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WEEKLY GENERAL AWARENESS UPDATES FOR BANK EXAMS

(For the week 31.07.2011 to 06.08.2011)

Personalities
Justice Dinakaran
Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court P. D. Dinakaran,
who resigned was earlier the chief justice of the
Karnataka high court and judge of the Madras high
court. In August 2009, the supreme court colleguim
recommended his elevation as a judge of the
supreme court along with four other high court chief
Justices.
The collegiums dropped his elevation and shifted him
as chief Justice of the Sikkim high court.
Meanwhile, removal proceedings were initiated in the
Rajya Sabha following submission of petitions by
members of parliament to chairman Hamid Ansari,
who constituted a three member probe panel.

In a country where the armed forces are known for


their decisive interventions in politics, the resignations
are seen as marking the military's acceptance that its
era of dominance in running the country is over.
Some analyst have interpreted the resignations as
the demise republic conceived and nurtured by the
founding father Kamal Ataturk, and the birth of a new
one, under elected civilian stewardship.
Since his election in 2002, Mr. Erdogan's government
has steadily eroded the military clout. This has been
partly achieved through legal reforms, but more
prominently through marathon investigations and
trials, where a number of high ranking military
personnel along with journalists have been charged
with conspiracy to overthrow Mr. Erdogans
government.
Zara Phillips

It was initially headed by Justice V. S. Sirpurkar,


Supreme Court Judge, who, however, resigned.
Subsequently in September last Justice Aftab Alam,
Supreme Court Judge, was appointed in his place
with Karnataka Chief Justice J. S. Khehar and senior
advocate P. P. Rao as members.

Queen Elizabeths 's grand daughter Zara Phillips


married England rugby star Mike Tindall, however,
Britain's second royal wedding of the year was largely
a low key affair, with only the glamour and excitement
of Prince Williams show stopping nuptials.

Kuldip Nayar

Ms. Phillips, 30, who is 13th in line to the throne but


does not use a royal title, and Mr. Tindall 32 were
greeted by hundreds of flag-waving well wishers and
the sound of traditional bagpipes as they arrived for
their wedding service at Edinburghs cannon gate Kirk
in a private ceremony.

Veteran journalist and advocate of India Pakistan


friendship Kuldip Nayar had informed the Indian
embassy in the U. S. before he attended an event
organized by Kashmir separatist and alleged ISI spy
Ghulam Nabi Fai. Fai was arrested by the FBI earlier
this month, for lobbying for Pakistan and using ISI
funds for doing so. Later at a hearing in a US court,
Fai admitted getting funds from the ISI Mr. Nayar,
along with journalist and Jammu and Kashmir
interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar, as well as other
intellectuals in India came under scrutiny after it was
revealed that a part of the funds from the ISI went into
organizing conferences through Fai's Kashmir
American Council (KAC) in Washington DC.
The conference ended with the passing of a
resolution titled, "Washington declaration, which said
that the participants 'unanimously' expressed grave
concern over the "deteriorating" human rights
situation in Kashmir. It also urged the Indian
government to withdraw its armed forces form civilian
populated areas, seeking an impartial commission to
investigate "killings" in a transparent manner.

Yeddyurappa
B. S. Yeddyurappa resigned as the Chief Minister of
Karnataka after putting up stiff resistance for five
days. It was probably the first time in history of the
state that a Chief Minister along with a large number
of his supporters took out a Padayatra to the Raj
Bhavan to submit his resignation.
The 13th Assembly still has another 22 months to go
for completion of its term and the BJP has a
commanding strength of 121 members in the
224 strong house.
Sadananda Gowda

Erdogan unfazed by military resignations

Bhraratiya Janata Party Leader D. V. Sadananda


Gowda, was sworn in as the 26th Chief Minister of
Karnataka.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has


stamped his authority over the military by accepting
the resignations of top armed forces commanders
and quickly appointing an army chief of his choice.

The celebrations were in keeping with the occasion,


though the fissures within the party came to the fore
with a large contingent of MLA's from the Jagadish
Shettar faction not attending the function.

