ADVERTISEMENT

Delhi

India, Belarus agree to enhance ties, especially in fertilizers, pharmaceuticals

India and Belarus have agreed to give a strong fillip to bilateral relations, particularly in the areas of fertilizers, pharmaceuticals and science & technology.

At talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Belarusian counterpart Mikhail Myasnikovic, during his two-day working visit to New Delhi on November 13-14, the two sides held detailed discussions on raising bilateral cooperation to a qualitatively higher level, an official press release said here today.
 
Mr Myasnikovic was the guest of honour at the inauguration ceremony of the 32nd India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2012 in New Delhi yesterday.
 
During the inauguration, the visiting dignitary had a wide-ranging discussion with President Pranab Mukherjee, who warmly recalled his interaction, as the External Affairs Minister of India, with President Lukashenko, during the latter’s state visit to India in 2007. 
 
Mr Myasnikovich, accompanied by Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma, inaugurated the special pavilion of Belarus at the IITF. Belarus is the partner country at the fair  and more than 60 Belarusian companies and organisations are participating in the event,  showcasing their scientific and technological prowess.
 
Apart from Mr Sharma, Science & Technology Minister S Jaipal Reddy, Minister of State for Coal Pratik Patil and Fertilisers Secretary Sudhir Mittal called on Mr Myasnikovic.
 
A Joint India-Belarus Business Forum was organised on the occasion by India’s apex chambers of commerce and industry, CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM. It was addressed by the Belarusian Prime Minister and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Daggubati Purandeswari. Three business level contracts were also concluded.
 
Bilateral documents in the fields of energy, fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, education, media and information technology were signed in the presence of the Prime Minister of Belarus.
 
India and Belarus reviewed the progress in bilateral cooperation and agreed to intensify dialogue and cooperation in the trade, economic and industrial spheres and focus on the areas of fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, science and technology, information technology, education, culture and sports. 
 
Both sides agreed to expeditiously resolve outstanding issues of bilateral trade and promote two-way investment flows and the setting up of joint ventures. Both sides also exchanged views on a number of regional and international issues of mutual concern and agreed to continue their close cooperation at international and multilateral fora.
 
NNN
 

Japanese PM Noda calls up Manmohan Singh

ADVERTISEMENT

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda telephoned Prime Minister today in the context of the fast paced political developments in Japan. 

The two Prime Ministers felt that Dr Singh's visit to Japan, scheduled from today, should be put off till a later date in view of the fact that the dissolution of the Japanese Lower House of Parliament would be announced tomorrow.
 
Dr Singh and Mr Noda welcomed the fact that the India-Japan Strategic and Global Partnership is stronger than ever before. 
 
Reviewing bilateral relations, the two Prime Ministers also welcomed the conclusion of the Agreement between India and Japan on Social Security as well as the Memorandum on Cooperation in the Rare Earths Industry in India and looked forward to early signing of these two documents, an official press release said.
 
The two Prime Ministers reiterated their desire to maintain the schedule of Annual Summits and agreed that fresh dates for the visit of Prime Minister to Japan will be discussed through diplomatic channels, it added.
 
Dr Singh's visit to Cambodia would take place as scheduled from November 18.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

Chidambaram to meet CMs of northern states, CEOs of PSBs, FIs on Friday

ADVERTISEMENT

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram will meet Chief Ministers of North Zone states and Union Territories (UTs) and the CEOs of selected public sector banks (PSBs) and financial institutions (FIs) here tomorrow to discuss, among other issues, the flow of credit in diifferent sectors.

An official press release said the meeting would also discuss financial inclusion, including opening of new branches of regional rural banks (RRBs) and progress of Centrally-sponsored schemes.
 
The Chief Ministers of Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh and the Administrator of Chandigarh are expected to participate in the one-day meeting.
 
This will be the first meeting by Mr Chidambaram with Chief Ministers of CEOs of PSBs and FIs after assuming charge of the Finance Ministry in August this year.
 
The release said issues on the agenda of the meeting include review of the state-wise flow of credit and credit-related parameters in various sectors, including agriculture, micro and small enterprises, housing, education, weaker sections and minorities in the participating states and UTs.
 
As far as financial inclusion is concerned, the meeting will review progress in extension of the Swabhiman Campaign, aimed at ensuring that each family has at least one bank account and  Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) for Government welfare schemes.
 
