Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Suu Kyi meets Park Geun-hye on trip to South Korea.

South Korea’s designated and incoming president Park Geun-hye and Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi have held their first meeting.
Two met in Seoul on Tuesday, one day after the Nobel peace laureate arrived on a five-day visit, her first trip to South Korea.
At the meeting, Park praised Aung San Suu Kyi for her dedication and sacrifice in bringing democracy to her country.
Park expressed her sympathy for the difficulties Aung San Suu Kyi underwent. She said she understands the meaning of giving up personal happiness and living for the sake of the nation.
In response, Aung San Suu Kyi said she hopes the democratic progress in Myanmar will lead to peace and prosperity not only in her country but around the world.
Both Park and Aung San Suu Kyi have become leading political figures in Asia. Both of their fathers met with violent deaths. Aung San Suu Kyi’s father General Aung San was killed by assassins in 1947, while Park’s father was killed by his intelligence chief in 1979.
Park will be inaugurated as South Korea’s first female president on February 25th.
Aung San Suu Kyi was freed in 2010 after spending more than a decade under house arrest. She was elected to Myanmar’s parliament last year as head of the country’s largest opposition party, the National League for Democracy.
The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate will be given a human rights award in the city of Gwangju on Thursday.
She won the award in 2004 but could not receive it as she was under house arrest.NHK inputs

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Delhi Darts buoyed by Rahil Gangjee, Edfors and Scott Barr
New Delhi, January 28: Delhi Darts will be buoyed by the resurgence of Rahil Gangjee, who will lead their challenge in the Pearls Golf Premier League, which tees off at the Aamby Valley Golf Course from February 8. The three-day event will be preceded by a star-studded Pro-Am.
Gangjee, who returned from Hua Hin, Thailand, where he regained his Asian Tour card at the Asian Tour Qualifying School, is excited about the new concept of a Golf Premier League.
“It is totally new in golf and to have such an event on the lines of the successful IPL in cricket is great. I am looking forward to the event, where our team Delhi Darts will include the flamboyant and long-hitting Johan Edfors, Scott Barr of Australia and the hugely talented Ajeetesh Sandhu, who won his maiden pro title late last year,” said Gangjee.
He added, “We have Ajai Gupta as our coach and that should help even more. He is also my coach, so I expect to benefit a lot from there.
Gangjee, opens his season at the Gujarat Kensville Challenge, following which he will proceed to Aamby valley for the path-breaking event.
Gangjee spent the last two years playing in the United States on the Web,com Tour, where he missed keeping his card this year. He said “I am hoping events like Pearls GPL and then a spate of Asian Tour events in India will help me find my rhythm again and get back to higher Tours. I was runner-up at Kensville last year and am looking at improving on that this time.”
The eight-team Pearls GPL will 32 leading players representing various teams for a prize pool of $ 400,000. The players were picked at the auction held in Mumbai earlier this month.
The field will include five Major winners, who between them have six Majors. The Major champions who will assemble at Aamby Valley will include Angel Cabrera, the 2007 US Open winner and 2009 Masters Champion, Darren Clarke, the 2011 British Open winner, Rich Beem, the 2002 PGA winner, Shaun Micheel, the 2003 PGA winner and Michael Campbell, the 2005 US Open winner.
The eight teams and the players are as follows:
Shubhkamna Eagles: Anirban Lahiri, Daniel Chopra (Sweden), Michael Campbell (New Zealand), Shamim Khan
Delhi Darts:  Rahil Gangjee, Scott Barr (Australia), Johan Edfors (Sweden), Ajeetesh Sandhu,
Maharashtra 59’ers:  Shiv Kapur, Scott Hend (Australia), Angel Cabrera (Argentina), Ashok Kumar
Punjab Lancers: Gaganjeet Bhullar, Thaworn Wiratchant (Thailand), Shaun Micheel (US), Rashid Khan
Gujarat Underdawgs: Digvijay Singh, Jarmo Sandelin (Sweden), David Howell (England), Gaurav Ghei
Uttarakhand Lions: Shankar Das, Chapchai Nirat (Thailand), Darren Clarke (N Ireland), Mukesh Kumar
Colombo 6’s: Chiragh Kumar, Jason Knutzon (Australia), Simon Dyson (England), Mithun Perera (Sri Lanka)
Tamilnadu Pullees:
Himmat Rai, Siddikur (Bangladesh), Rich Beem (US), Harendra Gupta

IAAPI ALL SET TO HOST 13TH AMUSEMENT EXPO IN PRAGATI MAIDAN


Image
IAAPI all set to host 13th Amusement Expo in Pragati Maidan

Mega leisure-entertainment industry event to showcase the best & the latest

 New Delhi, 28th January, 2013: Amusement parks and Family Entertainment Centres (FEC) are a sunrise sector in India. There are 100 amusement parks and the same number of FECⳠin India and the number is likely to increase more than five times in the next decade.

Keeping in sync with the growth dynamics of this sector, Indian Association of Amusement Parks and Industries (IAAPI) a 260 member association is hosting its 13th Amusement Expo in DelhiⳠPragati Maidan from January 29th to 31st.

IAAPI is an apex, non-profitable organization established in January, 1999. Their members comprise of amusement park operators, manufacturers, importers, traders, suppliers, distributors and other affiliated sectors of the amusement and leisure industry.

“Our members vary from manufacturers to operators and suppliers of amusement related equipment. We also assist new entrants in sourcing technical knowhow in setting up their own amusement parks,⒠says Yogesh Dange, 1st Vice President IAAPI.

There is need to tap foreign visitors who at present comprise only 2 to 3 per cent of visitors of these parks in India. Compared to this around 59 per cent foreign visitors visit amusement parks in countries like US, Singapore and Australia.

