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8 Pages Rs: 1.00 Jammu Edition

STUdenT aGe

JKENG/2012/41612 Vol. 2 No: 56

Rahul Gandhi meets party leaders in Mumbai

Mend your ways, don't widen cracks

British PM Cameron faces 'crisis' after by-election defeat



Petrol prices up by Rs 1.40 per litre
NEW DELHI, MAR 1: Petrol prices have been increased by one rupee 40 paise per litre. The revised rate will come in to effect from midnight tonight. In a statement, Indian Oil Corporation said petrol in Delhi will now cost 70 rupees and 74 paise per litre, while in Mumbai it will be 77 rupees and 66 paise. In Kolkata, the new rates will be 78 rupees and 34 paise and in Chennai, it will contd on page 2

Uproar in J&K Assembly over Afzal Guru's hanging

JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was adjourned on Friday after uproarious scenes over the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demand to discuss Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's hanging. Members of the ruling National Conference (NC), as also the lone Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPIM) member, too joined the demand. The PDP started shouting slogans demanding the adjournment motion. PDP legislators were led by the party president Mehbooba Mufti, who said: "We want an adjournment motion on this important issue." NC leader Nasir Aslam Wani, along with veteran CPI-M leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, too joined the demand. Despite Speaker Mubarak Gul's attempt to bring order, the opposition continued to disrupt the proceedings. The speaker then adjourned the house for one hour. The PDP tabled its demand on Thursday, the first day of the budget session. The PDP said: "It is the failure and inability of the state government to protect rights of the citizen of Jammu and Kashmir - Mohammad Afzal Guru, who was hanged by depriving him of his proper legal rights." "Why was Afzal Guru, who was at serial number 28 in the queue of those facing death sentence, picked up and sent to the gallows without giving an opportunity to approach the Supreme Court," the party asked. "After rejection of the mercy petition of Afzal Guru, he contd on page 2

BJP rejects Shinde's statement, calls it SHO report

NEW DELHI: The Congress and BJP are caught in another war over alleged attempts to access BJP leader Arun Jaitley's phone records. While the Congress has blamed it on BJP infighting, the BJP has said it couldn't have happened without the government's co-operation. Attempts had been made to access Arun Jaitley's phone records but no information had been obtained, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde

Jaitley's call data records not disclosed: Shinde


Shamima Firdous appointed as JKSCW Chairperson

said Friday in reference to allegations that the opposition leader's phones had been tapped. "This was not the case of phone tapping. The Delhi Police has made some arrests, they said we came to

know some person sought to know call record data of Arun Jaitley... The call data records were not disclosed," Shinde told Rajya Sabha. He also informed the house that four arrests contd on page 2

Seats in universities and colleges across India reserved for J&K students
SRINAGAR, MARCH 01: The Ministry of Human Resource Development is implementing a special scholarship scheme for students from Jammu and Kashmir. In the Inter-Ministerial Committee meeting, it was decided that students who do not get routine admissions in colleges and institutes, will be given admission under super numeracy quota. In reply to a question by National Conference Member Parliament G. N. Ratanpuri, the minister of Human Resource Development told Rajya Sabha, that accordingly, the University Grants Commission has approved two seats under supernumerary quota in all recognized universities and institutions across the country. Directions have been issued and the seats are expected to be available from May this year. In reply to another question by G. N. Ratanpuri, the Minister assured that disbursement of scholarships to 5008 students, who are studying in different institution across the country, under PM's special scholarship scheme are under process and avoid delays applications will be received on-line. In a separate contd on page 2

Over 4,000 killed in road accidents in last 4 years in J&K

JAMMU: Over 4,000 people lost their lives in as many as 25,495 road accidents in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir in the past four years, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told the state Assembly on Friday. In a written reply to a question by CPI(M) member M Y Tarigami, Abdullah said around 36,960 people sustained injuries in these accidents. The maximum number of 2401 mishaps were reported from erstwhile Doda district in which 823 persons lost their lives, he said, adding contd on page 2

Budget sparks confusion over treatment of some foreign funds

NEW DELHI,MAR 1:A day after worries over some budget proposals, notably on tax on capital gains made from investments routed through Mauritius and similar tax havens, doubts still remained, causing nervousness in the markets. "Some tax avoidance arrangements have come to notice and I propose to plug the loophole. Some unlisted companies have avoided dividend distribution tax by arrangements involving buyback of shares," Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had said in his budget speech. According to analysts, this was one of the main reasons why the markets dipped Thursday, as the fine print of the budget said foreign funds can no longer escape the tax net by merely producing a tax residency certificate from countries like Mauritius. "The certificate of being resident in a specified territory outside India shall be necessary but not a sufficient condition for claiming any relief under the agreement referred to therein," said an amendment proposed in the Finance Bill. This led the sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange to sink 290 points. Later, after the markets closed, clarifications started pouring in from the government. "If there is an apprehension that even if you give a tax residency certificate, the tax officer will not accept that, it is not correct," a top finance ministry official said. Even the finance minister assured during his postbudget press conference that if the language of the amendment proposed by the Finance Bill sought to give that impression, the same would be changed. "The finance minister, post budget, explained that the substance of the amendment was that not only residency contd on page 2

'India among top ten atomic countries of the world'

ALIGARH, MARCH 1 : The development and security of the nation are two sides of the same coin and India has achieved its rank among the top atomic countries on its own, says S. Kailas, director, physics division of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Mumbai. Addressing at the National Science Day programme in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) here Thursday to honour Nobel Laureate, Sir C.V. Raman for the discovery of Raman Effect, Kailas said the shortage of energy resources is a major challenge and India would need to generate nuclear contd on page 2

JAMMU, MARCH 01: The government has appointed MLA, Shamima Firdous, as Chairperson of Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Women with the status of a Minister of State.

Secretary tables assented Bills in LA

JAMMU: Secretary, Legislative Assembly, Mr. Mohammad Ramzan today laid on the table of the House three Bills assented to by the Governor. The Bills which have received the assent of the Governor are ''The Jammu and Kashmir Development Protection contd on page 2

Saturdays to remain off days for LA

JAMMU: According to Secretary, Legislative Assembly, Mohammad Ramzan, pursuant to the consent given by the members of the Business Advisory Committee, all Saturdays will contd on page 2

Separatist shutdown affects life in Kashmir Valley

SRINAGAR: Normal life in Kashmir was affected on Friday due to a strike called by a group of separatists in the Valley, demanding return of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru's body to his family. Shops, banks, petrol pumps and other business establishments remained closed due to the strike called by Majlis Mashawarat (Consultation Committee), of the separatist group. While most public transport remained off roads, cabs and autorickshaws were plying on the roads as usual. Although schools and colleges in Kashmir open on March 1 every year after three months of winter vacations, the authorities have already extended the vacations till March 11. The Majlis, which has both factions of Hurriyat contd on page 2

CM's Private Office receives 105 deputations, 876 individuals in Feb 2013
SRINAGAR, MARCH 01: Chief Minister's Private Office at Srinagar received as many as 105 deputations and 876 individuals from different parts of Valley during the month of February, 2013 who projected their demands about ensuring the availability of essentials in their respective areas. The demands were subsequently forwarded to concerned departments for their redressal. The major problems and issues projected by general public were concerned with the erratic power supply, restoration of transmission lines, shortage of Kerosene oil, dilapidated condition of roads and lanes, expediting the works presently going on for proper drainage system, extreme poverty cases, speedy contd on page 2

President Mukherjee to visit Bangladesh on March 3-5

NEW DELHI : President Pranab Mukherjee is visiting Bangladesh March 3-5 in a trip that is expected to take bilateral relations between the two neighbours to new heights. Mukherjee, in his first trip abroad after assuming presidency, will be accompanied by Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and four MPs. His wife Suvra Mukherjee will also accompany him. The visit comes as Bangladesh is witnessing youngsters celebrating the death sentence for the war crimes and supporters of the convicted Jamaat-e-Islami chief Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, have left over 40 people dead since Thursday. To a question on the security situation ahead of the president's visit, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said: "The overall security situation in Bangladesh is completely calm..." "We have done a lot of preparations for the visit... advance teams have gone to Bangladesh to prepare for the visit. The overall situation has been carefully examined, and it would be appropriate to carry out the visit." On the "unresolved issues" between the two countries -- inking of the Teesta water sharing agreement and implementing the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement, Mathai said the president's visit "is not designed to engage in political negotiations..." "We are conscious of the need contd on page 2

Attention candidates of Combined Competitive (Main) Examination 2012

SRINAGAR: According to Secretary and COE, J&K Public Service Commission, the Admit Cards/Roll Number slips issued by the J&K Public Service Commission to the appearing candidates of Combined Competitive (Main) Examination, 2012 shall be treated contd on page 2

massive clashes after a top Islamist opposition leader was sentenced to death for his role in atrocities, including rape and killings, during the 1971 Freedom War. The clashes, between

Committee constituted to examine New govts in Meghalaya & Tripura to be sworn in feasibility for new Colleges: Lone on Wed, NPF set to take over reins in Nagaland
JAMMU: The Minister for Higher for Higher Education Mr. Mohammad Akbar Lone informed the House that the Committee of Departmental Officers has been constituted by the Higher Education Department to enquire the development of cracks in the building of Government Degree College R. S. Pura. The Minister was replying to a question by Mr. B. R. Kundal. He further informed the House that the departmental committee has recommended that an independent team of technical experts be constituted to suggest further course of action in the matter and accordingly a technical team of independent officers is likely to be constituted shortly which shall visit the college and suggest future course of action in the matter. Replying to another question by Mr. Bashir Ahmad Magray, the Minister said that there is no specific proposal for establishment of a Degree College in village Litter. He said that at present four Government Degree College are already functioning in district Pulwama, besides one college at Bijbehara is already functioning in the vicinity of Litter village. The Minister further informed the House that the Higher Education Department has constituted a committee to look into the feasibility/ other parameters and to devise a mechanism for establishment of new degree colleges in uncovered areas of the state on modern lines. He said that the committee has visited most of the identified places/ areas and the decision with regard to opening of new colleges shall be taken after submission of feasibility report in consultation with Planning and Development Department. Replying to another question by Haji Ali Mohammad Bhat, Mr. Lone said that the Government has already approved introduction of Science stream for the academic session 2013-14 in Government Degree College Ganderbal. He said that streams like BCA, contd on page 2 NEW DELHI,MAR 1: After winning the Tripura assembly election, the stage is all set for choosing the Leader to head the new Left front Government. The new government will take Oath of office on next Wednesday. The Left front newly elected Legislatures will meet on Monday in Agartala to elect their new leader. Today the Left Front in a press meet also informed that the oath taking ceremony will be held on 6th of March in 3 PM as per the Constitutional Provision. It is though expected that the Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar will again be elected in the meeting on Monday to head the 5th Left Front Government in the state. In Nagaland, the Naga People's Front, NPF, which won the Assembly election securing an absolute majority by winning 38 seats, is all set to form the new Government in the State. The party held a meeting this afternoon, where Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio was reelected the leader of the NPF to lead the new Government in the State. NPF and its alliance partners BJP and JD(U) also had meeting later today. NPF led

Secretary informs House about Bill passed by LC

JAMMU, MARCH 01: Secretary, Legislative Assembly, Mr. Mohammad Ramzan today laid on the table of the House a copy of the Bill passed by Legislative Council on October 10, 2012 for the concurrence of the Legislative Assembly. The L.C Private Member's Bill No. 3 of 2012 pertains to the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir Shri Chandi Mata Machail Dham (Machail Yatra) Shrine Board. contd on page 2

Democratic Alliance of Nagaland, DAN with BJP and JD(U) as alliance partners were in rule for the last two terms. This will be the third term for the NPF led DAN to head the government in the state. Official sources said, the Chief Minister will meet the State Governor, Nikhil Kumar on Monday to stake claim for formation of the new Government in the state. In Meghalaya, the newly elected leader of the Congress Legislature Party Dr.Mukul Sangma has staked to form the new Government. He contd on page 2

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STUDENT AGE SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2013 Way Afzal was hanged, it is the limit of cruelty: Mehbooba Mufti
SRINAGAR: Describing Chief Minister Omar Abdullah as the only and the most Powerful authority of J&K Assembly, who could persuade Central Government for handing over the mortal remains of Afzal Guru to his family, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti Friday alleged that although Omar has got more powers than the chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Punjab in many aspects, yet he did nothing to stop Central Government from executing Afzal Guru. According to her instead of asking Central Government for stopping execution of Guru, he in turn asked centre to hang Guru to escalate tension in J&K for satisfying the conscience of Delhi Government and leaving his own people crying on roads. Mehbooba was speaking to media persons after the Speaker adjourned the morning session of the Assembly today in the wake of the stormy situation created by opposition party members inside the assembly. Mehbooba speaking on behalf of the party said that the party will try its best in bringing the mortal remains of the Afzal Guru to valley, although she said that the party is not in power so they are handicapped and all powers are reserved with National Conference. "Our Chief Minister has the powers. If he will pick up the phone and he can make it possible in minutes. Once he should have asked PM to stop this execution, may be Afzal Guru would have been alive today," she said. Urging upon the Omar Abdullah that he should treat Afzal's family as his own family and his Son as his own son, she said that people have lost faith in Indian democracy. People will not forget, the way Afzal was hanged on and this was the limit of cruelty. "All the confidence measures that our Party was able to build right from the time of Atal Bihari Vajipayee, all those measures were wasted, once Afzal was executed," She said. "Omar ! You have hurt Kashmiri's where it hurts most. You will have to answer before the people in Kashmir. 12 years Kids are languishing in Jails. It is shame on you, in your own constituency, two people were drowned by security forces, at least address this issue," Mehbooba said.