The progress of Centrally-sponsored schemes such as Swaranjayanti Gram Swarogar Yojana (SGSY), Swaranajayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY), Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers(SRMS) and Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) is also likely to be discussed.
 
Key pending projects and recovery issues related to the participating States are also likely to come up.
 
Revival package for Short Term Cooperative Credit Structure, implementation of Aam Admi Bima Yojna and Co-Contributory Pension Scheme by the States for Unorganized Sector workers under the Swavalamban Pension Scheme of Government of India are also on the agenda of the meeting, the release added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

Petrol prices reduced by 95 paise per litre, excluding state levies

ADVERTISEMENT

The public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) today decided to reduce petrol prices by Rs 0.95 per litre, excluding State levies, with effect from midnight tonight in view of the relative stability in international oil prices.

"Presently, the international oil prices are relatively stable. However, there has been significant volatility in the INR-USD exchange rate and is currently very weak with uncertainty about its future direction. The trends in the international oil market and INR-USD exchange rate are being closely monitored and the same shall be reflected in future price changes," a statement from Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) said.
 
It said that the OMCs are bearing the burden of a loss of over Rs 2000 crore approximately on sale of motor spirit (MS) during April-September this year due to inability to change retail selling prices to the desired extent in line with market conditions. 
 
"As is known, in addition to loss on sale of MS, OMCs are also suffering under-recovery on sale of three sensitive petroleum products, namely HSD (Rs.9.84/litre), SKO(PDS) (Rs.31.30/litre) & LPG (Dom) (Rs.478.50/cyl). Projected under-recovery on these products is expected to cross Rs.160000 crore for the current year," the statement added.
 
The revised selling prices of petrol will be Rs 67.24 a litre in New Delhi (a reduction of Rs 0.95), Rs 73.53 in Mumbai (Rs 1.20), Rs 70.57 in Chennai (Rs 1.20), Rs 74.55 in Kolkata (Rs 1.19), Rs 73.73 (Rs 1.25) in Hyderabad and Rs 74.22 (Rs 1.25) in Bangalore.
 
NNN
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT

Former Defence Minister K C Pant passes away

K C Pant
K C Pant

Former Union Defence Minister and Planning Cmmission Deputy Chairman Krishna Chandra  Pant has passed away at his residence here.

He was 81. He is survived by his wife, Ila, and two sons. The cremation was held here this afternoon.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister A K Antony were amongst those who condoled the death of Mr Pant, who was the son of former Union Home Minister and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Govind Ballabh Pant.
 
In a condolence letter to Mrs Ila Pant, Dr Singh said Mr Pant was a leader who had served the country and the people with great distinction in his long political career.
 
"He distinguished himself as a Member of Parliament, and as a Minister in the Union Council of Ministers holding important portfolios like Home, Defence and Finance. He also served as the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. In his passing away, the country has lost an eminent public figure and an able administrator," he said.
 
Mr Antony said Mr Pant's contribution as Defence Minister would be fondly remembered by countrymen.
 
"Mr Pant steered the Ministry at one of the most critical junctures of history as the Indian Peace Keeping Forces were deployed in Sri Lanka as a stepping stone to the tortuous journey for peace in the island nation. The Indian troops were also deployed at short notice in Maldives to abort a coup attempt, in a clear manifestation of our commitment to the promotion of peace and stability in South Asian Region," he said.
ADVERTISEMENT
"Mr Pant bolstered the Indian Armed Forces in a big way with the acquisition of the country’s flagship aircraft carrier INS Viraat and Mig-29 aircraft among many other acquisitions during his tenure as the Defence Minister. He was also instrumental in the setting up of the first Coast Guard Air Station at Daman. May his soul rest in peace," Mr Antony added.
 
Born in 1931 at Nainital, Mr Pant did his M.Sc. from the University of Lucknow and then joined politics and became a member of the Congress.
 
He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1962 and re-elected in 1967, 1971 and 1989. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1978 and served as the leader of the house in 1979-80.
 
Mr Pant served as Defence Minister. Earlier, as Minister of State, he had handled the portfolios of Finance, Steel and Heavy Engineering, Home, Electronics, Atomic Energy,  Science and Technology, Energy, and Education.
 
