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Hindus urge global corporations to help conserve Hindu world heritage sites

Hindus have commended Panasonic Corporation for donating LED projectors to illuminate Prambanan Temple Compounds World Heritage Site in Indonesia.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, applauding Panasonic in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, stressed that other multi-national corporations should come forward to shoulder the burden of the upkeep, safeguarding and conservation of world Hindu heritage sites many of which were deteriorating due to lack of funding.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Panasonic to do the same with other Hindu UNESCO World Heritage sites in Cambodia (Angkor Hindu temples, Temple of Preah Vihear), India (Mahabalipuram monuments, Konrak Sun Temple, Hampi monuments, Ellora Caves, Elephanta Caves, Chola Temples, Pattadakal monuments, Champaner-Pavagadh), Laos (Vat Phou settlements) and Vietnam (My Son Sanctuary).

Built in the 10th century, Prambanan Temple Compounds is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia. Panasonic Corporation, founded in 1918 and headquartered in Osaka (Japan), is one of the largest electronic product manufacturers in the world.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat avoided questions on the controversy over religious conversion

Panaji: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat Friday avoided questions on the controversy over religious conversion, saying it was not his job to comment on such issues.
Asked to respond on an issue that has stalled the Rajya Sabha for days, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader said: "There others who are authorised to speak. It is not my job."

Bhagwat was in Goa to attend a social event in Panaji organised by Giants International, an NGO. RSS-affiliated groups have been accused of persuading members from the minority communities to embrace Hinduism.

Narendra Modi's long rule is needed to save the dignity and self-respect of the people of Tamil Nadu -Amit Shah

Chennai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's long rule is needed to save the dignity and self-respect of the people of Tamil Nadu and Tamils elsewhere, BJP president Amit Shah said Saturday. Addressing a public rally at Maraimalai Nagar near here, Shah in a "heart-to-heart" talk with the people, said: "In order to safe guard the dignity and self respect of the Tamil Nadu people, Modi's rule at the centre should be there for a long time." He listed out seven states - Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telengana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam - where the Bharatiya Janata Party should be strengthened so it can rule for a long time at the centre. Addressing the rally in Hindi, Shah, at the outset, apologised for his inability to speak Tamil. He said he is learning the language and would soon speak to the people in it. The party's national secretary H.Raja translated Shah's speech.
Thanking the people of Tamil Nadu for electing two National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidates to the Lok Sabha in the general elections, Shah said after 30 years, a single party has got the majority mandate at the centre. Responding to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's poser as to what the BJP government has done in the last six months, he wondered as to what a Congress government did for the nation in the last 60 years.

Shah said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in which DMK was part, indulged in various scams to the tune of Rs.12 lakh crore and unemployment was rampant during the UPA rule. He noted that 40 percent of the population did not have a bank account, while the Jan Dhan Yojana of the Modi government has led to eight crore new bank accounts being opened.
There will not be any scam charge against the BJP government when it goes to the polls five years later, he promised the people. After BJP came to power, price rise has been controlled and 'Make in India' programme is being implemented to provide jobs to the youth, Shah said.

He got a resounding yes from the crowd to questions like whether the people would want 24 hours power supply; end family rule; jobs for the youth and Tamils to live with dignity and respect. Shah then said that if these have to happen then BJP should be strengthened in the state by mobilising new members in Tamil Nadu. Shah was earlier given a warm welcome by the state BJP leaders on his first visit here after becoming the BJP president.
He was received by national general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao, union minister Pon Radhakrishnan, national secretary Raja, state unit president Tamizhisai Soundararajan, and others. According to BJP leaders, Shah's visit is to strengthen the party in the state ahead of the 2016 assembly elections.

He will interact with state party leaders Sunday. Meanwhile Tamil movie music director Gangai Amaran joined the party.

Upset Hindus urge withdrawal of goddess Kali mural from Brooklyn Museum

Hindus are upset over “inappropriate” portrayal of Hindu goddess Kali in a mural at Brooklyn Museum (New York).

This 60-foot mixed-media goddess Kali wall mural is part of recently opened “Eyes of Time” exhibition at Brooklyn Museum which is scheduled till July 12.  It shows Kali with three legs, three breasts and six arms. Its face is a clock with no actual time.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that goddess Kali was highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be thrown around loosely in reimagined versions for dramatic effects on museum walls. Such absurd depiction of goddess Kali with no scriptural backing was hurtful to the devotees.

Such trivialization of goddess Kali was disturbing to the devotees world over, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated and urged Brooklyn Museum to withdraw it. Zed also asked Museum’s Director Arnold L. Lehman to tender a formal public apology.

Rajan Zed stressed that Hindus were for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at belittling it hurt the devotees. Museums should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, Zed added.

Hindus welcomed museums and artists to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and respectfully and not just for indecorous showing of Hindu symbols and concepts to advance their selfish agenda. Casual flirting sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the devotees, Zed pointed out.

Rajan Zed noted that Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at; Zed said and added that if museums needed any assistance about Hinduism, he or other Hindu scholars would be glad to help.

Goddess Kali, who personifies Shakti or divine energy and considered the goddess of time and change, is widely worshipped in Hinduism. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

Museum seems to have three Kali paintings in its permanent collection, which includes "Siddha Lakhsmi with Kali" painting from 1600s. This exhibition is organized by Assistant Curator Saisha M. Grayson.

The Brooklyn Museum is one of the oldest and largest art museums in USA, whose roots extend back to 1823. Its permanent collection includes “ancient Egyptian masterpieces, African art, European painting, decorative arts, period rooms, and contemporary art”. Elizabeth A. Sackler is Museum’s Board of Trustees Chair while New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio serves on its Executive Committee as Ex-Officio.


Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Madhuri Dixit, and Riteish Deshmukh at Vikram Singh’s Brother Uday and Ali Morani’s daughter Shirin’s Sangeet Ceremony

Uday Singh, younger brother of Bollywood actor Vikram Singh (Heropanti and LocoVicky), and Shirin Morani's, sangeet ceremony took place at a hotel in juhu, the theme of which was winter snow which makes everybody feels cold with snow all around the place. This Party turned out to be a star studded affair with bollywood stars Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Madhuri Dixit, Riteish Deshmukh, Zayed Khan, Jacky Bhagnani, Ramesh Sippy with wife Kiran Juneja, Padmini Kolhapure, Poonam Dhillon, Bhagyashree, Rishi Kapoor, Ronit Roy, Shiamak Dawar, Gauhar Khan, Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder Singh, and others in attendance. Singer Shaan was seen gracing the occasion with his beautiful wife.

Bollywood's King Khan was seen blessing and hugging the couple. He danced with the couple and performed on 'kal ho na ho' track being sung live by Sonu Nigam. Hrithik Roshan was the first to arrive who was the cynosure of all eyes at the occasion. He looks very handsome in red and beige Sherwani. Amongst all the performances, Singer Shaan dedicated a song to the 'to be wedded' couple.

Shirin is the daughter of Anil Morani, the director of Cineyug Entertainment. She looked beautiful in a heavily embellished purple coloured lehenga. Vikram Singh showed his heropanti on stage with an energetic performance from his film's tracks.

A galaxy of Bollywood stars attended the sangeet ceremony which was glittering with their presence. Kanika Kapoor and Shalmali Kholgade made the attendees groove to her famous tunes. Others who were present at the event were Shweta Pandit, Nigar Khan, Armaan Malik, Karan Patel, Marzi, Terence Lewis, Deepshika, Vindu Dara Singh, Simi Garewal, Sunny shah and Manish Paul.


Indian national might be among the hostages being held by a gunman in a Sydney cafe: M. Venkaiah Naidu

New Delhi: Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu Monday said an Indian national might be among the hostages being held by a gunman in a Sydney cafe.
The minister, however, added that there was no confirmation of the report. Several people have been taken hostage at a popular cafe in Sydney in Australia by a gunman leading to evacuation of important buildings, including the Indian consulate which is located barely 400 metres away.

"There is information that one Indian is being held (as hostage) in Australia. The external affairs minister is keeping in touch with the Indian embassy there. Whatever steps were to be taken have been taken," Naidu told media outside parliament here.

He later said that "nothing is confirmed about if any citizen of our country is in there or not". "Information says people who were held hostage are safe. It's a sensitive matter. I request people to show restraint," he added.

Bigg Boss 8 -Salman Khan got upset after his joke was not taken sportingly by Karishma Tanna

New Delhi: Salman Khan, who often teases contestants of the popular reality show "Bigg Boss 8" when he dons the host's hat, got upset after his joke was not taken sportingly by Karishma Tanna.
During the course of the show, Salman teased Pritam Singh saying that he might get a little confused whether he should talk to Karishma too. Though the superstar said so to tease them, Karishma began to cry. When Pritam asked Karishma why she was crying, she said it is not funny to joke around all the time.

According to a source, Salman told Karishma that "Bigg Boss" is an entertainment show and they all were having fun. If she wants it to be a boring show, all can sit back and do nothing. He also said that everyone even teases co-contestants Dimpy Mahajan and Ali Quli Mirza, but they seem to take it sportingly as it is all in fun.
Karishma, who then got nervous, told the "Dabangg" star that it is not him and she has been feeling low the whole day. She also said that she got overwhelmed and felt sorry for it. Upen Patel, another housemate, wanted to interrupt to explain Karishma’s side, but Salman told him not to get in between.

A seemingly upset Salman then walked off the stage.

Devshi Khanduri joins Bollywood's Zero Size bikini brigade

Bollywood has always been thirsty for beautiful actresses in bikini, our bollywood beauties started slimming down for their films. In the recent few years, we have witnessed quite a few actresses with barely any flesh in their bodies, vying to embrace the size zero title in the industry. The trend of size zero has always existed in the western fashion industry. But, India witnessed something of that sort for the first time, after actress Kareena Kapoor pulled a size zero, the world watched the drama unspool much like a popcorn fare on celluloid. The skinny or size-zero figure is back in Bollywood, Here bollywood actress Devshi Khanduri has proved it with her latest Bikini Photoshoot she is not only hot but also has Zero figure.  Devshi oozes oomph in a black bikini that accentuates her curves.  She treats her fans with a sensuous avatar and did a sexy and scintillating photoshoot.