A sure way of increasing footfalls in these parks is through publicity both done by the private sector and also through the government.

“Over a decade back when Anant Kumar was the tourism minister, he had said that there was a need to introduce information about amusement parks in their tourism brochures,⒠says Santokh Chawla, President IAAPI.

Entertainment tax levied on some of these parks acts as a deterrent in growth of business, this should be rationalized. Some states in a bid to give a boost to this segment have exempted these parks from paying entertainment tax.

“IndiaⳊfirst amusement park was Appu Ghar in Delhi which was set up during the Asian Games in 1982 in Pragati Maidan. Since it was the only of its kind, people visiting Delhi would make it a point to visit this place. Now with technological advancement the amusement parks are much more sophisticated and of international standards across the country. As a result there is a steady increase in the number of visitors in these parks,⒠says Ajay Sarin, Chairman Trade Show.

The cost of investment in an amusement park ranges from Rs 3 crore to over Rs 40 crore. The break-even period varies from 2 years to 5 years. The highest earnings come from tickets, followed by food and beverage sales and the last is merchandising.

IAAPI had commissioned Ernst and Young to conduct a study on this segment. According to the report, the amusement industry in India is worth over Rs 2,750 crore at present and is expected to reach Rs 5,400 crore by 2020.

The study further points out,“apart from providing entertainment, the growth of parks will act as a stimulus for the development of ancillary industries by building a social infrastructure within suburban and rural areas where these parks are generally located. Amusement parks are also known to create opportunities and generate employment in related sectors including raw material and equipment manufacturers, suppliers, transporters etc.Ⓖ/span>

“The upcoming Expo is expected to give a boost to this sector in India which is growing at a rate of 15 to 20 per cent. The Expo will have participants from across the globe including countries like Argentina, Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, UAE, UK and USA. Out of the total 120 exhibitors there are 30 international equipment manufacturers taking part in the Expo,⒠says Dange.

This Expo will primarily be a B2B event wherein visitors would include architects, builders, developers, consultants, engineering firms, hoteliers, government officials, park operators and resort owners.

IAAPI will also organize training programmes and conferences during the course of the three days of the Expo.

“The amusement industry has huge potential and we have seen only increase in the footfalls over last couple of years which indicates that more number of people are looking for wholesome family entertainment destinations and amusement parks provide that opportunity where a family can spend quality time together,⒠says Dange.

For further information contact

Yeshi Seli, Head, Wular Media Strategy Consultants (M) 9811153128༯span>wularmedia@gmail.com,༯span>yeshiseli@gmail.com

Vipin Labroo (M) 9873981975༯span>labroovipin@gmail.com

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tourism Minister to Visit Spain
Union Minister for Tourism Shri K Chiranjeevi will be on an official visit to Spain from 29 January to February 3.

During his visit the Minister will inaugurate India Tourism Pavilion in FITUR and will hold discussions with Spanish Tourism Minister Mr. Jose Manuel Soria Lopez on cooperation in the tourism sector.

On the sidelines of this visit Shri Chiranjeevi will be meeting Mr. Artur Mas, President of Catalonia province. On 31st January, Tourism Minister will be meeting Mr Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of UNWTO.

India and Spain share similarities in their tourism products with both the countries being looked upon as cultural destinations. Both the conutries endeavour to develop common approaches to address new and emerging challenges in tourism sector.

In 2009, India signed an MoU with Spain in the field of tourism, which provides a roadmap for cooperation in a number of tourism related areas. India is also exploring the possibility of hosting 1st Joint working group meeting on tourism cooperation between India and Spain at a mutually agreeable date and venue.
Anand Sharma Launches eBiz Portal
Portal to Provide Secure one Stop Shop for all Investment and Business Related Information and Services 24X7
The Union Minister for Commerce, Industry & Textiles Shri Anand Sharma launched an eBiz portal at the CII Partnership Summit in Agra today. The portal is India’s Government-to-Business (G2B) portal developed by Infosys in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Model. “This Mission Mode Project will mark a paradigm shift in the Government’s approach to providing Government-to-Business (G2B) services for India’s investor and business communities,” said Shri Sharma while launching the portal.

In order to enable businesses and investors to save time and costs and in order to improve the business environment in the country, an online single window was conceptualised in the form of the eBiz Mission Mode Project under the National eGovernance Plan. Shri Sharma said that the “project aims to create a business and investor friendly ecosystem in India by making all business and investment related regulatory services across Central, State and local governments available on a single portal, thereby obviating the need for an investor or a business to visit multiple offices or a plethora of websites.”

Shri Sharma further said that the core value of the transformational project lies in a shift in the Governments’ service delivery approach from being department-centric to customer-centric. “eBiz will create a 24x7 facility for information and services and will also offer joined-up services where a single application submitted by a customer, for a number of permissions, clearances, approvals and registrations, will be routed automatically across multiple governmental agencies in a logical manner.” “An inbuilt payment gateway will also add value by allowing all payments to be collected at one point and then apportioned, split and routed to the respective heads of account of Central / State / Para-statal agencies along with generation of challans and MIS reports. This payment gateway is the first of its kind designed in India and can become a universal payment gateway for all eGovernance applications,” added Shri Sharma.

The Department of Industrial Promotion & Policy, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, is the Nodal Government Agency responsible for the implementation of the eBiz Project. Infosys Technologies Ltd. has been selected as the Concessionaire/ Project Implementation Partner and is responsible for the design, development, implementation and maintenance of the eBiz Solution.