Pakistan issues fresh list of 109 'most wanted' terrorists

LAHORE: Banned outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi's Mati-urRehman, who carries a bounty of Rs 1 crore on his head, and two women members of the Taliban figure in a new list of 109 "most wanted" terrorists issued by Pakistan. The list, posted on the website of Punjab Police, includes 34 members of various factions of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and 28 members of the LeJ, which claimed responsibility for two recent attacks on Shias in Quetta city that killed nearly 200 people. Mati-ur-Rehman alias Ustad Talha was accused of involvement in a 2004 suicide attack on former premierShaukat Aziz and a 2002 suicide car bomb attack outside the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi that killed 11 French engineers working on a submarine programme of the Pakistan Navy. Tayyaba and Mariya, both residents of Hassan Town in Lahore, are listed as members of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and al Qaeda. They are both wanted in six cases filed in Gujranwala district of Punjab. The list of wanted terrorists includes Mansoor alias Chotta Ibrahim, accused of involvement in a suicide attack on former President Pervez Musharraf at Rawalpindi in December 2003. The government has offered a reward of Rs 50 lakhs for Mansoor, who has links with both the LeJ and Pakistani Taliban. "The list has been circulated in all police stations of Punjab and sent to other provinces," police spokesman Niyab Haider told PTI. Punjab Police had launched a crackdown on banned groups and arrested a "good number" of activists, he said. LeJ member Qari Ehsan-ulHaq, placed at number three on the list, was accused of involvement in the suicide attack on Musharraf in December 2003 and several other terrorist incidents. Haq alias Ustaad Huzaifa carries a bounty of Rs 50 lakhs on his head. A reward of Rs 20 lakhs has been offered for Muhammad Haroon Akbar Khan and Muhammad Tayyab of the Jaishe-Mohammed and Qari Muhammad Yasin, Muhammad Zubair and Zakiullah of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan. Muhammad Haroon Akbar Khan alias Ilyas Moavia was allegedly involved in a suicide attack on a Pakistan Air Force bus at Sargodha. Two Pakistani Taliban cadres on the list - Faiz Muhammad and Ikram Ullah - have been accused of involvement in the 2007 suicide attack that killed former premier Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi. Authorities have offered a reward of Rs 20 lakhs for both of them. The list also includes members of two banned Shia terrorist groups, the Tehrik-e-Jaffria Pakistan and the Sipah-eMuhammad.

Ready to be arrested on return: Malik

JAMMU: JKLF chief Yasin Malik, who created flutters in India by sharing dais with 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, Friday said he is prepared for confiscation of his passport or his arrest on returning home next week. "I will be flying back to Delhi from Lahore on the regular PIA flight on March 9," Malik told reporters. Asked about calls for the revocation of his passport after Saeed joined him at a protest in Islamabad against the hanging of Afzal Guru, Malik said: "It is their wish if they wish to confiscate my passport or to arrest me. Jail is my second home". Saeed, blamed by India for masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks, had briefly participated in the protest organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in Islamabad on February 10. After photographs appeared in the media of Saeed and Malik, demands were made by political parties for the cancellation of Malik's passport. "The government needs to come out clean with an action plan. They must arrest, forfeit his passport and take action against Malik and tell the nation. This is a monumental mistake on the part of the Home Ministry and we will raise at all forums available," BJP had said.

Contd. from page 1...

Petrol prices up....
be 73 rupees and 95 pasie per litre. The rates have been revised following the rise in international oil prices and depreciation in rupee.

Secretary tables ...

of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishment) Bill, 2011 (L.A Bill No. 11 of 2012)", "The Jammu and Kashmir Employees Provident Funds (and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Bill 2012 (L.A Bill No. 12 of 2012)'' and "The Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources (Regulation and Management) (Amendment) Bill 2012 (L.A Bill No. 13 of 2012)".

Saturdays to remain....
remain off days. Hence, there would be no business of Lower House tomorrow.

Old City streetlights defunct

SRINAGAR, MARCH 01: Most of the street lights installed by Power Development Department (PDD) and Municipal Corporation in old city are defunct which causes a lot of inconvenience to people residing in Idgah, Waniyar, Safakadal, Barthana, Noorbagh and Nowhatta areas. The inhabitants have castigated the PDD and SMC for failing to repair the defunct streetlights in the city. According to the residents, the streetlights were installed by the Power Development Department and Srinagar Municipal Corporation few months ago and as soon as they were installed they became defunct. "Most of the streetlights installed in the lanes are lying defunct due to which the pedestrians are facing lot of inconvenience after the dusk," the locals told CNS. An elderly person Ghulam Rasool Najar said that Sodium Vapour lights installed in Idgah grave yard are not working. "At some places due to unknown reasons SMC has installed these lights not on roads but in yards of some houses which also not work," he said and added that each sodium vapour light costs Rs 8000 and near about 300 such lights were installed in different areas of Srinagar city but all have become defunct after their installation. Mohammad Irfan, a resident of Bangar Mohalla, Safa Kadal said that high mass lights worth lakhs were installed by PDD but they too have become defunct after their installation and now the department doesn't care to repair them.

Uproar in J&K....
should have been given the opportunity to approach the Supreme Court for final petition but he was not given this opportunity. Afzal Guru was deprived of his legal right and hanged secretly in unholy manner," the PDP said. Party legislators were also demanding that mortal remains of Afzal Guru be given to his family members for proper burial and last rites.

constable was using the ACP's account for past six months and the government of India does not know till it is reported in media or raised by a member." Meanwhile CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said in the Rajya Sabha that his phone was also being tapped. CPI leader D Raja questioned the government saying, "This is a serious matter. This is a democratic society and we have a right to privacy. What is the government doing to prevent such incidents?" JD(U) spokesperson and MP Shivanand Tiwari said there were reports that his phone as well as those of his party colleague NK Singh and SP leader Ramgopal Yadav have been tapped. "Who is tapping these phones and who is getting them tapped. More worrisome is that the machine used for tapping these phones have been brought to the country in big numbers and it is very easy to tap the phones," he said. Tiwari demanded that a probe be ordered to find out the people behind tapping of phones. "It seems there is no government and everybody is doing as he wants," he said.

taxation avoidance agreements," said research firm Angel Broking. "But the government has done everything to attract dollars into the country in order to plug the precarious current account gap. So it needs to be seen whether in the coming days, there may be clarifications to calm investors' nerves on this issue."

'India among top ten ....

energy to fulfill the need. He highlighted the role of Homi Bhabha and Jawaharlal Nehru for the development of atomic energy in the country. According to Kailas, 20 reactors are currently operating in the country and 30 percent of food products and fruits were spoiled due to power shortage. AMU Vice Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Zameer Uddin Shah in his speech said the university had conferred the D.Sc. degree, honoris causa, on Sir C. V. Raman in the year 1933. He said that India needed to concentrate on nuclear energy and that nuclear plants in our country were safe as there were no accidents reported till date.

Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai have visited Dhaka ahead of Mukherjee's visit. Both sides earlier this month inked an extradition treaty, a liberalized visa agreement, and also exchanged maps of the demarcated stretches, in accordance with the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) of 1974. Both sides are also to launch a rail link between Akhaura in Bangladesh and Agartala in Tripura. They have also inked MoUs on several issues, including amending the double taxation avoidance treaty and for opening additional border haats (markets) in Tripura and Meghalaya. India attaches the highest importance to its relations with Bangladesh and seeks a deeper and stronger partnership.

Presently 62.26 lakh livestock registered: Gurezi

JAMMU: The Minister of State for Animal and Sheep Husbandry Nazir Ahmad Gurezi today informed the House that at present estimated population of Sheep and goat registered in the State is 67.268 lakh (Sheep 47.706 lakhs and goats 22.562 lakh), adding that actual figure shall be become available after completion 19th livestock census which has been conducted and the data is being consolidated and analysed. This was informed by the Minister while replying to a question by Jehangir Hussain Mir in the House today. Gurezi further informed that during 2011-12 the state imported 12.94 lakh sheep and goat to meet the domestic need of mutton in the state.

Govt constructs 21 TRCs, 24 restaurants, 34 Cafeterias: Mir

JAMMU: Minister for Tourism G. A. Mir informed the House that 21 TRCs, 24 restaurants and 34 Cafeterias have been constructed during last five years. He said besides undertaking renovation of 8 TRCs and 14 restaurants, the work is apace on 15 TRCs, 4 restaurants and 9 Cafeterias across the state. The Minister was replying to a question by Dr. Shahnaz Ganai. Replying to another question by Ghulam Nabi Monga, the Minister said "No JKTDC hut, being used by the Government officers in Cheshmashahi area, has been got vacated during the past few years". The Minister said that some huts are being vacated by Darbar Move officers after Darbar shifts to Jammu as usual, which are being put on-line on the booking portal of JKTDC for reservation by tourists, adding that the steps have been initiated by the Estates department to construct residential quarters at Brein and Nishat to accommodate the officers presently putting up in the huts at Chashmashahi.

Attention candidates...
as curfew passes by all the Law enforcing agencies, in case of any such situation.

Committee constituted ...

Geography, Statistics, Functional English and Commerce have already been introduced in the Government Degree College, Ganderbal since 2010.

Correction in name
Anju Bala w/o Ajay KumarR/o Gajansoo, Tehsil and District, Jammu and P O Jammu was admitted in Government Hospital, Shalamar, Jammu on 25th Feb, 2009. But her name has been wrongly written as Pooja instead of Anju Bala in the hospital records. She is applying for the correction of her name. Anybody having objection may communicate to the relevant authorities.

CM's Private Office....

disposal of loan cases sponsored by various departments to banks and other day to day related issues and problems. Pertinently an effective follow up and monitoring system has already been put in place to ensure the concerns of the common masses are addressed in a time bound manner. The Chief Minister's Private Office also provided counselling and awareness to the people seeking financial assistance for setting of their income generating units, besides poverty alleviation, welfare and rehabilitation programmes launched by the Government for the benefit and upliftment of the people.

Jaitley's call data....

had been made. Briefing the House on the probe and action in the case, Shinde said, "The call detail records were accessed for one Neeraj Nair for a cost. Neeraj Nair is a private detective. Neeraj Nair was arrested on February 16. Constable Arvind Kumar Prabhas was found to be involved in finding Arun Jaitley's call details. Based on statements of Constable Arvind, Neeraj and Anurag have been arrested." His statement was, however, rejected by opposition members who said it contained no information at all. The BJP reacted to Shinde's statement calling it a mere SHO report. BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu pointed fingers at the government saying accessing call records could not have been possible without the government's co-operation. "The issue is on whose behest these call details were sought and for what purpose. The suspicion goes to government as without the co-operation of the government, this cannot happen," Naidu said. Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat today termed attempt to tap phones of BJP leaders, including Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley's cell, as an internal operation of the BJP. "According to information this phone tapping of BJP leaders is their internal operation. A part of their personal tussle," Harish Rawat said The BJP has also refuted Congress's claims that the case was a result of BJP infighting. "These accusations are rubbish. They have manufactured them. These accusations are an internal matter of the BJP, not related to us," Congress leader Harish Rawat had said. Refuting this claim, BJP leader Sudhanshu Mittal said, "There are a lot of speculations that it's a factional war of the BJP. If you see the list of people I can only say it's a myth." The BJP attacked the government with party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad saying, "A police constable is on unauthorised leave, what was being done? The

New govts in Meghalaya & Tripura....

met Governor R.S. Mooshahary today to stake the claim after Congress Legislature Party meeting held in Shillong this afternoon elected him as its leader again. The Congress won the Assembly election 29 seats in the 60 member assembly. The meeting was chaired by Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee president, Dr. D.D. Lapang under the supervision of AICC observer Vayalar Ravi. Speaking to the media, Vayalar Ravi said that the AICC Parliamentary Committee has approved the resolution of Congress Legislature Party. Dr. Mukul Sangma said the Congress has already got the unconditional support from two Nationalist Congress Party and eight Independents have also given their support in the formation of the Congress led Government in Meghalaya. He said, he would met the Meghalaya Governor, R.S. Mooshahary this evening to stake claim for formation of the new Congress led Government in the state.


12th Pass or 12th Class studying students who are interested in Engg. / Medical fields are informed to get their seats booked in reputed colleges of Northern India under Management seats without any donation securing 50% marks in Phy, Chem, Maths/Bio for the following courses, M.D.S, B.D.S, M. Tech, B. Tech, B. Sc Nursing, B. Pharmacy, Diploma in all streams G.N.M, M.Ed, B.Ed, MBA, LLB, Hotel Management, MCA, BBA etc.

Separatist shutdown...
Conference, JKLF, Bar Association and Dukhtaran-e-Millat as constituents, came into being following execution of Guru in Tihar Jail last month. It started an agitation demanding Guru's body be returned to his family. The amalgamation had issued a protest calendar last Monday asking people to adopt various forms of protest to press for the demand. People have been asked to hoist red ribbons on shops, houses and vehicles tomorrow as part of the protest schedule. The fresh agitation calender is expected to be issued on Sunday.

CBSE board examinations begin today

NEW DELHI: Over 22 lakh pupils will be taking the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) board examinations for Class 10 and 12 that began on Friday. For Class 12 students, the first paper is English language and for Class 10 pupils it will be painting. "Over all 22 lakh students are appearing for the exam this year," a CBSE official said."In Class 10, 1,259,202 students will be sitting for the examination, an increase of 6.70 per cent over last year. As for Class 12, 942,035 will be taking the examination beginning today (Friday), an increase of 15.51 per cent over last year," the official said. This year, in total 1,286 disabled students are appearing for the examinations. With English language for Class 12 and painting for Class 10 being the first exams, the stress levels are low among the students. "Thankfully the first exam (painting) is easy, so I'm getting much time to prepare for my next exam which is mathematics. With a easy subject to start with, it helps you start off well," said 15-year-old Pragya Vats, a student of Sommerville School in east Delhi. Agreed Renu Singh, a student of Ahlcon Public School in east Delhi: "A good start increases the confidence. With English exams to start with, followed by Functional Physics...I gave more revision time for my second exam."