He was the first chairman of the Advisory Board on Energy. He was deputy chairman of the Planning Commission of India from 2000 to 2004 during the premiership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
 
He left the Congress in 1998 and later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. 
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT

Chidambaram seeks release of man held for taking his pictures

File photo of Union Home Minister P. Chidamabram.
File photo of Union Home Minister P. Chidamabram.

Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today asked his office to get in touch with the Tamil Nadu Police and request them to release a 35-year-old man from Perumbavoor near Kochi in Kerala, who was arrested at Chennai airport on November 13 for trying to take his pictures.

"I was surprised and disappointed to learn that a person who reportedly attempted to take some pictures of me was detained by the police at Chennai airport on 13.11.2012. I did not know about the incident until the media reported it yesterday (14.11.2012) evening," Mr Chidambaram said in a statement here today.
 
"I had no knowledge of the incident and nobody had told me about it then or subsequently. 
 
"I do not know why the police had detained the person concerned. I have asked my office to get in touch with the Tamil Nadu Police and request them to release the person immediately," Mr Chidambaram added.
 
The man, Ameer Thwaha, a travel agent who used to earlier work in Dubai, had earlier been detained, along with a friend, on October 3 when they took pictures of the interiors of an Air India Dreamliner on a flight from Chennai to Delhi.
 
According to media reports, Thwaha had reached Chennai on a flight from Kochi on Tuesday evening. He was in the process of booking a room at the airport when he saw Mr Chidambaram enter the terminal.
 
He reportedly got past the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel and policemen on duty htere and approached the Minister, seeking a photograph with him.
 
While taking pictures of Ministers is not an offence, Mr Chidambaram is in the high-risk category and the police did not want to take chances. Also, this was the second time that Thwaha was involved in an incident at the airport.
 
The Tamil Nadu Police have sought more information from their counterparts in Kerala about Thwaha. On the last occasion, the Kerala police had found nothing amiss in his background.
 
The travel, who was booked to fly from Chennai to Dubai via Delhi yesterday, reportedly told the police that he likes to take pictures of himself with celebrities. His Facebook page has photographs of him with Bollywood actor John Abraham, film director Priyadarshan and others, as well as pictures of him inside a Boeing dreamliner.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT

NGMA displays rare photographs by Kulwant Roy

One of the pictures on display at the exhibition,
One of the pictures on display at the exhibition,"Visual Archives of Kulwant Roy" which opened at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi on November 14, 2012.

The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) here is displaying of some of the rarest photographs of Mahatma Gandhi, recently discovered and restored at an exhibition titled "Visual Archives of Kulwant Roy".

The exhibition showcases a selection of photographs taken by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984), one of the first free-lance photo-journalists who worked through the pre and post-independence era of Modern India, an era that witnessed many nationalist upsurges that shaped the political, constitutional, and economic future of the country.
 
The exhibition was inaugurated yesterday by Union Minister of Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch. Culture Secretary Sangita Gairola was the guest of honour on the occasion.
 
The exhabition has been curated by Aditya Arya, who has played a pivotal role in the formation of the India Photo Archive Foundation, of which he is a trustee, an official press release said.
 
Starting from 1930s to the 1960s, Roy's work followed mainstream national history. It comprised pictures of political meetings, iconic portraits and glimpses of the lives of freedom fighters and leaders of India, which are of historic significance. 
 
Besides this, his works contain images of daily life and the effects of nation building from the time of independence. 
 
Born in Baglikalan in Ludhiana, Punjab, Roy’s career started in the twenties. His earliest work of extreme importance was documenting the meeting of Mahatma Gandhi and Frontier Gandhi or Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) in 1938. 
 
Later, working at the Royal Indian Air Force he tested his skills taking aerial shots from the cockpit. His patriotism got the better of him and he found it difficult to tolerate the discrimination at the hands of his British superiors and was court-martialled. 
 
Moving to Delhi around the time of partition, he witnessed and captured many of the events which shaped India’s Independence like Simla Cabinet Mission in 1945. Having followed the freedom movement closely his work captures the spirit and energy of it along with the hopes and aspirations of people at the time. 
 
Even after a decade of freedom, Roy still restless left for a world tour in 1958. He carried with him photographs from all around India, which were published in newspapers and magazines abroad. Prominent among these were pictures of people on the Amarnath Yatra in the snow-capped mountains of Kashmir. He took pictures of the countries( around forty) he visited . 
 
