- Pakistan disrupting Peace process by Digging Tunnels across Border
- Police joins hands with Common People to curb Crime
- Is this an end to Anti-Corruption Movement in India ?
- Anna Hazare to form a Political Party against for a Strong Lokpal Bill
- Amarnath Yatra 2012 comes to its end
- Delhi Metro records 22 Lakhs Passengers in one day
- Microsoft releases Windows 8 to Computer Manufacturers
- Hospital Deliveries Increasing in India says Health Minister
- When Kiran Rao had to Fight with Aamir Khan
- US Calls for Power Sector Reforms in India
Posted: 02 Aug 2012 04:32 PM PDT
BSF Chief U K Bansal says that Pakistan was undermining confidence building measures by indulging in activities like digging a 400-metre cross-border tunnel in Samba sector for pushing terrorists to the Indian side.
Bansal, who visited the border post in Samba sector on Thursday, saw for himself the tunnel which was allegedly dug by Pakistanis from their end to the Indian side. He described the tunnel as “the evidence of Pakistan’s designs”.
“The digging of such a tunnel goes against the confidence building measures between Indian and Pakistan,” Bansal told reporters after inspecting the 400-metre-long tunnel in Chachwal border belt of Samba sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
He was making an on-the-spot assessment of the situation arising out of the digging of the tunnel from the Pakistani side to the Indian side as he is to prepare a comprehensive report of the pitfalls of such activities on the India-Pakistan relations, especially on the borders.
The BSF director general further said that such things are not going to be helpful. “So this is what we have told them (during a flag meeting where BSF lodged a protest with its Pakistani counterparts),” he said.
Authorities on July 28 had detected the tunnel into India from Pakistan along their border in Samba district.
The tunnel was detected after an area caved-in in a straight line at two-three places due to rains near the border fencing near Chillayari Border Out Post (BoP) of BSF along International Border (IB) in Samba sector.
The tunnel at a depth of 25 feet has been dug between two sides along the IB on India’s Chillayari BoP and Pakistan’s Lumberiyal BoP. It had air supply through a 2-inch pipe. The tunnel is 300-metre-long up to the border fencing and 100 metres beyond the fencing into the Indian side of the border.
Posted: 02 Aug 2012 03:31 PM PDT
Police and the public are joining hands in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad district to check incidents of crime, courtesy an initiative by resident welfare associations of the city to form joint teams.
“Ghaziabad’s resident welfare associations (RWAs) federation chairman Colonel (retd) Tejandra Pal Tyagi had proposed to set up two member joint team consisting of a representative of the zone and one from police. The proposal was readily accepted by SSP Prashant Kumar,” a statement from the RWA said Thursday.
“The senior superintendent of police agreed to make a few more special police officers from the RWA federation. He also agreed to write a letter to all police stations to pay due respect and show sincere concern to the points raised by RWA federations,” it added.
According to the statement, the team can be used in cases like of daylight murder, communal fights, loot in public and among others.
This was decided Thursday in a meeting held between senior police official and Resident Welfare Associations Federation.
Around 50 representatives from Indrapuram, Vijay Nagar, Mohan Nagar, Kavi Nagar, Vasundhara and city Zone of the RWA Federation Ghaziabad participated in the meeting.
Posted: 02 Aug 2012 09:44 AM PDT
Team Anna would end their 10 days Long Fast at 5 PM on Friday August 3. This is for the first time a fast has remained unattended by any Government representative. UPA Govt turned a deaf Ear towards the campaign. Read what went wrong with Anna ‘s Fast this time.
Is this an end to Anti-Corruption Movement?? Will corruption in India continue to dominate in every sphere?
It seems that Anna himself found this fast less effective in front of insensitive UPA Government, so he started looking for alternative means.
“It is another two years to go to polls in 2014. We have to go to people throughout the country in the next one-and- half years.
“Why waste time on fasts? Tomorrow at 5 pm, all fast will end,” Hazare told supporters at Jantar Mantar at the end of an address in which he enunciated the civil society’s approach to providing a political alternative to the current system.
