Thursday, February 28, 2013



Magnitude 6.9 Mwp
  • 28 Feb 2013 14:05:51 UTC
  • 1 Mar 2013 00:05:52 near epicenter
  • 28 Feb 2013 18:05:51 standard time in your timezone
Location 50.934N 157.339E
Depth 52 km
  • 85 km (52 mi) SE of Ozernovskiy, Russia
  • 233 km (144 mi) SSW of Vilyuchinsk, Russia
  • 251 km (155 mi) SSW of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia
  • 260 km (161 mi) SSW of Yelizovo, Russia
  • 2205 km (1367 mi) NE of Tokyo, Japan
Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 15.9 km; Vertical 9.6 km
Aam Aadmi Party’s Response to Union Budget 2013

Date: 28.3.2013

Aam Aadmi of the country has reasons to feel disappointed, if not cheated, with the Union Budget 2013-14 presented by the ruling coalition that came to power in his name. All over the country, cutting across gender, regions, sectors, classes and the urban/rural divide, the aam aadami faces a crisis of economic opportunity and livelihood. She has suffered from a long period of high inflation, especially in food items. She has long suffered from growth that did not deliver more jobs, a decline in growth now threatens to cut down on existing livelihood opportunities. All the basic amenities that a citizen can expect from democratic governance – public provisions for heath, education and social security – are beyond the reach of the Aam Aadami. Rampant corruption from top to the bottom eats into whatever little could trickle down to them.

The Union Budget presented by the Finance Minister is a clever attempt to mislead the public in an election year. The Finance Minister’s speech offers little remedy for the key problems facing the Indian economy that he himself begins by acknowledging: slowdown of growth, rising fiscal deficit and current account deficit. The current crisis required the government to stimulate domestic investment by encouraging consumption from below; instead the FM remained focused on Foreign investors. Controlling inflation required expansion of PDS and reinforced subsidies on energy and focus on increasing agricultural output in pulses and oilseeds; instead the government has relied on hope. Meeting the demands and aspirations of the people required substantial and real increase in social sector expenditure, instead the government has resorted to statistical tricks and gimmicks rather than put its money where its mouth is. Nor is there any evidence of the government being serious about better usage and monitoring of the funds spent on these public provisions. Shockingly, the government has not come up with any measure to curb corruption and control the parallel black economy that the public is so visibly exercised about.

An analysis of the summary statistics of the budget make it clear that there is little connect between the rhetoric of the budget and its actual numbers.   In his speech the FM claimed that the government has not spared money for welfare schemes; the fact is that the UPA has drastically cut down on most of the key welfare schemes in the current year itself. The FM’s claims about increasing outlays in key sectors is a clear case of statistical fudging; the ‘increase’ claimed by the FM is with reference to the drastically reduced expenditure (Revised Estimates). In most cases the rise in budget allocations is barely enough to cover inflation. In real terms there is no increase in spending for the aam aadami. The FM has also used the age old devise of distracting public attention with the help of some gimmicks that cost very little.

The government needed to increase tax revenue, which has actually fallen by 4% in the current year over what was budgeted; similar false assumptions seem to driving the current projections of 20% increase in revenue. The much talked about move to tax the rich turned out to be a damp squib, for it would affect only 42,000 super rich and bring very small gains for the country. This small gain would be more than made up by the generous increase in the tax exemption, mostly for the well off and the corporate. The amount of ‘Tax foregone’ has gone up from Rs. 5,33,000 crores to Rs. 5,73,000 crores. There is no change in the capital gains regime to curb speculative gains activity in the stock market.The budget gives no indication of a political will to curb black income generation in the economy. The deferment of implementation of GARR to 2016 is another example of the lack of political will to curb tax avoidance. There is nothing in the budget to do away with non-transparent instruments like Participatory Notes or to reformulate the double taxation treaties with ‘tax heavens’ and black economy conduits.
Most of the schemes meant for the aam aadmi have remained static or have in fact gone down in real terms or even compared to the actual expenditure in the year before. The central Plan size has come down from Rs. 6,51,000 crore in the Budget last year to the Revised estimate of 5,56,000 crores, huge shortfall of Rs. 96,000 crores. In 2012-13 expenditure on agriculture and allied activities, rural development, irrigation and flood control and welfare of ST has actually gone down compared to the actual expenditure of the previous year. A similar comparison of the expenditure on health and education shows a marginal increase that barely keeps pace with inflation. The total expenditure on social services has fallen short by Rs. 23,000 crores compared to the budgeted allocations. This fact acquires significance for much of the social sector expenditure takes place at the level of the states where the transfer has been cut down by as much as 10,000 crores.

It is unfortunate that even the opposition has not drawn the country’s attention to these statistical lies and inattention to the needs of the aam aadmi. Aam Aadmi Party resolves to take this collective conspiracy of the political establishment to the people’s court and place the concerns of aam admi at the heart of our economic policy. 

Thailand signs peace agreement with rebel

Thailand signs peace agreement with rebel group,Yingluck Shinwatra visiting Malaysia

by sagarmedia on February 28, 2013
Thailand  authority  signed a peace agreement with an insurgent group as a big step toward resolving the decades-old insurgency and violence in the border region.National Security Council (NSC) secretary general Paradorn Pattanatabutr revealed to Thai media on Thursday while he was in Malaysia that the Thai authority on Thursday has signed an agreement called “General consensus dialogue process for peace” with the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) Coordinate, one of the leading insurgent group in the restive southern Thailand with the help by Malaysian authority who facilitated the meeting with the insurgents.
The agreement is considered the first step as to show recognition from each side and show good wills for future agreement to resolve the problem. This has been the outcome of several meetings between Thai and Malaysian authorities toward solving southern Thai insurgency since last year, he added.
More than 5,000 people have been killed and more than 9,000 hurt in over 11,000 incidents, about 3.5 incidents a day, in Thailand’s Muslim, ethnic-Malay dominated three southern border provinces — Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla — since violence erupted in January 2004, according to Deep South Watch, which monitors the regional violence.
Thailand Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra along with several other high ranking Thai officials are  paying a visit in Malaysia.Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra left Bangkok on Thursday to visit Malaysia to meet with her Malaysian counterpart Najib Tun Razak.Yingluck is accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and several other ministers.
The visit is the fifth Annual Consultation between Thai premier and Malaysian premier aims at cultivating friendly relations between the two countries, reaffirming the close partnership between Thailand and Malaysia, following up on the progress on various areas of cooperation since Yingluck’s official visit to Malaysia on February 20, 2012.
According to the Thai Foreign Ministry press release, during the consultation, the parties are expected to discuss varied issues of common interest, including a comprehensive approach to resolve the insurgency in Thailand’s southern border provinces, social and economic development and connectivity in border areas such as the proposed construction of two bridges crossing the Golok River linking Thailand’s Narathiwat province and Malaysia’s Kelantan state.
Cooperation on trade and investment, such as the establishment of a Thailand-Malaysia Business Council and cooperation on tourism, particularly linking Thailand’s Satun province with Malaysia’ Langkawi island, will also be on the agenda.
After the plenary session, the prime ministers will witness the signing of an agreement on border crossings and an MoU on youth and sports cooperating before holding a joint news conference.

