Centre set up Expert Committee on new capital for successor state of Andhra Pradesh

The Centre has  constituted an Expert Committee to study the various alternatives regarding the new capital for the successor State of Andhra Pradesh and make appropriate recommendations.
An official press release said the committee had been set up pursuant to the Section 6 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
The committee will be chaired by Mr K C Siva Ramakrishnan, a retired officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, who is currently Research Professor & Chairman, Governing Board, Centre for Policy Research (CPR), New Delhi.
Other members of the committee are Dr.Rathin Roy, Director, National Institute of Public Finance & Policy, New Delhi; Mr Aromar Revi, Director, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore; Prof. Jagan Shah, Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi; and Prof. K T Ravindran, former Dean, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi.
According to the release, the Terms of Reference of the committee are as follows:
1. To study various alternatives for locating the new capital of the successor State of Andhra Pradesh and evaluate their comparative suitability based on available data, site visits and consultations with the stakeholders, central government and the existing government of Andhra Pradesh and the successor State of Andhra Pradesh and submit its report within 31st August, 2014.
2. To evaluate the possible alternatives and make appropriate recommendations based on the following considerations:
a) Availability of sufficient land, water and other essential natural resources with due regard to the possibility of de-reservation of degraded forest land.
b) Conduct an assessment of the potential for planned growth for the estimated population with appropriate zoning regulations as well as the feasibility of accommodating large structures to house the Raj-Bhawan, State Legislature (Assembly and Council), Secretariat, High Court, office buildings, guest houses, residential quarters and physical infrastructure including stadia, conference halls, convention centres, hotels, hospitals, schools, colleges, educational and training institutions, libraries, museums, theatres, places of recreation and tourism, parks and markets etc.
c) Potential for connectivity by rail, road and air with various districts of the successor State of Andhra Pradesh and the present common capital of Hyderabad and other major cities of the region as well as the possibility to develop rapid mass transit systems within the city.
d) Assess the potential for developing a vibrant economic, social and cultural infrastructure for a symbiotic growth with the other important cities in the region.
3.  The Committee while making its recommendations will inter-alia consider allied issues such as: a) The least possible dislocation to existing agriculture systems as well as ensure minimum resettlement of people and their habitations. b) Preservation of local ecology and natural features including water bodies. c) Promoting environmentally sustainable growth coupled with measures for pollution mitigation including solid and liquid waste management. d) Vulnerability assessment from natural disasters like floods, cyclones and earthquakes. e) Assess the scope for minimizing the cost of construction and acquisition of land f) Ascertain the availability of raw materials, skilled and unskilled labour etc. required for the construction of a new capital.
Members of the public or any organisation can send any suggestion specific to the issues mentioned in the terms of reference of the committee by email to: or in writing to Centre-States Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, 5th Floor, NDCC –II Building, Jaisingh Road, N.Delhi 110001 latest by 7th May 2014.

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BJP names three LS candidates from Seemandhra region in Andhra Pradesh

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has named three candidates for the Lok Sabha elections from the Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh.
The candidates are K Haribabu from Visakhapatnam, Gokaraju Ganga Raju from Narsapur and Kaumanchi Jayaram from Tirupati (SC), a BJP press release said.
The party also released a list of 15 candidates from the region for the elections to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, which will be held along with the Lok Sabha polls.

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BJP names eight LS candidates in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has named eight candidates from the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections.
The following is the list of candidates:
Karimanagar: Ch. Vidyasagar Rao
Nizamabad: E. Lakshminarayana
Medak: Chagendla Narendra Nath
Secunderabad: Bandaru. Dattatreya
Hyderabad: Bhagawanth Rao
Mahaboobnagar: Nagam Janardhan Reddy
Bhongir: Indrasen Reddy
Warangal (SC): Ramagalla Parameswar

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Ahead of day one of LS polls, TDP joins BJP-led NDA

TDP joins BJP-led NDA, workers of both parties protest
Just a day ahead of the first round of polling in the nine-phase Lok Sabha elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) received a boost when the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) joined it in Andhra Pradesh.
TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu announced the deal, which was reached after weeks of negotiations between the BJP and his party.
BJP leader Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of the party's affairs in Andhra Pradesh, and senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Naresh Gujral were present on the occasion.
Under the agreement, the BJP will field its candidates for eight seats in the Telangana region and five seats in the Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh. Telangana will have 17 seats in the Lok Sabha and Seemandhra 25 when Andhra Pradesh is bifurcated into states -- Telangana and Andhra Pradesh -- after the elections.
The BJP will also contest 47 out of 119 seats in the Telangana region and 15 of 125 in the Seemandhra in the elections to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly that will be held simultaneously.
"I am happy to announce that the TDP will be part of the NDA alliance. Chandrababu Naidu will be a co-architect with Narendra Modi to build a corruption free and Congress-free India," Mr Gujral, son of former Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, said.
Mr Naidu said that the state had gained when his party had allied with the NIDA in the past. "In the same spirit, we have sealed a deal with the BJP today for the nation. We will ensure that the Congress is wiped out," he said.
“Now, we all will be together to serve the country," he said. He also expressed support for BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. "I am confident that Narendra Modi will repeat what he has done in Gujarat. I am sure that we will get more than 300 seats," he said.
"We are a lucky party. Whenever we have allied to form a non-Congress national government we have been successful," he said.
The 63-year-old former Andhra Chief Minister, who is the son of late film actor N T Rama Rao, who founded the TDP, hit out at the Congress on issues such as corruption and inflation. "People are suffering because of corruption and price rise. That is why we need to defeat the Congress. We have to make a Congress-free India," he said.
The agreement has not, however, been an entirely smooth affair, with workers in both parties opposing the move. There were protests by TDP workers outside Mr Naidu's residence. At the same time, district leaders of the BJP in the state have opposed the agreement and some of them have threatened to quit the party. There were also protests near the hotel where Mr Javadekar was staying.
The deal brings the BJP that much closer to the magic figure of 272 seats that it needs to form the next government in Delhi. On his party, Mr Naidu is eyeing another term as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
The TDP-BJP alliance had won 36 of the 42 seats in Andhra Pradesh in 1999, with the BJP bagging seven for itself. But the BJP could not win a single seat in the state in the next two Lok Sabha elections in 2004 and 2009.
Mr Modi had, during a public meeting in Hyderabad last August, reached out to Mr Naidu, recalling that the late N T Rama Rao had formed the TDP with the aim of ousting the Congress from power on the question of Telugu pride.
Things appeared to be moving towards a deal when Mr Naidu appeared alongside senior BJP leaders at the swearing-in ceremony of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal in December.