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Mr. Gowda is the second leader from the coastal


region to become chief minister after M. Veerappa
Moliy. Mr. Gowda for the post, Mr. Shettar, who was
an aspirant for the Chief Minister's post, several
MLA's and some former ministers such as R Ashok
and the Reddy brothers from Bellary, were absent,.
The BJP General Secretary and Bangalore South
MP, Ananth Kumar, and state unit BJP President K.
S. Eshwarappa were present.
Sonia Gandhi
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has gone abroad
to undergo a surgery for an undisclosed medical
condition, though no details were made available by
the party or family, the fact that Mr. Gandhi has
constituted a four member plan to "manage the day to
day affairs of the party in her absence suggests the
surgery, involved is a major one.
The committee members are Mr. Gandhi, Defence
Minister A. K. Antony, her political secretary Ahmed
Patel and party general secretary Janardhan Dwivedi.
According to Tehelka and some other news -sites,
Ms. Gandhi is being treated at New York's Memorial
Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
The hospitals public affairs department told the
Hindu, that privacy rules prevented Sloan Kettering
from discussing anything about patients, including
whether or not a particular, individual was being
treated there.
M. C. Joshi assumes office
M. C Joshi took over as Chairman of the Central
Board of Direct taxes (CBDT) in place of Prakash
Chandra who retired on July 31.

Economy / Business
DRL, Fujifilm to form joint venture
Dr. Reddy Laboratories, has entered into an exclusive
partnership with Fujifilm corporation, part of Japan
based Fuji film Holdings, in generic drugs business
for the Japanese market and to establish a joint
venture in Japan, Fujifilm will have 51 percent and
Dr.Reddy's 49 percent in the joint venture.
Mphasis acquires US firm
IT service companies Mphasis announced that it had
entered into a definitive agreement to acquire US
based software vendor Wyde Corporation. Under the
terms of the agreement, Mphaiss will hold 100
percent stake in Wyde Corporation.
This acquisition is the second by Mphasis in the
insurance industry vertical after acquiring AIGSS
(AIG software system) the AIG captive centre in
India in 2009.

First State Investment hikes stake in Idea cellular


Idea cellular said first state investment management
(UK) ltd has increased its stake in the telecom
services company to over 5 percent from 3.29
percent. First state investment is a part of the asset
management division of the Commonwealth Bank of
Australia.
HSBC to cut 30,000jobs in global overhaul
British banking group HSBC said it would cut 30,000
jobs worldwide by 2013 and sell almost half its retail
bank branches in the US as part of a new strategy to
focus on fast growing & emerging markets.
India, Japan, open markets
India and Japan asserted that the comprehensive
economic partnership Agreement (CEPA) which
came into force from 1st August, 2011, would give a
big boost to bilateral trade enabling it to touch the
$25billion mark by 2014.
It is a part of the building block for much larger
agenda for building a comprehensive economic
partnership for east Asia which covers ASEAN,
China, Korea, Japan, India, Australia and New
Zealand.
Under CEPA, duties will be brought to zero in ten
years on 66.32 percent of the products traded
between the nations.
We have data on deposits in swiss banks, says
Pranab
The government said that it had received information
about Indians holding accounts in Swiss banks and
was taking appropriate action.
However, it did not disclose the names of account
holders, pleading that the information received under
the double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA)
was covered by the confidentiality provision of the
DTAA.
In the absence of credible information regarding the
quantum of black money, the government has roped
in three leading think tanks NCAER, NIFM, and
NIPFP to conduct a study on unaccounted income
generated inside and outside the country. Mou were
signed with the institutes on March 21, 2011. The
study is expected to be completed in 18 months at an
expenditure of `7.76 core, "the finance minister said.
The government had also constituted a high level,
committee headed by the CBDT chairman to
strengthen laws to curb generation of black money in
Indian and its illegal transfer abroad and help in its
recovery.