Udhampur Distt. Youth Congress holds a protest rally

UDHAMPUR:Today a protest rally under the leadership of congress youth leader Sumeet Magotra was organized where a large number of youth and citizens of town joined him. The protestors satrted from barrian and proceeded towards slathia chownk . The protestor gathered at slathia chownk and burned the posters and statue of independent MLA Er Abdul Rashid(kashmir) who yesterday slapped the other MLA and who also condemned the hanging of afzal guru. While addressing the gathering magotra condemned the MLA's statement in favour of afzal guru and said that this is due to the poor leadership that MLA was able to state that due to afzals hanging it would give birth to 100m more afzal in the valley ,he also stated that why the panthers party, and bjp is sleeping who always say that they talk in the favor of jammu region and how the pdp leader was able to slap a MLA of jammu region . Magotra also said the panthers party only wants to get the ministry by joining had with PDP and he also called panthers party the second team of PDP


(Opposite Sub Treasury Tirth Nagar Talab Tillo Jammu) Mob: 94191-37183

President Mukherjee ....

for forward movement on unresolved issues. The president will underline the government's commitment to work on them in the shortest time frame possible." The four MPs accompanying the president are Sitaram Yechury, Chandan Mitra, Mukul Dey and Bhubaneshwar Kalita. Mukherjee is to call on Bangladesh President M. Zillur Rahman and receive the Bangladesh Liberation War Honour Award. He will also meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, opposition leader Khaleda Zia, the foreign minister and the finance minister. He will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Dhaka University at a convocation ceremony and also attend a reception organised by members of the Indian community. Mukherjee will also travel to Bhadrabila in Narail district, Shilaidaha in Kushtia district and Mirzapur.

MNC dks vius Office / Non-Office dk;Z ds fy, 30 M/F dh t:jr gSA a
Qual: 10/12/Grad./P.G. Income: Rs.8,000 to Rs.15,000 pm Contact:

Seats in universities ....

letter the minister assured the Member of Parliament from J&K that scholarships will be distributed by March, 2013.

Over 4,000 killed....

that cases into these matters are being investigated at different police stations, he said. On compensation to affected families, Omar said as per the details provided by the transport department, a total of Rs 107.60 lakh has been disbursed among the families, of which Rs 64.25 lakh have been given to families in erstwhile Doda district.

Omega International

Budget sparks ...

but also beneficial ownership was necessary to claim benefits under double

Hall 101, South Block, Bahu Plaza, Jammu (M): 9906083095, 9205072038

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Degree College for Littar Pulwama
Higher Education Minister assured MLC Srinagar, March 01: Higher Education Minister, Mohammad Akbar Loan Friday assured Congress MLC Bashir Ahmed Magray that the government will soon decided on the issue of providing Degree College to Littar, Pulwama. During question hour, Congress MLC Bashir Ahmed Magray appealed to the Higher Education Minister to set up a Degree College in Littar Pulwama so that students from that area should not have to go for admission in Pulwamma and Anantnag. Higher Education Minister Mohammad Akbar Lone assured him that the government will look into matter and if there will be feasibility then certainly Degree College will be set up in the area which is a long pending demand of the people of Littar Pulwama. (CNS)

Govt. to develop 6 mini Hydel Power Projects under IPP mode: Feroz
JAMMU, MARCH 1: The Government has decided to develop six mini hydel projects in the State with a cumulative capacity of 9.95 MWs under Independent Power Producers (IPP) mode.Minister of State for Science and Technology, Feroz Ahmad Khan approved the proposal to this effect today. These six projects have been taken up under the first phase among the 108 identified projects across the state for which the Jammu and Kashmir Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) has already prepared the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs). On the directions of the Minister, allotment letters have been issued to bidders in a day's time by JAKEDA to start the process in fast mode.


PDP holds protest in Assembly after Speaker disallowed

SRINAGAR: Legislators of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) today held protest in the Legislative Assembly after Speaker Mubarak Gul refused to accept their demand of the suspending normal business of the House to discuss the grave situation arising out of the fallout of the secretive execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru and public outrage on continued silence of the State Government on return of his mortal remains to his family. Although PDP had moved an Adjournment Motion on Thursday to suspend the normal business to discuss this issue today, yet the Speaker was adamant to continue the business. PDP legislators repeatedly pleaded before the Speaker to accept their Motion and suspend Question Hour but their request was rejected by the Speaker. PDP legislators resorted to shouting slogans in favour of their demand. The legislators, carrying banners and placards, were demanding that discussion should be allowed in the House on their Adjournment Motion. Slogans like Tamil Nadu Nay Inkar Keya, Punjab Nay Inkar Keya. Par Jammu and Kashmir Sarkar Nay Ikrar Keya repeatedly rented in the air as PDP legislators pointed out that governments of Tamil Nadu and Punjab have opposed death sentences to killers of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and former Chief Minister of Punjab Beant Singh. But the Jammu and Kashmir Governemnt has rather facilitated execution of Mohammad Afzal Guru. They were also shouting slogan Afzal Guru Ko To Fanshi De, Galib Kay Saath Insaf Karo. Instead of accepting motion of PDP, Speaker has adjourned the House for half an hour. As soon as the House assembled again, PDP members again pressed for their demand of allowing discussion in the House on their Motion but the Speaker of the Assembly has again adjourned the House without allowing discussion. PDP members were demanding that their Adjournment Motion should be accepted and government should allow discussion on this issue but later the Speaker adjourned the House for whole day without accepting demand of the party. Spokesman of the PDP Naeem Akthar later said that the part was serious about discussing the circumstances under which Afzal Guru was hanged secretly without allowing him the opportunity to approach the Supreme Court after his mercy petition was rejected by the President of India. The party wants to discuss the issue of deprived of the Afzal's family of their legal rights including return of his mortal remains for proper last rites. The spokesman expressed concern that the Omar Abdullah Government was trying to choke all democratic voices and even trying to denying the forms of Legislature for expression of views. He said that the government has clamped down every hard measure to ban news papers, cable TV and internet in the wake of the hanging of Afzal Guru by disallowing the people of their right to information and their right to expression. It is sad day for the democracy that even the elected representative are being denied the opportunity to raise issues of such crucial importance even in the Legislature. He said that such a dictatorial and intolerant attitude of the government does not board well for the future of democracy in the State. This attitude of the government is like to further erode the faith of the people in democratic process and democratic institutions. Omar Abdullah government, the spokesman said, is becoming a threat to the very concept of democracy in the State as Chief Minister wants to rule people of Jammu and Kashmir through official repercussion and brute force. Meanwhile PDP has moved fresh Adjournment Motion on the same demand under Rule-56 of Procedure and Conduct of Bussiness in J&K Legislative Assembly. The party has sought the adjournment of normal business of the House on March 2, 2013 to discuss the same.

Rs 37.39 cr approved for Sidhra golf Course: Gurezi

JAMMU, MARCH 01: The Minister of State for Tourism Nazir Ahmad Gurezi today while replying to a question by Ajat Shatru Singh said that the execution on Sidhra Golf Course was started in the year 2007, adding that the administrative approval was accorded at a cost of Rs. 37.39 crore, of which Rs. 29.27 crore have been spent. The Minister said that construction was taken up in two phases. He said the phase Ist of 9 Hole Golf Course stands completed and is functional, adding that phase 2nd of upgradation to 18 Hole Golf Course along with Club Building and other ancillary works is in full swing and targeted for completion by September 2013. "There is no loss on account of cost escalation as the project is under execution within the sanctioned cost of Rs. 37.39 crore", he added.

Peace key to state's progress, prosperity: Gul

JAMMU, MARCH 01: Speaker, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Mubarak Gul, has said that peace is key to all round development and progress of the State. The Speaker was interacting with a delegation comprising members of J&K Ghandi Global Family (JKGGF) headed by Padamshri S. P. Verma who felicitated him for being elevated as Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly. The Speaker said that the NonGovernmental Organization (NGO) Ghandi Global Family has played a vital role in restoring peace in the State during last over two decades. He also recalled the contribution of noted Ghandian, Nirmla Desh Pandey, in the organization. Meanwhile, people from all walks of life greeted Gul on his elevation as LA Speaker.

Speaker nominates members of Business Advisory Committee

JAMMU, MARCH 01: Speaker, Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Mubarak Gul, has reconstituted the Business Advisory Committee. As per notification issued here today by the Legislative Assembly Secretariat, the Committee, with Speaker as its Chairman, will have Deputy Chief Minister, Tara Chand, Minister for Agriculture Production, G. H. Mir, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Mir Saifullah, Deputy Speaker, Mohammad Sartaj Madni and MLAs, Ms. Mehbooba Mufti, Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta, Harshdev Singh and M. Y. Tarigami as its members. Besides, Legislators Hakim Mohammad Yasin, Tsetan Namgyal, Ashok Khajuria and Ashwani Kumar Sharma will serve as special invitees to the Business Advisory Committee.

Kitchloo defends curfew and restrictions

SRINAGAR: Claiming that imposition of curfew enabled the state government to thwart the attempts of unscrupulous elements in Valley on the eve of Afzal Guroo's execution, Minister of State for Home, Sajad Kitchloo Friday said that the scale of low violence in Valley over the Afzal Guroo's execution issue showed that people of Kashmir want peace and they don't want to give a chance to hate mongers who are hell bent to disrupt the peace in Valley. Talking to CNS soon after the

NC too wants Afzal's body back

adjourning of Assembly session in Jammu, Kitchloo said the government was apprehensive of large scale violence in Valley on the eve of Afzal Guroo's execution. "We had expected that unscrupulous elements will try their best to create law and order problems but due to efforts of police and security personnel order was maintained. We are happy that normalcy has returned in Valley but at the same time the government doesn't want to take any chances and will not give free hand to trouble makers," Kitchloo said adding that the Centre has yet to decide over the returning of Afzal Guroo's body. Accusing Peoples Democratic Party for creating fuss over Afzal Guroo's issue in the Legislative Assembly, Kitchloo said that it is a political stunt on part of the PDP. "This party was silent when Guroo was alive and now they are making hue and cry which amply displays their duality," he said. He said that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has already conveyed to Prime Minister of India about the returning of Afzal Guroo's body. "There is no need to create fuss. When the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already assured the Chief Minister that he will look into the matter then I think the clamour made by PDP is worthless and out of context. Let the Assembly function normally so that the issues pertaining to people could be discussed," Kitchloo said.

Bhalla pays obeisance at Chandi Mata temple

JAMMU, MARCH 1-Minister for Housing, Horticulture and Culture Raman Bhalla today said that Jammu and Kashmir is land of Sufis and Saints where thousands of devotees from across the world visit to pay paid obeisance at the shrines and get peace of mind and soul. The Minister was addressing a large gathering of pilgrims at the Chandi Mata (Machail Wali) Sthapna Diwas congregation held at Maha Laxmi Narayan temple at Pacca Danga, here today. Bhalla also lit 'Akhand Jyoti' and attended 'Puran Ahuti' ritual organised by the Sarva Shakti Sewak Sanstha (SSSS) Machail Yatra Management. Hundreds of devotees of Chandi Mata and Maha Laxmi participated in the Sathapna Diwas,Hawan, Bhandara and Sankirtan and prayed for peace and prosperity of the nation.

Vikar expresses grief over road accident on National Highway

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 28 ; Minister of State for Technical Education, Rural Development and Information Viqar Rasool has expressed grief over the sad road accident on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway at Banihal in which one person was killed eight others sustained injures. In his condolence message, Vikar conveyed his sympathy to the bereaved families and prayed for peace to the departed soul.

Jora inspects Warehouse- Nehru Market area

JAMMU, MARCH 1: Minister for Urban Development and Urban Local Bodies, Mr Nawang Rigzin Jora on Friday visited Warehouse - Nehru market and took stock of the condition of the lanes, drains and other civic facilities in the area. The Minister was accompanied by Vice Chairperson, Jammu Development Authority, Mrs Sirta Chavan, Commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), Kuldeep Khajuria, President, Chamber of Commerce & Industries, Y V Sharma, senior officers of JDA, JMC and other representatives of Chamber of commerce & Industries. Describing the place as the nerve centre of the Jammu city trade , Jora directed the JDA officers to take immediate steps to improve sanitation conditions, lanes and drains in the area. He also asked the Jammu Municipal Corporation authorities to make arrangements for lifting of garbage and other waste materials on regular basis. He asked the concerned agencies to take immediate steps in this regard so that the traders and people coming to the area may not face any more inconvenience. He

Govt reviewing upgradation status of schools: Feroz

JAMMU: Minister of State for Education, Feroz Ahmad Khan said that upgradation of schools in the State including District Budgam will be examined from time to time as per the predetermined norms, feasibility and subject to the agreement of Ministry of HRD Government of India. The Minister was replying to a question by Shri Ali Mohammad Dar. While replying to another question by Devender Singh Rana, the Minister said that the Government is examining the proposal for opening mobile schools for the nomads in Jammu and Kashmir as per norms after completing the survey and ensuring feasibility.

1100 habitations to be covered under PMGSY

JAMMU: Minister for R&B Abdul Majid Wani today said that recently the Central Government has given nod for connecting 1100 habitations under PMGSY in the State. The Minister was replying to a question by Javid Ahmad Rana regarding road connectivity in district Poonch. The Minister said that road connectivity in hilly and remote areas has been given top priority by the government and several schemes under NABARD, PMGSY, State Plan and bad pockets in district Poonch are under execution and many of them have been completed. He said that 47 road projects have been taken up in Poonch under NABARD. Out of these 22 were taken up in Mendhar, 15 in Haveli and 10 in Surankote. He said that as many as 193 schemes under State Sector Projectization of roads are also under execution in Poonch District. Regarding the remaining uncovered habitations, the Minister said that with the recent approval under PMGSY, these habitations will be taken up soon for execution.

Parent teacher meet held at NCE

JAMMU, MARCH 01- A parent teacher meet was organize at National College of Education Purkhoo Camp. The parents appreciated the initiative of the college management and hoped that such meetings would be organised on regular intervals. During interactive session, parents gave their valuable inputs for inculcating moral values among students besides establishing a guidance cell for the students for their skill and personality development and also provide exposure to compete at any level.Principal of the college, Dr. M.L Parwana presented vote of thanks. The programme was organized under the able guidance of Mrs. Neena Sudan, Mrs Yashumati Jamwal and Mrs Indu.