Shri Sharma said that the government is “firmly committed to wide-ranging initiatives aimed at fostering the business environment in the country in a holistic manner. Our approach includes leveraging technology to bring transparency, improve efficiency and promote convenience. eBiz is an important step in this direction and we are pleased to work in partnership with Infosys on this project, which we hope will become a benchmark for successful Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the country.”

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Saurabh Chandra, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry observed that “the eBiz Project is the first of its kind ever implemented in the country. It marks the highest level of maturity in web-based eGovernance applications as it strives to achieve horizontal integration across various verticals of Central government, State governments and Para-statal agencies”.

The first phase of the project, which was being launched today, provides an interactive tool that helps investors assess the Licenses and Permits requirements while setting up and operating a business in India. The License & Permit Information wizard will provide authentic information 24X7 to investors and businesses by providing answers to questions in an interview style format

REJECT ENVIRONMENT CLEARANCE FOR LUHRI HEP: 
Over 50 groups wrtie to MoEF

Over 50 groups individual and groups from all over have written to the Union Minister of state of Environment and Forests Smt Jayanthi Natarajan, Secertary MoEF and members of the Expert Appraisal Committee on River Valley Projects, urging them to reject the Environment Clearance for the 775 MW Luhri hydropower project on Sutlej river in Himachal Pradesh. The letter has been endorsed by over 50 individuals and groups from 15 states all over India, including prominent organisations like the Kalpavriksh, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Kerala Sasthra Sahitya Parishad, Bharat Jan Andolan, National Alliance of People's Movements, All India Forum of Forest People, People's Science Institute, Save Rivers Campaign of Uttarakhand, Matu Jan Sangathan, River Research Centre, River Basin Organisation, People's Union of Democratic Rights, Socialist Party, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha, Nature Conservation Foundation and ATREE. The letter has been endorsed by two of the former secretaries of Govt of India, a former ambassador, well known columnist, environmentalists, among others. 

The Luhri project will have the world's longest tunnel (38.14 km), bypassing last 50 km stretch of flowing Sutlej river, in addition to submerging 6.8 km of the river in the reservoir. This is the last stretch of the mighty Sutlej river that is still flowing, in an otherwise over developed river basin. Forgetting its own norms the Expert Appraisal Committee on RVP did not even note that there is zero distance of flowing river between upstream Rampur and Luhri upstream of the project. Similarly there is zero distance of flowing river between downstream Kol dam and Lurhi project, downstream of the project. This is against the recommendation of at least 5 km of flowing river between any two projects by the Himachal High Court appointed committee headed by former additional Chief Secretary of Himachal Pradesh Avay Shukla. Even the EAC has been following the norm of 1 km between two projects, which is highly inadequate, but the EAC has not followed it in this case, the letter says. 

The letter notes that the overdeveloped Sutlej river basin does not have any credible cumulative impact assessment including carrying capacity of the basin from various aspects. Without such an assessment, it is not even possible to know if the large number of projects in the basin are viable or sustainable, as even directed by the Supreme Court in its 2006 order. The project has seen violations of several norms from the stage when it applied for the Terms of Reference in 2007 to when the Expert Appraisal Committee recommended clearance to the project in Nov 2012, the letter highlights. 

Another letter, endorsed by the same groups, on similar lines have been sent to the EAC, asking it to reconsider its decision on the project. The Environment Impact Assessment of the project has been so shoddy that even the EAC noted it is meeting that the EIA is inadequate and the EIA consultant has submitted poor quality material. The letter notes that in spite of this and even as the public hearings of the report had seen numerous violations and the government officials have been manipulating processes to bring pressure on the gram sabhas to give their consent for the project, the EAC recommended clearance to the project without resolving the issues raised by the EAC. This is completely against people, environment and legal norms and the EAC should immediately review the decision and reject the environment clearance to the project. 

The letter and the annexures send to the MoEF and EAC are attached. 

Himanshu Thakkar 
For SANDRP

Nehru Memorial Museum and Library
cordially invites you to

the Seminar
(in the series ‘India and the wider World’)

Title : ‘Making sense of cross-border migrations in South Asia’

Speaker : Prof. Partha Ghosh, Senior Fellow, NMML.

Date : Tuesday,  29 January 2013 
          
Time : 3:00 p.m

Venue : Seminar Room, First Floor, Library Building, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Teen Murti House, New Delhi.  

(Please find the abstract of the lecture attached)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bhutan King chief guest at Republic Day parade

Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was the Chief Guest at the 64th Republic Day Celebrations in New Delhi on Saturday becoming the third emperor from the tiny kingdom to grace the event, signifying the importance that India attaches to its neighbour.

The Oxford-educated 32-year-old Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema, who did her schooling in Himachal Pradesh, are visiting India for the second time in the past two years.
The young king, who is known for inviting his subjects for tea at his palace in the picturesque Bhutanese capital of Thimphu, shares the honour of being the Chief Guest with his father Jigme Singye Wangchuck and grandfather Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.
While Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who abdicated the throne in 2006 in favour of his son, had the honour of being the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations twice in 1984 and 2005, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck received the honour in 1954.
Wangchuck came to Rajpath along with President Pranab Mukherjee escorted by horse-mounted presidential bodyguards.
The King, who married his girlfriend Pema in October 2011, was received by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the VVIP enclosure at the Rajpath following which he greeted him with a "Namaste".
Wangchuck, who attended the National Defence College in the capital, is well-versed with Hindi and is adored by his subjects for his simplistic nature.
DIE GALERIE participates for the 3rd time in INDIA ART FAIR
 
 
Following an exciting beginning of the new year 2013 that included the opening of the exhibition Igor Mitoraj – Sculptures at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany, DIE GALERIE is pleased to announce its soon participation for the 3rd time in the INDIA ART FAIR, the major art fair in New Delhi.
 