Devshi Khanduri said, “I love my body. And I hav worked very hard and sacrificed a lot to get zero figure size. My weight is 44 kg now and I feel so light like a feather now.”

Devshi khanduri likes to keep her body in perfect shape and for this she uses the yoga workouts. She uses the muscle toning yoga session which is an excellent choice for a workout. She performs kickboxing workouts and martial arts training to keep her fit. It also helps in enhancing the flexibility of the body. It helps in building the strength in her hips and thighs. It also helps in burning a lot of calories from the body. Devshi khanduri has a strict diet .she consumes lots of protein, takes steamed vegetables, fruits and lots of water in her diet. They take a little amount of complex carbohydrate, enough to replenish the body with the required energy. unveils Elumn: The online alumni network for institutions

JIVEM Education, the company behind introduces the social networking platform to replenish the bonding between alumni, students and the alma-mater

New Delhi:, India’s foremost e-learning and online test preparation portal has come up with a ground-breaking platform called Elumn that serves as a private social network for an institute’s alumni. It is an online networking platform that integrates with the institute’s website and enables its alumni to search for their mates and stay connected with their alma mater.  Former students can connect with their old classmates, share photos and create groups through Elumn.

An innovative cloud-based alumni networking solution, it empowers institutes to regulate what their alumni posts on the network. The associated institutes are also authorized to post newsletters, send bulk e-mails and SMS to alumni, share old pictures and also control the membership requests.

The online networking platform houses innovative features like alumni articles, alumni pictures, old picture library, Alumni Success Stories, Alumni Testimonials, Search a Classmate, invite friends, Alumni Newsletter, Organization News and alumni friend groups.

Ashutosh Modi, Executive Director, JIVEM Education said, “We are extremely elated on launching an innovative platform which connects present students with seniors. Some of the most solid friendships and memories that we carry through our lifetime are cemented in school and college. Having strong alumni helps both the institute and ex-students keep abreast of new developments in the professional sphere as well as highlight their past and current achievements.”

Elumn thus assists in developing both the current students and alumni, on a professional as well as personal level. Interactions between current students and pass-outs help them in the long run as it enables them to share opportunities among themselves and also learn from each other’s experiences. For institutes, it aids them in positioning their brand name in the market and get updated about their students’ whereabouts. JIVEM Education is planning to partner with 2000 schools, colleges, universities and institutes across India in next two quarters before going global.


EntrancePrime is India's leading website for test series preparations. EntrancePrime is a part of diversified Education Company ‘JIVEM Education’ headquartered at Jhunjhunu near Delhi. JIVEM Education focuses on various segments of education such as Playschool, K-12, Test Prep, Sports coaching and e-learning. The company entered into the e-learning space in 2013 with its online test practice portal for various entrance exams i.e. JEE, AIPMT, BITSAT, CA-CPT and NTSE. EntrancePrime has over 50,000 registered students and is receiving an average of 300 new registrations every day and it provides detailed multi-angle result analysis of each test, based on multiple dimensions such as speed, accuracy, consistency, topic-level preparedness and concept-level understanding.

Winners for the National Rounds of WorldSkills Competition in the Web Design category declared

Mumbai: Aptech Limited, a leading global retail and corporate training company, held the National Rounds for WorldSkills Competition, an initiative of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), in Web Design category in Mumbai on the 11th and 12th of December, 2014. Through this initiative, Aptech got the opportunity to reach out to students across the nation and identify talented young minds though regional and national selection in Web Design category. The national winners of the competition in the web design category were Chirag Goel from PES Institute of Technology, Bangalore, Saurabh Gupta from Aptech Chembur and Chahal Tanvir from Aptech Jagraon. Aptech will provide advanced training and mentoring to these winners to further polish their web designing skills, after which, one student will be selected to represent India in Sao Paolo, Brazil, for the next edition of the competition in August 2015.

 WorldSkills is the largest skill competition in the world, organised once every two years in one of the member countries. More than 1000 contestants below the age of 23, compete for gold, silver and bronze medals, in over 46 skills. The competition is held over a span of four days. WorldSkills India is an initiative of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) which has been leading India’s participation at WorldSkills International competitions since 2011.

Interested participants from all across India submitted their web project using Designing, HTML5, CSS3, Java script, PHP, MySQL . Shortlisted candidates underwent regional competition where they worked on live projects. For North and East regions, the competition centre was Delhi, in the South, it was held at Bangalore and for the Western region, the competition was held at Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

About Aptech Ltd

Aptech commenced its education and training business in 1986 and has globally trained over 7 million students. Aptech is an ISO 9001:2008 organization and the first IT Training and Education company to get this certification for Education Support Services in 1993. Aptech has presence in more than 40 emerging countries through its two main streams of businesses – Individual training and Enterprise Business. As a leader in career education, it has over 1300+ centres of learning across the world.

Under Individual Training, Aptech offers career and professional training through its Aptech Computer Education, Arena Animation & Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (both in Animation & Multimedia), Aptech Hardware & Networking Academy, Aptech Aviation & Hospitality Academy and Aptech English Learning Academy brands. Enterprise business includes Content Development (Aptech Learning Services), Training and Assessment Solutions for Corporates & Institutions (Aptech Training Solutions, Aptech Assessment & Testing Solutions).


Coca-Cola India Pledges Support for XPRIZE Competitionto
AddressSustainability of Water

global leader in incentivized prize competition,announced a formal
expansion into India today at an event in Mumbai attended by some of
India's most influential business leaders including Mr Ratan Tata,Mr.
Adi Godrej and Mr. Sajjan Jindal.

XPRIZE announced plans to launch multiple prizes in India over the
next few years in the areas of water, energy, waste management, and
food & nutrution, with an anticipated first prize addressing water
sustainability, to launch in 2015 with the support of Coca-Cola India.

Guests at the event participated in an XPRIZE "Visioneering" process,
where corporate leaders, philanthropists, heads of innovation and
XPRIZE Trustees worked together in an unique series of brainstorming
sessions to identify which of India's Grand Challenges can best be
solved through incentivized prize competitions.

Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus, Tata Sons and trustee at XPRIZE, along
with Naveen Jain, founder & CEO of Inome, and Paresh Ghelani,
chairman, BPG Motors have been great supporters of XPRIZE and active
in bringing XPRIZE to India.  Mr. Tata said, "We are bringing XPRIZE
to India with the belief that the next big innovations to solve some
of the world's Grand Challenges will come from India, directly
impacting millions of people at the base of the pyramid. Through
XPRIZE, we want to tap into this promise of potential and

"We chose India as the first geographic location outside of the U.S.
to launch our global development prizes because we believe India has a
technological and entrepreneurial capacity like no other country in
the world," said Zenia Tata, program director, global expansion,
XPRIZE."India is also going to provide XPRIZE the platform to meet
Grand Challenges on a global scale and we are very excited about the
impact we believe we are going to create."

"Coca-Cola India is pleased to support the first XPRIZE in India in
the area of water, reflecting Coca-Cola's overarching commitment to
water sustainability," said VenkateshKini, president of Coca-Cola
India and South West Asia. "We are excited about this partnership and
through it we hope to bring forth innovative solutions to the pressing
issue of water sustainability to positively impact millions of lives
in India and across the globe."

Mr. Tata, Mr. Jain, and Mr. Ghelani are among a list of XPRIZE
Trustees that includes Elon Musk, Larry Page, James Cameron, Arianna
Huffington, Ali Velshi, Wendy Schmidt, Ray Kurzweil, and Anousheh
Ansari. Deloitte is the knowledge partner for XPRIZE in India.

For more information, visit

Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the
world's Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale,
high-profile, incentivized prizes in five areas: Learning;
Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life
Sciences.  Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the
$15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, and
the $2M Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. For more information, go to


Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to globally renowned yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday paid tribute to globally renowned yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar on his birth anniversary.
"My tributes to B.K.S. Iyengar on his birth anniversary. His contribution in taking yoga across the world is monumental," he said in a tweet.

Iyengar, who founded the 'Iyengar Yoga', was born Dec 14, 1918 in Bellur in Karnataka. He died Aug 20, 2014 in Pune.

The UN decision to declare June 21 as the International Day of Yoga "is a matter of great pride for India"; PM

New Delhi: The UN decision to declare June 21 as the International Day of Yoga "is a matter of great pride for India", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday.
"The world came together on the issue. (A total of) 177 nations were co-sponsors (of the UN resolution)" he said in his monthly radio address.

Modi thanked all the countries for supporting the UN decision. "It is our responsibility to ensure that the right spirit of yoga is conveyed to everyone."

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan says entering politics was a mistake

New Delhi: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan says entering politics was a mistake, and he will never again repeat the mistake.
The 72-year-old, who contested the Lok Sabha election from Allahabad in 1984 and won, resigned after three years as an MP. “Venturing into politics was a mistake. I entered the field in the flow of emotions. But then I realised that emotions are very different from reality in the political arena. So I gave up,” the actor said at a session of Agenda Aaj Tak here Saturday.

“I have never thought of going back to politics since then,” he added. The actor was nostalgic while reciting his late father Harivanshrai Bachchan's poem “Madhushala” at the event.
Amitabh noted that his father was teetotaller but his poem was on alcohol and drunkards. “The poem was written in 1933 and published in 1935. It is amazing that the poem still manages to attract people. My father never drank, but the poem is all about alcohol. It was a hot topic of discussion then,” said Amitabh.

“His poems depicted revolutionary thoughts even at that time." On the professional front, the actor is busy shooting for Bejoy Nambiar's "Wazir". The film also features Farhan Akhtar.