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I Think I Need A Wife!

Preparing for a small party at home --- all in a day's work for a wife.
Preparing for a small party at home --- all in a day's work for a wife.
"If I am not misunderstood..............I think I need a wife!”
That was my response to a question thrown at me at a recent interaction. What is the one thing that you would ever want in life?
I thought for a moment and realised I had everything. I had a beautiful house, a home, a loving husband, two wonderful children, an absolutely handsome golden retriever, a garden, enough money, everything was so perfect. I had nothing to wish for, nothing to complain about. No one else could replace anything that I had.  
I thought for a while. There is something, probably. Yes! I need a wife.
Having looked all around me, interacting with different women, they all had one thing in common. They took a sabbatical and managed their home. Some of them were doctors, lawyers, lecturers, all from different professions. What is it that made them give up their dreams of being independent and career-oriented? 
It was the love they had for their man and children. They didn’t want a member in their home to feel lost. So many ‘what if’ situations to take care of. No one else could handle them better than her.
6. 15 am-  wake up time. Keep milk on stove, boil water, boil eggs, leave the dog, get the newspaper, switch off the light outside, make coffee for husband, milk for kids, wake them up, keep reminding them to get ready, see them off (did you take the water bottle?), see off husband (have you taken the wallet, mobile, office keys, office id?). Close the gate and wave with a smile ….Thank God! The house is all mine. 
What do I do? Tidy up the house, dusting, water the plants, sort out clothes for ironing and wash, put clothes for wash, hang out the clothes, make dinner, an evening snack, finish off all my freelance projects for an hour or two, bathe, and do I hear the doorbell??? 
Well! The kids are back. Keep your shoes on the rack, change, wash up, have your snack, they either go to play or they go for a class. Light the lamp. Sit for a while enjoying the evening peace for half an hour (what’s running through my mind is what’s left to be done), go back to the freelance work, kids are back, sit with them with their studies and the doorbell rings again! 
Husband is back!…….dinner time, wash the vessels, keep all arranged for the morning, switch of lights, kiss kids good night and collapse.
Feeling stressed out reading this, or is it boring? Well! That’s the life of a wife.
Only a wife can multitask. While you are away, she takes care of every aspect of your home. When you return, you have a tidy home, warm home cooked food (with the secret ingredient- Love), kids will be taken care of and the most important fact - She is just there! ................ so guys! I think I NEED A WIFE! 
This statement triggered several questions in the minds of men we know. Was I leaving my husband? Whereas, others thought, Wow! Lovely idea. The lucky guy would have two wives!  Obviously, Men will be Men! 
My thought was more or less based on the depth of the person she is.  I need to experience the same assurance and care. I want to give her abundant love for just being there for me and setting things right. And trust me! I would be so possessive of my wife. 
When other husbands jokingly made the statement, that every man would want a wife, an interesting thought went through my mind. A husband would never think he needs a husband...because a wife offers so much support to the family whereas a husband increases the work load (He would never want a replica of himself, would he?).
A wife means so much. She is the most efficient person, so caring and definitely with an amazing presence of mind to handle difficult situations. She with the ability to multi-task, the only thing she would probably need was to be like an octopus. At times, a doctor, a plumber, an electrician, the finance controller, a chef, takes care of the housekeeping, a motivator, a counsellor, a consultant, and several others.
I have been on both sides of the world. The working woman and a home maker. Either ways, I managed the home. With growing responsibilities, a woman has to make her choices - a choice between responsibilities and self-growth. 
As husband and wife, the decisions are made together. So much thought goes into the discussion.  Well, is there a choice? It takes two people to discuss for hours and come up with the obvious conclusion -  the woman stays home.
I never think it is a male dominated world, the fact is men think they should dominate and women too think men dominate. But we need to understand that we depend on each other, one's survival depends on the other's existence. So look after each other, acknowledge each other, respect each other, and consider each other. Society puts responsibilities and duties into compartments, this duty is for a man and that for woman. Why not help each other so each individual lives life to the fullest?
A wife has no personal gain other than the happiness to see her husband and children return to a comfortable home. 
Come to think of it,  men are really lucky. As men relate to technology, let me put it this way: in a wife they have several applications to set their world right and more efficient. The one person in their life with several features. Yes, there are times when there could be a virus attack and the system crashes, but, trust me, the anti- virus is probably a simple solution -- a hug and a question, “ How was your day?” 
So, "If I am not misunderstood..............I think I need a wife to just be there for me!” 
Anita Peter
Anita Peter
Anita Peter is a corporate trainer by profession and a dancer and actress by passion. She has acted in two Malayalam films, several Malayalam and Tamil television serials and in plays. She has compered shows and programmes and modelled for several print ads and television commercials for popular brands. She was among the top 10 finalists of the Haier Gladrags Mrs India 2011.
She is an active member of a non-profit dance school in Bangalore that promotes art and culture. She is also a certified grade "B" artist by Doordarshan Kendra for Mohiniyattam and has performed in several dance festivals and events.  Among other things, she won the Kerala State Championship in Artistic and Figure Roller Skating. She is currently based in Hyderabad.