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US senate passes budget deal


The United States Senate put an end to months of
partisan impasse, passing a landmark budget
agreement to raise the debt ceiling and sending the
measure to the White House for President Barack
Obama's signature just hours before the
government's borrowing authority was set to run out
at midnight.
The bipartisan vote was 74-26 a margin that belied
the intensity of a fight that has left both parties
bruised and exhausted.
The house was relatively strong in support of the
plan, which would cut more than $2.1 trilllion in
government spending over 10 years while extending
the borrowing authority of the treasury department. It
would also create a powerful new joint congressional
committee to recommend broad changes in spending
and possibly in tax policy to reduce the deficit.
IDRBT excellence Awards presented
The Institute for Development and Research in
Banking Technology (IDRBT) Technology excellence
awards for 2010-11 were presented by RBI deputy
Governor, Anand Sinha.
The awards are given away in six categories to 10
banks - Bank of India, State bank of India (two
awards) Karur Vysya bank, the Lakshmi Vilas Bank
HDFC Bank Ltd, the South Indian Bank Ltd, Punjab
National Bank, the Federal Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank ltd
and Karnataka Bank Ltd.

The forest bench, comprising chief justice


S. H. Kapadia and justices Aftab Alam and Swatanter
Kumar passed the order after perusing the report of
the central empowered committee that said "overexploitation" of the area had caused large scale
environmental degradation.
The Bench said we are satisfied that on account of
over-exploitation, considerable damage has been
done to the environment. We are taking a holistic
view of the matter. We have suspended these
operations keeping in mind the precautionary
principle, which is the essence of article 21 (right to
life) of the constitution.
To ascertain the impact of the ban on the economy
and the steel industry, the bench directed the MOEF
to submit an interim report indicating "what is the
requirement of steel industry in India as far as iron
ore in concerned.
The Bench said the MOEF should also spell out "the
total requirement of the steel industry in the country,
how much is met by the Bellary mines, how much of
the quantity of iron ore is domestically required and
internationally exported?"
To know the environmental degradation caused by
mining in the districts of Tumkur and Chitradurga, the
bench directed the central empowered committee to
submit a report on environment impact assessment
within three weeks.
Sensitive information leaked from Indian embassy
in Moscow

NMDC to buy two overseas mining assets shortly


Seeking to consolidate its position, NMDC is in the
middle of talks for acquiring two overseas mining
assets and an announcement in this regard is
expected shortly.
NMDC Chairman Rana Som said the company had
earmarked $500 million (about `2,400 crore) for
overseas acquisitions this fiscal and was targeting
four assets, including two coal and two iron ore, in
Australia, the U. S. Russia and some countries in
Africa.
NMDC has already inked a memorandum of
understanding to acquire up to 50 percent stake in an
Australian mineral exploration company Legacy Iron
Ore.

Miscellaneous
Supreme Court suspends mining operations in
Bellary district
The supreme court directed the suspension of all
mining operations and transportation in an area
admeasuring approximately 10,868 hectares in
Bellary district of Karnataka till further orders.

Sensitive information from the Indian embassy in


Moscow appears to have been leaking to a foreign
security outfit atleast for the past two years, if
documents released by an international hackers
group are to be believed.
The paper quoted from letters purportedly exchanged
between the Indian embassy and Russian companies
regarding supply of spares for Russian military air
craft. The letters have been posted online by
Anonymous Hackers for Antisec operation, a group
campaigning against governments and security
outfits.
The group said it hacked the documents from the
server of Italy's national Anti Crone computer centre
for critical infrastructure protection (CNAIPIC).
Child rights violation : NCPCR sets three -month
deadline for officials
The National Commission for Protection of Child
Rights (NCPCR) has written to officials about 800
cases of violation that has been brought to its notice
and gave them a three-month dead-line to deliver
justice, according to its chairperson Shantha Sinha.

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Ms. Sinha said while Kerala was first among all the
states in education, nutrition and health it was
followed by Tamil Nadu. She added that Bihar was
making strides in implementing the Sarva Shiksha
Abhiyan.
"I had nothing to do with 2G pricing" Pranab
Mukherjee
Union Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee rejected
suggestion that he had anything to do with the pricing
of 2G spectrum and hit out at those spreading
"disinformation" on the issue.