Amitabh Bachchan says his determination and focus helped him emerge from the brink of bankruptcy

New Delhi: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan has seen highs and lows in his journey from being Bollywood's "angry young man” to its "Shahenshah”. The actor says his determination and focus helped him emerge from the brink of bankruptcy.
For the actor, things didn't turn out as expected with his Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd. (ABCL) landing him into financial mess. “It was a difficult time. ABCL went into debt. I was bankrupt. The people who expressed desire to work with me at the peak of my career came and hurled abuses at me,” Amitabh said at a session of Agenda Aaj Tak here Saturday.

The 72-year-old, who has consistently proved his mettle with films like “Agneepath”, “Don”, “Black”, “Paa” and “Cheeni Kum”, says his focus and passion for acting helped him overcome that phase. “When you are in such a problem, you don't sleep at night. On one such night, I asked myself 'Who I am' and realised that I came here to act and should stick to it,” he said.

“Next morning, I went to (late filmmaker) Yash Chopra and explained my problem and told him that I neither have money nor work. It was then he gave me a role in 'Mohabbatein' and then I started again from that point,” he added.
Amitabh played the role of a strict father and professor, who doesn't believe in love, in the musical romantic drama, which released in 2000. At the session, he also recited his late father Harivanshrai Bachchan's poem “Madhushala” and reminisced about his father. The actor says his lessons are his driving force.

"My father was in a government job and he went for another job at night due to which he came home late. When I opened the door for him, I often asked him 'Why is he so late?' and to which he replied 'Paisa badi mushkil se milta hai' (You don't get money easily)."
"So, when I entered show business, I used to do two to three shifts and reached home late. Then my father asked me the same question and complained about my late arrival. My answer was the same: 'Paisa badi mushkil se milta hai, babuji'. This is one of the many teachings that helps me in my life," he said.

Meanwhile, the actor has wrapped up shooting for "Piku” and is currently busy with “Wazir”.


Actress Shraddha Kapoor hopes that coming year 2015 will be as fruitful too

Mumbai: Actress Shraddha Kapoor, who tasted success with two back-to-back hit films “Ek Villain” and “Haider” this year, hopes that coming year 2015 will be as fruitful too.
“I've been taking it (life) as it comes...going with a flow. Year 2014 has been a very special year, so I can only hope that this success run continues," Shraddha said at the launch of Lakme's product here Thursday.

On the work front, Shraddha Kapoor will next be seen sharing screen space with Varun Dhawan for the first time in Remo D'Souza's dance sequel “ABCD 2”. The film is slated to release in mid 2015.

Superstar Aamir Khan will show his forthcoming film “PK” to cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar

New Delhi: Superstar Aamir Khan will show his forthcoming film “PK” to cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar.
The Rajkumar Hirani directorial has created a lot of curiosity -- so much so that even close friend Tendulkar mentioned to Aamir that he is waiting to watch the film.

While Aamir is on a multi-city tour for the film’s promotions, he is planning to host the special screening sometime next week in Mumbai, confirmed spokesperson of the actor, read a statement.
The movie, which also features Anushka Sharma, has already been appreciated by her beau and cricketer Virat Kohli.

“PK” will release Dec 19.

A friend of Bollywood actress and item girl Rakhi Sawant has publicly slapped Sachendra Sharma

Mumbai: A friend of Bollywood actress and item girl Rakhi Sawant has publicly slapped Sachendra Sharma, the director of "Mumbai Can Dance Saala", accusing him of demanding "favours" from her. The director has refuted the claim, terming it as a "publicity stunt".
At the music launch of "Mumbai Can Dance Saala" here, Rakhi's friend Manisha came forward and slapped Sharma.

Rakhi, who is part of the movie and was also present at the event, came out in support of her friend, saying: "Yes, she is right, the director asked her for favours to get a role in his film."
The director, however, rubbished the claims and called it a publicity stunt.

“Every now and then, aspiring actresses use these type of cheap stunts to get publicity. I don't even know that girl," Sharma said after the incident.

Apart from Rakhi, "Mumbai Can Dance Saala" stars Ashima Sharma, Prashant Narayan, Aditya Pancholi and Shakti Kapoor. The film is likely to hit screens next month.

Actress Sonam Kapoor is not ready to settle down in the near future

Mumbai: Actress Sonam Kapoor, who essays the lead role in "Dolly Ki Doli" is not ready to settle down in the near future, and says she's confused about her idea of Mr.Right.
Since Sonam will be seen as a bride in the Arbaaz Khan production "Dolly Ki Doli", she was asked about her real-life wedding plans.

"There is lot of time for that...I am single and very happy. I think I am very confused. I don't know what kind of a guy I need," she replied. For now, the actress wants to explore the comedy space on the big screen. "I think comedy is the toughest genre. I would love to be called as comedy actress," said Sonam, whose past releases included "Khoobsoorat" and "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag". Directed by Abhishek Dogra, "Dolly Ki Doli" also features Rajkummar Rao.

Yoga guru Ramdev praised the Narendra Modi government for promoting yoga at the world stage

New Delhi: Yoga guru Ramdev Friday praised the Narendra Modi government for promoting yoga at the world stage and expressed elation over the UN decision to declare June 21 the International Day of Yoga.
"This government of Modi has promoted yoga like no other government," he said at a press conference here. The UN General Assembly Thursday adopted a resolution, with a record number of 175 country co-sponsors, for observance of International Day of Yoga June 21 each year.

Modi had proposed holding an international yoga day in his UN General Assembly speech Sep 27.

"Students will benefit from Yoga at a much earlier age if it is introduced at the school level," Ramdev said, adding he had made a proposal to the prime minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be arriving for a day-long BJP poll campaign visit to the Jammu region

Jammu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be arriving Saturday for a day-long BJP poll campaign visit to the Jammu region.Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sources said Modi would address poll rallies in the Kathua and Rajouri districts of Jammu region."The Prime Minister will first address a BJP election rally in Kathua district and in the afternoon, he will address another BJP poll rally in Rajouri district", BJP sources told IANS in Jammu.This will be Modi's fourth poll campaign visit to J&K and his ninth visit to Jammu and Kashmir since he took over as the Prime Minister.20 assembly constituencies in the three districts of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri go to poll in the fifth and final phase of the J&K assembly elections on Dec 20.

Zed terms Pope’s refusal to meet Dalai Lama “a sad day for interfaith dialogue”

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has described Pope Francis’s reported declination to meet Dalai Lama as “a sad day for interfaith dialogue”.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, pointed out that religious leader of Pope’s standing with about 1.2 billion followers, should be more focused on bringing the diverse faiths together instead of falling prey to petty diplomacy. Turning down a well-intentioned meeting request from a well-known leader of another world religion was clearly a missed opportunity in the inter-religious dialogue.

Rajan Zed stressed that serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour and Pope Francis should lead it instead of shying away from it. Inter-religious dialogue might help us vanquish the stereotypes, prejudices, caricatures, etc., passed on to us from previous generations, Zed added.

Zed further said that Pope Francis should re-evaluate his priorities and place interfaith dialogue on the top of the list aiming at bringing all humanity together on issues of common religious concerns like human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility, social & economic development, etc.

In our shared pursuit for the truth, we could learn from one another, Rajan Zed noted.



Legendary Indian playback singer Asha Bhosle will be receiving the 'Life time Achievement Award' at the prestigious 11th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) for her decades of dedication to Indian cinema and music with over 12,000 songs for 850 films in her singing career spanning seven decades and going on.

Asha Tai is known for her incredible range and versatility, having recorded every style of music from film to folk songs, Indian classical music to pop songs, as well as ghazals and bhajans. She made her acting debut in the 2013 film ‘Mai’, at the age of 80, to critical acclaim; and has been awarded numerous accolades. These include being noted as the ‘most recorded artist in music history’ by the Guinness Book of World Records, being awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2000) and the Padma Vibhushan (2008) from the Indian government.

DIFF Chairman Abdulhamid Juma said: “Asha Bhosle is a stalwart of the Indian music scene, and we are proud to be honoring her with this DIFF Lifetime Achievement Award. Her work has touched almost every corner of the world: we look forward to welcoming such a legend to Dubai and DIFF.”

Asha Bhosle added: “I am delighted to have been nominated to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from DIFF in Dubai – a place with long historic ties to my country. I look forward to visiting this special film festival, which has done so much work to promote the art worldwide.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award is dedicated to honoring the world’s greatest film industry actors, writers, directors and producers. Previous winners include Martin Sheen, Omar Sharif, Faten Hamamah, Adel Imam, Jameel Rateb, Sabah, Morgan Freeman, Sean Penn, Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Daoud Abdel Sayed, Youssef Chahine, Rachid Bouchareb, Souleymane Cisse, Nabil El-Maleh, Oliver Stone, Danny Glover, Terry Gilliam, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Michael Apted and Mahmoud Abdel Aziz.

About  DIFF:
The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) is the leading film festival in the region. Since its inception in 2004, the festival has served as an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and talent at an international level, by spearheading the cinema movement in the region. The 11th edition of DIFF will take place from December 10 – 17, 2014.


Bollywood stars at TV producer Anand Saxena B’day Bash

Mumbai witness a celebration of Famous  TV producer and entrepreneur Anand Saxena (of Chandramukhi, Black & Zindagi Ek Safar) birthday party in his own elan when he threw a party in city hotel Enigma, Juhu. The party was celebrated by friends and family with lots of pomp and fun. Bollywood’s famous personalities were seen in full force. Actress Bhavika Desai, Ruchi, Priyanka Amita Nagi were present at the event and was seen wishing to Anand Saxena. Actress Mansi Pritam  was seen having fun with Gizal and later both were seen shaking their legs with Anand. Shabaz  Khan and Kuldeep Gupta were seen bonding with Manish Goswami.