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Andhra techie strangled to death in "honour killing", parents held

In an apparent case of "honour killing", a 26-year-old software engineer who got married three days to a colleague belonging to another caste was found strangled to death at her residence in Guntur yesterday morning, and police today arrested her parents as suspects in the case.
The girl was found dead in the house, strangled to death with a "chunni" (stole), police said.
Her parents, who were missing yesterday, were arrested from a nearby village today, they said.
The girl had got married herenon March 21 to her colleague, also a software engineer with a local firm.
According to her husband, her parents, on learning about the marriage, came here and persuaded the two of them to go with them to Guntur, along with his parents.
The youth and his parents checked into a hotel there, while the girl went with her parents.
When there was no answer to his calls to her mobile telephone, the youth got worried and informed the police, who went to her house and found her dead in one of the rooms.The girl's parents were not there.

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Shikhar Dhawan to lead SunRisers Hyderabad in IPL

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan
Batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been named the captain of SunRisers Hyderabad and Darren Sammy the vice-captain for the seventh season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) beginning April 16.
"Shikhar Dhawan, with his significant contribution as a batsman in the previous season, has retained his position in the team not just as a crucial opener in the batting order but as the appropriate choice to extend his captaincy role in Champions League to the upcoming IPL as well," a press release from the team said.
"Shikhar Dhawan with his reputation for a mesmerising stroke-maker, who mixes power and panache in equal measure, is sure to lead the pack with his team-building leadership streak," it said.
The release said Sammy was an integral part of the team’s success in the last season and will now support Dhawan "with his impressive contribution with both the bat and the ball".
"In top form as a right-handed batsman and a fast-medium bowler, Darren Sammy’s experience in the sport as an all-rounder, as West Indies Captain of the ongoing T20 World cricket and his consecutive association with the franchise promises to lead the players as a team all the way up to the playoffs as in the previous season," the release added.

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SpiceJet places $4.4 billion order for 42 B737 MAX 8s

Boeing B737 Max. Image: Boeing
Boeing B737 Max. Image: Boeing
Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet announced it had placed an order valued at $ 4.4 billion for 42 Boeing B737 MAX 8 aircraft.
The announcement was made jointly by SpiceJet and aircraft manufacturer Boeing at the India Aviation 2014 air show here. 
The order, previously listed as unidentified on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website, is valued at $4.4 billion at list prices, a press release from Boeing said.
"SpiceJet greatly values the ties we have built over the years with Boeing. The Boeing Next-Generation 737 aircraft, the mainstay of the fleet ever since SpiceJet started operations, have vindicated our choice by their endurance, reliability and cost effectiveness," said Mr S.L. Narayanan, Group CFO for The Sun Group, which owns SpiceJet.
"The induction of Boeing 737 MAX will further modernize our fleet, improve customer experience, and ensure that we operate the most efficient fleet well into the future," he said.
According to the release, the 737 MAX brings the most advanced engine technologies to the world's best-selling airplane, building on the strengths of today's Next-Generation 737. 
"The 737 MAX incorporates the latest-technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market," it said.
"The order is a tremendous endorsement of the 737 MAX's unsurpassed fuel efficiency," said Mr Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The capabilities of the 737 MAX supports SpiceJet's mission to become India's preferred low-cost airline. We are very proud to be partners with SpiceJet and a part of the airline's continued success with the addition of the 737 MAX."
The release said development of the 737 MAX was on schedule with firm configuration of the airplane achieved in July 2013. First flight is scheduled in 2016 with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017. 
"Already a market success, the 737 MAX has accumulated more than 1,800 orders to date and will have 8 percent lower per-seat operating costs than the future competition," it said.
With today's announcement, SpiceJet has ordered 90 airplanes directly from Boeing, which includes the 737-800, 737-900ER and now the 737 MAX. To date, SpiceJet has taken delivery of 31 of the airplanes, the release added.

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India Aviation 2014 to begin in Hyderabad on Wednesday

The 4th International Exhibition and Conference on Civil Aviation, India Aviation 2014, will be organised jointly by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at Begumpet Airport, Hyderabad for from tomorrow.
This year, the theme of the five-day event, the country’s largest civil aviation exhibition, will be ‘Enhancing Air Connectivity’. 
Minister for Civil Aviation Ajit Singh will formally inaugurate the show tomorrow and Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L Narasimhan will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony. 
Karnataka will be the state in focus at India Aviation, while the United States will be the partner country. France will be the guest country.
More than 250 exhibitors including Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Dassault and Rolls Royce are participating in the event. 
The biggest aircraft in the world, Airbus A-380 and Dreamliner Boeing 787, will be special attractions at the air show. 
The show will be open for general public on March 15 and 16. The initial three days are reserved exclusively for business community in which big deals are expected to be signed. At present, India ranks ninth with nearly 400 functional aircrafts and by 2020 the country will be in third position, with the number of aircrafts expected to go up to 1000. 
To mark the occasion, aerobatics flying display will be presented by two teams from London. There will be two shows every day.
The Ambassador of France, Mr Francois Richier, Director of US Trade and Development Agency, Ms Leocadia I. Zak and Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Mr Ashok Lavasa are among those who will attend the exhibition.
CEOs Forum Conference, static displays and demonstration flights will be the other highlights of the event, an official press release added.

