Monday, April 30, 2012

China launches two navigation satellites

BEIJING: China on Monday successfully launched two more satellites for its proposed Beidou global navigation and positioning network being built to counter the US Global Position System (GPS).
With the two, China has so far launched 13 satellites to form part of the Beidou system.
The Beidou-2 satellites, launched from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the south-western province of Sichuan, was boosted by a Long March-3B carrier rocket and has entered the scheduled orbit, the centre said in a statement.
It is the first time China has launched two navigation satellites with one rocket, and the two satellites will help to improve the accuracy of the Beidou, or Compass system, it said.
China will launch three more satellites for the Beidou network this year and a global satellite positioning and navigation system will be completed in 2020 with more than 30 orbiters, it said.
Monday’s mission marked the 160th flight of China’s Long March series of carrier rockets, state-run Xinhua reported.

The Syrian unrest suicide bombing in Damascus


Iran on Saturday condemned a deadly suicide bombing in Damascus, charging that such “terrorist actions” were the work of foreign governments that wanted to arm the Syrian opposition.Iran “condemns terrorist act that resulted in killing and injuring Syrian people and also condemns foreign intervention,” the deputy foreign minister in charge of Arab and African affairs, Hossein Amirabdolahian, said in a statement posted on his ministry’s website.”The parties who back sending weapons to Syria are responsible for killing innocent people. Some parties, by sending weapons and (committing) terrorist actions in this country, are pursuing their own specific goals,” he said. State media said at least 11 people died and 28 were wounded in yesterday’s suicide bombing which hit worshippers leaving a mosque after the main weekly prayers.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said two civilians died. Syria is the chief Middle East ally of Iran, which has pledged its support to beleaguered President Bashar al-Assad.The persistent bloodshed has endangered a hard-won truce brokered by international peace envoy Kofi Annan even before the full deployment of a promised 300-strong UN military observer mission.Amirabdolahian stressed in his statement that the solution to the Syrian unrest should be a “solely political one” that incorporates reforms promised by Assad. “Some parties consider themselves above the UN and its special envoy’s plan and are trying to impose their will with hasty actions,” he said, in another swipe at countries that have argued in favour of arming the Syrian opposition.Amirabdolahian did not name them but Iran’s Gulf Arab rivals Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been among the most outspoken champions of arming the rebels, although both governments insist they are not yet doing so. US officials have voiced suspicion that Iran is supplying Assad’s regime with weapons and military advisers, but Tehran has denied
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Islamists march to Egypt Defence Ministry
Hundreds of Islamist protesters marched on to Egypt's Defence Ministry, denouncing the ruling military council and demanding that officials of the Hosni Mubarak regime be disallowed from the presidential race. The protesters included supporters of the disqualified Salafist candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, whose candidature was ruled out on grounds that his mother had been given an American citizenship. Abu Ismail warned last night of "unknown reactions" of his backers to what they see as "injustice" over his exclusion from the presidential race.>His comments came shortly after thousands of protesters, mostly his supporters, marched at midnight to Egypt's Defence Ministry, chanting slogans against Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi. <"Down with the military council," shouted demonstrators, calling on the generals who took over from Mubarak step down.>There has been an increasing perception among the people in Egypt that the ruling military may try to get a loyalist elected as the next president. The election commission announced the final list of 13 candidates for the presidential election on Thursday after disqualifying 10 candidates. >While two top Islamist candidates were disqualified, the candidature of Ahmed Shafiq, who served as prime minister in the deposed Mubarak regime during last year's uprising, was upheld.Abu Ismail's supporters have staged a sit-in in Tahrir Square for more than a week now, protesting the Elections Commission's decision to disqualify him from the race after proving that his late mother had obtained an American nationality.The protesters have demanded the dissolution of the elections commission. The military police blocked the roads to the Defence Ministry but the protesters, estimated to be around 2,000, stayed overnight near the ministry, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.In a poetic post on Facebook, Abu Ismail wrote, "People feel that injustice blocks the road against them. This makes them leave their homes and beds and respond to the calls to break the chains". Before his disqualification, Abu Ismail had emerged as one of the most popular presidential candidates. His simplistic rhetoric over following the Sharia and defending citizens' dignity attracted much support. This month an opinion poll by Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies showed that before his exclusion Abu Ismail had topped the presidential race with 26 per cent of votes, while Hosni Mubarak's spy chief Omar Suleiman, also since excluded, garnered 21 per cent of the votes

Ex- US toxic ship entry in Indian waters challenged in Supreme Court

Ex- US toxic ship entry in Indian waters challenged in Supreme Court

New Delhi 27/4/2012: An application has been filed in Supreme Court in the matter of a hazardous end-of-life vessel named 'Oriental Nicety' (formerly Exxon Valdez, Exxon Mediterranean, Sea River Mediterranean, S/R Mediterranean, Mediterranean, and Dong Fang Ocean) which has been purchased by Best Oasis Company, (a subsidiary of Priya Blue Industries Pvt Ltd) in the Indian waters in the name of dismantling and recycling. The minutes of the court constituted Inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on shipbreaking and a sensitive document that has been filed in the court reveal the repeated security concerns which remain unaddressed.

The hazardous wastes/shipbreaking case Writ Petition (Civil) 657/1995 is coming up for hearing on May 3, 2012.

The following are the prayers in the application.