Mahi Gill was seen discussing with Ruchi and Priyanka about the latest trend in Bollywood.  Others seen at the event were Neha Dwivedi and Sabiya.  Everyone was seen enjoying the party till wee hours.

MoneyGram charms Bangalore with the ICC World Cup TrophyTour

ØMoneyGram takes the 6 city tour of the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy to Bengaluru
ØIndia’s technology hub with Robin Uthappa at Mantri Square

Bangalore – MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI), a leading money transfer and payment services company, today provided thousands of Bangalorites a chance to catch a glimpse of the world’s most coveted cricket symbol, the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy, in their city.

From Hyderabad, the trophy tour arrived at its third stop in Bengaluru, India’s technology hub, and the magnificent trophy was displayed at Mantri Square where cricketer Robin Uthappa, was present, who is hopeful of securing a berth in India's World Cup team. Fans in the city caught a glimpse of the top trophy, enjoyed clicking selfies with it and won themselves loads of goodies.

“It is a matter of pure joy and delight for a cricket fan to catch a glimpse of the sport’s most coveted symbol, the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy and MoneyGram is thrilled to bring the world cup trophy to Bangalore today. We trust that India’s cricket fans will make the most of this opportunity to celebrate the best in cricket,” said Kaushik Roy, MoneyGram’s senior regional director, South Asia.

Charming fans between December 2 and 7 2014, the trophy is travelling around the cities of Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Jalandhar and Ahmedabad.

MoneyGram continues to bring cheer to all cricket fans around India, and hopes to strengthen the promise of bringing families closer around the world.

About MoneyGram International, Inc.

MoneyGram, a leading money transfer company, enables consumers who are not fully served by traditional financial institutions to meet their financial needs. MoneyGram offers money transfer services worldwide through a global network of 339,000 agent locations - including retailers, international post offices and financial institutions - in more than 200 countries and territories. MoneyGram also offers bill payment services in the U.S. and Canada.

Doordarshan's top dance reality show "Close up Bharat Ki Shan- Let’s Dance” reaches its emotional semi finals

We see our favorite characters performing different roles onscreen but life off camera is totally different from reel life, there is lots of Masti that goes on behind the scenes. Sometime stars break into fits of giggles while filming and there are times when emotions rules the hearts. On sets the team works for hours together and become just like a close nit family.

Doordarshan's most popular reality Dance Show “Close up Bharat Ki Shan-Let's Dance” has been seeing a roller coaster of emotions. There has been fun filled dances and some that have made the judges, crew as well as the audiences cry.

The two dynamic judges on the show, internationally renowned dancer choreographer Sandip Soparrkar and princess of bollywood dance Pony Verma balance the judges chair very well together. Sandip Soparrkar is strict yet fun loving and Pony Verma plays funny pranks all the time, making the atmosphere of elimination rounds easy and relaxed. The contestants shower all their love and affection with sweets and chocolates each time the judges come on the sets.

Sandip Soparrkar said, " I am so glad the I am a part of Lets Dance show, each dancer here is so warm n loving, contestant Ankita feeds us with Bengali sweets everyday and Karishma writes sweet loving notes on my car. I feel humbled with all the love and affection."

The show reached its semi final leg last week, top five couples will now dance off to win the grand dance trophy and loads of other prizes. The elimination that reached the semi round was an emotional one with all contestants and judges hugging each other.

Pony Verma Said, “I look forward to the shoot of Let's dance for 2 reasons, one is to see the great & hardworking performers & other one is to eat the salads made by my co judge Sandip Soparrkar himself, Sandip has been getting my lunch from his home since the 1st day of the shoot. We crack jokes, gossip and make crazy shayaris with Aparshakti Khurana who is our host of the show, honestly we have become a trio on the sets !!!"

Close up Bharat ki Shaan Let's Dance is one show that has been entertaining since its very first day. DD National brought in Kathak guru Sandeep Mahavir as a judge during the wild card episodes which brought another interesting twist to the dance reality show. The trio of Sandip Soparrkar, Pony Verma and Sandeep Mahavir along with the Aparshakti Khurana as the naughty host, talented Tejas Dattani and Radhika Das as dance mentors has made the show very interesting. Big cheers to Doordarshan and Gajendra Singh of Saai Baba Telefilms for a dhamakedar show.

Hindus upset at usage of Lord Shiva on slot gambling game

Hindus are upset at Hindu god Shiva themed slot gambling game titled “Shiva”, calling it highly inappropriate.

Developed by Merkur Division of Espelkamp (Germany) headquartered Gauselmann Group, “Shiva” slot gambling machine shows a blue four-armed Lord Shiva with dark red lips carrying damru in one hand. This five-reels and 50 win-lines gambling machine, besides Lord Shiva symbol (which substitutes all symbols) also shows symbols of cobra, Taj Mahal, monkey, etc. “Step into the realm of the god Shiva and experience an exciting adventure!”, website announcement says. It can be played live on various online casinos.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, noted that Lord Shiva, who was highly revered in Hinduism, was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for promoting gambling on slots for mercantile greed of an international company.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Gauselmann AG and its chairman Paul Gauselmann to publicly apologize and immediately recall this slot game showing Hindu Lord Shiva. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees, Zed pointed out.

Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed said.

In Hinduism, Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.

Globally active Gauselmann Group, launched in 1957, claims to be “world’s leading gaming companies” which reportedly did over €1.8 billion business in 2013. Merkur Gaming, whose tagline is "More than just a game", has a large game selection and develops “cutting-edge casino machines” with presence in various countries of Europe; besides Mexico, Peru and Colombia.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi appealed to the Jharkhand electorate to oust dynastic politics and said people in the country are fed up of it

Ranchi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday appealed to the Jharkhand electorate to oust dynastic politics and said people in the country are fed up of it.
He was speaking at an election rally in Jamshedpur ahead of the second phase of assembly polls Dec 2. "People in the country are fed up with dynasty politics. In Lok Sabha polls, people ended dynasty politics and now it is the turn of Jharkhand to oust it," Modi said at the Gopal ground rally.

He appealed to the people to vote for a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state for development.
"Jharkhand has the potential to provide employment to the youth of the country. Jharkhand has natural resources, but these were plundered by the state. The time has come to give a clear mandate to the BJP to shape the future," he said.

He said a BJP government in the state will utilise central funds well, adding that "under a new policy, Jharkhand will get Rs.20 lakh crores from coal which will be used for the development of the state".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first passenger train from Mendipathar in Meghalaya to Dudhnoi in Assam

Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first passenger train from Mendipathar in Meghalaya to Dudhnoi in Assam, thereby putting Meghalaya for the first time on India's railway map. He compared the northeast region to Goddess Lakshmi, and said development of the region will help the rest of India.
The prime minister, who kick-started a three-day four-state tour of the region, also laid the foundation stone of a new broad gauge railway line between Bhairabi and Sairang in Mizoram.

"Vaastu Shastra claims that if one keeps the Eshan (northeast) corner of a house in order, it boosts the prosperity of the house. Similarly, I believe that if we can keep India's northeast in order, it would help the rest of the country also," Modi said in his address to thousands of people at the railway stadium in Guwahati. Modi, on his maiden visit after becoming prime minister, said infrastructure was the key to development.

"If we can develop the infrastructure of the region, development will follow. The northeast region will achieve new heights of development if infrastructure like rail and road links are developed," he said. Modi compared the eight states of the region with Ashta Lakshmi (the eight different forms of Goddess Lakshmi), and said proper development of the Ashta Lakshmi will help develop other parts of the region too.
Referring to his recent visit to Myanmar, Modi said he has already taken up the issue of railway link between the northeast and Myanmar. "They say this is the century of Asia, and if it is true, the northeast must have its share of it. My government's effort will be to establish rail links between the region and Myanmar and other Asian countries, which will boost the potential of the region," he said.

"Once the region is linked with other Asian counties, the youth of the region do not need to go to Bangalore and other places to look for opportunities," he said. The prime minister also stressed the need to modernise the railways and said his government has decided to invite private investment in railways and privatise the railway stations to make them economically viable.
"The railway connects. But it also expedites the speed of development. It is in fact the spine of the country's economy," he said. "Unfortunately in the past, railway budgets have been only about adding a compartment and adding new tracks. I want to develop the railways, both vertically and horizontally.

"While the railway network will be spread to more areas, services will also be upgraded," he said. Modi said his government has also decided to establish four railway universities in the country.


"Tightened all the screws" to ensure that funds allotted to Jammu and Kashmir by the central government are properly utilised: PM

Udhampur (Jammu and Kashmir): The leaders here "indulge in corruption and emotional blackmail", said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and added that he has "tightened all the screws" to ensure that funds allotted to Jammu and Kashmir by the central government are properly utilised. Addressing a massive BJP election rally here Friday, Modi said: "I have tightened screws to ensure that funds are not looted and these are utilised for the purpose for which these are allotted by the Centre." "It is because I want proper utilisation of these funds that I have tightened all the screws. It is because of this that both those in power and those in opposition in J&K are criticising me, because the mutual policy of loot by these parties has suffered," the prime minister said at the first of the two rallies he addressed in the state ahead of the second phase of assembly elections. "There will be no shortage of funds allotted to J&K, but it will be monitored closely...It will be ensured that these funds reach the people," he added. On the ongoing assembly elections, Modi said: "The massive voter turnout in the first phase of elections has proved the people's resolve that ballot cannot be made subservient to bullets. This vote has been a victory for democracy..." Without directly speaking about the gunfight between the security forces and the guerrillas who sneaked into India from Pakistan in Arnia area of Jammu district, in which 11 people were killed, the prime minister said the high voter turnout in the state elections has frustrated separatists. "The terrorists have been frustrated because they can no longer hold democracy and people hostage in the state. The people have sent them and the world at large a loud message that they want change and development by exercising democratic rights."
Jammu and Kashmir is having five-phase elections that began Nov 25. The ballotting ends Dec 20 and the votes will be counted Dec 23. Modi said there have been a dozen prime ministers in India but none has had the opportunity to visit Jammu and Kashmir as much as he has had.