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Former Union Minister D Purandeswari joins BJP

D Purandeswari decided to join BJP over AP bifurcation
Former Union Minister Daggubati Purandeswari, who had quit the Congress last month in protest against the move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh to carve out a new state of Telangana, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here yesterday.
Ms Purandeswari, 54, is the daughter of late Telugu film star and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N T Rama Rao.
Before formally joining the BJP in the presence of its president Rajnath Singh, she had called on party leaders L K Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley here yesterday.
Talking to newspersons, she said that she had been hurt by the manner in which the Telangana Bill had been pushed through Parliament
She said that the Bill, when introduced in the Lok Sabha, did not contain the many assurances that had been given by the Congress earlier to take care of the concerns expressed by people of the Seemandhra region.
Talking to mediapersons in the presence of senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu here yesterday, Ms Purandeswari recalled that she had sent in her resignation from the party to Congress President Sonia Gandhi as soon as the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha.
She said she had decided to join the BJP because she had been assured by it that the promises made by it to protect the interests of the Seemandhra region would be kept.

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Kiran Kumar Reddy announces plans for new party

Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who had quit office and the Congress on February 19 to protest against the decision to bifurcate the state to carve out a new state of Telangana, has announced his decision to form a new party ahead of the coming elections.

Kiran Kumar Reddy announces plans to float new political party
Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who had quit office and the Congress on February 19 to protest against the decision to bifurcate the state to carve out a new state of Telangana, has announced his decision to form a new party ahead of the coming elections to the Lok Sabha as well as the state legislative assembly.
"We are starting a new party to uphold the dignity and prestige of the Telugu people, not only in the state but wherever they are living," he told newspersons here yesterday.
Mr Reddy had resigned from office a day after, amid noisy schenes, the Lok Sabha passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganizatin Bill, which sought to bifurcate the state to create Telangana as the 29th state of the Union.
He said the Government had violated rules, conventions and procedures while getting the Bill passed hastily and the manner in which it was done was insulting to the Telugu people.
He said the name, symbol, polices and programmes of the new party would be announced at a public meeting at Rajahmundry in coastal Andhra Pradesh on March 12.
He was flanked by some of the members of Parliament (MPs) who were expelled by the Congress for disrupting proceedings in the House on the Telangana issue.

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Former BJP President Bangaru Laxman passes away in Hyderabad

Bangaru Laxman
Bangaru Laxman
Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Bangaru Laxman, who was caught on camera, in a sting operation by investigative news website Tehelka, accepting money in his room at the party's headquarters in 2001, passed away in a private hospital here this evening after a prolonged illness.
He would have turned 75 on March 17. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son. His wife Sushila was a member of the 14th Lok Sabha, representing Jalore in Rajasthan.
Mr Laxman, who was a former Union Minister, had been under treatment for a kidney ailment for some time and had been admitted to the Yashodha Hospital in Secunderabad on February 3. He breathed his last around 5.45 pm today after suffering a cardio-pulmonary arrest, hospital sources said.
Laxman was born on March 17, 1939. He joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at the age of 12. He completed his B.A. and LL.B. and worked for some time in the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Department, the Railways and the Accountant General's Office before resigning in 1969 to join the Jana Sangh, the predecessor of the BJP, to begin a full-time career in politics.
He was associated with several trade unions and was detained during the Emergency for more than 16 months.
He was the president of the Andhra Pradesh unit of the BJP between 1986 and 1988. He was a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council from 1985 until it was abolished in 1986. 
He was elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in April 1996 and in October 1999 was inducted into the Union Council of Ministers as Minister of State in the Ministry of Planning and Programme Implementation. In November 1999, he was made Minister of State in the Ministry of Railways.

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Delhi Airport ranked 2nd, Mumbai 5th in 25-40 million category in ACI's ASQ Awards

