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Hyderabad

AP Assembly adjourned till Jan 3 as uproar over Telangana continues

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The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, seeking to create a separate Telangana state, could not be taken up yet again as both the houses of the Andhra Pradesh legislature were adjourned abruptly today to January 3 amid uproarious protests by members supporting and opposing the move.
 
Both the houses could not take up a single listed item of business for the seventh consecutive day today because of the unrelenting noisy protests by the pro and anti Telangana members from the Telangana and the Seemandhra regions.
 
The bill which was introduced in the assembly by speaker N,Manohar two days ago could not be taken up today also because of the continued pandemonium. 
 
Right from the word go, both the houses witnessed noisy scenes with protesing members encircling the podiums and raising full-throated slogans for and against the bifurcation of the state, forcing the Assembly speaker and Council chairman Chakrapani to adjourned the houses twice for various durations and finally to January 3.
 
Telangana members charged that it was a concerted effort by the Seemandhra members to stall the proceedings in a bid to avoid discussion on the bill, while the Seemandhra members claimed that there were
loopholes in it.
 
The Speaker announced that the house would meet in two phases first from January 3 to 10 and then from January 16 to 23 to discuss the bill.
 
President Pranab Mukherjee had directed that the bill should be returned by January 23.
 
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, in a chat with journalists, said that any bifurcation process should be in accordance with the Constitution.  He said he was neither against Telangana nor in favour of Seemandhra and that his only concern was that the interests of the people of all regions of the state should be safeguarded. 
 
Meanwhile, members belonging to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are continuing their protest in the Assembly premises against the adjournment of the house without discussing the bill.
 
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No debate in AP Assembly on Telangana bill as ruckus continues

 
The Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly failed to discuss the Andhra Pradesh  Reorganisation Bill, 2013,seeking to create a separate Telangana state due to continued pandemonium in the house today.
 
For the fifth consecutive day, both the houses of the state legislature (assembly and council) could not transact any of the listed business following vociferous protests from the members from theTelangana and the Seemandhra (coastal and Rayalaseema) regions raising pro- and anti-Telangana slogans, obstructing the proceedings.
 
The Business Advisory Committee of the assembly had yesterday decided that the discussion on the draft bill would be taken up today and will continue till next Friday, the on which the current session is slated to end, but due to the protests by the members on the bifurcation issue, which have become a daily feature ever since the session began,it was not to be.
 
As soon as the assembly met for the day, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and YSR Congress members rushed into the well of the house, surrounded the speaker's podium and raised full-throated slogans in favour of united Andhra.
 
Speaker N. Manohar repeatedly appealed to the protesting members to resume their seats, maintain order and help him conduct the business but to no avail.
 
The speaker adjourned the house for 60 minutes as the unrelenting members continued to disrupt the proceedings.
 
Amid the din, Mr.Manohar rejected the adjournment notices given by the TDP, the YSRC and the CPI. The TDP notice wanted the Centre to make its stand clear on the bifurcation issue, the YSRC motion sought a resolution be adopted in the house to keep the state united while the CPI notice demanded an immediate discussion on the draft bill.
 
When the assembly reassembled after two adjournments, the uproarious situation remained, forcing the Speaker adjourn the house for the day.
 
Similar scenes were seen in the council, too, following which chairman Chakrapani adjourned the upper house for the day.
 
The debate on the bill, when it begins, is expected to be a marathon affair with every member getting a chance to speak on it. The house may be reconvened after Christmas holidays to resume discussion on the bill.
 
The deadline fixed by President Pranab Mukherjee for the return of the bill is January 23.
 
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Mukherjee to be in Secunderabad from Dec 19-31 for winter sojourn

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President Pranab Mukherjee will proceed to the Rashtrapati Nilayam in Bolarum, Secundrabad for the customary winter sojourn from December 19 to 31.
 
From Secunderabad, the President will visit Tamil Nadu and Kerala on December 20, an official press release said.
 
In Tamil Nadu, he will inaugurate the 28th Indian Engineering Congress and the School of Commerce and Economics of Loyola College at Chennai. 
 
In Kerala, he will unveil a statue of late K. Karunakaran, former Chief Minister of Kerala, at Thiruvananthapuram and inaugurate the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Ayyan Kali at Kochi on the same day. 
 
On December 23, Mr Mukherjee will attend the concluding function of the centenary celebrations of former President Neelam Sanjeev Reddy at Ananthapuram in Andhra Pradesh. 
 
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Andhra Pradesh Assembly to take up Telangana Bill on Wednesday

 
The Business Advisory Committee (BAC) of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly today decided to take up the discussion on the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill 2013, which seeks to create a new state of Telangana, from tomorrow.
 
The bill was presented in the state legislative assembly yesterday amid a ruckus created by those in favour of and opposed to the bifurcation of the state.
 
While members from the Telangana region wanted an early discussion on the bill, those from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) staged angry protests against the move yesterday.
 
The BAC met after the house was adjourned minutes after it met for the day following uproarious scenes near the Speaker's podium where members from the Telangana and the Seemandhra regions raised full-throated slogans for and against bifurcation of the state.
 
The BAC at its marathon meeting decided that the discussion on the bill will be conducted till Friday next, the day on which the current session of the assembly will end.
 
