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20101204

French President Nicolas Sarkozy invited Indian students to study in France

Bangalore: French President Nicolas Sarkozy today invited Indian students to study in France and offered to expand ties with Indian universities.

"France wants to host more Indian students. We can educate and train young Indians in cutting-edge research," Sarkozy said at a function within hours of arriving in this tech hub on a four-day official visit to India.

Noting that Indian youths were eager to seek higher education and that tens of thousands of young Indians were studying abroad, especially in English-speaking countries, Sarkozy said his government has established a specific system to accommodate foreign students in France.

"I hope that by 2012, we will have tripled the number of Indian students in France, compared with 2007. We are also providing special support to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) at Jodhpur in Rajasthan," Sarkozy told the 500-strong gathering of top scientists, business executives and students here.

Referring to the Field Medals awarded to French scientists for their outstanding discoveries in mathematics by the International Mathematics Union at its congress in Hyderabad in August, the French president said university reform and the research he had commissioned were bearing fruit and Indian students should also benefit from them.

"At the same time, I would like to see young French people expand their numbers at Indian universities and institutes of higher education. Experiencing India as a young person will be an incomparable asset in understanding today's world and preparing for a cosmopolitan life," Sarkozy said during his 25-minute address at the Satellite Centre of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
source:agency
Tags : India Education News, India France News, Indian Students Study in France, France Ties with Indian Universities

United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) Leader,stepped out of Guwahati Central Jail

Guwahati: Septuagenarian separatist leader and political ideologue of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Bhimkanta Buragohain, stepped out of Guwahati Central Jail today after seven years in custody - the fifth top rebel leader to be released on bail in the past six months.

"I am happy to be freed on bail and now the priority for all of us is to see that political level talks are held to bring the curtains down on the conflict in Assam," Buragohain told the media soon after being released on bail.

Endearingly addressed as 'mama' (uncle) by all ULFA cadres and leaders, Buragohain was captured by the Royal Bhutan Army during 'Operation All Clear' in December 2003 - an offensive carried out to evict over 3,000 rebels belonging to the ULFA and other Assam- based militants from the Himalayan nation adjoining the state.

He was subsequently handed over to the Indian authorities and since then was lodged at various jails in Assam.

"Let the other jailed leaders be released and then only we can discuss modalities for peace talks," the 71-year-old separatist leader said.

After being released early today, he left for his ancestral home in Dhola in eastern Assam's Tinsukia district accompanied by a host of family members.

"The journey ahead is not an easy one as we have to seek a solution to more than 63 years of suppression and exploitation by India," Buragohain said.

Barring ULFA's elusive commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah, the entire top brass of the outfit were in jail. The imprisoned leaders included chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa, vice chairman Pradip Gogoi, publicity chief Mithinga Daimary, deputy commander-in-chief Raju Baruah, self-styled foreign secretary Sasha Choudhury, finance secretary Chitrabon Hazarika, cultural secretary Pranati Deka, and Bhimkanta Buragohain.

But with demands for releasing the jailed ULFA leaders gathering momentum to pave way for holding peace talks, the government embarked on a strategy not to oppose the bail applications of the separatists in court.

The process began and one by one five top jailed ULFA leaders were released on bail.

The first to be set free were Pradeep Gogoi and Mithinga Daimary, followed by Raju Baruah and Pranati Deka, and today the veteran Buragohain.

ULFA general secretary Anup Chetia, however, is in Bangladesh since his arrest there in 1997.

There are chances of Chetia now being extradited to India to help him take part in the proposed peace talks due to start soon once the three remaining jailed leaders are released on bail.

"We also want all the jailed leaders to come out and sit for talks. However, the question of release rests on the judiciary," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told the media.

"We want that Paresh Baruah should also come and join the peace process, but we cannot wait indefinitely for him and so we will start the peace talks."

ULFA, formed in 1979, is fighting for independence with most of their leaders earlier based in Bangladesh and all of them subsequently captured in that country and handed over to India.
source:agency
Tags : Burning News of India , Assam News, United Liberation Front of Asom, Release of ULFA Leader, Operation All Clear, Bhimkanta Buragohain

Dhaula Kuan rape case: 4th accused nabbed

New Delhi: A fourth accused in the rape of a 30-year-old BPO employee in the capital's Dhaula Kuan area last week has been arrested from Sohna district of Haryana, Delhi Police said today.

"The accused Iqbal, alias Bada Billi, was arrested from Fatehpur Beri in Haryana by a team of Delhi Police which had gone there in search of him," a senior police officer told reporters.

Two accused -- Shamsad and Usman -- were earlier this week arrested from Mewat in Haryana while a third accused, Shahid, surrendered to police in Faridabad in connection with another case and was later found to be involved in the Delhi rape, according to police.

"With the arrest of Iqbal, four of the five men accused in the rape have been arrested. We are on lookout for one more youth who is till absconding in the case," the police officer said.

A senior police officer said searches were on in the National Capital Region (NCR) and neighbouring states to nab the youth.

On Nov 24, the BPO staffer, a native of Mizoram, was abducted by five men and gangraped in a moving goods carrier.

She was abducted soon after being dropped along with another girl, 100 metres from her home, by her office vehicle in Dhaula Kuan area of south Delhi late at night. The men then drove all the way to Mongolpuri in north Delhi and dumped her there after raping her.
source:agency
Tags : Burning News of India, Dhaula Kuan Gangrape, Delhi News, India Crime News, Rape of BPO Employee in Delhi, Delhi Police

Parliament cannot probe the 2G mobile telephony spectrum issue:Pawan Kumar Bansal

Chandigarh: Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today said that parliament was not the right institution to probe the second generation mobile telephony spectrum allocation issue.

"We do not want any JPC (joint parliamentary committee) as it will not represent all parties in parliament. It cannot probe any scam. There are government agencies like the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and Income Tax department to investigate but parliament cannot do it," he told reporters at his residence here.

He said that there was no need to adjourn the winter session of parliament before its scheduled time because of the logjam over the opposition's demand for setting up a JPC to look into the spectrum allocation matter.

"The opposition's demand for a joint parliamentary committee is only a political battle and there is no need to accept it. They want to have a political weapon in their hands, which we will not allow," Bansal said.

"The opposition wants to paralyse parliament. They do not want the government to take decisions and implement its policies," he added.

Bansal said that the government was ready to give time to opposition to discuss the spectrum issue in the house if they allow parliament to function.

"We are ready to give time for discussion to the opposition on the spectrum issue, but they should first let parliament function," he said.

He said that parliament's winter session would continue till Dec 13 and it would not be suspended in the wake of the logjam.
source:agency
Tags : Burning News of India, 2G Spectrum Scam, Pawan Kumar Bansal on Spectrum Allocation Issue, Pawan Kumar Bansal on CBI, Pawan Kumar Bansal on Income Tax Department

Pune blast:Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) filed a charge sheet against 7 people

Pune: The Maharashtra Police's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) today filed a charge sheet against seven people, including the sole arrested Mirza Himayat Baig, for Pune's German Bakery bomb blast, Baig's lawyer said. "The charge sheet has been filed in a Pune court today. However, I will receive a copy of the charge sheet only on Monday," said A. Rahman, Baig's lawyer. "I will be able to plan the defence after I read the copy of the charge sheet. I cannot say much unless I read it," he added. The charge sheet is likely to contain details of the financial transactions Baig made along with six others, including Mohammed Zarar alias Yaseen Bhatkal, who hails from Karnataka, and Mohsin Chowdhary, a resident of Pune.

Baig, arrested on Sep 7 by a team of Mumbai ATS, is expected to be charged with murder and waging war against the country.

The ATS had seized close to two kg of RDX, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) literature, bomb making manuals, the US and Indian currencies, mobile phones and pen drives from him.

Baig, 29, is originally from Beed town of Maharashtra, and was instrumental in creating a module of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Aurangabad and later merging it with the Indian Mujahadeen module.

The Feb 13 blast, in which 17 people were killed and more than 65 injured, ripped through the German Bakery, frequented by foreign nationals and the rich in Pune's trendy Koregaon Park area.

Amongst the victims were four foreigners - an Italian woman, an Iranian and two Sudanese.
source:agency
Tags : Burning News of India, Pune Blast, Maharashtra Police's Anti-Terrorism Squad, ATS Chargesheet against Mirza Himayat Baig, Pune's German Bakery Bomb Blast

Twelve bands and sounds of new age South Asian music

New Delhi: Traditional, devotional and ethnic music of South Asia is finding new identities thanks to rock 'n' roll from the West. Now 12 bands from the region, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Myanmar, will showcase this cultural fusion at a festival here.

The annual South Asian Bands Festival will be held in the capital from Dec 12-14.

The fourth edition of the festival will be presented by Seher, a non-profit cultural platform, in association with the ministry of external affairs and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) at the Purana Qila, the 16th century fort in the capital.

The participating nations include India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. India will be represented by Kailash Kher, Indus Creed, Ankur & The Ghalat Family, Mrigya, East India Company and 4th Element.

Festival director Sanjeev Bhargava, founder of Seher, said: "The fact that the festival is growing is evident from the sheer number of people that throng the ramparts of Purana Qila every year."

"But what gives us immense delight as a team is the age-group it touches - it is great to see people from 16 to 70 years of age, young people bringing their grandparents on wheelchairs to school and college students coming in large groups. The city of Delhi assumes a festive air during these three days," Bhargava said.

The festival features several new bands - groups which are experimenting with new age music like lounge, trance, world fusion and regional sounds. The ones that stand out are Mawj from Afghanistan, Mekaal Hasan Band from Pakistan and the Metal Zone Oasis Band from Myanmar, which will join the bands festival for the first time.

Mawj was formed by brothers Ajmal and Aimal Omid and four friends in Kabul in 2002. Ajmal Omid, the main vocalist and keyboard player born in Nangarhar in Afghanistan, started to sing and play the keyboard at 13. He released his first audio album "Hasrat" in 2007.

The band members include Masood Ahmad (bass guitarist), Ahmad Zaki (drums), Farouq Waiz (keyboard) and Shakir Fayzi (percussion).

Mekaal Hasan Band, shortened to MHB, is a Sufi rock band formed in Lahore in Pakistan in 1999 by composer-songwriter and guitarist Mekaal Hasan.

