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Hyderabad

Rajya Sabha member and Congress leader P. Govardhan Reddy passes away

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Senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member from Telangana Palvai Govardhan Reddy passed away at Kullu in Himachal Pradesh after suffering a cardiac arrest there this morning.
 
He was 80. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. 
 
Sources close to his family said his body would be brought to Delhi and then flown to Hyderabad, where it would be cremated tomorrow.
 
Mr. Reddy had left here this morning by air for Kullu to attend a meeting of a Parliamentary Standing Committee scheduled to be held there. He suffered a cardiac arrest soon after landing there and was rushed to the Government hospital in the town, where he breathed his last around 10.30 am.
 
Mr. Reddy served as a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly from 1967 to 1985 and then from 1999 to 2004. He served as Minister of State in the State Council of Ministers in the early 1980s. He was elected to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council in 2007 and to the Rajya Sabha in 2012.
 
Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Hamid Ansari condoled the passing away of Mr. Reddy and described it as a personal loss.
 
"Shri Reddy was an active and respected member of Rajya Sabha since 2012, and his presence would be missed by all who worked with him. Shri Reddy will be remembered for his relentless efforts towards the welfare of farmers in Telangana," he said.
 
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao expressed shock and grief over the sudden demise of Mr. Reddy. He directed the Chief Secretary of the State Government and the State's Resident Commissioner in Delhi to make arrangements to bring the mortal remains of Mr. Reddy to Hyderabad.
 
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GVK sells its 10% residual stake in Bangalore Airport to Fairfax India for Rs. 1290 crore

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GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd today announced its decision to sell its residual stake of 10% in Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL), held through its subsidiary, Bangalore Airport Infrastructure Developers Private Limited, (BAIDPL) to Fairfax India Holdings Corporation for a consideration of Rs 1,290 crore (approximately $200 million). 
 
The transaction is expected to be completed by early July 2017. The proceeds of this sale are to be used for further reducing the debt obligations of GVK, a press release from the company said.
 
In March 2017, GVK closed a deal which was signed during March 2016 with Fairfax India to sell a 33% stake in BIAL. It had retained a 10% stake and the management of BIAL.
 
Dr. G V K Reddy, Founder Chairman & Managing Director of GVK, said, “Notwithstanding this sale, the airports sector will continue to be a core focus area for GVK. We had entered BIAL in 2010 when the airport was going through a tough phase as the capacity was severely constrained. Over the last seven years, we have worked very hard to transform BIAL into a world-class airport. The airport is now ready for another phase of expansion with a new runway and a new terminal to be constructed. However, we have decided to part ways with BIAL as deleveraging is top priority.”
 
“Our immediate focus will now be on Mumbai and Navi Mumbai airports and on selectively evaluating privatisation opportunities. The reduced debt burden gives us flexibility and releases management bandwidth to focus on these projects. Capacity optimisation and real estate development will be the key focus areas for the existing Mumbai airport. Having won the bid for the Navi Mumbai airport, we are excited to deliver yet another world-class airport. The Government’s focus on developing the aviation sector also presents attractive growth opportunities and we are evaluating these,” said Dr. Reddy.
 
“I would like to thank the Government of Karnataka, the Government of India, AAI and all the stakeholders for working closely with GVK over the last seven years in creating a world class airport that will continue to keep pace with the growing demand of Bengaluru in the coming years. We also wish the incoming shareholder, Fairfax India, the very best in maintaining the momentum to take the airport to even greater heights, ” he added.                                                                                                      
 
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Sustaining and reinvigorating higher education a major challenge: Mukherjee

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Sustaining and reinvigorating higher education in India as well as in other parts of the world has become a major challenge, especially for public institutions, according to President Pranab Mukherjee.
 
Addressing the first convocation of the English and Foreign languages University (EFLU) here yesterday, the President said challenges for such institutions, both outside and inside, can be seen as four distinct factors. These are escalation of costs of learning; narrow pragmatics, that is, market-oriented fast-track skill acquisition, as the sole goal of learning; the allure of invasive dominant communication systems depleting attention span; and corrosion of trust.
 
“Any attempt to build or re-orient higher education in such a situation requires administrative acumen. Administrative strength and sensitivity removes hurdles in the path of learning, and allows academics to thrive, as this University has displayed,” he said.
 
He referred to the six-decade-long growth of EFLU since its inception as the Central Institute of English, established as part of the vision of the first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for a new India in 1958 and later as Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages in 1972 before becoming a Central University in 2007. 
 
Mr Mukherjee said he was happy to know that the university had built a significant research profile in language and literary studies, cultural and inter-disciplinary studies.
 
“Today EFLU stands out among the Universities of South Asia with specialized competencies in the areas of language, literary and cultural pedagogies, language sciences, teacher education and research,” he added.
 
Recognizing the seminal role played by the university and assisting productive expansion of its founding vision, the Union Government has entrusted EFLU with several groundbreaking and important projects such as National University Students Skill Development, National Literacy Mission Authority and Massive Open Online Courses, he noted.
 
Acknowledging the eminent role that the university evinces in teacher training and education, the Ministry of External Affairs entrusted the university with international responsibility for training diplomats and for designing trainer training programmes.
 
“I am told that in this regard centres for English Language training have been set up in ASEAN countries and five new centres are coming up in African countries,” he added.
 
“I am happy to know that the university has initiated outreach programs such as university – industry interface and mutually beneficial dialogue with public sector undertakings, social welfare organizations, government agencies, media houses and private educational institutions,” the President said.
 
During his speech, Mr Mukherjee advised the faculty, students and the staff to avoid cynicism that is an easy alibi to evade responsibility. “One way of achieving this is making everyone a stakeholder in collaborative institution-building. Immersive teaching supplemented by intensive research alone can advance the vision of the University in generating new knowledge and sharing it with everyone,” he added.
 
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Later, inaugurating the centenary celebrations of Osmania University, the President said universities should be developed as temples of higher learning. “They should be places for creating learning environment, where free exchange of ideas will take place and where mighty minds in the form of students and teachers would exchange ideas.
 
“Osmania University was also established with this dream that it will be an institution of excellence where free minds will meet freely, interact and exchange ideas and live in peaceful co-existence. In ancient India, Universities such as Taxila, Nalanda and Vikramshila had attracted mighty minds in the form of students and teachers.
 
“Today, there is no doubt that there has been huge development of educational infrastructure in the field of higher learning. However, there are some areas of concern. As Visitor to more than 100 Central Institutions of higher learning, I have been continuously emphasizing that these Institutions in India should occupy their rightful place in the international ranking process,” he said.
 