Frame work for budget deal struck in the US


President Barack Obama and congressional leaders
of the republican parly agreed to a frame work for a
budget deal that would cut trillions of dollars in federal
spending over the next decade and clear the way for
an increase in the government borrowing limit. Mr.
Obama in a hurriedly called appearance with the
media that ended a day of uncertainty said the
compromise would "allow us to avoid default and end
the crisis that Washington imposed on the rest of
America.

In 2007, when he was the external affairs minister Mr.


Mukherjee was appointed chairman of a group of
ministers (GOM) on vacation of 3G spectrum. This he
said had nothing to do with 2G and its pricing.

It ensures also that we will not face this same kind of


crisis again in six months, or eight months, or
12 months", he said. "And it will begin to lift the cloud
of debt and the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over
our economy.

The GOM was for vacation of spectrum by the


defence
and
paramilitary
forces
and
the
communication ministry for mobile telephony and
other issues. Pricing was not part of the mandate of
the GOM, he said.

The tentative agreement calls for at least $2.4 trilion


in spending cuts over 10 years, a new congressional
committee to recommend a deficit reduction proposal
by thanks giving (November 24), and a two step
increase in the debt ceiling.

Referendum on Lokpal Bill launched at IIT Madras

Tribal women operate Hydel power project in


Andhra Pradesh

India Against corruption, Chennai chapter will conduct


a referendum over the next 10 days covering one
lakh people to find out the pulse of the city on the
Lokpal Bill.

Blazing a new trail, a 12 member group of tribal


women, in once naxalite affected Addateegala
Mandal in the East Godavari Agency are operating
the Vetamamidi Hydel power project.

Launching the referendum at IIt-Madras, RTI activist


Arvind kejriwal told that the centre had ignored most
of the suggestions from the civil society and was
preparing its own toothless bill to shield the corrupt
instead of penalizing them.

The project, located in thick forest and constructed on


Yeleru canal, was commissioned just 20 days ago.
From trial runs it has generated 76, 641 units with
total capacity of 1.20 mco. a tripartite agreement was
signed in December 2005 between the A. P Tribal
Power Corporation the ITDA at Rampachodavaram
and project committee with 19 members, out of whom
12 are women.

Mr. Kejriwal said the government, Lokapl bill did not


cover
corruption
at
panchayats,
municipal
corporations, NREGS, PDS or scams like Adarsh
housing society, common wealth games, Taj corridor,
cash for votes and others.
Of the 71 base principles, the centre had agreed to
only a dozen minor issues and left out all the major
ones. At present, the reaction from political parties
was mixed but this would change after the tabling of
the Lokpal bill in parliament he said.
India will participate in nuclear security summit in
Korea : Pratibha
President Pratibha Patel has expressed confidence
that the Indian South Korean agreement on
cooperation in the peaceful uses of Nuclear energy,
signed during her just concluded state visit to korea,
would enable the two countries to cooperate in this
area. She said that "the nuclear security initiative
conference will be taking place in korea (next year)
and Indians will participate.

The ministry of Renewable Energy extended


60 percent subsidy to the project and the NABARD a
40 percent loan of the total expenditure of `8 core.
Repayment of the loan to Nabard would take 8 to 10
years and after that the entire profits would be utilized
for the development of the village by the project
committee. AP Transco has agreed to purchase
5 million units per annum generated by this project at
a rate of `2.49 per unit. The project will be linked with
the power grid directly.
Referendum in Sibal's constituency
Social Activist Anna Hazare termed as "unfortunate"
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's justification for
keeping his office out of its purview, especially when
85percent people in Kapil Sibal's constituency
supported the Jan Lokapal Bill as opposed to the
government Lokapl Bill.