Minister for Urban Development and Urban Local Bodies, Mr Nawang Rigzin Jora inspecting Warehouse- Nehru Market area at Jammu. said, spread over an area of 207 kanals of land, the area is biggest business centre of Jammu city where thousands of trucks are being unloaded daily to transport merchandise to other parts of the State adding that it needs immediate attention from the concerned agencies. He also called for construction of toilets and urinals in the area for the convenience of traders and customers coming to the palce. Interacting with the Shopkeepers and representatives of Chamber of commerce & Industries, the Minister assured that their genuine demands especially better sanitation, repair of lanes and drains will be addressed on priority and added that the Government was committed to develop the Jammu City on modern lines. He said that Warehouse has to be developed with adequate facilities. Earlier, the President of Chamber of commerce put forth various demands including handing over of ownership rights to the shopkeepers. He said that Warehouse has provided employment to about 10 thousand persons and was a source of Rs 250 crore to Rs 300 crore revenue for the government in terms of income tax, tool tax and VAT etc. He said that Warehouse have 130 shops while, Nehru market 268 and both markets are run by 500 traders. He also said that JammuKathua Bus service is also being operated from the complex of this House and it shall be relocated to some other place. Demanding the expansion of the Warehouse on modern lines so that more people could be accommodated, he said that more shops should be constructed by the Jammu Development Authority on the vacant land adjacent to Complex. He said that thousands of truck loads are dispatched to Srinagar, Leh and Kargil markets from this place.

Warm farewell accorded to Director FW

JAMMU, MARCH 01- The employees of the Family Welfare MCH & Immunization Department J&K accorded a warm farewell to the outgoing Director Family Welfare, Dr. Kuldeep Kesar and felicitated him on his superannuation. The employees while speaking on the occasion said that during his tenure as Director, Kesar's worked hard for the betterment of the department and Pentavalent Vaccine was launched in the state during his period. Among others Deputy Chief Medical Officers, Surveillance Medical Officer, National Polio Surveillance Project (WHO) and other officials of the department were present on the occasion.

National Integration Camp at Udhampur from March 7

UDHAMPUR, MARCH 01, 2013: Over 150 youth hailing from different parts of the country would participate in the week long National Integration Camp being organized by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYK), Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (GOI) at Udhampur from March 7, 2013. This was disclosed during a meeting of officers under the chairmanship of Joint Director Planning, Rakesh Jamwal here on Friday. District Information Officer, Dr. Jagdish Mehra, District Youth Services & Sports Officer, Sukhdev Singh, District Coordinator Nehru Yuva Kendra, Sayed Sajjad Shah, Secretary District Red Cross Society, Dr. V.P. Sharma Advocate S.D. Kotwal and Principal Shivalik College of Education, Dr. Vikram Gulati were present in the meeting. In the meeting, detailed discussion were held for the different arrangements which mainly include boarding & lodging facilities, finalization of daily schedule, transport arrangement, adventure tour, parasailing at Mantalai for participants and holding of cultural programmes and group discussions showcasing the important aspects of each state. It was decided in the meeting that painting, essay writing and debate competition would also be organized during the camp besides a overnight home stay in the village would also be organized to provide an experience of village live style to the participants. The participants would also be familiarize with Jammu & Kashmir's rich and diverse cultural heritage and acquainted with the new mega developmental projects being carried out in the district including over 9 km Tunnel construction site at Chenani. Addressing the meeting, the Joint Director Planning exhorted upon the officers to put in their coordinated efforts for the successful conduct of the National Integration Camp so that youth especially those coming from other states take a goodwill message along with them after the culmination of the camp.

DC Shopian asks for intensifying market checking

SHOPIAN, MARCH 01: To ensure redressal of public grievances, the Deputy Commissioner, Shopian, Javaid Ahmad Khan has urged for intensifying the market checking and monitoring of distribution of essentials through public distribution system. On the instructions of Deputy Commissioner, Shopian, Assistant Director, CA&PD visited Deegam Nagal and Devpora Sale Centres where the stocks of essentials were found short. Accordingly, the concerned Storekeeper, Mohammad Yaseen Malik and Tehsil Supply Officer, Mohammad Ashraf Mir were placed under suspension and orders were passed for an enquiry.

Power shutdown
JAMMU, MARCH 01: In order to carry out the work of providing additional circuit for 33/11 KV R/station New Janipur, the power supply to New Plot, Sarwal, Janipur, Laxminagar, High Court & District Court Complex, Ramzan Pura, Durga Nagar, Pamposh Colony and Janipur Colony alongwith adjoining areas fed from 33 KV Janipur-New Janipur line emanating from 132/33 KV Grid Station Janipur shall remain affected on March 3, 2012 from 9 a m to 3 p m.

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Sadhotra lauds artists for preserving state's culture, art

Landslide blocks Doda-Bhaderwah road; 200 vehicles stranded

BHADERWAH (J&K): Bhaderwah valley was cut off from the rest of the state due to a major landslide in Chakrana on Friday, blocking the Doda-Bhaderwah road and leaving hundreds of vehicles stranded. The landslide was triggered after rains in the area, around 18 kms from the district headquarter of Doda, at about 1 PM, officials said. Over 200 vehicles were stranded on both sides of the road due to the incident. District authorities have started clearing the blocked stretch, they said.

3-day painting exhibition commences at Kala Kendra

JAMMU, FEBRUARY 1: Minister for Planning and Development, Labour and Employment, Ajay Kumar Sadhotra, today complimented the budding artists for carrying forward the high traditions of art and culture thus helping preserve their glorious heritage. Inaugurating a 3-day painting exhibition on theme 'Native Vibrations' at Kala Kendra here this afternoon, the Minister said such events serve as an inspirational force for young artists and art lovers. The Minister enumerated various initiatives being taken by Academy of Art, Culture and Languages to promote art and music in the state. Sadhotra said that Government will continue to encourage artists by providing them wider canvas to showcase their talent. He urged the artists not to confine themselves to the precincts of Jammu and Kashmir only but exhibit their talent at national and international

Div Com reviews situation, stock position of essential commodities through Vide Conference
SRINAGAR, MARCH 01: Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Dr. Asgar Hassan Samoon Friday evening convened a Video Conference with all the Deputy Commissioners of the Valley and took stock of law and order situation in the Valley. The Deputy Commissioners informed the Divisional Commissioner that the situation remained peaceful in their respective districts and there was no untoward incident. The Divisional Commissioner was also informed that attendance in Government offices was satisfactory and functioned normally. Dr. Samoon also reviewed the stock and supply position of essential commodities. He was informed that adequate stocks of essentials are available in the various godowns of CA&PD. He was also informed that 25280 metric tons of rice, 5321 metric tons of wheat, 1744 metric tons of sugar, 4908 kilolitres of kerosene oil and 2,87,000 LPG cylinders are available in the Valley. Addressing the Deputy Commissioners through Video Conference and Regional Transport Officer, Kashmir, the Divisional Commissioner directed them to ensure smooth plying of SRTC buses and to ensure proper attendance of government employees in their offices. He also directed the Gas Agencies to ensure home delivery of LPG to facilitate the common masses. Among others, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Director Health Services, Kashmir, Regional Transport Officer, Kashmir, Chief Engineers of EMRE, Deputy Director CA&PD, Kashmir and other concerned officers participated. Divisional Commissioner urged upon all Deputy Commissioners and Heads of Departments to expedite execution of development works in the district and state sector and to ensure judicious utilization of funds under various schemes in view of improving weather condition and closing financial year.

Training programme held at GHSS Tral

TRAL, MARCH 01: A daylong training programme on delegation of powers to PRI members in Education sector was held at Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Tral today. The training programme was envisaged to acquaint the Panchs and Sarpanchs about their role in improving the Education sector in the area. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Education Officer Tral, Mohammad Abdullah Shah sought co-operation of the local Panchayat representative and enjoined them to bring to fore the problems being confronted in Education sector in their respective areas. The President, J&K Sarpanch Association, on the occasion assured the Chief Education Officer of full co-operation from Panchayat representatives. Among others, Principal, Government Girls Higher Secondary School Tral, Zonal Education Officers, Teachers, Panchs and Sarpanchs of the area participated in the programme.

Minister for Planning and Development, Labour and Employment, Ajay Kumar Sadhotra inaugurating a 3-day painting exhibition on theme 'Native Vibrations' at Kala Kendra,Jammu. level. Sadhotra exuded confidence about the rich talent available and said that these are required to be identified and polished by experts in the field. The Minister asked Culture Academy to provide all necessary support to the artists to organize their exhibitions for larger audience. A number of paintings have been displayed in the exhibition reflecting various aspects of state's culture and traditions. The Minister took a round of the exhibition and was briefed by Rajinder Pal Singh about his works. Padmashri, Balwant Thakur, was guest of honor on the occasion.

Rs 26.45 lakh earmarked for Leh,Kargil districts under NRHM: Shabir

JAMMU, MARCH 1:While replying to a question by Aga Syed Rizvi in Legislative Council today, Minister of State for Health, Shabir Ahmad Khan informed the House that during current fiscal Rs. 562.24 lakh have been allocated to Leh and Kargil districts under NRHM and Rs.10946 lakh for Kashmir division. The Minister said that under State Plan Rs. 4700 lakh have been earmarked for Kashmir division while the funds for Leh and Kargil districts are directly routed to Ladakh Hill Development Council by Planning and Development Department. He said that Rs. 26.45 crore stands approved for both the districts under NRHM for procurement of medicines and equipment.

Bhartiya Gujjar Maha Sabha deputation meets Governor

JAMMU, MARCH 1: A 9member delegation of the Bhartiya Gujjar Maha Sabha, J&K Chapter, met N. N. Vohra, Governor, at Raj Bhavan, here today. The main demands presented to the Governor by the delegation led by Eshfaq-urRehman Poswal, State President of the organization, include, interalia, provision of political reservation for the Gujjar and Bakarwal Tribes in the State, organizing of special recruitment drives for the losses of cattle suffered by them due to natural calamities. The Governor heard the delegation patiently and said that the demands presented by them would be taken up with the State Government. The delegation comprised Ch. Nek Alam, Vice President of the organization, Ch. Abdul Hamid Kassana, General Secretary, Mohammad Anwar, Sofi Alam Din, Haji Abdul Wahid, Ch. Sanaullah, Ch. Mohammad Azam and Mohammad Shabbir.

Zero hour in LC
JAMMU, MARCH 1: Minister of State for Health Shabir Ahmad Khan today said that the Government has recently appointed 136 doctors under NRHM to address the shortage of doctors in the hospitals especially in farflung areas of the state. This was stated by the Minister while replying to an issue raised by Naresh Kumar Gupta during the Zero Hour in the Upper House today. The Minister said that the new hospital building in Bhaderwah has been completed and funds for the purchase of equipment stand sanctioned. The shortage of Paramedics would also be addressed, he added. Dr. Shahnaz Ganie highlighted the historical role played by women in Jammu and Kashmir and said that women are now getting proper representation and their empowerment should be further supported. Ghulam Nabi Monga condemned the gruesome killing of Sarpanch Javaid Ahmad Wani in District Baramulla and other Panchayat members in Sopore. Mohammad Amin Bhat drew the attention of government towards frequent traffic jams in Anantnag town, especially between Khanbal to Ashishpora and Khanbal to Mattan. He sought early redressal of the problem. Syed Rafiq Shah demanded upgradation of Trehgam hospital of Kupwara district. Sheikh Ghulam Rasool demanded better facilities in schools to facilitate their early opening after winter vacations. He said that frequent extension of winter vacation needs to be avoided for better future of children. B R Kundal called for evolving a mechanism for ensuring swift restoration of power supply particularly to rural areas after being affected by wind storms, snow etc. Narbo Gialchan demanded helicopter service for Shey area of District Leh particularly for ferrying teachers and patients in and out of the area. Subash Chander Gupta demanded creation and appointment of adequate clerical and other staff in five Zonal Education Offices of Kathua district, Javid Ahmad Rana demanded one time relaxation and early clearance in several SRO-43 cases lying pending with GAD and Home Department.

Ramzan inspects Hospital, ZEO office at Zachaldara

KUPWARA, MARCH 01: The Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution, Ch. Mohammad Ramzan today paid surprise visit to Hospital and Zonal Education Office at Zachaldara and found 2 doctors and one X-Ray Technician absent from duty unauthorizedly and directed the Deputy Commissioner, Kupwara for taking stern action against the absentees under Service Rules with recommendation to Director Health Services, Kashmir. The Minister also inspected Zonal Education Office at Zachaldara and found office locked. The authorities have been given directions for taking the action against the absentees of Zonal Education Office. He directed the doctors, Chief Medical Officer and all Block Medical Officer of the district for maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene in the Hospitals and the medicines be provided in time to the patients in the Hospitals and the people's grievances be redressed on spot. The people of the area hailed the action taken against the absent employees.

N. N. Vohra, Governor interacting with member delegation of the Bhartiya Gujjar Maha Sabha at Jammu. youth of the Gujjar and Bakarwal communities in Army and Para-Military Forces, raising a Gujjar Regiment in the Army, setting up of more Mobile Schools and providing insurance cover to the livestock of Gujjars and Bakarwals to compensate for

Jammu based cable operators act in imperialistic way Training of Enumerators/

SRINAGAR, MARCH 01: Accusing Jammu based cable operators for meddling into the affairs of Site Entertainment Network (SEN), cable operators from South Kashmir Friday strongly denounced the allegations that SEN has any outstanding towards any other Cable Network. "Some Jammu based cable operators are acting like East India Company and they want to show their presence in Kashmir. The Cable operators associated with SEN have become political prey but we are whole heartedly supporting them," Fayaz Ahmed Bhat , president ACOA said. He said that SEN is being not allowed to function smoothly because all the operators who run it are Kashmiri's. "Jammu based operators are acting in an imperialistic way and want to dominate the cable functioning in Kashmir which is not acceptable to us.. We are not going to accept their monopoly. They have proper documents and authorized to air channels and have even approached to Court to get justice which Jammu based operators want to trample," he said. Pertinently, cable operators a few days ago held a protest in Press Enclave and they alleged that National Conference Provincial president for Jammu Davinder Singh Rana and Subhash Choudri are hell bent to ruin their cable business for their personal interests. "Our opponents want to defame us by various means. We just want to work independently but by different means we are being pressurized. We want justice which is being denied to us," a cable operator had said.