However, the session may be extended if the discussion could not be completed by December 20.
 
The BAC meeting was attended by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Deputy Chief Minister D. Rajanarasimha and floor leaders of all political parties. However, Leader of Opposition N.Chandrababu Naidu stayed away from the meeting.
 
Earlier in the day, both houses of the state legislature were adjourned for the day without taking up any business following noisy scenes.
 
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Bill for creation of Telangana state presented in AP Assembly amid ruckus

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill 2013, which seeks to create a new state of Telangana, was presented in the state legislative assembly on Monday amid a ruckus created by those in favour of and opposed to the bifurcation of the state.

Telangana Bill presented amid uproar in A P Assembly
The Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Bill 2013, which seeks to create a new state of Telangana, was presented in the state legislative assembly today amid a ruckus created by those in favour of and opposed to the bifurcation of the state.
 
While members from the Telangana region wanted an early discussion on the Bill, those from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) staged angry protests against the move.
 
Both houses of the legislature -- the assembly and the council -- were adjourned and there was no indication about when the Bill wuld be taken up for discussion.
 
But the tension continued, with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislators from Seemandhra staging a sit-in near the chamber of Speaker Nadendla Manohar.
 
Members from Telangana staged a separate sit-in to press for an immediate discussion on the Bill.
 
The Bill was presented to the assembly by legislature secretary Raja Sadaram on the direction of the Speaker. He also read out a message from the President asking the house to send it back with its views by January 23.
 
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who has been strongly opposing the divison of Andhra Pradesh, was not present in the house when the Bill was presented. 
 
In the legislative council, Chairman A Chakrapani tabled the Bill even as Seemandhra members shouted slogans against the move to create a new state.
 
After the Bill was presented in both houses, some members from the Seemandhra region came out, tore the copies of the Bill and burnt them,  even as their colleagues from Telangana sought to prevent them from doing so. Security personnel had to exert themselves to prevent the two sides from coming to blows.
 
This was the third day that the two houses were rocked by the Telangana issue and adjourned without transacting any business.
 
The Bill seeks to form a new state of Telangana comprising the following districts of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh: Adilabad, Karimnagar, Medak, Nizamabad, Warangal, Rangareddi, Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar, Khammam and Hyderabad.
 
It proposes that Hyderabad will be the common capital of the two states for a period not exceeding ten years. After expiry of that period, Hyderabad shall be the capital of Telangana and there shall be a new capital for Andhra Pradesh. 
 
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The Bill says the Central Government shall constitute an expert committee to study various alternatives regarding the new capital for the successor State of Andhra Pradesh and make appropriate recommendations in a period not exceeding 45 days from the date of enactment of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2013.
 
It says that the Governor of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh shall be the Governor of both the successor States for such period as may be determined by the President.
 
For the purposes of administration of the common capital area, the Governor shall have special responsibility for the security of life, liberty and property of all those who reside in such area, it says.
 
In particular, the responsibility of the Governor shall extend to matters such as law and order, internal security and security of vital installations, and management and allocation of Government buildings in the common capital area.
 
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Kiran Reddy sanctions Rs 1 lakh to kin of those killed in Volvo bus mishap

 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today sanctioned Rs 1 lakh to the next-of-kin of the 44 passengers who were charred to death when a Volvo bus on a journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad caught fire on October 30 in Mahabubnagar district of the state.
 
The bus had caught fire when its diesel tank burst after the vehicle hit a culvert at Palem. on the National Highway (NH)-44 between the two cities.
 
The Andhra Pradesh Government had ordered the setting up of a committee of senior IAS officers to probe the cause of the Palem bus mishap and also to suggest measures to prevent such accidents in future. The Chief Minister had also ordered a CB CID enquiry on the accident, an official press release added.
 
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Normal life in AP affected by bandh against move to create Telangana-Rayala state

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Normal life was paralysed in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh today following a day-long Telangana general strike against the move to create a Rayala-Telangana state.
 
Supporters of the "bandh" organized rallies and blocked roads, affecting traffic at many places, and set afire the effigies of Congress leaders, includng party president Sonia Gandhi.
 
On the Osmania University campus, the situation remained tense with students pelting stones at the police for preventing from taking out a procession. Police lobbed tear gas shells to quell the  mob of stone pelting students.
 
At Rajendranagar, students of the agriculture college stoned vehicles and tried to stop the convoy of YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy while he was returning from Chennai. Police reached the spot and dispersed the students.
 
Barring sporadic incidents, the bandh called by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which is spearheading the movement for a separate state of Telangana, was by and large peaceful, according to the police .
 
The bandh was supported by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Communist Party of India (CPI) and various trade unions.
 
Shops and other establishments, cinema halls and petrol stations were closed, while in some parts of the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad where business establishments were open, bandh supporters were seen forcing them to shut down. Work in banks was affected
 
All the educational institutions declared a holiday today in view of the bandh, while the Osmania University, the Ambedkar Open University and Kakatiya University in Warangal rescheduled examinations.
 
Work in the government hospitals was also affected with the members of the Telangana Government Doctors Association joining the bandh. Lawyers in the Telangana region also joined the strike demanding a 10-district Telangana.
 
