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Bigg Boss 4 contestant Shweta Tiwari ex-husband (Raja Chaudhary) Arrested For Beating Girlfriend!

As per fresh reports, the Oshiwara police caught Bhojpuri actor Raja Chaudhary on Friday night.

The police officials arrested Raja after a police officer filed a complaint against him for creating ruckus at his lady friend Shradha Sharma's home in suburban Oshiwara.

The police stated that Raja reached Sharma's flat where they had a fight over an unimportant matter, with the former also ransacking her house.

Raja allegedly attacked the girl, who has been admitted to hospital.

KMM Prasanna, deputy commissioner of police (zone 9) stated, "A police constable was sent to Sharma's residence, who witnessed Chaudhary and Sharma in a scuffle. Based on his information, a complaint was registered with the Oshiwara police station."

The police also booked the girl, but will detain her after she gets discharged.

Chaudhary, who was fully drunk, and Sharma were held under IPC section 160 (punishment for committing affray).

Previously, Raja has also been involved in related episodes and had also attended a rehab centre so as to bring change in his hot-blooded behavior.
source: agencies
Tags: Bigg Boss 4,Bhojpuri actor Raja Chaudhary,Shradha Sharma,

BJP targets PM, demands Raja's interrogation, arrest

New Delhi: Accusing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of "silence" and "inaction" in the 2G spectrum controversy, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today demanded interrogation and arrest of former communications and IT minister A.Raja, who resigned this week under pressure from the Opposition. Talking to media persons here, BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad fired several questions at the prime minister, about why the 2G spectrum was allowed to be sold at 2001 prices and why did he keep quiet when cut-off date for open licence applications was "arbitrarily" advanced in 2007.

Releasing three letters of correspondence between the prime minister and Raja, Prasad wondered why Manmohan Singh did not call for the entire file relating to 2G spectrum and record his displeasure over blatant violation of norms.

Referring to Raja's Dec 26, 2007, letter to the prime minister, Prasad said Raja had talked of taking "pre-emptive and pro-active decisions" to avoid further delay and confusion.

"Inferences will be drawn from the language he (Raja) has used," Prasad said.

He said the 2G spectrum issue had been debated and discussed in parliament many times and the party wanted action from the government.

"Now we want action, not debate. All the persons in the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) inquiry should be interrogated. Raja also should be interrogated and arrested. All beneficiaries and patrons of Raja should be investigated," Prasad said.

Stepping up attack on Manmohan Singh, Prasad said the "orchestrated praise about the prime minister's integrity cannot wash away the stain of inaction and indifference".

"It is a glaring case where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is patently involved in the conspiracy of silence, culpability of inaction and guilt of gross indifference when nation's wealth was being plundered by a minister right under his nose by a massive abuse of system, and yet he looked the other way."

He said it was surprising that ministers and Congress leaders had suddenly come to the defence of prime minister over the scam which has led to a colossal loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the nation.

"However, this sudden playing of 'raag darbari' cannot hide stark facts," Prasad said.
source: agency
Tags : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, 2G spectrum controversy, BJP on 2G scam, communications and IT minister A.Raja

Why is Trinamool silent on 2G, CWG, asks CPI

Kolkata: The Communist Party of India (CPI) today questioned Trinamool Congress' silence on corruption allegations surrounding 2G spectrum allocation and the Commonwealth Games (CWG), saying it was a part of a "deal" with the centre.

"A few people are raising questions about the alleged wrongdoings in Rajarhat. But I don't understand one thing, that why are they mum on this 2G spectrum scam and the Commonwealth Games scam issue," CPI member of parliament Gurudas Dasgupta said here, without naming Trinamool.

"They are not speaking a single word on it? It means that their fight against corruption is limited to West Bengal, and when they go to Delhi they compromise with corruption," he added.

"Their support to the Congress is nothing but a simple power deal, which means you help me to gain power in Bengal, and I will help you retain power in Delhi," Dasgupta said.

Trinamool Congress chief and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday night expressed her party's support to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the spectrum controversy. She had also not spoken against the alleged corruption in the Commonwealth Games.

Banerjee and union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday held a closed door meeting at the latter's Kolkata residence to discuss the line of action in view of the logjam in parliament.

The 2G spectrum saga has crippled parliament for the whole of this week as the opposition refused to give up its demand for a parliamentary probe into the scandal that has even enveloped the Prime Minister's Office.

The opposition was not satisfied with the resignation of DMK leader A. Raja as the communications and IT minister late Sunday - during whose tenure spectrum, or airwaves for mobile phone services, were awarded in 2008, mainly to new players.

The position of opposition parties was only strengthened after India's official auditor indicted Raja and said his policies had caused a loss of Rs.58,000 crore ($12.8 billion) to Rs.1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion) to the exchequer.

The government so far has stonewalled the opposition's demand, saying parliament's Public Accounts Committee chaired by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi functions like a permanent joint parliamentary committee and is capable of probing any matter.
source: agency
Tags : Burning News of India, Spectrum Scam, CWG Corruption, CPI on 2G Spectrum Scam, CPI on CWG Corruption

BJP to set up Good Governance Cell in party-ruled states

Lucknow: A Good Governance Cell (GGC) would be constituted for all the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled states to bring in transparency in public welfare schemes and improve civic facilities, party general secretary J.P. Nadda said here today.

"It has been decided that the GGC would be constituted for delivering better services to the people in the states where our government is in power. The GGC would prepare a detailed report, suggesting measures to improve the civic facilities, which in turn would be submitted before our national president Nitin Gadkari," Nadda told reporters here.

"On the directives of the national president, the measures suggested by the cell would then be implemented in letter and spirit in the BJP-ruled states," he added.

Nadda was in Lucknow to attend the two-day national convention on urban good governance, which ended today.

"Several mayors, experts from various domains and all those who have done good work in their areas would be involved in the cell," he said.

Nadda said the report would be presented to Gadkari in one month.

"From government welfare schemes to proper sanitation, extension of roads, eco-friendly transport options, sewage management and other civic issues will all be taken into consideration while preparation of the report," he said.

"We have also decided to initiate capacity building programmes for our corporators and mayors. Likewise, a sensitisation programmes for the public will also be undertaken by us," Nadda added.
source: agency
Tags : Good Governance Cell, BJP-ruled states, transparency in public welfare schemes

Yeddyurappa rules out quitting over land scam charges

New Delhi: Within hours of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) deferring a decision on his future, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, hit by allegations of favouring kin with prime land, asserted today he will not quit.

He also told chief ministerial aspirants of his party and those belonging to other parties to wait for another two-and-half-years, when elections to the assembly are due, to realize their aspirations.

"There is nothing wrong in aspiring to be chief minister. But the party came to power under my leadership and it will fight the next elections also under my leadership.

"If after that party leadership decides that someone else should be chief minister, I have no objection," he told reporters in Hubli in north Karnataka on his arrival from New Delhi.

"I will go back to Delhi on Monday for further talks with party leaders and our parliament members," said Yeddyurappa, who attended a marathon meeting of BJP central leaders that ended in the early hours today in the national capital.

The meeting to decide on the fate of Yeddyurappa started at around 10.30 p.m. on Friday and ended after over three hours.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting that further talks will be held with central party leaders to arrive at a decision.

Yeddyurappa insisted that he has done no wrong in land allotment to his kin.

He made a blistering attack on the Janata Dal-Secular and its president H.D. Deve Gowda, saying his aim was to root out the BJP from Karnataka.

"Congress and BJP are national parties and both should stay in Karnataka. My fight from now on is against the father and sons (Gowda and his son) and I will ensure they have no address in the state," Yeddyurappa said.

In Karnataka, the JD-S is made fun of as 'thande-makkala paksha' (father and sons party as Gowda is president, one son, H.D. Kumaraswamy is state unit chief and another H.D. Revanna is party leader in the assembly).
source: agency
Tags : India News, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, Land scam charges on Yeddyurappa

Student protests rock Andhra, Rayalaseema after police test put off

Hyderabad: The postponement of recruitment test for sub-inspectors of police landed the Andhra Pradesh government in a spot as massive students protests rocked Andhra and Rayalaseema regions today.

The universities and all other educational institutions in the two regions remained closed on a call of Seema-Andhra Joint Action Committee (JAC), which is opposing the demand for separate statehood to Telangana, which forms the third region of the state.

Students took to streets in many parts of coastal Andhra and Rayalseema, condemning the government for postponing the police recruitment test under pressure from pro-Telangana groups.

Police arrested dozens of students in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and other towns as they tried to forcibly close the shops. Students took out rallies, raised anti-government slogans and burnt the effigies of Chief Minister K. Rosaiah.

Students of Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, Nagarjuna University in Guntur, Sri Venkateshwara University in Tirupati and Sri Krishnadevaraya University in Anantapur held massive protest demonstrations.

Under pressure from student groups, ministers from the two regions held a meeting to discuss the issue. They also met Home Minister P.Sabita Indra Reddy and took exception to the postponement of the test without consulting them. The home minister hails from Telangana region.

The home minister, on her part, appealed to students to withdraw the protest and assured them that the test would be conducted as early as possible.

The government on Friday put off the test scheduled for Dec 18-19 following massive protests in Telangana region. The student groups and parties, fighting for separate statehood to Telangana, had opposed the test, claiming that its conduct without resolving the controversial issue of Hyderabad as a free zone would do injustice to locals.

The announcement restored calm in Telangana, especially in Osmania University, the hub of protests which was rocked by violence on Thursday night. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti also withdrew its call for Telangana shutdown today. But the test's postponement evoked fresh trouble in the other two regions of the state.

The Supreme Court had last year declared Hyderabad a free zone, where people from other regions of the state also can get government jobs.