Union Budget 2013-14 presented by Finance Minister

Finance Min P Chidambaram announced a sharp increase of Rs 1.25 lakh crore in agriculture credit target to Rs 7 lakh crore for next fiscal and allocated additional Rs 10,000 crore in subsidy for implementing the Food Security Bill.
Following are some of the key highlights of the Union Budget 2013-14 presented by Finance Minister P Chidambaram in Parliament.
*No change in income tax slabs
*Relief of Rs 2,000 for tax payers in tax bracket of Rs 2-5 lakh
*10 pc surcharge on persons with taxable income of over Rs 1 crore
*Tobacco products, SUVs and mobile phones to cost more
*Income limit under Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme raised to 12 lakh from Rs 10 lakh
*First home loan of up to Rs 25 lakh to get extra interest deduction of up to Rs 1 lakh
*Duty free limit of gold import increased to Rs 50,000 for male passengers and Rs 1 lakh for female passengers
*India’s first women’s bank to be set up by October
*Concessional six per cent interest on loans to weavers
*Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana benefit extended to rickshaw pullers, auto and taxi drivers, among others
*’Nirbhaya Fund’ of Rs 1,000 crore to empower women and provide safety in the wake of Delhi gang-rape incident
*Fiscal deficit for 2013-14 pegged at 4.8 pc of GDP and 5.2 per cent in 2012-13
*Market borrowings pegged at Rs 6.29 lakh crore, higher
than Rs 5.59 lakh crore in FY13
*Disinvestment target more than doubled to Rs 55,814 cr
*Plan expenditure pegged at Rs 5,55,322 crore and non-Plan at Rs 11,09,975 crore
*New taxes to collect Rs 18,000 crore for government
*Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme launched for recovering service tax dues
*Rs 14,000 crore earmarked for capital infusion in public sector banks in 2013-14

He also allocated 22 percent more funds to Agriculture Ministry at Rs 27,049 crore for the 2013-14 fiscal, of which Rs 3,415 crore has been earmarked for farm research.
Chidambaram announced extension of interest-subvention on crop loans to private sector banks and commercial banks.
“Agricultural credit is a driver of agricultural production. We will exceed the target of Rs 5,75,000 crore fixed for 2012-13. For 2013-14, I propose to increase the target to Rs 7,00,000 crore,” Chidambaram said while presenting the Budget for the 2013-14 fiscal in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
The interest-subvention for short-term crop loan will be continued and farmers who repay loan on time will be able to get credit at 4 percent interest per annum, he added.
“So far, the scheme has been applied to loans extended by public sector banks, Regional Rural Banks and cooperative banks, I propose to extend the scheme to crop loans borrowed from private sector banks and scheduled commercial banks in respect to loans given within the service area of the branch concern,” the Minister said.
Looking at the success of the scheme — Bringing Green Revolution in the Eastern India, Chidambaram allocated Rs 1,000 crore for the next fiscal.
Another Rs 500 crore was allocated for crop diversification in states covered during the Green Revolution such as Punjab and Haryana, which are facing stagnation in farm yields.
On proposed Food law, the Minister said: “I sincerely hope Parliament will pass the Bill as early as possible. Over and above the normal provision for food subsidy, I have set apart Rs 10,000 crore towards the incremental costs that is likely under the Act.”
Fiscal deficit for 2012-13 estimated at 5.2%: Chidambaram
The fiscal deficit for the current financial year has been contained at 5.2 percent of GDP, lower than 5.3 percent as was targeted, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.
“The fiscal deficit for 2012-13 has been contained at 5.2 per cent. I propose to bring it down to 4.8 per cent by 2013-14,” Chidambaram said while unveiling Budget 2013-14 proposals in the Lok Sabha.
Further, the Revenue Deficit has been contained at 3.9 percent in the current fiscal and would be brought down to 3.3 percent in 2013-14.
As per the fiscal consolidation roadmap, the government plans to reduce fiscal deficit to 3 percent by 2016-17.
“We must redeem our promise and bring down the fiscal deficit to 3 per cent and revenue deficit to 1.9 per cent by 2016-17,” Chidambaram said.
Tax benefits in RGESS extended to 3 years: Chidambaram
While presenting the Budget 2013-14 in the Lok Sabha Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday proposed liberalising the Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme (RGESS) to enable first time investors to park funds in MFs and listed shares and extended tax benefits to three successive years.
Also, the limit for investors wanting to invest in RGESS has been raised to Rs 12 lakh from Rs 10 lakh earlier.
The RGESS will be liberalised to enable first time retail investors to invest in mutual funds and listed shares and not in one year alone, but for three successive years, Chidambaram said.
The RGESS, which was originally announced in the Budget for 2012-13, seeks to provide tax benefits to first-time investors in stock markets. Under the scheme, an individual with an income of less than Rs 12 lakh would get tax incentives for investing up to Rs 50,000 in the stock market.
Budget quote of Mr. Aneesh Srivastava, CIO, IDBI Federal.
An insipid budget
The Union Budget for 2013-14 seems to be a populist one that neither creates any impact on the economy, nor does it address the long-term growth needs.
While the Budget may prove to be positive for FIIs as they can now invest in corporate & government bonds as collateral to meet margin requirements, the Tax Residency Certificate has again become an issue.
The piecemeal perks in some sectors are just not enough to accelerate growth. India continues to face the challenge of getting back to its potential growth rate of 8% along with bringing down inflation. The target to achieve a higher growth rate and a decrease in fiscal deficit looks unlikely in these conditions. The Budget also does not give any direction to address the issue of high current account deficit. The expenditure programme announced by the government would actually be inflationary.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


US,former Republican senator Chuck Hagel has been confirmed as the new Defence Secretary by the Senate.Senators voted 58-41 to approve 66-year-old Hagel, ending a long and acrimonious nomination process and clearing President Barack Obama’s choice for the top post held by Leon Panetta.
Hagel’s confirmation comes as a great relief for the
Obama Administration as his nomination was held up for weeks and the Democrats and the White House had to do a tough convincing act to get him approved by the Senate.
Several Republican Senators are said to have voted in favour of Hagel despite their reservations over his past
statements and votes. They argued that he was too critical of Israel and too compromising with Iran.