In many towns, bandh supporters were seen going round the streets vociferously demanding a separate Telangana comprising 10 districts with Hyderabad as the capital.
 
The state road transport corporation buses, the main mode of transport for a majority of the people, remained off the roads, while autorickshaws too did not ply as the autorickhaw unions joined the bandh.
 
Reports reaching from the TRS strongholds like Karimnagar, Warangal, Nizamabad, Mahabubnagar and Adilabad said that the bandh was total.
 
TRS legislator K.Tarakarama Rao said that nothing short of 10-district Telangana with Hyderabad as its capital was acceptable to the people of the region. He said the Congress would be digging its own grave if it went ahead with the move to create Rayala-Telangana.
 
Telangana joint action committee chairman Prof. Kodandaram said that if Telangana with 10 districts was not created the struggle would be intensified.
 
Police made elaborate security arrangements in the bandh-affected areas.
 
Meanwhile, all eyes are on the Union Cabinet, which is expected to discuss the report of the Group of Ministers set up to finalise issues relating to the bifurcation of the state. The Cabinet is expected to take a final call on the draft Bill seeking to create Telangana state.
 
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Portal to reduce malnutrition launched in Hyderabad

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The Indian Impact, an online platform to reduce malnutrition in India, was inaugurated by noted industrialist Ratan Tata at an impressive function here on Friday evening.
 
The initative, first of its kind in the country, makes it easy and convenient for corporations and citizens to locate and improve "anganwadi" centres run by the Union Government to provide supplementary breakfast and lunch to children along with immunization and pre-school education.
 
But many of these centres suffer from dismal infrastructure and insufficient food quantity and hence are not able to curb malnutrition effectively, according to Ms. Ridhima Parvathaneni, President of Indian Impact.
 
Malnutrition, a nation-wide crisis, is crippling 42 per cent of India's children and leading to an estimated 1500 child deaths every day, she said.
 
Industrialist G M Rao of the GMR Group, Google's director of India operations Arijit Sarkar and Indian School of Business dean Ajit Rangnekar were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
The inaugural session was followed by an interactive discussion with Mr Tata and Mr Rao.
 
Mr.Tata said that, instead of just identifying the problem, there should be greater involvement to solve the problem of malnutrition among the children.
 
He said the various government schemes launched to tackle the problem should be more effectively implemented.
 
He said that India has vast potential and it was for the young people, in particular, to work sincerely to make the country great in all spheres. "My only regret is that I am not 40 years younger," he said.
 
Mr. Rao said that his group had adopted more than 180 anganwadis by providing qualified teachers for schools. He suggested that the corporates should spend one week in tribal areas to know first hand the problems faced by the tribals.
 
The Indian Impact is founded by a team of Wharton business school alumni.
 
Ms. Parvathaneni said innovation and nation-building were the two pillars of the Indian Impact. It originated out of the passion and drive to build something to address a national emergency, she said.
 
"Today, it is a powerful medium to unlock the massive potential of India's children," she added. 
 
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Seven years of rigorous imprisonment for underworld don Abu Salem

Abu Salem gets seven-year imprisonment in fake passport case
A special CBI Court here today sentenced underworld don Abu Salem to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and a total fine of Rs 4000 in a fake passport case.
 
Special Judge for CBI Cases, Hyderabad, M V Ramana Naidu held Salem guilty under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for securing a passport under a fictitious name from Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.
 
The gangster was sent to Thane jail in Maharashtra.
 
The CBI had registered a case on September 20, 2002 against Salem and others, Rubeen and Monica Bedi.
 
According to the agency, they impersonated as Ramil Kamil Malik, Neha Asis Jafari and Sana Malik Kamal and obtained forged passports, respectively, by furnishing false addresses and documents. 
 
After completion of investigation, CBI filed charge sheet against Salem and others on 22.12.2004. Since Salem could not be produced before the court in connection with the TADA cases at Mumbai, the case against Abu Salem was split up.
 
The co-accused Bedi and three others were convicted by the trial court on 29.09.06. Bedi was sentenced to undergo five years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs.1000 under section 420 IPC; 3 years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs.500 under section 419 IPC; three years rigorous imprisonment with fine of Rs.500 under section 120-B IPC.
 
Bedi appealed against the judgement in the Supreme Court,  which on 9.11.2010 confirmed the conviction and reduced the sentence to the period already undergone by her.
 
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Relief for people in AP as Lehar crosses coast as weakened depression

Latest satellite image of Cyclone Lehar
Latest satellite image of Cyclone Lehar
Cyclone Lehar weakened into a depression and crossed the Andhra Pradesh coast near Machillipatnam this evening, much to the relief of the authorities and people in the coastal areas of the state.
 
Rain lashed many parts of the state capital late this evening, flooding many low-lying areas and affecting road traffic.
 
A bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the depression had moved west-northwestwards and lay centred at 1730 hours IST of today near latitude 16.00 N and longitude 80.80 E about 50 km southwest of Machillipatnam.
 
"It would move west-northwestwards and weaken further into a well marked low pressure area during the next six hours," it said.
 
The bulletin said that, under its influence, rainfall would occur at many places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry during the next 12 hours, with isolated heavy falls.
 