Talking about providing an alternative to the current system, Hazare ruled out launching or joining a political party but asked people to come out with ideas on how the alternative can be provided.
“It is time for us to think of an alternative. We want a political alternative. But I will not launch or join a party. People should decide who should be given tickets and how to achieve that alternative system,” he said.
Dismissing suggestions that Team Anna may pose a threat to the prospects of BJP if it emerges as a political alternative, the main opposition maintained there have always been several parties in the political battlefield.
“There are more than 60 politcal parties and seven national parties in India. Everybody has a right to form a party and to contest the elections. Nobody has the authority to prevent anybody from entering the fray,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said. He pointed out that when BJP’s predecessor, Jan Sangh, was formed in 1952 there was one-party dominance of Congress.
Asked if BJP would support Team Anna if it enters politics, Hussain said “we will join forces with whoever raises his voice against corruption.” However, when asked if Team Anna’s proposed political outfit could be a part of NDA, Hussain said let the party be formed first.
Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan sought responses from the people in the next 48 hours on a "political alternative". Sources in the core committee said while Hazare is opposed to the idea of launching a party, some like Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal have been pushing for it since February.
A tweet on the team's official Janlokpal handle asked people to reply "yes" or "no" on whether they should "provide a political alternative to the country".
Kejriwal, whose fast entered the ninth day, however, had a word of caution when he said that it is easy to say about forming an alternative but difficult to get it done.
He cited the JP Movement and said that he was worried the alternative should not produce corrupt leaders.
Darshak Hathi, another core committee member, said the political alternative in question is unlikely to be a political party as Hazare is opposed to it. "He wants us to support good people as candidates. But if some others want a political party, let us see how things shape up," he said.
Posted: 02 Aug 2012 04:40 AM PDT
Anna Hazare has finally done what was inevitable. He would make a Political Alternative to both Congress and BJP. Hazare said that he wouldnot join Politics, but would support Poltical Alternative, just like Mahatma Gandhi did during Independence Struggle.
"If a political party needs to be formed to bring change in the country, then so be it," he said.
22 eminent persons, including former Army chief V K Singh, today appealed to Team Anna to call off their indefinite fast as the activists are said to be considering announcing a “political alternative” before ending their stir.
“All the people listening to us, watching us tell us whether Team Anna should form a political party,” prominent Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan said addressing the protesters this afternoon.
The appeal from eminent jurist V R Krishna Iyer, former Chief Election Commissioner J M Lyngdoh, Singh and others came as the health of Arvind Kejriwal and two others deteriorated on the ninth day of their fast.
The letter from eminent persons raised the possibility of an end to the indefinite stir during the day with Hazare likely to announce the future course of action. However, Team Anna members refused to confirm this.
Seeking people's view on the issue, Anna said that there is nothing wrong in forming a political party as it seems to be the only option left to ensure that right people get elected to Parliament.
Minutes after Anna's declaration, noted RTI activist and Anna Hazare's close associate Arvind Kejriwal said, "Team Anna is ready to give a political alternative if the nation wants."
Kerjriwal said, "Team Anna wants a change in the system, it does not want a change in government."
Making an appeal to the nation, Kejriwal said, "People are fed up with rampant corruption and they want it to end and if the people of India want us to play a big role in politics we want their valuable suggestion in this regard. We want them to tell us the basis on which candidates for elections be selected…what should be the criterion for their selection."
Kejriwal also cautioned that the political option will work only if honest people go to Parliament.
"What will happen if corrupt people enter Parliament? What if we fail to choose correct candidates? All your efforts will be wasted if we commit the same mistakes which the main political parties have made in all these years," he said.
Posted: 02 Aug 2012 04:11 AM PDT
The month-and-a-half annual Amarnath Yatra ended peacefully Thursday after Shravan Purnima prayers at the 13,500 feet high Himalayan cave shrine in south Kashmir.
Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra, who is also chairman of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, attended the concluding prayers led by Swami Dipinder Giri, the custodian of the ‘Chhari Mubarak’ (Shiva’s mace).
After an overnight halt at Panchtarni, the Chhari Mubarak arrived at the cave shrine early Thursday.