"I decided to spend Diwali with the flood-affected people here. My decision was not for politics, nor was it for gathering votes...," he said. He added: "What has not happened in 30 years, if I do not do it in five years, then you can hold me accountable for it and even question me."

"Development has been stuck in Jammu and Kashmir for 30 years. Leaders from ruling and opposition parties indulge in corruption and emotional blackmail." "We have to work towards the valley's development.. and I need your help in doing it," he said.

Modi spoke of campaign against corruption and addressing the problems of the people in Jammu and Kashmir which had remained unresolved during the last many decades. "(Former prime minister) Rajiv Gandhi said when funds are allotted to states by the Centre, out of each rupee of such fund allocations only 15 paise reached the people on the ground. This was said by him when he was the prime minister of the country and when both the states and the Centre were ruled by the Congress."

"I want to ask you: who looted those 85 paise from each rupee allotted to the states?" Modi said the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took turns in looting the people of the state. "It has become the habit of the leaders of these parties to loot the people."
"If you want every penny of that looted money to be returned to you, you must vote BJP to absolute power in the state and I promise I will ensure that funds looted in the past are returned to the people," he said. He appealed to the people of Jammu and Kashmir to vote for the BJP so that the party's mission 44-plus to form a government on its own in the state is realised.

"If I do not achieve for you in five years what could not be achieved in 30 years, I shall be directly answerable to you." He introduced the BJP candidates contesting elections for the six seats in Udhampur and Reasi districts where polling is scheduled to be held Dec 2 in the second phase of the five-phase J&K assembly elections.

O. Panneerselvam urged PM Narendra Modi to involve primary agricultural cooperative societies, post offices and urban cooperative banks in the direct delivery of subsidy on cooking gas cylinders

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to involve primary agricultural cooperative societies, post offices and urban cooperative banks in the direct delivery of subsidy on cooking gas cylinders.
In a letter to Modi, text of which was released to the media here, the chief minister said: "In remote and rural areas, people may find it difficult to access nationalised bank branches." In order to deepen penetration in the villages, the primary agricultural cooperative societies and post offices can also be involved in delivering the subsidy which would reduce the inconvenience, said Panneerselvam.

"In urban areas, urban co-operative banks can also be involved in the delivery of subsidy." "In fact, we already face this problem in rolling out transfer of old age pensions through bank accounts, as banks are not in a position to make available a robust mechanism for door to door disbursal of pensions, which has been the delivery mechanism so far through postal money orders," he wrote.
According to the chief minister, the consumer should be protected from fluctuations in the market price of cooking gas which is linked to international prices. "Hence, the total amount of subsidy should not be fixed and should be increased as and when the market price of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) increases and such increased amounts credited to the bank accounts to ensure that the consumers are not put to hardship," he said.

"Lack of clarity on this aspect would lead to considerable dissatisfaction amongst consumers, especially those of the lower and middle classes," he added.

VODAFONE FOUNDATION LAUNCHES Second edition of red rickshaw revolution FRom AURANGABAD, Maharastra

New Delhi: The Vodafone Foundation today launched the
second edition of the 'Red Rickshaw Revolution' (RRR 2), a unique digital
campaign to celebrate the achievements of ordinary women accomplishing
extraordinary feats across India.  Beginning the virtual digital campaign,
the young woman Sarpanch Anita Sankapale from Bhawan village near Aurangabad
was recognized for her commitment towards community development work and
addressing basic infrastructure issues like permanent roads, street lights,
water supply and sewage system in the village.

The much anticipated 'Red Rickshaw Revolution' (RRR 2)  campaign will
virtually traverse  7 states and cover Aurangabad (Maharashtra), Alwar and
Baran (Rajasthan), Mandvi (Gujarat), Raigarh (Chhattisgarh), Kolaras and
Pohra (Madhya Pradesh), Keonjarh and Bhadrak (Orissa) , South 24 Parganas
and Kolkata (West Bengal), identifying and acknowledging Women leaders/
farmers from remote areas in each of the locations .

An initiative of the Vodafone Foundation, 'Red Rickshaw Revolution' (RRR 2)
replicates the spirit of RRR 1 in its vision of empowering women of India.
As the Indian government mandates that 50% of all village heads or
Sarpanches be women, and 80% of all farmers in India are women, the focus of
'Red Rickshaw Revolution2' (RRR2) is Women leaders/Farmers and Agriculture.
The campaign celebrates achievements of 20 inspirational women
leaders/farmers from various parts of the country.

Sharing insights on this unique initiative, Rohit Adya, Director, External
Affairs, Vodafone India, said, "With the phenomenal response we received
during the Red Rickshaw Revolution activity last year, we realized the fire
was already burning, all we had to do was to channelize it well and provide
direction to the women superheroes we have in the country. A woman is the
soul of the society and if we empower her the entire society is empowered.
Last year this campaign managed to generate Rs 3cr for women empowerment
projects, this year we have infused the Red Rickshaw Revolution with new
elements and energy. Finding convergence with the objectives of Digital
India campaign, 'Red Rickshaw Revolution' (RRR 2) will felicitate these
change makers who are a perfect ambassador to propagate the application of
mobile technology for governance amongst the village community and beyond. "

As part of the 'Red Rickshaw Revolution 2' (RRR 2)  campaign, the Vodafone
Foundation is also setting up physical infrastructure called 'Digital
Resource Centres' in each village visited during the journey and empowering
women leaders / farmers by making them digitally literate.

The Digital Resource Centre will be one stop centre for women to learn using
a computer, work together on social issues like child marriage and gender
equality. It will also enable them to access information about various
beneficial government schemes, to connect with other regional developmental
programmes through the internet. The centre will provide Digital Literacy
Support to disseminate governance and agricultural information.   It is
enabled with internet connectivity, a printer, and 5 android tablets.

Osama Manzar, Founder and Director, Digital Empowerment Foundation, said:
"We want to make the establishment of digitally enabled Community
Information Resource Centres a movement for each and every rural area which
are disconnected. dCIRCs are going to be 21st century's most basic
infrastructure that we need for the masses living in remote areas of India
and we all need to work together to make this happen"

The 'Red Rickshaw Revolution' is a collaborative work of key partners who
have provided active support towards this cause.  The Vodafone Foundation
would like to wish all the indentified empowered women leaders success.

About Vodafone Foundation

The Vodafone Foundation in India recognizes the power of mobile technology
to address some of India's most pressing challenges relating to education,
health, equality and access. We are committed to enable people and
technology to drive innovation, disseminate knowledge, and create shared
value to improve lives.

By leveraging our mobile technology in the four areas of m-women,
m-education, m-health and m-agriculture, we work in partnership with key
charities, development agencies and the community to drive social change on
a large scale in India. As part of our social investment programme, the
Vodafone Foundation in India also focuses on disaster relief and implements
the World of Difference programme, an unique employee engagement.

In countries in which Vodafone operates, a unique footprint of 27 Vodafone
Foundations operate to deliver our social investment programme. These
programmes are directed and chosen by the Foundation Trustees and receive
funding from the Vodafone Foundation in the UK as well as their local
Vodafone company. For more information, please visit

Follow us on

Twitter - @vodafoneIN_fdtn

Facebook :

About Digital Empowerment Foundation

With the motto of 'Inform, Communicate and Empower,' Digital Empowerment
Foundation (DEF) started its journey in the month of December 2002. Based
out of New Delhi and registered as not-for-profit under the "Societies
Registration Act XXI of 1860, the effort at DEF has been to find sustainable
Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions including digital and
new media to address digital divide in under-served and unreached regions
and communities. With a non-political approach, it was founded to contribute
to an enabling social and economic order in India as well as in developing
societies with the need based support of ICT tools and means. With ground
work since 2003, DEF has reached over 22 States and 8 countries.


DLF deposited Rs.100 crore with the Supreme Court registry

New Delhi: DLF deposited Rs.100 crore with the Supreme Court registry - a part of Rs.630 crore penalty imposed on it by the Competition Commission of India for alleged one-sided contracts for flat buyers in Gurgaon.
Senior counsel Harish Salve, while seeking adjournment of the hearing till Friday, told the apex court bench headed by Justice Anil R. Dave that to establish their bonafide, they are depositing Rs.100 crore with the apex court registry.

Salve produced before the court a cheque of Rs.100 crore. With this, DLF has deposited Rs.150 crore with court registry. Rs.50 crore was deposited by the real estate giant earlier.

M.Venkaiah Naidu said cycling and walking must be encouraged in urban areas to enable quick mobility

New Delhi: Urban Development Minister M.Venkaiah Naidu said cycling and walking must be encouraged in urban areas to enable quick mobility.
Speaking at the "Urban Mobility India Conference and Expo" here, the minister expressed concern over the rising number of private vehicles in cities and called for efficient and reliable multi-modal public transport systems to enable quick urban mobility.

"Huge increase in private vehicles in urban areas amounts to the rich misappropriating the limited urban space at the cost of the poor. This social exclusion should be addressed with better transport planning," Naidu said adding that walking and cycling need to be promoted in cities.
Between 1981 and 2011, the population of six major cities -- Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad increased 2.5 times while the private vehicles rose by about 30 times, increasing from 5 million to 160 million, he noted. Naidu said urban planning and management was the main challenge of the 21st century and central and state governments should

rise to the occasion to convert this challenge into an opportunity. "Metro transport option is capital intensive and the success of Delhi Metro may not be feasible to be replicated at all places," he said, instead suggesting location specific transport systems including bus rapid transport, light rail transport etc. Being organized by the urban development ministry and the Institute of Urban Transport, the four day conference is being attended by around 1,000 urban planners and experts to deliberate various aspects of urban transport planning.