Squally winds with speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph would prevail along and off Andhra Pradesh coast during the next hours and decrease thereafter, it said.
 
The state of sea along and off Andhra Pradesh coast will be rough to very rough during the next six hours.
 
The IMD advised fishermen not to venture into the sea during the next six hours.
 
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Lehar to weaken into depression, cross AP coast today afternoon

Latest satellite image of Cyclone Lehar
Latest satellite image of Cyclone Lehar
The cyclonic storm Lehar over westcentral Bay of Bengal has weakened into a deep depression and is expected to weaken further and cross the Andhra Pradesh coast near Machillipatnam this afternoon as a depression.
 
A bulletin issued by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) at 0800 hours today said Lehar had moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 20 kmph during the past six hours.
 
It lay centred at 0530 hours IST of today near latitude 15.50 N and longitude 82.00 E, about 120 km east-southeast of Machillipatnam and 160 km south of 
Kakinada.
 
"It would move west-northwestwards, weaken further and cross Andhra Pradesh coast near Machillipatnam as a depression by today, the 28th November afternoon," the bulletin said.
 
The bulletin said rainfall would occur at most places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry during the next 24 hours, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls.
 
There would also be rainfall at most places over Telangana during the next 36 hours, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls.
 
It said squally winds, with speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph, would prevail along and off Andhra Pradesh during the next 12 hours. 
 
The state of sea along and off Andhra Pradesh coast will be rough to very rough.
 
The bulletin said fishermen were advised not to venture in the open seas. 
 
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Lehar to weaken into cyclonic storm, cross AP coast Thursday afternoon

Latest satellite image of Cyclone Lehar
Latest satellite image of Cyclone Lehar
The very severe cyclonic storm Lehar over westcentral and adjoining south Bay of Bengal will weaken gradually and cross the Andhra Pradesh coast near Machillipatnam as a cyclonic storm tomorrow afternoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
A bulletin issued by the IMD said Lehar had moved west-northwestward with a speed of 15 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 1430 hours IST of today near latitude 14.00 N and longitude 85.50 E, about 520 km east-southeast of Machillipatnam and 470 km southeast of Kakinada.
 
"It would move west-northwestwards, weaken gradually and cross Andhra Pradesh coast near Machillipatnam as a cyclonic storm around 28th November afternoon," it said.
 
The bulletin said that, under its influence, rainfall would commence at many places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry from this evening. Its intensity would gradually increase with rainfall at most places over coastal Andra Pradesh and Yanam district tomorrow and isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall over these regions on November 29.
 
Rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls would also occur over Telangana tomorrow and on Friday, it said.
 
The bulletin said squally winds, with speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph would commence along and off Andhra Pradesh from today. It would increase in intensity with gale wind speed reaching 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph along and off coastal districts of Guntur, Krishna, west & east Godavari and Vishakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district and 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph over Prakasham districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh at the time of landfall. 
 
Squally winds speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph would prevail along and off remaining districts of Andhra Pradesh at the time of landfall. 
 
The state of sea along and off Andhra Pradesh coast will be rough to very rough from this evening and will become very high on November 28.
 
Storm surge of height about 1.0-2.0 metres above astronomical tide would inundate 
low lying areas of west and east Godavari, Guntur and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district.
 
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Kiran Kumar Reddy reviews preparedness to cope with cyclone Lehar

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy today reviewed the preparedness of the state administration to cope with the very severe cyclone Lehar that is expected to hit the coastal areas of the state around noon on Thursday.
 
Mr Reddy asked Chief Secretary P K Mohanty to direct the officials and departments to take all possible steps to face the cyclone threat.
 
Mr Mohanty told the meeting that all steps were being taken on a war footing to prevent loss of life and property due to the cyclone.
 
The Coast Guard, the coastal security wing, the Marine Police and superintendents of police (SPs) were told to be alert in view of the cyclone and assist the district administrations in the areas likely to be affected by the cyclone.
 
All fishermen in the coastal districts have been alerted through the mobile phone database available with the Fisheries Department to not go out to sea for fishing in view of the cyclone alert.
 
District Collectors have been advised to open control rooms at district, division and mandal levels and give wide publicity to the telephone numbers of such facilities.
 
They have also been asked to ensure that people in low lying areas are evacuated to safer places and minimise loss of lives and property.
 
They have been directed to ensure adequate stocks of essential commodities such as rice and kerosene
 
Army and Railway authorities have also been alerted regarding the rescue and relief operations that might become necessary after the cyclone crosses the coast.
 
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Cyclone Helen crosses AP coast,:eight killed

The latest satellite image of the cyclone Helen. Image: IMD
The latest satellite image of the cyclone Helen. Image: IMD
At least eight people were killed as cyclone Helen crossed the north Andhra Pradesh coast near Machillipatnam in Krishna district this evening, triggering heavy rains and strong gales.
 
Official sources here said  eight people were killed in cyclone and rain-related incidents. Among the victims was a state government reveue official, when his car hit a tree
 
 in the cyclone and rain-lated incidents,mostly in tree and electric poles collapses.Among the dead was a state government revenue official Mr.Satyanarayana who was killed when the car in which he was returning after supervising relief works in the cyclone-hit areas in Godavari district hit a tree on the roadside.
 
