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I'm excited to work with Rekha-ji : Aditya Roy Kapur

Mumbai: Actor Aditya Roy Kapur, who will be sharing the screen space wih veteran actress Rekha in "Fitoor", is upbeat about the rare opportunity.
"I'm excited for my film 'Fitoor'. I don't know whether we can talk much about the film, but I'm excited to work with Rekha-ji. It's going to be once-in-a-lifetime experience," Aditya said. But he hasn't forgotten that "it's important for an actor to forget the personality and treat the actor as a character."

Aditya is not nervous about sharing the frame with the enigmatic veteran as he has worked with many senior actors in the past. "It's exciting to work with stars, but there is no reason to be nervous, because in the initial stages of my career, I have worked with Akshay Kumar, Aishwarya Rai, Salman Khan...I have worked with these stars, so nervousness has gone out my system after that," he added.

To be directed by Abhishek Kapoor, "Fitoor", also starring Katrina Kaif, will go on floors in October. Talking about the film's director, Aditya said: "He is a talented filmmaker and I love both his films ('Rock On!!' and 'Kai Po Che'). I'm looking forward to work in his film. It's a tough job to direct, and he is passionate about his work. It's very inspiring." Meanwhile, Aditya is looking forward to the release of his new film "Daawat-e-Ishq".

Nitin Gadkari approved 28 projects worth Rs.438 crore for building rural roads in Leh and Kargil districts in Ladakh

New Delhi: Union Minister for Rural Development, Sanitation, Drinking Water and Panchayat Raj Nitin Gadkari Wednesday approved 28 projects worth Rs.438 crore for building rural roads in Leh and Kargil districts in Ladakh. These would be constructed in the Jammu and Kashmir's arid region under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY). "A total of 350 Km of rural road network will be built under these projects, proposals for which were submitted by the state government," the rural development ministry said a statement. Gadkari took the decision to clear these pending projects after a delegation from Ladakh led by local BJP Member of Lok Sabha Thupstan Chhewang called on him here. The projects cleared include six proposals in Leh district covering road length of 142 km to be constructed at a cost of Rs.181.4 crore. Another 22 projects in Kargil district were approved to build 207 km of rural roads at a cost of Rs.256.6 crore, the statement added. source:agency

India desired to partner with Singapore as part of its effort to get funding and expertise to emerge as a global manufacturer: PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday said India desired to partner with Singapore as part of its effort to get funding and expertise to emerge as a global manufacturer. Modi, who received Singapore's Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong, apprised him of the various initiatives taken by his government for development of smart cities and urban centres, improving the ease of doing business and cleaning of rivers. Modi said India's strength in terms of 3Ds - Demographic Dividend, Democracy and Demand (large domestic market) - would enable it to emerge as a global manufacturer. He said it would be essential to enter into partnerships with the international community to access the necessary funding and expertise for the success of initiatives. "In this context, the prime minister conveyed India's keen desire to partner with Singapore. The ESM suggested that both sides should work for entering into a strategic economic partnership," said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office. Goh was accompanied by Minister in the Singapore Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry S.Iswaran and Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee. The statement said Modi recalled his long personal association with Tong. He also recalled Tong's special contribution to the development of bilateral relations. Goh congratulated Modi on his emphatic victory in the general elections and "for presenting an ambitious vision of India's economic and social transformation". "He encouraged the prime minister to work towards developing India as a global manufacturer through a combination of skill development, standard setting and access to the global market," the statement said. It said the Singapore leader called upon India to engage more proactively with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership initiative. He also emphasised that a prosperous India was critical for the peace and prosperity of the entire Asian region. Modi, who was invited to visit Singapore, said he looked forward to the visit at an early convenient date. source:agency

If Swami Vivekananda's message of universal brotherhood been followed by the world, history would not have witnessed "dastardly acts" like 9/11: PM

New Delhi: If Swami Vivekananda's message of universal brotherhood been followed by the world, history would not have witnessed "dastardly acts" like 9/11 in the US, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday. "Had we followed Swami ji's message, history would never have witnessed such dastardly acts as we saw on 11th September 2001 in USA. Let us remember the words of Swami Vivekananda and dedicate ourselves to furthering the cause of unity, brotherhood and world peace," Modi said in a tweet. On Sep 11, 2001, the US had witnessed its worst terror attack when two hijacked aircraft crashed into the north and south towers of World Trade Center in New York City of America, killing thousands of people. Also on this day in 1893, Swami Vivekananda had created history by his soul-stirring address at World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. "There are two images of 11th September - one of the trail of destruction in 2001 and the other - the message of Swami Vivekananda in 1893. Through his address, Swami Vivekananda drew the entire world's attention to our nation's rich history and strong cultural roots. "Sisters and brothers of America with these words of Swami Vivekananda, India's message of universal brotherhood reverberated across the world," he added. source:agency


India have a good chance to beat a depleted Serbia in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie : Leander Paes

Bangalore: India's most experienced tennis player Leander Paes believes that India have a good chance to beat a depleted Serbia in the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie commencing here Friday while reiterating that the doubles match could well prove decisive.
Paes feels that in the absence of World No.1 Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic, a former top-10 player who is recovering from a heel surgery, and former No.12 Viktor Troicki, who docked a 18-month ban for doping violation, provided India a good chance to win the tie and regain their spot in the elite 16-team World Group. "It would have been different had Djokovic, Tipsarevic and Troicki been there but their absence gives us a good chance. The doubles match will be very important. Nenad Zimonjic, who is ranked No.3 in doubles, is a very experienced player and has had a good season with Daniel Nestor," said Paes here Wednesday.

"Ilija Bozoljac is a wildcard in their team. I have seen some of his matches on YouTube. He and Zimonjic have beaten the Bryan brothers (Bob and Mike, ranked No.1). So, I expect a tough match." The 41-year old Paes, who will be partnering Rohan Bopanna in doubles, opined that one of the decisive factors would be playing smart tennis, especially on the big points.

"Davis Cup is not about rankings or who has won the Slams. It is a team game but usually it boils down to recognising the big points and playing smart tennis. As for Rohan, he will have full freedom to play his shots and lead because I feel that's when we can get the best out of him," said Paes, who last partnered Bopanna in 2012 and prior to that in 2007. "He is one of the most talented doubles players not to have won a Slam and I am quite excited playing with him. For Bopanna, it will be his home courts and I am sure there will be a packed house cheering for us. We need to ride that wave."

The 34-year-old Bopanna said he was looking forward to playing at home after a long time and expected an "interesting" doubles match Saturday. "It has been a long time since I played a match here and I am quite excited since the crowd here is very knowledgeable. We will not be taking the Serbian team lightly and we have to play our best tennis. It will be an interesting match," said Bopanna. On his part, Somdev Devvarman, whose ranking has slipped to 144 from a high of 62 in 2011, admitted that it will be a tough tie although Serbia are without their key players.

"You got to play your best tennis to win the tie and I will do my best," said Devvarman, who has been in good form in recent weeks, having reached the final of a Challenger tournament in Shanghai last week. Yuki Bhambri, 22, said he was happy to be back in the team after missing the tie against South Korea earlier this year. "I am glad to be back in the team after missing the Korea tie. I don't know whether the weather will have a say but we all are professionals and will deal with the situations," he said.

Bollywood ace choreographer Sandip Soparrkar says No to Bigg Boss season 8

Bigg Boss every season grabs eyeballs and the excitement begins every year and it has always remained a show providing enough masala and every kind of entertainment to its viewers. People world over do wait for this show with a deep sigh. Indian reality show 'Bigg Boss season 8' will soon go on air and the names of prospective contestants are already doing the rounds.

Bollywood ace choreographer Sandip Soparrkar who was approached for the show for the forth consecutive year is not happy to be included in the list and said no to show yet again. The choreographer who is famous around the globe for his Latin and Ballroom dancing says he will not participate in such a reality show.

Sandip is currently busy judging a dance reality show "Closeup Bharat Ki Shan - Let’s Dance" on DD National, is clear in his stand. He wrote on his Facebook n twitter page "Bigg Boss Season 8.... NOOOOOO.... this is the 4th time I am saying NOOOO to this show... great show, greater money... but I can’t be away from my family for sooo long.... and also I can’t handle the mood swings of some people who come on this show.... surely not my cup of tea..."

Sandip Soparrkar and many starts like him are not ready to enter the glass walled house of Bigg Boss. The most talked about show Bigg Boss is indeed an entertaining show on Indian television. However, Over the period of time it has gained some negative publicity and image too, due to which stars like Sandip Soparrkar prefer to stay away for the show year after year.

We would say it is a good decision on part of the celebrated choreographer, we rather see him burn the dance floor with his exotic moves and creative choreographies in his films, than be seen locked up in the Bigg Boss house.


Ganesh festival a "symbol of communal harmony"

Hyderabad: Lakhs of devotees Monday bid adieu to elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh amid massive security here and other parts of Telangana.
Over 40,000 policemen and paramilitary personnel were deployed in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and the adjacent Cyberabad police commissionerate limits to maintain peace during the annual Ganesh immersion procession, which marks the culmination of the 11-day festivities. Hundreds of idols started reaching the Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city for immersion since Monday morning.