Emraan Hashmi denies that he refused to work with adult film star Sunny Leone

Mumbai: Emraan Hashmi denies that he refused to work with adult film star Sunny Leone for a special song in "Ungli". In fact, he says he'd like to work with her if given a chance.
Past reports had suggested that Emraan had turned down an offer to share screen space with Sunny, but he has rubbished the same.

"I have never refused to work with Sunny Leone. It was all rumours. When they (the filmmakers) approached Sunny Leone, our dates were not matching. And because of date issues, we launched eight new girls for the title track of 'Ungli' "In future if I get a good script, I would like to work with her (Sunny)," Emraan said.

The actor is currently busy promoting "Ungli". Asked why the film is not being promoted on a large scale, he said: "I don't know about the promotions, I am doing my best. I'm giving my dates from my busy schedule." Directed by Rensil D'Silva, "Ungli", releasing Friday, also features Kangana Ranaut.


Actress Veena Malik sentenced to 26-year in prison with fine

Pakistani actress Veena Malik who made her mark in bollywood, has enjoyed the stardom and then selected to live a happily married life with her husband Asad Bashir Khatak and her new born baby. It seems that Veena Malik was quite happy in her life but suddenly controversy never seem to leave her away as her problems are  not coming to an end till now. Recently Veena Malik and her husband was awarded by the court for 26-year incarcerations and was also fined them Rs. 1.3 million Pakistani money. A Pakistan court on Tuesday sentenced the owner of the country’s biggest media group Geo TV to 26 years in prison for broadcasting a show which they said it  was blasphemous. The verdict against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman along with the host of the show and two guests, including Veena Malik, was announced by an anti-terror court in the city of Gilgit, which is controlled by Pakistan territory but also part of the Kashmir region which India also claims. The morning show was broadcasted live on Geo TV in May featuring Malik dancing with her new husband while a group of Sufi musicians sang a devotional song about the wedding of the Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) daughter. Malik returned to Dubai two weeks ago from the US after giving birth to a baby boy. Her lawyer has already started the work to appeal against the verdict in higher courts.

Shocked Veena Malik said, " Its a shock to me but I have complete faith in Pakistan’s higher courts and judiciary … This court works separately from the other courts in Pakistan. There are higher courts in Pakistan such as the Supreme Court. Whenever there is an issue a court will look into the facts of the case. We were not even present in the court at the time of the verdict. I have belief and trust in courts.”

Geo Television Network was accused of blasphemy after it ran a program insulting the family of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). The four people including Mir Shakeel ur Rehman, Shaista lodhi, Veena Malik and her husband Asad Bashir Khatak convicted were also ordered to pay a fine by  selling their properties and surrender their passports, according to a copy of the court order. Veena maintains that she’s innocent and would never commit blasphemy. “We are planning to return to Pakistan in December. I have always been a person who faced troubles by looking it in the eye. I have faced highs and lows in my life. But I am sure I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Hindus critical of Pope for ignoring Roma apartheid in address to European Parliament

Hindus are critical of His Holiness Pope Francis for not raising the issue of European Roma (Gypsy) apartheid in his addresses to European Parliament and Council of Europe in Strasbourg (France) on November 25.

No mention was reportedly made to the apartheid faced by about 15-million Roma people of Europe in Pope’s speeches to these leading bodies of Europe.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that condition of Roma had most of the signs of apartheid and it was happening right under Pope’s nose in Europe. Hindus had repeatedly appealed him in the past to openly embrace Roma cause and come up with a White Paper on their plight but without any success.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted that alarming condition of Roma people was a social blight for Europe and the rest of the world as they reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, language barriers, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, racist slogans on Internet, etc.

Rajan Zed stated that Jesus Christ clearly told the world to help the helpless, defenseless and downtrodden and love them and he showed the way also. Pope, being the claimed representative of God on earth, should voice against continuous Roma maltreatment. Pope should recognize, acknowledge and affirm the Roma as children of God who deserved to be treated like all other people—as equals.

Zed quoted from The Bible: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36)”. It was a sin to silently watch Roma suffer day after day for the last about 1200 years and not do anything about it, Zed indicated.

Rajan Zed stressed that besides the absence of any serious efforts at their inclusion, Roma were being used as “punch bag” and blamed for the social ills of Europe and many politicians even exploited segregation to their political advantage. European neglect was trapping Roma in cycles of persecution and poverty. It was very shocking, reprehensible, hazardous and immoral. Being the biggest religious leader in the world, it was Pope’s moral obligation to make efforts to stop frequent human rights violations suffered by Roma. Zed offered help to Pope, if asked, to support the Roma cause.


Actress Priyanka Chopra took it upon herself to clean up a garbage-laden neighbourhood in Mumbai

Mumbai: Actress Priyanka Chopra took it upon herself to clean up a garbage-laden neighbourhood in Mumbai as part of her efforts towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India campaign.
"Gandhiji said 'Be the change you want to see' - thank you @narendramodi for reminding me of that! #MyCleanIndia can happen! #ChangingMindsets," Priyanka posted on Twitter Monday after sharing a video link.

The 11-minute video chronicling how the efforts began, how Priyanka herself picked up the garbage, how the place was beautified, and how happy the residents were over the 16-day effort, which saw Priyanka along with her team cleaning up an area in Versova here.
In the video, Priyanka also shared her idea of contributing to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan this way. "It took me a little longer than I wanted, but when Prime Minister asked me to be one of his 'navratnas', I was very excited. But I wanted it to be something that could be sustained," she said.

Priyanka chose a place in Versova which she had visited during the shooting of her film "Agneepath". "We had put up a big set over there for the basti (village) scene, and I remember there are people who live here, and there are children who play on mounds of garbage here, and that's their life," she recollected.
Her idea was not to just clean up the place, but rehabilitate it. "That's the best we can do and eventually then it's up to them (the residents) to sustain it. I think the idea of doing this is to create something which is long lasting. And I hope for the best, and that it stays this way (clean)," she said.

Priyanka, who believes a change in mindset is the need of the hour for a clean and green India, is seen slipping her hands into a pair of pink gloves to pick garbage herself, and she seeks the help of the neighbourhood's children for the activity.
At the end of it all, the place looks clean and colourful with some grafitti and some plants. She said: "I wanted to do a bit more that just cleaning a few piles of garbage."

Her effort was lauded by Modi in a tweet saying: "An innovative effort by @priyankachopra. It is a wonderful way to bring people together to create a Swachh Bharat. Kudos! #MyCleanIndia."

Sachin Tendulkar refused to comment on Justice Mudgal Commitee’s report on the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing

New Delhi: Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar Monday refused to comment on Justice Mudgal Commitee’s report on the 2013 Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing and betting scandal.
Tendulkar, a Rajya Sabha member, said here that the Supreme Court will look into the case, and it was not wise for him to make a comment. “The honorable Supreme Court is hearing the case. It wouldn’t be wise for me to make a comment on it now,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by televison channels.

The Supreme Court’s (SC) hearing of the Mudgal panel’s report on the IPL spot-fixing inquiry is to resume Monday. The report confirmed sidelined Indian cricket board's president N. Srinivasan's son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, a team official of Chennai Super Kings, was involved in betting. The report, however, gave a clean chit to Srinivasan on both counts of spot fixing and betting.

Xiaomi launched its 5.5-inch smartphone Redmi

New Delhi: Chinese handset maker Xiaomi launched its 5.5-inch smartphone Redmi Note for Rs.8,999 in India with its 4G variant priced Rs.9,999, a company statement said here.
"Redmi Note 4G is Mi India's very first 4G device, tailored specifically to India's 4G network. It is being launched in partnership with Bharti Airtel (for post-paid customers). As part of the Airtel partnership, Redmi Note 4G will retail at select Airtel stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai," the company, also known as "Apple of China", said in a statement.

Both the 4G and dual SIM 3G versions of Redmi Note will also be sold through Mi's Indian e-commerce partner, Flipkart. Registration for the 3G version of Redmi Note will begin on Flipkart on Nov 25 at 6 p.m., with the sale starting at 2 p.m. on Dec 2.

Redmi Note 4G will be available in Airtel stores by end-December. Customers will need to register online before visiting Airtel stores to purchase the device, it said. "With Airtel as our partner for Mi India's first 4G device, we are committed to providing the best Internet experience with faster speeds. Our fans will also have easier access to our products from Airtel's flagship stores," said Manu Jain, operations head of Mi India.
"The partnership with Xiaomi will enable our customers to easily access the high quality yet affordable Redmi Note 4G at our stores. While customers in our 4G cities can start enjoying 4G services on our superior network with Redmi Note 4G, customers in the other cities can be ready to upgrade to 4G as and when we launch in these markets," said Srini Gopalan, director - consumer business, Bharti Airtel.

Incidentally, Bharti Airtel is the first telecom service provider in the country to launch 4G services. Airtel 4G services are now available in 15 cities in India - Bangalore, Chandigarh, Mohali, Panchkula, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Amritsar, Kapurthala, Phagwara, Hoshiarpur, Nagpur, Patiala, Pune and Nasik.

German luxury automobile manufacturer BMW launched the petrol-powered high-performance sedan M5 in India

New Delhi: German luxury automobile manufacturer BMW Monday launched the petrol-powered high-performance sedan M5 in India, priced at Rs.1.35 crore (ex-showroom)
“An independent production of BMW M GmbH, it remains faithful to the M philosophy, perfectly combining high performance with optimum everyday practicality," said Philipp von Sahr, president, BMW Group India. According to the luxury automobile manufacturer, the new sedan which is imported as a CBU (Completely Built-Up) unit is available across its dealerships.

The new sedan is powered by the M TwinPower Turbo eight-cylinder petrol engine which pushes the vehicle from 0 to 100 km per hour in just 4.3 seconds. The engine is mated to a seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission with cruise control.

The BMW M5 also sports a state-of-the-art safety features which provides maximum support in any situation with air bags, active M differential, dynamic stability control (DSC) including M dynamic mode, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with brake assist, active protection with attentiveness assistant and active headrests (front).