“Apart from looking into this aspect, attention also needs to be laid on basic research and education. There should be interface and effective inter-linkages between industry and academia. We cannot live in isolation. There is need for investment in research and innovation so that we can occupy our rightful place in the international community,” he added.
 
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Ansari lauds Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah for Dakini Urdu promotion and secularism

Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari delivering the first Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah Memorial Lecture of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, in Hyderabad on April 13, 2017.
Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari delivering the first Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah Memorial Lecture of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University, in Hyderabad on April 13, 2017.
Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari has lauded Hyderabad city founder Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah, whose reign in the 16th century is noted for its contributions to the promotion of Dakhini Urdu literature and a secular approach in governance.
 
Delivering the first Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah Memorial Lecture of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Mr Ansari said Hyderabad was designed to be "a replica of the paradise itself".
 
"An early 17th century English traveler praised it ‘for its sweetness of air, convenience of water and fertility of soil’ and ranked it higher than any in the realm of the Moghul emperor or other princes," he said.
 
“One other reason should make the subject inseparable from the venue. Dakhani Urdu has its own pedigree and was the court language of Bijapur and Golkonda kingdoms. Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah composed verses, on his own admission, every day ‘just like waves in a rippling river’ and is credited as being the first person to have compiled a diwan. 
 
"He was the first translator of Hafiz and his efforts ‘led to the birth of a Persian poetic style and usage in the Dabistan-e-Golkonda,” he added.
 
Mr Ansari said it was important to consider the context of the times and the place in history of the Qutbshahi dynasty that lasted a mere 164 years - from 1523 to 1687, when its last incumbent, Abu`l Hasan, surrendered to a Moghul general.
 
“In this short span, it witnessed a blossoming of architecture, poetry, music, art, dance and cuisine and became a byword for culture apart from being a vibrant centre of international trade,” he added.
 
Mohammad Quili lived at a time when Moghul Emperor Akbar, in the words of a biographer, “hovered like an eagle over the northern horizon and watched the fighting cocks of the southern states, rending and wearing each other until his own time should come to pray on them".
 
"Individuals, communities, and whole states defined their identity with respect to this colossus of the north, sometimes in opposition to it and sometime in imitation of it," Mr Ansari said. 
 
These independent or quasi-independent entities survived the imperial onslaught for varying periods by acknowledging some form of suzerainty. In the process, they developed their own style of governance. 
 
They "detached religion from statecraft" and culture from territorial boundaries and thereby gave themselves "an enormously elastic and transnational character".
 
Nor is the role of the mystics in forging ties between different segments of society to be ignored. This led to eventual reconciliation of religions and culture.
 
Mr. Ansari said two aspects of the statecraft of the Deccan states can be discerned and are worthy of mention. The first was the philosophy of governance and the necessity of a pragmatic approach towards the subjects of the state. The second pertained to the geopolitical considerations that confronted them in relation to the dominant power in the Indian sub-continent.
 
The Qutb-shahis were of Iranian origin and had strong religious affiliations arising from of their relationship with Iran, particularly after the year 1501 when Shah Ismail resorted to strident sectarianism.  Notwithstanding this, their approach to governance was pragmatic and secular. Writing about the administrative system in the reign of Ibrahim, father of Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah, the historian Haroon Khan Sherwani has noted that "very little differentiation was made between the Hindus and the Muslims so far as the affairs of the state were concerned".
 
This was also the case in Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah’s period when "a characteristic of the epoch was a spirit of camaraderie which existed between the Hindu and the Muslim sections of the population" and "the whole policy of the Government seems to have been that of equality of opportunity for both the Hindus and the Muslims for practically all the officers of the state", he said, quoting the historian.
 
"His court, continues the same historian, ‘represented the culture of the Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and while he seems prejudiced in his enunciation of the inferiority of the non-Shi`ah sects of the Muslims he is culturally at one with the Hindus and the Parsis as well as the man in the street so far as his appreciation of their way of life is concerned.
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"As a result, ‘the whole outlook of the state as centered in the person of the Sultan was non-communal'," he added.
 
Another aspect of this catholicity was the Sultan’s approach to Telugu. His father, who spent seven years as an honoured guest in Vijayanagar, imbibed a passion for the language and the same was the case with Mohammad Quli to whom Telugu was ‘like a mother tongue’ and who used Telugu words in his Dakhni-Urdu poems, offered patronage to its literary personages and whose firmans and official announcements were bilingual.
 
"The Sultan thus made ‘a deliberate attempt to synthesize cultures in the Deccan imbibing in the people of Hyderabad a relish of tolerance, love of spectacle, and mildness of nature.’ It is not altogether accidental that one of his successors became a patron of the kuchipudi dance form," he said.
 
"Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah occupies a place in our history and his personality and contributions are studied with much benefit by any one interested in the evolution of architecture, language and culture. His policy of peace and diplomacy ‘had warded off Moghul political influence as much as lay in his power’ and his passing away on January 31, 1626, after a rule of 31 years, left the door open for Emperor Shah Jahan to pursue his program of subjugating the Deccan kingdoms," he added.
 
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Cabinet nod for agreement for establishment of CIRDAP Centre in Hyderabad

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The Union Cabinet yesterday gave its approval for the signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Rural Development and the Dhaka-based Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) for establishment of a CIRDAP Centre at National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR), Hyderabad.
 
The centre would give NIRD&PR an advantage of having first-hand knowledge of networking with organizations specialized in rural development programmes which in turn would help in building a repository of institutional knowledge for it, an official press release said.
 
The centre would also help NIRD&PR to enhance its status in the region through linkages with other Ministries/Institutes in the CIRDAP Member Countries (CMCs). The faculty of the NIRD&PR and the Ministry officials would benefit from exchange visits to the best practices in the CMCs. The scope of work of the Centre is to focus on the implementation of integrated rural development, particularly poverty alleviation programmes within CMC member countries.
 
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The CIRDAP is a regional Inter-Governmental and autonomous institution which came into existence in 1979 at the initiative of the countries of Asia Pacific region and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) with support from several other UN bodies and donors. 
 
India is one of the key founder members of this organisation, whose objective is to promote regional cooperation and act as a serving institution for its member countries for promotion of integrated rural development through research action, training, information dissemination etc.
 