Dot: Auction of 800 Mhz Spectrum

Dot: Auction of 800 Mhz Spectrum to Commence on 11.03.2013
Auction of 1800, 900 & 800 MHz spectrum was scheduled to begin on March 11, 2013. The last date for receipt of applications was 25.2.2013. At the time of close on the last date for receipt of applications i.e., 25.2.2013, one applicant, namely, SSTL registered for the auction of 800 MHz spectrum and no applicants registered for the auction of 1800 & 900 MHz spectrum.
1800 & 900 MHz bands were to be auctioned simultaneously starting from March 11, 2013 and the 800 MHz band auction was to commence 2 days after the conclusion of the auction of 1800 & 900 MHz spectrum. In the light of these developments, the auction of 800 MHz spectrum will commence on 11.3.2013 itself. Next steps in respect of the 1800 and 900 MHz spectrum will be decided shortly after placing the developments and issues arising there from before the EGOM on auction of spectrum. A third auction (after the 1st auction in November, 2012 and the second auction due to commence on March 11, 2013) was already announced by the DOT on 20.2.2013 consequent to the SC directions dated 15.2.2013.
This third auction was to cover only the 1800 MHz band to comply with the SC directive to put the entire spectrum surrendered (which was entirely either in the 1800 or 800 MHz bands) by holders of quashed licenses to auction immediately. This would, in any case, have necessitated auction in 20 of the 22 circles wherein the quantum of spectrum put to auction was less than what the SC had directed on 15.2.2013 after the issue of the NIA for the March, 2013 auction. In Delhi and Mumbai circles, the quantum of spectrum put to auction in March, 2013 was already in accordance with the latest orders of the SC dated 15.2.2013. This was also the case in respect of spectrum in the 800 MHz band both in the November, 2012 auction and again in the March, 2013 auction.
In the light of these developments, DOT will review the need to include the remaining 2 circles for 1800 MHz bands, namely Delhi and Mumbai in the next round of auctions as also the need for a re-auction in the 3 metro circles of the 900 MHz band. The quantum of spectrum, the reserve price and the timelines for this auction will be decided after necessary directions are obtained from the EGOM and where required, the cabinet, in this regard.
DOT is also in the process of filing an affidavit of compliance in the SC regarding implementation of its orders dated 15.2.2013. Any further directions issued by the SC in the matter will be incorporated into the plan of action for the next round of auction to be held as soon as possible after the March 11, 2013 auction is completed.
Separately, the DOT will also take action as directed by the Delhi HC to dispose of the applications for extension of licenses received from licensees whose licenses are due to expire in Nov 2014. This action will be completed before the timeline fixed by the High Court of Delhi, i.e., 7th March, 2013.

United States Supreme Court will not let Americans challenge a provision in a foreign intelligence law that lets the federal government secretly eavesdrop on the intimate communications of millions of Americans.
On Tuesday, the top justices in the US said the country’s highest court will not hear a case in which Amnesty International and a slew of co-plaintiffs have contested a provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, or FISA, that lets the National Security Agency silently monitor emails and phone calls [.pdf].
Under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (FAA), the NSA is allowed to conduct electronic surveillance on any US citizen as long as they are suspected of conversing with any person located outside of the United States. That provision was scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, but Congress voted to re-up the bill and it was put back on the books for another five years.
Along with human rights workers and journalists, Amnesty International first challenged the FAA on the day it went into effect, arguing that the powers provided to the NSA under the FISA amendments likely puts the plaintiffs and perhaps millions of other Americans at risk of surveillance. Now years later, though, they are finally being told that they cannot challenge the law that, while meant to collect foreign intelligence, puts every person in the country at risk of being watched.
“Under the FAA, the government can target anyone — human rights researchers, academics, attorneys, political activists, journalists — simply because they are foreigners outside the United States, and in the course of its surveillance it can collect Americans’ communications with those individuals,” the American Civil Liberties Union wrote on behalf of the plaintiffs in a legal brief filed last year with the court.
Amnesty, et al have been pursuing an injunction against the NSA in their lawsuit, which names former NSA-Chief James Clapper is a co-defendant. Because the plaintiffs cannot prove that they’ve actually been targeted under the FAA, however, the case is been stalled endlessly.
In last year’s filing, the ACLU acknowledged that an appeals court panel agreed in 2011 that “plaintiffs have good reason to believe that their communications, in particular, will fall within the scope of the broad surveillance that they can assume the government will conduct,” and the full body of US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit later refused the government’s attempts to have them reconsider.
“But instead of allowing the case to be heard on the merits, the Obama administration asked the Supreme Court to review the case,” the ACLU’s Ateqah Khaki, wrote. “Our brief urges the Court to affirm the appeals court’s decision.”
On Tuesday, however, the Supreme Court dismissed the claims that the plaintiffs were being watched under the FAA. Amnesty and others had argued that the presumed surveillance they were subjected to has caused them to go out of their way to maintain working relationships with clients, forcing them to travel abroad to communicate without the fear of being monitored.

Egypt hot air balloon crash kills 19 Asian, European tourists

At least 19 people, mostly Asian and European tourists, were killed on Tuesday when a hot air balloon caught fire and crashed near the southern historic Egyptian city of Luxor.
The hot air balloon carrying 21 people caught fire mid-air before crashing to the ground, General Mamdough Khaled, director of security for Luxor Governate said in a statement.
Luxor International Hospital received 19 badly burned bodies, Khaled said. The balloon was operated by a company named Sky Cruise, state-run news agency reported.
Ahmed Aboud, who runs another balloon company, was quoted by the media as saying that gas tanks ignited the balloon about 1,000 feet.
Two people survived, a tourist and the pilot, Aboud said.
Both are in critical condition, the statement from Khaled said.
Passengers in the balloon included 19 foreign tourists, nine from Hong Kong, four from Japan, three from Britain, two from France and one from Hungary, officials said.
An Egyptian pilot and another Egyptian were also on board, Luxor province spokesman Badawi al-Masri said.
Balloon rides offering scenic aerial views of the Nile river and the ancient temples of Karnak and Hatshepsut are a popular tourist attraction in Luxor, about nine hours’ drive southeast of Cairo.
The catastrophe may be the deadliest hot air balloon accident in history.
In 1989, 13 people were killed when two hot air balloons collided in Australia.
Luxor lies on the banks of the river Nile and is home to some of Egypt’s most famous pharaonic-era ruins.
US photographer Christopher Michel was in another balloon, taking some aerial shots, at the time.
“We flew over the ancient ruins. Just before landing in the cornfields, I heard an explosion and saw smoke. I think it was the balloon behind mine,” he was quoted by the news agency as saying.
“I wasn’t sure what had happened at first. It was only when we landed we heard the full extent of what happened,” he said.

Classic Golf Resort:Shamim & Rashid hold the joint lead in round one

Classic Golf Resort, Mewat, Haryana, February 26, 2013: The Delhi duo
of Shamim Khan and Rashid Khan shot scores of six-under-66 to hold the
joint lead in round one of the PGTI Players Championship at the
Classic Golf Resort in Mewat, Haryana. Gaurav Ghei, another Delhi
golfer, is a stroke behind the joint leaders in third place.

Shamim Khan, who had a bogey-free round, made a terrific start with
birdies on the first two holes as he landed his shots within six feet
of the pin. The 2012 Rolex Rankings champion collected four more
birdies on the back-nine. He sank a 30-footer for birdie on the 11th
and drained birdie putts from 12 feet and 15 feet on the 12th and 15th
holes respectively. Shamim also two-putted from the edge of the green
for birdie on the 14th.