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Mr. Sibals constituency was chosen because he


represented the face of the government. Over 85
percent surveyed had favoured the draft bill prepared
by the civil society members of the joint drafting
panel.
Nip communal violence bill in the bud: Jayalalitha
TamilNadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha has written to all
the non-congress Chief Ministers, requesting them to
oppose the prevention of communal and targeted
violence (Access to justice and Reparations) bill,
2011.
In a statement Ms.Jayalalitha said it had been
reported in the media that the centre was planning to
introduce the bill in the current session of parliament.
She charged that the bill, in the garb of preventing,
communal and targeted violence, was another blatant
attempt by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)
government at the centre to totally bypass the state
government and invest all powers with the central
government.
Xinjiang attackers trained in Pakistan says China
The Chinese government blamed a group of
extremists trained in terror camps in Pakistan for
orchestrating this weekend's violence in the far
western Xinxiang region that left at least 20 people
dead.
An initial probe into the violence had found the
attackers "had learned skills of making explosives
and face arms in overseas camps of the terrorist
group east Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in
Pakistan.

About 350 farming families from eight villages were


formed into 15 associations and were convinced to
convert atleast three acres of their land to organic, a
total of 1,050 acres. In phase two 18 more villages
were covered with funding from the European union
and EEd, a German organization. Thus, a total of
1,190 families now grow organic food on 3,570 acres
of land
Thus, Brahmanapalli was the first village where every
farmer went totally organic.
NDA government blamed for appointing Kalmadi
Faced with embarrassment in the form of another
Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the
Commonwealth Games 2010, the Government hit
back and blamed the Atal Bihari Vajpayee led
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government for
the appointment of Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi as
chairman of the CWG organizing committee. In a
damage control exercise, Minister of State for Sports
and Youth Affairs Ajay Maken made a suo moto
statement in the Lok Sabha on the issue. He said that
the CAG report is not in a position to comment on its
contents.
The statement comes on the heels of media reports
that despite the recommendations of the group of
ministers, the Prime Minister's office (PMO) choose to
nominate Mr. Kalmadi as chairman of the organizing
committee.
The minister said the CWG, management protocol
clearly stated that the Indian Olympic Association
(IOA) shall form the organizing committee.
NGO complains against face book

Go organic, become self sufficient


First time visitors to this remote and drought - prone
district are struck with the heady smell of cow dung
the moment they enter the village, While this may be
repulsive to the guests, for members of the 60 odd
farmers in this village, it is their claim to fame
because they now boast of health and nutritive
wealth.
Every farmer in Brahmanapalli boasts of a 'No, No' to
chemical fertilizer and pesticides thanks to four years
of tireless work by members of Timbaktu collective, a
voluntary organization active in ChenneKothapalli,
Penukonda and Roddam Mandals in Ananthapur
district of Andhra Pradesh for over two decades now.
Timbaktu collective's agro-farm bio -diversity work
began in 1999 with 'Seeds of Hope' a project
supported by Asha for education, to document local
agro-farm bio-diversity and to conduct experiments in
organic farming techniques with a few select farmers.
In September 2005, the collective's first phase of
'Timbaktu organic' project began in right earnest,
supported by sir Dorabji Tata trust.

The non-government organization Consumer Unity


and Trust Society (CUTS) international has filed a
Preliminary Information Report (PIR) with the
Competition Commission of Indian (CCI) urging the
agency to investigate the potential anti competitive
conduct of social networking website facebook.
The CUTS has complained about facebook's newly
introduced payment system 'facebook credits' which
could be spent across various games or applications
on the website.
facebook can potentially engage in anti competitive
and unfair business practices in the market for virtual
goods purchased in social games through its
facebook credit, terms in India and its activities in this
regard needs to be investigated by the CCI"
Ghost ship sinks India's coastal defences claims
India's post 26-11 coastal defences have been
brutally exposed by Pavit, a 1,000 tonne Panama
flagged merchant vessel, which ran aground on
Mumbai's Juhu shore, undetected by the new, three
tier security ring on which at least `700million has
been spent.

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The Navy, responsible for security beyond 12nautical


miles, the coast guard, which patrols the zone
between 5 and 12 nautical miles, and the newly
created maritime police all failed to detect it.

