of Coal to new Power Ventures

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 04:30 PM PDT

Coal India Limited, the country’s largest coal miner, said on Monday that its board has reviewed the changes in the model fuel supply agreement (FSA) to be signed with the power firms, but did not take any final decision on it.

“We have reviewed it…it is still under consideration. It was not in a signable form today,” CIL chairman S. Narsing Rao told reporters here to queries whether the board Monday approved the model fuel supply agreement.

The agreement has significant changes in the penalty clause for failing to supply a minimum 80 percent quantity of the total fuel contract.

The coal major in its last board meeting had agreed to pay penalty of 1.5 percent to 40 percent on failing to supply the committed quantity of the fuel to power utilities.

The issue of penalty has been a bone of contention as some power firms had been refusing to ink the fuel supply agreement, opposing the “meagre” penalty clause in the earlier FSA of only 0.01 percent, applicable after three years of shortfall.

Asked when the model FSA with changes in penalty clause would be finalised, Rao said: “Sooner than later.”

Coal India also declared a marginal net profit growth with a stand-alone net profit of Rs.45,765.70 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 as compared to Rs.45,415.90 million for the like quarter the previous year.
The company’s total income has increased from Rs.48,508.80 million for the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal to Rs.49,103.20 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2012.

The company’s consolidated results show net profit after taxes, minority interest and share of profit of associates of Rs.44,692.60 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 as compared to Rs.41,439.20 million for the like quarter of the previous year.

Consolidated total income has increased from Rs.160,657.10 million for the corresponding quarter of 2011-12 to Rs. 185,719.60 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2012.

CIL’s coal production has increased from 361 million tonnes in 2006-07 to 436 million tonnes in 2011-12, the final year of the 12th Five Year Plan. Production is envisaged to reach 615 million tonnes in 2016-17.

Minister of State for Coal Pratik Prakashbapu Patil said in parliament Monday that CIL has been supplying more than 90 percent of the targets fixed in the annual supply plan of the coal ministry.

CIL has been in focus for its production and offtake, especially in the wake of the worst blackout the country faced earlier this month.

Kerala tweaks its IT Policy in favor of Software Companies

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 03:30 PM PDT

A departure from developer of information technology (IT) infrastructure to lessor model and focus on spreading e-governance activities across the state are going to be the major feature of Kerala government’s proposed IT policy to be announced soon, said a top government official.

“Instead of building infrastructure we have decided to let out the land on long lease for infrastructure developers who will build the space needed for IT companies. The government would lease out the land for 90 years at a fixed rate,” P.H. Kurian, principal secretary, Department of IT and Public Works Department, told IANS here Monday.

He was here as part of the official delegation holding the road show for Kerala’s mega investment meet ‘Emerging Kerala’ slated Sep 12-14 in Kochi.

According to Kurian, the government has around 600 acres and another 400 acres in public-private development mode.

“Our rate will be much lower than what other states are offering,” Kurian added.

The advantage of this policy is that private developers will not only build infrastructure but will also bring in companies.

Kurian said land for commercial space in IT parks would also be leased out similarly for developers to build malls, multiplexes and other amenities.

“The state has been building infrastructure and marketing the space till now. We can do that only up to a certain limit. With the new way, we hope to see more IT investments coming to Kerala,” Kurian said.

He said the government would bid out land under the proposed policy for mall and multiplex in Technopark Phase 3.

According to him, the state is targeting multi-national companies (MNC) operating in the advanced technology arena to locate their Indian centres in Kerala.

He said Kerala is not experiencing any slowdown in IT investments.

On the e-governance front, Kurian said that the state would bring three more districts under the e-district project next month and all 14 districts by the end of this fiscal.

Currently, Palakkad and Kannur are the two districts covered under the project where various services are offered online to people.

“Mallapuram, Pathanamthitta and Kottaym districts would be added next month,” Kurian said.