INDIA ART FAIR 2013 runs from January 31 (Press and VIP Preview) – February 3, 2013, at NSIC Exhibition Grounds, which is located in Okhla Industrial Estate, New Delhi. It will be a great honor for gallery owner Peter Femfert and his staff to welcome you personally at INDIA ART FAIR at DIE GALERIE’s 96 sqm booth in the center of the first main hall, No. B5.
 
Surely, DIE GALERIE’s ambitious presentation of European Modern Art will immediately attract the visitor’s attention: The Indian art public can look forward to discovering a selection of fine art with rare original works by the most famous representatives of the 20th century: Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, André Masson and Salvador Dalí.
This presentation will be highlighting, for example, Picasso's small outstanding ink drawing Le Peintre et son Modèle, created in 1970.
 
Furthermore, DIE GALERIE is sparing no efforts and is shipping examples of beautiful bronzes by Igor Mitoraj to New Delhi. His art work is a poetic journey to the long-departed, ancient world of classical art. His sculptures are characterized by a perfectly proportioned physiognomy and are therefore reminiscent of the idealism of classicism. It is not surprising at all that Igor Mitoraj's sculptures, which are greatly admired in important exhibitions around the world, enjoy immense international demand and have found their way into numerous private and public collections.
 
In the field of Contemporary Art, DIE GALERIE will also be highlighting an internationally famous American artist: Sam Francis. Alongside his "debut" at the booth of DIE GALERIE, we will be showing paintings from internationally recognized positions in German Art, including pieces by the renowned artists Volker Stelzmann, Dietrich Klinge, Klaus Zylla and the upcoming Berlin artist Torsten Holtz. New surrealistic landscape paintings by the Spanish artist José Enguídanos as well as a selection of works by the Italian painter Claudio Massini, whose esthetical art has already aroused much fascination at India Art Fair 2012, will complete DIE GALERIE’s presentation.
 
Be welcome at DIE GALERIE at booth B5 !
 
For any inquiries or printable images please do contact gallery manager Ms. Maren Kirchhoff during the fair by mail to maren.kirchhoff@gmx.de or by phone  under +49 172 28 39 910.

 
 
Contact Details:
 
DIE GALERIE
c/o INDIA ART FAIR 2013, Booth No. B5
NSIC Exhibition Grounds
Okhla, Industrial Estate, New Delhi, India
go_goa logo2.jpg


Press Release                                                                          For immediate release


Come Together at the Goa Carnaval, Food & Cultural Festival 2013
Five-day extravaganza will kick-start on February 8, 2013

New Delhi, January 26: The Goa Carnaval, Food & Cultural Festival 2013, a grand celebration of its rich culture and heritage, will take place from 8th to 12th of February, 2013.

Designed to get people to ‘Come together’ for several days of music, dancing and other activities, this public party and float parade is expected to draw tourists from the country and all over the world.

In recognition of Goa’s diverse population including its vast tourist populace, the event promotes a message of tolerance, friendship and inclusiveness. The Opening Ceremony will kick off at D.B. Marg, Panaji on the 9th of February, 2013.

Goa Tourism has left no stone unturned to take the 2013 Carnaval experience to a heightened level of excitement and entertainment. The festival, as usual, will feature float parades in four cities i.e. Panaji, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa.

However, for the very first time, the Carnaval experience will include the Food & Cultural Festival which is envisaged over a period of 5 days, from the 8th to the 12th of February 2013 at the NIWS Grounds, Caranzalem, Panaji. It will offer visitors the opportunity to experience cuisine and culture in a positive way, through a unique blend of food, fun, local and national live music performances, fashion shows, and entertainment.

Visitors can expect live music from national level performers like Anushka  Manchanda, Parikrama, Remo and Indian Ocean spread across five days, as well as more than 70 stalls providing food, beverages and lifestyle products. The festival will also feature a line-up of famous local bands. A fashion show by ace designer Wendell Rodricks is touted to be one of the main highlights.
An element of competition has also been introduced with entries being invited for the King Momo Contest and the cooking competition. The cooking competition will take place at the NIWS Grounds during the Food & Cultural Festival.

To make the celebration more inclusive, the Carnaval experience will also comprise live musical performances featuring local bands at Colva and Mapusa from the 9th  to the 12th of February, 2013.

The event management agency entrusted with the responsibilities for conducting the 5-day fiesta of fun, food and frolic is M/s Vinsan Graphics, an agency based in Goa with branches in Mumbai and Delhi.

Commenting on the Goa Carnaval, Food & Cultural Festival, a spokesperson from Goa Tourism said, "We strongly urge people to join the festivities and come out in large numbers to participate. We are reviving the yesteryears fervor of the Carnaval  with larger-than-life d飯r, mask installations and a Food & Cultural Festival – the biggest of its kind in Goa.”




For more details, contact:
Neelesh Jayant / Ramakrishna Prayag

Friday, January 25, 2013

Defence Minster Felicitates NCC Bravehearts 
Defence Minister Shri A K Antony has said that National Cadet Corps is doing a Yeoman Service to the Nation by transforming the ‘Youth of the Nation’, which has the largest and youngest population profile in the world. Addressing the NCC cadets here today during his visit to DG NCC Republic Day Camp-2013, he said that NCC has made an effective contribution in channelizing the energy of the youth into constructive activities through adventure and sports activities. In fact, adventure activities are one of the major attractions for students joining NCC. 

Shri Antony also complimented the Cadets for their superlative performance at Guard of Honour, Band Display and Cultural programme. He also mentioned that NCC in itself is an Institution dedicated to create `Leaders of Tomorrow`, encouraging them to discover their true calling, honing their abilities to pursue their dreams and foray into the world as empowered, responsible and true citizen. By consistent training effort of NCC, a New Order is emerging ready to don the mantle of the country`s leadership besides immensely contributing towards Nation Building. 