CIRDAP has one sub - regional office in Jakarta, Indonesia, which was established in 1997 to assist and expand CIRDAP membership and its resources, to conduct training research and pilot projects relevant to South East Asian region. There are 46 countries in Asia Pacific Region, therefore CIRDAP has great potential for expansion for which they would be assisted by CIRDAP Centres, the release added.
 
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D. R. Doley Barman appointed as Director, SVP National Police Academy, Hyderabad

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Ms. D. R. Doley Barman, presently working as Director, North East Police Academy (NEPA), Shillong, Meghalaya, has been appointed as Director, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA), Hyderabad.
 
Ms. Doley Burman, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the 1986 batch (JK cadre), will succeed Ms. Aruna M. Bahuguna, IPS (AP:79) by temporary downgrading the post to Additional Director General (ADG) level for a period of two years or until further orders, whichever is  earlier, an official press release said.
 
She would also hold additional charge of the post of Director, NEPA till the appointment and joining of regular Director, NEPA, the release added.
 
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NDMA holds workshop on plan to deal with heat wave

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A two-day national workshop on Preparation of Heat Wave Action Plan ended here today with all stakeholders resolving to work towards mitigating the adverse impact of the imminent heat wave this year. 
 
The workshop was organised by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Government of Telangana. 
 
Addressing the workshop, Mr. R.K. Jain, Member, NDMA said the focus of all efforts should be on reducing the number of deaths. "We should work towards translating available data and research into specific actions to reduce the impact of heat waves," he added. 
 
At the technical session on Effective Governance Tools for Increased Resilience to Heat Wave, the need to bring about some fundamental changes in the built environment to augment heat wave preparedness was underlined. 
 
The session on Monitoring, Review and Updation of Heat Action Plan was chaired by Mr. Kamal Kishore, Member, NDMA. The session discussed the importance of coordination amongst all agencies and regular monitoring of the heat wave situation. It highlighted the significance of reviewing and updating Heat Action Plans to suit the changes in an environment. 
 
Discussing the need for spreading awareness on heat wave, its ill effects, symptoms and simple mitigation measures, Mr. Jain emphasised the need to extensively use IEC (Information, Education and Communication) campaigns to reach out to the masses, especially to weaker sections of society as they form the most vulnerable segment of population. He reiterated that efforts towards heat wave preparedness would mean something only if such collaborative efforts are able to save lives. 
 
Dr. D.N. Sharma, Member, NDMA, underlined the need to fine-tune Heat Action Plans right up to the village level so that traditional knowledge and indigenous practices are integrated in their plans to enhance the efficacy of their mitigation measures. 
 
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Heat waves often lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion, stress and even a fatal heat stroke. With advance planning and preparedness, heat wave induced deaths and illnesses can be brought down. 
 
In 2016, with NDMA's ‘Guidelines for Preparation of Action Plan – Prevention and Management of Heat-Wave’ and the pro-active approach of some of the most vulnerable States, the number of deaths in the country came down significantly, an official press release said.
 
Three technical sessions - Heat Wave Action Plan and Risk Reduction, Experience Sharing of Heat prone States and Implementations of Mitigation Measures and Early Warning and Forecasting of Heat Wave - were held on the first day of the workshop. 
 
Senior officials from NDMA, experts on heat wave, early warning and forecasting agencies, State governments and research institutions participated in the workshop. 
 
 
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Mukherjee to visit Rashtrapati Nilayam, Secunderabad for Southern sojourn

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President Pranab Mukherjee will travel to Secunderabad for his annual southern sojourn at Rashtrapati Nilayam from today until December 31.
 
During his stay there, the President will on December grace the 6th Convocation of MDS and 11th Convocation of BDS Courses at the Army College of Dental Sciences, Secunderabad, tomorrow, an official press release said.
 
On the same day, he will also address the centenary year celebrations of the Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Hyderabad.
 
On December 24, Mr. Mukherjeewill inaugurate the Mahila Dakshata Samiti and Bansilal Malani College of Nursing in Hyderabad. The next day, he will visit Bengaluru where he will inaugurate the 89th Annual Conference of the Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan.
 
On December 26, Mr Mukherjee will address the 6th Convocation of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad.
 
On December 29, the President will inaugurate the 77th Session of Indian History Congress in Thiruvananthapuram. He will then travel to Mysore and inaugurate the 17th National Jamboree of the Bharat Scout and Guides.
 
On December 30, he will inaugurate the Sri Shankara National Centre for Cancer Prevention and Research and the Adamya Chetana Seva Utsav-2017 in Bengaluru.
 
The President will also on December 30, host an ‘At Home’ reception at the Rashtrapati Nilayam for senior dignitaries of the State, Ministers, officials, journalists and others.
 
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51st DGPs/IGPs Conference begins in Hyderabad

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today inaugurated the 51st post-Independence DGPs/IGPs Conference-2016 at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy.
 
On the occasion, Mr Rajnath Singh gave away the Indian Police Medals for meritorious service to officers of Intelligence Bureau and Ministry of Home Affairs.
 
The three-day conference will deliberate on various security-related issues confronting the nation and come out with ways and means to tackle them.
 
Addressing the conference, the Home Minister commended the efforts of the Police Forces of the States, UTs and Centre for all round improvement in the internal security situation in the country, be it insurgency in the North-East, Naxal activities, or the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, where attempts to incite secession and law and order problems were made from the neighbourhood.
 
He acknowledged the relentless efforts of police forces of the States and Centre in handling such disturbances. He also lauded the coordinated efforts of Central and State intelligence for not letting ISIS indoctrinated youth commit any act of terror in the country.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh held that that the recent demonetisation move of the Government would impair the finances of anti-national elements and groups. He emphasised on the need of exchange of information relating to best practices among Police personnel belonging to all States and Central agencies.
 
Contribution of experts of various security domains, such as Investigation, Forensic Science and Prosecution, need to be appropriately recognised, he added.
 
Earlier, on arrival at the Academy, the Home Minister paid floral tribute to the Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and homage to the martyrs of the Indian Police Service, at the Martyr’s Memorial, by laying a wreath.
 
Ministers of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju and Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Director (NPA) Aruna M Bahuguna, Heads of CAPFs and senior officers from security and intelligence agencies are attending the conference.
 
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South Asia Biosafety Conference begins at Hyderabad

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The three-day South Asia Biosafety Conference (SABC) opened here yesterday with representatives from 13 nations sharing international experience among scientists and regulators in biotechnology, environmental risk assessment and biosafety regulation in South Asia.  
 