The members have roots in differing genres, including jazz, classical music, soul music and sufi rock. The band achieved mainstream success with its debut album "Sampooran" in 2004.

Set up in 2005 by three close friends who shared a mutual affinity to extreme music, Sri Lanka's Funeral in Heaven has been influenced by international bands like Venom, Immortal and Absu as well as Sri Lankan and Indian classical music. It plays a blend of heavy metal and black metal and yet accommodates traditional and classical elements.

Traffic Jam is a Maldivian rock band formed in 2005 by three musicians Kayano, Faube and Afu. One of the most successful bands in Maldives, they have played in concerts like 'Live Help' in 2006 and the 'Sound of a Nation' in 2007 with Zero Degree Atoll.

Nepathya is a popular Nepali band formed by three students from Pokhara in early 1990s. It is best known for its blend of folk melodies, youth-friendly pop and rock music.

Band Bangla from Bangladesh, which traces its links to Santiniketan, had performed at the Lalon Shah Mazar in January 1997.

The Tashi Tagay Cultural Group, founded by Namgel Dorjee in 1995 with its headquarters in Thimphu, has 10 members. It plays a fusion of traditional Bhutanese and contemporary music.
source:agency
Tags : India Entertainment News, Delhi News, Kailash Kher at South Asian Bands Festival, Afghanistan at South Asian Bands Festival, Pakistan at South Asian Bands Festiva

Deepika Padukone dream role is to do what Kajol did in DDLJ

New Delhi: Deepika Padukone loves romantic movies and says her ultimate aim is to do what Kajol did in "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" (DDLJ).

"I loved DDLJ and my dream role is Kajol's role in that film," said Deepika, who has done romantic comedies since her debut "Om Shanti Om" in 2007.

"'Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge' came at a time when I was growing up and watching a lot of Indian cinema. At that time parents used to oppose (lovers in the film) and the couple used to go all out to get together...but the parents were there to stop them. There was so much drama on screen. Song sequences were shot in Switzerland. I used to love it," she added.

Deepika says she has enjoyed acting in romantic comedies like "Bachna Ae Haseeno", "Chandni Chowk To China", "Love Aaj Kal", "Housefull" and the just released "Break Ke Baad" and relishes mushy stories.

"As audience I have always enjoyed watching rom-coms which is why even as an actor I enjoy doing love stories," she said.

But for Ashutosh Gowariker's just released "Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey", the 24-year-old has taken a departure from her routine genre to play freedom fighter Kalpana Dutta, who was a part of the Chittagong uprising of the 1930s.

"I accepted the role primarily because I was getting a chance to work with Ashutosh Gowariker. Who wouldn't want to work with him? Secondly, I felt the subject was not given too much importance as part of our history books. So as an actor it was a different challenge to be able to educate the audience about a pertinent revolution for Indian independence," Deepika said.

She sports two braids, simple saris and an almost no make-up look for the film; yet she feels her look is quite glamorous in its own way.

"I don't think this look is any less glamorous. I think the sari is the most glamorous and sensuous dress for women...which is why I chose to wear a sari over a dress for the Cannes Film Festival."

Deepika will now be on a short break from shooting before she returns to the grind for "Desi Boyz", starring Akshay Kumar and John Abraham.

She also hopes to have a joyous Christmas and New Year.

"I like spending time with friends and family. I like taking short breaks every four-six months to unwind. Now in December, I will automatically get a break because it is holiday season with Christmas and New Year! The industry itself slows down a bit for a couple of weeks; so I think I will get a well-deserved break," she said.
source:agency
Tags : India Entertainment News, Bollywood News, Kajol did in "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Belgium seeks strong ties with India in jewellery, IT and gems

Kolkata: Belgium has evinced interest in further boosting economic ties with India in sectors like IT, gems and jewellery, non-conventional energy sources and education.

Belgian Ambassador Jean M. Deboutte in a press meet on Friday said: "We can strengthen our economic ties with India by increasing our cooperation in the IT, non-conventional energy sources and education along with gems and jewellery."

He said: "Forty percent of gems and jewellery in Belgium are imported from India and almost seventy to eighty percent Indians staying in Belgium are associated with the gems and jewellery trade."

"Around 180 Belgian companies including small and medium enterprises are operating in India. Infinity, Xsyxys and Vincke. Quite a large number of Indian companies including Videocon, TCS, ICICI Bank are doing business in Belgium," he said.

However, a handout given to the media during the programme mentioned the number of Belgian companies in India as "more than 60".

He also called for regular student exchange programmes between the two nations that would be mutually beneficial to India and Belgium.

Jean said that if the Indo-Belgian Free Trade regime comes into being then both economies will strengthen by 2012-13.

The ambassador appreciated the 8.9 percent growth achieved by India in the second quarter of 2010-11. "India is already an emerged nation. As for Belgium, if we achieve two percent growth this fiscal then it will be satisfactory for us."
source:agency
Tags : India Belgium News, India Belgium Economic Ties, India Belgium Ties in Gems and Jewellery, India Belgium Ties in Non-Conventional Energy Sources, India Belgium Education Ties, India Belgium IT Ties

On course to reach tax revenue target:Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee

Kolkata: The government of India is on course to reaching its target of mopping up direct tax revenue of Rs 4.30 lakh crore this year, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said today.

"Following the rationalisation of direct tax rates, the government is progressing well towards its target of collecting direct taxes of Rs 4.30 lakh crore this year," Mukherjee said after inaugurating the country's first fully-operational Aykar Seva Kendra at Chinsurah - about 50 kms from the city - in Hooghly district.

Talking about the steps taken by the government to simplify rates of both direct and indirect taxes, Mukherjee said: "Now people no longer have to be afraid about agencies like the income tax department or the excise department. Our customer-friendly measures have benefited the tax payers a lot".

He said the government also had plans to bring the Direct Tax Code soon to simplify the procedure of tax payment. "Besides, this will help us generate more funds for our development programmes".
source:agency
Tags : India Business News, Taxation, Pranab Mukherjee on Rates of Direct Taxes, Pranab Mukherjee on Direct Tax Code in India, Pranab Mukherjee on Development Programmes in India

Bapu Nadkarni rates Sachin Tendulkar as "god in the world of cricket"

Kolkata: Former Indian left arm spinner Bapu Nadkarni rates Sachin Tendulkar as "god in the world of cricket" and says he himself would have run out of strategies while bowling to the batting genius.

"Legends are not born but made, and when it comes to Sachin Tendulkar, he is a god in the world of cricket," Nadkarni said here on Saturday.

Asked how he would bowl to Tendulkar, the 77-year-old Nadkarni said: "I do not have any strategies for a player like him."

He added in a lighter vein: "At the most I can ask him to play faulty strokes at the beginning so that he loses his wicket!"

Nadkarni, famed for his perfect line and length which made him one of the most difficult bowlers to be hit by batsmen, told mediapersons: "Modern forms of cricket such as Twenty-20 are acting as a hindrance to producing good spinners."

"A player can turn out to be a good spinner only if he keeps on working hard and plays more games of the longer version such as Test matches," said the veteran cricketer, who played 42 Tests for India between 1955 and 1968 and picked up 88 wickets.

Nadkarni, along with former Indian hockey goalkeeper Mir Ranjan Negi, inaugurated two free beds donated by the Central Calcutta Sporting Club at the Thakurpukur Cancer Hospital on the city's outskirts.

"I am proud to be associated with this kind of noble work for people suffering from cancer," Nadkarni said.

The Thakurpukur Cancer Hospital is a charitable hospital made with funds from various organisations.
source:agency
Tags : India Sports News, India Cricket News, Bapu Nadkarni on Sachin Tendulkar, Bapu Nadkarni on Modern Forms of Cricket, Bapu Nadkarni on Twenty-20

Victim identifies two assaulters-Dhaula Kuan gangrape

New Delhi: A BPO employee today identified in Tihar Jail the two men arrested for her Nov 23 gangrape, police said.

"The two arrested men, Shamshad (25) and Usman (25), who were arrested on Thursday, were affirmed by the victim as her assaulters and part of the gang who gangraped her," said a senior police official.

Two other men involved in the rape, Kamru alias 'Mobile' and Iqbal alias 'Bada Billi', were evading arrest and were still on the run, the official said.

"We have deployed several teams in various part of Delhi and neighbouring towns to track them," said the official.

The 30-year-old BPO staffer from Mizoram was on Nov 23 night abducted by five men and gangraped in a moving goods carrier.

She was abducted immediately after being dropped along with another girl, 100 metres from her home, by her office vehicle in the Dhaula Kuan area in south Delhi late at night.

The men raped her in the moving goods carrier, and then drove all the way to Mongolpuri in north Delhi and dumped her there.
source:agency
Tags : Burning News of India, Dhaula Kuan Gangrape, Delhi News, India Crime News, Gangrape of BPO Employee in Delhi, Arrest of Dhaula Kuan Gangrape Assaulters

Nicolas Sarkozy & Carla Bruni's 's Taj Mahal trip hustles tourists out

Agra: Thousands of foreign and domestic tourists in India were asked to leave the precincts of the Taj Mahal just before French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni came to visit the hitoric monument today. Many others could not even enter though holding valid tickets.

"We came here from Sholapur on Thursday. On Friday the Taj was closed. Today we thought we would spend time at the Taj Mahal and because of the cold we were delayed. And in the afternoon, we were told to go away," said Ramesh, a school teacher from Maharashtra.

"These tickets would not be valid on Sunday. Many had to catch a connecting flight or return by Shatabdi or Taj Express. They are naturally angry. Sarkozy should not have suddenly changed his programme," tourism industry expert Rajiv Tiwari told the media.

An angry tourist from Australia, Jameson said the authorities could have at least told them in advance, or allow the tickets (priced at Rs.750 for foreign tourists) to be used the next day.

A large number of school and college students too had to return disappointed. The total number of tourists turned away or asked to leave early was around 15,000.

"A big holiday crowd was waiting, but all were deprived of the opportunity to see the Taj. This is not only an injustice but also reflects insensitivity on the part of the visit planners," Tiwari added.

The tourists are expected to have a harrowing Sunday as well.