The parties fighting for separate Telangana state alleged this measure is a violation of the assurances given to people of the region at the time of its merger with the then Andhra state in 1956 to form Andhra Pradesh.
source: agency
Tags : recruitment test for sub-inspectors of police, Andhra Pradesh government, students protests in Andhra

Farah Khan's kids crazy about the song 'Sheila Ki Jawani'

Mumbai: Farah Khan's three toddlers - Czar, Diva and Anya - can't seem to get enough of the song "Sheila Ki Jawani" that features in the director-choreographer's forthcoming directorial venture "Tees Maar Khan".

"Diva and Anya keep singing and dancing to the song all day - Czar on the other hand attempts to play the track on his drums," a source said.

The triplets will turn three in February next year.

"It's a very cute sight. In fact. while Shirish (Kunder) was composing the music for the title track, Czar would accompany him to the studio and it's also no secret that he has the biggest crush on Katrina Kaif," the source added.

Picturised on Katrina Kaif, the item 'Sheila Ki Jawani' is on its way to give competition to "Munni Badnaam Hui" of "Dabangg".

Farah Khan's action comedy "Tees Maar Khan" starring Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif will hit the theatres on Christmas eve.
source: agency
Tags : India Entertainment News, Bollywood News, Katrina Kaif in Tees Maar Khan, Akshay Kumar in Tees Maar Khan

'Chirru' - well made entertainer

Bangalore: Chiranjeevi Sarja made his debut with "Vaayuputhra" and showed a lot of promise in dance and action sequences, but his performance was not so good. The same thing was observed in his second film "Gandedhe", which also lacked a neat screenplay. But in his third film "Chirru", he has shown improvement in the role of a helpful, cheerful, romantic guy.

He is damn good in action and dance sequences and shows that he can improve his acting skills fast. But he still has a long way to go.

"Chirru" does not boast of a fresh story. The content seems to be a ready mix of several films, but the presentation is really good and engaging. Though the film drags in the first half, post interval its pacy and there are many attractive things that makes it an interesting watch.

Mahesh Babu, who had fallen deeply in his slipshod work in "Abhay", bounces back with a neatly-packaged entertainer to regain his competence as a writer and director. He scores well in dialogue department, particularly in the last few seqeunces.

New find Kriti Kharbanda looks ravishing in song sequences. She is good at dancing, but needs to improve her acting skills.

Coming to the flaws, the flow in the first half should have been pacier. Some unnecessary sequences in the first half should have been chopped off. Mahesh Babu has borrowed a few sequences from Telugu blockbusters including "Magadheera".

In the film, Chirru gets a job in a music firm in Bengaluru and there he meets Madhu accidentally. She is the daughter of the Home Minister.

Chirru bumps into Madhu on several occasion and it creates problems for him because the Home Minister's henchman mistakes him as her lover. Meanwhile, Madhu is dating Deepak and she even introduces her lover to Chirru. But the Home Minister's associates are unaware of Madhu and Deepak's relationship. They try to threaten Chirru and even attack him.

Chirru is unable to understand why he has been targeted. He loses his job because he fights with the Home Minister's 'chelas'. When a frustrated Chirru tries to return to his native place, he finds that Madhu is being chased by her father's henchman.

Chirru saves her and his mission changes now. What happens to his sincere attempts to unite Madhu and Deepak forms the rest of the story.

Among the character artists it is Rangayana Raghu who fares well. His performance in the climax sequence is sure to touch heart strings. Bullet Prakash is wasted in the movie.

Music is one high point of the film and Giridhar has certainly emerged as a talented composer. Three songs - "Ille Ille Ello", "Nanna Kannallidhe" and "Shambo Shiva Shankara" are sure to impress audiences.

"Chirru" is a well-packaged entertainer. Go for it.
source: agency
Tags : Entertainment news, Kannada films, Kannada Film Industry

'Dulha Mil Gaya' opens Indian film festival in Trinidad

Port-of-Spain: Shah Rukh Khan starrer "Dulha Mil Gaya", which was Trinidad and Tobago's historic entry into the Bollywood movie arena, is one of the top films being shown in Port-of-Spain and Chaguanas as part of the first Indian film festival in the country.

"Dulha Mil Gaya" was filmed in this country. With a mega star cast of Shah Rukh, Sushmita Sen, Fardeen Khan and Ishita Sharma, it broke box office records here. This is one of 11 specially-selected Indian movies reflecting the various ethnic, cultural and geographical locations in India.

The festival began on Wednesday and will be on till Nov 23 to mark 75 years of Indian films in this oil-rich nation.

At the formal launch of the festival at MovieTown, Indian High Commissioner Malay Mishra said Indian films moved from tents to cinemas, multiplexes and entertainment centres. "Dev D" featuring Abhay Deol, Kalki Koechlin and Mahi Gill was shown to over 400 guests.

Nella Khan, parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism, in her address, noted the importance of culture and art.

She said art and culture provide "an ideal vehicle for strengthening and deepening the bonds between countries and a way to reach out beyond government and institutions to the people."

Khan said: "Through this window of films opened to us, we would be able to enjoy and learn the many different languages, peoples and cultures of the world and its diversity. The importance of this festival cannot be underestimated in the light of the importance of Indian music and culture in this country."

This film festival marks the 75th anniversary of the first Indian movie shown here. It was brought here by the late and former councillor of the Port-of-Spain City Council, Ranjit Kumar, an engineer by profession in 1935. Kumar is credited for the construction of Wrightson Road, and several other engineering structures in this country in the pre-independence era. A special guest was his daughter, Catherine Kumar, CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Other dignitaries were press secretary to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, and High Commissioner-designate to the United Kingdom, Garvin Nicholas; Caricom Cultural Ambassador Manadal Daaga; chairman of Movie Town Derek Chin; president of the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) Deokienanan Sharma; community activist Utrah Ramoutar; and Hans Hanoomansingh.

Mishra said the Indian film industry connection between Trinidad and Tobago and India was very close. He said there was much more to Indian cinema than Bollywood. Mishra said the entertainment sector was being looked at as a strategic sector, and there are plans ahead to do co-productions with the University of the West Indies' Film Department.

Mishra read a letter sent by Raghu Menon, India's secretary of information and broadcasting, commending the high commission for "its timely initiative" as Indian cinema has gone global and is part of mainstream entertainment throughout the world today.

Menon said Indian films have won awards for making strides in the Westren film industry.

"The Film Festival opens up avenues for cooperation between Trinidad and Tobago and India in the domain of cinema in the future," he said. There was a need "to bring Indian cinema to the diaspora in its cultural diversity as this was the best reflection of society", he said.

On the chart for the festival are "The White Elephant", "Haat", "Kutty Srank", "Harischandrachi Factory", "Dharm", "Gulab Talkies", "Kanchivaram", "Janala", "Little Zizou".

The Indian diaspora comprises 44 percent of a population of 1.3 million people, and since the introduction of Indian movies, the diaspora considers cinema as one of the major links with India.

Especially on weekends, thousands of Indian families will visit scores of cinemas scattered across the country. The cinemas were owend by Indian owners. The diaspora was first introduced here between 1845 and 1917, principally from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, to work on sugar plantations.
source: agency
Tags : India Entertainment News, Bollywood News, India Trinidad and Tobago News, Indian Film Festival in Trinidad and Tobago, Dulha Mil Gaya in Trinidad and Tobago Indian Film Festival

India's forex reserves decline by $1.9 billion

Mumbai: India's foreign exchange (forex) reserves declined by $1.899 billion, going down to $298.31 billion, during the week ended on Nov 12 because of a sharp decline in its foreign currency reserves.

Foreign currency reserves, that include US dollar, euro and British pound, among others, declined $1.79 billion going down to $269.49 billion during the week under review, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) declined $73 million to $5.152 billion and reserve with International Monetary Fund fell $34 million to $2.001 billion.

However, the value of gold reserves remained unchanged at $21.66 billion.
source: agency
Tags : India's foreign exchange reserves, foreign currency reserves, Special Drawing Rights, India Forex News

Asian Games boxing: Vijender and Suranjoy in semis; Amandeep in quarters

Guangzhou: World No.1 Vijender Singh and his compatriot Suranjoy Singh assured India of two medals in the Asian Games as the duo moved into the semi-finals of the boxing competitions here today.

Vijender, a bronze medallist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2006 Asian Games, won 13-2 in a one-sided affair against South Korea's Deokjin Cho in the quarter-finals of the 75kg category at the Foshan Gymnasium.

Vijender, who also won the bronze in the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games, will face Iranian Mohammad Sattapour in the semi-finals.

Suranjoy won 4-2 against Uzbekistan's Shahriyor Isakov in the quarter-finals of the 52kg category here. Suranjoy will face Chinese Chang Yong in the semi-finals.

Vijender took a 3-0 lead in the first round and in the second round the South Korean was penalised two points for hitting the Indian below the waistline. Vijender led 9-2 after the second round and in the final and the third round maintained his domination that fetched him four points.

In the light flyweight 49kg category, Amandeep Singh thrashed Pakistan's Muhammad Waseem 11-0 to make the quarter-finals. Amandeep, also a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, will face Filipino Iii Victorio Saludar in the quarter-finals.

Dilbag Singh went down 0-8 to Turkmenistan's Omar Mamedshayev in the pre-quarterfinals.

Besides Viender and Suranjoy, Dinesh Kumar (81kg) and Paramjeet Samota (+91kg) are also in the semi-finals assuring India of four Asian Games boxing medals.
source: agency
Tags : World No.1 boxer Vijender Singh, India's medals in Asian Games, boxing competitions in Asian Games

Asian Games tennis: Sania Mirza in women's singles semis

Guangzhou: India's Sania Mirza dispatched second-seeded Thai Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-2, 6-3 to move into the women's singles semifinals of Asian Games tennis competitions here today.

It took Sania, ranked 166th, one hour and 27 minutes to close the match.

She next plays third-seeded Uzbek Akgul Amanmuradova.
source: agency
Tags : Sports News, Asian Games at Guangzhou, Asian Games Tennis

Asian Games hockey: India beat Pakistan 3-2

Guangzhou: India defeated Pakistan 3-2 in a group B men's hockey match at the Asian Games here today.