Thousands of idols were still on their way to Hussain Sagar and 23 other lakes in and around the city. Officials of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation said 12,000 idols were immersed in the lake in the last three days and 9,000-10,000 more were likely to be brought till Tuesday morning. Armed policemen kept a tight vigil over the mammoth procession, which passes through the communally sensitive old city area. The afternoon prayers at the historic Mecca Masjid passed off peacefully.

Thousands of devotees thronged the roads around Charminar, where the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi erected a special platform to welcome idols coming from various parts of the old city and the outskirts. The main procession, which started from Balapur on the outskirts, will pass through Charminar, Moazzam Jahi Market and Basheerbagh before reaching Hussain Sagar. The procession started with the traditional auction of laddoo for Rs.9.5 lakh. Small processions from various areas join the main procession, which covers a distance of about 20 km.

Police installed CCTV and video cameras throughout the procession route to keep a vigil while bomb disposal squads were pressed into service. The mammoth procession, attended by about 10 lakh people, brought the city to a halt. Police imposed traffic restrictions to allow smooth passage of idols. The first Ganesh festival, after the formation of Telangana state, is being celebrated in all the districts with gaiety and fervour. Huge processions were taken out in Adialabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and other towns in Telangana.

State Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy, who reviewed the security arrangements at the historic Charminar, voiced his satisfaction over the peaceful and smooth conduct of the procession. He termed the Ganesh festival a "symbol of communal harmony" in Hyderabad. Director General of Police Anurag Sharma also took stock of the situation in the old city. He said 10,000 cameras were installed to keep an eye on the massive procession.

Devotees made a beeline to have a last 'darshan' of the massive idol at Khairatabad. Two huge cranes are being deployed to carry the 60-feet idol to Hussain Sagar. The Telangana government has arranged a helicopter to shower petals on the idol. The municipal corporation has made elaborate arrangements for the immersion with a budget of nearly Rs.11.5 crore. It has installed 23 huge cranes at Hussain Sagar and deployed hundreds of workers to clear the debris.

Priyanka Chopra's power-packed performance has led to the film "Mary Kom" amassing a box office collection of close to Rs.30 crore in its opening weekend

New Delhi: Priyanka Chopra's power-packed performance as boxing champion M.C. Mary Kom in the biopic has led to the film amassing a box office collection of close to Rs.30 crore in its opening weekend. The National Award-winning actress hopes the movie has a "wonderful run".
The movie, released on Teachers' Day Sep 5, collected Rs.8.02 crore on Friday, Rs.9.25 crore on Saturday and Rs.11.05 crore on Sunday totalling Rs.28.32 crore for the weekend, said a source. "What a weekend for #MaryKom. Thank you all. I truly hope that the story of our true champ @MangteC has a wonderful run at the box office (sic)," Priyanka posted on Twitter Monday.

The movie, directed by first timer Omung Kumar -- known for his skills as a set designer, released across 1,800 screens in the country. "Mary Kom" has been appreciated for its screenplay, inspirational storyline and Priyanka's performance.

Reality game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (KBC),welcomed its thousandth contestant recently

New Delhi: Reality game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (KBC), which was launched in 2000, welcomed its thousandth contestant recently.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who has been hosting the show since its launch - barring the third season - introduced medical student Syed Murtuza Hashmi from Hyderabad as the 1,000th contestant on KBC, read a statement. His brother Syed Mustfa had participated in the sixth season and had reached a payout of Rs.25 lakh, but after giving the wrong answer, he went back with a smaller amount.

The Indian version of internationally popular “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” is currently in the eighth season and is aired on Sony Entertainment Television. Celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone and Rani Mukerji have made their appearances on the ongoing season already.

Actress Priyanka Chopra is responsible for making Shilpa Shetty cry!

Mumbai: Actress Priyanka Chopra is responsible for making Shilpa Shetty cry! And no, it's not because the former hurt the latter in anyway.
The National Award winning actress' moving and power-packed performance in "Mary Kom", directed by first timer Omung Kumar, moved Shilpa to tears. "Jus Saw #MaryKom all actors performed so well but @priyankachopra u rocked it. Omung's done a fab job. Cried my eyeballs out. Must watch tweetos," Shilpa tweeted Sunday.

Even her husband and businessman Raj Kundra, who has always supported Shilpa in her entrepreneurial pursuits, tweeted: "The real star of #marykom in her real life is Onler. Family support is all you need! And in Reel life @priyankachopra u made my wife cry." The couple happens to have had a personal interaction and camaraderie with boxing champion M.C. Mary Kom, whose life has inspired the biopic.

Actor Arjun Rampal has quashed reports claiming a tiff between him and his co-star Ranbir Kapoor during the shoot of "Roy"

Mumbai: Actor Arjun Rampal has quashed reports claiming a tiff between him and his co-star Ranbir Kapoor during the shoot of "Roy". He said they are good friends and there is no animosity between them.
On being asked about the tiff, Arjun said: "Ranbir and I are very good friends. There has never been any sort of problem between us." "I hope that there will be no problem between us in future as well," added Arjun who played Ranbir's elder brother in successful political drama "Raajneeti". The 41-year-old was present at the poster launch of his movie "Daddy" here.

Reportedly, Arjun, who has shot for some of his portions in "Roy", had to wait for the next schedule because Ranbir was unavailable for the shoot, hence, the delay. Besides, it was also being said that initially Ranbir was to do just a cameo in "Roy", but later the length of his role was increased. The current schedule of director Vicky Singh's "Roy" is being shot in Malaysia.

Actor Arjun Rampal,would like to meet gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli !

Mumbai: Actor Arjun Rampal, who will be seen as gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli in the upcoming political drama "Daddy", would like to meet the latter to understand the nuances of his character.
Gaurav Bavdankar will direct "Daddy", while Mandar Dalvi will produce it. "To portray Arun Gawli in the film, I will have to lose weight. I will definitely have to get that physicality," the 41-year-old told reporters here at the poster launch of "Daddy". "I would like to meet him soon and would like to take his advice on what he thinks as that will help me in working hard for the film," he added.

"Daddy" will tentatively go on the floors October end as Arjun is currently shooting for "Roy". Elaborating on the preparations for the role in "Daddy", Arjun said: "When you are bestowed with such a responsibility to portray such a role, you have to delve deeply into it. You have to understand that person, his personality and everything so that you are able to do justification to the character on the screen." "So, I will have to do a lot of homework for my character. I do have some information with me and I do read it," he added.

Alexis Prem Kumar is safe and efforts are on to get him relased: Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Monday said Indian aid worker Alexis Prem Kumar, kidnapped in Afghanistan in June, is safe and efforts are on for his early release. "Alexis Prem Kumar is safe and efforts are on to get him relased," she told media persons here. The 47-year-old Prem Kumar of NGO Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) was abducted in Herat province in June while he was visiting a project site. source:agency

Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said AAP's horse-trading allegations were a desperate attempt by the Arvind Kejriwal-led party to be in the limelight

Kolkata: BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi Monday said AAP's horse-trading allegations were a desperate attempt by the Arvind Kejriwal-led party to be in the limelight. "The AAP is ... fighting an existential battle. By making such baseless allegations, it is desperately trying to be in the limelight," Naqvi told the media here. Asked about government formation in Delhi, Naqvi said the Bharatiya Janata Party would take a call in line with the demands of the situation. The Aam Aadmi Party Monday released a video which showed a BJP leader allegedly offering money to one of its legislators in a bid to form a government in Delhi. Delhi has been under President's rule since Kejriwal resigned as chief minister Feb 14 after 49 days in office. source:agency

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said "this time a strong government will be talking" to the US

New Delhi: Ahead of the much-anticipated summit talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama in Washington, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Monday said "this time a strong government will be talking" to the US.
Answering a question in her first press conference since taking over the ministry in May, Sushma Swaraj said the Modi-Obama talks on Sep 30 will see a "strong government" interacting with the US, "which will make all the difference". The questioner sought to know as to in what manner would Modi's interaction be different from that of the previous UPA government when Obama met erstwhile prime minister Manmohan Singh for summit meetings.

On talks with the US, Sushma Swaraj said both sides "would try to realise the full potential of ties between the two countries". "We will talk about manufacture, infrastructure, defence cooperation, security cooperation, a wide range of issues will be covered during the visit," she said. The Modi-Obama summit talks in Washington are being looked forward to as the US had declined a visa to Modi in 2005 over the Gujarat riots when he was chief minister of that state.

The US has sent several top-level dignitaries to India, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to India to lay the groundwork for the talks. Modi swept to power at the head of a massive mandate in the April-May general elections where he was the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate.

Hindus welcome return of stolen Lord Shiva statues by Australia to India

Hindus have welcomed Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s gesture of returning back to India on September five about 900-years-old bronze Shiva Nataraja and granulite Ardhanarishvara statues stolen from temples in India, which were worth millions of dollars.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, called it a “step in the right direction”.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged the India Government to return these statues to the Hindu temples from where these were stolen. Shiva Nataraja statue was reportedly stolen from a temple in Sripuranthan village in Ariyalur district of Tamil Nadu. Ardhanarishvara is also said to be from a Tamil Nadu temple.