The end of the yatra coincides with the Hindu festival Raksha Bandhan.
This year over 6.20 lakh pilgrims had a glimpse of the ice stalagmite structure inside the cave which devotees believe symbolizes the mythological powers of Lord Shiva.
A three-tier security was provided to the pilgrimage with the army, paramilitary forces and police forming the security ring.
No separatist attack occurred against the pilgrims this year although the number of pilgrims dying due to natural causes remained a huge concern.
The Supreme Court took a suo moto cognizance of these deaths, passing directions to the central and state governments and also the Board to step up healthcare facilities for the pilgrims.
This year, 95 pilgrims died during the pilgrimage due to natural causes including high altitude sickness triggered pulmonary oedema, brain oedema and cardio-vascular failures.
The victims included 87 pilgrims, two civilians assisting the pilgrims, five sadhus or holy men and a sevadar (volunteer).
In addition, 31 pilgrims died in road accidents and three died of natural causes while staying in local hotels.
The Amarnath Yatra gets the full backing of local Muslims. Hundreds of Muslims work as potters, ponywallahs, roadside tea-stall owners as well as taxi and travel operators.
Posted: 02 Aug 2012 02:39 AM PDT
Delhi Metro broke its own record of highest numbers of Passengers commuted in a single day when it carrid 21,95,999 passengers on Wednesday. Last Months it made a record of 21,76,763 passengers on a single dsy which was broken within 10 days.
According to Delhi Metro, daily footfall has been rising in the last four months. From 17.33 lakh in April, it jumped to 19.07 lakh in July in the initial period before touching over 21 lakh.
The usually overcrowded Blue Line (Dwarka-Noida City Centre/Vaishali) recorded the maximum ridership of 847,022 followed by Yellow Line (Jahangirpuri-Huda City Centre) at 776,699 commuters Wednesday.
The Red Line (Rithala-Dilshad Garden) took over three lakh passengers.
Delhi Metro normally sees a huge rush on Raksha Bandhan.
Normally, 20 trains are withdrawn during non-peak hours — 12.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. But in view of the festival, these trains remain in service, said an official.
Delhi Metro operates over 2,700 trips a day, covering about 70,000 km and carrying around 1.8 million passengers on week days.
Posted: 02 Aug 2012 02:10 AM PDT
Microsoft has released Windows 8 Operating System to Desktop and Laptop Makers who shall start integrating it with new devices. The company announced that it has completed the product development and testing of Windows 8. Windows 8 would be a complete shift from previous versions of Windows in terms of its Metro Style Design and the internet Windows RT Framework, which replaces the incumbent Windows NT.
“The Windows 8 team is proud to share with you that a short while ago we started releasing Windows 8 to PC OEM and manufacturing partners,” said Microsoft’s Windows engineering team on their blog.
“This means our next milestone will be the availability of exciting new models of PCs loaded with Windows 8 and on-line availability of Windows 8 on October 26, 2012.”
The step, which is called “release to manufacturing” in the technology circle, means computer manufacturers now get the final version of Windows 8 and can start to install the system onto computers, reported Xinhua.
Back when we first demonstrated Windows 8 in May 2011, we described it as "reimagining Windows, from the chipset to the experience," and that is what Windows 8 (and Windows RT) represents for both Microsoft and partners.
The collective work: from the silicon, to the user experience, to new apps, has been an incredibly collaborative effort. Together we are bringing to customers a new PC experience that readies Windows PCs for a new world of scenarios and experiences, while also preserving an industry-wide 25-year investment in Windows software.
Select audiences, including developers, IT professionals and partners will have early access to final RTM code beginning later this month. On August 15th, developers building new apps for Windows 8 will be able to download the final version of Windows 8 via an MSDN subscription, and can visit the Windows Dev Center to get access to the final build of Visual Studio 2012.
The same day IT professionals testing Windows 8 in organisations will be able to access the final version of Windows 8 through aTechNet subscription on August 16th customers with existing Microsoft Software Assurance for Windows will be able to download Windows 8 Enterprise edition through the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), allowing them to test, pilot and begin adopting Windows 8 Enterprise within the organization. Microsoft Partner Network members will have access to Windows 8 the same day.