Sandeep Singh converted two penalty corners for India, while Dharamvir Singh slotted one. For Pakistan, Rehan Butt and Shakeel Abbasi scored the goals. India led 2-1 at half-time.
source: agency
Tags : Sports News, Asian Games at Guangzhou, Asian Games Hockey

Pranab Mukherjee praises Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee a day after supping with Mamata Banerjee

Ahiran (West Bengal): A day after meeting Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to secure her support on the 2G spectrum scam, Finance Minister and senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee today lauded West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for his developmental work.

"Buddhadeb babu always extends his helping hand in development projects. He has helped in bringing the Aligarh Muslim University campus here too," Mukherjee said at the foundation stone laying function of the AMU campus in Suti-I block of Murshidabad district.

The Finance Minister also endorsed Bhattacharjee's remarks that it was Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Rajya Sabha member Moinul Hassan who had first broached the idea of setting up an AMU campus in Murshidabad, after learning that the university was looking to set up centres in other parts of the country as well.

"It is through our joint efforts that we have been able to move forward on the project and lay the foundation stone today," Mukherjee said.

Bhattacharjee too did not hesitate in praising the finance minister.

Describing Mukherjee as "our respected leader", Bhattacharjee said he had written to the Prime Minister as soon as he got to know of AMU's expansion plans.

"And of course, I contacted Pranabda, and told him without your help we can't go ahead," he said.

The function was held some 60 kms from Baharampur, headquarters of Murshidabad district, a backward and the only Muslim majority district of the state.

Pranab Mukherjee late Friday hosted key United Progressive Alliance (UPA) ally and Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee at his south Kolkata residence to secure her party's support on the 2G spectrum scam.

After the meeting, Banerjee had reiterated her party's support to the Prime Minister. "We were with the prime minister. We are with the prime minister. We will be with the prime minister. We will meet the challenges of the opposition unitedly in parliament," she said.

Banerjee is gearing up to throw a formidable challenge to the CPI-M led Left Front (LF) government - which has been ruling the state uninterruptedly since 1977 - in the assembly polls next year.

Trinamool, in fact, has issued a directive to its leaders not to attend functions where LF ministers would be present, an indication of their animosity.

However, the Trinamool has on several occasions expressed its unhappiness with Mukherjee for attending programmes alongside LF ministers, particularly Bhattacharjee, and lauding the state government for its development work.

Mukherjee, on his part, has steadfastly claimed that development should be kept away from political battles.
source: agency
Tags : India News, Pranab Mukherjee on Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Pranab Mukherjee on West Bengal Developmental Work, Pranab Mukherjee in Murshidabad AMU Campus

Many Punjab women entering Greece illegally: Gurdwaras

Jalandhar (Punjab): Many young women from Punjab in search of jobs abroad end up illegally in Greece, where they are forced into the flesh trade, says an NGO that has taken up their cause after a request from gurdwaras in that country.

Managing committees of Greece-based gurdwaras have written to Punjab NGO Lok Bhalai Party (LBP), which works for the rights of Indians stranded abroad, to stop Punjabi girls from coming to Greece.

The gurdwaras have pointed out that Punjabi girls, in search of better jobs, are reaching Greece illegally, but there are no opportunities available for them there.

"Ten gurdwaras in Greece have collectively sent us a request letter to stop the people of Punjab from sending girls to Greece as there are no jobs available there," the NGO's senior vice-president Avtar Singh Mullanpuri told the media here.

"Failing to find any jobs, these girls live in very miserable conditions and many of them are forced into flesh trade," he added.

Around 50 girls are currently stranded in Greece, he said.

"They can stay in the gurdwaras during the day but according to the rules of the Greece government, they cannot stay there at night. So, the girls are on roads at night and are sexually exploited many a time," Mullanpuri said.

He alleged that Baba Gurnam Singh, a travel agent from Moga in Punjab who resides in Georgia, has been placing advertisements in media and taking Punjabi girls to that country and handing them over to Pakistan-based agents, who illegally take them to Greece through the forests of Turkey.

"Agents are sexually exploiting the helpless girls who do not know the local language. We do not even have an Indian embassy in Georgia which the victims can approach," Mullanpuri pointed out.

The Lok Bhalai Party has started a campaign to deal with the problem and its representatives have urged the government for intervention.

Said the NGO's president Balwant Singh Ramoowalia: "We have started a campaign to educate Punjab's people that they should not send their children to Georgia and Greece. There are no jobs for them there. Travel agents are minting money by making false promises."

"We also urge the central and state governments to immediately intervene in the matter and ensure the safe return of the girls. They also need to keep a tab on the unscrupulous agents," Ramoowalia said.

"We have sought a list of the girls' names and addresses from the gurdwaras so that we can approach their families in Punjab," he added.

Ramoowalia said family members of the victim girls are not coming out in the open as they are afraid of social stigma and criticism.

He said the stranded girls, who are from different parts of Punjab, are in their early 20s and they had reached Georgia on student visas.

In their letter to the NGO, the Greece gurdwaras have mentioned that earlier there were cases of Punjabi men illegally coming there but now they have observed a sudden surge in the number of girls adopting this illegitimate immigration path.
source: agency
Tags : women from Punjab, jobs in Punjab, flesh trade, Punjab NGO Lok Bhalai Party, gurdwaras in Greece


PM promises enabling environment for double-digit growth

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today promised an environment that will help India attain a nine percent growth next year, expanding further to double-digit levels in the medium term, but said challenges too needed to be addressed. "We were among the few countries that recovered quickly from the after-effects of the global economic crisis," the prime minister told the HT Leadership Summit here, adding India, although affected, handled the crisis better than others. "Last year we grew at 7.4 percent, this year I am confident that the economy will grow at 8.5 percent, and next year, we hope to return the economy to a sustained growth of 9-10 percent," the prime minister added.

The Oxford-educated economist said India had the enabling environment to achieve that kind of expansion of GDP that will be improved. The challenge was to address issues like terrorism, communalism and other social irritants.

"We need a framework which will help us grow at 9-10 percent per annum. With material savings and investment rates of 35-37 percent of GDP, capital-output ratio of 4:1, we can easily sustain 9-10 percent per annum and create wealth that can be redistributed."
source: agency
Tags : India Business News, India Economy News, India Growth, India Double-Digit Growth, India Medium Term Growth, Global Economic Crisis

None found guilty will be spared: PM on 2G spectrum scam

New Delhi: In his first public remarks on the 2G spectrum scandal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said anyone found guilty of wrong-doing will be brought to book but urged political parties to let parliament function and carry forward the due process.

"There should not be any doubt in anybody's mind if (there is) any wrong doing by anybody, he or she will be brought to book," the prime minister said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here during a brief question-answer session after his speech.

He said since parliament was in session he will refrain from a "detailed statement" on the controversy and appealed to all political parties not to disrupt the legislative process, that has been stalled since the beginning of the winter session.

"I can state that various aspects are being looked into by respective investigative agencies in their domains of interest," he said, adding: "We are ready to discuss all issues in parliament. We are not afraid to discuss."

The prime minister said the country needed its parliament to function regularly, pass motions and enact laws that have bearing on the lives of people. "It is my humble request to all parties to let parliament work."

The 2G spectrum saga had crippled parliament for the whole of this week as the opposition refused to give up its demand for a parliamentary probe into the 2G spectrum scandal that has even enveloped the prime minister.

The opposition was also not satisfied with the resignation of DMK's A. Raja as communications minister late on Sunday.

The government so far has declined the opposition's demand, saying the Public Accounts Committee of which BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi is chairman, functions like a permanent joint parliamentary committee, well equipped to probe any matter.

The opposition position was strengthened after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to parliament on Tuesday indicted Raja in the scam and for causing a loss between Rs.58,000 crore ($12.8 billion) and Rs.1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion) to the exchequer.

Later, a Supreme Court bench had asked why the prime minister did not give sanction to Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy in 2008 to file a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Raja over the 2G spectrum controversy.
source: agency
Tags : Burning News of India, 2G Spectrum Scam, Manmohan Singh Remarks on 2G Scandal, Manmohan Singh Public Remarks on 2G Scandal, 2G Spectrum Scandal

Pakistan should control terror machine, says PM

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said his government was committed to normalisation of India's relationship with Pakistan but the neighbouring country must control the terror machine.

"We are willing to discuss all issues, provided the terror machine is controlled," the prime minister said in response to a question at the Hindustan Times leadership summit.

He said South Asia was "a region of enormous capacity" but this cannot become a living reality unless there is peace.

Manmohan Singh said India's relations with Southeast Asia had improved significantly and there was considerable strengthening of ties with countries in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

He said the leaders of all five permanent member countries of the UN Security Council would be visiting India in a year. "Such goodwill it (India) never enjoyed before," he said.

He said there was great admiration for India for its diversity, rule of law and fundamental human freedom and high growth rate. "The world wants India to succeed," he said.

On the visit of US president Barack Obama from Nov 6-9, the prime minister said it was "a great success".
source: agency
Tags : India Pakistan News, India's Relationship with Pakistan, Normalisation of India Pakistan Relationship, Pakistan Terror Machine

Karnataka land scam: CM in Delhi to meet BJP leaders

New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, caught in a row over favouring his kin with prime land, flew in here late on Friday for talks with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leaders on his fate. Yeddyurappa maintained that he has done no wrong and lashed out at the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular for their "baseless allegations" against him. Earlier, in Bagalkot in north Karnataka the chief minister asserted that the party central leadership was with him and he would remain chief minister for the remaining 30 months of his five-year term.

Ahead of his Delhi visit, Yeddyurappa made his two sons, daughter, sister and her son and daughter-in-law surrender the residential and commercial land allotted to them.