Earlier Shri Antony conferred RakshaMantriPadak and Commendations to select NCC Cadets for their exemplary courage and devotion to duty in an impressive `Investiture Ceremony` held at the Camp.Cadets HemrajGurjar and Cadet ShahidaTeli of Rajasthan Directorate were awarded the RakshaMantriPadak for their extraordinary performance much beyond the call of duty, dedication, and display of great presence of mind coupled with exemplary courage and utter disregard to their personal safety in rescuing a lady drowning in JalMahal lake, at Jaipur, while they were attending Annual Training Camp during September last year. 

Senior Under Officer Baber Ali of Jammu & Kashmir Directorate was awarded RakshaMantri Commendation Card for selfless sacrifice and display of strong fortitude and resolute while encountering blizzards during NCC Mountaineering Expedition. Petty Officer Cadet Prasad Kumar Das of Odisha Directorate was awarded RakshaMantri Commendation Card for displaying indomitable spirit and extraordinary courage during rescue of a Boat Crew of a Boat that had capsized during Ocean Sailing Expedition in Feb 2012 at Paradip Beach. Senior Under Officer AngadSahlot of Delhi Directorate was also awarded RakshaMantri Commendation Card for his tenacious mental and physical fortitude, consistency, and outstanding performance at Equestrian sports by wining many laurels for the country during National and International Meets. 

The Investiture Ceremony was followed by enchanting, melodious rendition by Cadets Band of North Eastern Region and mixed band of Scindia School and Sainik School Kapurthala dressed in their vibrant multi coloured attire and lithe movements. Hon`bleRakshaMantri visited the `Flag Area` then, where he was briefed by Cadets on their respective colourful Tableaux of State contingents depicting various contemporary socio-economic themes elaborately illustrated and brilliantly displayed. 

Later Shri Antony was presented with an impressive Cultural programme showcasing the rich and diverse cultural heritage and National Integration. 

Arab Springs at World Economic Forum in Davos

At the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday with Jordan's King Abdullah II set to address global political and business leaders. The premiers of Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia and the Palestinian Territories will discuss transformations in Arab countries, while US Senator John McCain is taking part in a panel on the future of conflict-torn Syria.
Abdullah's speech comes after preliminary election results Thursday showed pro-regime loyalists and independent businessmen set to sweep a parliamentary vote in Jordan. The poll was touted as a focal point of pro-democracy moves by the king, but was shunned by Islamists who want wholesale reforms.
On Thursday, UN leader Ban Ki-moon used his trip to Davos to make a fresh appeal to members of the Security Council to overcome their divisions and find a solution to the civil war in Syria. Ban said it would be an "abdication" of the world body's responsibilities if it fails to unify over the crisis that has claimed more than 60,000 lives. "It will be essential for the Security Council to overcome the deadlock, and find the unity that will make meaningful action possible," Ban told the annual gathering of the global elite in a Swiss ski resort.
"The alternative -- letting the sides fight it out, resigning ourselves to Syria's destruction with all its regional implications -- is too costly and unacceptable," he added. "That would be an abdication of our collective responsibility to protect. The world, and above all the Security Council, must uphold its responsibilities."
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil also spoke Thursday of the need for his country to focus on its economy now that the political transition is moving forward two years after the fall of Hosni Mubarak. "Two years ago the Egyptian people stood against the tyrant of Egypt, and in only 18 days they put down Mubarak and his regime and started a new era," he told journalists. He said that following the election of a civilian president, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi, and a constitutional referendum Egypt would have parliamentary elections in two or three months. "After that we have completed or ended the transition with all the democratic institutions in place. On the other hand, we have to big time work on the economy," he said.
Europe has been at the heart of discussions in Davos this week, with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday insisting he was not turning his back on Europe after unveiling plans for a referendum on whether to continue Britain's membership in the EU.
European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi will address the forum Friday on "The Future of the Euro", while economists and business leaders will discuss ways to revive the global economy.

Oriental Bank of Commerce announced Q3 2012-13 Results

Oriental Bank of Commerce announce the Q3 Financial Results 2012 – 13 in New Delhi

 Oriental Bank of Commerce accompanied by EDs Mr V. Kannan & Mr Bhupinder Nayyar announcing the Q3 Financial Results 2012 – 13 in New Delhi. Also seen in the picture is Mr C. M. Khurana, CFO of the Bank.
HIGHLIGHTS OF FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR Q3 OF FY-2012-13
                                                                                                                                    (Rs. In Crore)
 
Q3
FY-2012-13
Q3
FY-2011-12
% Growth (YoY)
Nine Months ended 31.12.12
Nine Months ended 31.12.11
% Growth (YoY)
Operating Profit
926.38
827.08
12.01%
2744.16
2386.66
14.98%
Net Interest Income (NII)
1204.44
1139.89
5.66%
3487.39
3147.64
10.79%
Non Interest Income
377.80
295.27
27.95%
1193.00
896.50
33.07%
 