"Many would face the same problem visiting Fatehpur Sikri. The Jaipur highway would remain sealed for hours," said travel agent Montu Bhagat.

Till late Saturday, Yamuna Kinara road, Fatehbad road and the Mall road were jammed.

"There's more anger and frustration than excitement at Sarkozy's visit. If it's a private visit, then why disturb the public? Go and enjoy the Taj quietly," an angry commuter, Rajveer Singh, said.

Apparently impatient for the Taj viewing, Sarkozy rushed to the historic monument with Carla almost immediately after landing here from Bangalore. The French president was scheduled to visit the Taj on Sunday morning, but changed his plans.
source:agency
Tags : India France News, Nicolas Sarkozy in India, Nicolas Sarkozy at Taj Mahal

The All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) launched a scathing attack on PM

Kolkata: The All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) today launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, alleging corruption in the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime.

AIFB general secretary Debabrata Biswas also ridiculed UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, calling her the de-facto prime minister of the country.

"Whenever I go out of India, people say the country is being plundered. I feel very sad to say but corruption is going on even at the top level," he said.

"Agents of corporate houses sit in the North Block and South Block of Delhi. Crores of rupees are being looted. We the Left parties have to fight against this corruption," Biswas said at a rally here.

Hitting out at the Congress chief, he said: "Sonia Gandhi is the de-facto prime minister of the country. Sonia Gandhi says some thing and our prime minister does something else. This government is selling all the public sector units to American corporate houses."

Biswas also took a dig at Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, saying that his mother has shifted him to a secret enclosure after the drubbing the party received in the Bihar assembly elections.

"Rahul Gandhi is a newcomer in politics. His mother has shifted him to a secret enclosure, saying 'wherever you are going, our party is tasting defeat'," said Biswas.
source:agency
Tags : India Politics News, All India Forward Bloc News, AIFB General Secretary Debabrata Biswas on UPA, AIFB General Secretary Debabrata Biswas on Sonia Gandhi

WikiLeaks:US told India that Zardari government was weakening

Islamabad: US special representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke told Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao that Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's government was weakening, according to an expose by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

In a meeting with Rao Jan 18, 2010 in New Delhi, Holbrooke spoke about the evolving political landscape in Pakistan with a "weakening" President Zardari and the relationship between chief of army staff Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, The News International reported.

During the meeting, Rao described the Indian effort in Afghanistan, saying it was focused on strengthening governance by building Afghan capacities and that the Indian engagement is transparent and should not be threatening to Pakistan.

She said India needs some deliverables on terrorism before it can engage in bilateral talks with Pakistan.

Holbrooke also pledged transparency with India on America's activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
source:agency
Tags : India News, WikiLeaks, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao

20101203

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) website hacked by 'Pakistani Cyber Army'

New Delhi: The website of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been hacked allegedly by a group identifying itself as the 'Pakistani Cyber Army', which also claimed to have hacked the server of the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

While the banner and index of the website, which was hacked on Friday night, is intact, the group has posted a message, mocking India's premier investigating agency. The website was down today morning as well.

The message read: "This attempt is in response to the Pakistani websites hacked by 'Indian Cyber Army'. We told u before too...we are sleeping but not dead."

"Back off kids or we will smoke ur doors off like we did before...let us see what you investigating agency so called CBI can do," it further said.

The group also said that they had hacked into the root server of the National Informatics Centre (NIC), which maintains most of the government websites.

The hackers concluded their message with "Pakistan Zindabad".

According to a Pakistani daily, 200 Indian websites were hacked on Friday.
source:agency
Tags : website of the Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI website hacked, Pakistani Cyber Army, server of National Informatics Centre

French President Nicolas Sarkozy ,Carla Bruni arrive in India

Bangalore: French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his celebrity wife Carla Bruni arrived here today morning on a four-day official visit to India aimed at expanding cooperation in defence, nuclear power, sustainable development and culture. Accompanied by a large official-cum-business delegation, 55-year-old Sarkozy and Bruni landed at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) airport in the city at 10.05 a.m. amid tight security. While the president was in a black suit, the first lady wore a light peach dress.

Sarkozy's only official engagement here will be a visit to the satellite centre of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He will address top scientists, executives and students post-noon on space cooperation between the two countries.

In between, Sarkozy and his delegation will make a transit stay at a seven-star hotel.

At the satellite centre, Sarkozy will have a first-hand account of India's space programmes and explore further collaboration between ISRO and the French national space agency Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES).

Sarkozy's interaction with the space agency's top brass includes a presentation on Indo-French joint missions such as the Mega-Tropiques and SARAL (Satellites for Argos and Altika), meant for the study of oceans and atmosphere.

Sarkozy and Bruni leave for Agra later afternoon by a charted aircraft.

The Sarkozys will spend today night in Agra and will also go to Fatehpur Sikri before flying to Delhi Sunday evening for dinner with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his official residence.
source:agency
Tags : India News, French President Nicolas Sarkozy's India visit, Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni in India, India-France talks

Dev Anand's classic hit "Hum Dono" (1961) will release in a digitally coloured version

New Delhi: Evergreen star Dev Anand's classic hit "Hum Dono" (1961) will release in a digitally coloured version in India in February next year.

The movie that saw the veteran in a double role opposite Nanda and Sadhana 50 years ago, will first release overseas on Jan 28 and hit the Indian screens in the first week of February.

"Where ever I go, people talk to me about the film. It's nostalgic, I am releasing the colored version of the film in January for all my fans," Dev Anand, 87, said in a statement.

Produced by Dev Anand's Navketan Films, it was written by his younger brother Vijay Anand and directed by Amarjeet.

"This is the 62nd year of Navketan Films. I have received lots of love from my fans for a long time and 'Hum Dono' was a craze when it released. Lot of people were requesting to release the colour version of the film for a long time," said the star, who has recently also wielded the megaphone for his next "Chargesheet".

"Hum Dono" was the last black and white offering from Navketan Films that has produced cult films like "Baazi", "Guide", "Prem Pujari", "Tere Ghar Ke Saame" and "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" to name a few.

The outing is also remembered for its still hummed songs like "Mai zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya" and "Abhi na jaao chhodkar".

The coloured version of the film has been created by incorporating state of the art advanced technology in the US and is in anamorphic lens series CinemaScope with Dolby Digital Ex surround sound.
source:agency
Tags : Dev Anand's classic, Hum Dono film in coloured version in India, coloured version of Hum Dono

Indian banks are well capitalised :Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Duvvuri Subbarao

Mumbai: Indian banks are well capitalised and can comfortably adjust to the latest international regulatory framework Basel III, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said today.

"Our assessment is that at the aggregate level Indian banks will not have any problem in adjusting to the new capital rules both in terms of quantum and quality," Subbarao said at the Bankers Conference (Bancon 2010) here.

He said Indian banks would not be affected by the new norms as they are comfortably placed on all the parameters of the capital requirements both in terms of quality and quantum.

"Indian banks are comfortably placed in terms of compliance with the new capital rules," Subbarao said in his inaugural address at the two-day conference organised by the RBI.

He pointed out that aggregate capital to risk-weighted assets ratio of Indian banking system stood at 11.7 percent as on June 30, 2010, against the Basel III requirement of 10.5 percent.

Tier-I capital of Indian banks constitute 9 percent against Basel III requirement of 8.5 percent and common equity capital stood at 7.4 percent of Indian banks at the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal against Basel III requirement of 7 percent.

RBI governor said banks would review their Basel III compliance position after publication of the final Basel III rules by the end of this year.

The new international regulatory framework for banks called Basel III was announced in September 2010.

The framework is aimed to prevent any repeat of the international financial crisis. Under the new framework banks are required to hold top-quality capital of at least 7 percent of their risk-wearing assets, up from just two percent required under the current Basel II norms.

Subbarao said a few individual banks in India may fall short of the Basel III norms and will have to augment their capital in a bid to become compliant with the new framework.

"As the phase-in time allowed is long enough, these banks should be able to make a comfortable adjustment to the enhanced requirement," he added.
source:agency
Tags : India Business News, India Banking News, Indian Banks, Basel III

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) showcase Kerala IT to investors

Thiruvananthapuram: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will showcase Kerala to prospective investors at the second edition of the India ICT Summit in Kochi Dec 14-15.

"The highlight of the meeting is a session where the Consul Generals from Germany, the USA, Canada, Singapore, and the deputy high commissioner, UK, will be taking part in a special session. Whenever a foreign company decides to invest it first gets in touch with its embassies and even today the perception that Kerala is not fit for investment is there, even though the reality is otherwise. We wish to change the perception and this session with these diplomats would be highly productive," India ICT Summit chairman and IBS Software Services head V.K. Mathews told reporters here today.

The theme of the event is Changing Role of India-Partnering for Transformation. Close to 400 guests will take part in the meeting.

"The guests would include top officials of various IT companies, leading politicians, youth and student leaders from political parties, academics besides trade associations. As many as 25 eminent speakers from the country and abroad would be speaking at the various sessions," said Mathews.

The speakers include Infosys CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan, HCL chairman Ajai Chowdhry, Qantas Airlines CIO David Hall, TUIfly U.K. CIO Eddie Marsden Jones, among others.
source:agency
Tags : India Business News, India IT Industry News, Kerala News, Confederation of Indian Industry, India ICT Summit in Kochi, India ICT Summit Second Edition

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India rules out compensation for mobile number portability

New Delhi: The telecom regulator today dismissed mobile companies' contention that they should be paid for allowing subscribers to shift from one network to another using mobile number portability.

In an order issued late today, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also reprimanded companies for charging high cost for sending messages on the short code number 1900 created to enable portability of numbers and asked them to treat such messages on a par with ordinary SMSs.

The authority examined the issues raised by the service providers and noted that the procedure for the mobile number portability (MNP) does not require the operator to carry out any significant work and insofar as switch-over of a subscriber is concerned.

"A subscriber is free to terminate his connection with a service provider at any time - the only requirement being that the subscriber should clear his outstanding dues," the TRAI statement said.

It also directed service providers to treat the SMS sent to short code number 1900 as ordinary SMS for the purpose of charging.