Rajan Zed asked all the museums and art galleries of the world to exhaustively re-examine the procurement process and the provenance of their Hindu art collections, and if proved stolen, return these to Hindu temples they originally belonged.

When acquiring new Hindu artifacts in the future, these institutions should make sure that these were not looted from Hindu religious centers and should follow strict due diligence procedures and have transparent provenance. Pillaging of Hindu temples and archeological sites for mercantile greed was not okay, Zed argued

Rajan Zed further said that devotees had been worshipping these images of Hindu deities for centuries and, if confirmed as stolen, the world should respect their feelings by making arrangements to respectfully return to the religious institutions these plundered antiquities rightfully belonged to before being stolen.

The Shiva Nataraja statue, said to be originated in Tamil Nadu dated 11th-12th century CE, is a superb example of Indian Chola-period bronze casting. Reportedly purchased by National Gallery of Australia in Canberra in 2008 for about $5 million, it represents the Hindu deity Shiva in an iconographic form known as Nataraja, or Lord of the Dance. Ardhanarishvara (joint depiction of Shiva and Parvati as a single figure), also from Tamil Nadu around circa 1100 from Chola-period, was purchased by Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney in 2004.

In Hinduism, Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Poonam Pandey all set for 100 Cr. Club

After a Sensational debut in Nasha (2013), Poonam Pandey is all set to begin shooting for her next. Interestingly, Sources have it that Poonam wanted to be very careful whom she chose to associate with as producers and had no qualms waiting. Poonam wanted the right script and the right people backing the film.
She even tweeted about it saying, "I have made a special note that the producers have enough money to promote the film and not like Nasha."
Poonam even tweeted saying that she had finally found a great script and would make the announcement seeking blessings of Lord Ganesha. Confirming the news, Poonam said, "Yes, I have finally signed a film that is being backed by The World Networks. The film is the production's house first venture."
Kumar MG, The Managing Director, The World Networks, said that Poonam continued to rule the internet and thus were instigated to ink a three film deal with the actress.
"Apparently we will be releasing 5 films in the coming 2 years. Earlier we where investor for many films but now its our Debut film as a solo Producer with Poonam. Her movie Nasha did well at the box office but it was not promoted well by the Producers we see that this film of us with Poonam is Promoted well she is talented. And with the right script and right promotions she can definitely break box office records and takes her into a 100 Cr. Club," Kumar said.

Hindu Temple in S. Carolina converting ex-car dealership into community hall

Hindu Temple and Cultural Center (HTCC) of Orangeburg (South Carolina, USA) has reportedly purchased a former Ford dealership and plans to redevelop it into banquet hall for temple and community usage.

Claimed to open after renovation in the last quarter of 2015 with estimated cost of about $1.2 million, it will have three banquet facilities with total seating capacity of about 1,500. Reports suggest that this 7.5 acre property was bought for about $535,000 and may be used for future temple growth. It will be managed by HTCC and will also serve as a venue for Hindu weddings and other family events. PJ Patel is one of the Temple trustees.

Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended efforts of temple management and area community for realizing this HTCC growth.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this temple would help in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.

HTCC opened over four years ago. This upcoming banquet facility was reportedly built in 1988 costing about $1.25 million. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

Orangeburg, “The Garden City” on the north fork of the Edisto River, founded in 1704 and incorporated in 1883, is known for Festival of Roses and Edisto Memorial Gardens. Prominent people associated with it include actress/musician Shawnee Smith, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, football players Alex Barron and Tim Jennings, wrestler Shelton Benjamin and basketball player Mikki Moore. Michael C. Butler, Charles W. Jernigan and John H. Yow are Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and City Administrator respectively.


Pankaj Advani, arguably India's finest cue sport exponent , announced that he has opted out of professional snooker circuit after a two-year stint

Bangalore: Pankaj Advani, arguably India's finest cue sport exponent, announced Friday that he has opted out of professional snooker circuit after a two-year stint.
At a media conference here, 29-year-old Advani, the only Indian to have won both World billiards and IBSF snooker championship, said he was finding it difficult to divide time between the two disciplines and also missing his family during long stays in England, where much of the professional snooker is being played. "It was a constant dilemma, having to decide between billiards and snooker, with tournament dates clashing and I finally reached the decision to let go of my pro tour card.

"However, I will be playing the qualifying competition in Pune in a bid to win one of the six wild scards allotted to India for the next month's Indian Open World ranking snooker tournament," Advani said. Reflecting on his decision, Advani said one of his main intentions of joining the professional snooker ranks was to improve as a player.

"It has always been my goal to attain excellence in both billiards and snooker. To this end, I am happy that my two years on the pro snooker tour has made me a better player. "Also, when on the pro tour, I was missing billiards. Now that I am out of the pro circuit, it gives me more opportunities to represent my country and win medals. This means a lot to me. "The other main reason for my quitting pro tour was that I was missing my family and frankly, I was not enjoying spending so much time away from home.

"I discussed with my family and close friends besides my coach Arvind Savury who initially felt I should continue, but later understood when I explained the reasons and supported my decision to quit pro tour,a he said. Advani reached the high point of his pro career when he made it to the quarter-finals of the inaugural Indian Open in New Delhi last year before losing to Aditya Mehta, the only other Indian currently playing professional snooker. Advani, however, said he would be visiting England to practice snooker and possibly play in some tournaments if only to further sharpen his snooker skills.

"Definitely I will be going to England two or three times a year to practice and may be, participate in a tournament or two," said Advani. He thanked the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI) for the support he received from the governing body and also his employer, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation. BSFI secretary S Balasubramaniam said: "We respect Pankaj's decision and understand his need to spend more time at home with his family and of course, we will continue to support him."

Actor Ali Fazal is glad to be working in "Khamoshiyan" under the Vishesh Films banner

Mumbai: Actor Ali Fazal is glad to be working in "Khamoshiyan" under the Vishesh Films banner, and he is in awe of its co-owner Mahesh Bhatt's understanding of an actor and commercial cinema.
"Working with Mahesh Bhatt is like the best thing to have happened (to me). He just says one word about you (an actor) and it just triggers...he knows what to expect from an actor. He understands commercial cinema so well and tries to keep the sanctity of a project alive. I'm really looking forward to this film," Ali said.

"I have finished shooting the first schedule of the film and I will be going to Kashmir to shoot the rest of it," he added. To be directed by Karan Dara, "Khamoshiyaan" also features Sapna Pabbi and Gurmeet Chaudhary amog others.

Talking about the film, Ali said: "It's a kind of a film which I have not done before. It's about a journey of a guy who is very helpless and who tries to find himself. It's a nostalgic journey." The actor has earlier featured in films like "Fukrey" and "3 Idiots".

Bollywood actress-producer and entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty has opened a centre of her spa and wellness chain IOSIS in Mumbai's Chembur area

Mumbai: Bollywood actress-producer and entrepreneur Shilpa Shetty has opened a centre of her spa and wellness chain IOSIS in Mumbai's Chembur area, where she was born and spent her childhood days.
"Will be inaugurating our 9th IOSIS centre in Chembur today. A very special moment as I was born and spent many wonderful years there," Shilpa posted on Twitter on Teachers' Day Friday.

"Really wanted to open a centre there badly, so Chemburites pls avail of the services and get pampered. With lots of love," she added. Shilpa co-owns IOSIS along with business partner and cosmetologist Kiran Bawa.

Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee will star in his first lead role as an actor in "UnIndian"

Mumbai: Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee will star in his first lead role as an actor in "UnIndian", the first feature of a recently established Australia India Film Fund (AIFF). He will share screen space with Indian actress Tannishtha Chatterjee.
The romantic comedy, which will highlight the complexities of the Indian diaspora, will go into production in October in Sydney, it was announced during Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott's visit here Thursday. Written by Thushy Saathi and to be directed by Anupam Sharma, "UnIndian" is being presented by Devendra Gupta and Yateender Gupta.

The two actors are excited. "I'm honoured to have been cast as a lead in the first AIFF film, privileged to be working with Anupam Sharma and humbled to be working with an actress of the calibre of Tannishtha Chatterjee," Lee, who had earlier featured in a cameo in Hindi film "Victory", said in a statement. Tannishtha is equally upbeat. "Australia has always been a very special country for me. I love the script (of 'Unindian') and I am super excited to work with Anupam Sharma and his entire team. And Brett Lee... What can I say? Look forward to having a blast, Brett," she said.

Sharma and Lisa Duff are co-producing the film while Chandru Tolani is the executive producer. AIFF was established in 2013 to invest in Australian films with Indian themes for a global audience. The story of "UnIndian" is about a divorcee and single mother, Meera (Tannishtha), who meets the charismatic Will (Lee). Love is the last thing on Meera's mind, but her marital status is the subject of much discussion within her family, and she is encouraged on a seemingly daily basis to marry "a nice Indian man".

Devendra Gupta, CEO, AIFF, said: "Over the next few years we intend to inject significant funds into the Australian film and television industry, with specific focus on cross-cultural stories. "As Indian-Australians we see it as our responsibility to both celebrate the values of and strengthen ties between the two countries." The second film on the slate is currently in an advanced stage of development.