Dec,2012
Dec,2011
Growth (YoY)
Business Mix
2,92,118
2,66,892
9.45%
Total Deposits
1,68,492
1,56,194
7.87%
Total Advances
1,23,626
1,10,698
11.68%
Core Deposits
1,35,613
1,08,992
24.43%
Bulk Deposits
32,663
46,901
-30.36%
CASA Deposits
40,229
34,805
15.58%
CASA Deposits as percentage to Total Deposits
23.88%
22.28%
160 bps
Retail Advances
13,588
12,071
12.57%
CD Ratio
73.47%
 71.01%
246 bps
Yield on Advances (9 Months)
12.32%
12.09%
23 bps
Yield on Investments (9 Months)
7.43%
7.31%
12 bps
Book Value per Share (in Rs.)
401.72
356.54
12.67%
Earnings Per Share (in Rs.) -Annualised
46.61
40.07
16.32%
o   Total recovery (including upgradation) Rs.392.32 crore during Q3 of FY-2012-13.                   Total recovery (including upgradation) during Nine Months ended 31st December,2012 is Rs.1527.87 crore against Rs.1091.92 crore during Nine Months ended 31st December,2011.
o   Total restructured book of the Bank stood at Rs. 11,798 crore (addition of Rs. 741 crore during Q3) out of which aviation is Rs.1176 crore and Discoms Rs.4110 crore.
o   Capital Adequacy of the Bank is 12.25%(Tier I- 9.14%, Tier-II 3.11%)
o   69 New Branches opened during the current quarter and 11 extension counters have been upgraded.48 new ATMS installed during Q3. Total delivery channels of the Bank are 3283 (1930 Branches, 01 Extension Counter and 1352 ATMs). We look forward to open another 70 Branches in the next quarter to reach 2000 Branches by 31st March, 2013.
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FINANCIAL RESULTS FOR Q3 OF FY-2012-13
                                                                                         Amt.                            (YoY Growth)
Business Mix                          Rs. 2,92,100 crore     (9.45%)
Deposits                                    Rs. 1,68,500 crore     (7.87%)
Core Deposits                         Rs. 1,35,600 crore    (24.43%)
Advances                                 Rs. 1,23,600 crore    (11.68%)
Operating Profit (9 Months)   Rs. 2744 crore          (14.98%)
Net Profit (9 Months)              Rs. 1020 crore          (16.35%)
Book Value Per Share           Rs. 401.72
CD RATIO AT 73.47%
GROSS NPA AT 2.98%
NET NPA AT 2.14%
Performance Highlights for the Nine Months Ended 31st Dec,2012
Ø  Yield on Advances increased by 23 bps.
Ø  Non Interest Income increased by 33.07%
Ø  Net Interest Margin (NIM) stood at 2.84% (Q3).
Ø  CRAR of the Bank is at 12.25% under BASEL-II (Tier-I Capital: 9.14%;                Tier –II Capital: 3.11%).
Ø  Bulk Deposits reduced to Rs. 32,663 crore from Rs. 46,901 crore showing a reduction of 30.36% on YoY Basis.
Ø  Provision Coverage Ratio stood at 63.55%.
Ø  Total Delivery Channels: 3283 (1931 Branches/ECs plus 1352 ATMs).
PROFIT
Ø  Operating Profit of the Bank stood at Rs. 926.38 crore for Q3 of FY 2012-13 as compared to a profit of Rs. 827.08 crore for Q3 of FY 2011-12 showing an increase of Rs. 99.30 crore and 12.01% (YoY).
Ø  Operating Profit for Nine Months ended 31st December, 2012 stood at                            Rs. 2744.16 crore as compared to a profit of Rs. 2386.66 crore for Nine Months ended 31st December,2011, showing an increase of  Rs. 357.50 crore and          14.98% (YoY).
Ø  Net Profit of the Bank stood at Rs. 326.40 crore for Q3 of FY 2012-13.
Ø  Net Profit for Nine Months ended 31st December, 2012 stood at Rs. 1020.01 crore as compared to a profit of Rs. 876.66 crore for Nine Months ended                          31st  December,2011, showing an increase of Rs. 143.35 crore and 16.35% (YoY).
BUSINESS
Ø  Total Business of the Bank increased to Rs.2,92,118 crore as on                           31st December, 2012 from Rs. 2,66,892 crore as on 31st December, 2011, registering a YoY growth of 9.45 %.
Ø  Total Deposits increased to Rs. 1,68,492 crore as on 31st December, 2012 from                  Rs. 1,56,194 crore as on 31st December, 2011, registering a YoY growth of 7.87%.
Ø  Core Deposits increased to Rs. 1,35,613 crore as on 31st December, 2012 from                  Rs. 1,08,992 crore as on 31st December, 2011, registering a YoY growth of 24.43%.
Ø  Advances of the Bank increased to Rs. 1,23,626 crore as on 31st December, 2012 from Rs. 1,10,698 crore as on 31st December, 2011, registering a YoY growth of 11.68%.
Ø  CASA Deposit increased by Rs. 5424 crore to Rs. 40,229 crore as on                          31st  December, 2012 from Rs. 34,805 crore as on 31st  December, 2011, registering a YoY growth of 15.58%.
Ø  CASA Deposits to Total Deposits at 23.88%.
Ø  Credit Deposit Ratio at 73.47%.
INCOME
Ø  Non Interest Income during Q3 of FY 2012-13 increased by 27.95% to                        Rs. 378 crore from Rs. 295 crore in Q3 of FY 2011-12.
Ø  Non Interest Income during Nine Months ended 31st  December, 2012 increased by 33.07% to Rs. 1193 crore from Rs. 897 crore in Nine Months ended                                 31st December,2011 mainly due to recovery of Rs. 433.43 crore in Technical Write Off Accounts.
Ø  Total Income during Q3 of FY 2012-13 increased by 7.90% to Rs.4847 crore from Rs. 4492 crore in Q3 of FY 2011-12.
Ø  Total income during Nine Months ended 31st December, 2012 increased by          14.99% to Rs. 14,363 crore from Rs. 12,491 crore in Nine Months ended                   31st December, 2011.
Ø  Net Interest Income during Q3 of FY 2012-13 increased by 5.66% to                        Rs. 1204 crore from Rs.1140 crore in Q3 of FY 2011-12.