"The rate for such messages shall not exceed the tariff applicable for ordinary SMS under the tariff plan opted by the subscriber," the statement added.

The much talked about mobile number portability was recently launched in Haryana circle and now awaits a nation-wide launch on Jan 20, 2011.

The service allows a customer to change his operator while retaining the same number. A customer has to pay a maximum of Rs.19 to the new operator for porting his number. The minimum stay period for a customer to retain the new operator is three months.

The customers have to send an SMS from their phone to 1900, based on which they get a unique porting code from the existing provider. Thereafter they have to fill a application mentioning the code to the selected new service provider for transferring the number.

"The maximum time for porting would become seven working days except in Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and North East service areas, wherein it would be 15 working days," the TRAI said.
source:agency
Tags : India Business News, India Telecom Industry News,

Dalmia Bharat Enterprises to set up cement mills in Meghalaya, Karnataka

Chennai: Cement company Dalmia Bharat Enterprises Ltd today announced it would set up of two plants in Karnataka and Meghalaya with a combined capacity of five million tonnes per annum at an outlay of Rs.2,500 crore.

"The expansion move is in line with the company's focus on becoming a pan-India player. Looking at the fundamental drivers of the sector, we believe it is good to begin with the capex," said Puneet Dalmia, managing director, Dalmia Bharat Enterprises.

An official of the company said that land has been acquired and funds have been tied up for the project.

The official told the media the project will be funded to the tune of 70 percent by debt but declined to share the lender's details.

She said the project will be under Dalmia Cement Ventures Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dalmia Bharat Enterprises.

The group through Avnija Properties holds cement plants in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh with a total capacity of nine million tonnes per annum.

The group had earlier announced that it had licence to set up cement mills in Belgaum and Gulburga in Karnataka.

Last year the group had started marketing its cement in Karnakata from its Andhra Pradesh plant.
source:agency
Tags : India Business News, India Cement Industry News, Dalmia Bharat Enterprises Ltd Cement Plant in Karnataka, Dalmia Bharat Enterprises Ltd Cement Plant in Meghalaya

Mahendra Singh Dhoni signed one of the largest single endorsement deals ,Rs.26 crore !

New Delhi: Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni signed one of the largest single endorsement deals with the liquor to airlines conglomerate, the UB Group, valued at approximately Rs.26 crore for three years, according to a person privy to the deal.

The deal puts the Indian captain in the select league of top Bollywood stars such as Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan who charge anywhere near Rs.6 crore to Rs.8 crore per product's endorsements in a year.

A official with the talent management firm Rhiti Sports Management, through which the deal was struck, told the media: "Yes, Dhoni has entered into a deal with the UB Group and is now in the exclusive league of stars like Shah Rukh and Aamir."

According to the official, the Indian cricket captain will endorse the company's McDowell soda.

"Right now, Dhoni is one of the most sought-after persons for endorsements, which is majorly due to the fact that the Indian team has been performing very well," the official added.

Earlier, Dhoni's most expensive deal was signed at a price of Rs.6 crore per year with Reebok, which comes down to Rs.30 crore for a 5-year period.

Currently, he is associated with 22 brands -- among them beverages and snacks major PepsiCo, reality company Amrapali, telecom operator Aircel and retail chain Big Bazaar.
source:agency
Tags : India Sports News, India Cricket News, Mahendra Singh Dhoni Endorsement Deals, Mahendra Singh Dhoni UB Group Deal

Indians were torn between "slum India and scam India":Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ,Art of Living (AoL) Founder

Bangalore: Spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living (AoL) Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said today that Indians were torn between "slum India and scam India" and urged NGOs to join the effort to root out corruption in the country.

""We are torn between slum India and scam India. We need to keep our integrity and walk the talk," he said addressing representatives of over 1,000 NGOs at a meeting organised by AoL and Confederation of NGOs for Rural India (CNRI) at his complex on the outskirts of Bangalore.

"NGOs are the bridging gap between the governments and the people and they have a pivotal role to play in rooting out corruption from society," he said.

Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj told the representatives of the need to empower women and save the girl child. "There is also a dire need to bring education to the rural and the remote areas and this is where the NGO'S have to play a major role," he said.

Bhardwaj inaugurated the conference titled 'Fostering Human Values Through Service to Humanity'.

The conference was a platform to all the NGOs across the country to come together, network, share knowledge and develop partnerships with peer groups, regional workers, donor agencies, governmental agencies, scientists, researchers and domain specialists, the AoL said.

The three-day conference will be addressed by leaders in education, health care, environment sustainability, agriculture and self-sustaining economic empowerment.

Around 400 youth leaders of the Art of living who have been actively working at the grass root level in the villages across India are also attending the conference, the AoL said.
source:agency
Tags : Spiritual guru, founder of the Art of Living, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, slum India, scam India, corruption in India

Congress urges Mamata Banerjee to join hands for anti-Left stir

Kolkata: After days of bad blood with the Trinamool Congress, the Congress' West Bengal unit today urged it to join hands to launch a movement against the "state-sponsored terrorism" perpetrated by the ruling Left Front.

"Trinamool is the largest opposition party in the state. We are the second largest. Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee and the Congress should come together to launch a joint protest against the state-sponsored terrorism," Pradesh Congress president Manas Bhunia told media persons here.

He alleged that over 52,000 people have been killed in the state during the 33-year rule of the Left Front. "Of them, 30,000 deaths took place under former chief minister Jyoti Basu and 22,633 under incumbent Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee".

Referring to the death of a student in alleged police firing in Malda, he said: "The government is using the police as a killing machine. The police is hand in glove with gangsters in carrying out the killings."

Bhunia said the Congress has planned a continuous statewide agitation, from January, to protest against the inefficiency of the administration, and involving blockade of administrative offices in the various districts.

To a question on possible seat sharing with the Trinamool in the coming Assembly polls, he said: "All my sitting MLAs (legislators) should get nominated. I will make a strong recommendation in this regard".
source:agency
Tags : Trinamool Congress, Congress' West Bengal unit, state-sponsored terrorism, ruling Left Front

Not embarrassed by any Wikileaks' revelations :Indian officials

New Delhi: Even as Wikileaks continues to release confidential US diplomatic cables, Indian officials today indicated there was nothing in the leaked internal communications made public so far which were any "potential source of embarrassment".

"We are quite confident in terms of discourse with US... nothing which has been disclosed so far has been any potential source of embarrassment," said a senior government official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Since Nov 28, Wikileaks, the whistleblower website, has begun publishing in stages over 250,000 leaked US embassy cables, dating from 1966 to February 2010. These include cables sent by embassies in Delhi and Islamabad, which highlight some of the key diplomatic discussions following the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

It also included an assessment by US' New Delhi embassy on the Indian military doctrine post 26/11 of 'Cold Start, or mulling taking military action against Pakistan, which it described as more of a hypothesis rather than some strategy that the Indian government endorsed actively.

Officials noted there was certainly a lot of interest about the Wikileaks cables in the Indian foreign policy circles.

Before the release of the cables, and in the subsequent dates, US officials have been in touch with their counterparts in the Ministry of External Affairs.

"Wikileaks is hugely embarrassing for US. They have in their conversations expressed how unhappy and regretful they are that this has happened," said an official.

But it was pointed out that even if there was anything adverse in the leaked mails, it will not still affect the strong relationship between India and US. "We are at a stage where there is a maturity in our relations with US," said the sources.

The latest cable published is that of a conversation between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and US special representative on Afghanistan-Pakistan Richard Holbrooke in January this year.

But more revealing information has come from the Islamabad embassy, throwing light on critical discussions related to Afghanistan, military operations against extremists and relations with India post 26/11.

However, officials were also aware that only a small part of the leaked documents have been made public so far. "Let's see how the situation shapes up in the next few days," the source said.
source:agency
Tags : Burning News of India, WikiLeaks, WikiLeaks Release, US Diplomatic Cables, India US Communications

2G Scam:Subramanian Swamy meets Manmohan Singh,says he will file case against A. Raja

New Delhi: Janata Party leader and complainant in the 2G spectrum case Subramanian Swamy today had a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and said later he will file a criminal case against former telecom minister A. Raja next week.

"The Supreme Court has approved my contentions in the case against Raja. I will be filing a criminal case against Raja next week," Swamy told the media after he met Manmohan Singh at a function in the Parliament House.

"I and Manmohan Singh are old friends. We know each other for four decades. So, you should not be so surprised that we met," he added.

"I had been a commerce minister and he had been a finance minister at the centre. However, in the recent past, I had been involved in teaching abroad," he added.

Expressing hope that the guilty in the 2G spectrum scandal will be punished, Swamy said that the prime minister's instructions were not being followed in the matter.

"Manmohan Singh may be an economist, but he is not an expert on legal matters. I raised several crucial questions in the case," he said.

Asked whether he was back at the centre-stage of Indian politics, Swamy said: "I had been always at the centre-stage. Only difference was I was away for some time on academic work." Swamy was a professor at Harvard,US.

What will be the impact of his case on the political scene in Tamil Nadu, where polls are due in May?

"Our party (JP) will contest the polls and raise the issue of corruption by Raja and other Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leaders," Swamy said.

Will his party have an alliance with the AIADMK - the major rival of the DMK? "That you will have to ask J. Jayalalithaa (AIADMK supremo)," Swamy responded to the media.

Swamy's public interest litigation in the Supreme Court seeking permission for criminal prosecution of the then telecom minister A. Raja has created an upheaval in the political and legal circles. Raja resigned on Nov 7, ahead of parliament's winter session.

However, parliament continued to be adjourned for the 16th day today, as the opposition has been demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the spectrum scandal.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), in its report tabled in parliament on Nov 16, said that the faulty spectrum allotment had caused huge losses to the public exchequer amounting to thousands of crores rupees.
source:agency
Tags : Burning News of India, 2G Spectrum Scam, Complainant in 2G Spectrum Case, Subramanian Swamy Meeting with Manmohan Singh, Criminal Case against A Raja

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel rejects airlines proposal for hike in air fares

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel today rejected a proposal for a massive hike in their fares by the domestic airlines.

"The airlines did come back with some kind of answer (on air fares), the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) is certainly not satified with the answer provided by most of the airlines," Patel said while referring to the proposal sent by the airline industry to the aviation watchdog.