In 1963 he mailed all his photographs and negatives to his address in Delhi, but realized on his return that they were lost. 
 
NGMA Director Rajiv Lochan said the exhibition represents only a small fragment of a much larger collection of photo material, some part of which was lost or destroyed by the ravages of time. Many rare negatives, though, have been recovered through a long and painstaking process, and some of them are being displayed and exhibited for the first time. 
 
The exhibition attempts to highlight and showcase the brilliance and originality of Roy’s archival visuals, backed by textual references and annotations wherever present on the original envelopes, as well as other relevant accompanying information 
 
On display are more than 200 digital reproductions and over a 100 original silver bromide prints. Some large reproductions of rare negatives from 1938 of Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to NWFP where he met Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan are also present. 
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

Railways carry 565.37 million tonnes of freight during April-October 2012

The Indian Railways carried 565.37 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during April-October 2012, up 5.30 per cent from the level of 536.92 million tonnes achieved during the corresponding period of last year.

An official press release said that, during October 2012, the revenue earning freight traffic carried by the Railways was 83.92 million tonnes.
 
This was 6.24 million tonnes more than the actual freight traffic of 77.68 million tonnes carried by the Railways during the same period last year, showing an increase of 8.03 per cent, the release added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

Focus on social, economic determinations needed to reduce child mortality in India: Report

India has realized impressive gains in child survival but, at the current pace, is unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 - which aims to reduce Under-Five Mortality (U5MR) by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015 - unless the related socio-economic; maternal and demographic; and environmental determinants are urgently addressed. 

This is one of the conclusions of The Infant and Child Mortality India Report released by the National Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the UNICEF India Country Office.
 
Six states, namely Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal are likely to achieve the goal by 2015, it said.
 
According to the report, child mortality, which is a sensitive indicator of a country’s socio-economic development, has been a priority for the Government of India over the past several decades.
 
Analyses of data from the Sample Registration System (1978-2010) and three rounds of National Family Health Surveys conducted in the years 1992-93, 1998-99 and 2005-06 indicates that following the rapid decline in the seventies, U5MR stagnated in the nineties and then started declining again in the last decade.
 
It fell to a level of 118 in 1990 to 93 in 2000 and 59 in 2009. Though U5MR has always been lower in urban than in rural areas, the decline in urban areas has been slower than in rural areas in the last two decades, narrowing the gap.
 
“Accelerating child survival calls for new approaches to child mortality that goes beyond disease-programme and sector-specific approaches,” said Dr. V.M Katoch, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research and Secretary, Department of Health Research, Government of India.
 
A UNICEF press release said the study provides evidence on key social and economic determinants of U5MR. It especially highlights the impact of maternal education on child survival: the impact is high and significant when mothers have had at least 8 years of schooling. 
 
The report also highlights the fact that births to adolescent mothers are at a significant greater risk of dying in childhood; so are those born within 2 years of the previous pregnancy. The report further point out that maternal malnutrition (under nutrition) as well as obesity imposes a greater mortality risk on the off-springs.
 
Dr M K Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, said that this publication confirms that data generation and research is important to show where the country stands today.
 
“Looking to the future one message comes out clearly: in order for India to reach the goals set and make a difference for children, we need to aim at programme delivery alliance and ensure multiple ways of engagement as required.”
 
While economic status was found to have a strong and significant association with child survival, the good news is that progress in child survival in India has been equitable: between 1981 and 2005, while U5MR has declined across all economic groups, the drop was much higher among the low Standard of Living Index (SLI) households (37.5%), than those born in high SLI (10.7%); thereby narrowing the gap.
 
“A renewed focus on empowering women and promoting equity in access to health services will help guide actions for accelerating child survival in India, as we move towards the year 2015 and beyond. We require a comprehensive approach that includes not only increasing coverage of key child survival interventions, but also improving quality of perinatal care, promoting education of girls beyond primary, delaying the age at marriage and childbirth and ensuring adequate spacing between births”, stated Louis-Georges Arsenault, UNICEF India Representative.
 
In terms of environmental determinants, the study suggests that children living in households with access to unsafe source of drinking water were at greater risk of death. Neonatal, post-neonatal and child mortality is also higher for children in households that do not have access to a flush or pit toilet.
 