Shamim said, ㉠sank all putts today and was particularly sharp on the
back-nine with three long birdie putts. The good start was crucial as
it set up the round for me. I also made a good recovery for par from
the fairway bunker on the seventh. I changed my driver last week and
the change seems to have helped my game. I ended last year on a high
and am looking to continue from there in order to make an impact on
the PGTI this year as well.伢r>
Rashid Khan made an incredible eight birdies against two bogeys on
Tuesday. His front-nine featured birdie putts from 15, 12 and 10 feet
on the first, fifth and sixth respectively. He bogeyed the 10th but
then had an amazing run of four straight birdies from the 13th to the
16th. Rashid rolled in a 15 feet putt on the 13th and a 30-footer on
the 15th. The 22-year-old finished with bogey-birdie on the last two

㉴Ⳡbeen a perfect start to the week. I hit 15 greens in regulation
and made three birdie putts from a range of 15 to 30 feet. I was a
little unlucky on the 17th where my shot landed on the lip of the
bunker and resulted in a bogey. I just changed my irons before this
tournament and that seems to be working for me,䠳aid Rashid Khan, who
finished second on the 2012 Rolex Rankings.

Gaurav GheiⳠround of five-under-67 placed him third. He fired six
birdies and a bogey in the opening round.

Mukesh Kumar, Chiragh Kumar and Mandeo Singh Pathania were tied fourth
at four-under-68.

Maxime Bernier,Chiranjeevi, the Indo- Canadian Ministers of Tourism meet

Union_Tourism_Minister_Shri_K_Chiranjeevi__WITH_Mr_Maxime_Bernier__Minister_of_Tourism__CanadaMr Maxime Bernier, Minister of Tourism, Canada called on Union Tourism Minister Shri K Chiranjeevi here today.  Both sides resolved to strengthen cooperation in tourism sector.  It was also decided that both the countries will identify areas for working together and exploring new opportunities in tourism sector especially in the field of human resources development, exchange of tour operators, investment in the tourism sector and exchange of information related to tourism sector.  The possibility of signing an agreement/MoU between India and Canada was also discussed.  It was also agreed that Tour Operators and Travel Agents of both the countries will interact with each other in order to promote for two way tourism between India and Canada. The possibilities of promoting more package tours in either of the countries could also be explored by the travel trade of two countries.  Both sides also explored the possibilities of promoting joint venture in the field of hotel industry and tourism infrastructural sector.  Now that Hotels and Tourism sector has been opened for Foreign direct investment up to 100% on automatic routes, Canadian investment in tourism infrastructure in India could be one of the major areas of cooperation.
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean. Canada is the world’s second-largest country by total area, and its common border with the United States is the world’s longest land border.
The land that is now Canada has been inhabited for millennia by various Aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French colonial expeditions explored, and later settled, the region’s Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America to Britain in 1763 after the Seven Years’ War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy, culminating in the Canada Act 1982.
Canada is one of India’s primary source markets.  Foreign tourist arrivals from Canada to India have increased considerably over the past few years.
India tourism Office in Toronto takes care of promotion and marketing of India in Canada. India Tourism Office participates in Tourism Fair, organize workshops and seminars to showcase India’s tourism destinations and products to the tour operators and consumers of Canada. Some of the travel fairs in which India Tourism Office participates in canada are as follows:
The Travel & Vacation Show
World Culinary Show
Addison Travel Shows
International Travel & Tourism show
Maritime Show
Ministry of Tourism has organizer India Tourism Road Shows in Vancouver in Sept, 2012.  Hon’ble Minister of State for Tourism has led a high level Indian delegation.
Ministry of Tourism has hosted a total of 16 journalists, photographers, travel agents, travel writers etc. from Canada during the year 2011-12 under its hospitality scheme.  14 guests have visited India from Canada during 2012-13(till date).
Both the countries may like to explore the possibilities of promoting joint venture investment in the field of hotel industry and tourism infrastructural sector especially in Budget hotels. Now that Hotels and Tourism sector has been opened for Foreign direct investment up to 100% on automatic routes, Canadian investment in tourism infrastructure in India could be one of the major areas of cooperation.
Both India and Canada can benefit greatly by sharing experience and know-how in destination management & management of heritage sites. India could benefit from the initiatives undertaken by Canada in the field of Adventure Tourism.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


  • ‘Messi is in the same class as di Stefano, Cruyff, Maradona and Pelé’ – says former France captain and World Cup winner Desailly
  • Argentina and FC Barcelona star Lio nel Messi waits to see if he is winner of 2013 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award
  • Messi nominated by world’s media for coveted Award for fourth year
  • Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Rio de Janeiro on March 11
  • Apply for media accreditation on

RIO DE JANEIRO, February 26, 2013 – Lionel Messi will discover in two weeks if he is the winner of the 2013 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award.
And as the clock counts down to the Awards Ceremony in Rio de Janeiro on March 11, re spected former France captain and Laureus World Sports Academy Member Marcel Desailly has paid a remarkable tribute to the brilliant Argentina and FC Barcelona star, who scored 91 goals in 2012, beating Gerd Muller’s all-time record of 85 which dates back to 1972.
Desailly said: “Lionel Messi is just extraordinary, a phenomenon. Many footballers have great seasons, but he just keeps producing them year after year. His opponents know how dangerous he is, but they just cannot find a way to stop him scoring. He is without doubt the greatest player of this generation and as a goalscorer one of the greatest players of all time.
“And we should remember that he has achieved all this by the time he is 25. Who knows what he can achieve by the time he stops playing. Even now, I would put him in the same cl ass as di Stefano, Cruyff, Maradona and Pelé,” added Desailly.
In the most prolific year of his career, Messi also overtook the great Pelé, who scored 75 goals in 1958, and he became the first man to be named FIFA World Footballer of the Year four times.
The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognise sporting achievement during the calendar year 2012, are the premier honours on the international sporting calendar.   The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, will be unveiled at a globally televised Awards Ceremony staged in Rio de Janeiro on Monday, March 11.
Messi, who is nominated for t he fourth straight time, faces a formidable challenge if he is to become the first team player to win this prestigious individual Award. Among the other Nominees whom he must beat are Olympic heroes Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Mo Farah and Bradley Wiggins and three-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports over 140 community sports projects around the world. Since its inception, Laureus has raised €60 million for projects which have improved the lives of more than one-and-a-half million young people.
The 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony, which will be attended by the greatest names in sport, past and present, and broadcast to a worldwide TV aud ience, will be staged at the celebrated Theatro Municipal, a spectacular venue in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, which stages gala performances by international dancers and musicians and which also hosted events at Rio +20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012.
The Laureus World Sports Awards will enhance the calendar of major global events that Rio de Janeiro is hosting in the coming years, such as the 2013 World Judo Championship, the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Rio is the birthplace of sport and culture in Brazil, a state of vibrant energy and natural beauty that has become a showcase of the country to the world.
Among the winners who have received Awards at previous Award Ceremonies have been Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Ale x Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Justine Henin, Kelly Holmes, Rafael Nadal, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Serena Williams and Zinedine Zidane. Guests attending the Awards Ceremony have included His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, David and Victoria Beckham, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Morgan Freeman, Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kevin Spacey.