Supervisors for NPR

Awareness camp on "Save the Girl Child" held

UDHAMPUR, MARCH 01, 2013: An awareness camp on the provisions of PC&PNDT Act-2002 with main focus on to "save the girl child" by preventing prenatal sex determination-Female Foeticide was held at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University Katra. The camp was organized by Civil Defence Organization Udhampur under the guidance of Deputy Commissioner, P.K Pole who is also Controller of Civil Defence and Deputy Controller Civil Defence, Udhampur, Dy. SP Bodh Raj. Director School of Languages and Literature Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU) Katra, Dr. Vandhana Sharma was the Chief Guest on the occasion. While speaking on the occasion the Director highly appreciated the Civil Defence organization's selfless missionary zeal for the noble cause of "Save Girl Child". She urged for holding more such camps especially focusing on the vital issues to make healthy society. The Deputy Chief Warden, Swatantra Dev Kotwal along with advocate Sanjeet Kumar dwelt on the burning subject from socio-religious and legal aspects. Large number of students and staff members attended the camp.

Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation presents demands to Governor

JAMMU, MARCH 1: A deputation of the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, Jammu, called on N. N. Vohra, Governor, at Raj Bhavan, here today and presented to him a Memorandum of their demands. The demands presented by the 7-member deputation led by Dr. Javaid Rahi, Secretary, Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation, included, interalia, inclusion of Gojri language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution of India, establishment of a Tribal University in Jammu and Kashmir, setting up of a Research Centre for Gojri language in Jammu University, reservation in employment and admissions to various courses in the Kashmir University and Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University for the Scheduled Tribes and opening of Gojri Department in the Kashmir University. Other demands projected by the deputation included telecasting of Gojri news bulletin from Doordarshan Jammu and Srinagar and enhancing the time slots of Gojri programmes from various stations of both Radio and Doordarshan Kendras in the State.

SAMBA, MARCH 01- A Training Programme for Enumerators/Supervisors deployed for 2nd Phase of National Population Register (NPR) in Urban Areas of Samba District was organized by Directorate of Census Operations and District Administration in collaboration with Electronic Corporation India Ltd. (ECIL) and Comtech Info. Solutions Pvt. Ltd here today V.K.Moza, District In-Charge, Samba imparted training to the enumerators and supervisors with regard to updation of Layout Map, Abridged House list, Filling up of National Population Household Schedule and Know Your Resident (KYR) Forms. He also highlighted the objectives of NPR and said that this will create comprehensive identity database in the Country with full identification and other details by registering all citizens and implementation of the schemes by reaching the target population. Wahid Khan, State Nodal Officer gave demonstration to the Enumerators/Supervisors about the Electronic Machines which are to be used in Bio-Metric Campus at the local level.

Enhancement of retirement age of Govt. Employees from 58 to 60 and Service limit not to exceed 35 years
JAMMU: Manzoor Ahmed Sidiqi president people's voice civil society has taken serious concern over the long pending demand enhancement of Retirement age from 58 to 60 of Govt. Employees and confrontation between the Govt. and its employees is against the interests of General Public. The periodical strikes observed by the Govt. employee and issuance of the ultimatum to press their unfulfilled demand of raising of retirement age from 58 to 60 years and the Govt's no mood in negotiating with their employees has lead to stalemate which is continuing for the last two years, this has added to the woes of the common people of the State. Besides depriving them from the fruits of development on account of non utilization of the funds allotted for execution of developmental programmes sponsored by National and International agencies through various schemes. This uncertain situation prevailing in the State cannot be tolerated by any son of the soil who will never wish to prolong it. People's Voice Civil Society too cannot remain mute spectator and allow thus situation to continue. In an attempt to facilitate to achieve the break through, people's voice has taken the cognizance of the matter and to build its own opinion to present before Government for its consideration. People's Voice Civil Society has established contacts with certain groups of Govt. employees working in various Govt. organizations and it has come to the conclusion that the employees demand of raising the retirement age from 58 to 60 years is genuine, because usually the late entry of persons into the Govt. Services leads to short span of service period left for the new entrants and it has also come into our observation that certain Govt. employees who apparently seem to have crossed 70 years of age still continue to remain in Govt. jobs which was rightly pointed out by the cabinet Minister Taj Mohi Din when he was holding P.H.E portfolio in his charge. While ascertaining the facts some interesting stories has come to fore in which many examples of employees attaining the retirement by younger brother earlier than his elder brother are worth mentioning stories. President Manzoor Ahmed Sidiqi said the burning issue of unemployment prevailing in the state and the bizarre discrimination in the retirement age of the employees need to be addressed at an earliest by the Govt. and the option of middle path to be chosen by the Govt. as announced by Chief Minister of State earlier is laudable and this Civil Society fully supports the option of this middle path. This middle path of 35 years of service span or 60 years of age of whichever is earlier offers best solution to address all the problems of unemployment, discrimination in retirement age and justice to all stakeholders which will reinforce the work culture in the Govt. run organizations and in this connection we appeal to Chief Minister of the State to consider our opinion and issue the formal orders at an earliest in this behalf to save the state from uncertainty.

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Mend your ways, don't widen cracks

he ruckus in the State Assembly on the very first day of its opening session has created a history of sorts. A bad history indeed as very rarely do the political class of Jammu and Kashmir together create good history. Perhaps that is not in their DNA. Given the opportunistic tendencies that they have developed the pandemonium that was created on the first very day would not have been enacted at all. The noisy scene was indeed the portrayal of the innate disparities within the State which came to fore on Thursday and continued on Friday also. All the political stakeholders who hold fort in the State were contributories to what happened when opening session of the State Assembly was to be addressed by the Governor. By boycotting the speech of the Governor and staging vocal demonstrations on issues which are totally divergent in nature bring to prominence the fragilities and socio-political fissures within the body politic of the State. It is perhaps for the first time that all political actors had decided to play their predetermined role so as to up the ante to such an extent that the real matters for which common man in the State aspires remain subservient to some managed, imagined and dubious concerns which are aimed to artificially create and safeguard their political space in this un-fortunate State. It really pains to see how mainstream political parties from the Valley, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference are fanning the embers of opportunistic politics over the hanging of Afzal Guru. The decision of main opposition party, the PDP to boycott the Governor's address and create scenes by holding placards condemning the hanging of Guru within the precincts of the State Assembly is a grim signal towards the polarization of even mainstream politics on the regional lines. Jammu based political parties like the National Panthers Party (NPP) also boycotted the Governor's speech but it is worthwhile to note that their reason to vent anger was on the issue of nepotism and the failure of the coalition Government to give a clean and corruption free governance to the people of the State. The vertical polarization was candidly visible in the Assembly when BJP and NPP clashed with the valley based political parties on the issue of hanging of Afzal Guru and on their vocal demand to bring back his body to the valley. These political parties at least for the present have lost the feel that they are meant to address to the problems of the people of the State. When we see a MLA from PDP in an attire of a look-a-like of Guru, vocally opposing the decision of the Central Government in the Assembly it presents a shocking scene. These valley based political parties are essentially not realizing that for the vast multitude of people of Jammu and Ladakh, Guru was not a martyr as is being made out of him. For them the prime concerns are of development, better health care and a corruption free system which would promise to raise their standard of life. They consider Guru a terrorist who after proper judicial process was hanged in accordance with the law of the land. What does the valley based political parties want to convey is anybody's guess? The more vital point is that the developments that have unfolded during the last two days point to an un-nerving factor. Are the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Ladakh different from the aspirations of the political parties from the valley? Both the National Conference and PDP will have to come to terms with the mood of the people in the State. By trying to cash in on Guru's hanging they are playing with fire and wittingly or un-wittingly trying to create fissures within the State which is bound to threaten its very existence as a single entity. Mehbooba Mufti of PDP is totally wrong when she says that if the killers of Rajiv Gandhi and Beant Singh have not been hanged why Guru was singled out. If Guru has been hanged so should be the others too is her oft repeated argument. If there has been delay in bringing them to justice that does not mean Guru's hanging was wrong. She is only playing to the political galleries sensing that Guru can be a ready recipe for PDP to get back to power. The statements of the Chief Minister have also not been helpful. He too is busy raking up the issue in one way or the other. The reality is that common man in the valley is for development but the political parties especially those from the valley play bad politics which is bound to widen the cracks within the State and make it more fragile.

Don't accept ad hoc plans R

BY ANURADHA DUTT econciling heritage and environmental imperatives with development goals calls for skills and sensitivity.Critical appraisals of Government policies by experts do not seem to count. Currently, 81year-old GD Agarwal, now called Swami Gyan Swaroop Sanand, former head of civil and environmental engineering department at IIT Kanpur, is again on fast. This time it is at Amarkantak, to protest against the Union Government's failure to launch an effective Ganga rejuvenation plan. He called off earlier fasts after being assured of concrete action. 'Save Ganga' campaigners want a clean and freeflowing river but the National Ganga River Basin Authority, headed by the Prime Minister, has failed to address the issue seriously. Reconciling heritage and environmental imperatives with development goals requires skills and sensitivity that our present administrators do not possess. A glaring example is the Centre's rejection of the RK Pachauri Committee's proposal for an alternate route in the Ram Setu project, in deference to cultural, environmental and cost factors. It would rather undo history by refuting the belief that Lord Ram had the setu built, en route Lanka, and engage in a destructive plan. The ad hoc planning that typifies

Reconciling heritage and environmental imperatives with development goals requires skills and sensitivity that our present administrators do not possess. A glaring example is the Centre's rejection of the RK Pachauri Committee's proposal for an alternate route in the Ram Setu project, in deference to cultural, environmental and cost factors. It would rather undo history by refuting the belief that Lord Ram had the setu built, en route Lanka, and engage in a destructive plan. The ad hoc planning that typifies governance in most parts of the country is most evident in the Haryana Government heading for a confrontation with the National Capital Region Planning Board over its unsustainable model of development.
unique example of inter-State regional development planning for a region, having a total area of over 33,500 sq km spanning over 15 districts in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and National Capital Territory of Delhi, with the National Capital as its core. The National Capital Region in India was constituted under the NCRPB Act, 1985; the key rationale was to promote balanced and harmonised development of the Region and to contain haphazard and unplanned urban growth by channelising the flow and direction of economic growth (on which the urban phenomenon feeds) along more balanced and spatially-oriented paths". Attention to flaws in the State's plan, with regard to GurgaonManesar urban complex, was drawn by a petition filed by Fertile Land Protection Movement campaigners. They objected to acquisition of farmland for commercial purposes. However, Haryana's Directorate of Town and Country Planning has stated in its reply to an RTI applica-

governance in most parts of the country is most evident in the Haryana Government heading for a confrontation with the National Capital Region Planning Board over its unsustainable model of development. NCRPB recently submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court, stating that the State's Development Plan 2021 for the Gurgaon-Manesar belt did not conform to the Regional Plan 2021. Highlighting the problem of water scarcity in Haryana, the affidavit averred that NCR States' regional plans needed to comply with its own plan, which proposed that agricultural land be conserved, and not unnecessarily be converted for urban use. The board, which functions under Union Ministry of Urban Development, was set up after National Capital Regional Board Act came into being in 1985, with the consent of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The rationale for instituting such a body is given on its internet site: "National Capital Region is a

tion, filed by a Gurgaon resident, that the board's prior approval is not mandatory for the GurgaonManesar plan. This negates the very rationale of NCRPB. The Haryana Government has also been cornered for seeking to commercialise 'the remaining patches of natural forest and wilderness, which are critical groundwater recharge zones, as identified by Central Ground Water Board', to quote from an email sent last March by Sarvadaman Oberoi of Mission Gurgaon Development, to Director General of Forests and Special Secretary, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. Mr Oberoi accuses the State Government of 'directing the use of deemed forest lands for non-forest purpose by including thousands of hectares of Faridabad Aravalli forests as an agricultural zone, which allows mega recreational projects and other uses under a new master plan - Mangar DDP 2031, in prima facie direct violation of Section 2(ii) of the Forest Conservation Act'.

The Environment Ministry wrote to the State Government to stall the Mangar development plan until it had prepared the district forest map. It cited Supreme Court judgments of 1996, 2004 and 2011. States were directed to identify all forest areas, including degraded forests and areas covered by plantations. The court in 2011 directed the States to prepare geo-referenced district forest maps, detailing all such pockets. The Ministry wrote to the chief secretaries and chief conservators of forests in September of that year to prepare these maps within a given period. It has reminded the Haryana Government to expedite the work. Activists now want other projects, entailing non-forest activities in the Aravalli hill ranges - GMUC Draft Development Plan 2031, Sohna DDP, Gual Pahari DDP - to be stalled until forests, degraded and hilly areas are fully identified. Mr Oberoi has written in this regard to the Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan. He cites a study conducted by Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute, at the behest of Central Ground Water Board that claims that Delhi and NCR may dry up in three to five years in view of the severe depletion of the ground water recharge area, bio-diversity and forest cover in the Haryana Aravallis.