According to the Director of NIMS, Professor Arvind Pandey, the report is an important planning tool. “The results of this study underscore the need for addressing wider determinants of child mortality to achieve MDG-4 and not restrict to addressing only the direct causes," he added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT

Telenor awarded spectrum in 6 circles, Vodafone in 14

Norway's Telenor Group announced it had secured spectrum license to provide mobile telephony services in six telecom circles in India, while Vodafone India said it had won bid in 14 circles in the 2G auctions that ended today.

A press release from Telenor said its total bid in the auction was Rs 40.18 billion (NOK 4.2bn) of which 33 per cent is to be paid up front.
 
It said it had secured 5 MHz of spectrum in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West, Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra. 
 
"With a total population of about 600 million people and an actual mobile phone customer penetration of just 40 per cent, these states represent a strong growth opportunity for Telenor Group. All Uninor assets in these circles, including customers, employees, partners and infrastructure will be seamlessly transferred to the new company and services will continue uninterrupted," it said.
 
"I am very pleased that Telenor Group has acquired the necessary spectrum to provide mobile services in India, as a continued presence in the country is important for our growth strategy. Since Telenor started operations in India we have proven our industrial capabilities by establishing a cost-efficient and highly competitive mobile operation with a significant customer base. The fresh licenses provide clarity for customers, operators and partners after a long period of uncertainty. We are looking forward to a more predictable and stable regulatory environment," said Telenor Group President and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas.
 
"Today we have won spectrum in the 6 most populous circles in India. These are also the areas where we enjoy a strong position already, and where we see the highest potential for continued growth and profitability. All of these circles are about to deliver on the financial targets of becoming break-even in 2013," said Sigve Brekke, Executive Vice President and Head of Telenor Group's Asian Operations.
 
"The ten months of uncertainty after the license cancellation have tested the organization's ability to keep focus, growth and talent intact. Emerging successful in that test means that a much stronger, confident and competitive team has now won back its right to continue.  We have brought competition and affordability to the Indian telecom sector, and I promise that we will continue to do that in the future," said Sigve Brekke.
 
The company said it would continue the process of transferring its business assets from Uninor into the new company in a way that is seamless for its remaining 34 million customers (TRAI figures). Telenor was not awarded spectrum in Mumbai, Kolkata and West Bengal.  In these circles operations will cease in accordance with Indian law and regulations, the release added.
 
Vodafone said it had always maintained that auctions are the best and the only transparent method for allocation of spectrum. 
 
"Our decision to participate in the 2G auction was to secure additional spectrum in many circles where we have not received any new 2G spectrum since 2008. Our customers grew in that period from 60 million to 153 million today," it said in a statement.
 
"Spectrum is a vital resource for the industry with growing data demands and high voice penetration. Vodafone firmly believes that the entire spectrum that is currently unused (800 MHz, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz) should be put on auction at the same time with a much lower reserve price. The spectrum auction should be held simultaneously for all the service areas," it said.
 
"Additionally, to ensure that there is a level playing field, all operators should be allowed to bid for all spectrum. Spectrum usage should be technology agnostic and the choice of technology should be left to the operators as market forces will decide which is best suited to meet customer demands. This will result in effective participation and bidding for spectrum, thus leading to a wider service offering with better quality of coverage for customers, while Government will be best placed to meet its fiscal demands," itsaid.
 
“The Government should also follow TRAI’s advice to abandon staggered spectrum usage fees which are higher for operators who require more spectrum. This does not make sense if spectrum is bought in an auction and is paid for already. Spectrum usage fees should be flat and only represent the charge for administering the spectrum. TRAI has advised to put this at 1% of revenues," the statement added.
 
Overall, the auction garnered less than Rs 10,000 crore, far below the Rs 40,000 crore it had hoped to collect, especially after it had got Rs 67,719 crore from the 3G auctions in 2010.
 
There were no bids for a pan-India spectrum for which the Government had set a reserve price of Rs 14,000 crore for 5Mhz.
 
The Government had put up for auction a significant part of the spectrum that was freed after the Supreme Court cancelled 122 mobile permits issued by then Communications Minister A Raja in January 2008.
 
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had, in his report, said that the Government's decision to allot the spectrum on a first-come-first served basis had led to a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.
 