A relevant sensitive document (that is corroborated by recent minutes of IMC's 14th meeting dated February 2012) is
(i) Direct the Union of India to ensure that no end-of-life ship should be allowed without prior decontamination in the country of export as per this Hon’ble Court’s order dated October 14, 2003,

(ii) Direct the Union of India to send back all hazardous wastes laden end-of-life ships entering/ or have entered the Indian territorial waters without prior informed consent and without prior decontamination keeping in view the environmental principles,
(iii) Direct inquiry by an independent trans-disciplinary investigating agency to ascertain the circumstances of the dead US ship’s arrival in Indian territorial waters, to make concerned officials accountable for their acts of omission and commission and seek a detailed report on more than 1200 ships broken in last 5 years and more than 5924 ships broken since 1982;
(iv) Direct Union of India to ensure compliance with the recommendations of the Hon'ble Court constituted Inter-ministerial committee (IMC) on ship-breaking

The illegal traffic of this dead ship must be stopped besides investigating the possibility of fake documents which came to light in the earlier case of Platinum II, a US ship. The Ministry of Environment & Forests has invoked the Precautionary Principle and directed that granting permission for beaching and breaking, purposes of the ship will not be advisable in the case of Platinum II. It may be mentioned that precautionary principle is the basis of UN conventions, such as Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). India is a signatory to these conventions and has ratified them as well. The ex-Exxon Valdez is violating these international laws besides the court's order.

For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), New Delhi, New Delhi, Phone: +91-11-2651781, Fax: +91-11-26517814, Mb: 9818089660, E-mail:, Web:

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Finance Minister calls for need to empower people with skills and capabilities for continuous and inclusive growth; Releases Logo for 46th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of ADB; India to host the next ADB Annual Meeting in Delhi in May, 2013 The Union Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that if Asia has to continue growing rapidly, its path of development needs to be inclusive and people need to be empowered with skills and capabilities that will enable them shape their own lives. The Finance Minister said that we believe in sustaining high and inclusive growth in Asia; and to ensure that requires policies and programs designed with a focus on empowerment. The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee was speaking after formally announcing that India will host the next Annual Meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB) i.e.46th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank on May 2-5, 2013 in New Delhi. He also unveiled on this occasion the special logo titled “Web of Life” created for the said Meeting. This logo for the Annual Meeting of ADB represents the web of life which is based on the tribal motifs of central India which signifies the cycle of life. The logo has been designed by the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. Shri R.Gopalan, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Dr Kaushik Basu, Chief Economic Adviser, representatives of CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM and senior officials of the Ministry of Finance were also present on the occasion.

The 46th Annual Meeting of Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank is expected to see the visits of official delegations from 67 countries, where the Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of different countries usually lead the country delegations. A large gathering of approximately 4000 people including delegates from different countries, economists, investment bankers, corporate leaders, Nobel laureates, Civil Society, media etc. are expected to participate in the event in 2013.

This would be the third time that India would be hosting the Annual Meeting; the first time was in 1990 at Delhi and the second time in 2006 at Hyderabad. The venue for the 2013 Annual Meeting would be India Expo Mart, Greater Noida. Given the size and scope of the event, the Government of India has invited Industry Associations (CII, ASSOCHAM and FICCI) to partner in the organization of the event. This is the first time that such a Public Private Partnership approach has been adopted for an event of this scale in India.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Finance Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that ADB has been a valued multilateral partner in India’s journey towards economic development and growth. He said that the theme for the Annual Meeting is “Development through Empowerment”. This theme encompasses issues that are critical for sustaining high and inclusive growth in Asia. This theme reflects the development strategy of India, namely, empowerment backed by legal entitlement and encompasses issues that are critical for sustaining high and inclusive growth in Asia, the Finance Minister added.

Speaking at this special function, the Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that the Annual Meeting of ADB will provide a valuable opportunity for brainstorming and cross fertilization of ideas amongst intellectuals and policy makers from across Asia and the World. He said that India’s association with the ADB dates back to 1966 and is a founder member of this multilateral institution. ADB’s lending operations in India commenced two decades later in 1986, and India has just completed 25 years of partnership with ADB. Shri Mukherjee further said that this will help bring countries of Asia closer to each other and also facilitate the formulation of policies that can lead us towards greater prosperity and well being.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that the rapid growth of emerging market economies in Asia has been a noteworthy feature of the global economy in recent years. Led by China, India and several other Asian countries, this dynamism makes Asia the world’s most vibrant region contributing close to 50 per cent of world growth, the Finance Minister added. He further said that Asian countries have transformed themselves from primarily agricultural and resource based economies to industrial and increasingly services based economies in less than half a century.Shri Mukherjee said that Asia’s high growth over the last several decades has improved lives and lifted millions out of poverty.

Later speaking on behalf of the Industry, Shri Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII said that Industry is privileged to be part of this very prestigious event and would extend all support to ensure that the event is commensurate with India’s stature in the world today.

Leader of the largest party in the ruling coalition in Greece has said that there will be no new taxes, in an apparent attempt to win back support.Head of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, or PASOK, Evangelos Venizelos was talking to his party on Saturday ahead of the nation's parliamentary election on May 6th.

Austerity measures introduced to rebuild the Greek economy and its fiscal system have made the ruling coalition unpopular and the opposition is gaining support.Opinion polls suggest that the two parties in the ruling coalition are expected to lose many of their seats in parliament and may not be able to secure a majority.
A coalition partner promises to increase the guaranteed minimum amount of pension to win back support.
Media agencies

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, demanding political reforms.Protesters rallied in squares in the central part of the capital on Saturday, and then marched along the streets, calling for clean politics.Police blocked the roads and used tear gas and water cannons to stop the protesters. Some demonstrators were arrested.One of the protesters said the public is tired of corruption and rigged elections.

Opposition parties are stepping up criticism of the ruling coalition that has governed Malaysia for more than half a century. They accuse the Malay-led coalition of vote buying and other election fraud.

Tension between the ruling and opposition blocs is growing amid speculation that Prime Minister Najib Razak may soon dissolve parliament for a snap election.

India's long-term growth potential is 8-9 pc: Montek

When most of the core sectors,other industries along with agriculture show remorse growth.Scam and Corruption twin social evil rule the society mainly is cause of concern,naught accountability,transparency in lips not in action, leadership with unethical style of functioning.  