The cyclone caused heavy losses, particularly in the three coastal districts of Krishna and east and west Godavari where standing crops over thousands of acres were destroyed.
 
Hundreds of trees and electric poles were uprooted, causing disruption in electricity supply in the three districts.
 
The coastal districts have been receiving heavy rain since yesterday,  submerging low-lying areas. The weather office has forecast heavy rain in many parts of the state during the next 48 hours.
 
Hundreds of people from low-lying areas were evacuated and lodged in scores of relief camps.
 
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International children's film festival draws to a close

The 18th International Children's Film Festival,of India (ICFFI), popularly known as the Golden Elephant, came to a close at a colourful closing ceremony  at the tastefully decorated Lalithakala Thoranam open-air thearer in the sprawling public gardens here tonight.
 
Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L.Narasimhan, who was the chief guest, gave away the top Golden Elephant trophy for best little director which was  shared by two short Indian films -- "Breaking the Silence" and "Tamatar Chor".
 
The award carries a citation, a plaque and a cash prize of Rs.2 lakh. Awards in 16 other categories were also given away at the ceremony.
 
State Information and Public Relations Minister D.K. Aruna said that the government would give a subsidy of Rs. 35 lakhs, besides exempting entertainment tax, for making best children's film.
 
Telugu film superstar Pavan Kalyan  who was a special guest, drew loud applause when he walked onto the stage.
 
State Chief Secretary P.K. Mohanty and director of the festival Shravan Kumar were also present at the closing ceremony.
 
Several cultural performances were presented by children before the start of the awards function.
 
More than 200 children's films from about 50 countries were screened at 12 selected cinema halls in the city during the festival.
 
About 1.6 lakh schoolchildren watched the movies during the week-long festival. 
 
The festival was inaugurated by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Children's Day (November 14) and it was attended, among others, by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari and Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor.
 
The main aim of the biennial festival is to bring the most delightful and imaginative national and international children's films for the benefit of Indian child audiances.
 
About 400 child delegates from more than 150 countries including India and 150 
national and international adult delegates attended the festival.
 
A number of seminars and workshops on various subjects concerning child artistes and children's films were conducted as part of the festival.
 
The festival was organised by the Children's Film Society of India under the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
 
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Italian award for Birla Science Centre Director General B G Sidharth

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Dr. B.G. Sidharth, Director-General of the city-based B. M. Birla Science Centre,  has been given the 2013 award by the Einstein-Galilei Institute for Theoretical Physics and Advanced Mathematics (IFM), Italy, for his outstanding discovery that the  universe is expanding and speeding up.
 
Dr. Sidharth had showcased his discovery during the Marcel Grossman conference which was held in Jerusalem in 1997.
 
Other international scientists endorsed his theory after making telescopic observations, according to a press release from the centre.
 
The institution awards prestigious and meritorious scientists for their lifetime contributions in science, The award comprises an official IFM diploma and a gold medal.
 
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International children's film festival opens in Hyderabad

The 18th International Children's Film Festival of India (ICFFI), popularly known as the Golden Elephant, began on a colourful note at the tastefully decorated Lalithakala Thoranam open-air theatre in the sprawling public gardens here this evening.
 
The week-long festival, the opening of which coincides with the birth anniversary of India's first Prime Miinister Jawaharlal Nehru, was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh Chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.
 
Several dignitaries, including film personalities, and a large number of children from different parts of the world, were present on the occasion.
 
Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari presided over the function, while state Minister of Information and Public Relations D.K. Aruna and well-known lyricist, poet, film writer and director Gulzar were the guests of honour.
 
Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor, who was a speacial invitee, drew loud applause as he stepped onto the stage.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Reddy said the state government was keen on creating permanent infrastructure to make Hyderabad a permanent venue for holding international film festivals.
 
The land for the purpose has already been allotted and work on infrastructure would start soon, he said.
 
Mr Tewari said such festivals were an opportunity for people to rededicate themseves for creating a peacuful and properous society. He underlined the need for making more children's films.
 
A colourful cultural programme put up by children and physically handicapped persons preceded the inaugural ceremony.    
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The inaugural film, "Gopi Gawaliya Bagha Bjaliya", was screened on the occasion.
 
About 1.5 lakh children are expected to watch about 200 films from 50 nations to be showcased during the festival at 12 cinema halls in the city till November 20.
 
In all, 16 awards in four categories will be given during the festival. A 20-member jury for the four sections has six Indians including three from the city.
 
Films from Japan, Austria, the Netherlands, Iran, Cuba, Ethiopia, Switzerland, Germany, Israel, Poland, Latvia, Brazil, Denmark, Columbia, France, South Korea, Peru, South Africa, Norway, Chile, Spain, China, the United Kingdom, Russia, Czech Republic and other countries will be screened at the festival.
 
Ironically,there is not a single Telugu film listed for screening. The biennial festival aims to bring the most delightful and imaginative national and international films for the benefit of young Indian audiences.
 
The festival is being organised by the Children's Film Society of India. 
 