Actor Tiger Shroff paid tribute to his inspiration and pop icon Michael Jackson on the occasion of Teacher's Day

Mumbai: Actor Tiger Shroff Friday paid tribute to his inspiration and pop icon Michael Jackson on the occasion of Teacher's Day.
Tiger, who started learning dancing two years ago, unveiled a dance video, which is was a tribute to the late King of Pop.

The newcomer, who put his best foot forward as a dancer in his debut film "Heropanti", and his mentor Paresh were seen doing Jackson's signature steps in the video.
"This is a tribute to Michael Jackson and to my guru Paresh. It was not easy to match steps with Paresh, but I have tried. Michael Jackson has been my inspiration and I started learning dance two years back," Tiger said.

"This video will be online soon. I hope everyone likes it," he added.

The Microsoft Devices Group launched the Nokia X2 smart phone priced at Rs.8,699 in India

New Delhi: The Microsoft Devices Group Friday launched the Nokia X2 smart phone priced at Rs.8,699 in India, a company statement said here.
The Nokia X2 is representative of the evolution of the Nokia X family. It offers upgraded specifications including a 4.3-inch ClearBlack display, 5MP rear camera with autofocus and flash; and a VGA front camera, the statement said. “The enhancements on the Nokia X2 lead to a richer, faster and easier experience designed to introduce the 'next billion' people to the mobile Internet and cloud services,” said Sari Harju, head - mobile phones, Nokia India Sales, a subsidiary of Microsoft Mobile Oy.

There is a need for good teachers across the world : Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Why do capable students not want to become teachers, wondered Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday. Addressing students on Teachers Day, Modi said there is a need for good teachers across the world.


A huge 4.5m-high white marble statue of Hindu Lord Shiva has been consecrated and unveiled in Minto, a suburb of Sydney (Australia)

A huge 4.5m-high white marble statue of Hindu Lord Shiva has been consecrated and unveiled in Minto, a suburb of Sydney (Australia). Shipped from Varanasi (India), it was mounted on a concrete pedestal with the help of a crane at the Hindu temple Mukti Gupteshwar Mandir, which is claimed to be the world’s first human built underground cave temple whose tagline is "Home Of The 13th Jyotirlingham". This statue is said to be fitted with seven colored LED lights, with colors changing every minute. This Hindu temple has 1128 small temples inside it. Its ten-meter deep vault in the sanctum contains two million handwritten notes, each saying “Om Namah Shivaya”, from devotees around the world. It possesses water from 81 rivers, including major rivers from Australia, and from five oceans. Total cost of this temple project to date is said to be around five million Australian dollars. Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended efforts of temple management and area community for realizing this Hindu temple complex. Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this Australian temple would help in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism. Open seven days a week, this temple conducts poojas for 16 sanskaras with Vedic rituals and mundan ceremony (first haircut of the child); offers palm reading; prepares horoscope; runs yoga, meditation, dance and Hindi classes; celebrates Hindu festivals; organizes Mata-ki-Chowki, cultural events, Hanuman Chalisa recital, bhajans and parvachan; and is wedding venue. Its weekly Gurukul School for children teaches Sanskrit, Hinduism, Hindi, yoga, meditation, devotional dance and prayers. Prem Misra is temple coordinator. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion in the world with about one billion adherents. In Hinduism, Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. Minto, established in 1882 and known for producing Rugby league players, was originally home to the Tharawal people.

Radha Krishna Hindu Temple opens in Bielefeld Germany

Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple has opened in Bielefeld in Germany after Kumbabishekam ceremonies.

This Temple started construction in January 2013. It conducts daily poojas and recently organized Ganesha Chaturthi.

Besides sanctuary, it also plans to construct a cultural center to host discourses and music and dance events. Thiyagaraja Sarma Parameswaran Iyer is the Priest.

Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of temple management and area community for realizing this wonderful Hindu temple complex.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this new temple would help in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.

Bielefeld has another Hindu temple also named as Sri Kalyana Thiru Murugan Temple.

Hinduism 2nd largest in Arizona & Delaware

Hinduism is the second largest religion in the US states of Arizona and Delaware, according to a data from Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, congratulated the Hindu community for their successes in USA. In USA, according to reports, Hindus were the most educated religious group, had second highest income levels and lowest divorce rate.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, commended the Hindu community in America for continuing with the traditional values of hard work, higher morals, stress on education, sanctity of marriage, etc.

Rajan Zed advised Hindus to stay pure, explore the vast wisdom of scriptures, make spirituality more attractive to youth and children, stay away from the greed, and always keep God in your life.

Zed further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that families would make efforts in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

“Dhani ka Digicam” movie is a shocking eye-opener

The World has a reputation for happy endings and song and dance, but it has its darker side too, as director Sourabh Vyas portraying in his upcoming movie "Dhani Ka Digicam" which is produced by Dr. Jaishree Manchanda. "Dhani Ka Digicam” is a shocking eye-opener and cleans out the noises about darker side of world. This is a film that knows its job. Dhani Ka Digicam is the kind of story that we don’t want to hear, which is exactly why we must hear it. Dhani a Deaf and dumb girl, who is just 13 year old has been bought, sold and introduced in the dark underbelly of our civilization. This is the first ever movie of India, which will represent the handy cam in the film. Camera is itself a character in the film. The film will be seen through the eyes of handy cam.

Director Sourabh Vyas said, “This film is based on true incidence that's why we have filmed it in a very realistic approach. Our characters are so real that you may initially think it's a documentary. But we have maintained entertainment value."

Dhani Ka Digicam movie based on real life story, a 13-year-old-girl old virgin girl from rural India who was up for sale on a highway and pushed into prostitution and was rescued from it later. In India where girls are burden to their Family selling their girl child for money it's become ritual in many state of India. Dhani Ka Digicam movie deals with the emotion and perspective of the girl who faces the illegal system of India.

Producer Dr. jaishree Manchanda said, “I always wanted to produce film. I think this is the right film to start with. It has very fresh story. And I am sure people will love camera work of this film, it is very different. And the important thing is, it deals with child trafficking. I am very happy that I am the part of this important film."


Sandip Soparrkar and Jesse Randhawa to perform on the opening ceremony of International Marathi Film Festival Awards (IMFFA)

Film festival and award ceremonies have become mega event now days. Organizing film festivals in different countries to popularize cinema has also gained popularity. India's first ever International Marathi Film Festival Awards (IMFFA) are being organized in a grand way in Hong Kong in September this year.

What is unique and special about IMFFA is that it will be held on Star Cruise Virgo. First ever International Marathi film festival awards will play host to the most celebrated talents of the Marathi film industry, Bollywood guests, corporate chieftains and dignitaries from India. IMFFA will showcase a star-studded set of action-packed events and associations.

To assure the stupendous success of IMFFA they have roped in The King of Latin and Ballroom Dancing Sandip Soparrkar and his stunning dance partner Jesse Randhawa to put up a special performance on the opening ceremony of IMFFA.

Sandip and Jesse will bring some unique western elements mixed with Marathi Indian spice which people have never before experience in the world. Dancing international forms to Marathi turns is what the celebrated dancer choreographer has planned for IMFFA.

Sandip Soparrkar very excited about his performance, said "I feel honored and humbled to be a part of IMFFA, it is a of its kind film festival award in the world, Jesse and me will give all our creative best to make sure the Marathi films reach to the world through our dance."

The celebrations will begin from Hong Kong on September 20; from where the cruise will then sail to China and Vietnam. The awards show will take place on the night of September 23, with a blue carpet opening and a party on the cruise's helipad, before coming back to Hong Kong.

We are sure that IMFFA will now make the world realize that India has many more language films to offer to the world other than Hindi.

10,000 saplings to be planted across Delhi/NCR by Leaders For Tomorrow

The city’s biggest ever youth-led plantation drive, Adopt-A-Plant (ADAPT), aimed at planting 10,000 saplings, has been launched today in partnership with the colleges of Delhi/NCR with participation from youth across the city by Leaders For Tomorrow, a not-for-profit youth movement. Adopt-A-Plant (ADAPT) Campaign encourages youth from various campuses to plant saplings in and around their college campuses, and contribute to creating a greener city. Students are inspired to plant and nurture the saplings as a team. The event has been regularly taken up in the campuses in the last five years by the organisation. This year, students from over 9 universities across the city will be engaged in this event aimed at making the present generation aware of their role and responsibility in preserving the environment. Along with the plantation drive, several competitions including creative writing, poster designing, slogan writing etc will also be taken up by the students. ADAPT is an annual plantation drive conducted by Leaders For Tomorrow. Through the campaign, we nurture over 8000 saplings every year. The campaign will see different colleges of Delhi University take up the event throughout September and in its second phase will see students from 8 more universities, including Indraprastha University, Delhi Technological University, Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University, and Amity University. Leaders for Tomorrow Foundation is a not for profit youth leadership movement working amongst college students, aimed at awakening the social consciousness of youth by encouraging them in volunteerism and skill development. We work in the campuses; conduct social development related events and leadership programmes to create true LEADERS FOR TOMORROW!