In her opening address, Dr. Amita Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and Chairperson, Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC), said India has a robust regulatory framework for ensuring biosafety of all types of genetically engineered organisms under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. 
 
She pointed out that these regulations are supported by a series of guidelines to deal with various aspects. Capacity-building and sharing of experience have to be continuous activities to ensure effective implementation of the biosafety regulations, she said.
 
Such activities also help in increasing awareness and creating an environment of understanding among various stakeholders. Appreciating the research efforts in biotechnology, she commended the research institutions for their R&D initiatives towards developing newer products relevant to the national needs.
 
In his keynote address, Dr. Anupam Verma, Vice-President, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), emphasized that the modern world is facing enormous challenges to achieve food security.
 
In the backdrop of increasing demand for food, dwindling natural resources and increasing biotic and abiotic stresses as a result of intensification of agriculture and climate change, the world has no option, but to accelerate utilization of the available and emerging technologies for improving world food production, he said.
 
He stressed that agriculture biotechnology is a powerful tool for addressing the emerging challenges, as already demonstrated by the fast adoption of such technologies in dealing with biotic and abiotic stresses. He advocated better coordination among various ministries including agriculture, health and environment.
 
More than 200 participants from Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Philippines, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tajikistan, and the United States are participating in the conference. 
 
The inaugural session also witnessed the release of Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) guidance documents, recently adopted by the Indian regulatory authorities to strengthen the ERA process. 
 
This is the fourth edition of the conference, with the first three having been held in New Delhi, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.  SABC is organized on an annual basis in the South Asian region by ILSI Research Foundation, and Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL) under the South Asia Biosafety Programme.
 
The International Society of Biosafety Research (ISBR) has supported a poster session and a lighting round for young researchers with awards for best posters in biosafety. As many as 37 posters by participants from various countries have been put up for display.
 
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BRICS Employment Working Group to meet in Hyderabad on July 27-28

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The first-ever meeting of the BRICS Employment Working Group (BEWG) to shape the agenda for Labour and Employment track in BRICS will be held here on July 27– 28.
 
Minister of State for Labour & Employment Bandaru Dattaraya will also address BEWG, essentially a senior officers level meeting between member countries, an official press release said.
 
BRICS brings together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. India has assumed the Presidency of BRICS in February this year. 
 
The  meeting will have sessions on finalization of BRICS Employment Working Group; Presentation by ILO on “Employment Generation for Inclusive Growth”; Presentation by India on Possible Social Security Agreements amongst BRICS nations and Discussion on Draft BRICS Ministerial Declaration.
 
The meeting is a prelude to the BRICS Labour & Employment Ministerial Meeting scheduled to be held on September 27-28 at Agra.
 
Starting essentially with economic issues of mutual interest, the agenda of BRICS meetings has considerably widened over the years to encompass topical global issues, the release said.
 
BRICS cooperation has two pillars - consultation on issues of mutual interest through meetings of Leaders as well as of Ministers of Finance, Trade & Health, S&T, Education, Agriculture, Communication, Labour, and so on, and practical cooperation in a number of areas through meetings of Working Groups/Senior Officials.
 
Regular annual summits as well as meetings of Leaders on the margins of ILO, G20 Summits and other such events are also held.
 
The five BRICS countries are major emerging economies, comprising 43% of the world population, have 37% of the world GDP and 17% share in the world trade.
 
So far, seven BRICS Summits have taken place and the 8th BRICS Summit will be hosted by India during its Chairmanship in 2016.
 
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Poultry production, farmers' income rise, but sector faces problems: Minister

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While poultry production and farmers' incomes have recorded a rise, the sector was facing numerous problems, according to Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh.
 
Addressing the 28th annual meeting of the Poultry Federation of India here yesterday, Mr. Singh said that, during 2014-15, egg production with an annual growth rate of nearly 5% had reached 78 billion while poultry meat production was estimated to be three million tonnes.
 
Poultry products valued at around Rs. 768 crore were exported in 2015-16, leading to increased income for poultry farmers, he said.
 
However, both small and large farmers were having to grapple with a number of issues from time to time like the spread of avian influenza, posing a serious impediment to the development of the industry, he said.
 
The Minister pointed out that poultry production was not only an important source of subsidiary income generation for many landless and marginal farmers but also provides nutritional security to the rural poor. However, compared to the organized sector, this backyard unorganized sector needs efforts at different levels to grow.
 
He said that, under the National Livestock Mission, the Government aimed at sustainable growth and development of the livestock sector including poultry. “We also need to pay attention to the global market challenges. The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries has launched a dedicated website on Sanitary Import Permit for online receipt and processing of SIP applications for import of livestock and livestock products including poultry. A Single Window System has been set up for online clearance of livestock and livestock products by all Animal Quarantine and Certificate Services Stations.”
 
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Tech Mahindra acquires Bio Agency of UK

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IT service major Tech Mahindra Limited today announced the acquisition of The Bio Agency, headquartered in the United Kingdom, which specialises in digital transformation and innovation, helping organisations change the way they engage with their customers.
  
Ranked as leaders in their field, The Bio Agency Team helps businesses change in the new customer centric digital world, a press release from the company said.
 
"Their 'innovation and strategy first' approach, plus experienced frameworks and delivery processes create true differentiation for their clients," it said.
 
According to the release, The Bio Agency services brands across Financial Services, Retail, Property, Travel, and Technology sectors and the acquisition will help them make sizeable inroads into the Fortune 100 / 500 telecommunications and enterprise clients of Tech Mahindra.
 
"Tech Mahindra has embraced the future with its focus on digital and sees this as an important strategic move. The acquisition will further strengthen and enable the company to engage with its clients at the start of the journey and more importantly, help design the customer experience for their businesses," itsaid.
 
Mr. C. P. Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra said, “The Bio Agency and Tech Mahindra will create one of the world’s leading innovation practices. A combination of Bio’s visionary thinking and delivery with Tech Mahindra’s IT to DT (Digital Transformation) strategy will enable and create digital services, that get industries ready beyond just technology transformation, but a larger integrated customer experience”.
 
The release said the acquisition would open up more clients for BIO globally (especially in Europe and the US), scaling their offerings and enabling new services and deeper Digital Change. This will significantly help enhance Bio’s offering both in people, turnover and market impact. Bio will continue to further invest into its people and its propriety thinking, it said.
 
Peter Veash, CEO, The Bio Agency said, “We are looking forward to the next stage of Bio’s journey. With a partner like Tech Mahindra, we plan to further scale our offering continuing to help clients change the way they engage with their customers. I am thrilled by the new possibilities of what our two companies will do together”.
 