About 400 child delegates from more than 150 countries, including India, and 150 national and international adult delegates will take part in the festival.
 
The country focus at this year's festival is on Czech Republic, which will present the best of Czech children's films.
 
Some of the old treasured films from CFSI and National Film Archives of India, commerating 100 years of cinema in India, have been included in the festival.
 
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The prestigious Golden Elephant trophy plus Rs 2 lakh cash prize will be given away to the best film, director, screen play, animation feature and other categories in the competition section.
 
Similarly, the silver elephant trophy plus cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh would be given away to runners-up in the above categories.
 
About seven cinema halls in the city have been chosen to screen the films during the festival. The other attractions include cultural programmes, besides seminars and workshops.
 
The Union Government had declared Hyderabad as the permanent venue for holding the international children's film festival. The city had hosted the festival for the first time in 1995.
 
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Top scientists to attend symposium on Frontiers of Fundamental Physics

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Well-known physicists from different parts of the world will attend a prestigious symposium on "Frontiers of Fundamental Physics" which will begin at the B M BIrla Science Centre here tomorrow.
 
The focus of the 13th edition of the symposium, being held in India after a gap of 10 years, will be young researchers and post-graduate students, Dr. B. G. Siddharth, director-general of the Centre, told newspersons here this evening.
 
He said student participation would be particularly focused on ways of motivating them to take up scientific research after obtaining their academic degrees.
 
He said students were now shying away from research because of various socio-economic factors.
 
Dr Siddharth said the symposium would discuss themes such as astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, high energy physics, theoretical physics and engineering sciences.
 
Eminent resource person from Italy Prof. Marisa Michelini will explain simple teaching and learning methods developed to promote the passage from common sense reasoning to scientific one during a workshop on research based proposals for teaching modern physics in secondary schools.
 
There will be live demonstrations and powerpoint presentations in the workshop which is a part of the symposium.
 
The science centre, in collaboration with the University of Udine in Italy, a reputed European university, will organise a workshop cum course primarily for computer science and IT professionals, faculty  and senior engineering students from November 18 to 20.
 
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The course which will be conducted by well-known academicians from Europe was intended to upgrade the knowledge and expand the outlook of the IT and computer science faculty within the context of the syllabus.
 
Eminent scientists like Prof. Furio Honsell, Prof. Carlo Tasso, Prof. Michelini from Italy and Prof Narayanan, director, International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT),  Dr. B V R Mohan Reddy, chairman, Infotech Enterprises, Dr. C S R Prabhu,  director, National Informatics Centre Delhi, Dr M G P L Narayana, vice-president, HR, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are amongst those who will speak at the workshop.
 
The centre will also give away one award each in physics and biology to young scientists for their original research works in their respective fields .The awards carry a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh each 
 
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International children's film festival in Hyderabad from Nov 14

The pearl city of Hyderabad is readying to host the International Children's Film Festival  India (ICFFI) 2013, a biennial event, which will open on November 14.
 
The sprawling Lalitha Kala Thoranam open air auditorium ,the venue for the opening and closing ceremonies, is being repaired and decked up at a cost of Rs.50 lakhs.
 
The other facilities like the auditoria, where workshops and seminars will be held as part of the film fete, are also being given final touches.
 
The 18th edition of the festival, being organised by the Children's Film Society of India (CFSI), an autonomous body under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, will showcase the 200 films from more than 45 countries out of 900 entries received from 70 countries.
 
The festival will also screen specially curated non-competition sections, including children's works that will showcase the most acclaimed films from the last 10 years.
 
The biennial festival, popularly known as the Golden Elephant, aims to bring the most delightful and imaginative national and international children's cinema  to young Indian audiences.
 
About a lakh children from all over India and hundreds of film professionals from across the world are expected to attend the screenings.
 
The country focus at this year's festival is on Czech Republic, which will present the best of Czech children's films.
 
Some of the old treasured films from CFSI and National Film Archives of India, commerating 100 years of cinema in India, have been included in the festival.
 
The prestigious Golden Elephant trophy plus Rs 2 lakh cash prize will be given away to the best film, director, screen play, animation feature and other categories in the competition section.
 
Similarly, the silver elephant trophy plus cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh would be given away to runners-up in the above categories.
 
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About seven cinema halls in the city have been chosen to screen the films during the festival. The other attractions include cultural programmes, besides seminars and workshops.
 
Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor is expected to attend the opening ceremony, while another Bollywood superstar Salman Khan has extended support to the fete.
 
The Union Government had declared Hyderabad as the permanent venue for holding the international children's film festival. The city had hosted the festival for the first time in 1995.
 
A film -Temple Run- made by children of the Oakridge School in Hyderabad is also all set for a screening at the film festival. The young makers and cast of the film, which tells the tale of a "treasure hunt", have had no prior experience in film making.
 
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GoM on Telangana holds third meeting, discusses revised status notes

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The Group of Ministers (GoM) set up to consider the issues regarding the bifurcation of the State of Andhra Pradesh and formation of the new State of Telangana discussed the revised status notes sent by the Ministries and the Departments of the Government of India at its third meeting here today.
 
An official press release issued after the meeting, chaired by Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, said the GoM decided to meet the Secretaries of the Ministries and Departments of the Government of India on November 11 to seek clarifications on some of the issues. 
 