The full list of Nominees for the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards is:
Laureus World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt (Jamaica) Athletics; Mo Farah (UK) Athletics; Lionel Messi (Argentina) Football; Michael Phelps (US) Swimming; Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Motor Racing; Bradley Wiggins (UK) Cycling
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year
Jessica Ennis (UK) Athletics; Allyson Felix (US) Athletics: Missy Franklin (US) Swimming; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Athletics; Lindsey Vonn (US) Skiing; Serena Williams (US) Tennis
Laureus World Team of the Year
China Olympic Table Tennis Team; European Ryder Cup Team; Miami Heat (US) Basketball; Red Bull Formula One Team (Austria); Spain Men’s Football Team; US Men’s Basketball Team
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year
Yannick Agnel (France) Swimming; Gabby Douglas (US) Gymnastics; Kirani James (Grenada) Athletics: Andy Murray (UK) Tennis; Neymar (Brazil) Football; Ye Shiwen (China) Swimming
Laureus World Comeback of the Year
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics; Ernie Els (South Africa) Golf; European Ryder Cup Team; Anna Meares (Australia) Cycling; Felix Sanchez (Dominican Republic) Athletics; Germany Men’s Olympic Eights Rowing Team
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability
Patrick Anderson (Canada) Wheelchair Basketball; Johanna Benson (Namibia) Athletics; Daniel de Faria Dias (Brazil) Swimming; Alan Fonteles Oliveira (Brazil) Athletics; David Weir (United Kingdom) Wheelchair Racing; Alex Zanardi (Italy) Hand Cycling

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year

Felix Baumgartner (Austria) Skydiving; Jamie Bestwick (UK) BMX; Julie Bresset (France) Mountain Biking; Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing; Joel Parkinson (Australia) Surfing; Philip Köster (Germany) Windsurfing

Reformist and forward looking budget: PM Dr Singh

  • Indian Railways to join 1 billion tonne select club with China.
  • Educational tourist train”Azadi Express” proposes
  • Eight more companies of women RPF personnel to be set up.
  • Several measures taken to deal with fire accidents.
  • 17 distressed bridges sanctioned for rehabilitation to be completed over the next year.
  • Train Collision Avoidance System to be put to rigorous trials.
  • Railways will strive to work towards zero accident situation.
  • Rail Minister calls for paradigm shift in approach to tariff and non-tariff segments of earnings.
  • Passenger earning target Rs 32500 crore this year.
  • Freedom fighters to renew their passes only once in 3 yrs.
  • Complementary passes for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Olympic awardees.
  • Coach making facilities at Bhilwara and Raebarelli.
  • Indian Railway Financial Management Institute to be set up at Secunderabad.
  • Coaches to be made wheelchair friendly.
  • Hostel facilities for all single women railway employees at all Div.HQS.
  • Free wi-fi facility at select trains.
  • Exclusive lounges at 7 stations.
  • 1800111321 number for redressing complaints.
  • Wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi in Odisha.
  • E-ticketing to be made available through mobile phone.
  • 104 Stations identified for added amenities.
  • Target of investment of 1 lakh crore through PPP mode in 12th FYP.
  • For the first time, Arunachal Pradesh brought under  Rail Network.
  • UID-Aadhar to be used for ticket reservation.
  • Need based border connectivity top priority.
  • Freight loading estimated to be 1007 tonnes this year.
  • No hike in passenger fares; 67 new express and 26 passenger trains to be launched.
  • Next generation E-ticketing introduced to be able to book 7000 tickets in a minute.
  • Gross traffic receipts to be 18062 crore rupees over 2012-13.
  • Thrust on using renewable sources of energy.
  • Some Railway related activities included under MGNREGA.
  • Railways to fill up 1.52 lakh vacancies.
  • Dronacharya awardees to get Shatabdi and Rajdhani passes.
  • 47000 vacancies reserved for differently abled to be filled.
  • Plan to spend 3000 crore rupees to connect mines.
Rail budget remarkable and commendable, says P Chidambaram.
Railways is committed to ensure security, safety and better passengers facilities including sanitation in trains and railway stations. Minister of Railways Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal has said that to strengthen the security of rail passengers, especially women passengers, Railways have already created four companies of women RPF personnel and another eight would be set up. Presenting the Railway Budget for 2013-14 in Parliament today he said, recruitment to RPF is being conducted with 10% vacancies reserved for women. He said, the presence of women RPF personnel will be further strengthened with the field units.
The Minister said, many trains are being escorted by Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force in sensitive sections. Further, the Ladies Special local trains in Metropolitan Cities are being escorted by lady RPF Staff. Shri Bansal said, security helpline numbers have been made available on several zonal railways to facilitate passengers in reporting any untoward incidence for immediate intervention.
Rs one lakh crore to be raised from public-private partnership, Rs 1.05 lakh crore through internal resources in the 12th Plan; Elimination of 10,700 unmanned level crossings targeted during the Plan; no more new such crossings to be created.Briefing media Prashar exclusively, Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said, during the last four months, efforts have been stepped up to ensure better upkeep of the Railway network and maximize passenger convenience.Bansal said, work on installing bio-tiolets in railway coaches is on.The Railway Minister added that people’s aspirations and demands regarding safe, convenient and secure traveling on trains, are genuine.He said, the Ministry is well aware of what is expected from it and it is diligently working to deliver better services.Railways to set up six more Rail Neer bottling plants.
Identification of 104 stations for upgradation in places with more than one million population and of religious significance.Corporate Safety Plan to be prepared for ten-year period 2014-24.
BSE Sensex dropped by 134 points to 19197 in the late morning trade due to selling pressure ahead of the railway budget amid weak global cues as the Early results in Italy polls show hung parliament thus euro crisis to prevail.   Earlier, the Sensex resumed lower at 19,290 and dropped further to 19,186, showing a loss of 109.53 points from its last close.
The Nifty also moved down by 43 points to 5,811
मंदिर बनें सेवा के केंद्र : विनोद बंसल
निगम पार्षद तनेजा ने किया आर्य होम्यो औषधालय का उद्घाटन
नई दिल्ली, फ़रवरी 25, 2013। समाज कल्याण के लिये यह आवश्यक है कि प्रत्येक मंदिर से कोई न कोई सेवा कार्य अवश्य चले। दक्षिणी दिल्ली स्थित आर्य समाज संत नगर में स्थानीय निगम पार्षद श्री के सी तनेजा द्वारा आर्य होम्यो औषधालय के उद्घाटन अवसर पर आज आर्य समाज के कार्यकारी प्रधान व विश्व हिंदू परिषद दिल्ली के मीडिया प्रमुख श्री विनोद बंसल ने कहा कि हमारे मंदिर धर्म, आध्यात्म व आत्मिक उन्नति के साथ अच्छे स्वास्थ्य, समाज चेतना व सेवा के प्रमुख केंद्र भी बने जिससे हिंदू समाज का कोई भी व्यक्ति निर्बल व असहाय न रह सके। वरिष्ठ होम्यो पेथिक चिकित्सक डा मीनाक्षी शर्मा ने उपस्थित जन समूह को विश्वास दिलाया कि वे वैसे तो प्रत्येक मंगल, वीर व शनिवार को सायं चार से पाँच मंदिर में उपस्थित रहेंगी ही किंतु यदि आवश्यकता हुई तो लोगों को रोग मुक्त करने हेतु और समय भी देंगी।
होम्योपेथिक डिस्पेंसरी के उद्घाटन से पूर्व समाज संचालिका श्रीमती विमलेश आर्या ने पवित्र वेद मंत्रों के माध्यम से दक्षिणी दिल्ली वेद प्रचार मण्डल के प्रधान श्री जितेंद्र डाबर व महामंत्री श्री चतर सिंह नागर की उपस्थिति में एक बृहद यज्ञ करवाया। यज्ञ के यजमान क्षेत्रीय समाज सेवी श्री दिनेश अग्रवाल व श्रीमती गीता अग्रवाल रहे। जहां एक ओर प्रसिद्ध भजन गायिक श्रीमती सुदेश आर्या के कर्ण प्रिय भजनों ने कार्यक्रम में चार चाँद लगाए तो वहीं छोटी बच्चियों कुमारी वाणी व विदुषी के निर्देशन में हुये पूर्ण वंदे मातरम् के गायन ने सबके रग-रग में देश भक्ति का संचार किया।
इस अवसर पर सनातन धर्म मंदिर व संत नगर रेज़िडेंट वेल्फ़ेयर एसोसिएशन के चेयरमैन श्री सुभाष मल्होत्रा, आर्य समाज श्री निवास पुरी के श्री सुशील आर्य, जी के-1 सत्संग सभा के श्री एस सी गर्ग, पूर्व निगम पार्षद श्रीमती लीला बिश्ट, विहिप-दक्षिणी दिल्ली के अध्यक्ष श्री जगदीश भयाना, जिला उपाध्यक्ष श्री अनिल चतुर्वेदी, आर एस एस के नगर कार्यवाह श्री मनीश गुप्ता व डेनमार्क से आए श्री एलन के अलावा आर्य समाज के कोषाध्यक्ष श्री वीरेंद्र सूद, संरक्षक श्री रामकृष्ण व श्री जगदीश गांधी, सहकोषाध्यक्ष श्री विनोद कौशिक, श्रीमती राज सूद, श्रीमती कांता रानी व श्रीमती प्रतिभा भी उपस्थित थे। कार्यक्रम के दौरान नित्य प्रति हवन व वेद पाठ करने के पश्चात ही विद्यालय जाने वाले बच्चों को मंच से सम्मानित किया गया जिसमें पाँचवी कक्षा की कुमारी अंजलि की भूरि-भूरि प्रशंसा हुई तथा नि:स्वार्थ भाव से समाज की सेवा करने वाले श्री अरुण होरा व श्री जवाहर लाल आहूजा को आर्य समाज के हनुमान की उपाधि से सम्मानित किया गया।
Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2013 moves to Mumbai