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India remains polio-free, strain detected in Hyderabad is vaccine-derived poliovirus: Govt.

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The Government today asserted that India continued to be polio-free and stressed that the strain detected in Hyderabad recently was a vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV) in a sewage sample collected near the Secunderabad railway station.
 
In a statement made in response to media reports that polio virus (P2 strain) had resurfaced in India for the first time in five years, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare said that the country had eradicated wild polio virus and the last case was seen on January 13, 2011.
 
In more than five years, no wild polio virus had been detected in the country, it said.
 
Referring to the VDPV detected in the sewage sample in Hyderabad, the statement said that no children had been found to be affected by the isolate in the nearby areas. 
 
"Last case of Wild Polio Virus Type 2 in country was reported 17 years back in 1999. The detection of vaccine derived polio virus (VPDV) does not change the polio free status. It only indicates the robustness of the surveillance system and willingness of the country to detect any kind of polio virus even from the environment (sewage). Vaccine derived polioviruses are rare strain of the polioviruses that have genetically mutated from the strain contained in the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV)," the Ministry said.
 
The statement said a rapid surveillance review of the area revealed that the population immunity against polio type 2 was high as trivalent oral polio vaccine (tOPV) was in use in the state until 24th April, 2016 and two mass vaccination campaign were conducted in January and February, 2016. 
 
"As per recent sample survey in the area, 94% children were found to have received at least 3 doses of OPV. Therefore, chances of its transmission in concerned area is unlikely," it said.
 
"However, as a precautionary measure against polio, a special immunization drive is being held, covering high-risk areas of Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts, starting from 20th June, where an estimated 300,000 children will be protected against polio using Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV). The special immunisation campaign will ensure all vulnerable children living in high-risk areas are given protection against polio. 
 
"As part of the special campaign being organised now, children between the age group of six weeks to three years will be given an additional dose of the injectable polio vaccine (IPV). Vaccination booths will be set up in the areas being covered in these campaigns. However, there will be no door-to-door vaccination campaign. Parents of children living in these areas will be encouraged to ensure that their children get the IPV dose from the nearest vaccination booth which will provide additional protection against all types of polio," the statement said.
 
"The special campaign covering Hyderabad and Rangareddy districts is yet another evidence of India’s strong commitment to remain polio-free. The last case due to wild poliovirus in India was detected on 13 January 2011 and the country was certified polio-free by WHO in March 2014. The polio-free certification pertains to the absence of wild poliovirus and thus country remains polio-free. 
 
"India continues to maintain a highly sensitive surveillance system for polio. All cases of paralysis with sudden onset in children up to 15 years (which is called Acute Flaccid Paralysis or AFP) are picked up by the polio surveillance network. Each of these cases is followed up and their stool samples tested for poliovirus in WHO accredited laboratories. In addition, sewage samples are collected from over 30 sites spread across the country for poliovirus detection at regular intervals," it said.
 
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The statement said that, between January 2015 and May 2015, a total of 14 sewage samples collected from different parts of the country tested positive for VDPVs. All of these have been responded to urgently and appropriately with polio vaccination campaigns. None of these VDPVs detected in the sewage infected any children, so far, it said.
 
"The response by the health authorities to the VDPV in Hyderabad is in accordance with World Health Organization protocols to mitigate any risk of spreading of the virus. WHO, UNICEF and Rotary are supporting Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in rolling out the polio campaign. 
 
"Strong measures have been put in place in India to mitigate the risk of an importation and spread of poliovirus from countries with continued circulation of poliovirus. The country has done two nationwide polio campaigns this year. Polio vaccination is being carried out at international borders and is a must for people travelling to polio affected countries. 
 
"The polio eradication programme in India continues to protect children from the crippling disease by conducting two nationwide mass polio vaccination campaigns and two to three sub-national campaigns each year. Intensive efforts are also being undertaken in India to improve routine immunization coverage that involves administering polio vaccines, in addition to other vaccines, to infants under the Universal Immunization Programme (UIP)," the statement added.
 
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15 dead as truck hits autorickshaw in Telangana

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Fifteen people died and three others suffered injuries when an auto-rickshaw they were travelling in was it by a truck in Adilabad district of Telangana late last night, police said.
 
The mishap occurred around 11 pm yesterday at Bagam village in Bhainsa mandal, about 120 km from the district headquarters, when the autorickshaw was on its way from Bakar to the Pochamma temple in Adilabad district.
 
Police officials in Bhainsa told NetIndian that the deceased included five men, three women and seven children. The driver of the autorickshaw was among those killed.
 
The three injured passengers were rushed to the Nizamabad government hospital for treatment, they said.
 
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Land to be transferred for establishment of Agriculture College at Rajahmundry

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The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for transfer of 21.93 acre of land belonging to the Central Tobacco Research Institute (CTRI), Rajahmundry to the Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad on a long lease basis for a period of 50 years for establishment of an Agriculture College at Rajahmundry. 
 
The Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University had established a new agriculture college at Rajahmundry in East Godavari district during the academic year 2008-09 to train agricultural graduates for acquiring advanced agricultural knowledge associated with Godavari Delta.
 
At present, the college is temporarily running from rented accommodation of local Arts and Science College (SKVT College). 
 
An official press release said that, after transfer of the land, the college would be able to develop its own permanent campus. 
 
"Establishment of a new agriculture college at Rajahmundry would certainly go a long way in development of agricultural research and education in Godavari delta and also help the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to fulfill one of its mandates including education research and extension," the release added.
 
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Sunrisers Hyderabad players Yuvraj, Williamson, Nehra nursing injuries

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Indian Premier League (IPL) franchisee Sunrisers Hyderabad today said three of its players -- Yuvraj Singh, Kane Williamson and Ashish Nehra -- are currently nursing injuries but expected to be back in the near future to compete in the tournament.
 
Yuvraj Singh suffered a fracture in his ankle against Australia during the ICC World T20. His condition will be reviewed by the specialist within the next 10 days, a press release from the tea said.
 
Nehra suffered a minor groin strain in the team's first match against Royal Challengers Bangalore. "We are hopeful that he will commence full training within the next week and soon after be available for selection," the release said.
 
Williamson suffered a hamstring strain during the ICC World T20 and is making good progress; he is expected to be fully fit and available for selection by early next week, it added.
 
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Krishnapatnam Port ties up with Mearsk for new service from Salalah, Oman

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Krishnapatnam Port, an all-weather; deep water port on the east coast has tied up with Mearsk Line India for starting a new service from Salalah, Oman to Krishnapatnam Port. 
 