AAKRITI GROUP envisages transforming ideas into reality

Aakriti Group today is a very familiar name with the people of Bhopal. The
reason behind their success and popularity is their profound dedication
towards their customers in order to provide the best quality and
environment for your dream house.

*Hemant Kumar, CMD, Aakriti Group said *"  Aakriti Group as an institution
built on the strong foundation of integrity, years of dedication, creating
a name for oneself without  inheritances,  consistent performances, varied
interests, a hunger to grow and advancement  with every new project. With
over 18 years of building a solid reputation for luxury and quality,
 Aakriti Group has led to creation of various landmark projects in fields
of residential, commercial, townships, healthcare and hospitality".

Bhopal has received tremendous projects from Aakriti Group like Aakriti Eco
City, Aakriti Aquacity, Aakriti Highlands, The Nest and many more. All the
projects of Aakriti Group are very well organized, designed and comprises
of all the essential amenities that one idolizes in a perfect home. Affordable
quality housing is now within the reach of those who are looking for it.

The entire offerings of Aakriti Group are made from best quality materials
that are tested with latest techniques. It provides the finest foundations
for people to build their happiness and sense of satisfaction with Aakriti

With growing modernization and development, Aakriti Group has always
marched with time and utilizes state-of-the-art techniques to provide that
extra comfort which the people of Bhopal truly deserve.The group has
successfully completed 18 years in the real estate business and today it
has revolutionized the real estate arena.

Aakriti Group is scaling new heights persistently on the strength of
engineering techniques, innovative designing, architectural finesse,
quality and timely completion of the projects undertaken.

Aakriti Group crafted a niche for itself in real estate with prestigious
real estate projects,  Aakriti Aquacity, Aakriti Ecocity, Aakriti greens
etc to name a few. The group has also made an ambitious foray into the
sugar industry with four mills. In doing so it has made lives sweeter,
creating employment opportunities for rural people. The group also extends
a warm and friendly hand when it comes to hospitality.  Aakriti Group Calor
Vanasthali Cottages in Pachmarhi, Kanha & Pench have set new standards in
the hospitality industry offering warm, memorable moments for holidayers.
Making a mark in Ayurveda, Naturopathy & Yoga, the group has showered
people with care at the Aakriti Nature Cure Centre, A place where natural
treatment and all round wellness is imparted amidst greenery & amenities
like a meditation centre, yoga hall, residential suites & cottages. Knowing
how crucial the education is, The group has also established Sprouts Pre
School, to prepare and sharpen little minds for tomorrow’s challenges.

For more details, please visit at *

PR Solution to provide PR support to International Wheat Seminar 2014

PR Solution has been given the duty to offer PR support for International
Wheat Seminar which is going to be held at Hotel Sheraton Park Hotel &
Towers, Chennai, Tamil Nadu on September 1, 2 and 3, 2014.

Around 300 delegates from the wheat and wheat based industries are expected
to join in this global seminar.  The interchange of ideas and information
would be of substantial significance, and the seminar would provide
opportunity for networking among stakeholders in different segments
concerning wheat. An exhibition and display of healthy ready-for
consumption wheat-based products will also be held.

*S Vijay Kumar, Global CEO, PR Solution in Malaysia,* said: “We are
extremely glad to support the International Wheat Seminar. PR Solution
prides itself on a dynamic approach, with a focus on true consultancy and
visible results in reaching business and consumer audiences. We have our
ears at the pulse of time and therefore know the topics which move your
industry. Our excellent reputation is a consequence of our honest,
tailor-made communication and fruitful collaboration with our customers and
the respective groups of media. We’ll only develop, recommend and execute
such PR concepts, if we are convinced of their success and value.

The International seminar is expected to be a forum to discuss and find
solutions for the various challenges faced by the Indian Wheat industry in
the global market. Issues of taxes, policy decisions, attitude of the
authorities and public distribution system will be addressed at the
seminar. The seminar would be inaugurated by renowned agricultural
scientist Prof. M. S. Swaminathan, Founder Chairman and Chief Mentor,
UNESCO Chair in Eco-technology. Some of the leading scientists, experts and
industry players will take part in the seminar and share their views. This
is the first time that the International seminar on wheat and wheat
products is being held in Chennai.

PR Solution supports a full range of services like  Strategic PR consulting
,   Press relations (trade and business media; online, print, broadcast)
,    Media training ,    Analyst relations ,    Social media services
(blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing, Twitter, etc.),     content creation,
community management, reputation management ,    Content marketing Marcom
support, including website texts  ,    Event management ,    Speaking
opportunities ,    Award management , Corporate publishing and  CSR project

Earlier, The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India
(Assocham) has also partnered with PR Solution for the Food Processing
Investment in India.

For more details, please visit at


Hindus ask Basketball Federation to lift turban ban

Hindus are asking International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to lift its headgear ban, which they say smelled of intolerance and should not be acceptable in 2014 world. Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that this ban was affecting the fundamental rights and religious freedom of Sikh players. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, termed the headgear ban as appalling, pointless, narrow-minded, discriminatory, racism and unjust; and added that it should immediately go. Rajan Zed urged basketball coaches-referees-players of the world to stand up in solidarity and sportsmanship with the Sikh players and refuse to play till the headgear ban was lifted. Zed also urged His Holiness Pope Francis to come out openly in support of Sikhs on this issue. International Olympic Committee, whose role is to “act against any form of discrimination”, should also jump in to impart wisdom to FIBA, Zed added. What was United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights doing, who was “mandated to promote and protect human rights for all” and speak out “objectively in the face of human rights violations”? Rajan Zed asked. Zed further said that FIBA Central Board meeting at Sevilla (Spain) on August 27, instead of making a final decision of removing the headgear ban, deferred this issue for the future, saying “it requires further analysis”. FIBA, the world governing body for basketball whose tagline is "We Are Basketball", is an independent association formed by 214 National Basketball Federations throughout the world. Yvan Mainini, Horacio Muratore and Patrick Baumann are President, Vice President and Secretary General respectively of its Central Board. Founded in 1932 and headquartered in Mies (Switzerland), FIBA establishes the Official Basketball Rules, and claims that 11% of the world plays basketball.

Suniel Shetty turns riffle coach for Sasha Agha Khan in Desi Kattey

Game changers. Glam girls. Power players. Beauty with Brains. Here's to the resourceful, sensitive, soulful, gracious and confident women of Bollywood. They are the heart, face and soul of an industry. And yet, they lead their lives and career on their own terms and conditions. Whether it's respect, remuneration or reputation, they aren't second to anybody. In Bollywood many actresses take challenging role here Actress Sasha Agha Khan recently join the list of brave actress. Sasha Agha Khan will seen in her action packed performance where she will be seen with guns onscreen and raising temperature is upped by quite a few degrees. But the new bee Sasha is not so familiar with Guns so Actor Suniel Shetty who is returning as an Army man who also doubles up as a shooting coach will become tutor for the lovely lady. Anna Suniel Shetty has a very pivotal role in the film. He is the one who spots my two key protagonists in the film, played by Akhil Kapur and Jay Bhanushali. DESI KATTEY movie is based on the world of gangsters and sports amalgamate to meet a common destination. Excited Sasha Agha Khan said, "Guns are my secret desire and working with the master of action Suniel Shetty is really fun. I was little bit nervous but when you get tutor like Suniel sir nothing is impossible."


A festive spirit envelopes the city and other parts of Telangana as Ganesh Chaturthi began with religious fervour

Hyderabad: A festive spirit envelopes the city and other parts of Telangana as Ganesh Chaturthi began Friday with religious fervour.

Hundreds of devotees performed 'puja' in Ganesh temples and to idols installed at specially decorated 'pandals' or makeshift platforms erected by various neighbourhood and traders' associations. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and his wife performed 'puja' to the huge idol installed at Khairatabad near Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the governor. A large number of devotees including VIPs made a beeline for worship at over 50-feet-long idol, the tallest in the city, at Khairatabad. The governor said he prayed for the happiness and prosperity of people of both the Telugu states.

This is the first Ganesh Chaturthi after bifurcation of the state. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu offered puja at Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headquarters in Hyderabad. He wished for the well-being and development of people of both the states. TDP leaders from both the regions greeted Naidu. According to Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi, over 50,000 idols have been installed in and around Hyderabad for the 11-day long festival this year. This is in addition to small idols installed in apartments and individual houses.

The idols of different sizes, shapes, colours and in myriad forms have been installed on streets in major markets and residential localities across twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Hundreds of trucks and smaller vehicles were seen carrying the idols from Dhoolpet area to their destinations. The devotees were doing the last minute shopping for marigold flowers, leaves and other materials for puja. The sweet shops and the supermarkets were also teeming with people, buying sweets and groceries for the festival.

Police have made massive security arrangements for the festival, especially in the communally sensitive old city. Over 15,000 policemen and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in the state capital. The festival will conclude with a mammoth procession Sep 8 when thousand of idols will be immersed in Hussain Sagar Lake in the heart of the city. The festival also began in other parts of Telangana with people installing idols at homes and on streets. The festival is celebrated on a massive scale in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana but is a low-key affair in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

Luxury automobile manufacturer BMW launched a new variant of its sports utility vehicle (SUV) X3

New Delhi: Luxury automobile manufacturer BMW  launched a new variant of its sports utility vehicle (SUV) X3 priced between Rs.44.90 lakh and Rs.49.90 lakh.