Mumbai, 25th Feb 2013: The third leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2013 will commence at the prestigious Bombay Presidency Golf Club from tomorrow. The tournament which will be played from the 26th – 28th February 2013 at the 18 hole BPGC will see a close fight between Veteran golfer Smriti Mehra and the young brigade of Vani Kapoor and Neha Tripathi for the top spot both in the tournament and the Hero Order of Merit for 2013.

Delhi Golfer Smriti Mehra who will start her campaign in the third leg fresh from her convincing win in the second leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2013 will be eager to repeat her performance at the BPGC and consolidate her top spot in the Hero OOM. Smriti currently leads the Hero OOM for 2013 with a total earning of Rs. 1, 90, 000 to her kitty from two tournaments.

Kolkata Golfer Neha Tripathi, who had a great start to the season winning the first leg of the Hero Women’s Golf Tour 2013 will be hopeful of a good show in the third leg. Neha is currently second on the Hero OOM with a total earning of Rs. 1, 65,000 from two tournaments.

DLF Golf & Contry Club’s golfer Vani Kapoor who stormed the circuit with some aggressive and exceptional golf last year in her rookie season, is yet to taste victory this season. Vani who has been consistent in the first two legs (third and tied second finish on the tour), would be eager to win her first for the season. Vani is currently placed third in the Hero OOM with a total amount of Rs. 1,52,500 to her kitty.

While the OOM war gets hotter this season, one can’t rule out Bangalorean Sharmila Nicollet who finished tied second in the second leg with a strong comeback on the final day. Sharmila had to miss the first leg of the tour due to an injury and only started her campaign in the second leg. Sharmila in the past has been the Hero OOM merit leader for the 2010-11 and 2009-10 season and also is the only Indian representative in the current Ladies European Tour season.
Smriti Mehra looks forward to a second consecutive title at the third leg of the Hero Women’s Pro Golf Tour 2013

Mumbai, 25th Feb 2013: Veteran Delhi golfer Smriti Mehra will look forward to her second consecutive title at the third leg of the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2013. The third leg will be played at the par 70 Bombay Presidency Golf Club from the 26th – 28th February 2013. Smriti who was the winner in the second leg of the HWPGT 13 currently leads the Hero Order of Merit with a total earning of INR 1,90,000 from the first two legs.

DLF Golf & Contry Club’s golfer Vani Kapoor who stormed the circuit with some aggressive and exceptional golf in her rookie season will be eager to get her first winners cheque on the tour forthis season. Kolkata Golfer Neha Tripathi, who had a great start to the season winning the first leg of the Hero Women’s Golf Tour 2013 will be hopeful of a good show in the third leg.

Hero MotoCorp sponsored golfer, Sharmila Nicollet will be another professional to watch out for in this leg. Sharmila who had to miss the first leg of the tour due to an injury finished tied second in the second leg with a strong comeback on the final day.

The Rs. 5,00,000 event is the third in the series of 12 this year.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Anwar Ibrahim on a new era for Cosmopolitans

Malaysia’s opposition unveiled election manifesto on Monday  with pledges to eliminate authoritarian rule, corruption, promising lower fuel prices other sweeteners lure
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on a new era for cosmopolitans  and economically vibrant country, which has been governed since independence in 1957 by essentially the same ruling coalition.He said, “This is about the rise of the people. We, as leaders, are only the catalyst,” Anwar said in a speech after the manifesto’s release.”We are responsible for returning human dignity and pride to the people.”
Elections are due by late June but Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to call a fresh vote within weeks.

Michelle Obama presents Best Picture Award

Michelle Obama made a surprise and unprecedented appearance on Sunday's Oscars telecast when she presented the award for Best Picture, the first time a president or first lady has ever presented an Academy Award.
Appearing live on screen from the White House in Washington, almost 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood, Obama praised the work of the movie industry before announcing the Iran hostage drama "Argo" the Best Picture winner. Wearing a silver evening dress, Obama said this year's nominated films had "made us laugh, made us weep and grip our armrests just a little bit tighter." Obama added: "They reminded us we can overcome any obstacles if we dig deep enough and hard enough. They are especially important for young people. Everyday they engage in the arts, they learn to open their imaginations ... and strive to reach those dreams."
"Argo" director and co-producer Ben Affleck said he felt like he was "sort of hallucinating" when Obama presented the award. "The fact that it was the first lady was an enormous honor... it was very cool," Affleck said backstage after collecting the Best Picture Trophy.