NNN
 

100-member Chinese youth delegation begins week-long visit to India

A Chinese youth delegation led by the Secretary General, Chinese Association of Young Science and Technology Workers, Mr. Wang Lijian, calling on the Secretary, Youth Affairs, Ms. Nita Chowdhury, in New Delhi on November 14, 2012.
A Chinese youth delegation led by the Secretary General, Chinese Association of Young Science and Technology Workers, Mr. Wang Lijian, calling on the Secretary, Youth Affairs, Ms. Nita Chowdhury, in New Delhi on November 14, 2012.
A 100-member Chinese youth delegation arrived here yesterday at the start of a week-long visit to India as part of a series of such exchanges aimed at promoting better understanding between the people of the two countries.
 
The delegation, visiting the country at the invitation of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, is led by Wang Lijan, Secretary General, Chinese Association of Young Science and Technology Workers.
 
Mr Wang and ten members of the delegation met Youth Affairs Secretary Nita Chowdhury here today.
 
The delegation will visit Varanasi, Allahabad and Agra, among other places, during their trip.
 
Ms Chowdhury presented a set of books published by Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD) to the leader of the Chinese delegation. She also briefed the visiting delegation on the work done by RGNIYD in the field of training of trainers. 
 
Mr Wang stressed the need for more cooperation between the universities of the two countries. He also evinced keen interest in India's National Youth Policy.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

Income criteria for EWS, LIG raised for beneficiaries under housing schemes

Union Minister of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Ajay Maken today announced revised income criteria for defining beneficiaries under government schemes for housing under his Ministry. 

Now urban poor having an annual household income of up to Rs. 1 lakh will be classified as Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and those falling between Rs. 1 lakh and Rs 2 lakh would be categorized as Low Income Group (LIG). 
 
Mr Maken made the announcement after inaugurating the HUDCO pavilion at the India International Trade Fair (IITF).
 
He said that the previous income criteria for selection of beneficiaries under various schemes of the Ministry were fixed during 2010 at a monthly household income of up to Rs 5000 for EWS while it stood at Rs. 5,001 to Rs. 10,000 for LIG segments. 
 
Based on the income, expenditure and cost of housing criteria such as growth in per capita income, minimum wages for non-agriculture workers,  monthly per capita expenditure, National Housing Bank's Residex, Consumer Price Index and Consumer Food Price Index, the revised income criteria has been approved, he said.
 
NNN
 

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 comes into effect

The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, aimed at protecting children in India against the evil of child sexual abuse, came into force today, along with the rules framed under the Act

India is home to the largest child population in the world, and almost 42 per cent of its total population is under 18 years of age. 
 
"The health and security of the country’s children is integral to any vision for its progress and development," an official press release sai.
 
The Act was passed by Parliament in May, 2012 and received the President’s assent on 19th June 2012 and was notified in the Gazette of India for public information on 20th June, 2012. 
 
The Act is gender-neutral and defines a child as any person below the age of 18 years. It provides precise definitions for different forms of sexual abuse, including penetrative and non-penetrative sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography. The Act provides for stringent punishment graded as per the gravity of the offence, with a maximum term of rigorous imprisonment for life for certain offences, and fine. 
 
In keeping with the best international child protection standards, the Act provides for mandatory reporting of sexual offences. It also prescribes punishment for a person if he provides false information with the intention to defame any person, including a child. Most importantly, the Act provides for child-friendly procedures for reporting of offences, recording of evidence, investigation and trial. 
 
Under Section 45 of the Act, the power to make rules rests with the Central Government. The rules framed under the Act provide for qualifications and experience of interpreters, translators, special educators, and experts; arrangements for care and protection and emergency medical treatment of the child; compensation payable to a child who has been the victim of a sexual offence; and the manner of periodic monitoring of the provisions of the Act by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights. 
 
The rules rely on the structures established under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, such as Child Welfare Committees and District Child Protection Units, to make arrangements for the care and protection of the child and to ensure that the child is not re-victimised in the course of investigation and trial. They also provide that where a child is taken to a medical facility for emergency medical care, no magisterial requisition or other documentation may be demanded by such facility prior to rendering medical care. 
 
The rules also lay down criteria for award of compensation by the Special Court, which includes the gravity of the offence; loss of educational opportunity or employment as a result of the offence; and disability, disease or pregnancy suffered as a consequence of the offence. The compensation may be awarded at the interim stage as well as upon completion of trial. 
 