Ø  Net Interest Income during Nine Months ended 31st December,2012 increased by 10.79% to Rs. 3487 crore from Rs.3148 crore in Nine Months ended 31st December,2011.
IMPORTANT RATIOS
Ø  Gross NPA ratio stands at 2.98% as at 31st December, 2012 and Net NPA ratio at      2.14%.
Ø  Provision Coverage Ratio at 63.55%.
Ø  Net Interest Margin (NIM) at 2.84%.
Ø  Return on Assets (RoA) at 0.70% for Q3 of FY 2012-13 and 0.74% for Nine Months ended 31st December,2012.
Ø  Cost of Deposit is at 7.80% for Q3 of FY 2012-13 and 7.91% for Nine Months ended 31st December,2012.
Ø  Yield on Advances for Nine Months ended 31st December,2012 increased by             23 bps to reach 12.32% from 12.09%.
Ø  Cost to Income Ratio is at 41.45%.
Ø  Yield on Investments for Nine Months ended 31st December, 2012 increased by          12 bps to reach 7.43% from 7.31%.
Ø  Book Value Per Share at Rs. 401.72 as on 31st December, 2012 as against                        Rs. 356.54 as on 31st December,2011.
Ø  CRAR of the Bank is at 12.25% under BASEL-II (Tier-I Capital: 9.14%;                       Tier –II Capital: 3.11%).
Ø  Business per Branch stood at Rs. 151.36 crore.
Ø  Business per Employee increased to Rs. 15.35 crore from Rs. 14.91 crore.
DELIVERY CHANNELS
Ø  Bank’s Branch Network stood at 1930 Branches besides 01 Extension Counter.
Ø  69 New Branches opened and 11 Extension Counters upgraded by the Bank during Q3 of FY-2012-13.
Ø  140 New Branches opened and 18 Extension Counters upgraded by the Bank during Nine Months ended 31st December, 2012.
Ø  Bank plans to open another 70 Branches and reach 2000 Branches by                     31st March, 2013.
Ø  Bank Installed 48 New ATMs during Q3 of FY-2012-13. The total number of ATMs as on 31st December, 2012 stood at 1352 (including 12 Mobile ATMs, 335 offsite ATMs and 07 Biometric ATMs).
Ø  ATM Coverage is at 70.05% vis-à-vis Branch Network.
Ø  1.87 lac ATM Cards were issued during the quarter taking the total ATM customer base to 36.76 lac.
Ø  5.23 lac internet banking users and 33.38 lac customers availing SMS facility.
Ø  76% of eligible cash transactions happening through ATMs.
RETAIL CREDIT
Ø  Retail loans at Rs. 13,588 crore constituted 10.99% of Total Advances and grew by 12.57 %(YoY).
o   Vehicle Loan Portfolio grew by 25.07% (YoY) to reach Rs. 1335 crore as on 31st December, 2012 from Rs. 1068 crore as on 31st December, 2011.
o   Direct Housing Loan Portfolio grew by 20.39% (YoY) to reach                         Rs. 6006 crore as on 31st December, 2012 from Rs. 4989 crore as on            31st December, 2011.
o   Education Loan Portfolio increased to Rs.1222 Crore.
PRIORITY SECTOR
Ø  PS Advances grew by 13.56% (YoY) to Rs.43,758 crore as on 31st December, 2012 from Rs. 38,533 crore as on 31st December, 2011.
o   Agricultural advances grew by 18% (YoY) to Rs. 16,374 crore as on                    31st December, 2012 from Rs. 13,876 crore as on 31st December, 2011.
o   Bank issued 36,991 Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs) during the Quarter ended                      31st December, 2012 with disbursement of Rs. 798 crore. Total number of KCCs as on 31st December, 2012 was 4,59,879 KCCs with an outstanding amount of   Rs. 10,395 crore.
MICRO,SMALL & MEDIUM ENTERPRISES
Ø  Bank’s Fund Based exposure to MSE (Micro & Small Enterprises) increased to Rs.19,679 crore from Rs.16,649 crore thereby registering an increase of                       Rs. 3030 crore i.e. growth of 18.20% (YoY).
Ø  Bank’s Fund Based exposure to MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) increased to Rs. 24,663 crore from Rs. 18,773 crore thereby registering an increase of Rs. 5890 crore i.e. growth of 31.38% (YoY).
Ø  During Q3 of FY 2012-13, 2886 new MSE Accounts with an amount of                        Rs. 953 crore & 3025 MSME accounts with an amount of Rs. 1147 crore were disbursed.
Ø  During the Nine Months ended 31st December, 2012, 12,569 new MSE Accounts with an amount of Rs. 1953 crore & 12,814 MSME accounts with an amount of Rs.2207 crorewere disbursed.
Ø  17 MSME Specialized Branches and 52 MSME focused Branches were functional as on 31st December, 2012.
FINANCIAL INCLUSION
Ø  3,86,985 Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts were opened during 9 months of FY 2012-13 taking the total number of Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts to 25,22,284 as on 31st December, 2012 with an outstanding balance of Rs. 466 crore.
Ø  569 Villages were allotted to the Bank with population of more than 2000 under Phase I and all of them were covered during the last Financial Year itself.  5,20,470 Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts / Other Savings Accounts have been opened in these 569 villages  up to 31st December, 2012 covering 3,35,038households.
Ø  336 Villages have been allotted to the Bank under Phase II and all these villages have been covered. 92,150 Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts / Other Savings Accounts have been opened in these 336 villages up to 31st December, 2012 covering 1,01,305 households.
Ø  2,45,136 Biometric Cards have been issued in FIP allotted villages and 6,93,013transactions have been done through the same.
Ø  Direct Cash Transfer: Bank has made its CBS Aadhaar number compliant and is ready to implement DCT in 43 identified Districts, in which the Bank has been allotted 107 urban wards and has 187 villages in its service area. These habitations have 1,65,438 households, of which bank accounts have been opened for 1,65,130 households. Aadhaar numbers for 7820 accounts were received from government department/ customer, all of which were seeded to the respective account.