Monek has in store "Notwithstanding global credit rating agency S&P's lowering India's outlook to 'negative', the country remains bullish and its long-term economic growth potential is 8-9 per cent," Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia has said.

"My view of India is that it is bullish. India's long-term growth potential is 8 to 9 per cent. In order to achieve this, we have to get our Macro-economic right," said Ahluwalia, briefing media at the third Clean Energy Ministerial Meeting which concluded in London Thursday evening.

He added, "India achieved a growth rate of 6.9 per cent last year. The question is whether India's growth in 2012-13 will go up or not. Growth is taking place in Asia - China and India."

Standard & Poor's on Wednesday downgraded India's credit outlook to 'negative' and warned of a downgrade if there is no improvement in the fiscal situation and political climate.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee termed S&P's move as a "wake-up call" and said the government would work towards achieving higher economic growth."The Finance Minister has already commented on the Standard and Poor's decision to change the outlook on India from stable to negative. I have nothing to add to it," Ahluwalia said.

On Thursday, the Reserve Bank of India said the country's financial system is strong and sometimes these ratings are discounted by markets.RBI Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty has said, "Indian financial system is strong. That is our internal assessment. That our financial stability report always gives. Again, RBIs financial stability report will come in June. Then you can see what the position is."

South Korea's Samsung Electronics lead the world's largest mobile phone maker, overtaking Finland's Nokia, which dominated the market for 14 years.US research firm Strategy Analytics on Friday released the numbers of cell phone shipments between January and March by leading global makers.

Samsung was at the top with 93.5 million handsets, up 36 percent from the same quarter last year, on the back of brisk sales of its smart phone models.Nokia came in second with 82.7 million units, down 24 percent. This marks the end of Nokia's reign in the global mobile phone market since 1998.

US computer giant Apple came 3rd, with its quarterly shipment nearly doubling from last year to 35.1 million handsets. Cell phone users are increasingly switching to smart phones, sparking severe competition between Samsung and Apple.

Nokia is trying to turn around its business by tying up with Microsoft in the smart phone business, but has so far failed to stop its sales decline.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

LONDON: British report  told residents of an upscale apartment development near the Olympic Park in east London it is installing a missile battery on top of a tower within their housing complex to defend the 2012 Games this summer.Site is one of a number around the capital the army is considering as bases for surface-to-air missiles to protect the London games from an aerial attack, the Ministry of Defence said.It is the first time such missiles have been deployed in London since the end of World War Two, shocking some residents at the Bow Quarter housing development, sited in a converted red-brick Victorian match factory."There was no consultation, no one knocked on the door," Brian Whelan, a 28-year-old journalist, told Reuters. "You just wake up one morning, there's a leaflet telling you they are going to put missiles on the roof."

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced the plans in November, "Britain would follow the precedent set by previous Olympics such as the Beijing games in 2008 where surface to air missiles were stationed a kilometre south of its showpiece stadiums."
The defence ministry said in a leaflet sent to occupants on Saturday it had chosen the former water tower in the Bow Quarter complex because it offered "an excellent view of the surrounding area and the entire sky above the Olympic Park."The tower was in fact "the only suitable site in this area for the HVM (High Velocity Missile) system," it added.

ASEAN ministers to start cooperation talks

Japan and Southeast Asian countries are expected to agree to launch talks on forging economic partnerships in a wider framework involving 16 countries, among them China and India.
Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yukio Edano held a meeting with economic ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Tokyo on Saturday.
They are expected to agree to begin negotiations by the end of the year on economic partnerships among 10 ASEAN members and 6 other nations — Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia, and New Zealand.
All these countries have already agreed to set up a working group to discuss the liberalization of trade and investment.
The economic ministers are also expected to set a goal for the next 10 years of doubling the value of trade between Japan and ASEAN members, which have economies showing rapid growth.

Myanmar minorities seek Japanese mediation

A coalition of eleven  ethnic minority groups in Myanmar requesting the Japanese government to mediate peace talks between the coalition and the government of Myanmar.Vice President Saw David Tharckabaw of the United Nationalities Federal Council, or UNFC, made the appeal at a news conference in Tokyo on Friday.

He acknowledged the effort for peace by Myanmar President Thein Sein but he expressed distrust for certain groups within the government.He said that through its provision of yen loans, Japan can exercise influence with the Myanmar government. He expressed hope that Japan's mediation will encourage the government to respect the positions of the minorities.
He and 2 other officials from the coalition groups made a similar request when they visited Japan's Foreign Ministry on Thursday.The Foreign Ministry says it will investigate what action Japan can take.

Armed ethnic minorities in Myanmar have fought government forces over regional autonomy for more than half a century.Since Thein Sein was inaugurated as president in March last year, 10 of the 11 ethnic armed groups have agreed to a ceasefire. The UNFC is hoping to hold more talks to achieve permanent peace.Media agencies