According to the company, the new model features latest-generation diesel engine with which provides low fuel consumption. The all-aluminium 2.0 litre diesel engine can accelerate the vehicle from 0 to 100 km per hour in just 8.1 seconds.

The engine comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission with cruise control which provides higher shifting and driving comfort. The new vehicle is only available with diesel powered engine is locally produced at the company's Chennai plant.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the nation on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday greeted the nation on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. "On Ganesh Chaturthi, we bow to Lord Ganesh. May Lord Ganesh shower his blessings on us and enrich our lives with peace, joy and wisdom," the prime minister said in a tweet.

Mehbooba Mufti,appealed the central government to start defence minister level talks with Pakistan

Jammu: Mehbooba Mufti, president of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Jammu and Kashmir, Friday appealed the central government to start defence minister level talks with Pakistan.

Addressing a media conference here, Mufti said: "The union government should start mature, meaningful defence minister level talks with Pakistan to carry forward the agenda of peace and progress between the two neighbouring counties." She asked the BJP government at the Centre to rise above party politics and carry forward former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's agenda for peace by taking confidence building measures like bus service between Srinagar and Muzaffarabad.

She said she was "disappointed" with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not working on the lines of Vajpayee's agenda. "I am disappointed," she said. The president of the state's largest opposition party asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) not to play politics when it comes to a sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand on his birth anniversary

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday paid tribute to hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand on his birth anniversary, which is being celebrated every year as National Sports Day.

"Our tributes to legendary Major Dhyan Chand on National Sports Day. His determination and dedication towards sports continues to inspire," Modi tweeted. "We salute all our sportsmen and women, who have been enhancing the pride of the tricolour by their exemplary performance on the field," Modi said.

The prime minister also congratulated sportspersons who would be honoured with the various National Sports Awards Friday and said: "India is proud of them". Born Aug 29, 1905, Major Dhyan Chand is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players the world has seen till date. He is known as 'The Wizard' because of the way he controlled the ball. He won three Olympic Gold medals in 1928, 1932 and 1936.


Unisys Expands Desktop Virtualization Offerings with New Cloud-Based Desktop as a Service Solution

Bangalore – Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) today
expanded its portfolio of Unisys Workspace Services – a comprehensive
range of advisory and cloud-based services for desktop virtualization
– with a new solution designed to help IT organizations reduce costs
and increase flexibility in providing their workers with cloud-based
access to the full suite of business applications and services that
they need to stay productive.

Combining Unisys services and technology and the VMware Horizon®
architecture, the new Unisys Desktop as a Service solution enables
CIOs to reduce capital expenses by eliminating the need to buy and
maintain costly desktop infrastructure and software licenses.

Instead, IT organizations can purchase resources based on a set price
for each virtual desktop from a cloud-based catalog that includes
hosted applications and all the support services typically available
for traditional desktops. End users can use this catalog to build a
personalized virtual desktop, tailored to their job profile, that they
can securely access anytime, anywhere, from any device – tablets,
smartphones, laptops, PCs and thin clients. IT staff can use the
catalog to access Unisys managed services to maintain and monitor the
virtual desktop.

Depending on a client's specific requirements, Unisys Desktop as a
Service can be hosted and managed in a VMware or Unisys data center,
or on-premises at a client site.

"Providing your employees with the latest, most powerful desktop
resources doesn't have to be a break-the-bank exercise any longer,"
said Larry Dunn, vice president, solution portfolio management, Unisys
Enterprise Services. "Our Unisys Desktop as a Service offering
combines the efficiency of the cloud with a full range of IT managed
services and end-user support services to provide organizations with a
more flexible, cost-efficient way to keep their workers productive and
informed in their jobs."

Services included in the Unisys Desktop as a Service solution are
development and maintenance of virtual desktop images and patching and
monitoring of virtual desktop instances. Unisys coordinates with the
client's service desk organization to provide support for users of
those services. Encryption of stored data – also known as data at rest
– and anti-malware services are available as options for enhanced

All capabilities and services of the Unisys Desktop as a Service
solution are available to IT staff and end users through an integrated
version of the VantagePoint™ by Unisys solution, which aggregates
business and IT services from multiple sources around the enterprise.
VantagePoint by Unisys can provide a unified view of endpoint
resources, giving users a simplified way to obtain support,
information and services for their entire workspace – not only their
virtual desktop, but also traditional desktop and mobile-device

Unisys has built the Unisys Desktop as a Service solution to the U.S.
government Federal Risk Authorization and Management Program (FedRAMP)
security standard for cloud-based products and services. The company
is in the process of seeking FedRAMP certification for key North
American data centers.

"The comprehensive managed services, global end-user support and
enhanced security Unisys provides in the Unisys Desktop as a Service
solution complement our desktop virtualization technology," said Erik
Frieberg, vice president of product marketing, End-User Computing,
VMware. "The Unisys solution affords VMware Horizon clients a
cost-effective way to create and manage an infrastructure that gives
end users easy access to a standardized but flexible set of software

Unisys Desktop as a Service clients can also take advantage of
optional Unisys assessment, migration, transformation and mobile
environment management services, which complement the Unisys managed
services and end-user support services for the cloud-based solution.

The Unisys Desktop as a Service solution is scheduled for general
availability in the fourth quarter of 2014.

For more information, visit Unisys at VMworld® 2014 booth 213.

About Unisys

Unisys is a global information technology company that solves complex
IT challenges at the intersection of modern and mission critical. We
work with many of the world's largest companies and government
organizations to secure and keep their mission-critical operations
running at peak performance; streamline and transform their data
centers; enhance support to their end users and constituents; and
modernize their enterprise applications. We do this while protecting
and building on their legacy IT investments. Our offerings include
outsourcing and managed services, systems integration and consulting
services, high-end server technology, cybersecurity and cloud
management software, and maintenance and support services. Unisys has
more than 23,000 employees serving clients around the world. For more
information, visit

Follow Unisys on  Twitter.

PayUMoney and ICICI Bank Brings the Biggest Online Shopping Festival- Fant@stic 15!* Shoppers to benefit from PayUMoney and ICICI Bank’s double bonanza discount offers!*

New Delhi: PayUMoney brings to you the *Fantastic Fifteen Shopping Festival*, in association with ICICI credit and debit cards. This is by far the biggest online shopping festival spanning over 15 days for Indian shoppers with 35 exciting online brands to choose from on a platter. What’s more - shoppers get up to 40% off on shopping with ICICI

Bank Credit and Debit Cards. Further, every consumer will get an assured discount of upto 15% on every transaction done through PayUMoney.

Aptly named *Fantastic Fifteen,* the shoppers can start filling their shopping carts from the26thAugust till 9th September, 2014. Interestingly, to make the shopping experience even more fulfilling, shoppers stand a chance to win two Moto-G smart phones every day and 3000+ gift vouchers across the span of 15 days.

The Fant@stic 15 shopping festival is a class apart from any other online shopping festival that the shoppers would have witnessed so far as it spans over 15 days and provides ample amount of time to shoppers to choose from a variety of brands and avail exciting discounts on each transaction. The popular brands to lookout for during the festival are – Jabong, Dominos, adidas, Shopclues, BookMyShow, Goibibo, Red Bus, Zovi, Fabfurnish and Infibeam.

Open to all shopaholics and expecting a huge rush of shoppers starting day

1, the shopping festival is a great opportunity for all online buyers and discount lovers to make the most of the discounts offered. *“We’re extremely delighted to partner with ICICI bank for the fantastic 15 shopping festival. In fact it’s for the first time that a bank and an online payments company have joined hands to put a shopping festival of his scale. Not only one gets the best of brands to shop from and best of the offer to avail, the festival assures that one is rewarded while buying.

This means one is literally getting paid to shop! A consumer stands a chance to win two swanky Moto G smart phones every day, apart from 3000+ gift vouchers. We hope that festival will attract buyers across the country and wish to roll out such festivals more frequently.” *quoted Shailaz Nag, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at PayU India.

The consumers can look for all offers at:

*About PayUMoney:*

PayUMoney is a FREE and unique online payments solution for anyone who wants to collect payments in India (be it Individuals, brick & mortar start-ups, Freelancers, Schools, Hotels, Utility companies, Residential societies, Telcos, Insurance companies, traders, retailers etc.)

PayUMoney is brought to you by PayU India, which is India’s fastest growing online payment company. In just 2 years PayU has achieved the feat of becoming the No.1 player in E-commerce category and No.2 player in overall payments Industry. PayU serves more than 30000 businesses today with proven success records. Its clientele includes -Goibibo, Snapdeal, Bookmyshow, Jabong, and Ferns n Petals, Freecharge, Zomato, Tradus, Rechargeitnow, Micromax Mobiles, Groupon India and many more.

PayU India is headquartered in Gurgaon and has regional offices in Mumbai and Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Jaipur & Shimla.