For once the finance minister has done the right thing
BY: ASHOK V. DESAI t has been clear for some time that the economy was sinking. The front page of The Telegraph carried colourful graphs on June 27 last year showing what was happening. Its conclusion was that "The root cause of the general slowdown was a serious industrial recession". It attributed the slump to a collapse of industrial investment: capital goods led the decline. The cause was initially financial: investment fell because of cost inflation, which led to a fall in the growth of revenue and profits. Costs went up partly because of a rise in costs of imports: depreciation of the rupee and a rise in oil prices were the main contributors. They also rose because of agricultural inflation: the government pushed up agricultural prices. That is as far as the story could be traced then. It is carried forward in the Economic Survey that the finance minister tabled in Parliament yesterday. It expects growth in gross domestic product at factor cost, which was 9.3 per cent two years ago, to fall to 5 per cent in 2012-13 (which will end in March). More important, it expected growth in GDP at market prices to fall from 10.5 to 3.3 per cent. The difference between factor cost and market prices is taxes on goods and services. What it was saying was that as the economy slumped, the share of taxes in the prices of goods and services had gone up; if one only looked at what the producers received and not at what people paid, the growth had fallen to a third of what it was two years ago. It also confirmed our guess about what was behind the meltdown. It showed that manufacturing growth had fallen from 9.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2010 to -0.3, .02 and 0.8 per cent in the first three quarters of 2012. It expected growth of fixed investment to fall from 14 per cent in 2010-11 to 2.5 per cent this financial year; there would be a less severe fall in private consumption growth, from 8.6 to 4.5 per cent. Incidentally, one component of the slowdown is in people's purchases of gold and jewellery, which get the Reserve Bank of India hot under the collar. Two years ago, they rose 32.4 per cent year-

The biggest surprise in Chidambaram's budget has been the largely missing populism. He is a loyal member of the Congress, which drowns in tears for the common man. The political compulsions are understandable. This is its way of confronting the communalism of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the progressivism of Left parties. But the results are dire; nine years of Congress rule have seen the budget getting utterly cluttered with dozens of populist schemes for people young and old, male and female, rural and urban; people are cut up into interest groups, and each is rewarded with schemes named after members of the Nehru family. Chidambaram did not eschew this approach entirely; he had to come out with a proposal of a women-only bank. He did not disclose whether he would be inaugurating it, what he would wear on the occasion, whether men would be allowed to enter the bank, and up to what age boys would be allowed to accompany their mothers into the bank. These details will no doubt be given in the piles of rules the finance ministry issues some months after the budget.
on-year; this year they are expected to fall 18 per cent. TheEconomic Survey contested the RBI's paranoia about gold, and showed that gold purchases were people's hedge against inflation. In brief, the economy is in free fall; that is the reality the finance minister had to face in his budget. Conventional wisdom says that in times of recession the government must increase deficit spending - tax less or increase expenditure. The Congress government does so all the time; it has run a fiscal deficit of 56 per cent of GDP since 2008-09. But instead of raising it, the finance minister proposes to bring it down to 4.8 per cent next year. He is not living up to his reputation as a deficit addict. Why? The answer lies in the balance of payments. India runs chronic payments deficits. The current level is $70-80 billion a year. That is fine as long as foreigners are investing in India. But the finance minister can no longer bank on it. The economic environment in industrial countries, whence most of the investment funds come, is fragile; and the downturn in Indian economy makes it less attractive to foreign investors. The RBI has tried to redress the balance of payments by devaluing the rupee, but it has not led to a noticeable improvement. So the only way to improve the balance of payments was by disinflation; that is why the finance minister has been so moderate in deficit finance. That was at the expense of his normal style. He, like his predecessor, has hitherto been a classic Congress finance minister: they have used government expenditure to benefit the poor. Every budget saw massive increases in expenditure on flagship programmes like subsidized food and public works. This time, however, he resisted the temptation. The existing schemes will devour larger sums. But he has been extremely stingy on plan expenditure, which will rise by only 6 per cent in the coming year. The normal rise would be at least at the rate of nominal income - roughly 15 per cent. But the economy is suffering from a downturn; if he cannot stimulate it with deficit spending, how can he revive it? There he has directly addressed the slump in the capital goods industry. He increased the deduction of investment expenditure from profits to 150 per cent and extended it to some more industries. He could have done more. It is a sad fact that P. Chidambaram is intelligent and addicted to complicated provisions. This and many other proposals of his could have been simpler, and simplicity would have added to their effectiveness. The biggest surprise in Chidambaram's budget has been the largely missing populism. He is a loyal member of the Congress, which drowns in tears for the common man. The political compulsions are understandable. This is its way of confronting the communalism of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the progressivism of Left parties. But the results are dire; nine years of Congress rule have seen the budget getting utterly cluttered with dozens of populist schemes for people young and old, male and female, rural and urban; people are cut up into interest groups, and each is rewarded with schemes named after members of the Nehru family. Chidambaram did not eschew this approach entirely; he had to come out with a proposal of a women-only bank. He did not disclose whether he would be inaugurating it, what he would wear on the occasion, whether men would be allowed to enter the bank, and up to what age boys would be allowed to accompany their mothers into the bank. These details will no doubt be given in the piles of rules the finance ministry issues some months after the budget. Just why Chidambaram forgot his votebuying mission is a mystery. It may be due to confidence. The Opposition parties are in disarray; it seems unlikely that they will be able to mount a serious challenge in the general election next year. There will, of course, be opportunistic coalitions; but the Congress is no less adept at them than its competitors. Alternatively, votes are important, but something else became more urgent this time. The economy is in poor shape; worse, it is subject to great risk, especially from outside. Chidambaram had to shore up the balance of payments. One of the external risks arises from the foreign capital that has flowed in in recent years. If foreigners started taking it out of India, the balance of payments would be in deep trouble. A responsible finance minister had to ward off the possibility, especially if he expected his party to return to power next year. That he takes the rest of the world seriously is suggested by his recent travels; he has shown the same concern in this budget. Both the external orientation and the long view are welcome; for once, the finance minister has done the right thing.

Bangladesh Turmoil
Dear Sir The turmoil which has engulfed Bangladesh is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the country. The agitators in Shahbag Square are demanding the death sentence for those responsible for the massacre and a ban on Islamist parties like the Jamaat-e-Islami. The protesters will have to be prepared to fight a long-drawn battle as the members of the Jamaat are not going to go down without a fight. However, the agitators seem to have made up their minds that they will no longer accept blind or irrational adherence to religious edicts. If one examines the bigger picture, one will see that these protests pose a veiled threat to the entire Islamic world.

The ruling dispensation in Bangladesh must mete out stringent punishment to the guilty. However, the protests in Shahbag Square may not lead to an immediate resolution of the crisis. Some Indian politicians have voiced their solidarity with the protesters. But they need to take concrete steps to help end the political stalemate and improve bilateral ties. Yours Etc. Nisha Jasrotia Akhnoor,Jammu

Post Guru Response

Dear Sir, Refer to your Editorial titled "Yasin Malik, Guru and docile response" published in your paper on 27th February. In

this context I would add that the said editorial in a very tacit way laid bare the problems of the rulers of the country. It is sad that to see that how the terrorists and separatists have gained semblance of respectability due to the wrong policies of appeasement. Instead of acting hard on terror the politicians of this country are still undecided how to deal with the enemies of the nation. With such a mindset the poor and innocent people of this country will get killed while as the politicians will continue to issue pre written statements for such ghastly acts of bloodletting. Yours Etc Vikram Mahajan Engg. Student, Jammu

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NEW DELHI,MAR 1:BJP and JD(U) today demanded that the government should come out clearly on the controversy over alleged tapping of phones of prominent MPs belonging to Opposition parties, saying it was a serious matter. "This government has continuously engaged in snooping and there are several agents in this regime who are involved in spying on leaders. First this government was found spying on its ministers, then its allies and now

BJP, JD(U) demand govt to come out clearly on phone tapping issue Bhandara rape case: Govt rejects Oppn's demand for CBI probe
the Opposition leaders. This is a serious matter," BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters outside Parliament House. BJP demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should come out with a clarification on the issue. "If the government spends even 50 per cent of the energy it is wasting on spying on India's security, and combating terrorism and naxalism, then the country would have benefited and the government would clean some of the taint of failure," Naqvi said. Asked if the tapping of Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley's phone was being done at the behest of his detractors in BJP, Naqvi vehemently denied it. JD(U) spokesperson and MP Shivanand Tiwari said there were reports that his phone as well as those of his party colleague N K Singh and SP leader Ramgopal Yadav have been tapped. "Who is tapping these phones and who is getting them tapped. More worrisome is that the machine used for tapping these phones have been brought to the country in big numbers and it is very easy to tap the phones," he said. NEW DELHI: The government on Friday turned down Opposition's demand in Rajya Sabha for a CBI probe into rape and murder of three Dalit minor girls, all below 11 years, in Maharashtra's Bhandara district, saying Centre does not intervene in state affairs. "This is a very serious issue and concerns the jurisdiction of Maharashtra government," Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said, adding the Centre did not intervene in state matters "be a Congress government or an Opposition-ruled government." Shinde was making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, where members, outraged over the incident, demanded that the Centre should ask for a CBI probe into the ghastly act. He said teams have been formed to pursue different lines of investigation, which is going on, and Maharashtra police was carrying out the probe to track the offenders. Earlier, there was outrage in Parliament on Friday over the Bhandara rape and murder case as Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde's written statement issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs mentioned the three victims' names. However, Shinde later withdrew the statement and said, "I have withdrawn the statement. Rajya Sabha Chairman has also withdrawn the statement. Have asked the secretary to conduct an enquiry into the matter." Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley pointed out the faux pas made by the ministry after the Union Minister finished his speech. "The identity of the victim is never disclosed. But the Home Minister has disclosed the names of the victims in his statement. I ask the Home Minister to take back his statement," said Jaitley. The Opposition slammed the government for inaction asking if only the suspension of a police inspector is enough. BJP MP Smriti Irani slammed the statement made by the Union Minister and said, "Why is that the Chief Minister of Maharashtra has not been able to name the chairperson of women Commission in the state. Is mere suspension of a PI enough? What is the responsibility of the police officers who have not acted on such cases. Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Shinde defended the police claiming they acted promptly. Shinde in his statement said, "I am deeply shocked and upset by the brutal murder. The investigation is underway and a cop was sacked for not taking prompt action on receiving the complaint." Shinde said, "Collective conscience of all members of the House would be equally revolted to know about the horrendous incident." He said the Centre would convey the sentiments of the members to the state including the anguish over the problems caused to the complainant.

Tiwari demanded that a probe be ordered to find out the people behind tapping of phones. "It seems there is no government and everybody is doing as he wants," he said.

EC sets the ball rolling on Karnataka Assembly elections

BANGALORE, MAR 1 : The Election Commission today set the ball rolling on the formal preparatory exercise for the Assembly polls in Karnataka, expected in May, by interacting with representatives of political parties here. The full bench of the EC, led by Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath and comprising Election Commissioners H S Brahma and Nasim Zaidi, held discussions and listened to suggestions of the parties regarding the poll, official sources said. The two-day visit of the EC is "routine" as it's always the practice in a poll-bound state, they said. The EC bench would review district-wise preparedness, hold interactions with the jurisdictional deputy commissioners and superintendents of police tomorrow. The term of the present Assembly ends on June 3. A delegation of the ruling BJP told the EC that the expenditure limit for the Assembly election needs to be enhanced. "The price rise and inflation have caused the expenditure limits to be unrealistic", it said. BJP also suggested that appropriate controlling mechanisms and a code of conduct be brought for curbing 'paid news'.

Sued TCS pays over Rs 160 crores to former employees

NEW DELHI,MAR 1: Country's largest software firm Tata Consultancy Services today said it has settled a law suit filed by former employees alleging violation of the rights of its non-US citizen workers in the US for a payment of USD 29.75 million, without admitting any wrong doing. "TCS has filed a settlement with the Court, in a Class Action Law Suit pending in US District Court, California, for approval of the Court. "This settlement involves the payment of, in all inclusive, settlement amount of USD 29.75 million by TCS. The settlement is made without admitting any wrong doing by TCS," the IT major said in a filing to the BSE. The settlement is subject to fairness review and approval by the court and settlement will not become effective until and unless approval by the court is given, it added. "TCS believes that it has always acted appropriately notwithstanding the allegations in the case," it said. The company has admitted no wrong doing and none has been found by the court. It agreed to settle this matter to eliminate any ongoing distraction to its associates and the management. The lawsuit was filed in 2006 by two of TCS' former employees, Gopi Vedachalam and Kangana Beri. The lawsuit alleged that the company unjustly enriched itself by requiring all of its non-US citizen employees to endorse and sign over their federal and state tax refund cheques, among others.

Budget will lead to further price rise: CPI-M

KOLKATA: Flaying the Congress-led UPA government over several issues including the budget, the CPI-M Friday said only the Left parties had alternative policies that were being propagated through the party's "Sangharsh Sandesh Jathas" (revolutionary message marches). "The budget has once again proved that this government thinks only about the rich. Subsidy worth Rs.26, 000 has been withdrawn from petroleum, which eventually will lead to further price rise," party general secretary Prakash Karat said here. "The budget has no provision for employment, when there is so much unemployment in the country. People of Tripura have shown the way, only the Left parties have the suitable policies," Karat said. The Left Front Thursday retained power in Tripura for the fifth consecutive time, sweeping 50 of 60 seats in the assembly. Karat was speaking at the launch of the parties' Eastern Jatha (march), flagged off by former West Bengal chief minister and politburo member Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. The Karat-led jatha will travel to various districts of the state before reaching Delhi via Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. "The purpose of the jathas is to highlight the problems faced by the people on account of price rise, unemployment, the problems faced by the farmers and the massive corruption. We are the only one to form alternative policies to the present ones being laid out by either the Congress or the BJP," Karat said. There are four main jathas, starting from Kanyakumari, Kolkata, Mumbai and Amritsar, and travelling through the length and breadth of the country, before converging at Delhi March 19, where a massive rally is scheduled. Apart from the Eastern jatha, which began Friday from here, the Kanyakumari jatha led by S. Ramachandran began its journey Feb 24; the Amritsar jatha led by Brinda Karat will begin March 4, while the Mumbai jatha led by Sitaram Yechuri will commence March 8. The focus areas that the marchers have decided to highlight are: Right to land and house-sites; curb of price-rise and the right to food; right to education and health; right to employment; social justice and the rights of women; and an end to corruption.

India, UK sign MoU for enhancing Rahul Gandhi meets party leaders in Mumbai co-operation in Earth Sciences
NEW DELHI: India and the UK will strengthen their cooperation in Earth Sciences and environmental research by sharing information on meteorology, hydrology and climate variability. A Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to promote exhanging scientific and technical capabilities, identifying new opportunities for collaborative activities and co-funding new environmental research was signed in New Delhi Friday. The MoU between the Earth System Science Organisation of the Ministry of Earth Sciences and UK's Natural Environment Research Council was inked in the presence of Science and Technology Minister S Jaipal Reddy. Mr Reddy said the bilateral cooperative agreement will help India improve the forecasting capability of v a r i o u s weather and climate-related phenomena through sharing of knowledge and expertise. Stating that around one billion people in South Asia are vulnerable to variability in the monsoon, the minister said advance forecasting will help people associated with farming which is the mainstay of the country's economy.