A bill to amend the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act was introduced in the Lok Sabha

New Delhi: A bill to amend the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act was introduced in the Lok Sabha Tuesday to include the leader of the single largest opposition party as a member of the selection committee to choose the CBI chief.

The current Lok Sabha does not have a recognized Leader of Opposition. Under the statutory provisions, the post goes to the party that has at least 10 percent of the house's strength as elected members, currently pegged at 55.

The amendment will also do away with the requirement of quorum in the high-powered committee to select the CBI chief. The bill assumes significance as current CBI director Ranjit Sinha's term ends Dec 2.

Once the bill is amended, the search panel will comprise the prime minister, chief justice of India and the leader of the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha. Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh introduced the bill in the Lok Sabha amid din over the black money issue.

"This bill was brought by the UPA government and only some minor changes have been made by us. It is not true that it is being bulldozed," Singh said. On the issue of inclusion of the leader of the largest opposition 'bloc' in the selection panel, he said: "The Congress must not have known that there would not be any Leader of Opposition".

"So we discussed with everybody and decided that an alternative can be that the leader of the largest opposition party can be accepted as the leader of the opposition," he said. Currently there is no recognized Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha. The Congress with 44 seats in the 543-member house emerged as the second largest party after the BJP but fell short by 11 to stake claim for the post for which a minimum strength of 55 is required.

On the other important provision in the bill doing away with the quorum required, Singh said: "If due to some reason, one member is not present, then in such a situation, since the CBI is an important institution, we cannot leave it in suspension and delay the appointment of its chief," he said.

The government is very eager to get this particular amendment bill passed in the first week itself as there is very little time left for the selection committee to meet and choose a new CBI chief before Dec 2.

SAARC Summit- Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he hopes the meet will lead to concrete outcomes

New Delhi: As he embarks on his second visit to Nepal to attend the SAARC Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday that he hopes the meet will lead to concrete outcomes, especially with regard to connectivity projects between the eight South Asian neighbours.
In a departure statement prior to leaving for Kathmandu to attend the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit, Modi said he was looking forward to holding bilateral talks with the South Asian leaders on the sidelines of the two-day summit and to review the progress in bilateral relations with Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala.

Modi said though it is his first SAARC Summit, he has "interacted extensively with leaders of SAARC countries beginning with their auspicious presence at my swearing in ceremony" on May 26.
"Development of close relations with our neighbours is a key priority for my government," he said in the statement. The 18th SAARC Summit will focus on the theme of "Deeper Regional Integration for Peace and Prosperity".

"India has always emphasized the importance of greater regional integration at all levels for the socio-economic development of the South Asian region. We have undertaken several initiatives in this regard on bilateral, sub-regional and regional basis, and will continue to do more. "We hope that the summit will lead to concrete outcomes, particularly in regard to various initiatives on enhancing connectivity that have been under discussion for a long time," he said.
Modi said the fact that it will be his second visit to Nepal in the six months since he has taken over "reflects the importance we attach to our unique and special relations with Nepal". "There has been significant progress in the implementation of the decisions taken during my visit to Nepal in August 2014. I look forward to reviewing the progress in our relations with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and other Nepalese leaders.

"We also hope to conclude some concrete agreements in the areas of connectivity and development cooperation," he said. Modi had visited Nepal in August, in the first stand-alone bilateral prime ministerial visit to the Himalayan country in 17 years.


In the memory of a young hero who fought cancer, and helped others along the way
Entire proceed of more than 6 lakhs to be sent to the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.

Bangalore: November 22, 2014: The Terry Fox Foundation, Bangalore today hosted the ‘Terry Fox Run 2014’ at the Canadian International School campus. More than 500 participants from various schools including parents & staff took part in the run. The chief guest of the event was Mr. Niranjan Mukundan (Para-swimmer). The run also had participation from students of Indira Gandhi  International Academy for Srilankan refugee children & Autistic children from Belaku, an NGO. More than 6 lakhs was collected during the event which will be sent to the Tata Memorial Hospital in Mumbai.

The Terry Fox Run is an annual non-competitive charity event held in numerous regions around the world in commemoration of Canadian cancer activist Terry Fox, and his Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research. The 25-year-old cancer survivor, Nitin Tolani, a Dubai-based man of Bangalore ancestry who returned to Bangalore for his treatment, has been instrumental in bringing the event back to the city.

Back in 1980, no one in Canada thought it possible that a young man with a prosthetic leg could run a marathon a day, every day….but Terry did. This Canadian dare devil was audacious enough to take on one of the most diabolical enemies known to mankind, Cancer. What Terry Fox achieved struck a chord with Canadians. His efforts inspired millions, and the Terry Fox Run took off and has not looked back. 34 years and nearly 2/3 of a billion Canadian dollars later, the Terry Fox spirit is alive and well in communities all over the World.

It is great to see participants from lot more schools this year. I would like to thank everyone at CIS for organizing this event so well, said Nitin Tolani, cancer survivor.

It is a great initiative by Canadian International School to conduct this awareness amongst people to overcome there hurdles and obstacles in their life . Terry Fox will be remembered forever, said Mr. Niranjan Mukundan, chief guest of the event.

Great run for a great cause. We had another terrific run today. I feel very privileged & fortunate to be a part of such an initiative, said Shane Kells, Head of School, Canadian International School, Bangalore

It is a day of celebrating Terry’s legacy and helping to keep alive his dream of finding a cure for cancer, said one of the student.

Wonderful experience to be with our adopted Canadian family at the Terry Fox Run and it was well organized, said Iris Lui, Consulate General of Canada, Bangalore.

About Terry Fox

Terry Fox, an active teenager involved in many sports was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) and forced to have his right leg amputated 15 centimetres (six inches) above the knee in 1977. While in hospital, Terry was so overcome by the suffering of other cancer patients, many of them young children that he decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Terry started his run in St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980 with little fanfare. Although it was difficult to garner attention in the beginning, enthusiasm soon grew, and the money collected along his route began to mount. He ran close to 42 kilometres (26 miles) a day through Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Quebec and Ontario. However, on September 1st, after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario because cancer had appeared in his lungs. Terry passed away on June 28, 1981 at the age 22. The heroic Canadian was gone, but his legacy was just beginning. To date, over $600 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry's name through the annual Terry Fox Run, held across Canada and around the world.

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USIBC Takes U.S.-India Smart Cities Initiative Forward

USIBC takes next step to develop Smart Cities in follow-up to Modi-Obama September Joint Statement

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) announced it has concluded its weeklong mission in India with the U.S.-India Smart Cities Conclave on Saturday. Senior Cabinet-level officials from the Government of India welcomed U.S. industry leaders to address concerns and promote ideas to advance the goal of developing Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam into smart cities as articulated in the joint statement between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi earlier this year.

Smart Cities are the integration of information technology, telecommunications, urban planning, smart infrastructure and operations in an environment geared to maximize the quality of life for a city’s population.

Minister of Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu commented, “Smart Cities planned in India should reflect Indian culture and should not be a copy of any one model. There are a lot of opportunities for private-public partnerships in the area of smart-city development and the government is looking forward to involving everyone in these projects. Smart Cities in India will be people-centric and will aim at making life comfortable for all citizens.”

The conclave is the first of many events resulting from USIBC Chairman and MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga’s delegation meetings with ministry officials in June. Panels addressed the issues of economic development and financial viability of proposed projects.

“The Council and its member companies look to play an integral role in India’s commitment to build 100 Smart Cities across the nation and particularly in the three projects identified in September,” said USIBC (Acting) President Diane Farrell. “Smart Cities are sophisticated systems designed to simplify everyday life and USIBC has graciously accepted the invitation to visit the three cities.”

Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal noted that these Smart Cities “need to reflect a revolution and evolution of ideas.” Additional key government officials included Secretary, DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Shankar Aggarwal and Joint Secretary for Finance, Sharmila Chavaly and key U.S. Government officials.

A consortium of experienced industry leaders from USIBC member companies including, IBM, Cisco, Waste Management, Dow, GE and United Technologies Corporation discussed the role that industry will play as India develops Ajmer, Allahabad, and Visakhapatnam into Smart Cities and establishes sustainable economies and healthy communities.

The Conclave comes at the culmination of key business and government interactions throughout the week for the Council; including the India-U.S. Technology Summit, the very successful meeting of the U.S.-India High Technology Cooperation Group, and ahead of the Trade Policy Forum, reconvening after a four-year hiatus.

Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) is the premier business advocacy organization advancing U.S.-India commercial ties. Today, USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the United States, with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi, comprised of 310 of the top-tier U.S. and Indian companies. The Chairman of USIBC is Ajay Banga, President and CEO, MasterCard.

Sandip Soparrkar walks as showstopper for Sanjana Jon

The second edition of Blenders pride Pune style week 2014 witnessed top designers from Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and New York setting new trends in Pune. The extravaganza created a bridge between talented designers and the huge popularity of festive wear amongst consumers in India and all over the world.

Bollywood ace choreographer Sandip Soparrkar walked as showstopper at he Grand Finale for designer Sanjana Jon, an internationally acclaimed designer from New York who is often known for her belief in a cause. Her collection was dedicated to the fight against terrorism in India with a lot of colors as a tribute to the colourful and positive country that is India. Bringing a blend and balance of the East and West was a huge part of this beautiful collection. From the cuts of the west to the flow of the East, the entire style of the collection represented the bright and positive nature of the country.

Celebrated choreographer looked dashing in a pink and gold brocade kurta which Sanjana had especially designed for the award winning dancer. He rolled his sleeves up and teamed it with denims and brown shoes. The highlight of the show was when he waltzed in gracefully on the ramp and sat on the head ramp. The paparazzi and the crowd went berserk cheering him for his creativity as a showstopper at the Grand Finale show.