6.2 Quake hits near Tokyo,5.4 Jolt Tibet

Earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale jolted central Japan on Monday, said the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).Epicenter was initially determined at degree 39.9 north latitude, 139.4 degree east longitude, with a depth of 10 km.
 Earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale jolted Gerze county of Ali prefecture in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region at 1:11 p.m. Beijing Time Monday, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.The epicenter, with a depth of 9 km, was initially determined to be at 34.4 degrees north latitude and 85.7 degrees east longitude.
Another earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale occurred in the same area at 1:22 p.m. Beijing Time, with a depth of 3 km, the center reported.

Nicos Anastasiades President of Cyprus

President-elect of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, vowed on Sunday to sign a bailout deal with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as soon as possible. "We will cooperate with our European partners in order to conclude the agreement as soon as possible. We will be absolutely consistent and fully comply with all our obligations,” the president-elect told on state TV.
He vowed extensive structural reforms needed to restore economic stability and ensure growth.
With all the votes counted, Anastasiades, 66, of the main opposition Democratic Rally party, garnered 57.5 percent of the vote while left-wing rival and former health minister Stavros Malas, 45, won 42.5 percent of the ballots. Mediterranean island,  on the brink of bankruptcy, needs a bailout of 17.5 billion euros $23 billion.The president elect's inauguration ceremony is about to begin at a stadium in Nicosia.

Tata, Airtel and SingTel under CBI scanner

CBI has registered a case in a Delhi court against Bharti Airtel Ltd, Tata Communication Ltd and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd for allegedly causing a loss of nearly Rs 48 crore to the govt since 2004 by illegally providing ILD services.All the three telecom companies have been booked on charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating under the Indian Penal Code and also under the Indian Telegraph Act for violating the Department of Telecommunications’ licencing norms.The FIR has been filed in a local court on a complaint of Ministry of Communications and IT..When contacted, Bharti Airtel had no comments to offer while Tata Communications said it would not comment on speculation.The complaint said it had come to the notice of DoT that there is an unauthorised/illegal international long distance service provider M/s Singapore Telecommunications Ltd which was selling unauthorised ILD services to Indian customers since 2004 without obtaining the requisite ILD licence from DoT in connivance with Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications.
It said the Singaporean company had offered and provided unauthorized ILD services to the Indian customers without obtaining the requisite ILD licence from DoT. Report said the actual loss can be calculated after getting the amount collected by illegal international long distance (ILD) services provided from various Indian customers.
 CBI has said in the FIR that “facts in the complaint disclose commission of offences under Section 120-B read with 420 IPC and section 20 of the Indian Telegraph Act against M/s Singapore Telecommunications, M/s Bharti Airtel Ltd and M/s Tata Communication Ltd. A regular case has been registered for investigation.”

South Korean first women President Park Geun-Hye

Park Geun-Hye, the daughter of South Korea’s late military ruler, will be sworn in as the country’s first female president on Monday in a ceremony shadowed by North Korea’s recent nuclear test. challenges, including the belligerent regime in the North, a slowing economy and soaring welfare costs in one of the world’s most rapidly aging societies. Park inaugural speech is expected to focus on job creation, welfare expansion and national defence, while appealing for national unity at a time of growing concern with income and wealth disparity. Park had campaigned on a promise of greater, “trust-based” engagement with Pyongyang and her speech will be closely parsed for any indication of how she intends to handle North Korea at the beginning of her five-year term.Park is taking office a little more than 50 years after her father, Park Chung-He, seized power in a military coup. He went on to rule the country with an iron fist for the next 18 years until his eventual assassination, and remains a divisive figure credited with dragging the country out of poverty but reviled for his regime’s human rights abuses. His daughter’s political career has always been shadowed by her father’s legacy a fact that has played both to her advantage and her detriment.
Park publicly acknowledged the excesses of her father’s regime during her campaign and apologized to the families of its victims. Park’s mother murdered five years before her father, and she has never married or had children.She is adored by older conservative Koreans, who feel she shares her father’s leadership qualities and view her as something of an ill-fated princess who lost both parents to assassination but managed to rise above the tragedy.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hero Hockey World League Round Two – Russia Vs India-0-1

Russia – India 0-1 (half-time: 0-0)
Rani saved her best for last as she fired home the only goal of India’s win over Russia, a goal that saw her side claim top spot from the women’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 in Delhi.
It was a thing of beauty, jinking away from two defenders to find daylight in a packed circle and smashing through the otherwise impenetrable defences of Russia goalkeeper Oxana Serezhkina. It came in the 51st minute after India had peppered the Russian goal but found the route through incredibly tough to find.
In the first half, Jaspreet Kaur drew a superb save from a penalty corner won 75 seconds in and the likes of Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Rani and Anupa Barla also saw their shots batted away. Olesya Petrova had to take one off the line, too, amid a melee.
In response, Russia sporadically threatened, winning a couple of corners late in the second half to show they still carried an interest in the tie. Rani, though, eventually sealed their nerves 19 minutes from the end and she went close to extending the lead soon after.
Again, Russia had intentions of spoiling the party with Maria Nikitina’s sliding shot skipping by the far post while Yogita Bali did brilliantly to block Ekaterina Shaburova’s shot. But India deservedly held on to move up to 13 points, tied with Japan but took the title by virtue of having won mores games.
And they also landed the major tournament prizes. Rani was the top-scorer with seven to her name while Jaspreet Kaur was the overall best defender and player of the week.
Fiji’s Susan Mudunatagi was honoured as goalkeeper of the tournament while Japanese veteran Sachimi Iwao was top midfielder and Malaysia’s Siti Rahmah Othman the best attacker.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pentagon grounds its entire fleet of F35 fighter jets

The US military temporarily grounded its entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets - used in Air Force, the Navy and the Marines - as a precautionary measure after a routine inspection detected a crack on an engine blade.
All F-35 flight operations have been suspended until the investigation is complete, the Pentagon said on Friday. "It is too early to know the fleet-wide impact of the recent finding," it said, adding F-35 Joint Program Office is working closely with Pratt & Whitney and Lockheed Martin at all F-35 locations to ensure the integrity of the engine, and to return the fleet safely to flight as soon as possible. The Pentagon said a routine engine inspection revealed a crack on an engine blade of the F-35 engine installed in F-35A aircraft AF-2 operating at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Engineering teams are shipping the engine's turbine module and its associated hardware to Pratt & Whitney's Engine Facility in Middletown, Connecticut, to conduct more thorough evaluation and root cause analysis, it said. The F-35 II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability.

With an endeavor to ease the traffic problems that create havoc mainly in the capital city, Bangladesh on Wednesday signed a loan deal with a Japanese development agency for construction of the country's first-ever metro rail system.