A probe by a retired Supreme Court judge into all land deals since 1994 has also been ordered. The name of the judge and terms of reference of the probe are yet to be decided.
source: agency
Tags : Burning News of India, Karnataka Land Scam, Karnataka News, India Politics News, B.S. Yeddyurappa in Karnataka Land Row, Yeddyurappa Talks with BJP Central Leaders

BJP defers decision on Yeddyurappa's future

New Delhi: The Bhartiya Janata Party early today deferred its decision on whether to make the land scam-hit Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa quit or stay on his post.

It was decided after an over three-hour-long discussion between Yeddyurappa, other BJP leaders from Karnataka as well as top party functionaries. The meeting was held at party president Nitin Gadkari's residence in the wake of the opposition's campaign for Yeddyurappa's ouster over an alleged land scam.

"The consultation was held by the party president. He will be discussing what he has discussed with them with other senior leaders in Delhi. A decision will be taken by the central leaders of the party after further discussions. As and when we have some thing to tell you, we will tell you," senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley told reporters after the meeting.

On Thursday, the BJP's core group had met to discuss the developments in the wake of the opposition offensive seeking the chief minister's removal.

The core group decided to hear out Yeddyurappa and other senior party leaders and then decide the next course of action.

Meanwhile, the state government on Thursday decided to order a probe by a retired Supreme Court judge into all land deals in and around Bangalore in the last ten years.

Ahead of his Delhi visit, Yeddyurappa made his two sons, daughter, sister and her son and daughter-in-law surrender the residential and commercial land allotted to them.

According to party sources, though the allegations against the chief minister had created "difficulties" for the party, he may not be replaced.

The sources said that Yeddyruppa continued to be the most popular leader of the party in the state and there was sympathy for him among a section of people who feel he was being targeted by his opponents.

"Removing him at this stage looks a little adventurous," a party leader told the media.

He said that a formula is likely to be worked out where Yeddyurappa may be asked to be "more open and transparent in his financial dealings" and take steps to hold proper consultations so that the state unit functions as a team.

According to the party leader, Yeddyurappa was a tall leader of the Lingayat community and choosing an alternative to him was not easy.

"The options for the party for a change of leadership are not easy. The party has to look at the future repercussions of a change," he said.
source: agency
Tags : Burning News of India, Karnataka Land Scam, BJP Decision on Yeddyurappa

Life has been hectic since high school: Aishwarya Rai

New Delhi: Aishwarya Rai says life has been extremely fast-paced since the day she chose to study science in high school. Now the internationally renowned actor is waiting to take a much-needed break before entering another year full of film projects.

"I keep joking that the pace of my life has been so hectic ever since high school. From Class 12, when I was a science student, till date it has only been a hectic pace and that's the only pace perhaps my body knows now," Aishwarya told media over phone from Mumbai.

This year has been particularly hectic for the 36-year-old actor thanks to the release of her films - "Raavan", "Robot", "Action Replayy" and "Guzaarish" in quick succession.

There has been so much jet-setting in and out of the country and travelling within India for the promotion of her films that Aishwarya fell slightly ill. But she is not complaining.

"Come on! I'm okay now. If you think work pressure has affected me, how would you explain Hrithik (Roshan) getting unwell after doing just two films in two years? I just got a day's fever and I'm all raring to go," she said.

Aishwarya is now looking forward to some relaxing time.

"It's almost the end of November and very little of December is left. I had deliberately kept a little part of December off...because since 2008 I have been working continuously.

"Doing five films - 'Raavan', 'Raavanan', 'Robot', 'Action Replayy' and 'Guzaarish' - has been mammoth. Hrithik keeps joking about my plight and says he did just 'Guzaarish' all this while, apart from 'Kites'. But, yes, I did all that work and also promoted those films. Now I need a break a bit of an off in December and then further work next year," she said.

She is still in talks with filmmakers on her future projects and will be able to announce developments around February next year.

"There have been talks. Producers are working out the scheduling, and then the announcements will be made. I was going to sign up for two films to do this winter, but I declined them because I had commitments with all my directors of the film releases this year. The next lot of offers will materialise post-February and March, and will continue beyond next Christmas," said Aishwarya.

So she wants to make the most of her holiday period with husband Abhishek Bachchan and all her family members.

"Spending time together itself is quite a holiday for me. It doesn't matter where we are. We will just be happy to make that time together and that we will make sure we do," she said.

For now, Aishwarya is just waiting to get the audience reaction to Sanjay Leela Bhansali's just released "Guzaarish", in which she plays Sofia, a nurse to a paraplegic essayed by Hrithik.

"It is my final release of this year...and what a special film to share with our audience! My character Sofia is very special. The kind of capacity, strength, resilience, commitment, empathy and unconditional love that she has for a patient just takes this character to a different realm altogether," said Aishwarya.
source: agency
Tags : Entertainment news, Bollywood, Hindi Film Industry, celebrities

Running after kids keeps me fit: Raveena Tandon

Pune: Bollywood actress Raveena Tandon, who looked ravishing while sashaying down the ramp for designer Nivedita Saboo at the ongoing Pune Fashion Week (PFW), revealed that the reason behind her fitness is her two kids.

"My fitness mantra is being hands on with my kids, don't leave the maids to do it and believe me you'll get back to your shape faster than you thought you would. That's what I did," Raveena told the media.

The actress, who married distributor Anil Thadani in 2004, gave birth to a baby girl called Rasha on March 16, 2005. She became mother again to a baby boy this time named Ranbir on July 12, 2007.

As the showstopper of Saboo's show, Raveena sported a colourful flaired, long dress with sheer full sleeves and slight embellishments.

Asked if she was comfortable walking the ramp, the actress expressed: "I was very comfortable in this outfit. I did a little jig on the ramp as well, that showed my comfort level. Otherwise we need to suck our stomach in and you can't even breathe while walking on the ramp, but that didn't happen here. It was all fine and easy."

"What I liked about her clothes was that basically the fact that there was something for everyone. For every kind of person and every person. There was versatility in the collection," she added.

Saboo's collection was inspired by the Moroccon culture. What was unique about it was that the entire collection was developed from scratch, starting from dyeing, printing and ormentation of the fabric with Moroccon motifs.

The look was more cosmopolitan than region-specific. Different styles of blouses like halter-neck, back button and high neck were seen. The colour palette was vibrant with colours like pink, bottle green and orange but also had touches of beige and brown.

The garments were made of chiffon, silk, lycra and satin.

"I developed the fabric from the scratch. Nothing sourced out and that's why this collection is very close to my heart. It was a fabulous experience," Saboo said.
source: agency
Tags : India Entertainment News, Bollywood News, Raveena Tandon at Pune Fashion Week, Nivedita Saboo at Pune Fashion Week, Raveena Tandon Fitness, Raveena Tandon Kids

'West is West' to open 41st IFFI in Goa

Panaji: "West is West", starring Indian actor Om Puri, will be the opening film at the 41st edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) which kicks off in Goa on Nov 22, an official statement said.

Produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), director Andy DeEmmony's "West is West", is a sequel to the 1999 "East is East", which was directed by Damien O'Donnel and also starred Puri and Jimmy Mistry, an actor of Indian origin.

Set in Manchester of 1975, "West is West" deals with the father's worry about his 15-year-old boy, who he believes is turning his back on his Pakistani heritage and therefore decides to take him to the country of their roots.

The film has earlier premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival and has also had a limited Britain premiere at the BFI London Film Festival earlier this year.

The movie, which stars Puri, Aqib Khan, Linda Bassett and Jimmy Mistry, will be screened at the formal inaugural function. Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra will throw open the festival.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee will also be present at the inaugural function, the statement said.
source: agency
Tags : India Entertainment News, West is West at 41st IFFI, International Film Festival of India in Goa, Om Puri in West is West

Aditya Chopra not directing 'Dhoom 3'

Mumbai: Dismissing reports that Aditya Chopra will direct "Dhoom 3", a representative from Yash Raj Films said that the news is "utterly astonishing and nonsensical".

"The least one expects is that news to be checked with us before going to print, it is utterly astonishing and nonsensical that despite a clear SMS, as well as a personal phone call, denying that the story was untrue, an irresponsible journalist still chose to carry a fabricated concoction in this morning's report titled - Aditya Chopra to direct Dhoom 3' and that Shah Rukh Khan is playing a pivotal role in the movie."

"And that too by choosing to start the article by saying 'It's official now!' One can only presume that it's for the sake of occupying newsprint space," Rafiq Gangjee, vice president of marketing & communications at YRF, said in a press statement.

"It is really sad that we have to comment on articles like this time after time. But we do so only to request all responsible media friends to refrain from giving any credibility to this story and not carrying it further," said.

"Dhoom" series from the Yash Raj banner has been a big hit. The original, which was directed by Sanjay Gadhvi and featured Abhishek Bachchan, Uday Chopra, John Abraham, hit the screens in 2004.

Two years later came the second instalment of the film. Gadhvi once again wielded the megaphone for "Dhoom 2" and Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek, Aishwarya Rai, Bipasha Basu and Uday starrer hit the jackpot at the box office.
source: agency
Tags : India Entertainment News, Bollywood News, Dhoom 3 Reports, Yash Raj Films Dhoom Series

General Motors to launch six new vehicles in two years

Kolkata: Buoyed by the strong growth in automobile industry across India, General Motors is set to expand its presence in the country and is planning to launch six new vehicles in the next two years, a senior company official said today.

"Indian automobile industry has recorded a 26 percent growth during the last financial year. To cash in on this boom, we will introduce six new models by 2012 and expand our presence by increasing the number of sales points," said P.Balendran, vice president (Corporate Affairs) of General Motors, during an auto show here at Salt Lake Stadium.

The products lined-up include a pickup, a van, a hatchback, a notchback, a small car and an SUV.

Till now, the company has invested over $1 billion in the Indian market and the new models will be introduced with the help of its Chinese partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), he said.

"Now, our capacity is 225,000 units. We want to increase the production in Baroda facility from 140,000 to 160,000 and that of Pune plant from 85,000 to 100,000 units per year," he said.