A view of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi
A view of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi
Two Indian airports - Delhi and Mumbai - figure in the top five in the 25-40 million passengers per annum (MPPA) category in the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards for 2013 announced earlier this week in Montreal by the Airports Council International (ACI).
While the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in Delhi has been ranked second in the category for the third year in a row, the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in Mumbai has been placed fifth.
Seoul's Incheon airport topped the category, while Taipei's Taoyuan and Shanghai's Hongqiao airports were placed third and fourth.
Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport was placed second in the 5-16 million passengers category.
IGIA was placed fifth among the Best Airports in the Asia Pacific Region, while Kolkata was chosen as the Best Improved airport in the region. 
IGIA scored 4.84 on the ASQ scale out of 5 points, a vast improvement over its ASQ score of 3.02 in 2007, ranking last in an universe of 101 airports.
“IGIA has come a long way in the last seven years since we took over. We have ensured that quality has become a way of life not just with DIAL employees but with all stakeholders of the IGI Airport family. We are confident that all 30,000 plus members of the IGI Airport family will continue to strive for excellence and we hope to improve our position even further in the coming years," Mr I Prabhakara Rao, CEO of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said.
IGIA now boasts of an annual passenger capacity of over 60 million, including the state of the art Terminal-3 (T3) which can handle 34 million passengers. 
As many as 36.71 million passengers passed through IGIA in 2013 CY. The airport also handled almost 586 thousand metric tonnes of cargo and 309074 aircraft movements during the same period.
Since its creation in 2006, the ASQ Awards have become the world's leading airport passenger satisfaction benchmark with over 235 airports participating. The ASQ Awards recognize and reward the best airports in the world based on ACI's ASQ passenger satisfaction survey.
ACI is the only global trade representative of airports. The 573 members operate 1751 airports in 174 countries and territories. It is a non-profit organisation whose prime purpose is to represent the interests of airports and to promote professional excellence in airport management and operations.
The ASQ Awards are presented in four categories that include: Best Airport by Region, Best Airport by Size, Best Small Airport and Best Improvement.
The following is the list of awards:
Best Airport by Region (first place): Cape Town (Africa), Seoul Incheon (Asia-Pacific), Moscow Sheremetyevo (Europe), Guayaquil (Latin America-Caribbean), Abu Dhabi (Middle East), Indianapolis (North America).
Best Airport by Size* (first place): Changchun (2-5m), Haikou (5-15m), Seoul Gimpo (15-25m), Seoul Incheon (25-40m), Singapore (over 40m).
* Millions of Passengers Per year
Best Small* Airport by Region (first place): Upington (Africa), Skopje (Europe), Quebec City (North America), Mazatlan (Latin America-Caribbean), Langkawi (Asia-Pacific).
* Fewer than 2 million passengers per year
Best Improvement by Region (first place): East London (Africa), Kolkata (Asia-Pacific), Gothenburg (Europe), Nassau (Latin America-Caribbean), Amman (Middle East), San Antonio (North America).
ASQ 2013 Top Performers
Africa: 1. Cape Town 2. Durban 3. Mauritius 4. Cairo 5. Johannesburg 
Asia-Pacific: 1. Seoul Incheon 2. Singapore 3. Beijing 4. Shanghai Pudong 
5. New Delhi
Europe: 1. Moscow Sheremetyevo 2. Zurich 3. Porto 4. Keflavik 5. Malta
Latin America-Caribbean: 1. Guayaquil 2. Cancun 3. Montego Bay 4. Nassau 
5. Puerto Vallarta 
Middle East: 1. Abu Dhabi 2. Dubai 3. Doha 4. Tel Aviv 5. Amman
North America: 1. Indianapolis 2. Ottawa 3. Tampa 4. Sacramento 
5. Jacksonville
Latin America-Caribbean: Mazatlan 
Asia-Pacific: Langkawi
Africa: Upington 
Europe: Skopje
North America: Quebec City
2-5 million passengers: 1. Changchun 2. Guayaquil 3. Ottawa 4. Halifax 5. Grand Rapids 
5-15 million passengers:1. Haikou 2. Hyderabad 3. Tianjin 4. Wuhan 5. Harbin
15-25 million passengers: 1. Seoul Gimpo 2. Chongqing 3. Tampa 4. Salt Lake City 5. Zurich
25-40 million passengers: 1. Seoul Incheon 2. New Delhi 3. Taipei Taoyuan 4. Shanghai Hongqiao 5. Mumbai 
Over 40 million passengers: 1. Singapore 2. Beijing 3. Shanghai Pudong 4. Hong Kong 5. Guangzhou
Africa: East London 
Asia-Pacific: Kolkata
Europe: Gothenburg
Latin America-Caribbean: Nassau
Middle East: Amman
North America: San Antonio

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Site clearance given for greenfield airport at Ongole in Andhra Pradesh

Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugupal told informed Parliament that the Government had granted "site clearance" to Prakasham Airport Pvt Ltd for setting up of a greenfield airport at Ongole in Prakasham district of Andhra Pradesh.
In written replies to questions in the Rajya Sabha, he also said that the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad was among the airports identified for development as an international hub.
An `international airport` is an airport designated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Contracting State in whose territory it is situated as an airport of entry and departure for international air traffic. 
At such airports, formalities relating to Customs, immigration, public health, agricultural quarantine and similar procedures are carried out. On the other hand, a hub is an `international airport’ where facilities are planned to handle large volume of transfer/connecting passengers along with one or more carriers having a base at the airport with ability to provide wide network on domestic to domestic, domestic to international, international to domestic and international to international sectors. 
Besides Hyderabad Airport, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Chennai International Airports have been identified for development as international hubs. 
As per the decision of the Union Cabinet in its meeting held on 9th May, 2013, a standing Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) has been constituted to remove the bottlenecks and to provide the right coordination mechanism for the development of aviation hubs in India. 
Mr Venugopal said that, in the last three years, the Government had granted `in principle` approval to three greenfield airport projects: Karaikal in Pudducherry (2011), Shirdi in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra (2011) and Aranmula in Kerala (2012). 
The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad is a greenfield that has already been made functional, he added.

LS passes Telangana Bill amid noisy scenes; Jagan calls for Andhra strike

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, which seeks to carve out a new state of Telangana out of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh, by a voice vote amid noisy scenes.

Telangana Bill passed in Lok Sabha
The Lok Sabha today passed the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill, which seeks to carve out a new state of Telangana out of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh, by a voice vote amid noisy scenes.
The brief debate on the Bill was marked by a blackout of the live telecast of the proceedings and a walkout by members of the Janata Dal (United) and Trinamool Congress (TMC).
The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was amongst the parties which supported the Bill.
While the JD (U) objected to the manner in which the discussion was rushed through in the House, the TMC members were angered by the fact that there was no telecast of the debate.
Government sources said the blackout was caused by a technical hitch, but its detractors said it was a tactical move.
An amendment moved by Hyderabad MP Asauddin Owaisi, seeking to make the city the capital of only Telangana and not of both states for ten years as proposed in the Bill, was defeated.
YSR Congress president Jaganmohan Reddy, who was among the Seemandhra members suspended from the House on February 13 for unruly behaviour during the introduction of the Bill, said today was a "black day" in the history of the country and called for a general strike in Andhra Pradesh tomorrow.
"We saw democracy being killed in broad daylight. The issue was taken up undemocratically against the will of the people of Andhra,” he told journalists.
Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who moved the Bill for consideration amid the din the House, said the Seemandhra region, consisting of the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, would get a special financial package.
The Bill is now expected to be taken up for consideration by the Rajya Sabha tomorrow.
There was some commotion when some of the suspended members attempted to enter the House while the Bill was being debated and were stopped by marshals.
There was unusually tight security in the Parliament House complex today after last week's incident in which expelled Congress member from Vijayawada used pepper spray in the House to disrupt the proceedings. Ambulances and fire tenders were on standby. Barricades were set up on the roads leading to Parliament.
Before the Bill was taken up for consideration and passage, the Speaker informed the House that she had received notices of a lack of confidence in the Governent and requested for order so that she could ascertain if they were backed by 50 MPs. The notices were given by Seemandhra MPs.
When the din continued, with some members in the well of the House, she allowed Mr Shinde to move the Telangana Bil for consideration.