Third Conference of Heads of Election Management Bodies of SAARC countries

 Foundation Stone of New Campus of India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) to be laid on Monday Election Commission of India is hosting the Third Conference of Heads of Election Management Bodies of SAARC Countries here from 30 April to 2 May, 2012. The Conference brings together the Chief Election Commissioners and senior election officials of the region on a common platform to share experience of best practices in election administration and management. The Conference will build on the initiatives and exchanges discussed at the previous Conferences. Discussions will also focus on the final shape of the Forum of SAARC Election Management Bodies, which has been approved in principle at the last Conference held in Islamabad. The conference will be inaugurated by Dr S Y Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner of India. Some of the important topics to be discussed are: Empowerment of Election Management Bodies; Inclusive elections (gender issues, marginalized sections, minorities etc.), Voters Education, Controlling Money Power in Elections, Technology for cost-effective elections etc.
The idea of holding such Conferences took concrete shape at the 37th Session of the Standing Committee of SAARC, held at Thimphu, in April, 2010. Bangladesh hosted the first Conference in May 2010, where initial discussions on creating a Forum of SAARC EMBs were also held.
The second Conference was held in Islamabad by the Election Commission of Pakistan. It focussed on experience sharing, and also discussed the draft charter of the proposed Forum. It adopted a resolution to establish the Forum. A number of initiatives on mutual exchanges and training activities were discussed, and bilateral arrangements were tied up between member Commissions. During the Conference, Chief Election Commissioner of India offered to host the 3rd Conference in New Delhi, which was accepted.
Election Commission of India works in close collaboration with the Election Management Bodies of South Asian Countries. In the recent weeks officials for the Election Commission of Afghanistan, Maldives and Bhutan received training at the India International Institute of Democracy and Election management IIIDEM.
Laying the Foundation Stone of the IIIDEM new Campus in Dwarka
Coinciding with the SAARC Heads of EMBs conference, Foundation Stone of new campus of India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) will be laid by Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner of India, on Monday, at Dwarka, New Delhi in the presence of Election Commissioners Shri V. S. Sampath and Shri H.S. Brahma and Heads of Election Management Bodies of SAARC countries. They include Mr.Fazel Ahmad Manawi, Chairman, Independent Election Commission, Afghanistan, Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad, Chief Election Commissioner, Bangladesh, Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, Chief Election Commissioner, Bhutan, Mr. Neel Kantha Upreti, Chief Election Commissioner, Nepal, Mr.Ibrahim Waheed, Commissioner, Election Commission, Maldives, Mr. Justice (R ) Muhammad R. Essani, Member, Election Commission Pakistan and Mr. Mahinda Deshapriya, Commissioner of Elections, Sri Lanka. Shri Tejendra Khanna, Hon. Lt. Governor of Delhi will be the Chief Guest at the event.
ECI plans to develop IIIDEM as an advanced resource centre of learning, research, training and extension of participatory democracy and election management. Presently, IIIDEM operates from the premises of the election Commission of India in New Delhi.
The funds to the tune of Rs 48 crores have been approved for 2011-12 and 2012-13 for construction of the new campus.
At present, training courses of IIIDEM are being conducted in the interim premises of this Institute at Election Commission of India. IIIDEM, since its launch in June 2011 has hosted 32 courses for more than 500 election officials and other stakeholders in all aspects of Election management. Training courses are already lined up at IIIDEM in the coming weeks for the upcoming Summary Revision and General Elections in some of the states.
Besides the national training programmes, IIIDEM has also conducted five courses for Kenyan, Maldivian, Bhutanese and Afghanistan election officials and Nigerian Election Commissioners. There are requests for such courses from Nepal and Fiji. Over the ten months of its existence, IIIDEM has become a hub for national and international training courses, seminars and workshops. Standard training modules for international participants have already been developed by a renowned team of Indian and International experts.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Upper house uproar over Bofors issue

The Elder house or the upper house of Parliament termed “Rajya Sabha” on Thursday witnessed two adjournments in the pre-noon session after uproar by Opposition BJP and AIADMK over a former Swedish police chief’s allegation that payoffs were made in purchase of Bofors guns.
Chairman Hamid Ansari said the Question Hour will not be suspended and asked members to resume their places.
“Please allow Question Hour to proceed… The Question Hour cannot be suspended,” he said and took up the first listed question of the day.
But as the opposition members were unrelenting, he adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
When the House met again, similar scenes were repeated with BJP members  shouting slogans.
Ansari repeatedly asked the members to take their seats and raise the issue during Zero Hour. “Please sit down. Allow Question Hour to proceed. Raise the issue at 1200 hours,” he pleaded with the agitated members.
Mani Shankar Aiyar (Cong) said Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitely was the Additional Solicitor General who had done paper work in the Bofors investigation case.
Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) said very serious questions have been raised by the former Swiss police chief while his party members continued shouting slogans.
Amid din, Ansari adjourned the House till noon.
The Lok Sabha also saw brief disruptions on the Bofors issue with Jaswant Singh (BJP) and Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M) demanding suspension of Question Hour.
Speaker Meira Kumar’s repeated pleas to raise the matter during Zero Hour found little favour with the members.
“I have received your notice. I will allow you to raise the matter during Zero Hour,” the Speaker said.
As BJP members insisted that the Chair should hear the topic their colleague wanted to raise, Kumar called Singh to speak.
Singh said he wanted to raise the issue in the wake “new and recent disclosures in the continuing saga of Bofors.”
The Speaker said that Singh can make a detailed statement during the Zero Hour.
Acharia also said that he be allowed to raise the issue which has been debated inside and outside the House, but the Speaker went ahead with the Question Hour.
Uproar in LS over Bofors issue, House adjourned for 90 minutes
The Bofors issue on Thursday led to disruption in Lok Sabha with the BJP and Left parties demanding reopening of the graft case and a judicial probe into it.