He said the DGCA would like to know from the airlines in a more transparent and definitive way the issue of air fares being charged to passengers.

According to him, the DGCA was not a price determining agency but at the same time it could not remain a helpless body.

"We are not a fare determining body or authority but we are also not a helpless regulatory authority, therefore we would like to strike a fine balance," Patel added.

Patel's comments come as the airline industry, which was served notice by the DGCA on air fares, submitted a proposal which determined prices based on the distance travelled between destinations.

"We have submitted a proposal to the DGCA regarding the prices on various routes on slabs which are based on distances of the destinations," an official with a leading low cost carrier (LCC) told the media.

According to him, the airlines have proposed price bands on four distance-based slabs, which include distances like up to 750 km, 750-1,000 km, 1,000-1,400 km and over 1,400 km.

The new proposed fares for distances up to 750 km on a LCC were set at Rs.2,200, while the maximum fare on a full service carrier (FSC) was put at Rs.13,000.

For distances between 750-1,000 km the minimum ticket price is mooted at Rs.3,000 (LCC) - Rs 20,000 (FSC); between 1,000-1,400 km: Rs.4,000 (LCC) - Rs.25,000 (FSC); and over 1,400 km: Rs.5,000 (LCC) - Rs.40,000 (FSC).

Earlier, the DGCA had issued notices to several airlines on ticket prices, and their replies were expected by Dec 1.

"We are working on a transparency plan on the prices so that the passengers could be made aware of them. Aware passengers are the best regulation," Director General of Civil Aviation Dr. Nasim Zaidi said here.

The aviation regulator also established a Tariff Analysis Unit to keep a watch on the fare levels on a route-wise basis across airlines on a regular basis.
source:agency
Tags : Burning News of India, Airlines Fee Hike, Proposal for Hike in Airlines Fares, Domestic Airlines

Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey-one of the precious movie on nationalism

Mumbai: There's ongoing sense of serenity compounded by a feeling of sincerity and transparency in the cinema of Ashutosh Gowariker. This filmmaker never hides life's most essential truth in cinematic subterfuge. Rather, Gowariker goes the other way.

He strips the emotional content of cinema of its accessories and trappings and leaves the screen with just that right amount of drama that does complete justice to the characters without making them a casualty of excessive creative freedom.

Celebrate the creative freedom of a fearless and honest cinema. "Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey" is an inherently dramatic story about a large group of young people who fought an unknown chapter in India's freedom movement, told on screen with a minimum amount of flag-waving bravura.

The source material, Manini Chatterjee's novel, is open to an acutely pompous and self-important treatment. But when has Gowariker's cinema ever been a prey to pomposity?

If he can make Akbar's court look so cool, casual and muted in spite of its inbuilt flamboyancy, the super-committed sepoys of self-government in the film are not capable of even a second of verbal or visual overstatement.

Going to a world that is strongly redolent of historic ramifications, Gowariker pulls the real-life material out of the textbook and transforms it into an eminently engaging story about anti-colonialism. This is certainly not Gowariker's first visit into Colonial India. Who can forget the director's neo-classic "Lagaan" where one villager gathered a whole team of ragged villagers to beat the Brits at their own game.

The film is not as playful, lyrical and lush as "Lagaan". This time Gowariker tells his story with brutal straightforwardness, a quality that is a hallmark of this exceptional director's cinema, here more prominently on display than in any of his earlier works.

The epic satire of "Lagaan", the grandiosity of "Jodhaa-Akbar" and the transparent nationalism of "Swades" peep out of Gowariker's latest work in measured doses, though never in a way that suggests any calculated attempt to create a pre-given ambience.

The setting, Chittagong in Bengal in the 1930s, is created with a fluency, virility and scrupulousness that make us believe in the characters and their mission from the word go. Watching out for those sleeping-dogs of over-statement, the narrative moves across a an artless criss-cross of patriotic plotting without tripping over in anxiety and nervousness.

A sense of calm camaraderie prevails even during moments of unsettling bloodshed. This is no one-day mataram. The patriotic zeal never felt more tranquil before. This is history without hysteria. In the film, each one of 70-odd characters seems born into his or her respective parts.

Much of supporting cast does what it is expected to. It supports the drama and the tension with restrain and skill. Standing tall in the supporting cast is Sikandar Kher expressing indignance and ire without going over-the-top. Deepika Padukone sheds her pouty movie-siren's image confidently. She gets unexpected competition from debutante Vishakha Singh who seems to get under the skin of her character.

But the film finally 'belongs' to Abhishek Bachchan in the way that films become the property of actors who own characters not for a display of histrionic vanity but because they grasp instinctively the world which the character inhabits.

Abhishek's empathy with his character is complete and unimpeachable. As Surjya Sen, he conveys a muffled but obstinate idealism. Abhishek's eyes become his window to a world where pain governs the journey to a greater glory.

Just as it's impossible to imagine Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Black" and "Guzaarish" without Amitabh Bachchan and Hrithik Roshan, or Gowariker's "Swades" without Shah Rukh Khan, what, we wonder, would Surjya Sen be if Abhishek had not played him with such quelled anger, dignity and grace?

Or for that matter where in our cinema today would history find a place if Gawariker was not committed to making compelling films on the indelible relationship between the present and the past?

On the technical front, Kiran Deohans' cinematography and Nitin Desai's art direction are subtle delicate but evocative. Sohail Sen's music fits in like a glove with the film's theme and mood of restrained revolution.

Don't expect the bombastic patriotism of Manoj Kumar's "Kranti" or the tax-exemptible desperate nobility of "Gandhi - My Father". The effectiveness of Gowariker's drama is drawn from the director's determination to keep his drama denuded of exhibitionism.

"Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey" is the kind of rare and precious cinema on the theme of idealism, nobility and nationalism that is being progressively pushed out of our cinema by crass boorish comedies. It must be seen not because it retrieves a forgotten chapter from our history, but simply because it's a story so well told you forget it's a true story.

The truth of the moment in the cinema of Gowariker is the only truth that matters for the audience. The rest is history.
source:agency
Tags : Entertainment News, Bollywood celebrities, Bollywood films

Jay Bhanushali admires Bollywood star Salman Khan for his style

New Delhi: Television actor Jay Bhanushali admires Bollywood star Salman Khan for his style of anchoring and follows Aamir Khan's when it comes to taking up new assignments.

"I am a big fan of Salman bhai. He's the one whom I look up to for inspiration. He's great. What I really like about him is that when he's hosting a show, he's just like a common man. He does everything like a common man and this what connects him to the audiences," Jay told media.

Salman is currently hosting the fourth season of reality show "Bigg Boss".

"I also try incorporate that aspect in my anchoring. I like his casual attitude. Moreover, when I started my career, I wanted to be like Salman Khan," said Jay who will be seen as a host of "Dance India Dance Doubles". He was here for the auditions of the Zee TV's upcoming reality show.

The actor made his television debut with Ekta Kapoor's "Kayamath" and later participated in the reality show "Jhalak Dikhala Ja". He has hosted two seasons of "Dance India Dance".

Jay recently played a small part in Star One's show "Geet....Hui Sab Se Parayi" and hosted Imagine TV's "Meethi Choori No.1".

The 26-year-old actor admits he is very choosy about his work and tries to follow Aamir's work ethics.

"I like what Aamir Khan does. I wouldn't take up any show for the sake of just appearing on TV. I am very choosy about my work. I don't want my fans to get bored of me. I always see to it that if I am coming with something it should be different," he said.

"Rather than being a part of a flop show, I would prefer to stay away from the small screen for some time. The tag of a flop show hurts a lot. I have reached where I am today after a lot of struggle and hard work. I have miles to go with the same struggle and passion towards work," he added.

It is often seen that the lead actors of any particular show fade out once their show ends. Actors like Smriti Z. Irani, Cezanne Khan and Sakshi Tanwar are some of the examples.

But Jay disagrees.

"It depends. It is true that when you are constantly seen on television, you get over-exposed. But its up to you how to maintain your image and keep succeeding. Actors like Ronit Roy are still very active on small screen," he said.
source:agency
Tags : Entertainment News, Bollywood celebrities, Bollywood films

Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) is organising 2days Malayalam Film Festival

New Delhi: Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) is organising two-day Malayalam Film Festival starting on Monday here.

Held in collaboration with Smriti, a cultural association of JMI students from Kerala, the festival will screen movies on the campus from 12 noon to six in the evening.

"The vision behind the film festival is to familiarise the students' community with the art and cinema coming out of Kerala. In the past too, the JMI had organised film festivals and other such events," an official of JMI said.
source:agency
Tags : India Entertainment News, Jamia Millia Islamia, Malayalam Film Festival

Russia knew the World Cup bid results 24 hours before:British media

London: The World Cup bidding process in Zurich, the headquarters of FIFA, on Thursday night is now branded as a fix as it emerged that Russia knew the result 24 hours before it was announced.

Russia won the rights for the 2018 World Cup while Qatar was chosen for 2022, becoming the third Asian country to host the tournament.

British tabloid The Sun reported that Russia bid chief executive Alexey Sorokin was so confident he boldly told the England team in Zurich on Wednesday his country had enough votes in the bag.

"Sorokin clearly knew Russia had enough votes and he told the English that," the daily quoted a source close to bidding process as saying.

For the 2018 bidding process, England went out in round one with two votes while Russia eased home in round two with 13 votes.

The daily reported that Sorokin's boast came on the back of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proclaiming he would not attend the event because of 'unscrupulous competition'.

England 2018 chief executive, Andy Anson, was also angry.

"We thought we had at least six votes, maybe seven or eight. David Dein, myself, David Cameron, David Beckham and Prince William were looking people in the eye and were asking for their vote and being told 'Yeah'. I don't think people like us," he said.
source:agency
Tags : World Cup Bidding Process, World Cup Bidding in Zurich, FIFA Headquarters

M.S. Gill promised the athletes continued support till the 2012 London Olympics

New Delhi: Delighted at the encouraging performance of the Indian athletes in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, sports minister M.S. Gill today promised the athletes continued support till the 2012 London Olympics.

The sports ministry shelled out a whopping Rs.678 crore for the athletes' preparations for the Commonwealth Games in October here, where India cornered 101 medals, including 38 gold, to finish second in the medals tally for the first time.