According to him, Kerala will also offer services linked to the Aadhaar/Unique Identification Card online.

Virat Kohli gets nominated for Two ICC Awards

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 02:38 PM PDT

Virat KohliIndia batsman Virat Kohli has been nominated in two categories for the International Cricket Council (ICC) awards to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka next month.

Virat Kohli, India’s most prolific run-getter in the last one year, has been shortlisted for the ICC Cricketer of the Year award and ODI Cricketer of the Year with the latter having Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir as other contenders.

Six players have been nominated in three different categories for the Sep 15 awards. They are Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal, South Africa’s Hashim Amla, Australia captain Michael Clarke, Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara, England’s Alastair Cook and West Indies women’s player Stafanie Taylor.

Cricketer of the Year (Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy) Male or Female: Saeed Ajmal (Pak), Hashim Amla (SA), Stuart Broad (Eng), Michael Clarke (Aus), Alastair Cook (Eng), Virat Kohli (Ind), Vernon Philander (SA), Kumar Sangakkara (SL), Stafanie Taylor (WI).

Test Cricketer of the Year: Saeed Ajmal (Pak), Hashim Amla (SA), Stuart Broad (Eng), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI), Michael Clarke (Aus), Alastair Cook (Eng), Jacques Kallis (SA), Vernon Philander (SA), Matt Prior (Eng), Marlon Samuels (WI), Kumar Sangakkara (SL), Dale Steyn (SA), AB de Villiers (SA).

Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year: Shahid Afridi (Pak), Saeed Ajmal (Pak), Michael Clarke (Aus), Alastair Cook (Eng), MS Dhoni (Ind), Steven Finn (Eng), Gautam Gambhir (Ind), Shakib Al Hasan (Bang), Virat Kohli (Ind), Lasith Malinga (SL), Brendon McCullum (NZ), Morne Morkel (SA), Sunil Narine (WI), Kumar Sangakkara (SL), Brendan Taylor (Zim), Shane Watson (Aus).

Ford to take back over 1 Lakh Figo Cars for Faulty Beam

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 02:30 PM PDT

Ford India would take back over 1 Lakh Cars for Faulty Rear Beam. It is recalling 128,655 units of its popular Figo and Classic models to rectify problems in the rear twist beam and the power steering hose

“We are recalling 1,11,000 units for rear twist beam and 17,655 units for the power steering hose problem,” a company spokesperson told IANS over phone from New Delhi.

Queried about the problems in Figos shipped out of India, the official said appropriate action would be taken if needed.

However the official declined to comment to queries about the action taken against the vendor or whether the components are made by the company itself.

In a statement issued Monday, Ford India said it has rolled out a voluntary and pre-emptive ‘field service action (FSA)’ starting July 23 to inspect certain batches of its Figo and Ford Classic models for the two issues.

According to Ford India, all Figo and Classic models manufactured between January 2008 and December 2010 will have the reat twist beam inspected, and replaced, if found defective.

The issue is a potential crack in the rear twist beam which first manifests itself in the form of an abnormal noise from the rear. If the vehicle is continued to be driven and the noise symptoms are ignored, it could lead to the unit breaking, resulting in diminished ride and handling and brake performance – potentially rendering the vehicle inoperable

The company said all Figo and Classic petrol-engined vehicles manufactured from September 2010 till February 2011 will have the power steering hose replaced as a precautionary measure and to ensure the long term durability of the vehicle.

The issue identified is the potential for an oil leak to develop in the power steering hose which could result in potential fumes being emitted from the area causing the leak.

It may also be possible for power steering fluid to come into contact with the vehicle’s exhaust components creating a potential for smoke and, in extreme cases, fire.

Ford India said the vehicle inspection would be done by its authorised dealers. No injuries related to the due to faulty components have been reported.

Ford India launched the Figo in 2010.