“R&D for Affordable Healthcare in India”

“R&D for Affordable Healthcare in India” a joint funding initiative by Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Wellcome Trust (WT), London, U.K
 Implementation of a joint venture Programme for affordable Healthcare in India and establishing of a Special Purpose Vehicle The Union Cabinet today approved the implementation of a joint venture programme on “Department of Biotechnology – Wellcome Trust R&D for affordable Healthcare in India” along with establishing of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to be operated as an independent not-for-profit Section-25 Company to deliver the programme. The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the Wellcome Trust (WT), London, U.K., one of the world’s largest bio-medical research charities, propose to establish a joint funding initiative entitled “R&D for Affordable Healthcare in India” (“Affordable Healthcare Initiative”), with the aim of addressing the healthcare needs of the economically disadvantaged by funding research scientists based mainly in India, to develop safe, effective and affordable healthcare products for use primarily in the Indian Market.
It will involve an approximate expenditure of Rs.370.40 crore with Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Wellcome Trust committing equal sums of Rs. 185.20 crore each over a period of five years commencing 2011-12.
Approximately Rs.18.60 crore will be incurred by DBT during the remaining one year (2011-12) of the XI Five Year Plan period and Rs.166.60 crore in implementation of the programme during the four years (2012-13 to 2015-16) beyond the XI Plan.
The programme will support translational and innovative research projects at Indian institutions/ companies potentially leading to safe, efficacious and affordable healthcare products such as drugs, vaccines, stem cells and regenerative medicine products, bio-fortified products for nutrition, diagnostics, devices and implants, bio-equipment products and e-health. This will stimulate innovation in academic and commercial research laboratories in India and enhance pool of trained manpower in translational programme as per international standards. This programme will provide not only funding but also add value through access to global resources and mentorship to the Indian investigators for successful delivery of projects.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Syed Kazmi Solidarity Committee

Syed Kazmi Solidarity Committee
Appeals to You to Join
A Candle Light Vigil to Demand Justice for Journalist Kazmi
Assemble in large numbers OUTSIDE Press Club of India (Raisina Road)
27th April (Friday) / 7 pm

Adiyog, Ajit Sahi, Ali Javed, Amitabh Pandey, Anuradha Chenoy, Apoorvanand, Asad Zaidi, Ashok Chowdhary, Colin Gonsalves, Hasan Shuja, Hilal Ahmed, Iftikhar Gilani, Iqbal Ahmed, Javed Naqvi, John Cherian, Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Kuldip Nayar, MD Nalapt, Mahesh Bhat, Mahtab Alam, Manisha Sethi, Mansi Sharma, Mayank Saxena, Nitya Ramakrishnan, Praful Bidwai, Ram Puniyani, Sehba Farooqui, Saba Naqvi, Saeed Naqvi, Sandeep Dixit, Sanjay Kapoor, Satish Jacob, Seema Mustafa, Shabnam Hashmi, Shahid Akhtar, Shakeel Shamsie, Sohail Hashmi, Sukumar Muralidharan, TK Rajalakshmi, Zafar Agha, Zaheeruddin Ali Khan 

Mansi (9818809018)

President Obama is hitting the campaign trail.

on April 26, 2012


Obama - Biden Naresh – Big news: In 10 days, President Obama is hitting the campaign trail.
On Saturday, May 5th, the President and First Lady Michelle Obama are holding the first two public rallies of the campaign in Columbus, Ohio, and Richmond, Virginia. He’ll speak about how far we’ve come, and lay out the very real stakes in this election: Are we going to continue to move forward, rebuilding an economy that’s meant to last, with a growing middle class and more Americans getting a fair shot? Or are we going to go back to the same failed policies that crashed our economy and left too many folks struggling to catch up? That’s the choice.
These kinds of events are one of the hallmarks of this organization. Millions of people first came to know and support candidate Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008 when they met him at rallies and town halls in their communities. We’re now entering the general election of his final campaign — this day should be something pretty special.
The President would like two supporters from across the country and their guests to meet him backstage before he goes on at the first rally. Supporters like you are the core of this campaign — so we’re opening this up to anyone willing to sign up.
Right now, by signing up to receive important campaign updates on your phone, you will be automatically entered to join the President backstage.
What we’re looking at right now is essentially the start of a general election. We’ve all but got our opponent. This is what we’ve been building for since we launched this campaign last April — and we’re ready to go.
I can tell you the President can’t wait to get out there.
You really can’t lose on this one: As part of our mobile community, you’ll be sure to hear about events near you, when the President will be in your area, and other campaign news.
And signing up right now just might land you the chance to meet President Obama backstage before he starts firing folks up.
Want to be there with him? Sign up for text updates — and be automatically entered for you and a guest to meet him backstage:
Jim Messina
Campaign Manager
Obama for America
P.S. — Even if you can’t be there, you’ll still be able see the first rally for yourself. We’ll be streaming the event live on our site. Stay tuned for more information about that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

SonaPapers unveils the new “Natural Evolution”