Iraq has an estimated Christian population of around


8,50,000 significantly down from the earlier estimates
1.5 million, church sources say.
Why keep PM out - Sushma

National SC/ST commission sends summons to


Leela Samson
The National Commission for scheduled castes and
scheduled tribes has issued Summons to Leela
Samson, chairperson of the Central Board of Film
Certification, to appear before it in connection with the
upcoming Bollywood movie 'Aarakshan' (Reservations).
The Commission has called Ms.Samson to examine
whether the movie violated any provision of the
SC/ST prevention of Atrocities act,. Sameer Bhujbal,
MP and son of prominent Maharastra OBC (other
backward caste) leader Chhagan Bhujbal said in a
press statement Dalit and OBC leaders have already
demanded a preview of the film which is stated to be
released on August 12. They have warned of action if
the stand in the movie is found to be anti
reservations.
All India Mahatma Phule Samata Parishad has called
for a peaceful protest depending on the film content.
Honour for Sangham Radio
The community radio experiment Sangham radio run
by a group of illiterate rural dalit women at Machnoor
village, Medak district continues to attract attention
and accolades. The school of journalism and
communication of the University of Queensland.,
Australia has commended the dalit women for their
innovative and practical mode of communication
contributing to grass root levels of sustainable
development.
The commendation is part of a global competition
2011 communication for Social Change Award' which
was conducted by University of Queens Land. Close
to 60 competitors drawn from 22 countries vied for
the top honours.
The community radio which was set up by Deccan
Development Society (DDS) is being exclusively run
by dalit women from a rural back ground,
commending the work by rural women.
Supported by DDS, about 18 women have been
creating content for the community radio on a wide
range of issues. The community radio is billed as the
first such initiative in India that is run and managed
fully by rural dalit women.

A bill to establish the institution of Lokpal that will look


into charges of corruption against certain public
functionaries was finally introduced in the Lok Sabha.
The BJP opposed the Bill as it had not brought the
post of Prime Minister within its purview. Soon after
the bill was introduced, Mr. Hazare urged people to
burn copies of the government draft, while doing so
himself. Terming it a weak bill, he asked every village,
district and state to come forward and burn copies of
the bill. He was talking to the media in his hometown
Ralegaon Siddhi in Maharashtra.
With the permission of the speaker Meira Kumar,
under Rule 72, she said what is the logic in excluding
the office of Prime Minister from the ambit of the
Lokpal Bill, 2011, when legislations such as the
Indian Penal code, the criminal procedure code and
the prevention of corruption act did not give immunity
to the post. No one can be a holy cow. How can you
put the prime minister outside the system?
Ms. Swaraj recalled a statement of the former Prime
Minister, A. B. Vajpayee. He had said; "If the Prime
Minister is not included in the Lokpal, then the law
becomes ineffective
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, while heading
the parliamentary standing committee on the Home
ministry in 2002, felt that the post of Prime Minister
could also be brought under the Lokpal.
South Korea buys gold after 13 years
South Korea's Central Bank, The Bank of Korea, said
it bought gold after 13 years, in a move to diversify its
foreign exchange reserves. The central bank said it
bought 25 tonnes of gold form global market between
June and July.

Miscellaneous
Minorities panel to decide on Swamy's article
The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) will
take a final view on an article written by
Subramaniam Swamy where he advocated
disenfranchisement as a punishment for Muslims
refusing to acknowledge their Hindu ancestry.

Death penalty for Iraq church attack

The NCM had taken Suo Moto notice of the article at


its meeting on July 19. The article appeared in the
Daily News and Analysis (DNA) on July 16 three days
after the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai.

An Iraqi court has convicted three people and


awarded them the death penalty for their role last
year in the church siege, which killed 68worshippers,
and underscored the uphill task faced by rulers of
protecting religious minorities.

Since its publication, Dr. Swamys article has been


hotly debated on twitter and facebook, and last week
it raised a storm in Harvard, where he taught
economics in the 1960s. In an online petition,
students and faculty members demanded that