Ford India is contacting owners of the potentially affected vehicles through customer letters and through its nationwide dealership network. Owners can also contact their local dealers, or call Ford India Customer Relations Group on a toll free number – 1800 419 9889, the company said.

Delhi Court asks Police to File Action Taken Report on Arvind Kejriwal

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 01:30 PM PDT

arvind kejriwal Delhi Court asked Police to file Action Taken Report against Arvind Kejriwal on a plea seeking to lodge a complaint against Anna Hazare aide Arvind Kejriwal for allegedly making defamatory remarks against President Pranab Mukherjee.

Metropolitan Magistrate Ambika Singh asked police to file action taken report by Sep 3 on the complaint of Rajiv Khosla.

Khosla alleged that Anna aide and India Against Corruption (IAC) member Arvind Kejriwal levelled abusive and frivolous allegations against Mukherjee during their recent demonstration on Janlokpal Bill.

“It is pertinent to mention here that the said statement made by one of the IAC members was … an initiation of baseless, abusive, defamatory, malafide and frivolous allegations against the president,” said Khosla, in his plea filed through advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal.

Khosla said Team Anna members Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai started their demonstration July 25, the same day when Mukherjee was sworn-in as president.

He told the court that the IAC members during their demonstration distributed pamphlets that contained corruption charges against the president.

Corporate India told to share Handloom Items as Gifts

Posted: 13 Aug 2012 12:30 PM PDT

 The textiles ministry is organising a conclave appealing to Indian industries to source domestic handlooms and handicrafts for corporate gifting instead of regular gift such as sweets thus also giving a fillip to the sector which needs recognition on a larger platform.

“The aim of this event is to create awareness about the versatility of craftsmanship of Indian hand-made goods and weaves among the corporate and industrial sector of India and forge a partnership with them for preservation and promotion of the same,” said Kiran Dhingra, secretary, Ministry of Textiles.

“We are hopeful that they (corporates) will (do so) because they have the CSR (corporate social responsibiliy) money… we have targeted the ones with large turnovers. They can support them with design investment-cum-creation of a market,” she added.

The ministry has invited over 400 corporates and industrial houses and over 350 of them, including IDBI Bank, Hindustan Fibre, Metro Hospitals and ITC, have shown keen interest.

The exhibition — Hastkala Conclave — which is scheduled Aug 17 will act as an introductory platform for the corporates and the workers.

It will have three components — display of handicrafts and handloom by master craftpersons and weavers, a demonstration by them and seminars on market promotion of Indian handicrafts and handloom in organized retail sector.

“Sourcing gifts is just one aspect. There are several things that can be done once the two groups come into direct contact. The workers and their families can be provided support for improving their living conditions,” S.S. Gupta, development commisioner, Handicrafts told IANS.

“The corporates can also spend some of their CSR fund to adopt handloom and handicrafts clusters and take care of primary health services of these people, can help them who are struggling with bad water supplies, roads and lighting problems,” he added.

The handloom and handicraft sectors provide direct employment to more than 15 million artisans, crafts persons and weavers etc. mainly belonging to economically and socially weaker sections of the society in the interiors of the country.

The share of Indian handicrafts in the world market is less than two percent as against China’s share of 30 percent.

Out of the estimated production of Rs.30,000 crore of handicrafts including carpet, around Rs.17,000 crore is being exported. In the handloom sector, cloth of more than 6,930 million sq mts is being produced. The export of handloom cloth stood at Rs.2,503.23 crore in 2011-12.

The draft report of the steering committee for the 12th Five Year Plan has identified handlooms as one of the priority sectors that will create large scale employment opportunities.

It has proposed steps such as celebrity endorsement, celebration of ‘India Weaves Week’, and creation of a unified ‘Handmade in India’ brand to promote Indian craft product.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) will be providing support to this initiative by the ministry.

Specific marketing requirement will be met by organisations like Central Cottage Industry Corporation (CCIC) and Handicrafts and Handloom Export Corporation (HHEC).

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