The finest paper from the stable of Cordenons, now available with enhanced features
New Delhi, April 25th, 2012: Sona Commercial Pvt. Ltd. (SCPL) today, unveiled the new “Natural Evolution”, swatch book by H.E. GiacomoSanfelice di Monteforte, Ambassador of Italy to India, and eminent photographer & photo journalist, Padamshri Mr. Raghu Rai, at an event organized in New Delhi.
Natural Evolution is a premium superfine paper produced from one of the most respected mills in the world, GruppoCordenons, SpA, Italy. In India, this paper is solely distributed and marketed by Sona Commercial Pvt Ltd., India’s first multisite FSC Certified Paper Company.
On this occasion Mr. Sanjay Suneja, Managing Director, SCPL, said:“It is a matter of great pride for us to bring this quality paper to India. We are proud of our association with Cordenons, a brand of great repute and synonymous with quality and luxury in paper all across the globe.” Further he shares “Natural Evolution is one of the flagship brand and most sold items from the house of sona.”
Also present on the occasion, Mr. Philippe Virey ofGruppoCordenonsSpA, Italy, commented “At Cordenons, we believe in innovation and quality, and that is what distinguishes us from the others. Today world over, we are proud to list some of the most prestigious luxury brands as regular users of this paper for their brochures, packaging or corporate communications, such as DOLCE & GABBANA, CARTIER, LOUIS VUITTON, HERMES, SALVATORE FERRAGAMO, L’OCCITANE en Provence, BURBERRY’S, ROLEX” He continues “Gruppo Cordenons is proud of the collaboration with Sona for Indian sub-continent market.”
In India, NaturalEvolution is behind several prestigious jobs done on paper, like, Kingfisher’s Annual Calendar, Mercedes Corporate Brochure, Save the Tigers Campaign Calendar, ICC Word Cup Brochure, M F Hussain Coffee Table book, World famous Nobel prize winner RabindraNath Tagore’sChitravali,and many other prominent jobs of Designer JJ Valaya, Citi Bank, Cairn India, DLF, Unitech to name a few.
Since the introduction of this paper in the Indian market, it has made its own niche and is synonymous with fine paper. Natural Evolution is today the first preference by designers, printers and corporates because of its unique feel, texture quality and high printability. Natural Evolution is ideal for Greeting cards, Invitations, Catalogues, Calendars, Covers, Editions, Trade collaterals, Packaging, Annual reports, Monographs, Display boxes and others.
The new Natural Evolution is now available in India in wider variety and with enhanced coating, which is a result of years of innovation and R & D by Cordenons. Natural Evolution has been geared up for the next generation, reinforcing its top values, such as tremendous bulk, best printability, outcasting texture, top creasing perfomance.
About SCPL :Sona Commercial Pvt Ltd is the market leader deals into fine paper, recycled paper and dry grey boards, with an annual turnover of 150 cr. Established in 1966, Sona has been the name of high repute for introducing new and innovative range of specialty papers to its customer. Sona is sole distributor and has exclusive marketing rights of world’s finest paper in India & overseas market, in association with world’s leading paper mills likeGruppoCordenonssuper premium fine papers from Italy, Lenzing100% recycled paper from Austria, Montblanc bulk fine paper from Hansol, Korea & Won Wong grey dry board from Korea.
About Cordenons: GruppoCordenons, owned and managedby the Gilberti family for four generations, is the  Italian excellence in the manufacture of fine and technical paper, offering over 2,500 specialized products, for target and for application, to the international market, through a commercial presence in more than 80 countries in the world.
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Gruppo Cordenons is also one of the most ancient and loyal supplier to the Godrej Industries for more than 20 years.

“WASH in All Schools:


South Asia Regional Conference on “WASH in All Schools:

on April 25, 2012 “Wash in all Schools: Making it a Reality”
A four -day workshop is being organized from April 24 – 27, 2012, in Delhi. The conference inaugurated by Shri. Jairam Ramesh, Rural Development Minister  on April 25. The conference will bring together WASH-in-Schools practitioners from all the SARCC countries in South Asia, to discuss issues on WASH, create awareness and understanding of key approaches and lessons learnt. Using case studies from the field and ongoing research, participants will discuss how to most efficiently and effectively improve the use of safe and sustainable drinking water, clean sanitation facilities and hygiene in schools, while addressing the specific needs of children from all social and economic groups.School water supply, sanitation and hygiene education have a profound impact on the learning and health of children, especially for girls. It is directly related not only to physical, mental and social health, but ultimately to economic and political development.

 Despite progress in recent years resulting from the efforts of many stakeholders, including governments, development agencies and communities, too many schools still remain without safe drinking water, appropriate sanitation facilities and the hygiene education. Girls remain particularly vulnerable to dropping out of school partly because many are reluctant to continue their schooling when toilet and washing facilities are either not safe or not available at all.
 Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Rural Development created a collaborative attempt to provide a roadmap for creating a new culture of consciousness and promoting WASH in Schools as a critical component of institutional framework of schools. It provides an ideal platform for exchange of global and national perspectives of WASH in Schools and a stock-taking of the South Asia region, highlighting the growth, gains and gaps in these countries.
David McLoughlin UNICEF India Representative a.i., said this workshop comes at a crucial moment with the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of India to all State governments to provide water and toilet facilities in all schools. Also the Right to Education Act, 2010 demonstrates the strong commitment towards WASH in Schools to enable a clean and healthy learning environment for the children.
With the passing of the Right to Education Act (RTE) Act in 2009 and the recent Supreme Court Orderto all states to provide safe drinking water and separate toilet facilities for girls in all schools, India provides a very relevant context to understand the importance of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in Schools. The RTE provides the legal framework for quality education in India, and mandates minimum norms and standards of school WASH infrastructure.
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Instituto Cervantes :CULTURAL AGENDA APRIL 2012

Instituto Cervantes :CULTURAL AGENDA APRIL 2012

Descripción: Logo Cervantes Nueva Delhi Web (blanco sobre rojo)AGENDA CULTURAL ABRIL 2012
Entrada gratuita
Free admission
Domingo 6 / Sunday , the 6th (4:30 PM)
Proyección: “El regreso”
Film screening: “The return”
Por / by: Hernán Jiménez
Dirección/ Direction: Hernán Jiménez
Duración/ Duration: 95 min.
Idioma / Language: Español / Spanish
Subtítulos / Subtitles: Inglés / English
Costa Rica, 2011
El regreso cuenta la historia de Antonio, un joven que vuelve a Costa Rica luego de una década de vivir en el extranjero. El viaje es un encuentro frontal con el subdesarrollo, la delincuencia, calles que no recuerda, amigos que no reconoce y una familia en crisis. A través de duras e inesperadas lecciones, Antonio deberá enfrentar un oscuro pasado para abrirle las puertas a todo lo que el presente le ofrece.
After a decade of living in New York City, 30-year-old Antonio returns to his native Costa Rica for a short visit. Forced to stay much longer than expected, he is confronted with everything he has desperately struggled to put in the past: a broken family, an ailing father, a violent country and long lost friends. Unable to run away as usual, Antonio must come to terms with his past in order to take hold of the present and build a better future.
Domingo 13 / Sunday 13th (4:30 pm)
Proyección: “El camino”
Film screening: “The path”
Por /by: Ishtar Yasin
Dirección/ Direction: Ishtar Yasin.
Duración/ Duration: 90 min.
Idioma / Language: Español / Spanish
Subtítulos / Subtitles: Inglés / English
Costa Rica, 2008
Saslaya, una niña de 12 años, escapa de su Nicaragua natal junto a su pequeño hermano Darío, en busca de la madre que emigró hace ya ocho años al vecino país, Costa Rica.
Saslaya and Dario's mother placed her children in the care of their grandparents in Nicaragua, and departed for Costa Rica in search of work. Frustrated by working in the garbage dumps after school and determined never again to be called into her grandfather's hammock at night, a now twelve year-old Saslaya runs away with her brother on a mission to find their mother in Costa Rica. 
Domingo 20 / Sunday 20th (4:30 pm)
Proyección: “A ojos cerrados”
Film screening: “Closed Eyes”
Por /by: Hernán Jiménez