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Aditya Rao redesignated as VC and MD of Pennar Industries

Pennar Industries today said its Board of Directors had redesignated Its Vice-Chairman Aditya Rao as Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of the company.
A press release from the company said he would be responsible for managing its operations and implementation of its strategic growth plans.
Mr Rao has previously established two of the fastest growing subsidiaries of Pennar Industries -- Pennar Engineered Building Systems and Pennar Enviro, the release added.

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SKS Microfinance completes securitisation deal of Rs 55.56 crore

SKS Microfinance Limited, India's only listed micro-lender, has said that it has completed a securitisation deal of Rs 55.56 crore -- its fifth  -- with a private sector bank.
The company said in a press release here yesterday that, with this, the total sum of securitizations completed during FY14 is Rs. 727.37 crore. 
The first four substantial securitizations were: Rs. 321 crore (on September 30),   Rs. 80.81 crore (on December 11), Rs. 215 crore (on December 19) and Rs. 55 crore (on December 30).
"SKS Microfinance Limited has downloaded the receivables from micro loans extended to more than 60,000 rural women entrepreneurs to a Special Purpose Vehicle, and Pass Through Certificates (PTCs) have been purchased by a private sector bank. The entire pool qualifies for priority sector treatment as per RBI's priority sector lending guidelines," the release said.
"The pool is rated A1 + (SO) by a leading rating agency signifying ‘a very strong degree of safety regarding timely servicing of financial obligation’.  Such instruments carry the lowest credit risk," the release added.

GVK Biosciences to acquire US-based Aragen Bioscience

Small-molecule contract research organization (CRO) GVK Biosciences today said it would acquire the capital stock of the United States-based privately-held pre-clinical CRO Aragen Bioscience, which specialises in high-value biologics services.
The acquisition will provide GVK Bio with world-class expertise in large molecule R&D services and a unique and extensive set of high-content biological services, a press release from the company said.
"Combined with GVK Bio’s established small molecule discovery and development capabilities, this expansion will uniquely position GVK Bio as a leading provider of integrated R&D services across both large and small molecule platforms and provides a base for further expansion," it said.
The release said the deal would enable GVK Bio to expand its service offering to a broader base of organizations and gives it expertise in biologics services and a significant US presence.  
The acquisition provides Aragen with the ability to expand its service offerings, access to GVK Bio's global sales force and access to new markets.   
"As an increasing number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies focus on protein based therapeutics and bio-similars, the acquisition of Aragen Bioscience will strategically enhance GVK Bio’s ability to offer high quality R&D services to the industry from a seamless integrated platform," Mr D. S. Brar, Chairman, GVK Bio, said.
"Aragen’s scientific excellence and expertise in large-molecule R&D services combined with GVK Bio's scale, resources, and global reach will create significant synergies for both companies," Mr Rick Srigley, President & CEO, Aragen Bioscience, said.
This is GVK Bio’s first international acquisition; the financial details were not disclosed. 

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High performance computing system Dhruva-3 inaugurated

Dhruva-3, the latest in a series of indigenous high-performance computing systems, designed and set up by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), was inaugurated in Hyderabad yesterday by DRDO Director General Avinash Chander, who is also the Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister.
The new system was inaugurated at the Advanced Numerical Research and Analysis Group (ANURAG) in Hyderabad.
Mr Chander said Dhruva-3 is a high-end facility and very useful for the design of aircraft, particularly Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) and other such aircraft where analysis of aerodynamics at high speed and under different conditions is required.
“It is one of the fastest computing facilities in the country and will also play a very good role in cyber security and information processing," he said.
Mr Chander appreciated the multi-dimensional capabilities acquired by ANURAG while retaining its core strength. He also visited various Work Centres in ANURAG and saw the indigenous microprocessors, System-on-Chips and Trusted Computing Systems developed by ANURAG. 
Dr K D Nayak, Distinguished Scientist & DG (Microelectronic Devices and Computational Systems), Mr C  VS Sastry, Outstanding Scientist & Director ANURAG and other senior DRDO officials were present during the event.
Mr Sastry said Dhruva-3 would be used for designing aero-frame structures, stress analysis of materials and simulation of complex systems. 

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Legendary Telugu film actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao passes away

Legendary Telugu film actor, producer and writer Akkineni Nageswara Rao, popularly known as ANR, passed away at a private hospital in Hyderabad on Wednesay morning.

Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Legendary Telugu film actor, producer and writer Akkineni Nageswara Rao, popularly known as ANR, passed away at a private hospital here this morning.
He was 90. He is survived by three daughters and two sons, one of whom is actor Nagarjuna. His wife Annapurna had predeceased him in 2011.
The actor, who was suffering from cancer, was rushed to the Care Hospital here around 2 am today after his condition worsened.
Sources at the hospital told NetIndian that he breathed his last at 2.45 am today.
His body was shifted to his residence and will be later kept at his Annapurna Studio here for his fans and admirers to pay their last respects.
Nageswara Rao had acted in 256 films during a long and distinguished career that lasted nearly 75 years. He had also appeared in several Tamil films.
Nageswara Rao was honoured by the Government with the Padma Vibhushan, the nation's second highest civilian honour, in 2011 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the top honour in Indian cinema, in 1990.
Born on September 20, 1923, Nageswara Rao was the youngest of five brothers in a poor farming family. His formal education was limited to primary schooling because of his parents' poor economic condition.
He started out as a stage actor, specialising in playing female characters because women, at that time, were not allowed to act.
Akkineni Nageswara Rao Passes Away
He had acquired quite a bit of fame as a stage artiste when a chance meeting with well-known producer Ghantasala Balaramaiah at the Vijayawada railway station led to a role in Dharmapatni, his first film, at the age of 17.
Over the next seven decades, he built an unparalleled career, winning three Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Awards along the way and travelling all over the world.
He is also credited with helping Telugu films move out of Chennai by building a base for them in Hyderabad. He established his own 22 acre production house, named Annapurna Studios after his wife, to facilitate this process.
During his career, Nageswara Rao played  a variety of roles, from a charming prince to a frustrated alcoholic lover, from a brave soldier to a saint, and from a college student to a government official. He did many mythological roles, including as Abhimanyu, Lord Vishnu, Narada and Arjuna. He also appeared in several comic roles as he emerged as the first Telugu superstar.
Some of the films in which he appeared are Maya Bazaar, Chenchu Lakshmi,  Bhookailash, Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddham, Balaraju, Rojulu Maraayi, Namminabantu, Missamma, Chakrapani, Preminchi Choodu, Laila Majnu, Anarkali, Batasari, Prem Nagar, Premabhishekam and Meghasandesham.
Premabhishekam, directed by Dasari Narayana Rao, is one of the biggest hits in Tollywood with an amazing 533-day run in Hyderabad.
Nageswara Rao was the first to do a double role in Telugu films and also played nine roles in Navarathri. He won acclaim for his portrayal of an alcoholic jilted lover in Devadasu, based on Sarat Chandra's famous Bengali character Devadas.
Other notable films done by him included Samsaram, Bratuku Teruvu, Aradhana, Donga Ramudu, Dr. Chakravarthi, Ardhaangi, Mangalya Balam, Illarikam, Shantinivasam, Velugu Needalu, Dasara Bullodu, Bharya Bhartalu, Dharmadata, Batasari, and College Bullodu.
Sitaramayyagari Manavaralu was released in 1991, 50 years after his debut, and was a huge success at the box office, though newer and younger stars had arrived on the scene.
ANR had enacted the roles of literary and cultural icons of different regions in India such as the great Sanskrit poet Mahakavi Kalidas of Ujjain; the celebrated musician saint  Bhakta Jayadeva of Odisha; the temple sculptor, Amarasilpi Jakkanna of Karnataka; the devotee saint Vipranarayana of Tamil Nadu; and the singer Bhakta Tukaram.
In October 2013, Nageswara Rao had held a press conference at which he announed that he had been diagnosed with intestinal cancer. He had recently undergone surgery and was reported to be recovering well.
Nageswara Rao had plans to appear in a Telugu family drama, Manam, with his son Nagarjuna and grandson Naga Chaitanya.
He was also a prolific writer and his books include an autobiogaphical work,  Nenu Na Jeevitham, an account of his first visit to the United States, Nenu Choosina America, and the recent Manasuloni Maata, a reflective work.
He established the ANR National Award in 2005, which is given annually to a person for his or her lifetime achievement in the Indian film industry.

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Dr. Reddy’s, Galena Biopharma announce partnership for NeuVax in India

Pharmaceutical major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. today said it had entered into a strategic partnership with Galena Biopharma of the United States to develop and commercialize NeuVax (nelipepimut-S) in India. 
NeuVax is a vaccine aimed at preventing the recurrence of breast cancer in patients under remission, a press release from the company said.
According to it, under the terms of the agreement, Galena, which is based in Portland, Oregon, will license commercial rights of NeuVax to Dr. Reddy’s for breast and gastric cancers. 
Dr. Reddy’s will lead the development of NeuVax in gastric cancer, and help significantly expand the scope of therapy by addressing a new patient population. 
"Galena will receive development and sales milestones, as well as double-digit royalties on net sales. The licensing and development terms are conditioned to an agreement on ancillary activities," the release said.
“NeuVax promises to meet significant unmet need in breast cancer and gastric cancer patients especially due to late diagnosis for majority of the patients in India and therefore may have high probability of relapse of the disease," Mr Alok Sonig, Senior Vice President and Head of India Business (Generics), said.
“NeuVax potentially will reduce the risk of relapse significantly as demonstrated in successful phase 2 trials” he added.
“This partnership with Dr. Reddy’s is consistent with our strategy to expand the clinical utility of NeuVax in unmet medical needs while simultaneously increasing the commercial footprint of this innovative cancer immunotherapy,” said Mr Mark J. Ahn, Ph.D., President and CEO of Galena Biopharma.  
“Dr. Reddy’s is a global pharmaceutical company with significant commercialization and development expertise. The gastric cancer trial will add a significant indication to our pipeline for NeuVax, while doubling our potential patient population if approved," he added.