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Harvard end its association with him. The petition


said while free expression and the vigorous contest of
ideas are essential in any academic community, so
too are respect and tolerance for human difference.
By advocating measures that would grossly violate
freedom of religion and the unqualified right to vote
for different religious groups, and by aggressively,
vilifying an entire religious community (Mr.) Swamy
breaches the most basic standards of respect and
tolerance.
In the article titled, 'How to wipe out Islamic terror, Dr.
Swamy, who is also president of the Janata Party
said that by 2012, he expected Islam to confront
Hindus to complete unfinished business. He said
"fanatic Muslims consider Hindu dominated India an
unfinished chapter of Islamic conquests.
All other countries conquered by Islam converted to
100 percent Islam within two decades of the Islamic
invasion. Undivided India in 1947 was 75 percent
Hindu even after 800 years of brutal Islamic rule. That
is jarring for the fanatics.
Dr. Swamy prescribed strategies to defeat the
political goals of Islamic terrorism. Among them
"implement the uniform civil code, make learning of
Sanskrit and singing of vandematarm mandatory and
declare India a Hindu Rashtra in which non Hindus
can vote only if they proudly acknowledge that their
ancestors were Hindus. Rename India Hindustan as
a nation of Hindus and those whose ancestors were
Hindus."
Enact a national law prohibiting conversion from
Hinduism to any other religion. Re-conversion will not
be banned. Declare that caste is not based on birth
but on code or discipline. Welcome non-Hindus to reconvert to the caste of their choice provided they
adhere to the code of discipline. Annex land from
Bangladesh in proportion to the illegal migrants from
that country staying in India. At present the northern
third from Sylhet to Khulna can be annexed to resettle illegal migrants.
A secular effort to ensure that no child goes
hungry
The food has come, children shout in a chorus as
they spot a blue van come to a halt outside their
school gate. The van delivers their mid-day meal for
many it is the only decent food they get to eat.
The 200 odd children at this government Anjuman
recognized primary school Madrasa Islamia School at
Sadar Bazaar are too young to understand the effort
that goes into the one meal they get in School.
The vans, zipping past the streets of the holy town of
vrindavan and adjoining areas, belongs to Akshaya
Patra kitchen, bounded by the international society for
Krishna consciousness (ISKCON) that supplies food
to over 1,500 government schools here under the

centre's ambitious mid-day meal programme. These


include madrasas recognized by the state
government.
"Ours is a truly secular effort to ensure that no child
goes hungry", says Prabhu Madhuvrat Dasa of
Akshaya Patra, that started the programme in
Vrindavan in 2004. Converted into a state of the art
kitchen in 2009, it feeds more than 1.5lakh children
everyday. The kitchen, the second of its kind after
Bangalore, employs 5,000 thousand men and about
30 women for the entire exercise, which begins at 2
a.m. when the food is prepared. The last van leaves
the kitchen at 6.30 a.m. most of the processes are
automatic to ensure quality and hygiene, including
grinding of spices. The menu includes dal, subzi,
Khichi, chawal, kheer, pulao and rotis, supplied in
rotation.
The roti maker can churn out 40,000rotis an hour.
While Akshaya patra kitchen in Bangalore primarily
makes rice, we had to introduce the roti maker here
which was a challenge in itself.
The government provides ration (100gm per child per
meal at the primary level and 150gm per meal per
child for upper primary students) through the Food
Corporation of India, and cash subsidies take care of
60percent of the cost. The Akshaya Patra takes care
of the rest by way of donations. The organization
owns the land and infrastructure which includes a
fleet of 30 vans,.
Set back to Air India as it misses joining star
Alliance
Already reeling under financial crisis, state owned Air
India suffered a rude jolt when the global airlines
group "star Alliance" decided to "Suspend" the
national flag carrier's integration into its network. The
government described the move as unexpected and
disappointing".
The decision to suspend Air India's formal entry into
the Alliance was said to be "jointly" taken by the
27member airlines as the national carrier "has not
met the minimum joining conditions that were
contractually agreed in December 2007. Air India was
given a dead line of July 31 to meet all standards and
criteria to join the Alliance network.
Lufthansa, the German national carrier, was
mentioning Air India to complete the essential
requirements for joining the Alliance. Formed in 1997,
Star Alliance is consortium of 27 airlines, including
Lufthansa, Air Canada, Singapore Air lines, Thai
Airways and Swiss international Air lines.
Together, its members have more than 4,000 aircraft
connecting 1,160 airport in 181 countries through
more than 21,200 daily flights.

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