Tech Mahindra launched nationally its affordable mobile job marketplace -- "Saral Rozgar" cards

New Delhi: Tech Mahindra Wednesday launched nationally its affordable mobile job marketplace -- "Saral Rozgar" cards -- to help blue-collar job seekers connect with mainstream employers via mobile phone in their own language.
"We are thrilled to introduce 'Saral Rogzar' cards nationally. In the past two years, we have registered close to two million subscribers across 800 locations in India, and have successfully engaged more than 50,000 job seekers with prospective employers," Jagdish Mitra (Head - Mobility Business), Tech Mahindra said.

"Currently, there are more than 37 crore blue-collar workers who are unskilled or semi-skilled. Our aim is to reduce this socio-economic imbalance and bridge the digital divide by ensuring that job seekers get ample job opportunities," he added.

Job seekers can access the service by buying the card for Rs.50 and registering through a simple voice call in the preferred language. The cards will be available at more than one lakh point-of-sale outlets with the telecom recharge retailers.
"Currently, 'Saral Rozgar' has more than one lakh job openings in 100-plus job categories. In Delhi and NCR region, we have more than 15,000 jobs identified in the major industrial clusters of Dharuhera, Manesar, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Noida, Sahibabad and Dadri," Vivek Chandok (vice president, mobility VAS product and portfolio) Tech Mahindra, said.

He added: "The top job categories in demand are retail, accounting, tailoring, electrician, machine operator, cook, security guard, food and beverage executive, and delivery boys, among others."


Defence Minister Arun Jaitley reviewed the progress of the prestigious Project 75 indigenous Scorpene submarine construction and other ongoing warship building projects

Mumbai: Defence Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday reviewed the progress of the prestigious Project 75 indigenous Scorpene submarine construction and other ongoing warship building projects, including the P-15B Class stealth destroyers.

Jaitley was accompanied by Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R.K. Dhowan during his visit to the Mazagon Docks Ltd., where Project 75 to construct six state-of-the-art submarines is currently underway in collaboration with M/s. DCNS, France. Considered a crucial project for the country and the Indian Navy, the project will give a massive fillip to India's indigenous submarine construction capability.

"With all the impediments and material hurdles resolved, the construction of the submarines is progressing on schedule to meet the planned delivery schedule of September 2016," an official statement said. Currently, three of the planned six submarines in the project are in the outfitting phase and the systems of the first submarine are being set to work.

The Project 75 is being reviewed regularly at all levels by the central government and the naval headquarters to gear up for the launch of the first submarine in September next year (2015). Similarly, preparations to induct these submarines are also underway and the selected crew has commenced training. The submarine fleet will initially be based in Mumbai, and after completion of trials, they would be later shifted to the operational base in Karwar.

For this, the government has given the priority to create associated shore support facilities as per the Long Term Infrastructure Perspective Plan. Duirng his visit, Jaitley also inaugurated the Mazdock Modernisation Project (MMP), which will greatly enhance the warship and submarine capability of Mazagaon Dock Ltd.

The Rs.8 billion MMP, being carried out with M/s. Haskoning Nederland BV as a consultant, will see the creation of a new Wet basin with level-luffing cranes, 300-tonne Goliath crane, module workshop, stores building, shipyard transporter and a cradle and assembly shop at MDL.
source: agency

Telecommunications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad unveiled the dot Bharat domain name

New Delhi: Telecommunications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad Wednesday unveiled the dot Bharat domain name, an official statement said here.
Most of the future expansion of the internet is going to come from Asia, Africa and the developing world. Local languages, content and culture will increasingly become important themes for the future expansion of the internet, the minister said, adding that mobile devices and applications as well as social media will be important determinants of this growth. The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) have been working for the last two years on the dot Bharat domain name.

The dot Bharat ccTLD (country code top-level domain) is shared by other Indian languages such as Boro, Dogri, Konkani, Maithili, Marathi, Nepali and Sindhi-Devanagari and the end user can now get domain names in these languages apart from Hindi, the statement said. This is soon to be followed in the coming months by similar launches in regional languages such as Tamil, Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu, Telugu and Bangla.

The minister said e-commerce is going to bring in revolutionary changes in the economic activities of rural India. It will not only generate new jobs but also create large number of business opportunities for all sections of populations in rural India. He said Digital India project is aiming to offer a one-stop shop for government services and would use the mobile phone as the backbone of its delivery mechanism. Digital India promises to transform India into a connected knowledge economy offering world-class services at the click of a mouse and will be implemented in a phased manner.


Actor Emraan Hashmi is proud after watching his own film "Raja Natwarlal"

Mumbai: Actor Emraan Hashmi is proud after watching his own film "Raja Natwarlal" and he can't stop singing praises of the movie which he believes is the "best rom-con" entertainer.
"Saw #RajaNatwarlal last night. Without mincing my words. It is the best ROM-CON (romantic-con movie) a long shot! REVENGE hasn't ever looked dis good (sic)," Emraan tweeted Saturday. The movie is slated to release Aug 29, and stars Pakistani actor Humaima Malick with Emraan, as well as actors like Kay Kay Menon and Paresh Rawal. It is directed by Kunal Deshmukh and produced by UTV Motion Pictures.

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan and his family,landed in the Pink City to cheer for Pink Panthers

Mumbai: Megastar Amitabh Bachchan and his family, including his little granddaughter Aaradhya, landed in the Pink City Saturday to cheer for Pink Panthers, a Pro Kabaddi League franchise owned by his son Abhishek.
"Landed in Jaipur to cheer for #PINKPANTHERS. Tonight we play Pune, all of us here... Bahu, poti, sab," Amitabh posted on his Twitter page Saturday afternoon. Abhishek's wife Aishwarya and daughter Aaradhya will be present for the match as well.

Bollywood's young talent Alia Bhatt is set to offer hairstyling tips to her fans

Mumbai: Bollywood's young talent Alia Bhatt is set to offer hairstyling tips to her fans.
She will do so via MTV's digital show "Philips MTV The Look", which offers a plethora of stylish hair-do ideas and tips to make people's locks look good.

Alia will be seen sharing some of her favourite styles, tips and tricks to create interesting hairdos along with video jockeys Bani and Gaelyn on the web-based show, said a statement. The ladies will be bringing the trendiest, funkiest and eye-catching hair-dos and styles to viewers who look to be ahead of the style curve.

Pakistan Rangers continued to use long range weapons to target the Border Security Force (BSF) posts and villages in R.S. Pura and Arnia areas

Jammu: The Pakistan Rangers Sunday continued to use long range weapons to target the Border Security Force (BSF) posts and villages in R.S. Pura and Arnia areas near the international border in Jammu district, police said. "Pakistan rangers used long range weapons to target almost all the BSF border outposts in R.S. Pura and Arnia in addition to villages close to the border in these areas," a senior police officer said. "Pakistan firing started at 10 p.m. last night and continued intermittently during the night. They fired at 12 BSF outposts in R.S.Pura and 10 in Arnia sectors," he added. "Since Pakistan rangers are using long range weapons, 28 villages in these areas are directly in the line of Pakistan fire." "BSF troops are effectively retaliating and intermittent firing is still on," he said. Jammu Divisional Commissioner Shantmanu said the administration is prepared to accommodate at safer places possible migrants from border villages in these areas. "We are ready to meet any eventuality. Our contingency plans are in place to provide all possible relief to people who might move out of their villages if tensions escalate," the official said. Although the state government says only 1,000 villagers have so far moved out to safer accommodations, eye-witnesses in these areas say over 3,000 villagers have taken shelter at safe places out of villages in R.S. Pura and Arnia areas in Jammu. source:agency


"Close up Bharat Ki Shaan Let's Dance” becomes one of the top Reality shows of DD National

Television shows come and go, while some fail miserably, others create a history and get the success and fan following more than a film can even attempt to do and 2014 has been no exception. While many television serials did not see the light of the day, some continue to stand out in the minds of viewers. Nothing brings people closer than a show that helps families bond over content that stimulates emotionally, morally and intellectually. The competition among shows got tougher each week as several shows touch their highest ever ratings and ratings many a times fluctuate too. DD National top running show ' Close up Bharat Ki Shaan – Let's Dance’ crossed million viewers to become one of the highest rated show this season. The show premiered on 7th June 2014 and has been a topper for the past 2 months, it has been successful and managed to be on top. The show has the king of Ballroom dancing Sandip Soparrkar as the grand judge along with Oo La La choreographer Pony Verma. Sandip Soparrkar posted on his facebook page "Through my show Close up Bharat ki Shaan Let's Dance I am in homes of every Indian family every weekend, now I feel like the country is my home. Thank you Doordarshan for making me reach to the people of Bharat."' The show had received an overwhelming positive response and feedback from both the critics as well as the public. The show was widely appreciated by several film and television personalities for its research, format, presentation and content. This show tops the young viewers thinking and continues to rule the hearts of the audiences. Pony Verma said on the show, "I am so proud to be a judge on Close up Bharat ki Shaan Let's Dance, a show which is being appreciated by one and all." The show is not just filled with talented dancers but has a very youthful appeal which makes it even more likeable. The dance themes, concepts being shown are new and different from other current shows on air. Plus the guidance and comments given by Pony Verma and Sandip Soparrkar is something to look forward to.