The GoM has received about 18000 suggestions regarding the issues covered under its Terms of Reference through e-mail or post from the public and other stakeholders of Andhra Pradesh. 
 
The GoM also decided to meet the representatives of the recognized political parties of Andhra Pradesh on November 12-13. 
 
The GoM decided to meet again on November 18 to hear the views of the Union Ministers who hail from Andhra Pradesh. 
 
Those present at the meeting included Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister M Veerappa Moily, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel and Prime Minister's Office V Narayanasamy.
 
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Shalini Agnihotri chosen best all-rounder IPS officer at National Police Academy

President Pranab Mukherjee presenting the trophy for best all rounder IPS officer trainee to Ms. Shalini Agnihotri at Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police Academy, in Hyderabad on November 5, 2013.

President Pranab Mukherjee presenting the trophy for best all rounder IPS officer trainee to Ms. Shalini Agnihotri at Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police Academy, in Hyderabad on November 5, 2013.
President Pranab Mukherjee presenting the trophy for best all rounder IPS officer trainee to Ms. Shalini Agnihotri at Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police Academy, in Hyderabad on November 5, 2013.

Mukherjee voices concern over communal violence in some parts of country

 
President Pranab Mukherjee today said these were challenging times for India's police forces, given the worrying bout of communal violence in some parts of the country, accompanied by deterioration in inter-community relations.
 
"There is need to strengthen the ability of our district and local administration to notice such tensions in their initial stages and take necessary measures to contain them quickly," he said in his address at the passing out parade of Indian Police Service (IPS) probationers at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy here.
 
Mr Mukherjee said his vision of the police for future India is not that of only a law enforcing body, but of a pro-active service provider, a partner in growth, development and peace. 
 
"As police officers, you should always ensure that the grievances of the common man are redressed. This would require a change of role of the police from a reactive to a pro-active agency, which, in partnership with other stake holders will create a peaceful and secure atmosphere conducive to the growth and prosperity of our nation. I expect from you the highest degree of professionalism at all times and consistent efforts to ensure that the rule of law is enforced in letter and spirit," he said.
 
Mr Mukherjee said police constables are the visible face of Government and, therefore, enough attention should be paid to their training and development and improvement in their service conditions.
 
"Inculcating in them the highest degree of discipline, integrity and commitment is absolutely necessary. They are the cutting-edge of your work force and the image of the police overall depends on their conduct, behaviour and professionalism. The public forms an opinion about the quality of governance based on the response and efficiency of policemen at the grass roots level," he said.
 
The President said atrocities against women and children had also grabbed public attention and shaken the conscience of the nation in recent times.
 
"The Government of India has enacted a path-breaking legislation, the ‘Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act’, which provides for stringent punishment for persons who commit or abet such offences. The Government has also introduced the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill, 2012 in Parliament. The Justice J.S. Verma Committee has made a number of important recommendations which are under the active consideration of the Government," he said.
 
He said effective policing of urban areas, especially the metropolitan cities, and protecting the vulnerable required urgent attention of the police forces. 
 
"The Justice Verma Committee has reiterated the importance of overall police reforms in the country. It is essential that we make progress in this regard, taking on board all concerned stake holders. I am happy to know that the Academy is emphasising ‘Sensitization Orientation Training’ focused on vulnerable sections, underprivileged, women, children, minorities, Dalits etc.I congratulate them for this initiative," he said.
 
Mr Mukherjee said that, though the country had made progress in many fields, the success of the Government’s plans to strengthen the economy and ensure social justice through various welfare schemes depended critically on the maintenance of law and order. 
 
"There is a need to provide a safe and secure environment for the successful implementation of the people oriented schemes of the Government of India," he said.
 
He said that India continued to be targeted by terrorism from abroad, as well as threats from within to its internal security. 
 
"The Government is committed to dealing with Left Wing Extremism in a comprehensive manner. It is pursuing a two- pronged approach of conducting proactive and sustained operations against extremists and focusing attention on development and governance issues in extremist affected areas. While we must meet these challenges head on and address them with determination and persistence, the actions of our police forces must respect the human rights of our people and the letter and spirit of our Constitution," he said.
 
"I am sure that with motivated, self confident and sensitive leadership, our police forces can and will effectively deal with the challenges before the nation. I am confident that each one of you, the latest entrants into the Indian Police Service will provide exemplary leadership to the men and women you will command and do our country proud in the coming years," he added.
 
Those who passed out of the academy today included four officers from the Royal Bhutan Police Service, three from the Maldives Police Service and five  from the Nepal Police Service. 
 
There are also 25 lady officers in this year's batch of IPS probationers.
 
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45 killed as Bangalore-Hyderabad luxury bus catches fire in Mahabubnagar

In a ghastly accident, 45 passengers, including an infant, were killed when a Volvo bus on a journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad caught fire when its diesel tank burst after it hit a culvert in the Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, on National Highway-44 between the two cities, early on Wednesday morning.

 
44 killed as luxury bus catches fire on Bangalore-Hyderabad highway
In a ghastly accident, as many as 45 passengers, including an infant, were killed when a Volvo bus on a journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad caught fire when its diesel tank burst after it hit a culvert in the Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, on National Highway (NH)-44 between the two cities, early this morning.
 