Violence marks 100-hour BTAD bandh in Assam SC grants bail to J'khand ex-CM Madhu Koda
KOKRAJHAR: Normal life was paralysed and sporadic incidents of violence were reported in Bodoland Territorial Administered Districts (BTAD) on Friday following a 100-hr bandh called by Peoples' Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement. The bandh has been called by Peoples' Joint Action Committee for Bodoland to demand talks with NDFB(P) at the political level with the Union Home Minister and also to press for a separate Bodoland. An unidentified body was recovered from Bagansali area under Kokrajhar police station while bandh supporters set ablaze a motorcycle in Kokrajhar town, official sources said. The bandh, which began last midnight, disrupted normal life with all shops, business and commercial establishments' educational institutions and markets remaining closed. Vehicles, too, remained off the road but trains operated as per schedule, sources said. NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has granted bail to former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda in a money laundering case. Koda will remain in the jail though, as he is accused in other cases. Koda, who is at present in judicial custody in a jail in Ranchi, was arrested on November 30, 2009 after the Income Tax department and the ED claimed to have unearthed a Rs 2500 crore money laundering and illegal investment scam following country-wide raids on 70 premises on October 31 the same year.

MUMBAI: Congress Vice President Rahul met with workers and leaders from the party's faction-ridden city unit in Mumbai on Friday. This is Rahul's first visit to the city after taking over as the Vice President of the party. He was accompanied by Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre and AICC in-charge Mohan Prakash for the meeting at the party's state headquarters Tilak Bhawan in central Mumbai. All MPs, MLAs, corporators, office-bearers and chiefs from the six district units of Mumbai are attending the

meeting with the Congress leader. Mumbai Congress unit has been without a leader for the last one year, after Kripashankar Singh, facing allegations of corruption, resigned following the party's defeat in the civic elections last year. The party has not been able to find a replacement for Singh since then. Party sources attribute the delay in appointment of a city unit president to infighting and decision-making regarding organisational matters in each of the six district units resting with the high profile MPs from Mumbai.

Pakistan to hand over 11 Indian prisoners today

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities will hand over 11 Indian prisoners, including seven fishermen, to Indian authorities at the Wagah land border crossing on Friday, officials said. The seven fishermen were released last morning from a jail in the southern port city of Karachi and sent by bus to Lahore. The four other Indians would be released from jails in Lahore, officials of the Indian High Commission said. The Indians are being released as they had completed their prison terms. The fishermen were arrested on the charge of violating Pakistan's maritime boundary. The 11 prisoners will be repatriated via the Wagah crossing this morning, officials said. India and Pakistan arrest dozens of fishermen every year on charges of violating the maritime boundary. In recent years, the two countries have taken several steps to speed up the release of the fishermen. Last month, Interior Minister Rehman Malik announced that all Indian fishermen being held in Pakistani jails would be released soon as a goodwill gesture. Recent figures from rights groups showed that over 250 Indian fishermen are being held in Pakistani jails while around 125 Pakistani fishermen are in Indian prisons.

Congress MP Mukesh Gadhvi passes away; LS adjourns after paying tributes

NEW DELHI/ AHMEDABAD: Congress MP from Banaskantha, Mukesh Gadhvi, on Friday passed away at a private hospital here, party sources said. Gadhvi, 50, was admitted to Sterling Hospital here 10 days back after he suffered a brain stroke. He died of multiple organ failure today, sources said. He was a member of Gujarat Assembly for three terms from 1998-2009. Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day on Friday after condoling the death of sitting member Mukesh Gadhvi. Gadhvi, a first term Congress member from Banaskantha in Gujarat, breathed his last in Ahmedabad this morning. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the passing away of Congress MP from Gujarat Mukesh Gadhvi, saying a promising political career had been cut short by death. "In the sad and untimely demise of Gadhvi, a promising political career has been cut short. I offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends and admirers of Gadhvi," the prime minister said. "An active social and political worker, he promoted the cause of education, particularly of the girl child," Speaker Meira Kumar said in her obituary reference as soon as the Lok Sabha met for the day. Members observed silence for a while as a mark of respect to the memory of the departed. Gadhvi was a two-time MP from Banaskantha and threetime MLA from Danta. He is survived by wife, two daughters and a son. His father late B K Gadhvi was the Union Minister of State for Finance during the Rajiv Gandhi government and had also been the Gujarat unit party president. Expressing grief, senior Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil tweeted: "Very sad and shocking to hear that my friend and senior Congress leader from Banaskantha is no more." Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief at Gadhvi's demise.

No breakthrough in Hyderabad terror attack probe

HYDERABAD: A breakthrough eludes police even a week after the terrorist attack in Hyderabad that killed 16 people and injured over 100. Despite claims by the police of obtaining many clues, it appears to be still groping in the dark. No one has been arrested so far in connection with the twin bomb blasts, though police picked up for questioning many youth including some who were acquitted in 2007 Mecca Masjid blast. The multi-agency investigators have yet to establish identity the terror group behind the blasts. The terror attack in the crowded Dilsukhnagar area Feb 21 evening killed 16 people and left 117 others wounded. Under fire for its failure to prevent the attacks despite admission by alleged operatives of the banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) that they recede Dilsukhnagar, the Andhra Pradesh Police may hand over the probe to National Investigation Agency (NIA). A Delhi court sent two alleged operatives of IM, lodged in Tihar Jail, to NIA custody for questioning. The NIA will question Syed Maqbool and Imran Khan for five days. The two were arrested late last year in 2012 Pune blasts case. NIA, which has already spread the probe to several states, is looking to piece together the information to track down the culprits. Since the blasts took place on the border between Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates, the police of both the commissionerates are probing the attacks besides Special Investigation Team (SIT), Crime Investigation Department (CID) CounterIntelligence and Octopus, the anti-terror wing of state police. The NIA, Intelligence Bureau (IB) and National Security Guard (NSG) are also participating in the investigations. Andhra Pradesh Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy is still confident of cracking the case 'soon'. "The investigations have been intensified. The culprits will be arrested soon," she said. "There is lot of data available to us. We are very close to solve the case. It is only a matter of time we get a breakthrough," claimed Director General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy. He also did not agree that there is no coordination due to several agencies involved in the probe. The police are likely to release soon the sketches of two suspects, whose images were captures on Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras installed in the area. Since the images recorded on a CCTV camera mounted at a traffic signal near the blast site are unclear, the police have taken help of the experts to identify the suspected bomb planters. The police are also scanning CCTV footage from the shops in the area to identify two men who suspected to have planted Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on cycles at the two sites before triggering them with timers. The condition of five injured in the blast still remained critical. They are undergoing treatment along with 10 others at two different hospitals. The other injured have been discharged.

SC rejects PIL, refuses to examine chopper deal

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to examine the AgustaWestland chopper deal after a PIL that a special investigation team should be set up to probe the Rs 4000-crore VVIP helicopter deal. Meanwhile, sources said that CBI is likely to quiz former IAF chief SP tyagi and his cousins next week. In February 2010, India had inked the deal to acquire the 12 three-engine AW-101 helicopters from AgustaWestland for IAF's elite Communication Squadron, which ferries around the President, PM and other VVIPs. Despite initial objections by the finance ministry, the Cabinet Committee on Security had cleared the deal in 2010. Indian Defence Minister AK Antony had then said, "IAF and SPG repeatedly told us the helicopters were required because of the changing security scenario... the finance ministry also agreed later. The CCS then took a considered decision." The case, which is still in its preliminary investigation phase, has rocked Italy before parliamentary elections on February 2425, and also in India, the world's largest weapon importer.

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Bulgaria President to hold early elections China upgrades launcher

Bulgaria will hold an early election on May 12, Rosen Plevneliev, the country's president has said, as the government seeks a way out of a political crisis that could undermine the Balkan country's economic stability. The announcement came after Prime Minister Boiko Borisov resigned last week following nationwide protests against high electricity prices, and plans to cut prices and revoke the distribution license of Czech utility CEZ, which could deter other investors. The European Union's poorest country has kept its debt and deficit low to mainthan half the EU average. "I believe that the necessary key changes in the laws should be decided by a new parliament. The decision is to hold elections," Plevneliev said. The average wage in the country is just 400 Euros a month and pension less than half that. Electricity prices although among the EU's lowest - therefore bite deep, particularly in winter when many people use it to heat their homes. All major Bulgarian parties have said they do not want to form a government in the current parliament.

rocket for lunar mission

tions, he said. The new design will allow the Chang'e-3 to take advantage of more launch windows in comparison to the Chang'e-2, which successfully completed its Moon orbiting mission. The Chang'e-3 will be able to take advantage of two daily launch windows for three to four consecutive days, Liang said. The new model also features improved guidance technology and realtime video feeds that will allow monitoring of the rocket's key operations, Liang said. The upcoming version of China's carrier rocket Long March-7 will hopefully make its first launch in 2014, Liang added. Researchers of the new variant have

tain confidence in a currency pegged to the euro, introduced in 1997 after mass protests against hyperinflation toppled a leftist government. But demonstrations by

tens of thousands of Bulgarians have already forced some concessions, and whoever wins the election will be under considerable pressure to spend and raise living standards that are less

BEIJING: China has upgraded its rockets for an upcoming lunar mission, keeping up with its plan to emerge as a major power in space technology rivaling US and Russia. China has developed a modified model of the Long March-3B carrier rocket, which will launch the Chang'e-3 moon orbiter later this year, said Liang Xiaohong, Deputy Director of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology. With its improved design, the modified carrier rocket's reliability has been increased and its carrying capacity has been boosted by 30 kg, Liang said. The new orbiter's structure and size is considerably different than those of its predecessors, requiring some modifica-

made key technological break-throughs, including the production of a staged combustion cycle liquid oxygen and kerosene engine, which can produce a thrust of 180 kilonewtons, he said. The Long March rockets series are regarded as key to China's thrust to establish its dominance in space technology.While stepping up its plans to land a rover on Moon's surface, China is also experimenting on how to reach and return from a mission to a space station, which they plan to develop. The Space Station is set to rival Russia's Mir Spacelab which is currently operated by Russia and US scientists. China's Space Station is expected to be ready by 2020, the year Mir is set to be decommissioned.

Bombings in Iraq kill at least eight

DIWANIYAH: Bombings in Iraq, including two car bombs at a sheep market, killed at least eight people and wounded dozens more on Friday, security and medical officials said. Brigadier General Abdul Jalil al-Assadi, the police chief of Diwaniyah province, said the car bombs went off at about 7:30 am (0430 GMT) in the market, south of the province's capital of the same name. Dr Adnan Turki, director of the Diwaniyah health department, put the toll from the blasts at six dead and 60 wounded, revising an earlier count. Two roadside bombs exploded in a village near Dujail, north of Baghdad, killing one person and wounding five, including three police, a police lieutenant colonel and a doctor said. One soldier was killed by a magnetic "sticky bomb" on his car near the north Iraq city of Mosul, an army first lieutenant and a doctor said. And two car bombs -- one near a school and another near a police checkpoint -detonated in Mussayib, south of Baghdad, wounding two people, police and a medic said. The blasts came a day after at least 26 people were killed and more than 60 wounded in a series of bomb attacks in the Baghdad area and shootings in northern Iraq. Violence in Iraq is down significantly from its 20062007 peak, but even 10 years after the 2003 US-led invasion which toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, attacks still occur almost every day.

British PM Cameron faces 'crisis' after by-election defeat

LONDON: The Liberal Democrats on Friday hung onto the southern England parliamentary seat of Eastleigh, dealing a heavy blow to Prime Minister David Cameron whose Conservative Party were beaten into third place. The election was billed as a straight battle between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, their junior coalition partner, but the anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) capitalized on voter disillusionment to claim second place. A senior Conservative earlier warned that third place would be a "crisis" for his party. The returning officer announced shortly after 02:00 GMT that Lib Dem candidate Mike Thornton had secured 13,342 votes, 1,771 more than UKIP representative Diane James. Tory nominee Maria Hutchings limped in third with 10,559 votes. The victory handed embattled Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg a much needed boost. "Tonight is a great night for the Liberal Democrats nationally," he added. "It sends a strong signal of support for Nick Clegg." A statement released by the Lib Dems at close of polling said the defeat would be "a major blow" to the Tories. "If the Conservatives can't beat us... under these circumstances, when can they beat us?" it added. Senior Conservative David Davis earlier warned that a loss for the party would place serious doubt over Cameron's leadership of the party. Some 58 percent of the 79,000 residents eligible to vote turned out to choose the winner from the 14 candidates, who had campaigned incessantly since the election was called following Huhne's resignation on February 5. On the eve of polling, Cameron urged Conservatives to back the party's candidate Maria Hutchings, who vowed to help "get the country back on its feet" if she won.

Gay activists want law to legalize gay marriage in China

BEIJING: Families of over 100 gay people in culturallyconservative China have written to law-makers urging them to bring about legislation to permit same-sex marriage. In response to the denial of registration of their marriages, families of over 100 homosexual people in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province signed an open letter to deputies of the National People's A proposal supporting same-sex marriage from Li Yinhe, China's most prominent sexologist, was also enclosed with the open letter. Li has been calling for samesex legislation for years, but her ideas have never been reflected in the NPC's discussions. "I hope they reply, even just a few. The best outcome would be to see real proposals at next week's NPC, but in light of the limited time, I hope this action will at least draw more public attention and discussion regarding gay rights," Liang Wenhu, a gay student said. A number of gay couples in China share a household, but they face difficulties with many issues including medical treatment, property and insurance management, and even child adoption without the legal protection and recognition enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. Zhu Lieyu, a Guangzhoubased lawyer and an NPC deputy, said, "Same-sex marriage is still a taboo in our traditional culture, and the social relationships of the couple and their families would need readjustment once they're married."

The election was sparked by the resignation of disgraced former energy minister Chris Huhne, a Liberal Democrat who has pleaded guilty to trying to avoid a speeding fine. The party has also been damaged by an ongoing sex scandal surrounding its former chief executive Chris Rennard, and the result looks set to cause ructions within an already strained coalition. Thornton credited the party's "fighting spirit" for securing victory and paid tribute to Clegg, saying that his support and visits to the town had given a "tremendous boost" to the campaign.