Excited Sanjana Jon said,
"Sandip more than being an amazing dancer and entertainer was the perfect role model for the youth to look upto to fight violence specially since the German bakery incident had claimed his students life and the message I wanted to convey was brilliantly translated by his explicitly caring personality. Love for life and human beings is also an inherent quality he possesses and thereby he was the perfect choice for my grand finale show."

This edition witnesses 8 fashion representations coming together to set new trends in fashion and business in the cultural capital of Maharashtra – Pune. BPPSW endeavors to promote, support designers who have shown on Indian runways and made a mark or created a spark in the industry.

Hindus upset at mounting of Lord Ganesha grotesque on Windsor Chapel

Hindus are upset at placing of carved Lord Ganesha as a grotesque creature on the medieval walls of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, England; calling it highly inappropriate.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, was critical of this reimagined Lord Ganesha image as grotesque installed on a Chapel wall and termed it as trivializing the highly revered deity of Hinduism.

Oxford Dictionary online describes "grotesque" as "comically or repulsively ugly or distorted".

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that reimagining Hindu deities and scriptures for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees. Lord Ganesha was meant to be worshipped in temples and home shrines and it was not appropriate to mount him as grotesque on a Chapel wall along with other distorted creatures.

Rajan Zed pointed out that Hindus were for free speech as much as anybody else if not more. But faith was something sacred and attempts at belittling it were painful for the devotees. Art organizations/institutions should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects, Zed added.

Zed further said that Hindus welcomed art world to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and respectfully and not for refashioning Hinduism concepts and symbols for personal agendas. Distorting of Lord Ganesha was highly slighting of ancient Hindu traditions.

Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. No faith, larger or smaller, should be plundered, Rajan Zed noted.

Lord Ganesha’s new neighbors on Chapel wall, carved at City and Guilds of London Art School and waiting to be installed, reportedly include an armadillo, a rabbit, a fish, a dragon and a chameleon, a head whose tongue divides into two snakes, a snail, etc.

St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, which is one of the principal residences of Queen Elizabeth II, founded in 1348, is a place of worship. Many royal weddings, including those of the children of Queen Victoria, have taken place here. Many royals have been interred here, including King of England Edward IV in 1483, and it includes royal tombs of Henry VIII and Charles I. Queen attends Mattins at the Chapel on Easter Day and visits it on other occasions. Right Reverend David Conner is spiritual head, while Canon Chaplain is Martin Poll.

In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.


Salman Khan's sister Arpita Khan's wedding reception,Shah Rukh Khan arrived at 2 a.m

Mumbai: Salman Khan's sister Arpita Khan's wedding reception here was attended by most of the friends who couldn't make it to the wedding at Hyderabad. That also included Shah Rukh Khan, who arrived at 2 a.m.
The reception was held Friday night at the Taj Land's End in Mumbai. An invitee said: "Shah Rukh Khan came very late, but he was in his elements even at that time of the night. He chatted with the bride and her husband, with Salman-Arpita's parents and danced with Salman."

Salman's buddy Govinda, who is in the limelight again after the rave reviews for his two back-to-back releases, couldn't go to Hyderabad for the wedding as he was promoting the two films -- "Kill Dil" and "Happy Ending". He was at his chirpy best at the wedding reception and seen in a long amiable conversation with his director friend David Dhawan, thereby putting an end to the speculation of differences between the two.
Shatrughan Sinha and daughter Sonakshi were also seen, as were Sooraj Pancholi and Athiya Shetty. No one from the Bachchan clan was present for the reception, but the Kapoor clan was represented by Randhir Kapoor and his elder daughter Karisma. Kareena and her husband Saif Ali Khan were reportedly on a holiday to London.

The veteran brigade was led by Dilip Kumar, who arrived with his beautiful wife Saira Banu early in the evening. In a rare show of respect, Salman and his father Salim Khan, bride Arpita and groom Ayush came down to the lobby area of the hotel to personally receive Dilip Kumar and accompany him inside.

Actor Ashish Chowdhry is ready to show his daring side in the sixth season of "Khatron Ke Khiladi"

Mumbai: Actor Ashish Chowdhry, who is ready to show his daring side in the sixth season of "Khatron Ke Khiladi", says while money is an attraction for participating in the reality show, it is his love for adventure that also pulled him into it.
The winner of the show takes back a huge amount. Asked if the monetary prize played an important role in making him give the nod for joining the show, the actor, who once reportedly went bankrupt, said: "Isn't it the criterion for everyone?"

"I am honestly going to miss my kids when I am in Cape Town, but I have to make a lot of money for them. See if I was very loaded (with money), I wouldn't have left them, but now I am making money for their education and future." "I will be honest...I genuinely wanted to do this show also because I love adventure. I have been offered all the reality shows -- from 'Bigg Boss' to 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa' -- they have all been kind enough to ask me, and I have always said 'no' because I felt that I am an actor, but not a great dancer," he added.
Ashish was recently blessed with twin girls, and his first child with wife Samita is a son named Agastya. He also takes care of the two children of his late sister Monica, who died in the 26/11 attacks. The sixth season of "Khatron Ke Khiladi" will go on air in January 2015, but a date is yet to be fixed.

What's his greatest fear? "I don't want to make a fool of one likes losing. I am not a great sportsman and I am not scared of snakes or reptiles. I am only scared of losing early," said the "Dhamaal" actor.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished Mulayam Singh Yadav a "long and healthy life" on his 75th birth anniversary

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday wished Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav a "long and healthy life" on his 75th birth anniversary.
"On Mulayam Singh Yadav ji's birthday I extend my greetings to him and pray that he is blessed with a long and healthy life," Modi posted on his personal twitter account. Yadav turned 75 Saturday and the Samajwadi Party has planned a grand birthday bash. Mulayam Singh was born Nov 22, 1939.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to bring back "Bollywood to Kashmir"

Kishtwar (Jammu and Kashmir): Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday promised to bring back "Bollywood to Kashmir".
"I have to bring back Bollywood to Kashmir," said Modi while addressing a BJP rally in this Jammu and Kashmir town. Noting that the fastest growing industry in the world today is tourism industry, he said: "I have to bring back tourism to the state and I have to make J&K the ultimate tourist destination in the world." A number of movies have been shot in Kashmir, including "Kashmir Ki Kali", "Mission Kashmir" and more recently "Haider". The five-phase assembly elections begin in the state Nov 25.


The India trip of American reality TV star Kim Kardashian has reportedly been cancelled over visa issues

Mumbai: The India trip of American reality TV star Kim Kardashian has reportedly been cancelled over visa issues.
“Unfortunately, Kim will not be able to enter the country due to some visa issue”, said a source. However, the exact reason behind cancellation has not been disclosed.

“The reason is not clear but all we know is that there was some visa issue which she could not fulfill and the trip has been cancelled,” the source added.
The 34-year-old star, who shot to fame with TV series “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”, was supposed to come to the country to promote her new fragrance Fleur Fatale. The reality TV star is on a world tour for it's promotional activities.

Kardashian had a packed schedule for her India trip, which included making an appearance in Salman Khan-hosted reality show “Bigg Boss 8”. But that's gone down the drain with the cancelled trip.

International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has celebrated film personalities from all over the world as its jury

Panaji: From noted cinematographer Slawomir Idziak, Chinese filmmaker Zhang Jianya to actress Seema Biswas, the 45th edition of International Film Festival of India (IFFI) that started Thursday has celebrated film personalities from all over the world as its jury.
Idziak from Poland, who is also the jury chairman, is a noted cinematographer, screenwriter, director and lecturer. He has worked with cinema legends Krzysztof Kieslowski, Andrzej Wajda and Krzysztof Zanussi and has received a number of awards and distinctions in Berlin, Venice, Prague, Auckland and Gdynia. He was also nominated for BAFTA Cesar and Oscar awards.

“The other members in the jury panel include New York based writer Marie Brenner, Seema Biswas, an actress from Assam, and Nadia Dresti, the head of International Locarno Film Festival along with Jianya,” a PIB release said. Jianya’s work includes “Red Elephant”, “Kidnap of Carajan”, “The Hero” and “The Dream is Alive”.
“Brenner has published five books, including ‘Great Dames: What I Learned from Older Women’, 'House of Dreams' and 'The Bingham Family of Louisville'. Her expose of the tobacco industry 'The Man Who Knew Too Much', was basis for the 1999 movie 'The Insider', which was nominated for seven Academy Awards,” the release added.

Seema won the 1996 National Film Award for Best Actress for her role in “Bandit Queen”. Biswas won Canada’s Genie Award for her role as the widow Shakuntala in Deepa Mehta's 2005 released film “Water”. Dresti, the other member of International Jury, is specialist of film promotion, public and press relations.

The 45th edition of the IFFI, which got underway Thursday, hosts Rajinikanth and Amitabh Bachchan who are the part of the inauguration ceremony at the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Indoor Stadium on the outskirts of the state capital.

'Kick' has become the highest grosser of Salman's career

Mumbai: Salman Khan has never done a sequel to his films, except for "Dabangg", but that might change soon with a sequel of the superstar's last released film "Kick".
According to sources close to the project, "Kick", directed by Sajid Nadiadwala, which is Salman's highest grosser to date, may write out its sequel sooner than expected. 'Kick' has become the highest grosser of Salman's career. It has so far accrued a total box-office collection of Rs.234 crore. That beats the earlier Salman starrer 'Ek Tha Tiger' which netted Rs.188 crore worldwide.

"Sajid is now being told by his distributors and friends to carry the story forward into a sequel because it makes a lot of business sense," a source said. Nadiadwala, however, is in two minds as he has his hands full as a producer.

"It's been a tremendous year for me. God has been kind. 'Kick' became far bigger than we imagined. And it's all because of Salman's star-power. I don't know whether I can direct again for a while. My hands are full with productions. I don't deny there is a growing demand to direct again. All I can say is, wait and watch," said Nadiadwala. Released in July this year, "Kick" also featured Randeep Hooda, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Jacqueline Fernandez.