It will be a weekly service, starting from April 17, a press release from the company said.
 
The release said the new service would connect customers in the surrounding area of Andhra Pradesh, northern Tamil Nadu and eastern Karnataka directly to Oman and neighboring region. It will offer fast transit time between the eastern coast of India, Sri Lanka and Oman.
 
The ports of rotation for the services are: Salalah -- Colombo  --Krishnapatnam Port -- Kattupalli -- Salalah.
 
Mr. Chinta Sasidhar, Managing Director, Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd (KPCL), said, “We are very pleased to welcome Mearsk Line and look forward to a rewarding professional relationship. The new service will substantially reduce transit time in these areas and will also minimise the cost, which will be of a huge benefit to our customers."
 
The shipping lines service coupled with the Chennai Express which has been calling at Krishnapatnam Port for almost two years will benefit a large number of exporters and importers. Faster transit time and weekly fixed cut-off will benefit ensure a smooth supply chain for customers, the release said.
 
The privately built and owned Krishnapatnam Port has been promoted by the Hyderabad-based C.V.R. Group and is located in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
With a transit storage area of 6800 acres, the has the country’s largest waterfront area of 161 sq. km, and a depth of 20.5 metres. Its current draft of 18.5 metres can accommodate full-sized cape vessel of 200,000-tonne capacity, the release.
 
Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd. (KPCL), which was formed by winning the mandate from the Government of Andhra Pradesh on BOST (Build–Operate-Share-Transfer) concession basis for 50 years, is being built in three phases and currently the second phase is underway, the release added.
 
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Royal Challengers Bangalore trounce Sunrisers Hyderabad by 45 runs

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) trounced Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by an emphatic 45 runs in a high-scoring match in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the M. Channaswamy Stadium here tonight.
 
Asked to bat first, RCB put up a imposing 227 for four from their 20 overs, powered by electrifying knocks of 82 by A B de Villiers and 75 by skipper Virat Kohli.
 
Chasing 228 for a win, Sunrisers could only manage 182 for six from their quota of 20 overs, with contributions of 58 from skipper David Warner and 32 from Ashish Reddy.
 
RCB's 227 for four was the first 200-plus total in this edition of the tournament.
 
Once again, RCB lost big-hitting opener Chris Gayle rather early in the second over with the total at just 6. But Kohli was then joined by de Villiers and the two added 157 for the second wicket before the skipper finally fell in the 16th over. Kohli's 75 came off just 51 balls and included seven fours and three sixes.
 
de Villiers left in the 18th over at 183. His 82 was made off only 42 balls and was studded with seven fours and six sixes.
 
Shane Watson (19), who had hit Karn Sharma for three successive sixes, made his exit off the next ball before Sarfaraz Khan (35 not out) and Kedar Jadhav (8) added 44 in their unfinished partnership for the fifth wicket, off just 15 balls, to set a target of 228 for SRH.
 
For RCB, Mustafizur Rahman picked up two for 26, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar got two while giving away 55 runs.
 
Sunrisers began the chase on a positive note, with openers Warner and Shikhar Dhawan (8) putting on 35 for the first wicket in 3.1 overs before the latter was bowled by Parvez Rasool.
 
Warner and Moises Henriques (19) added 51 for the second wicket. At 86, Warner left and was followed two runs later, in the next over, by Naman Ojha (0). Warner's 58 was made off just 25 balls and included four fours and five sixes.
 
The next two overs saw the departure of Henriques and Deepak Hooda (6) to leave SRH struggling at 101 for five in 11.3 overs.
 
Eoin Morgan (22 not out) and Reddy added 46 for the sixth wicket but their efforts fell far short of their requirement. When Reddy left in the 16th over at 147, they were still 81 runs away.
 
Karn Sharma (26 not out) and Morgan added 45 in their unfinished partnership for the seventh wicket, but they never really had much of a chance.
 
Watson picked up two wickets for 30 while Yuzvendra Chahal got two for 43 and Rasool and Adam Milne bagged one each.
 
Scorecard
Royal Challengers Bangalore 
CH Gayle b Kumar 1
V Kohli b Kumar 75
AB de Villiers c Morgan b Mustafizur Rahman 82
SR Watson c Ojha b Mustafizur Rahman 19
SN Khan not out 35
KM Jadhav not out 8
Extras (lb 2, w 4, nb 1) 7
Total (4 wickets; 20 overs) 227 (11.35 runs per over)
Did not bat: STR Binny, Parvez Rasool, HV Patel, AF Milne, YS Chahal
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Gayle, 1.2 ov), 2-163 (Kohli, 15.5 ov), 3-183 (de Villiers, 17.2 ov), 4-183 (Watson, 17.3 ov)
Bowling
A Nehra 2.1 0 21 0
B Kumar 4 0 55 2
Mustafizur Rahman 4 0 26 2
MC Henriques 4 0 41 0
KV Sharma 4 0 57 0
A Ashish Reddy 1.5 0 25 0
 
Sunrisers Hyderabad 
DA Warner c Milne b Watson 58
S Dhawan b Parvez Rasool            8
MC Henriques c Parvez Rasool b Milne 19
NV Ojha c de Villiers b Chahal 0
DJ Hooda c de Villiers b Chahal 6
EJG Morgan not out 22
A Ashish Reddy b Watson 32
KV Sharma not out 26
Extras (b 1, lb 1, w 9) 11
Total (6 wickets; 20 overs) 182 (9.10 runs per over)
Did not bat: A Nehra, B Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman
Fall of wickets: 1-35 (Dhawan, 3.1 ov), 2-86 (Warner, 8.4 ov), 3-88 (Ojha, 9.3 ov), 4-93 (Henriques, 10.3 ov), 5-101 (Hooda, 11.3 ov), 6-147 (Ashish Reddy, 15.6 ov)
Bowling
AF Milne 4 0 43 1
SR Watson 4 0 30 2
Parvez Rasool 4 0 31 1
HV Patel 4 0 33 0
YS Chahal 4 0 43 2
 
Player of the Match: A B de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
 
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CRPF officer injured in March 11 blast in Chhattisgarh dies in Hyderabad

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B K Shyam Niwas, Deputy Commandant of 217 Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), who was seriously injured in an improved explosive device (IED) blast on March 11 near Konta in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, succumbed to his injuries in a hospital in Hyderabad this morning.
 