Balendran, who is also a member of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), said: "West Bengal is one of the most important markets for the automobile industry, as it is growing at above 25 percent in passenger car segment. The share of the state to the total sales of the country is 13 percent."
source: agency
Tags : Growth in automobile industry, automobile industry in India, General Motors in India

India holds talks with African regional economic communities

New Delhi: India's "active" engagement with some of Africa's regional economic communities (RECs) had resulted in the signing of several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with these groups, the external affairs ministry said today.

"There has been active engagement with some of the RECs and MOUs have also been signed but on this occasion, an initiative was taken to engage all of them together so that the implementation of the India-Africa action plan for the framework of cooperation could be discussed in detail and implementation procedures worked out," the ministry said in a statement.

The release also said that India will establish 10 small industry incubators in Africa, two in every region under commitments of the action plan of the India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS).

The meeting, held Nov 14-16, was attended by the secretary generals of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC); the president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); the deputy executive secretary of Southern Africa Development Community (SADC); the adviser in-charge of political affairs of the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CENSAD); the director of political affairs of the Union of the Arab Maghreb (UMA/AMU) and senior officials from their organisations.

Welcoming the RECs, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said that they were an important element of the India-Africa partnership structure and New Delhi looked forward to working with them to implement IAFS decisions.

The ministry statement also said that India's multi-layered cooperation with Africa worked through the traditional bilateral engagement, with the rapidly evolving engagement at the continental level through the African Union and also at the regional level through the RECs.

The delegates also attended two special sessions organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to enable their interaction with the private sector.

The REC representatives also met officials of several ministries and government agencies engaged in implementing jointly agreed on programmes and projects.

"The RECs expressed their deep appreciation for the Government of India's initiative in inviting them as integral partners of India in Africa," the ministry statement said.

They also appreciated India's cultural diplomacy in Africa during an interaction with the director general of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

"A detailed wrap-up session was held under the chairmanship of Secretary (West) Vivek Katju in the Ministry of External Affairs, where the results of the process of consultation and how to take it further were discussed," the statement added.
source: agency
Tags : India's engagement with Africa's regional economic communities, memorandums of understanding, India-Africa Forum Summit, Union of the Arab Maghreb, Confederation of Indian Industry, FICCI

Asian Games: Somdev, Rastogi in men's singles quarters

Guangzhou: India's Somdev Devvarman and Karan Rastogi entered the men's singles quarterfinal of the Asian Games tennis here today.

Second-seeded Somdev thrashed Uzbekistan's Vaja Uzakov 6-1, 6-1 at the Aoti Tennis Centre.

Rastogi, seeded seventh, beat tenth-seeded Chinese Taipei's Chen Ti 6-0, 6-4.
source: agency
Tags : Sports News, Asian Games at Guangzhou, Asian Games Tennis

Wet outfield delays India-New Zealand cricket Test

Nagpur: The start of the third and last cricket Test between India and New Zealand was delayed due to a wet outfield here today.

Heavy showers over the past few days had left the ground soggy. The match was scheduled to begin 9.30 a.m.

The first two Test matches in Ahmedabad and Hyderabad ended in a draw.
source: agency
Tags : India Sports News, India Cricket News, India New Zealand Test, India New Zealand Cricket

UK: Indian-origin teacher found guilty of sexual misconduct with students

London: An Indian-origin woman has been found guilty of sexual misconduct after she confessed she had sex with two 15-year-old students earlier this year, a media report said today.

Hina Patel, a 37-year-old teacher at Birkdale High School for Boys in Merseyside, today pleaded guilty to two charges of abusing her position of trust by sexual misconduct at the North Sefton magistrate's court.

She will be sentenced at the Liverpool Crown Court on Monday, the media reported.

The court was told she seduced a 15-year-old schoolboy with the promise of a warm bed at her home, saying: "Get in bed, the electric blanket's on."

The teenager - who is now 16 and cannot be named - said Patel gave him her phone number while he was in detention before they slept together in February while her children were away with their father.

"I got sent to isolation and Hina was on duty. She was talking to me about why I got sent there and telling me to calm down. Then, out of nowhere, she just slipped me her number on a little bit of paper. I was amazed and confused. I didn't tell my mates straight away but I was texting her, trying to keep it quiet," the boy said.

The teenager said that after around 10 days of regularly messaging each other, even when both were at school, he was invited to Patel's home.

"I asked her if her husband was home and she told me she was divorced and that's where the kids were," he said.

After his encounter at Patel's home, he passed her phone number to his friend, who also began sending her text messages.

"She text us both lots of weird stuff. One said: 'My knees tremble when I see you'. Sometimes she would send us the exact same messages," he said.

"My friend had sex with her three or four times and he stayed over at her house once. She sent him a text saying: 'It's going to be a few more years before the tiger comes out'."

Patel was suspended from the school as soon as the allegations emerged.
source: agency
Tags : Diaspora News, Indian Origin Teacher at Birkdale High School for Boys in Merseyside, Sexual Misconduct at Birkdale High School for Boys in Merseyside

Managements free to fix hours of work, rules Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court said that courts must exercise restraint and refrain from interfering with functions of the managements that involve administrative decisions including fixing of the working hours.

"In our opinion, fixing of hours of work, provided they do not violate any statutory provision or statutory rule, are really management functions and this court must exercise restraint and not ordinarily interfere with such management functions," said a bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra in their judgment delivered on Monday, but only made available today.

The bench's ruling came as it disallowed an appeal by the Transport and Dock Workers Union of Mumbai Port Trust on two different and discriminatory working hours of typist-cum-computer clerks, before and after Nov 1, 1996.

Those appointed before Nov 1, 1996, had to put in seven hours' work during the day which also included half an hour lunch break, while those appointed after this date had to put in eight hours of work with half an hour lunch break.

The union had contended that this was discriminatory and violated the Article 14 of the constitution providing for equality before law. The management of the Mumbai Port Trust said that it had to resort to these working hours because of the stiff competition from private players.

Dealing with the question of discrimination under Article 14, the judgment said: "Article 14 of the Constitution is a slippery slope, and a fine balancing act must be done by the court to avoid slipping down the slope."

Speaking for the bench, Justice Katju said: "Differential treatment in our opinion does not per se amount to violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. It violates Article 14 only when there is no conceivable reasonable basis for the differentiation."

In the present case, there was a reasonable basis for differential working hours and hence there was no violation of Article 14, the judgment said.

"In our opinion it is not prudent or pragmatic for the court to insist on absolute equality when there are diverse situations and contingencies, as in the present case. In view of the inherent complexities involved in modern society, some free play must be given to the executive authorities in this connection," the judgment underlined.

It said: "In our opinion, Article 14 cannot be interpreted in a doctrinaire or dogmatic manner. Absolute and inflexible concepts are an anathema to progress and change."

"The judicial process is thus not a bucket of ready-made answers, but a process, or technique, for easing an endless flux of changing social tensions", the bench said and went on to add: "Judges must maintain judicial self-restraint while exercising the powers of judicial review of administrative or legislative decisions."

"In our opinion, adjudication must be done within the system of historically validated restraints and conscious minimisation of the judges' preferences," it said.

The bench noted that the court "must not embarrass the administrative authorities and must realise that administrative authorities have expertise in the field of administration while the court does not".
source: agency
Tags : Supreme Court, managements' working hours, Dock Workers Union of Mumbai Port Trust

Stem cell research on treating diabetes still on: Experts

New Delhi: Stem cell therapy for treating diabetes is still not adequate enough to combat the disease and research on this is still on, experts said today.

"The therapy is still in the process of research, with separate studies carried for Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3 diabetes," Edward Horton, professor at the Harvard Medical School, said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here.

According to experts, transplantation of insulin-producing cells can offer promising therapy to treat diabetes.

Diabetes, a metabolic disorder, usually occurs when the body does not produce or properly use insulin - a hormone that is required to convert sugar and other food into energy.

"The research is not yet substantiated, as it is being tested and carried at research centres across the globe," Horton added.

While researchers and experts are working on innovative technologies to treat the disease, experts also emphasized on preventive care and awareness-generation on diabetes.

"We also need to intensively educate our youth. 'Be one with them' needs to be the mantra to create awareness amongst the youth of the country," said Anoop Misra, director and head of diabetes and metabolic diseases at the Fortis Hospital in the capital.

A recent study conducted by the National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC) revealed that obesity has increased from 9.8 percent to 11.7 percent in children in Delhi.

"There should also be a ban on the audio-visual advertisements of fast-food products during prime time on television. We need to introduce children to lifestyle-related habits that cause diabetes," Misra added.

According to a report by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in 2009, India accounted for 50.8 million diabetes patients -the largest of the 285 million diabetics in the world.

The obese and those with a family history of diabetes should consult a doctor by the age of 35, Misra suggested.

The symptoms include increased fatigue, frequent urination, weight fluctuation, blurry vision and poor wound healing.

Nearly nine percent of the country's over one billion population is expected to be affected by the disease.

Echoing Misra's views on bringing in changes in lifestyles, former Pakistan cricketer Wasim Akram said: "People working in multinational firms or anywhere should try and inculcate various forms of physical exercise in their routine."
source: agency
Tags : Stem cell therapy, treating diabetes, research on diabetes, Hindustan Times Leadership Summit

Indians think economic conditions improving: Gallup poll

Washington: Indians' economic optimism rose significantly in 2010 after tumbling amid the global recession with nearly half of them thinking their local economic conditions are improving, according to a new poll.

However, perceptions of job availability remain stagnant, particularly in India's less developed regions, a poll by Gallup, leading US public opinion survey organisation, released on Friday said.

Between 2007 and 2009, the percentage of Indians who thought their local economic conditions were getting better dropped from 52 percent to 37 percent, but rebounded to 45 percent in 2010, the poll said.

Indians' perceptions about their own standard of living follow a similar pattern. This year, 44 percent of Indians say their standard of living is improving, up from 32 percent last year.