A month later, Indian athletes registered their best performance in the Asian Games too with 13 gold.

"I took the office on April 5, 2008, and soon after I went to the prime minister and asked for more money for the athletes' coaching. At that time, the budget was Rs.40 crore or even less. By mid-July and August, the government increased this to Rs.678 crore. Twenty crore were spent on the foreign coaches. The government made a long jump in their support and I want to thank it and the Sports Authority of India (SAI)," Gill said at a function organised by the industry lobby FICCI.

"We carried the same scale to the Asian Games, carrying the same coaches and same level of training and our athletes responded by doing exceptionally well. We now can't let the support again dip to Rs,40 crore, and I would be going to the cabinet and the prime minister to extend the same support or even more for the London Olympics, which is just a year and half away."

Gill was particularly pleased with the country's performance in the Asian Games athletics event, where India notched up five gold medals.

"The Indian athletes did exceptionally well in the Commonwealth Games and followed up their performance in the Asian Games. I am very happy with the performance in athletics in the Asian Games as it is the event I focus on," he said.

"Ashwini Chidananda and Joseph Abraham did a great job by winning gold in the 400m hurdles, it's one hell of a race. Again in the 400m women's relay we won the gold and it is a great achievement. Mandeep Kaur, who is from my village, held her own in a great finish. We won a medal even in gymnastics, where we stand nowhere currently, and the win has certainly opened the door for better sports development."
source:agency
Tags : India Sports News, Indian Athletes in Commonwealth Games, Indian Athletes in Asian Games, Indian Athletes in 2012 London Olympics

Gautam Gambhir warned his teammates of complacency

Vadodara: India are eyeing a series win here today, but captain Gautam Gambhir warned his teammates of complacency ahead of the third One-day International against New Zealand.

India have taken a 2-0 lead in the five-match series, but Gambhir fears that complacency might affect his team in the third ODI that would played here at the Reliance Stadium.

On the eve of the match here Friday, Gambhir said: "I believe that players need to be wary from becoming complacent. We are going to see it now as three-match series. In ODIs New Zealand are a dangerous side and tomorrow we will see an interesting contest."

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori hoped that his star batsman Brendon McCullum would be available for the match. The aggressive opener missed the first two ODIs due to a back pain, but batted at the nets today.

"Brendan is improving all the time. He is doing some keeping now. We hope he can play tomorrow," said Vettori.

Gambhir also asked his teammates not to think about the tour of South Africa that starts later this month.

"I am not thinking about South Africa. My focus is on the series at hand and tomorrow's match. I have been given a responsibility to captain the team and only after completing it I would think about South Africa tour," Gambhir said. "I will fully utilise the time I will get after reaching there to acclimatise to the conditions," he added.

Gambhir was also happy with the return of pace spearhead Zaheer Khan in the side.

"Any captain would love to have Zaheer back in the team. Any bowling he does in this series now will be very useful to him before the South Africa series," said Gambhir.

Vettori, making plain that the team was pinning hopes on McCullum, said: "Balancing the team is always difficult when Brendan offers so much with his keeping and opening the innings."

"We may even look at him batting down the order depending on his fitness so that his workload is not that high, but in the future we want him to keep and open the batting."

Vettori said the team wants to win the match and keep the series alive.

"We are really desperate to win this match. We have to improve on a lot of things. They (India) are playing exceptionally well. They are one of the form teams in the world," he said.
source:agency
Tags : India Sports News, India Cricket News, India New Zealand Series, India New Zealand One Day Series

Ace archer Deepika Kumari feels India need a foreign coach

New Delhi: Ace archer Deepika Kumari feels India need a foreign coach besides regular overseas trips to have a realistic chance of winning medals at London 2012 Olympics.

Deepika, who won the bronze in women's team recurve event at the Asian Games and a gold in the Delhi Commonwealth Games, said wind conditions matter a lot in archery and it would be ideal for the team to train in different conditions.

"It would help us a lot if we get to train in London for six-seven months before Olympics. All competitive archers have the same equipment but it's the training methods that make the difference," the 17-year-old told the media on the sidelines of a feliciation programme by the industry lobby FICCI.

"I would also like the domestic training camp to be shifted from Kolkata to Pune, which has a more pleasant weather. We, however, have not been informed about the upcoming training camps so far."

Deepika also felt the team needs a foreign coach for Olympics preparations.

"A South Korean coach would come handy in the Olympics preparations since the country has been dominating the sport for many years. The Indian coaches have been of a great help but a foreign hand is required for excelling in tougher events."

Deepika also hoped for a proper diet for archers to compliment the training program.

The Ranchi girl did not hesitate one bit to rate her Asian Games team bronze higher than the Commonwealth Games gold. Deepika missed out on a bronze in the individual event after losing play-off for the third-fourth place.

"Competing against world's best archers and winning a medal was more satisfying," she said. The team narrowly lost to defending champions South Korea in the semi-finals before winning a cliffhanger against the formidable Chinese Taipei.

"Before the London event, my aim is to win a medal in the World Championships in June next year," she said.
source:agency
Tags : India Sports News, Olympics News, India at London 2012 Olympics, Deepika Kumari at London 2012 Olympics

I was not arrested in India claimed United National Liberation Front (UNLF) Chairman

Guwahati: Chairman of the outlawed United National Liberation Front (UNLF) Rajkumar Meghen of Manipur today claimed he was not arrested in India but was handed over to Indian authorities after being 'kidnapped' in Bangladesh on Sep 29.

"I was not arrested here but kidnapped by the Bangladesh police on Sep 29 (2010) and then handed over to India," the 63-year-old Meghen told the media outside the premises of a local court in Assam's main city of Guwahati.

The court today had sent the separatist leader from the northeastern state of Manipur to 13 days reman with the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The NIA said Meghen was arrested on Tuesday from near Motihari in Bihar's East Champaran district when the rebel leader was trying to cross over to Nepal.

"This is absolutely false. I was kidnapped in Bangladesh on Sep 29," Meghen said.

Meghen rejected any offers for peace talks with New Delhi.

"There is absolutely no question of holding talks with the government until and unless there is a plebiscite held in Manipur on our demands," the UNLF chairman said.

The UNLF is the most influential of the nearly 19 odd rebel armies in Manipur with the outfit since its inception in 1964 fighting for an independent homeland for the majority Metei community in a state of 2.4 million people.

The nearly six feet tall Meghen was sought by Interpol with red corner notices served against him with criminal charges ranging from murder to kidnappings and robberies.

Dhaka had handed over at least 20 top northeast militant leaders and their families to India after capturing them in Bangladesh.

Interestingly, Meghen found a friend in Ranjan Daimary, chairman of the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), inside the same court - the jailed NDFB chief was also brought to the same courtroom in connection with a case.

The two separatist leaders exchanged pleasantries and both were heard talking and wishing each other all the best in their respective fight for independence.

"I wish you all the best," Daimary was heard telling Meghen as the two leaders crossed each other while entering the courtroom.
source:agency
Tags : Burning News of India, United National Liberation Front of Manipur, Rajkumar Meghen Arrested in India, Rajkumar Meghen Arrested in Bangladesh

World Disability Day-request for legal acknowledgment of sign language

New Delhi: With the celebration of the World Disability Day, the request for legal acknowledgment of sign language in the country was placed by the hearing impaired citizens of India.

Many differently-abled people gathered in front of the India Gate today to commemorate the World Disability Day. The need to endorse sign language in India was ideated months ago by NCPEDP. Today the request was made to union Home Minister P. Chidambaram. The organization said that the home ministry has assured them to look into their appeal.

The National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People, commonly known as NCPEDP, stated that presently, there is no formal training given for comprehending sign language. This is mainly because it is not an approved language in India like Hindi, Urdu or others. If it is gets approval from the government of India, then it will be of great help to the differently-abled people in the country.
source:agency
Tags : India News, approval of sign language, World Disability Day

20101202

Ruchika Girhotra Case:church official says "School principal innocent"

Chandigarh: The principal of the Sacred Heart School, where teenaged molestation victim Ruchika Girhotra studied but was expelled from allegedly at the behest of tainted Haryana cop S.P.S. Rathore, is innocent and no action will be taken against her, a church official said on Thursday. The assertion came even as the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has ordered disciplinary action against Sister Sebastina, the then principal of the school.

"What action are we going to take against her? We are not going to take any action. She is innocent," Father Thomas Anchanikal, vicar general and administrator of the Shimla-Chandigarh diocese which runs the 44-year-old school here, told reporters on Thursday evening.

"Moreover we have not received any communication in this connection from the CBSE so far. Ruchika was not expelled; she herself stopped coming and therefore her name was struck off from the rolls. No child, in the history of our school, has been expelled. There are cases when students are unable to pay fees but no child has been expelled from here till date," he added.

This leading all-girls school of Chandigarh, in an inquiry of Chandigarh administration, of expelling Ruchika on frivolous grounds.

On the basis of the inquiry report, the Chandigarh administration had withdrawn the state award given in 2005 to Sebastina.
source:agency
Tags:Tags : principal of the Sacred Heart School,Ruchika Girhotra, Haryana cop S.P.S. Rathore

Sarkozy's India visit:Nuclear power,Defence will dominate Sarkozy's visit

Paris: Accompanied by as many as seven of his key ministers, French President Nicolas Sarkozy will land in Bangalore on Saturday morning at the start of a packed four-day India visit that is expected to be dominated by the issues of defence, nuclear power, sustainable development and culture and will take him across four cities.

Sarkozy will also be accompanied by a business delegation carrying some of the heavyweights of French industry as well as a large press troupe. His wife, Carla Bruni, will also accompany the president on this visit.

The ministers accompanying Sarkozy are Defence Minister Alain Juppe, Foreign Affairs Minister Michele Alliot Marie, Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, Ecology, Transport and Housing Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, Higher Education and Research Minister Valerie Pecresse, Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire and Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand.

The much-awaited defence acquisition programme of the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force will be high on the agenda of discussions in New Delhi, while Lagarde and other ministers will push for greater business between the two countries in various sectors of the economy.