A press release from CRPF said Mr. Shyam Niwas breathed his last at the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, where he was undergoing treatment for his injuries.
 
CRPF is deployed in the severely left-wing extremism (LWE)- affected district of Sukma . While facilitating road construction between Konta and Golapalli, falling under Konta block of Chhattisgarh district, the officer along with his troops detected some IEDs planted by Maoists.
 
While the bomb disposal squad was trying to diffuse an IED under his supervision, it exploded suddenly, causing serious injuries to Mr. Shyam Niwas, another deputy commandant Prabhakar Tripathi and head constable Ranga Raghavan.
 
All the three were immediately airlifted to Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad. The head constable succumbed to injuries en route to Hyderabad. 
 
Mr. Shyam Niwas, who had suffered severe splinter injuries in his head, had slipped into a coma ever since. After showing signs of recovery, he eventually succumbed to his injuries today morning at around 8.30 with his family by his side. 
 
The 45 year old officer is survived by his wife and a teenaged daughter and son. His last rites will be performed in his native village of Keshogiri in Ranga Reddy district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
“His martyrdom is an irreparable loss to to the family and the Force. The Force stands by the aggrieved family in their hour of grief," Mr. Durga Prasad, Director General, CRPF, said.
 
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GVK divests 33% stake in Bangalore airport to Fairfax Group for Rs. 2,149 crore

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GVK Power & Infrastructure Limited today said it would divest 33% stake in Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) to Fairfax India Holdings Corporation and Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, through their wholly-owned subsidiaries in Mauritius, for an aggregate investment of Rs. 2149 crore (approximately $ 321 million).
 
Upon completion of this transaction, there would be a reduction of debt burden of around Rs. 2,000 crore and would also result in saving of interest cost to the extent of approximately Rs. 300 crore per annum, a press release from the company said.
 
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and third party consents, including lender consents, and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2016, it said.
 
GVK Airport Developers, a wholly owned subsidiary of GVK Power & Infrastructure, had initiated a financing process last year to reduce its debt obligations to its lenders. The infrastructure major received multiple offers, from which the Fairfax Group was selected, the release said.
 
Dr. GVK Reddy, founder Chairman and Managing Director, GVK said, “This is an important and successful milestone in deleveraging our balance sheet, and all proceeds from this stake sale shall be used to bring down our debt obligations to our lenders. We chose Fairfax as a partner in BIAL as we have a long standing relationship with its Chairman, Mr. Prem Watsa and we would look forward to partnering with them in developing Kempegowda International Airport through its next stage of expansion as we develop a new world-class Terminal 2 and a new runway.”
 
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"We have great admiration for GVK, led by Dr. GVK Reddy and G V Sanjay Reddy, in the outstanding work that they have done to develop Kempegowda International Airport to its current stature. This is a partnership between Fairfax and GVK. We will work closely with all stakeholders to manage our stake in BIAL going forward, and will support G V Sanjay Reddy to continue to lead the management team as Managing Director (MD) of BIAL and Dr GVK Reddy will continue as Co Chairman of BIAL,” said Mr. Watsa, Chairman of Fairfax India, and Chairman and CEO of Fairfax.
 
Bangalore International Airport Limited owns and operates the Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (KIAB), under a 30+30 year concession agreement from the Government of India. KIAB has the distinction of being the first greenfield airport in India that was built to the highest international standards by the private sector under a public-private partnership. The airport began operations in May 2008 and has been adjudged as the ‘Best Regional Airport in Central Asia’ by Skytrax in 2015. 
 
"GVK shall remain a long term investor and pioneer in airport assets in India. GVK is bullish on the airport sector in India and shall continue to build iconic assets for the country," the release said.
 
Goldman Sachs and DSP Merrill Lynch are the financial advisers to GVK and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas is theirr legal adviser, it added.
 
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‘India Aviation’ 2016 resonates well with ‘Make in India’: Mukherjee

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President Pranab Mukherjee has said that India was on the threshold of a maor leap in the aviation sector and urged global giants to seize the opportunity and take the lead to forge long-term partnerships.
 
Inaugurating the fifth edition of ‘India Aviation’ here yesterday, he said the event was well-timed and resonated well with the Government's latest policy initiatives of ‘Make in India’, ‘Stand up India’ and ‘Start Up India’. 
 
He expressed hope that th platform would usher in a new era in strategic partnerships and collaboration in the Indian civil aviation sector enabling India to become a hub of world class aerospace technology and services. 
 
The President said the Indian civil aviation market was growing at a rapid pace and now ranked ninth in the world. It is estimated that by 2020, India would be the third largest civil aviation market. 
 
He said that, with a network of domestic and international airlines connecting 40 countries, Indian airports handled passenger traffic of 190 million persons in 2015.
 
"Yet India is one of the least penetrated air-markets in the world with 0.04 trips per capita per annum as compared to 0.3 of China and more than 2 in the USA. The development of tourism, trade and travel has contributed to increased passenger traffic in India. By 2020, total passenger traffic in India is likely to touch 421 million. It is time for the government and all stakeholders of the civil aviation industry to leverage this tremendous business opportunity," he said.
 
Mr. Mukherjee said the civil aviation sector of India was poised for a faster and sustainable growth with the development of 100 smart cities; new economic corridors; more than 50 new airports and expansion of existing airports. 
 
He said the government was planning to invest over $ 120 billion in the development of airport infrastructure and aviation Navigation Services over the next decade. 
 
The deeper air penetration to smaller cities; better connectivity to the North Eastern part of India and higher disposable incomes of the middle class of India is expected to further propel the growth of Indian civil aviation industry, he added.
 
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Justice R. Subhash Reddy named Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court

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Mr. Justice Ramayyagari Subhash Reddy, Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad for the State of Telangana and the State of Andhra Pradesh, has been appointed as the Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court.
 
An official press release said here today that the appointment would be with effect from the date he assumed charge of his office. 
 
Born in 1957 in Medak district, Mr. Justice Reddy graduated from the Andhra Vidyalaya College (AV College), Hyderabad and obtained a degree in law from the University College of Law, Osmania University, Hyderabad. 
 
He enrolled as an advocate on the rolls of the Bar Council of Andhra Pradesh on October 30, 1980.
 
He actively practised in civil, criminal, Constitutional and almost a other branchesof law. He was Standing Counsel for institutions like S.V.University and Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. 
 
He was elevated as Additional Judge of High Court of Andhra Pradesh on December 2, 2002 and sworn in as Judge in that court on June 24, 2004.
 