The final steps before the final release will be on August 20th when Microsoft Action Pack Providers (MAPS) receive access to Windows 8 and September 1st when Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers.
On Oct 26, Windows 8 will be available via retail and preloaded on new PCs and tablets. Consumers whose computers are running previous versions of Windows will be able to get the software by upgrading for $39.99.
Microsoft also has an upgrade offer for customers who buy a qualified PC running its current Windows 7 system between June 2, 2012 and Jan 31, 2013 to get the Windows 8 upgrade for just $14.99.
On the same day of the official release of Windows 8, Microsoft will also start to sell its tablet computer Surface, one of the company’s most-anticipated products in years.
The tablet will run mobile versions of Windows 8.
Windows 8 marks the biggest change Microsoft has ever done to its operating system as worldwide users have been used to the Windows 95 style for 17 years. Microsoft hopes the overhaul will allow it to regain ground in mobile computing lost to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems.
Posted: 02 Aug 2012 12:20 AM PDT
Around 11 million women in India had their deliveries in hospitals or healthcare institutions last year as a result of a scheme to provide cash incentives for institutional birthings.
Revealing this Wednesday at the Global Health Policy Forum Summit in London, union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said 11 million pregnant women benefited last year compared to only 700,000 during the first year of the National Rural Health Mission in 2005.
Azad said the government, enthused by the “phenomenal progress” of this safe motherhood incentive scheme, launched another major intervention in 2011 to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for both pregnant women and sick neonates.
Among the schemes are providing absolutely free to and fro transport between home and health institution; free diagnostics and tests; free medicines, free food and free caesarean section, if required.
Sick newborns would also be provided the same initiatives up to 30 days after birth.
The ministry has also taken steps to address the reproductive, sexual health and nutritional needs of adolescents as a means to improve maternal and child healthcare, Azad said.
“Under a unique initiative, probably the first of its kind in the world, community health workers are promoting birth spacing through awareness and door to door distribution of contraceptives. The challenge of nutrition is being addressed at the highest levels.
“The Prime Minister’s Nutrition Council is working vigorously on a multi-sectoral plan to improve overall nutritional status of women and children. Our efforts to control anaemia now encompass adolescent boys and girls in addition to children and pregnant and lactating mothers.”
The government has also launched a nation-wide programme for weekly iron and folic acid supplements to cover 130 million adolescents.
“Another new initiative is a name, address and telephone-based mother and child tracking system to ensure and monitor timely delivery of full complement of services to pregnant women and children,’ the statement said.
He said that as of now, over 43 million pregnant women and children are registered in the web enabled system and are being closely monitored.
Azad said that every year more than 2,80,000 women around the globe die during child birth despite the fact that most of these deaths are preventable with simple and cost effective interventions.
“For India, the challenge is particularly formidable considering that, though we are the second most populous country in the world, we have the largest number of pregnancies at 27 million and an annual birth cohort of 26 million babies”.
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 11:59 PM PDT
A scriptwriter’s vision is different from a director’s or a producer’s and writers often struggle to retain the essence of their works, says filmmaker Kiran Rao, adding she too had to fight to protect her “Dhobi Ghat” script.
“Often scriptwriters don’t have a choice when they give their script to a director or a producer. They are forced to helplessly see it getting changed in whatever way the director or producer wants it to be. I had to fight with Aamir (Aamir Khan) to protect my script, but thankfully, I got it made the way I wanted to,” Rao, who is married to the superstar, told IANS at the ongoing Osian’s Cine-fan Film Festival.
“Aamir kept suggesting that ‘this’ could be added ‘that’ can be added. I had to fight with him to protect my script,” she added.
But at the same time she feels when changes are made, scripts both lose and gain.
“The changes might turn out to be better than the way the scriptwriter might have thought while penning it down.
“You take an imaginary scenario and you give it a physical form – at a place, with an actor, at a particular time of day, mood etc. There is a certain touch that a scene gets that wouldn’t necessarily be what you had written,” she added.