Petrol price up Rs 1.40/litre excluding VAT

NEW DELHI: Petrol prices will go up by Rs.1.40 per litre, excluding taxes, from midnight Friday due to the depreciating rupee and a sharp increase in crude oil prices in global markets, the government-run oil marketing firms said on Friday. This is the second increase in petrol price in the past two weeks. It was hiked by Rs.1.50 per litre Feb 16. The country's largest oil marketing firm Indian Oil Corporation said the prices have been revised upward due to the depreciation in the value of rupee and rise in international crude oil prices."The combined impact of these two factors has compelled the company to revise the prices. The Corporation does not have any other option but to pass on the increase in motor spirit prices to consumers as the Corporation has already suffered losses on sale of motor spirit during the year," Indian Oil Corporation said in a statement.

Impose limit on global transactions of cards, RBI tells banks

MUMBAI: In order to check frauds, the RBI has asked banks to impose a monetary limit for international transactions on credit and debit cards and refrain from issuing cards with global access unless specifically sought by the customer. The Reserve Bank said a monetary limit of $500 be imposed by the issuing bank on all global cards which have not been used in the past. "All the active magstripe international cards issued by banks should have a threshold limit for international usage. The threshold should be determined by the banks based on the risk profile of the customer and accepted by the customer by June 30," it said. Till the time of completion of the process a threshold limit not exceeding $500 may be put in place for all debit cards and all credit cards that have not been used for international transactions in the past, it said. The notification has been issued following cyber attacks, which according to RBI has become "more unpredictable and electronic payment systems becoming vulnerable to new types of misuse, it is imperative that banks introduce certain minimum checks and balances to minimize the impact of such attacks and to arrest or minimize the damage." Besides introducing additional security features in the card, the bank would also be required to put in place a real time fraud monitoring system and a mechanism to ensure that cards can be blocked through an SMS by the cardholder. These initiatives, RBI said are needed to ensures that transactions effected through such channels are safe and secure and not easily amenable to fraudulent usage. The announcement come in the backdrop of a slew of card frauds that have taken place in the recent past leading to unauthorized withdrawal of sums by unscrupulous agents.

SEBI issues guidelines for IDR conversion

MUMBAI: Market regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Friday came out with a detailed framework for conversion of Indian Depository Receipts (IDRs) into equity shares, as part of efforts to attract more foreign companies to get listed on the domestic bourses. IDRs are generally instruments denominated in rupees and allow overseas companies to raise funds from the Indian market. The SEBI has said that IDRs cannot be redeemed into underlying equity shares for a period of one year from the date of its listing. Also, the issuer would provide two-way fungibility for IDRs. Thereby, Indian shareholders can convert their depository receipts into equity shares of the issuer company and vice versa. The fungibility option would be available on a continuous basis and at the time of conversion 20 per cent would be reserved for retail investors. "The issuer shall provide the said fungibility to IDR holders in the following ways - converting IDRs into underlying shares and converting IDRs into underlying shares and selling the underlying shares in the foreign market where the shares of the issuer are listed and providing the sale proceeds to the IDR holders," the SEBI said in today's circular. In the 2012-13 Budget, the government had proposed to allow two-way fungibility of IDRs to encourage greater foreign participation in the Indian capital market. THE SEBI said the IDR fungibility would be available at least once every quarter and the window would be open for at least seven days. The regulator said that fungibility if once exercised and disclosed to public cannot be changed without its approval. In case of option of converting IDRs into underlying shares and providing the sale proceeds to the IDR holders, the issuer would disclose the range of fixed or variable costs in percentage terms. However, all the cost together should not exceed five per cent of the sale proceeds. The total number of IDRs available for fungibility would be fixed before the opening of the window. "Re-issuances of IDRs during the fungibility window, if any, shall be considered for computation of headroom only at the time of next cycle of fungibility," the SEBI said. Fungibility window for this purpose refers to the time period during which IDR holders can apply for conversion of IDRs into underlying equity shares.

Gold falls further on increased selling, global cues

NEW DELHI: Gold and silver fell further in the national capital on heavy selling by stockiest in tune with a weakening global trend on Friday. While gold fell by Rs 165 to Rs 29,985 per ten grams, silver lost Rs 515 to Rs 54,750 per kg on poor demand and heavy selling by stockiest. Traders said selling by stockiest in tandem with a weakening global trend influenced the sentiment. In New York, gold fell by USD 16.80 to USD 1579.50 an ounce while silver dipped by 1.62 per cent to USD 28.51 an ounce.Besides, poor domestic demand due to off-marriage season further fuelled the downtrend. On the domestic front, gold of 99.9 and 99.5 per cent purity remained under selling pressure and surrendered further ground by losing Rs 165 each to Rs 29,985 and Rs 29,785 per ten grams, respectively. It had lost Rs 180 yesterday. However, sovereign remained steady at Rs 25,300 per piece of eight gram in restricted buying. In a similar fashion, silver ready dropped further by Rs 515 to Rs 54,750 per kg and weekly-based delivery by Rs 840 to Rs 53,160 per kg. The white metal had lost Rs 335 in the previous session. Silver coins too plunged by Rs 1,000 to Rs 82,000 for buying and Rs 83,000 for selling of 100 pieces.

New norms on residency certificate, a backdoor entry for GAAR

KOLKATA: Girish Vanvari, Co-head Tax, KPMG India, said on Friday the Union Finance Minister's suggestion regarding the Tax Residency Certificate (TRC) as insufficient for foreign investors to claim benefits under the Double Taxation Avoidance (DTA) treaty with Mauritius could be seen as the "backdoor entry" of General Anti Avoidance Rules (GAAR). Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in his Budget speech on Thursday said a TRC would be necessary but not "sufficient" to claim benefits under the DTA treaty between India and Mauritius for foreign institutional investors. "There is a lack of clarity for the foreign investor as to what additional details should be furnished to get the benefits. This could be seen as the entry of GAAR of taxation through the back door," Vanvari said. He was speaking to presspersons on the sidelines of a seminar on Budget analysis organized jointly by KPMG and the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry. According to a KPMG note released on Friday on the FY14 Budget, for non-residents, submission of TRC containing prescribed particulars has been made necessary, but this is not a sufficient condition for claiming benefit of the tax treaty. This amendment is to take retrospective effect from financial year 2012-13.

Sensex recovers by 57 pts; after Fin Min clarification on TRC

MUMBAI: Shrugging off Budget blues, the BSE benchmark Sensex on Friday bounced back from threemonth lows to end nearly 57 points higher at 18,918.52 on value-buying after the Finance Ministry promised to address concerns over Tax Residency Certificate (TRC). Sensex, which had tumbled 291 points on Thursday to three month lows of 1,8861.54 on hike in taxes and FII concerns, opened firm and rose to an intra-day high of 18,988.97. It closed at 18,918.52, a gain of 56.98 points or 0.30 per cent. On similar lines, the National Stock Exchange Nifty rose by 26.65 points or 0.47 per cent to 5,719.70. Finance Ministry earlier today sought to assure worried investors saying their concerns on TRC for claiming treaty benefits will be 'suitably' addressed during discussion on Finance Bill in Parliament. Tightening rules for foreign investors claiming benefit of tax treaties, Finance Minister P Chidambaram yesterday had said TRC will not be enough to seek benefits under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA). "The markets were able to recover and gains ground once the clarity on TRC was received," said Milan Bavishi, Head Research, and Inventure Growth & Securities. Meanwhile, good sales attracted investors to Maruti Suzuki that gained 5 per cent. Bajaj Auto and M&M also rose. HDFC, L&T, HUL, Cipla, Jindal Steel gained 2-3 per cent. Buying activity was seen in stocks of consumer durables, capital goods, auto and banking, while IT stocks like Infosys gained on weakening rupee. The domestic currency was last trading at 54.92 versus US dollar, up 1 per cent. Banking stocks rose on hopes that slowing growth with GDP expansion falling to 4.5 per cent in Q3 might force RBI to cut rates sooner, said brokers. ICICI Bank rose 1.54 per cent. Stocks of RIL and GAIL declined while ONGC rose. Despite rise in Sensex, market breadth remained negative. Support was seen after a HSBC survey said India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) was up by 54.2 in February against 53.2 in January. Globally, a better tend in the Asian region and higher opening in Europe further supported the domestic market.

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Mary Kom gets land for boxing academy

NEW DELHI: London Olympics bronze-medallist woman pugilist M C Mary Kom has finally been alloted the plot of land promised to her by the Manipur government to expand her boxing academy. "The managing board/committee of Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Manipur; Hon'ble CM. Shri. O Ibobi Singh and his Cabinet for allotting 3.30 acres of land, for construction of infrastructure for the existing boxing academy of MC Mary Kom at National Games Village, Langol," a release from the Mary Kom Regional Boxing Foundation said. The land was promised to her in August last year after she won a bronze medal in tials. It provides free training and boarding and lodging to C.M. Pabung O. Ibobi Singh for his concern," Mary said. "I believe this will be a great motivation to my students to work harder and bring more laurels. Let us strive towards mentoring our future generation in whichever way we can," she added. Mary said the land will come in handy to increase academy's strength. "It will remain a great encouragement to the students and the committee as certain challenges we are facing will be coped to some extent, especially training during rainy season," she said. "We look forward to giving better performance in future with the blessings from the Government and the people of this land," she added.

IB shuttlers win double Young Evan completes title in badminton Intermediate course
JAMMU: Shuttlers from Intelligence Bureau (IB) today clinched both singles and doubles title thereby making it a clean sweep in badminton event of the ongoing Annual Sports Meet of Centre Government employees, organized by the Central Government Employees Coordination Committee (CGECC). In the singles final, Sumit Dogra beat equally good Rajesh Sehdev of Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM) in straight sets 1508, 15-12. Earlier, in the semifinals, Sumit beat Simdarshi Meena of IIIM 15-11, 1509 while Rajesh trounced Sunil Kumar of IIIM by 1510, 15-08. Quarterfinals: Rajesh Kumar (IIIM) beat Shashi Jamwal (SOI) by 15-13, 1512; Sunil Kumar (IIIM) beat Sanjeev Kumar (SOI) and Samdarshi Meena (IIIM) beat Munish (Customs and Excise) by 15-10, 15-12. Meanwhile, in doubles final, the pair of Sumit Dogra and Sumit Katwal of IB registered a fine 2-1 (12-15, 15-11, 1512) win over Mahesh Sharma and Anil Kataria. Earlier, in the semifinals, Sumit and Sumit Katwal beat the pair of Manjeet and Rajesh Sehdev of IIIM 1614, 15-11 while Mahesh Sharma and Anil Kataria of NSSO beat the duo of Sanjeev Sharma and Bhanu Partap (SOI). The badminton competition was coordinated by he used 3-wood for the tee Ashok Chadha, BS Bhan, shot wherein he normally PS Jamwal, Sunil Chaku uses his 52 wedge. His best and Shashi Jamwal. shot of the tournament came on the finishing hole where he rescued the ball from a difficult condition as he landed his tee shot in right bushes but managed a par with advice from his caddy. Another highlight of the day was a hole-in-one on 7th hole by Devendra Singh who finished 22nd. JAMMU: Kumar Evan Magotra has become the youngest adventurer from J&K to complete the Intermediate course in water sports (Kayaking) from Atal Behari Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports Manali in Himachal Pradesh. Held at Peeradi on River Beas, the two-week course was attended by around 15 participants aged between 14 years to 30 years. A ninth standard student of MHAC Nagbani, Evan successfully completed the course with grade-A (73 per cent). "During the course, we have been trained in swimming, rafting, water safety and rescue by the expert trainers," young Evan Magotra said. Youngest in the group, Evan was selected for

the London Olympics, where women's boxing made its debut, but the approval from the state cabinet came only earlier this month. The academy was established in the 2006 with focus on underprivileged poten-

its wards. The current number of students at the academy is 57 (29 residential and 28 outsiders). "My long cherished dream next to Olympics is coming closer to reality and I am very grateful to Hon'ble

Japan's Morita closer to first title in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Japan's Ayumi Morita edged closer to winning her first ever WTA title after reaching the semi-finals of the BMW Malaysian Open on Friday. The fourth seed had to dig deep in the quarter-final before getting the better of qualifier Luksika Kumkhum. The Thai gave as well as she got before Morita stepped up through the gears to win 6-7 (79), 6-4, 6-1. "I'm very happy to be in my fourth career semi-finals. I hope to continue doing my best and try to go further this time," she said. Morita, who ranks 55 in the world, will meet 127th-ranked Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in Saturday's semi-final. The Japanese player calls Malaysia her "second home" after playing in the tournament since the inaugural event in 2010. That year she also reached the semi-final, while in 2011 and last year she only managed to reach the last eight. Morita also got to the semis in Strausbourg and Guangzhou in 2009. The 22-year-old said her opponent had played "very well" despite sweltering conditions in the Southeast Asian country. Rain delayed play on the first three days. Meanwhile, Pliskova eliminated Austrian Patricia MayrAchleitner 7-5, 6-1 to set-up the meeting with Morita.

Srilankan Bandara clinches 8th NCR Cup trophy

NEW DELHI: Sri Lankan Vijitha Bandara won the 8th NCR Cup golf at the Delhi Golf Club . It was the second consecutive time the trophy was won by a Sri Lankan. N.Thangaraja, who has turned professional, now, won the trophy last year. Bandara shot four-over 76 for the total of 293 in windy conditions to lift the trophy. India's Prince Kajotia who has joined Indian Navy recently, returned with the career best finish after shooting three-over 295 as a runner up. India born Thai Samarth Dwivedi ended the day with 3rd position as he scored 300 while coming from behind another Indian Lakhan Singh WAS tied for fourth place along with Amit Kumar at 303. Bandara started the day with a birdie on 1st and was one-over after front nine. After taking a lot of pressure on himself, 24year-old Bandara dropped two shots and made a double bogey on 10th. No.1 on Sri Lanka amateur circuit, Bandara got confused in choosing the clubs on 11th hole as the wind speed high and

the Intermediate course by the Institute because of his being topper in the basic course. Evan has already completed his basic water sports course at Pong Dam in Himachal Pradesh. Son of an Everester and clinical tropical expert consultant, Dr Shyam Kumar Magotra, Evan now plans to apply for the Advance course in water sports. Evan is being encouraged in adventure sports by his father, Dr Shyam, who is also member of the apex body of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF).


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