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Malayalam actress Kalpana passes away in Hyderabad

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Well-known actress Kalpana Ranjani, who was better known by her screen name Kalpana and was known for her comic roles in Malayalam and other South Indian language films, passed away this morning at the Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad.
 
She was 50. She is survived by a daughter.
 
Kalpana, who was in Hyderabad for the shooting of a film, was found in an unresponsive state in her hotel room around 6 am after she failed to respond to calls by the hotel staff.
 
She was rushed to the hospital, but died on the way. She is learnt to have had a history of heart and other problems. Film personalities who rushed to the hospital were told by the doctors that she had died after suffering a heart attack.
 
Born on October 5, 1965 to theatre artistes Chavara V. P. Nair and Vijayalakshmi, Kalpana was the sister of well-known Malayalam actresses Kalaranjini and Urvashi. 
 
She made her debut in 1980 in "Pokkuveyil" directed by G. Aravindan and went on to appear in scores of films, winning special praise for her roles as a comedienne.
 
Her Tamil debut was in Chinna Veedu opposite K. Bhagyaraj in 1985. In all, she acted in more than 300 films in Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada in both comic and character roles. Her last film was the Malayalam movie Charlie.
 
She had won the award for the Best Supporting Actress for the Malayalam film Thanichalla Njan at the National Film Awards in 2012.
 
In recent years, she also appeared in several reality shows on television. She had also recorded a music album and published her memoirs, Njan Kalpana.
 
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Ph. D. scholar's suicide: Govt. to set up Judicial Commission to establish facts

The Ministry of Human Resource Development said on Friday it had decided to constitute a Judicial Commission to review the entire sequence of events and circumstances leading to the suicide of a Dalit research scholar in the University of Hyderabad last Sunday.

Rohith Vemula
Rohith Vemula
The Ministry of Human Resource Development today said it had decided to constitute a Judicial Commission to review the entire sequence of events and circumstances leading to the suicide of a Dalit research scholar in the University of Hyderabad last Sunday.
 
The Commission, which will also establish the facts and recommend correctives in the context of the University will submit its report within three months, an official press release said here.
 
The decision to set up the Commission was based on the observations and findings of the two-member Fact Finding Committee constituted by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in the wake of the chain of unfortunate events at the Central University. The committee submitted its report to the Ministry today, the release said.
 
The release said Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani spoke to the mother of Rohith Vemula, the 26-year-old Ph. D. student, who was found hanging in a room of a hostel on the university campus.
 
The release said that the Ministry had also decided on a course of action in order to address the issues faced by students from disadvantaged social, economic and educational backgrounds in higher educational institutions comprehensively and to prevent such unfortunate incidents in the future.
 
It said a programme would be launched for sensitising academic administrators about understanding and handling problems faced by socially, educationally and economically disadvantaged students. All wardens, administrative staff and registrars would be compulsorily put through this orientation programme, for which a special module will be prepared.
 
A special mechanism would be set up at the Ministry for receiving and taking expeditious action on the grievances from such  students. 
 
All Vice-Chancellors and senior administrators would be sensitised to reach out to socially, economically and educationally disadvantaged students. 
 
"There should be zero tolerance for any acts of discrimination on campus. A special charter would be issued to all the higher education insitutions (HEIs) in this regard. 
 
"The Peer-group Assisted Learning (PAL) of IIT Gandhinagar would be extended to all the HEIs, under which Mentors would be arranged for the socially, economically and educationally disadvantaged students not only to assist them in education, but to support them with regards to challenges being faced by them within their institutions," the release added.
 
Yesterday, amid continuing protests against Rohith's suicide, the Executive Council of the University of Hyderabad had decided to revoke the suspension orders issued against four other Dalit Ph. D. students who had been expelled along with him.
 
The five students, including Rohith, were barred from staying in the university hostels or gather in the administrative building and other common places in groups till the complete their courses and programmes at the institution.
 
Rohith was one of the persons accused of assaulting a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
 
Rohith, who was staying in a tent set up on the campus and was on a relay hunger strike for a few days  with his suspended fellow students, hanged himself in a room in the hostel on Sunday and his death sparked off protests by groups of students not only in the University of Hyderabad but also in places such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Chennai.
 
His fellow students alleged that Rohith had taken the extreme step because of the discrimination against Dalit students following a letter written by Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who hails from Hyderabad, to Ms. Irani seeking action against the students for their "anti-national" activities. The Ministry, in turn, forwarded the letter to the University authorities and then followed it up with five letters, seeking an update in the matter.
 
In a suicide note he left behind in the room where he killed himself, he spoke of, among other things, the social ostracisation that he and his friends faced and the fact that he had not received his stipend of Rs. 25,000 per month for the past seven months.
 
Ms. Irani denied her Ministry had intervened in the matter and said it was routine for it to follow-up on representations sent by Members of Parliament.
 
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi met Rohith's mother and other members of his family on the university campus on Tuesday and addressed the students and since then other political leaders have also visited the campus, including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal yesterday.
 
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Also yesterday, a group of Dalit faculty members of the University of Hyderabad took serious objection to the statement on Rohith's suicide and subsequent developments made by Ms. Irani in Delhi on Wednesday.
 
"In response to the Minister's fabricated statements, we the Dalit (SC/ST) faculty and officers will lay down our administrative positions," they said in a statement.
 
"It is unfortunate that the Minister misrepresented the facts of the case and said that the senior most Dalit professor actually headed the Executive Council sub-committee which took the decision to suspend the students. It was headed by an upper caste Professor Vipin Srivastava and there are no Dalit faculty in the sub-committee of the Executive Council. Incidentally, the Dean Student Welfare who happens to be a Dalit was notionally coopted as an ex-officio member of the sub-committee.
 
"It is unfortunate that since its inception no Dalit representation has been given in the Executive Council of University of Hyderabad," the statement said.
 
The statement accused Ms. Irani of misleading the nation by observing that Hostel Wardens had suo motu powers to expel the students.
 
"It is just a coincidence that the Chief Warden happens to be a Dalit and he only implemented the orders of the higher authorities. 
Such a baseless and misleading statement coming from the Minister of HRD amounts to bringing down the morale of the Dalits holding administrative positions in this university as well as other universities," it said.
 
The statement said that, by deflecting the issue, Ms. Irani was absolving herself and Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya from responsibilit for the death of Rohith.
 
"We express our solidarity with the students who are protesting against the death of Rohith Vemula and demand the immediate revocation of suspension and removal of all police cases filed against our students," the statement added.
 
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