This year's figure is identical to the finding from July 2008, before the severity of the global downturn was fully apparent, the poll noted.

This rising optimism synchs with reported economic growth. After dipping below 6 percent in 2008/2009, India's real GDP growth exceeded 7 percent in 2009/2010 and is expected to approach 9 percent this year, it said.

However, the country's prosperity is spread unevenly. Large income disparities exist between urban and rural areas and across regions, the poll said.

Regional results indicate the recession's effects were more severe for some Indians than others.

The country's South and West regions are where industrial activity and the IT sector are concentrated, and they include major economic hubs of Bangalore and Mumbai.

In these regions, 52 percent say their standard of living is improving vs. 39 percent in the less developed North, Central, and East regions.

Though optimism has rebounded in urban and rural areas, the recession in 2009 affected India's poorer regions more dramatically.

Any rebound in Indians' economic optimism should be welcome news not just to the Indian government, but also to a global community eyeing the country's emerging markets, Gallup said.

However, Gallup's data also make it clear that not all Indian consumers are likely to increase demand. Stark inequalities remain between regions that have enjoyed rapid economic development and those that have not.

Results of the poll are based on face-to-face interviews with 6,000 Indian adults, aged 15 and older, conducted in June 2010.
source: agency
Tags : India News, Gallup poll, Indian economy, US public opinion survey

PM greets nation on Guru Nanak Jayanti

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today greeted the nation on the occasion of the birthday of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion.

In his message, Singh said Guru Nanak's life and message of brotherhood and equality of man remain relevant even today. By following his teachings, the world can overcome differences and work together to fight ignorance, poverty, hunger and disease, said Singh, a Sikh himself.

Guru Nanak Jayanti will be celebrated on Sunday.
source: agency
Tags : India News, Manmohan Singh on Guru Nanak's Message of Brotherhood, Manmohan Singh on Guru Nanak's Message of Equality

Ministry will consider cancellation of 2G licences: Sibal

New Delhi: Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal today said his ministry will consider the recommendation of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to cancel the 2G licences allotted since December 2006. "We will consider it," Sibal told reporters on the sidelines of the HT Leadership Summit 2010 here. In a new twist to the controversy that led to the resignation of A. Raja as the telecom minister and IT on Sunday evening, India's telecom watchdog on Thursday recommended scrapping of 69 of the 130 licences given for 2G phone services since December 2006.

"The roll-out of services on these licences has failed to comply with the set norms. Six companies had been given these 69 licenses," a senior official of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said.

Of the 69 licences, 20 have been issued to Loop Telecom, 15 to Etisalat DB, 11 to Sistema-Shyam, 10 to Videocon, eight to Uninor and five to Aircel.

A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General has indicted then communications minister A. Raja for irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation, causing the exchequer a loss of Rs.1.76 trillion ($40 billion).
source: agency
Tags : Telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal, recommendation of TRAI, cancellation of 2G licences, HT Leadership Summit 2010

No Bollywood, only fashion on first day of Pune fashion Week

Pune: Even though fashion and Bollywood go hand-in-hand in India, the first day of the Pune fashion Week (PFW) Thursday was packed with the display of designers' collections but had no signs of Bollywood glamour.

The day witnessed four shows by designers Raakesh Agarvwal, Surily Goel, Mandira Wirk and Puneet Nanda of Satya Paul.

All the designers showcased outstanding collections inspired by varied elements but without any celebrity from Hindi filmdom, who usually make a beeline for fashion weeks.

Although other designers maintained that they purposely didn't rope in a Bollywood celebrity as a showstopper, Mandira revealed that her plan changed in the last moment.

"I had a big surprise planned for Pune, but things got cancelled at the last moment. I style many Bollywood celebrities and I had spoken to couple of them to become the showstopper for the show in PFW but everyone was very busy and because of the festivities things didn't work out," Mandira told the media.

The other showstopper, apart from other models walking the ramp was Amruta Patki, Miss India Earth, 2006, who sashayed down the ramp for Nanda.

Even though the opening was low on the Bollywood quotient, the audience are expecting for greener pastures in the coming two days.
source: agency
Tags : Fashion in India, Bollywood in India, Pune fashion Week, designers at PFW, Pune News

Wrong to link 2G spectrum value to 3G auction: Pranab Mukherjee

New Delhi; Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said fixing value for 2G spectrum based on the airwaves auction for 3G services was not correct and inferences from the official auditor's report can be drawn only after a parliamentary review.

"Please remember, these type of calculations, sometimes is made in the hindsight, after seeing experiences in other areas," Mukherjee said while replying to questions from the audience at the HT Leadership Summit 2010 here.

"In the beginning, I projected Rs.35,000 crore. Now somebody says in my budget projection I deliberately made it an undervalued presentation. I think it would not be correct. But sometimes it happens," he added.

A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to parliament Tuesday indicted then communications minister A. Raja in the 2G spectrum allocations scam and for causing the exchequer a loss between Rs.58,000 crore ($12.8 billion) and Rs.1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion).

In the 96-page report including annexures tabled in parliament, the auditor sought to spell out what it felt was the potential loss to the exchequer in 2G spectrum allocation in 2007-08 due to policies followed during the regime of Raja.

"The entire process of spectrum allocation was undertaken in an arbitrary manner," said the report, adding that the estimate of the loss was based on various parameters -- without recourse to any "mathematical or econometric models" -- and "presumptive" in nature.

The finance minister also said that the report of the official auditor was also interim in nature, since it had to follow the due process laid down for legislative validation.

"It is being examined by the Public Accounts Committee," he said, adding: "The auditor's job is to find out the financial irregularities. No, I am not raising doubt about their bonafides. They have done a good job, but that is not the end of it."

Mukherjee's comments also come a day after the industry watchdog, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), recommended scrapping of 69 of the 130 licences given for 2G phone services since December 2006, on account of poor roll-out.

The alleged scandal has become a burning political issue. Both houses of parliament were constantly disrupted for the sixth day Friday, with opposition MPs persisting with their demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the 2G spectrum allotment.

The issue has been simmering for over two years and after refusing to resign, saying he had done no wrong, Raja quit his cabinet post late Sunday, ending an opposition-Congress standoff that, however, continues to paralyse parliament over JPC demand.

The government so far has declined the opposition's demand, saying the Public Accounts Committee of which BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi is chairman, functions like a permanent joint committee of parliamentary, well equipped to probe any matter.

The committee is also well represented with members drawn from all political parties.
source: agency
Tags : Burning News of India, 2G Spectrum Scam, India Politics News, India Business News, 2G Spectrum Airwaves Auction, 2G Spectrum Airwaves Value, 3G Spectrum Airwaves Auction, 3G Spectrum Airwaves Value

PM gave DMK freedom to loot country: Gadkari

Lucknow: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had given the DMK "full freedom" to loot the country, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari said here Friday while referring to the 2G spectrum scam that has led to DMK MP A. Raja resigning as telecom minister. "PM ne DMK ko desh ko lootne ki puri azaadi di (PM gave the DM full freedom to loot the country)," Gadkari told reporters on the sidelines of a convention here. Describing it as "very unfortunate on the part of the prime minister", he referred to a news report and said there was "a deal between the Congress and the DMK over the pricing issue of 2G spectrum".

It was initially decided that the pricing would be the task of the group of ministers (GoM) but as per a deal it was given to the DMK, resulting in a scam of Rs.176,000 crore (Rs.1.76 trillion), he said.

Asked if BJP's man in Karnataka, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, would also be asked to quit over allegations of land grabbing, Gadkari said: "No comment."

Gadkari was in Lucknow to attend the National Convention of Urban Good Governance.
source: agency
Tags : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, BJP president Nitin Gadkari, 2G spectrum scam, DMK MP A. Raja

27 new dengue cases push total to 6,100 in Delhi

New Delhi: A total of 27 cases of dengue were reported in the capital today, taking the number of vector-borne cases this season to 6,100, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi reported.

Shahdara (north) zone in east Delhi was the worst affected with 844 cases so far, while Rohini zone was the second worst-hit with 774 cases of the disease.

Of the total cases, 38 dengue patients are from outside the city.

Though the dengue cases are on the decline now, the number of patients suffering from another vector-borne disease chikungunya, which causes fever and severe joints pain, has witnessed an increase.

According to the MCD report, the chikungunya cases this year stand at 60 so far while there were only 11 cases last year during the same period.

Chikungunya shares symptoms with dengue and it also causes a dip in platelet count.
source: agency
Tags : Delhi news, Delhi dengue cases, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, MCD, rising dengue cases in Delhi

Working with SRK not my 'dil ki tamanna': Ranbir

New Delhi: Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor maintains he never said he was desperate to share screen space with Shah Rukh Khan, but admitted he would love to work with the superstar if a good project came his way.

"I had no such 'dil ki tamanna' (heartfelt desire) to work with Shah Rukh sir. But I respect him a lot. I am a big fan of his," Ranbir told reporters on the margins of the HT Leadership Summit here Friday.

The 28-year-old, who was here with his father, evergreen star Rishi Kapoor, says a superstar's presence in a project isn't reason enough for him to accept it.

"It's not that if a superstar will be there in a film, I'll agree to do it. But if I like a film, I like its script, I would be more than glad to do it," he added.

Nevertheless, Ranbir enjoys the attention he gets from the youth.

"If a generation follows me, they follow my movies and they want to emulate me…it feels good. But I really don't take that seriously. I do not feel responsible for others (youth). I feel responsible to my work. Whatever I am doing is for myself, and because this is what I want to achieve, these are the goals that I have set...," he said.
source: agency
Tags : India Entertainment News, Bollywood News, Ranbir Kapoor with Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor Work

I never liked Ranbir's films, says father Rishi Kapoor

New Delhi: Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor has charmed movie goers with his performances in different films, but his father Rishi Kapoor says he never liked any one of them.

"I don't like any of Ranbir's films. I have been very critical of his work because of which his mother (Neetu Kapoor) often fights with me. He has worked too little," said Rishi in the capital today, attending the HT Leadership Summit.