Dirección/ Direction: Hernán Jiménez
Duración/ Duration: 65 min.
Idioma / Language: Español / Spanish
Subtítulos / Subtitles: Inglés / English
Costa Rica, 2010

¿Alguna vez ha conocido una de esas parejas de viejitos que no viven el uno sin el otro? ¿De esos que se adoran entre peleas y reclamos? Ellos son Gabo y Maga. Su nieta Delia creció con ellos, y juntos forman una familia de tres amigos inseparables que además la pasan bien. Cuando la abuela muere repentina e inesperadamente, Gabo y Delia se sumen en una soledad absoluta, donde sólo queda cerrar los ojos e inventarse una nueva realidad. Ahora, nieta y abuelo, emprenderán un viaje hacia lo desconocido, donde buscarán y reinventarán su amistad.
They are Gabo and Maga are one of those marriages who cannot live without each other. Their granddaughter Delia grew up with them, and all together became an inseparable family. When the grandmother suddenly dies, Gabo and Delia are drowned in an absolute solitude, where all that’s left is close their eyes and imagine a new reality. Now, granddaughter and grandfather will start a journey together towards the unknown, where they will reinforce their friendship.
Domingo 27 / Sunday 27th (4:30 pm)
Proyección: “Gestación”
Film screening: “Gestation”
Por /by: Esteban Ramírez
Dirección/ Direction: Esteban Ramírez
Duración/ Duration: 91 min.
Idioma / Language: Español / Spanish
Subtítulos / Subtitles: Inglés / English
Costa Rica, 2009
Jessie, una linda e inteligente muchacha de un barrio humilde, hija de una devota madre soltera, disfruta de una beca en un colegio católico conservador. Teo, un adolescente cariñoso e inmaduro, hijo único de una profesional severa, se mueve en ambientes de clase media alta. Un encuentro azaroso los lanzará al torbellino de su primer amor que, repentinamente, es puesto a prueba.
Jessie is a happy, pretty girl living in a modest part of San José, Costa Rica. The daughter of a religious single mother, she attends a private Catholic school on a scholarship. Teo is a charismatic, mischievous only-child living in an upper middle class area with his strict mother. One mistake will put both Jessie and Teo's lives and love to test in a story based on true events.
Martes 15 / Tuesday 15th (6:30 pm)
Martes de poesía: “Mujeres poetas: un recorrido por la poesía escrita por mujeres del mundo hispánico”
Tuesdays of poetry: “Poet women: a trip through poetry written by Spanish women”
Por / by: Vijaya Venkataraman - Teresa Simón Cabodevilla
En este martes de poesía, nos reuniremos para hacer un recorrido por los temas que aparecen en la poesía escrita por mujeres en España e Hispanoamérica leyendo sus poemas más representativos. Respondiendo a las preguntas: ¿Cuáles son las estrategias utilizadas por las poetas para apropiarse de su voz? ¿Cómo se lucha contra el estereotipo del eterno femenino? ¿Cómo las poetas consiguen pasar de ser objeto a sujeto literario? haremos este recorrido a través de ciertos temas que la han ayudado a reconocerse como por ejemplo: la glorificación del cuerpo y sus rasgos específicamente femeninos, la reflexión ante el espejo, la asunción de un rol activo en el erotismo, el compromiso ante su sociedad, etc.
Vijaya Venkataraman: es profesora de español en Delhi University desde hace más de 20 años. Es doctora por la Universidad Jawaharlal Nehru con una tesis sobre el escritor paraguayo Augusto Roa Bastos. Ha publicado dos libros relacionados con la didáctica Teach yourself Spanish de Sterling Publications en 1999 y un libro de lecturas graduadas de la serie de Edinumen “gominola” titulado Aquí hay gato encerrado (2004). Su traducción al hindi de la novela Mirall trencat de Mercé Rodoreda fue publicada en 2007. Ha recibido numerosos premios por sus cuentos tanto en español como en inglés.
Teresa Simón Cabodevilla: es licenciada en Filología Hispánica en Salamanca y Máster en ELE en Madrid, ha sido durante tres años profesora en la Universidad de Jordania (Ammán) y profesora colaboradora en el Instituto Cervantes de Ammán donde ha impartido además de clases de español, cursos especiales de literatura española e hispanoamericana. Ha publicado diversas actividades sobre cómo utilizar textos literarios en clase de ELE para Didactired. Actualmente trabaja en Delhi University donde enseña sus asignaturas preferidas relacionadas con la literatura española e hispanoamericana.
We are meeting this poetry Tuesday to explore the topics of the poetry written by women in Spain and Latin-America by reading their most representative poems. Answering the questions: ¿Which are the strategies used by women poets for getting their name recognized? ¿How did they fight against the eternal feminine cliché? ¿How did those poets pass from object to subject of literature? We will make this trip through some topics that helped to recognize, for example: the glorification of the feminine body and its features, the mirror’s reflection, the assumption of an active role in erotism, the commitment with society, etc.
Viyaja Venkataraman: has been teaching Spanish language at Delhi University for over 20 years. She got her PhD by Jawaharlal Nehru University with a thesis about the Paraguayan writer Augusto Roa Bastos. She has published two books about self learning, “Teach Yourself Spanish”, Sterling Publications, 1999, and a book for graduated readings of the Edinumen “gominola” series called “Aquí hay gato encerrado” (2004). She translated “Broken Mirror” from Mercé Rodoreda and published it in 2007. She has been awarded for her translations of English and Spanish tales.  
Teresa Simón Cabodevilla: graduated in Spanish Philology at the University of Salamanca, and in ELE (Teaching Spanish as a foreign language) Master at Madrid University. For three years she has been professor at University of Jordan (Ammán) and teacher at Instituto Cervantes of Ammán where she has given lessons of Spanish and special courses of Spanish and Hispano-American literature. She has published different activities about how to use literary texts in class when teaching Spanish for foreigner students. She is currently working at Delhi University teaching Spanish and Hispano-American literature.
Jueves 24 / Thursday 24th (6:30 pm)
El maestro español de Tagore
The Spanish master of Tagore
Por / by: Jordi Gispert
En esta conferencia se dará a conocer la figura del maestro español que tuvo Tagore en su periodo de formación y como este influyó en su trayectoria posterior.
Jordi Gispert es un Jesuita catalán que llegó a la India con 20 años para sus estudios eclesiásticos. Allí descubrió y se sumergió en la religión hindú y budista, que estudió paralelamente al cristianismo. Actualmente ejerce de profesor mientras prosigue con sus estudios.
During this conference we will know the figure of the Spanish master of Tagore during their formation period and how did he influenced in its future trajectory.
Jordi Gispert is a Catalan Jesuit who came to India in his twenties for his ecclesiastic Studies. In this country he discovered and studied Hinduism and Buddhism along with his studies in Christianism. Nowadays he is a professor while he keeps on doing research.
Hasta el Domingo 13 / Until Sunday 13th (Ma – Do / Tue – Sun 11am a/to 7pm)
Exposición: “13 ciudades patrimonio de todos”
Exhibition: “13 cities, patrimony of all”
Por / by: José Manuel Navia
Ésta exposición destaca el valor único y excepcional de 13 ciudades a través de un recorrido fotográfico de la mano de Navia, uno de los fotógrafos más importantes de nuestro panorama. En sus imágenes, Navia ha sabido aunar el valor histórico y contemporáneo de las ciudades míticas españolas; y dotar a lo documental, una sensibilidad artística. Ciudades vividas y ciudades soñadas que se abren al visitante para descubrir sus secretos y revelar sus grandezas. Alcalá de Henares, Ávila, Cáceres, Córdoba, Cuenca, Ibiza, Mérida, Salamanca, San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Santiago de Compostela, Segovia, Tarragona y Toledo.
Biografía: Jose Manuel Navia (Madrid, 1957). Licenciado en filosofía, es un fotógrafo que evoluciona desde su trabajo como reportero hacia una fotografía más personal y demorada al que, además, le obsesiona la capacidad de la fotografía para sugerir historias, y su relación con la literatura. Colaborador en los más destacados medios de prensa, es miembro de la agencia Vu (París) desde 1996. Ha publicado en diferentes colecciones, siendo sus libros y exposiciones los que dan cuenta de sus imágenes.
The exhibition highlights the unique and exceptional value of 13 cities trough the pictures of Navia, one of the most important photographers in the Spanish outlook. In his pictures, Navia has known how to unite the historical and contemporary value of the mystic Spanish cities. He has known how to provide his documentary with artistic sensitivity. Lived cities and dreamed cities are waiting for a visitor to discover their secrets and reveal their attributes. Alcalá de Henares, Ávila, Cáceres, Córdoba, Cuenca, Ibiza, Mérida, Salamanca, San Cristóbal de la Laguna, Santiago de Compostela, Segovia, Tarragona and Toledo.
Biography: Jose Manuel Navia (Madrid, 1957). Qualified with a Degree in philosophy, is a photographer who evolves from his work as a reporter to a more personal and delayed picture, haunted by the ability of photography to suggest stories, and their relationship to literature. Collaborator in the leading mass media is a member of the Vu agency (Paris) since 1996. He has published in various collections.