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Volvo bus fire: AP police arrest 4 employees of Bangalore travel firm

The Andhra Padesh Police's Crime Investigation Department (CID) today said it had arrested four employees of Jabbar Travels, a private firm in Bangalore, in connection with the fire on one of its Volvo buses which killed 45 people, including an infant, on October 30 last year.
Additional Director General of Police (CID) T Krishna Prasad said that, during the course of investigations, a CID team had visited Bangaloe and arrested the four employees -- Syed Akram Ahmad, Shabbir Khan, Amanulah Khan and Mohammed Rafeeq -- who are being forwarded to judicial custody.
The bus was on a journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad when it hit a culvert in the median near Palem village in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh around 5 am on October 30 and burst into flames when its diesel tank was ruptured in the impact of the crash.
The bus, which belonged to Jabbar Travels, was said to be carrying about 52 people, including its driver and cleaner. There were six survivors, including the driver and the cleaner.
On the next day, the driver of the bus, Fairoz Basha, and Shakeen Jabbar, owner of the firm, were arrested and sent to judicial custody.
Mr Prasad said the CID investigation was based on a multi-disciplinary approach to examine the criminal culpability of, among others, Volvo, the manufacturers of the bus, and its distributors, the owners of the bus, the RTA authorities in Bangalore who gave the permit, the RTA authorities in Hyderabad, the bus operator, the National Highway authorities, and the National Highway contractors.
From the available evidence, the CID will slap relevant sections of the Motor Vehicle Act and the Indian Penal Code against the accused, he added.

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Dr. Reddy’s to launch Optidoz for treatment of hypertension

Pharmaceuticals major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories today said that its Optidoz, a drug for the treatment of hypertension had been approved and woud be made available in the Indian market.
A press release from the company said Optidoz is a single pill combination of three anti-hypertensive drugs (Amlodipine 2.5mg, Telmisartan 20mg and Hydrochlorothiazide 6.25mg) with optimal (half of standard) dose of individual drugs.
It said the efficacy and safety of Optidoz had been established through a clinical study approved by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). 
The release said Optidoz would simplify the traditional, complicated step-care treatment approach for hypertension management. The prolonged blood pressure control with minimal adverse effects is expected to improve efficacy response in normalizing the blood pressure due to good tolerability with Optidoz and enhanced compliance in patients.
According to it, hypertension is the most prevalent chronic disease in India. Approximately 32% of the adult Indian population suffers from high blood pressure. Over the last six decades, the prevalence has increased twelve-fold in urban areas and seven-fold in rural areas. 
"While over 125 anti-hypertensive drugs are available in the Indian market, 76% cases of blood pressure still remain uncontrolled. Such a paradox is attributed to ineffective drug doses and non-adherence to therapy, which may lead to disease progression of co-morbid conditions like heart disease, heart failure, stroke and kidney diseases," the release added.

Telugu film actor Uday Kiran commits suicide: police

Telugu actor Uday Kiran allegedly commits suicide
Young Telugu film actor Uday Kiran allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself with a rope from the ceiling of his his house in the posh Banjara Hills area here last night, police said today.
He was 33.
Police said the actor's wife Vishita had gone out to attend a function and he was alone in the house when he allegedly killed himself.
His wife and some neighbours rushed him to the Jubilee Hills Apollo Hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.
Police are investigating the reasons for the extreme step, but they said he appeared to have been in financial difficulties, with not many acting assignments in hand. He had returned recently from a visit to Chennai, they said.

No suicide note was found in the room, but police have recovered his mobile telephone, they said.
Police have registered a case of death under mysterious circumstances. Investigators conducted a preliminary examination in the room where Uday Kiran took the extreme step.
Born on June 26, 1980, Uday Kiran Vajapeyajula was a graduate in commerce from Wesley College in Secunderabad. He began his career with a stint in modeling before taking up acting.
He made his Tollywood debut under director Teja in Chitram in 2000, in which he played the lead character of a 17-year-old. That and his next two films -- Nuvvu Nenu and Manasantha Nuvve -- were big successes at the box office and earned him the title "Hat-trick Hero".
He later did romantic roles in films like Nee Sneham and Kalusukovalani. In 2001, he won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Telugu for his role as a hot-blooded youngster in the film Nuvvu Nenu. In the process, he became the youngest winner of the Filmfare best actor award after Kamal Haasan.
In 2006, He made his Tamil debut with the film Poi, directed by veteran K. Balachander. 
Some of his other movies include Sreeram, Avunanna Kaadanna, Nuvvekaddunte Nenakkadunta and Jai Sriram. In all, he had acted in 19 Telugu and Tamil films and won several awards.
He was engaged to actor Chiranjeevi's daughter Sushmitha in 2003, but it was called off later. Media reports of that time quoted Chiranjeevi as saying in a statement that the decision to call off the proposed wedding was taken by the two families due to "lack of compatibility" between the couple and "variation between their hopes and aspirations for the future".
Uday Kiran married Vishitha on October 24, 2012.

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Rashtrapati Nilayam Gardens in Secunderabad to open for public viewing from Jan 6-12

The gardens at Rashtrapati Nilayam, Bolarum, Secunderabad, one of the two Presidential retreats in the country, will open for public viewing for a week from tomorrow from 1000 hours to 1700 hours.
The gardens of Rashtrapati Nilayam include landscaped gardens, seasonal flowering plants and display of potted plants around the main building, ‘Jai Hind Ramp’ with cascading water, gardens of mango, sapota, pomegranate, guava, amla, coconut and cheeku and a herbal garden.
The herbal garden has 116 species of medicinal and aromatic plants like Sarpgandha, Kalabandha, Citronella, Lemon grass, Khus, Geranium, Coriander, Sandalwood, Tuber rose, Jasmine, Kalmegh andTulsi in an area of about 7000 sq. mtrs.
Rain harvesting measures undertaken to improve ground water sustainability can also be seen, an official press release added.

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