NNN

Suu Kyi mets PM, discusses national reconciliation process in Myanmar

Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Ki met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday and discussed various issues, including the process of national reconciliation and the democratisation in her country.

Myanmar oppostion leader Aung San Suu Kyi calling on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi on November 14, 2012.
Myanmar oppostion leader Aung San Suu Kyi calling on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in New Delhi on November 14, 2012.
Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Ki met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here today and discussed various issues, including the process of national reconciliation and the democratisation in her country.
 
The two leaders met for about half an hour after which they had a one-to-one meeting without aides, official sources said.
 
Dr Singh conveyed to Ms Suu Kyi India's good wishes in her struggle for democracy in her country and said Indians admired her for the indomitable courage she has shown.
 
They also talked about ways of enhancing cooperation between the Parliaments of the two countries and stepping up people-to-people contacts.
 
Ms Suu Kyi arrived here yesterday on a six-day visit that India says is part of its ongoing engagement with the democratic and multi-party polity in the neighbouring country.
 
This is Ms Suu Kyi's first visit to India in 25 years, and observers see the invitation to her to visit the country as an effort by New Delhi to rebuild its relations with her. 
 
India was at one time one of her most ardent supporters, but it appeared to change course in the mid-1990s when it decided to engage with the ruling junta in Myanmar.
 
Ms Suu Kyi, Chairperson of the National League of Democracy, delivered the Nehru Memorial Lecture on the occasion of the birth anniversary of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru here this evening.
 
The invitation to her for the lecture was extended by ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in her capacity as Chairperson of Nehru Memorial Fund to deliver the Nehru Memorial Lecture.
ADVERTISEMENT
The invitation was conveyed to Ms Suu Kyi when she met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to Myanmar in May this year.
 
During her visit, Ms Suu Kyi is scheduled to call on Vice President M Hamid Ansari, the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
 
She will  visit her alma mater, Lady Sri Ram College, where she will interact with the faculty and students and also visit The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Gurgaon.
 
Besides her engagements in Delhi, she will be travelling to Bangalore where she will visit the Indian Institute of Science and the Infosys campus. She is also scheduled to tour rural areas in Andhra Pradesh to gain a firsthand impression of the rural development and women’s empowerment programmes being undertaken in India.
 
Ms Suu Kyi spent several years in India during her early days when her mother Khin Yi was Ambassador to India. She also spent some time as a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla in 1987.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT

President inaugurates the 32nd India International Trade Fair in New Delhi

ADVERTISEMENT

President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the 32nd edition of the India International Trade Fair (IITF) at Pragati Maidan here today, saying that the annual event had become an excellent platform for micro, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) to showcase their products and penetrate domestic and international markets at attractive prices.

Mr Mukherjee stressed that MSMEs are a source of rural empowerment, which is one of the key objectives of Government's agenda of inclusive growth.
 
The President was happy to note that the theme of the IITF this year is “Skilling India”. He stated that skill building is an integral part of a nation’s economic progress. He said ITPO has done commendable work in bringing all stakeholders together to share their experience at this important event. 
 
Among the dignitaries present on the occasion were Mr Mikhail V Myasnikovich, Prime Minister of Belarus, Mr Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce, Ms D. Purandeswari, Minister of State for Commerce, Ms. Elizabeth Thabethe, Deputy Minister, Trade & Industry, South Africa, Lt Gen (Retd.) Bhopinder Singh, Lt. Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Mr Vijay Bahuguna, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand and Ms Sheila Dikshit, Chief Minister of Delhi.
 
At the 32nd IITF, the focus state and country are Andaman Nicobar Islands and South Africa respectively. 
 
The partner state and the country are Uttarakhand and the Republic of Belarus, respectively. 
 
In all, more than 6000 exhibitors from India and abroad are participating in this edition of IITF. They include about 480 exhibitions from 22 countries such as Afghanistan,  Bangladesh,  Canada, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Egypt, Ghana, Hong Kong, Iran,  Indonesia,  Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Belarus,  Russia,  South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, UAE and Vietnam.
 
The first five days of the fair, from November 14-18, are restricted to business visitors only.  
 
Apart from the business exhibition, other attractions during the two-week event include State Day celebrations, music and dance recitals, street plays and puppet shows.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

Additional judges appointed to High Court of Gujarat

The President has appointed Mr Subodhkumar Gunvantilal Shah, Mr Satish Hemchandra Vora, Mr Ghanshyam Raghumal Udhwani and Mr Rajendra Dhirajlal Kothari as Additional Judges of the High Court of Gujarat.