Rao, who not only directed but also scripted “Dhobi Ghat” – that Aamir produced – expanded on this by pointing to her own learning experience.
“All filmmakers feel that their film gets a different life. When I was filming, I felt I was aiming for something, but I wasn’t quite getting what I had in mind. That’s where I struggled. But I got used to it and began to enjoy it too,” she said.
Another pitfall was an actor surpassing a writer’s imagination. How does one deal with this?
“You struggle to protect what you are writing, when it comes to the feel of the script.”
Currently penning another story, she is unsure if she would ever be able to direct someone else’s script.
“‘Dhobi Ghat’ was my first film; before that I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to write something like this… I enjoy the process of writing, but I have to say I avoid it,” Rao said.
“Unless anyone writes something wonderful, I don’t see myself making something that someone else has written,” she added.
She is also into production with Aamir and they have told beautiful stories in “Peepli Live” and adult comedy “Delhi Belly”. Their next is “Talaash”.
One should not try to experiment just for the sake of being different and waste a producer’s money, Kiran said.
“I think it’s important to make a film that one feels honest about. If it breaks the rules, no problem, as long as you don’t do it with the sole intention of breaking the rules.
“If you have that intention, then don’t put anybody’s tons of money to it and expect everybody to play along with your experiment. It is important to challenge yourself, but you have to be aware,” she added.
Aamir Khan Productions has carved a niche for itself by introducing new concepts and ideas through its ventures.
Asked how run-of-the-mill concepts are avoided, Rao said: “We genuinely take scripts that we like and they happen to be different. I suppose we get excited by something new. We only make films that we enjoy and that’s why I suppose it turns out to be different.”
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 11:48 PM PDT
United States, which recently suffered from Century’s worst power blackout last month has called for Power Sector Reforms in India.
“Obviously, we’re pleased that the lights are back on, that the power is back to this large amount of people who did not have electricity,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told reporters Wednesday.
Declining to comment on a suggestion that India’s reduction of oil imports from Iran because of or lack of progress on the India-US civil nuclear deal may have contributed to the crisis, he said: “I’m not aware that that’s the case.”
“I mean, I think it would be a little difficult for me here from the State Department podium to give a deep analysis of the internal energy environment in India in terms of how their electrical grids work,” Ventrell said when pressed.
“I think that would be a bit of a stretch. It sounds to me like it’s primarily an internal Indian issue,” he added.
Meanwhile, two energy experts at Washington think tank Brookings Institution in an analysis piece, “Emerging Power Failure in India,” on the blackout said that this crisis must spark reforms in India’s electricity and energy sectors.
“Slow development of domestic resources, costly imported resources, burdensome regulations, and a lack of investment in distribution prevent India from meeting a growing demand for energy,” Brookings Energy Security Initiative’s Charles Ebinger and Govinda Avasarala wrote
Changing subsidy policy and setting market rates for fuel and electricity would lead to more revenue, more investment, and ultimately more reliable energy and electricity sectors, they argued.
US power experts cited by the New York Times suggested that critical circuit breakers on India’s power grid may have been neglected.
“The demand for power in India far surpasses the supply, with around 300 million people without access to electric power,” it noted.
Here is a look at five reforms that the power sector urgently needs.
1. Fuel. Scrap coal nationalisation, till that happens, allow all those holding coal mines to produce as much coal as they can, the incentive being permission to sell at the best price possible. Tax away supernormal profits.
2. Mandate regulators to allow pass-through of fuel costs and state grids to permit open-access. At least those who can afford to buy power at the market price will not be starved of power.
3. Stamp out power theft and subsidised power. No industry can survive if close to 40% of what it produces is not paid for, for some reason or the other. All subsidies should be transferred as income support, leaving the market for power functional.
4. Deploy information technology in the grid. Smart grids can them be programmed to maintain grid discipline cut off states drawing excess power and generators supplying excess power. Shift discipline from compliance by humans to algorithms determined by policy.
5. Invest massively in generation, transmission and distribution, so as to meet latent demand in rural areas. This will trigger structural diversification in the rural economy, create new incomes and boost overall economic growth
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