The bus, which belonged to a private transport company, Jabbar Travels, was said to be carrying about 52 people, including its driver and cleaner.
 
There were seven survivors, including the driver and the cleaner, and they were brought for treatment to the Apollo Hospital here, where their condition was stated to be stable.
 
"We have recovered 45 bodies, including that of an infant," Mahabubnagar district collector M Girija Shankar told NetIndian over the telephone from the scene of the accident.
 
He said the mishap occurred around 5.20 am at Pallem village in Kothakota mandal of Mahabubnagar district, about 120 km from here, when most of the passengers were asleep.
 
The bus was completely gutted in the fire and the bodies of most of the victims were charred beyond recognition.
 
Mr Shankar said the bodies of all the victims had been retrieved from the bus and some of them had been identified and handed over to their relatives.
 
He said DNA samples had been taken from the remaining bodies, which will be taken to Hyderabad.
 
The bus left Bangalore around 10.30 pm yesterday and was scheduled to reach Hyderabad around 8 am today. It had picked up passengers from different points in Bangalore.
 
Reports reaching here said that the flames had engulfed the entire bus before the passengers could realise what had happened. The way in which a portion of the culvert was sheared off suggested that the bus was travelling at high speed, they said.
 
The incident also caused a massive traffic jam on the Hyderabad-Bangalore route.
 
According to various accounts, the list of passengers provided by the transport firm did not have full details, especially of those who had boarded the bus at places other than the starting point in Bangalore.
 
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In Delhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed sorrow over the loss of lives in the mishap.
 
Dr Singh extended his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the accident. 
 
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was on a visit to the flood-affected areas of Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts, expresed shock and anguish over the mishap. He directed the district officials to provide the best possible medical treatment to the survivors.
 
He also ordered an inquiry into the accident and asked the officials to report to him on the cause of the tragedy.
 
State Information Minister D K Aruna rushed to the spot to supervise the relief efforts. A control room was set up at the site of the mishap.
 
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44 people killed as Bangalore-Hyderabad bus catches fire in Mahabubnagar

As many as 44 passengers were killed when a Volvo bus on a journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad caught fire when its diesel tank burst after it hit the median on the national highway between the two cities in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh early on Wednesday morning.

 
44 killed as luxury bus catches fire on Bangalore-Hyderabad highway
As many as 44 passengers were killed when a Volvo bus on a journey from Bangalore to Hyderabad caught fire when its diesel tank burst after it hit the median on the national highway between the two cities in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh early this morning.
 
The bus, which belonged to a private transport company, Jabbar Travels, was said to be carrying about 48 people, officials said.
 
The mishap occurred around 5.20 am at Kothakota in Mahabubnagar district, about 140 km from here, when most of the passengers were asleep, they said. 
 
The bus was completely gutted in the fire and the bodies of most of the victims were charred beyond recognition, they said.
 
The bodies of the victims were taken for post-mortem examination and efforts were on to identify them.
 
Five passengers and the driver and the cleaner of the bus managed to escape the blaze and have been admitted to the Govrnment hospital at Wanaparthy nearby, sources said.
 
They said the driver told the police that he could not open the emergency exits in time for the passengers to escape.
 
District Collector M Girija Shankar and Superintendent of Police Nagendra Kumar rushed to the spot after hearing of the news.
 
The bus left Bangalore around 10.30 pm yesterday and was scheduled to reach Hyderabad around 8 am today. It had picked up passengers from different points in Bangalore.
 
Reports reaching here said that the flames had engulfed the entire bus before the passengers could realise what had happened.
 
The incident also caused a massive traffic jam on the Hyderabad-Bangalore route.
 
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Relief, rescue operations continue on war footing as AP floods toll rises to 53

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Relief and rescue operations were taken up on a war footing in Andhra Pradesh which has been battered by incessant torrential rains over the last six days, claiming 53 lives so far.
 
Chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy made an aerial survey of the flood-ravaged areas today.
 
Mr.Reddy announced that the victims would be given 20 kgs of rice and Rs.1250 each would be provided to those whose houses were damaged in the rain fury.
 
Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi, who also toured the affected villages, distributed rice and kerosene to the victims.
 
The state government has put the preliminary estimates of the losses in the heavy rains at about Rs. 2,000 crores. Standing crops over 20 lakh acres was
damaged in the rains, official sources said More than 22,000 houses were damaged, they said.
 
About a lakh people living in low-lying areas were evacuated to about 230 relief camps set up the government. Besides, 1100  minor irrigation tanks were damaged and more than 5,200 kms roads damaged.
 
The South Central Railway rescheduled and diverted several long distance trains due to heavy rains.
 
Meanwhile, the weather office has forecast more rain under the influence of a low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal during the next 48 hours, particularly in the north coastal districts of the state.
 
Of the 53 deaths in the state, eight each were reported in Guntur and Prakasam districts, seven in Nalgonda, six in Mahabubnagar, three each in Hyderabad, Kurnool, Vizianagaram, Chittoor, West Godavari and Warangal, two each in Srikakulam and Krishna districts.
 
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