Traffic in the country’s capital, home to 15 million people, is among the slowest in the world with commuters spending three-to-four hours in jams daily. A mix of 200,000 motor vehicles and another half-million cycle-rickshaws clog the roads.
Officials said the proposed 20.1-kilometre ground and elevated railway will stretch across Dhaka from north to south with 16 stations and will ferry four million commuters every day, easing the jams substantially.
The project will cost an estimated USD 2.8 billion, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Bangladesh chief Takao Toda said, adding that his agency will finance 85 per cent of the cost at an interest rate of 0.01 per cent.
"The metro-rail will reduce travel time to 36 minutes (to cross from north to south Dhaka), which now takes hours," Toda said at the signing of the first phase of the loan deal entailing USD 116.3 million for consulting services.
The metro-rail construction will start in 2016 and end in 2021. The government may seek investment from other donors for the remainder of the cost.
The metro will be the impoverished country's second-largest infrastructure project after a USD 3-billion bridge project over the river Padma.
The government says it plans to finance the bridge on its own. Early this month, Bangladesh withdrew its request for World Bank financing for the high-profile bridge project which has been dogged by allegations of corruption involving top government officials.

23.02.13 : New Delhi: Hero Hockey World League Round Two - Bangladesh VS Fiji
Bangladesh – Fiji 8-4 (half-time: 3-2)
Mamunur Rahman Chayan’s four goal corner burst eventually put paid to Fiji’s hopes of a first win from a spectacular men’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 in Delhi.
It helped Bangladesh land their third win from four games and, with a game against India to come, are hopeful of causing  an upset to try and make it through to round three.Things looked to be relatively comfortable when Krishno Kumar Das scored twice in the opening eleven minutes, first with a tidy one-on-one finish, next when he guided home Md Mosiur Rahman Mosiur’s whipped pass.
Kamruzzaman’s excellent rising effort made it 3-0 before Fiji stormed back into contention.  Jerome Edwards scored their first with a very smart piece of work down the right, lifting it in from a narrow angle. And Adrian Smith scored his second of the competition from the same corner that succeeded against China for 3-2 at half-time.
Chayan’s first flick made it 4-2 but, again, Fiji replied this time from Alasace Smith’s thumping penalty corner strike. Chayan, though, formally killed off the game with three more drags in the closing 16 minutes to take away Fiji’s dream while Sheikh Md Nannu spun home in the middle of a late goal-rush. Adrian Smith got his second in the final minute to cap a lively performance but Bangladesh’s win means they will certainly finish above their pre-tournament seeding

India’s best cities Awards
Gujarat bags five awards, Vadodara ranked overall best emerging city
Gandhinagar, Surat and Rajkot also awarded in different categories
New Delhi:  Gujarat has been adjudged with five prestigious “India Today- Best City Awards-2013” in different categories at a function held here. While Vadodara bagged the award for overall best emerging city, Gandhinagar and Surat ranked best cities in category of Crime & Safety, Rajkot for Housing & Transport and Vadodara again for Public Services. All the five awards were received by Shri I.P. Gautam, Principal Secretary (Urban Development) of Gujarat Government from Union Minister for Urban Development Shri Kamal Nath here.
The cities were ranked on a primary survey of 50 cities and out of these, 17 cities were shortlisted with five from Gujarat state.
Gujarat has received a number of national and international awards in last decade for Good Governance. Under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modi as Chief Minister, Gujarat has developed one of the best infrastructures in the country and created conducive environment for its people to realize their full potential and excel in their chosen vocation.
Gujarat has invigorated the development of its cities and urban spaces with innovative ideas and their speedy implementation for long term, robust urban growth. In the last decade, the State Government has taken a series of initiatives dedicated to urban areas that have generated wonderful results.
Gujarat’s pioneering initiatives in areas such as water management,  disaster management, health care, education, women  empowerment, rural development, industrial development, investment promotion have been studied far and wide and several of them have been replicated and up-scaled in other states of the country.
Recently, Gujarat was adjudged the best Big State for providing citizen security and one of the top three Best Big States for their overall performance at the IBN7 Diamond States Awards. 
Shri Bharat Lal, Resident Commissioner also attended India Today award distribution function.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Egyptians to vote for new parliament in April

Egyptians to elect their new parliament beginning 27th April. The election will be held in several phases and the entire electoral process will be over by June .The new People’s Assembly will be formally convened after the polls on July 6.
A Presidential decree to this effect was issued by the Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi in Cairo yesterday.
The announcement of elections is being seen as yet another attempt by the President Mursi to tide over the ongoing political and economic crisis in the country. The ruling Muslim Brotherhood feels that the move will help stem the protests by the opposition.The umbrella opposition , the National Salvation Front, led by the former IAEA Chief Mohamed El Bardei is yet to react on the move.
However one of the major political players, the left wing Popular Currant led by the former Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, the opposition Dostur party and a group of revolutionary movements have declared that they would boycott the elections till their demands are met.
They have demanded a trial of Muslim Brotherhood supporters for crimes against the Egyptian people, sacking the attorney general, release of all political detainees, amendments in constitution and fresh Presidential elections along with that of the parliament

Thursday, February 21, 2013

SOFIA: Bulgaria Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced his government's resignation on Wednesday following days of sometimes violent street protests in the European Union's poorest member.
The move paves the way for early elections, which had been due to be held in July.
"We have dignity and honour. It is the people who put us in power and we give it back to them today,"

Borisov told parliament, adding that he would not participate in an interim government.
Bulgaria has been shaken over the past week by protests that initially were about soaring electricity prices but which have turned into nationwide demonstrations against the right-wing government in general.

Violent protest & clashes left dozens of people wounded and scores were arrested with demonstrators fighting running battles with riot police and vandalising government buildings in the capital Sofia.
Borisov on Monday attempted to ease the crisis by sacking his unpopular finance minister and on Tuesday by announcing he would revoke the licence of a Czech utility firm.

AirAsia to invest USD 50 mn in proposed Indian airline

A new Indian airline, proposed to be launched by the Tata Group, AirAsia and another Indian investor, is likely to start operations by the fourth quarter of this year with about USD 50 mn initial investment by the Malaysian budget carrier.

The airline, which would be based on the low-cost, no- frill model, would launch its operations with three to four Airbus A-320 aircraft and "scale up (the fleet) quickly thereafter," AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes said in a global teleconference from Malaysia on Thursday.

The airline would be based in Chennai and in the initial phase concentrate on destinations in South India where AirAsia already operates, he said.

AirAsia's initial investment in the airline, which would be run through a joint venture that includes the Tata Group and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace, would be about USD 50 million.

Asked by when the new airline would take to the sky, Fernandes said "it is in the hands of the Indian regulator ... but most likely it will start by the fourth quarter" of this year or the winter season.

"It will have a fleet of A-320s. We plan to start with three to four planes and scale up quickly after that," he said.

While the board of the airline would be dominated by Indians, Fernandes said the name of the CEO would be announced in the next few weeks and that of the airline's senior management soon thereafter.

The Malaysian budget carrier on Wednesday announced that its investment arm AirAsia Investment (AAIL) "has submitted an application to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to seek approval for AAIL to invest 49 per cent in a proposed joint venture with Tata Sons and Arun Bhatia of Telestra Tradeplace".

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