Ranbir, who made his debut with "Saawariya", has given hits like "Bachna Aae Haseeno", "Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani", "Wake Up Sid" and "Rajneeti".

"I am lucky enough to have a critic as well as a fan in the same house. I agree I have not done anything special yet and I really hope to get where my father appreciates my work," said Ranbir.
source: agency
Tags : India Entertainment News, Bollywood News, Ranbir Kapoor Films, Ranbir Kapoor Performances

I'm ready to go back to 'Bigg Boss': Dolly Bindra

New Delhi: So what if actress Dolly Bindra was thrown out of Colors' reality show "Bigg Boss 4" for being a troublemaker? She is ready to go back to the show as she had a rocking time there.

"Oh yes! I will go back inside for sure if the channel asks me to. I have had a rocking time inside," Dolly told media on phone from Mumbai.

As soon as the actress entered the "Bigg Boss" house, she spelt controversy. An argument a day seemed to be the staple in the house as she picked on personal issues of other housemates, especially actress Shweta Tiwari and Ashmit Patel.

In fact, she was asked to leave the show soon after an argument between her and actor Sameer Soni turned ugly. But Dolly says all the fights were justified.

"Since I entered midway, I had seen a few episodes of the show and had an idea of the scheming and plotting inside the house. I knew all those people who had put on an artificial behaviour, and I just went and spoke the truth. There was nothing wrong in that," said Dolly, who abused and raised her voice many times on the show.

She feels that more than being a terror, she was responsible for putting the house in order.

"I took hold of the 'Bigg Boss' house, there's no doubt. Everything about cleaning and food was wrong. When I took charge of the kitchen, everyone was quite happy," she said.

But she blames Shweta, Sara Khan, Ali Merchant and Manoj Tiwari for making life miserable for her on the show.

"They used to ill treat me, didn't used to let me sleep. They troubled me, didn't give me good food... These people make tall claims, but hardly do anything. When Shweta Tiwari claimed she would leave the show if Sameer Soni goes out, why didn't she? They are all two-faced," said Dolly.

She also believes she was right in digging into the past of her inmates.

"People who have done something wrong are the ones who feel scared. When I entered, Shweta was scared because she knew I am going to talk about our past and her reality. I believe in saying everything 'khullam khulla' (openly) and I am not scared of anybody," she said.

Now she says "let bygones be bygones".

"I didn't seriously mean the threats I made to people in the house. They were momentary and I said things only in anger. I have no hard feelings against anyone."
source: agency
Tags : Entertainment News, Television stars, Bigg Boss 4, Indian reality shows

Money was never a driving factor: Ranbir Kapoor

New Delhi: Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor is not concerned about making money because his aim is to be known as a good actor.

"Money has never been a driving factor for me. I want to be known as the biggest star for the work I have done," said Ranbir at the HT Leadership Summit here today.

"I have to break the benchmarks. I don't get affected by the perks that comes with an actor. It is all about how much you take and how you give. You need to be a good person and audiences should like you. Work is more important than fame," he added.

Ranbir made his Bollywood debut with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Saawariya" alongside Sonam Kapoor. The film didn't do well at the box office, but he proved his mettle with his next releases "Bachna Ae Haseeno", "Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani", "Wake Up Sid" and "Rajneeti".

"I consider myself lucky that I got an opportunity to work with some of the greatest directors. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time," he added.
Tags : Entertainment News, Bollywood celebrities, Bollywood films

I'll commit suicide if I've to stay with someone like Dolly Bindra: Sameer Soni

New Delhi: Sameer Soni is aghast. The model-turned-actor, who has been kicked out of the "Bigg Boss 4" house after a fight with Dolly Bindra, says he would either commit suicide or kill if he is asked to live with someone as "loud" as the actress.

Dolly was evicted too.

"Suicide or murder seem like good options if I have to stay with anyone even close to being her! Gosh! She was too much," Sameer told IANS on phone from Lonavala.

The actor, who was among the most gentle and calm contestants on the show, was asked to leave the show following a major verbal fight over Dolly's vulgar and abusive argument with TV actress Shweta Tiwari.

He feels "disappointed" and says the decision was "unfair".

"I don't regret whatever happened. If I knew I was going to be tormented and abused, I wouldn't have gone for the show. I wasn't expecting anyone to use such atrocious language, putting everyone to shame.

"I was nearly physically assaulted, and still the decision to ask me to move out was taken. It is unfair and I don't have faith in the show at all now. I didn't think it was wrong to stand up for a woman's dignity," said Sameer, who featured as a gay fashion designer in Madhur Bhandarkar's "Fashion" and played a director in Karan Johar's "I Hate Luv Storys".

He is all the more surprised that none of the other housemates "moved an inch" when Dolly was hurling abuses at Shweta.

"Nobody moved. The situation was getting out of hand and someone had to intervene. So I did," he said.

But wasn't he disappointed that Shweta, who had vowed to leave the "Bigg Boss" house, ended up going back on her words?

"See, everyone in there has a game to win. Ultimately, its all about themselves, and no one is a friend in 'Bigg Boss'."

Nevertheless, Sameer says he had a "fantastic" experience and that he would have loved to stay longer.

With his ouster, he has even missed out on spending time with former "Baywatch" star Pamela Anderson, who is on a three-day visit to the show. But he isn't complaining.

"Nah! I didn't have any major attraction for her. I have already seen enough spicy stuff on 'Bigg Boss'. But yes, it would have been nice to interact with her and get to know her as a person and her thoughts about our country," said Sameer.

His post-"Bigg Boss 4" plans include settling down with former actress and now jewellery designer Neelam Kothari and to direct a movie.
source: agency
Tags : Entertainment News, Television stars, Bigg Boss 4, Indian reality shows

Sundaram BNP Paribas Fund Services targets good growth

Chennai: Commencing its share registrar and transfer agency operations with 1.4 million customers, Sundaram BNP Paribas Fund Services said today it would invest Rs.60 crore in technology over the next three years.

The company, a 51:49 joint venture between city based Sundaram Finance Ltd and BNP Paribas of France, would target a market share of around eight percent in five years.

"The company will have around Rs.20,000 crore of assets under servicing in the first year of operations and take it to Rs.80,000 crore in three years time," CEO Shridhar Iyer told reporters here today.

Presently, the segment is majorly serviced by Karvy Computer Share and Computer Age Management Services (CAMS) servicing nearly the 95 percent of the mutual fund industry.

Sundaram BNP Paribas commences business with 1.4 million customer base of Sundaram Mutual.

"We felt it is right time to enter the segment as there is growing interest in the mutual fund industry," remarked T.T. Srinivasaraghavan, managing director of Sundaram Finance.

The company would also double its workforce at its two centres located here and in Madurai from over 150 employees now within 12 months.
source: agency
Tags : India Business News, India Finance Industry News, Sundaram BNP Paribas Fund Services Share Registrar Operations, Sundaram BNP Paribas Fund Services Transfer Agency Operations

Orissa panel to study micro-finance complaints

Bhubaneswar: Orissa has decided to form a panel within the next one week to examine complaints it has received against micro-finance institutions in the state, an official said today.

"The panel will be formed within the next one week and submit a report to the state government within a month's time," a senior official of the state finance department told media.

The state government has received complaints from women's organizations that some of the micro-finance agencies are charging 40-60 percent interest on their lending although they are availing credit from banks at 11 to 13 percent rate of interest, he said.

The Reserve Bank of India has formed a committee to study issues and concerns in the micro-finance sector. The committee will submit its report in three months.

"We will send our proposal to the Reserve Bank of India after receiving the report from our committee," the official said.
source: agency
Tags : India Business News, Orissa government, micro-finance firms in Orissa

Tiger Woods can bounce back to the top in 2011: Arjun Atwal

Kolkata: Star golfer Tiger Woods has it in him to bounce back to the top and 2011 could be his year, said Arjun Atwal.

Woods, once rated as a role model both on and off the court, occupied the global headlines for months after his serial sexcapades came to the fore. He lost form and the world number one spot to Lee Westwood while his dalliances also cost him millions of dollars of endorsements. Tiger's marriage with Swedish-born beauty Elin Nordegren has also ended in a messy divorce.

Asked whether Tiger could make a comeback, Indian golfer Arjun Atwal told the media: "Why not? Mentally, he has changed a lot in the last two months."

Atwal said post-divorce, Tiger has become a different person, who is slowly coming into the groove. "I can bet 2011 will be his year."

On what made Woods so special, Atwal replied: "In my top form I can beat anyone in the circuit, but beating Tiger is a different ball game. He has this ability to beat anyone."

"He may not be superhuman, but he is born with this ability to beat anyone."

However, Atwal did not think that Tiger was the most dominant player in an individual sport.

"I think Jack Nicklaus and Roger Federer are the two most dominant players ever in individual sport. But Tiger can be the most dominant player, if like Nicklaus, he manages to win 18 or more majors."
source: agency
Tags : India Sports News, Golf, Tiger Woods, Arjun Atwal

India to take on Pakistan in high-voltage Asiad hockey clash

Guangzhou: India will take on Pakistan in a high-voltage hockey clash at the Asian Games here on Saturday and will be hoping to continue their winning streak for the third time in a major tournament this year against their arch-rivals.

India have twice defeated Pakistan this year, at the World Cup in February-March and at the Commonwealth Games last month. But both victories came at home. India would be wary of Pakistan's enviable record at the Asian Games and the upper hand they have enjoyed against them in the past.

And Pakistan, coached by Dutchman Michel van den Heuvel, would be gunning for revenge here.

In fact, all of Pakistan's seven gold medals at the Asian Games came at the cost of India, who lost seven title contests against the neighbours, the last time being in 1990 at Beijing.

India are looking for their third medal at the Asian Games, having beaten Pakistan in 1966 and South Korea in 1998.