Sarkozy will kick off his trip on Saturday with a visit to the headquarters of the Indian Space Research Organisation's offices in Bangalore where there will be a presentation on the Indo-French meteorological satellite, Megha-Tropiques.

On Dec 5, Sarkozy is expected to finally visit the Taj Mahal in Agra with wife Carla-Bruni Sarkozy and will reach Delhi in the evening when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hosts a private dinner for the visiting first couple at his residence.

On Dec 6, Sarkozy will hold bilateral discussions with Manmohan Singh at Hyderabad House and the 90-minute talks are expected to end with the signing of several agreements between India and France in various domains. The two will also address a joint press conference and this will be followed by a working lunch.

In the evening, Sarkozy will be received by President Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan after which Sarkozy will attend a reception by the French community of Delhi at the French embassy here.

On Dec 7 morning Sarkozy will leave for Mumbai where he will first visit the Mumbai Police Memorial in memory of the victims of the 2008 terror attacks. He will also address a ceremony being organised at the Oberoi Hotels in Mumbai in the presence of the families of the French victims of the attack and local personalities from Mumbai. On this occasion, Sarkozy will also confer French honours on Devendra Bharma, executive vice-president of the Oberoi, and Karambir Kang, general manager of the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel.

Sarkozy will head to the Taj Mahal hotel to deliver the valedictory address at the Indo-French Business Meet which is expected to be attended by over 300 business leaders from both the sides. Sarkozy will leave for Paris the same afternoon.
source:agency
Tags : French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Sarkozy in Bangalore Sarkozy's India visit, defence, nuclear power, sustainable development and culture

A. Raja was intemperate in his communication to Prime Minister :Apex court

New Delhi: Even as former telecom minister A. Raja told the Supreme Court today that he walked in the footsteps of his predecessors in allocating spectrum to mobile companies, he was pulled up by the court for not being "temperate" in his communication to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. An apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly pulled up Raja for being intemperate when his counsel referred to a letter written by Raja to the prime minister.

In the letter, Raja said that any change in the entry fee and pricing of the spectrum between the existing licence holders and new entrants would be "unfair, discriminatory, arbitrary and capricious" and against the principle of a level playing field.

Referring to his (Raja) command of the English language, the court asked Raja's counsel T.R. Andhyarujina if the former minister was not showing disrespect to the prime minister.

"We don't have any experience on how the government functions. With limited experience as chief justices of high courts we know we act responsibly," the bench noted.

Responding to the court's observations, Andhyarujina said Raja's letter did not show any disrespect to the prime minister but was an answer to Manmohan Singh's Nov 2, 2007, letter.

Speaking for his client, Andhyarujina said: "I may be guilty of various things but I am not guilty of showing disrespect to the prime minister."

Andhyarujina earlier told the court: "I walked in the footsteps of my predecessors and had no clue that I would be indicted for the same by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)."

The minister again came in for censure when court observed: "If Raja seeks the opinion of the law ministry, then he can't skip that opinion and brush it aside as out of context."

The court was referring to a communication by the Department of Telecommunications to law ministry seeking its advice on the procedure to be followed in the allocation of spectrum.

The law ministry in its advice said that the entire matter should be referred to a group of ministers. This advice was disregarded by Raja, saying it was "out of context".

The court was hearing a petition by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation seeking apex court monitoring of the probe into the scam by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The hearing will continue till Tuesday.
source:agency
Tags : former telecom minister A. Raja, Supreme Court, allocating spectrum to mobile companies, A. Raja and Manmohan Singh

One Unique ID (UID) number costs Rs.100:Nandan Nilekani

New Delhi: It costs the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) Rs.100 to generate each "aadhaar" number, which will help address the challenges of inclusion, the authority's chief Nandan Nilekani, said here on Thursday.

It costs the authority Rs.50 to enrol each individual for the Unique ID (UID) and another Rs.50 on back-end costs, he said.

In his address at the annual Rajinder Mathur Memorial Lecture here, Nilekani said that the aadhaar number will help in making public expenditure more equitable and in building new services for the people.

Nilekani, who took questions after speaking of benefits of the UID, said the country needed well-defined privacy laws to prevent any malicious use of data.

Answering queries about the demand by social activists like Aruna Roy and Jean Dreze against linking the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) to the UID, he said that the number should not be used in a way that it denies benefits to anyone.

"Aadhar should not be a basis of discrimination," he said.

The social activists had, in a statement, said plans to link MGNREGA to Aadhaar should be revoked as it "threatens to cause havoc" in the fragile structure of the scheme that provides for 100 days of jobs a year to rural households.

Nilekani said the UID can be sufficient identity to open a bank account or get a mobile phone SIM card. Pointing out that penetration of banks was quite low in rural areas, he said the UID can facilitate extending banking to every village.

The UID number will also be beneficial for people who migrate from one part of the country to the other, he added.

Answering queries about possibility of data being misused, he said that the only service provided by the UIDAI was authentication.

"UID is one part of privacy issue. We need a larger privacy and data protection law," he said.

Nilekani said he wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue in May and the government has come out with an approach paper to elicit the people's viewse.

He said the authority's target was to provide the UID to 600 million Indian residents in the next four years.

The lecture was organized by the Editors Guild of India.
source:agency
Tags : Unique Identification Authority of India, cost of UIDAI, Nandan Nilekani

Blind man could say that bribes were being given and accepted in India:Jagdish Bhagwati

New Delhi: Eminent economist Jagdish Bhagwati said on Thursday that corruption was so rampant in India that even a blind man could say that bribes were being given and accepted.

"It is easy to exaggerate the corruption we have today. In India, public figures are considered to be corrupt unless they prove to you otherwise. A blind man will tell you how he saw 'with his own eyes' a bribe being given and accepted," Bhagwati said while delivering the third Hiren Mukerjee Memorial Annual Parliamentary Lecture in the Central Hall of parliament.

He said institutional reforms can reduce the corruption in the country.

"The abolition of the permit raj has eliminated that important source of corruption. But that also means that we have removed from our system the way in which politicians could raise money for their campaigns which, while not as expensive as in America, are still large enough to matter.

"This means that other forms of corrupt ways of raising political funds have proliferated. We need therefore legal ways to raise campaign finance. Americans have done this; we need to do so as well."

The 76-year-old professor, who was educated at Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, narrated an anecdote here.

"A most distinguished Indian bureaucrat once told me that his mother said to him 'I believe you are not corrupt only because you are my son'."

Bhagwati said India could use science to get at corruption in several areas and praised Nandan Nilekani's project of a national database of identity details of Indian citizens as "the most important innovative reform in recent year".

"This should take the political corruption out of the public distribution system and in the employment guarantee scheme, for instance, and will also reduce bureaucratic corruption by bypassing the low-level bureaucrats who refuse to give you what you need unless you grease their palm."
source:agency
Tags : Eminent economist, Jagdish Bhagwati, corruption in India, Central Hall of parliament

Delhi should be made safe for women:Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said today that Delhi should be made safe for women.

She was reacting to the arrest of two men by Delhi Police for raping a 30-year-old BPO employee after abducting her from Dhaula Kuan on Nov 23.

"I am happy to hear about (the) arrest of the culprits in the Delhi rape case. They should be tried by a fast track court. The government should make Delhi safe for women," she tweeted on the social networking site Twitter.
source:agency
Make Delhi safe for women: Sushma Swaraj

Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA):Chinese movie bags top honour

New Delhi: Chinese film "Tangshan Dadizheng" (Aftershock) won the best feature film award and Chen Daoming, who featured in it was declared the best actor at the fourth annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) held in Gold Coast, Australia.

President for the international jury for APSA 2010, Academy-award winning producer Lord David Puttnam said: "The sheer variety of films and staggeringly good performances made our task very difficult indeed, in every category.

"Ultimately 'Aftershock' won best film because, in my own view, it has everything. It is as good a 'big' movie as any I've seen from Hollywood in years, it is incredibly moving and it ends beautifully," he added.

"Tangshan Dadizheng" is the highest grossing domestic film of all time at the Chinese box office, said a press statement.

Best achievement for directing was given to Lee Chang-dong from Korea for his film "Shi" (Poetry) and the best performance by an actress award went to the star of the film, Yun Jung-hee. The awards were announced on Thursday.

The screen international jury grand prize went to Japanese actress Shinobu Terajima for "Caterpillar" and the best screenplay award which went to Samuel Maoz for Levanon (Lebanon).

Samuel Moaz also won best screenplay award for "Levanon" (Lebanon).

Iranian movie "Digari" (The Other) was awarded best children's feature film; best animated feature film award went to Chinese film "Piercing"; and Chinese-Canadian co-production "The Last Train Home" won best documentary feature film trophy.

Achievement in cinematography was given to Sudhir Palsane for "Vihir" (The Well) from India; Bal (Honey), from Turkey, directed and produced by Semih Kaplanoglu, received the UNESCO award for outstanding contribution to promote and preservae cultural diversity through film.

Christine Hakim, the legendary Indonesian actress turned producer, was received the FIAPF award for outstanding achievement in film.
source:agency
Tags : Chinese film "Tangshan Dadizheng, best feature film award, Chen Daoming, Asia Pacific Screen Awards, APSA Gold Coast in Australia

International Film Festival of India:Rural ascetic brings India riches

Panaji: It took the story of a famed ascetic from West Bengal to wrest back for the country after a decade the International Film Festival of India's Golden Peacock in the form of renowned filmmaker Gautam Ghose's "Moner Manush".

"Moner Manush", an India-Bangladesh co-production which premiered at IFFI, is based on the life of Lalon Fakir or Lalon Shah, a revered rustic fakir, whose poetry and baul songs are considered classics in West Bengal.

Famous Bengali actor-producer Prosenjit Chatterji plays Lalon in the film, which received rave reviews at the fest.

The last time that an Indian film won the Golden Peacock at the IFFI was Kerala filmmaker Jayaraj's "Karunam" in 2000.

Ghose, who received the award from Saif Ali Khan, said that the film was a positive sign as far as cross-country collaboration was concerned.

"It was an Indo-Bangaldesh joint production. The collaboration, where the two countries came together to produce a cinema is a new beginning," Ghose said.