Jueves 31 / Thursday 31th (7 pm)
Lectura dramatizada: “La venta” de Lluïsa Cunillé  
Dramatized reading: “The Sale” from Lluïsa Cunillé
Por / by: Sukesh Arora
Black BeachTres personas en crisis se encuentran en un piso vacío. La obra trata sobre la necesidad personal y la desconexión. Los personajes sólo se encuentran e interactúan debido a una transacción económica. Son seres esencialmente solitarios, de alguna forma perdidos en el mundo moderno, buscando una mano amiga a la que sostenerse pero sin esperanzas de encontrarla.
Lluïsa Cunillé (Barcelona, 1961) estudió dramaturgia textual con José Sanchis Sinisterra en la Sala Beckett, Barcelona, antes de co-fundar en 1995 la Companyia Hongaresa de Teatre (Compañía Húngara de Teatro). Escribe en catalán y en español y su trabajo ha sido traducido al francés, italiano e inglés.
Three characters in crisis meet in an empty flat. The play is about personal need and disconnection. The characters only meet and relate due to an economic transaction. They are essentially solitary being, somewhat adrift in the modern world, wanting a hand to hold but with little hope of finding one.
Lluïsa Cunillé (Barcelona, 19621) studied textual dramaturgy with José Sanchis Sinisterra at the Sala Beckett, Barcelona, before co-founding in 1995 the Companyia Hongaresa de Teatre (Hungarian Theatre Company). She writes in catalan and Spanish and her work has been translated into French, Italian and English.
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Instituto Cervantes
48, Hanuman Road
New Delhi – 110 001

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