HR INITIATIVES
Ø  648 Personnel including 148 Specialist Officers recruited during Nine Months ended 31stDecember, 2012 out of which 346 personnel including 43 Specialist Officers recruited during Q3.
Ø  The Bank plans to recruit 100 Specialist Officers (77 through open market and 23 through Campus recruitment from NIBM Pune & ISI Kolkata) shortly.
Ø  The Bank has given mandate to IBPS for recruitment of 800 Clerks.
NEW INITIATIVES
Ø  The Bank has waived penalty on premature withdrawal of all fresh Term Deposits w.e.f. 01.01.2013.
Ø  Bank is offering Term Deposits for 3 Years and above at one of the highest Rate of Interest amongst all Public Sector Banks i.e. 9.10% for General Public & 9.70% for Senior Citizens.
Ø  Festival Bonanza Offer with concessional interest rate & 100% waiver in process fee for Housing & Vehicle Loan was launched in November,2012 and is extended      up to 31stMarch, 2013.
Ø  Home Loan & Car Loan schemes are liberalized soothing to needs of the customers and for procuring business. Besides constant innovation is done to make our Retail Loan Schemes attractive. Reduction in Interest Rate and modification in margin on Home Loans has been made w.e.f.01.01.2013. Now Bank offers Home Loans at Rate of Interest of as low as 10.40% and Car Loan at 11%.
Ø  Various new Retail Credit schemes have been launched viz.
o   Oriental Mortgage Loan Scheme for Individuals
o   Oriental Personal Loan Scheme for Central / PSU employees
o   Oriental Personal Loan Scheme for Corporate employees.
Ø  The Bank has sent Personalised Calendars to all its valued customers Pan India.
Ø  The Bank has signed an MoU with M/s Bajaj Auto Ltd. for Two Wheeler & Auto Rickshaw Financing.
Ø  The Bank has tied Up with UTI Asset Management Company Ltd. for selling their Mutual Fund products through all our branches Pan India.
IT INITIATIVES
Ø  Bank has successfully participated in “Dilli Annashree Scheme” of Delhi Govt. wherein the Direct Benefit Transfer (APBS) through Aadhaar Number has been successfully credited to Dilli Annashree Beneficiaries Account Holder through Aadhaar Number and withdrawal by the beneficiaries through Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) using Micro ATM, Aadhaar Number and Rupay Debit Card.
Ø  Implemented Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB) and Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS) for Direct Cash Transfer scheme of GOI.
Ø  Bank has started sending SMS Alerts to depositors informing them the maturity of their Term Deposits.
Ø  Bank has started sending SMS Alerts to borrowers informing them their Due Date of EMI.
Ø  41 ATMs Deployed during Q3 under OPEX Model as per guidelines of Ministry of Finance.
Ø  Sending and receiving of Letter of Credit (LCs) through Structured Financial Messaging System (SFMS) enabled.
Ø  System enabled for entering Area Code and Aadhaar Number.
Ø  Online issuance of Term Deposit has been enabled.
CSR INITIATIVES
Ø  As a part of ongoing activities of ‘OBC Rural Development Trust’ (Set Up on 09.12.2005) 79 training programmes on Skill Development have been conducted benefiting 2240 candidates during the Nine Months ended 31st December,2012 through the Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) in five Districts, viz., Jaipur, Sriganganagar, Ferozepur, Dehradun and Palwal.
Ø  The Bank has opened 5 Financial Literacy & Credit Counseling (FLCC) Centresin Karnal and Palwal districts of Haryana, Sriganganagar in Rajasthan, Ferozpur in Punjab & Nangloi in Delhi. A total of 20,528 persons were counseled in these FLCCs, out of which 99 cases were referred for debt restructuring up to  31st December, 2012.
Ø  The Bank has sponsored ‘Hunger Free Delhi’ campaign – ‘Aap ki Rasoi’ under Bhagidari programme of Delhi Govt. to provide food to poor.
Ø  In 202 Primary schools 693 electricity fans have been installed and 31 Toilets have been constructed. Provision for clean drinking water has been provided in                      68 schools. 7 solar panels have also been provided in these schools for uninterrupted power back-up.
Ø  The Bank has donated Stainless Steel Boxes to ISKCON Food Relief Foundation for distributing meal to children of Government Schools.
Ø  A Van has been donated to Arunodaya Charitable Trust for Arunodaya Deseret Eye Hospital, Gurgaon which shall be used by the Hospital for transportation of the patients to and from their Base Hospital.
Ø  An Ambulance has been donated to Maharaja Agrasen Hospital Charitable Trust, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi for medical benefit of the poor and needy patients.
Ø  The Bank has initiated the campaign ‘Smoke Free Jodhpur’ in coordination with local authorities under COPTA.
Ø  Donation of a Bus to an organization in Kolkata, ‘Help us to help them’ for supporting their project of “School on Wheels” for providing basic education to street children.
Ø  The Bank has given support to Alok Charitable Trust for setting up of 5 KW Solar Power Plant in the village Gangagarh, District Bulandshahr, U.P. In recognition of the support given by the Bank to the Trust, a memento was also presented by Hon’ble            Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India.
Place  : New Delhi
Date   : 25.01.2013

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