Indian players are likely miss the home support they had in the hockey World Cup and Commonwealth Games, where packed crowds of 19,000 at the Major Dhyan Chand National stadium egged them on to crushing wins. At the Comonwealth Games, India beat Pakistan 7-4 and went on to make the final.

India and Pakistan have won both their matches here and are at six points. India, however, are at second place in the five-member group with victories against Hong Kong (7-0) and Bangladesh (9-0).

Pakistan are at the top of the pool on the basis of a better goal difference. Pakistan beat Hong Kong 12-0 and Japan 8-2.

But India are yet to condede a goal in the tournament.

The gold medallist here will get a direct entry into the 2012 London Olympics.

For India, Sandeep Singh's form would be crucial. The drag-flick expert converted four penalty corners against Bangaldesh and the team would be looking up to him again for a good show.

Pakistan's recalled veteran penalty corner expert Sohail Abbas, too, converted two penalty corners against Hong Kong.
source: agency
Tags : Asian Games News, India Sports News, India Hockey News, India Pakistan Hockey, Asian Games Hockey, India at Asian Games, Pakistan at Asian Games

Kiwis wary of India's batting depth and rain forecast

Nagpur: After two draws in the series, New Zealand will like to grab a rare chance of pulling off a series win over India, but captain Daniel Vettori will be wary of the hosts' depth in batting and the rain forecast during the third and final cricket Test starting here on Saturday.

Persistent rain and a waterlogged outfield have cast a shadow over the Test at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium at Jamatha. The situation improved Friday as the sun came out, but that was not enough for the Indians to practice.

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said missing the practice was a blessing in disguise for the team.

"At times, it is better not to have a practice session. Given the amount of cricket that we have been playing in the last two years, I think it is actually a blessing in disguise. We are geared up for the Test," Dhoni said.

He said that there is no pressure on the Indian team to force a draw in the match so the series can end on level terms.

"I don't think there is any extra pressure on the side because we are the number one Test team. We don't read too much into the rankings. If we can take care of the small things, the rankings will take care of themselves," he said.

Dhoni, however, said that they would be concerned about the presence of Andy McKay, who has been tipped by Vettori to be in the playing eleven.

"It will be wrong for us to try and change things. We are not sure about the pitch here but McKay comes into our calculations," he said.

Vettori said that New Zealand will be judged by their performance in the third Test and not by the results of the earlier two.

"You always hope that the team plays its best cricket. Unfortunately, in Bangladesh, the team didn't play well. Also Bangladesh played really well. Fortunately, our performance improved and the boys responded well," Vettori said.

The left-arm spinner said the Indian lower order is a massive challenge for his team.

"It (Tendulkar's hundred) is not a focus for us. He will get it sooner or later. He scores a century in every three Test matches. He is too good a player. They (Indian lower order batsmen) have really taken the game to us. It will be a real challenge," he said.

Vettori said Harbhajan Singh, who scored back-to-back hundreds in the previous Tests, hasn't been performing well as a bowler but has the ability to come back strongly.

"Its been difficult for him (Harbhajan) as he didn't get the results but he has a vast repertoire of experience to come back strongly," he said.

In-form opener Virender Sehwag will also be a headache for New Zealand.

"Does anyone have an idea about how to tackle Sehwag? Anyone would be keen to know. He is one player who can intimidate the bowlers and put in a lot of pressure," Vettori said.

Vettori, hoped that the Jamtha strip will help the pace bowlers.

"The pitch will have a little bit more pace than the earlier two. Dale Steyn bowled a great spell earlier this year. But we can only evaluate the pitch once the Test match unfolds."

Talking about pacers, Vettori agreed that India would miss Zaheer Khan's experience.

"He is a bowler who runs in and takes wickets. He is someone you would want in the team also for the fact that he can reverse the old ball too. So no doubt India will miss him," he said.
source: agency
Tags : India Sports News, India Cricket News, India New Zealand Series, India New Zealand Cricket, India New Zealand Test, India Batting

Women's commission wants TV content monitored

New Delhi: The National Commission for Women (NCW) today demanded that amendments to the Prohibition of Indecent Representation of Women and Children Act be passed promptly so that there is stringent monitoring of content on electronic media.

Reacting to the public outrage on reality shows like "Big Boss" and "Rakhi ka Insaaf", Girija Vyas, chairperson of NCW, said only a stringent law can regulate TV content.

"We appeal to the government to pass (amendments to) the Prohibition of Indecent Representation of Women and Children Act immediately so that there will be a regulatory authority to control shows like the ones which are on air now," Vyas told reporters here.

She said the commission has reviewed the original act of 1986 and drafted amendments to broaden the definition of "indecent representation" and expand its scope to include electronic and digital media and make punishments stringent.

The government Wednesday directed Colors and Imagine TV channels to telecast reality shows - "Bigg Boss" and "Rakhi Ka Insaaf" - only after 11 p.m., following complaints of vulgarity.

However, the Bombay High Court on Thursday stayed the decision till Monday.
source: agency
Tags : India News, NCW, Monitoring Indecent TV content, Prohibition of Indecent Representation of Women and Children Act

Focused policy on antibiotic use soon: Health minister

New Delhi: The government is drafting a focused policy on use of antibiotics and the task force preparing the policy document will come up with its report by the month end, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, the health minister said the policy is being drafted to counter misuse of antibiotics.

"Anti-biotic resistance is a universal evolutionary phenomenon... due to prolonged use of anti-biotics, bacteria may start various defensive mechanism like mutation, conjugation, transduction or transformation, etc. so that it can counter the assault of anti-biotics, resulting in anti-biotic resistance," Azad said.

"Irrational use of anti-biotic and over-prescription of anti-biotics are also other contributing factors for anti-biotic resistance," the minister said. The task force is looking at all aspects that may lead to antibiotic over use or misuse, he added.

According to the minister, the task force will "review the current situation regarding manufacture, use and misuse of anti-biotics in the country".

It will also recommend the design for a National Surveillance System for anti-biotic resistance, initiate studies documenting prescription patterns and establish a monitoring system for it, and enforce and enhance regulatory provisions for use of anti-biotics.

"(The task force will) recommend specific interventions such as rational use of anti-biotics and anti-biotics policies in hospitals which can be implemented as early as possible," Azad added.

According to ministry sources, the new policy which will formulate an outline for prescription, sale and use of antibiotics is likely to be launched on pilot basis in three Delhi hospitals - Lady Hardinge Medical College, Safdarjung Hospital and Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

The task force includes experts from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, AIIMS, Indraprastha Apollo and others under the chairmanship of Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) R.K. Srivastava.

The policy, once prepared by the health ministry, will be approved by the government and parliament for creation of a separate schedule HX under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act after which these antibiotics will be sold only by medical prescription.

Government sources say the step was taken in the wake of the super bug controversy, the NDM-1 which is said to be of Indian origin and is resistant to the strongest antibiotics.

The policy will also monitor antibiotic use in animals, as it has been found that antibiotic content in meat affects humans.
source: agency
Tags : India News, Government Antibiotics Policy, Government Antibiotics Task Force

Tiger census results to be out by month end

New Delhi: The preliminary results of the tiger census will be released by the end of November, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said today.

"The broad preliminary numbers of the tiger population in India will be available by the end of November. The final results will only be possible by early next year," Ramesh told reporters here.

The last census in 2005-06 showed a sharp fall in tiger numbers. The census then conducted with an improved method revealed India had just 1,411 tigers left in the wild, raising serious concern about their survival.
source: agency
Tags : India News, tiger census in India, tiger population in India


Congress leaders discuss 2G scam, PM may break silence

New Delhi: Top leaders of the Congress, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party president Sonia Gandhi, met here on Thursday to discuss the strategy in the face of the opposition's insistence on a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the 2G spectrum allocation allegations. The Congress meeting came even as party spokesperson Manish Tewari said the government was ready for a debate in parliament on the allegations of wrongdoing in the allocation of 2G spectrum frequencies and other alleged scams.

Speaking to reporters, Tewari said the debate should include the functioning of the telecom ministers during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) regime as well.

While the Congress did not make any official statement after the two-hour meeting, party circles said the leadership has weighed a number of options.

The party meeting came in the wake of the Supreme Court asking for an affidavit detailing the prime minister's response in the 2G spectrum case and after parliament was adjourned for the fifth successive day following opposition protests.

Congress sources said one of the options being considered was to accept the demand for a JPC into the 2G spectrum allotment, but with a longer time frame of 10 or 15 years, which will include for examination the decisions of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government and the Communist Party of India-included National Front government.

"This will bring into the focus the role of former NDA ministers like Pramod Mahajan and Arun Shourie too," an office-bearer of the All India Congress Committee told IANS.

Besides Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi, the Congress meeting was attended by Defence Minister A.K. Antony, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal, who is handling the telecom ministry and is a legal expert.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the main trouble-shooter for the government, was away in Madurai attending the wedding reception of the grandson of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK boss M. Karunanidhi. The DMK is an alliance partner of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

According to Congress circles, Manmohan Singh could make a statement in parliament today to defend the government on the issue.

Mukherjee, speaking to reporters in Madurai, said that the "Congress-DMK alliance was intact".
source: agency
Tags : Congress leaders, PM Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Joint Parliamentary Committee, JPC probe into 2G spectrum

Land scam: BJP may ask Karnataka CM to step down

New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Minister B.S Yedyyurappa has been summoned to Delhi by BJP High Command today. The land scam hit CM is likely to meet BJP leaders including L.K. Advani

Final decision on Yedyurappa expected today evening. According to the sources, Yedyurappa may be shown the door by his party in order to counter Congress' decision to sack top ministers on grounds of corruption.

BJP is mulling over the fact that inaction against Yedyurappa may send a message to the country that the party is compromising on corruption.

There is high possibility of the Karnataka CM being asked to step down since corruption could smear BJP's position in Parliament.
source: agency
Tags : Karnataka CM B.S Yedyyurappa, BJP High Command, land scam in Karnataka, BJP leaders in Delhi