"My film is about tolerance, religion, politics and culture. The film will encourage co-production between India and other and other south Asian countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh; because politically we may be divided but culturally we are the same," said the master director who has directed films like Naseeruddin Shah's "Paar" in the past.

Lauding Lalon Fakir, details of whose exact birth and death are vague, Ghose said while Bengal went through an urban renaissance through thinkers like Rabindranath Tagore, it was fakirs and other mystics like Lalon, who earthy intellect captured and pervaded through the region's rurales.

Based on a novel by Sunil Gangopadhyay, the cast of the film includes Prosenjit Chatterjee, Raisul Islam Asad, Chanchal Chowdhury, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Syed Hasan Imam, Gulshan Ara Champa, Paoli Dam and Shubhra.

Prosenjit said that the biopic on Lalon fakir was receiving rave reviews all over the world and had opened new doors for Bengali cinema.

"'Moner Manush' only proves that regional cinema has the potential for an international audience," he said.
source:agency
Tags : India Entertainment News, India Film Festivals News, Gautam Ghose's "Moner Manush", International Film Festival of India's Golden Peacock

The Indian chemical industry is expected to be worth $200 billion by 2020

Ahmedabad: The Indian chemical industry is expected to be worth $200 billion by 2020, an official said here today.

Ravi Kapoor, chairman Indian Chemical Council (ICC), Gujarat, said that according to a report prepared by Tata Consultancy Services, Gujarat would contribute about $60 billion to the total Indian market in ten years.

"Industrial activity constitutes 21 percent of our GDP, of which 11 percent comes from the chemical industry. Ten percent of our exports account for chemicals and petrochemicals and the industry is a net foreign exchange earner," he added.

"The global chemical industry is estimated at $3.65 trillion, with the lion's share going to Asia at 38 percent, followed by Europe at 29 percent," he said.

He was speaking here at an event on waste management organised under the auspices of Vibrant Gujarat, in association with department of chemicals and petrochemicals and iNDEXTb, a state government body for promoting industry in Gujarat.
source:agency
Tags : India Business News, India Chemicals Industry News, Indian Chemical Industry Worth, Indian Chemical Council Gujarat

Global economy faces a possible risk of double-dip recession :IMF chief

New Delhi: The global economy faces a possible risk of double-dip recession as the recovery is uneven and fragile and most advanced economies are facing high unemployment rates, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief said here today.

"We need to sustain global recovery. It's not done yet. At the IMF we don't believe that double-dip is the most probable forecast, but it is a possible risk and we must avoid it," IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said at a business conference here.

He said a coordinated effort by the G20 leaders has helped bring speedy recovery in the global economy.

"We must avoid any risk of going back to negative growth," Strauss-Kahn said at an interactive session organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

The IMF chief said the world was looking to Asia and especially countries like India and China to play a greater role in global economic affairs.
source:agency
Tags : Global Economy Recovery, Double-Dip Global Recession, Advanced Economies Unemployment Rate

Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup

Zurich: Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup, FIFA's executive committee voted today.

The decision was announced in Zurich by Joseph Blatter, the president of football's world governing body.

Qatar won the vote ahead of Australia, the US, South Korea and Japan.
source:agency
Tags : Qatar 2022 World Cup, FIFA's Executive Committee, FIFA 2022 World Cup

Russia will host the 2018 World Cup

Zurich: Russia will host the 2018 World Cup, it was announced today after it won a vote by FIFA's executive committee.

The decision was announced in Zurich by Joseph Blatter, the president of football's world governing body.

Russia won the vote ahead of rival bidders England, Portugal/Spain and Belgium/Netherlands.
source:agency
Tags : Russia 2018 World Cup, FIFA's Executive Committee, 2018 FIFA World Cup

Wants custom's post to check Bangladeshi ships-Navy

Kolkata: Concerned over the unfettered entry of Bangladeshi vessels into Indian territory through a canal in West Bengal's South 24 Pargans district, the Indian Navy today said it has asked the customs officials to set up a check post in the area.

"Everyday, on an average eight Bangladeshi ships enter India through Behari Khal (canal) and go unchecked about 160 km to Diamond Harbour. We have taken up the matter with the customs authorities," the naval officer-in-charge of West Bengal, Commodore B.A. Thomas, told reporters.

"There are possibilities of outsiders sneaking into Indian territory between Behari Khal and Diamond Harbour in the unchecked ships. There may be some unscrupulous elements among the outsiders. It is definitely a threat to our security," he said.

He said as per navy's suggestion, the state government had been recruiting retired navy and Coast Guard personnel to address the problem of trained manpower for the state's marine police wing.
source:agency
Tags : Bangladeshi vessels into Indian territory, canal in West Bengal's South 24 Pargans district, Indian Navy, customs officials

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes launches social network to improve lives

New York: Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes said on Thursday a new social network known as Jumo intends to connect charity organisations and individuals to improve the lives of people on earth.

"Somehow in 2010, despite huge advancements in technology and millions of people ready and willing to help, there is no network to connect people with the issues and organisations they care about," Hughes said.

Jumo now links 3,500 good-will organisations around the globe, encompassing 200 subject areas ranging from soup kitchens to "health initiatives for Ugandan women."

The firm is backed by the Omidyar Network and the Knight and Ford Foundations.

"This is only the beginning," the 27-year-old said.

Hughes and Mark Zuckerberg founded in 2004 the popular social network Facebook along with other fellow students at Harvard University.
sources:agency
Tags : Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, social network Jumo, charity organisations

Navy chief :Scorpene submarine now on track

New Delhi: Admitting there was a downward trend in its submarine programme, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma today said the gap would be covered when the nation gets six highly advanced French Scorpene vessels being built at a Mumbai shipyard.

"There was a downward trend because of the gap that took place. For 17 years, we didn't commission any indigenous submarine. That is why this gap took place," Verma told reporters ahead of Navy Day to be celebrated Saturday.

But he said the loopholes would be plugged when the Mazgaon Dock Ltd in Mumbai completes the ongoing Project-75 for six French Scorpene submarines that has already suffered almost a three-year delay.

"I think the Scorpene programme is on track. Yes there was some delay at some point of time. Now we are working to get Project-75, which will help us cover the gap," he said.

The Indian Navy is facing a grave shortage of submarines. In another five-six years, more than half of its present fleet of 15 ageing diesel-electric submarines - 10 Russian Kilo-class, four German HDW and one Foxtrot - will become obsolete.

According to Project-75, the vessels were to roll out one per year from 2012 onwards. But that won't happen and the navy now hopes that first submarine will sail in 2015.

Even the project cost escalated beyond the total Rs.20,000 crore as was initially agreed between the Indian defence ministry and the French company DCNS, which is fabricating the submarines.

In any naval war, submarines are believed to game-changers. And if armed with nuclear-tipped missiles, the vessel can be the most effective deterrent in present times.

The US and Russia plan to retain over 60 percent of their nuclear weapons in the shape of submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) fitted on nuclear-powered submarines.

Though India does not have nuclear submarines or SLBM capabilities at present, it hopes to move forward by inducting the Akula-II class attack submarine K-152 Nerpa on a 10-year lease from Russia.

The 8,140-tonne submarine was to be delivered to the Indian Navy by December. But that is unlikely to happen now as the hand-over of the submarine got delayed and it would come only in 2011.
Tags : India Defence News, Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma, French Scorpene vessels

Sarkozy visit to India: France to open consulate in Bangalore

New Delhi: France is set to open a new consulate in Bangalore and re-open its consulate in Kolkata during the four-day visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to India that begins on Saturday.

Valerie Pecresse, the French minister for higher education and research, will on Saturday inaugurate the Bangalore consulate, its fourth in India. The Bangalore consulate will cater to the southern region.

Pecresse, who will be among seven ministers accompanying Sarkozy to India, will fly to Kolkata on Sunday to re-open the consulate there.

France has its embassy in New Delhi and consulates in Mumbai and Pondicherry.

France has upgraded its diplomatic offices and infrastructure in India in view of the burgeoning economic and strategic ties between the two countries.

France has become India's fifth trading partner in Europe. Bilateral trade between India and France was estimated to be 5.36 billion euros last year.

The two countries have set a target of achieving 12 billion euros bilateral trade by 2012.

Accompanied by his wife Carla Bruni and seven senior ministers, Sarkozy begins a four-day working visit to India from IT city Bangalore on Saturday.

The focus of the visit will be on taking strategic and economic ties between the two countries to new heights.
source:agency
Tags : India News, French President Nicolas Sarkozy visit to India, French consulate in Bangalore

Sharmila Tagore ,Soha Ali Khan starrer "Life Goes On" set for North American release

Washington: British Indian director Sangeeta Dutta's new film "Life Goes On" exploring the relations between a grief stricken father and his three daughters is being released in North America on Friday, even before its release in India.

Set in London, the film about an Indian-origin family features veteran Indian actor Sharmila Tagore and her daughter Soha Ali Khan together for the first time. It's being released by Databazaar Media Ventures, an exclusive gateway for Bengali films to North America.

The movie won the Best Feature Film award at the Pravasi International Festival, Delhi and the Best Feature Film, Audience Appreciation Award at the London Asian Film Festival.

"I had been wanting to share filmography with my mother and there had been several offers but none convinced us. Sangeeta's script was very convincing and it seemed almost organic for me to play daughter to my mother in the film," Soha said.

"'Life Goes On' is an original film, it is non-formulaic, and I am so happy that it is getting released now and Databazaar Media Ventures is taking it to the large market in North America even before its release in India.

"It was my first British film and in many ways I am the British-Asian girl Dia. I have been educated in Oxford and the LSE (London School of Economics) and I have also worked in London," said Soha.

"Working with my mother, who is a living legend, was daunting to say the least! For many reasons the film is very personal to me and the work I will always want to own and view whenever I want to," Soha, 32, said.

The cast of the film also includes Girish Karnad and Om Puri.

"This is my first British film and I very much liked the process of working with a British crew, with Om Puri and my daughter Soha for the first time," Sharmila Tagore said.

Oney Seal, chairman of the Databazaar group of companies, said: "'Life Goes On' is our first English language film which is slated for mainstream release all over North America. The Indian diaspora living here will be able to immediately identify with this film."
source:agency
Tags : Entertainment News, Indian films, Film festival