Hindus laud Overland Park Council for permitting elephant for wedding festivities

Hindus have thanked Kansas’s Overland Park City Council for unanimously approving the permit in its August 18 meeting to allow an elephant for wedding festivities on September six. Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, commended the Overland Park City Council for respecting the age old Hindu traditions by granting this permit. Zed urged all city councils and county boards/commissions of USA to allow such usage. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that it was tradition in Hindu weddings for the bridegroom to travel to wedding venue riding on a horse or elephant in a procession accompanied by family and friends. Rajan Zed further said that it was very comforting to know that Hindu traditions received a warm welcome in Kansas. Overland Park, whose tagline is "Above and beyond, by design" and which is home to a “train garden” and “Shim Sham Shimmy” sculpture; has been ranked in top 10 Best Places to Live, one of the Best Places to Raise Your Kids, and among America's 10 Best Places to Grow Up. Carl R. Gerlach and John Skubal are Mayor and Council President respectively. Prominent people associated with it include actors Paul Rudd, Sarah Lancaster, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle; and film director Darren Lynn Bousman. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.


UP : BJP president Amit Shah exhorted party workers to begin work for winning the 2017 state assembly elections

Lucknow: Outlining his ambitions for Uttar Pradesh, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah Tuesday exhorted party workers to begin work for winning the 2017 state assembly elections. Speaking to party workers on his maiden visit to the state after his recent elevation as party chief, Shah said time has come for the party to reclaim the government in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous and electorally crucial state. Thanking the people and party workers for helping the BJP win 71 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in the state, Shah said workers should now work to expose the "total failed" government of the Samajwadi Party (SP). He added that workers should fan out across Uttar Pradesh to inform people how only the BJP can usher in peace, development and prosperity in the state. Accusing the Akhilesh Yadav government of "punishing" people for overwhelmingly voting for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah said there was no governance in the state and anarchy reigned everywhere. "Neither Mulayam Singh Yadav nor Akhilesh Yadav have time for the people of the state who are battling with an unprecedented flood situation, but have time for Amar Singh," he said. He also urged party workers to begin a sustained exercise to inform and educate people about the good work being undertaken by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and not to pay heed to the negative propaganda unleashed by opponents.
"After a spectacular show in the general elections, now is the time to focus on state politics and I am sure with the toil and hard work of party workers, we will achieve a two-thirds majority in the assembly elections," he said. Amit Shah was in charge of the BJP's Lok Sabha election exercise in Uttar Pradesh. While the BJP won a spectacular 71 seats, its alliance partner Apna Dal won two other seats.

An intensive household survey is underway across Telangana state

Hyderabad: In what is billed as the first exercise of its kind anywhere in the country, an intensive household survey is underway across Telangana state Tuesday to know social and economic status of nearly four crore people in a single day.
Nearly four lakh government employees are covering about one crore households in all 10 districts of the state including Hyderabad. Brushing aside the criticism by opposition and allegations that it is aimed at singling out people from Andhra Pradesh living in Hyderabad, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) embarked on the massive exercise to collect data.

The government clarified that by collecting the information it wants to identify real beneficiaries of the welfare schemes and to weed out the bogus ones. The survey began at 7 a.m. across the state with enumerators going door-to-door to gather information like names, age, educational qualification, profession, Adhar card numbers, bank account number, property and other details of the family members. The exercise will continue till 7 p.m.

In Hyderabad, the survey is expected to continue till 8 p.m. As many as 75,000 government employees are gathering data of 20 lakh families in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). Contrary to speculations in some circles that the survey is aimed at targeting people from Andhra Pradesh living in Hyderabad, the survey form has no nativity column. Even declaring bank account number is optional. Normal life came to a complete halt across Telangana as the government declared a holiday to enable people to remain at home and participate in the survey.

Shops, petrol bunks, hotels, cinema halls, business establishments, companies, factories and educational institutions remained shut. All buses of state owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) buses went off the roads. The government has warned shops and business establishments violating the orders and has also ensured that not a single RTC plies. Thousands of people from various parts of the country reached their home towns and villages for the survey. Families residing in Hyderabad but having their records registered in districts also headed for their native places to participate in the survey.

Irrigation Minister Harish Rao, who participated in the survey, said despite misinformation spread by the vested interests and opposition parties, the survey was a huge success with people voluntarily coming forward to participate in it. "The government wants to know if there are families who need benefits like ration card, housing and pension. The database will help us to plan better and ensure that the benefits of the schemes reach the deserving," he said.

The TRS government said lack of credible data was a major hurdle in planning and implementation of welfare scheme as total number of ration cards exceed the number of households. It alleged that huge irregularities were committed in the past in implantation of schemes like housing for poor, reimbursement of fee of poor students, free healthcare and social pensions. Despite criticism, it went ahead with the survey in a single day to ensure that there is no duplication and bogus beneficiaries are removed.

New Jersey Hindus to unite behind push for Diwali holiday in Millburn schools

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has given a call to all the Hindus of New Jersey
to come forward and wholeheartedly support volunteers making efforts to
introduce Diwali as a holiday in New Jersey’s Millburn Township School
District (MTSD).

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in
Nevada today, said that Hindu community was already heartbroken over MTSD
not including Diwali as a school holiday in its 2014-2015 school calendar.

Rajan Zed urged New Jersey Hindus to provide the moral, financial,
political, etc., support to volunteers working in the “Petition Process for
Days of Personal Observance” announced by MTSD, to push Diwali as a holiday
in 2015-2016 school calendar. Area Hindu temples should also join in to

Zed stressed that Hindu community felt left out in New Jersey as despite
fast changing state demographics and continuing growth of Hindu
populations, only two public school districts had reportedly declared
Diwali as a school holiday. He noted that their ultimate goal was to
introduce Diwali as holiday in all the over 600 school districts of this one
of the most ethnically and religiously diverse states, and the community
would make all out efforts for it. New Jersey should recognize diversity of
its communities as Gujarati, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, etc., are
spoken in its various parts.

Rajan Zed argued that it was not fair with Hindu pupils and their families
as they had to attend school on their most popular festival while many
schools in the state were closed on holy days of some other communities.
This unfairness did not send a good signal to the impressionable minds of
schoolchildren who would be the leaders of tomorrow; Zed said and added
that New Jersey public school districts needed to urgently revisit their
policies on this issue.

Zed stated that since it was important for Hindu families to celebrate
Diwali day together at home with their children, we did not want our
children to be deprived of any privileges at the school because of thus
resulting absences on this day. Closing schools on Diwali would ensure that
and it would be “a step in the right direction”.

Rajan Zed noted that awareness about other religions thus created by such
holidays like Diwali would make the New Jersey pupils well-nurtured,
well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow. It would make the
state look good also besides bringing cohesion and unity in the community.

According to Zed, Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the
darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over
evil. Besides Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate
Diwali. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about
one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There
are about three million Hindus in USA.

MTSD has launched a multi-step “petition and ballot process for identifying
days that might be considered for closing schools for the 2015-2016 school
district calendar due to anticipated significant absenteeism. To request
that a specific day of personal observance be added to the Millburn school
calendar a petition must be submitted to the Board with 500 or more valid
signatures of voting-age Millburn residents on or before September 30,
2014.” For Diwali, MTSD has listed Padmaja Chinta as Petition Leader,
assisted by Subadhra Vardharaj, Yashica Shah, Aarti Bajaj, Deepa Krishnan,
and Tithi Majumdar. Petition Leaders for Rosh Hashanah, Good Friday,
Chinese New Year and Eid have also been listed.

MTSD, known for academic excellence whose 99% of graduating seniors
reportedly attend four-year colleges, has about 5,000 pupils and includes
Millburn High, a national Blue Ribbon School. Jeffrey Waters and James A.
Crisfield are Board President and Superintendent respectively.

Township of Millburn, incorporated in 1857, had reportedly one of the
highest annual property tax bills in the state. Robert J. Tillotson, W.
Theodore Bourke and Timothy P. Gordon are Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Business
Administrator respectively of Millburn, whose notable residents included
actress Anne Hathaway, actor John C. McGinley and hockey player Brian


Actress Shraddha Kapoor hopes Marathi cinema gets more power with more films like "Lai Bhaari"

Mumbai: Actress Shraddha Kapoor, who is half Maharashtrian and half Punjabi, hopes Marathi cinema gets more power with more films like "Lai Bhaari".
"It's great that a film like 'Lai Bhaari' is doing so well. So more power to Marathi cinema. I have not got any offers for Marathi films. But I never say never. I am greedy for a great opportunity," Shraddha said. Shraddha, whose father Shakti Kapoor is a Punjabi and mother Shivangi Kolhapure a Maharashtrian, can't speak Punjabi. But she is fluent in Marathi.

She is keen to watch "Lai Bhaari", which marked Bollywood actor Riteish Deshmukh's foray in to Marathi cinema. It was lauded upon its release. "I really want to see 'Lai Bhaari'. Riteish showed me the promo and I went completely nuts looking at it. I told him, 'This is one of the best promos I have ever seen and I dying to want to watch the film'."