An official press release said that the appointments, in that order of seniority, would be for a period of two years with effect from the date they assume charge of their office. 
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

President to visit Mumbai, Shirdi on November 15-16

President Pranab Mukherjee will pay a two-day visit to Mumbai and Shirdi in Maharashtra from tomorrow, an official press release said here today.

Tomorrow, Mr Mukherjee will present the Jamnalal Bajaj Awards in Mumbai. He will inaugurate the Shree Sai Nivas Dharamshala in Shirdi on November 16, the release added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

India's inflation rate dips to 7.45% in October 2012

ADVERTISEMENT

India's headline annual inflation rate, based on the monthly Wholesale Price Index (WPI), dipped to 7.45 per cent for October 2012, as compared to 7.81 per cent for the previous month and 9.87 per cent in the corresponding month of the previous year, an official statement said here today, quoting provisional data.

The statement said the official Wholesale Price Index for ‘All Commodities’ (Base: 2004-05 = 100) for October, 2012 rose by 0.2 per cent to 168.7 from 168.4 for the previous month.
 
The build-up of inflation in the financial year so far was 4.78 per cent as compared to a build-up of 5.02 per cent in the corresponding period of the previous year, it said.
 
Food inflation in Primary Articles rose to 8.21 per cent from 7.86 per cent in September, while it went up marginally to 9.82 per cent in Manufactured Products from 9.76 per cent in the previous month.
 
Inflation in the Fuel and Power Group declined slightly to 11.71 per cent from 11.88 per cent in the previous month.
 
The index for Primary Articles, which have a weight of 20.12 per cent in the WPI, declined by 0.2 per cent to 220.2 from 220.7 for the previous month.  
 
Within this group, the index for ‘Food Articles’ declined by 0.1 per cent to 212.5 from 212.7  for the previous month due to lower prices of bajra (6%), fish-marine (5%), urad (4%), arhar, gram, maize and poultry chicken (2% each) and barley and condiments & spices (1% each). However, the prices of ragi (6%), fish-inland (3 %), moong, coffee and mutton (2% each) and tea, milk and rice (1% each) moved up.
 
The index for ‘Non-Food Articles’ declined by 2.3 per cent to 197.7 from 202.4 for the previous month due to lower prices of soyabean (22%), niger seed (9%), castor seed (8%), gingelly seed (6%), raw jute and raw cotton (5% each), copra and raw silk (2% each). However, the prices of gaur seed (8%), rape & mustard seed and flowers (6% each), coir fibre (4%), sunflower (3%), raw rubber and cotton seed (2% each) and mesta, linseed, fodder (1% each) moved up.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
The index for ‘Minerals’ rose by 2.4 per cent to 355.8 from 347.6 for the previous month due to higher prices of barytes (70%), copper ore (18%), gypsum (12%), magnesite (9%), zinc concentrate and manganese ore (5% each), crude petroleum (3%) and steatite (1%). However, the prices of iron ore (4%) declined.
 
The index for Fuel & Power, which have a weight of 14.91 per cent in the WPI, rose by 0.8 per cent to 189.9 from 188.3 for the previous month due to higher prices of high speed diesel (5%) and lpg (1%). However, the prices of bitumen (12%), aviation turbine fuel (5%) and furnace oil and naphtha (3% each) declined.
 
In the case of Manufactured Products, which have a weight of 64.97 per cent in the WPI, the index rose by 0.1 per cent to 147.9 from 147.7 for the previous month. 
 
Within this important group, the index for ‘Food Products’ rose by 0.1 per cent to 166.7 from 166.5 for the previous month due to higher prices of tea leaf (blended) (8%), tea leaf (unblended) and gola (cattle feed) (5% each), tea dust (unblended) (4%) and sooji (rawa) and sugar (1% each). However, the prices of groundnut oil and soyabean oil (4% each), coffee powder and palm oil (3% each), gur, cotton seed oil and mustard & rapeseed oil (2 % each) and oil cakes, copra oil and khandsari (1% each) declined.
 
The index for ‘Beverages, Tobacco & Tobacco Products’ rose by 0.2 per cent to 175.6 from 175.2 for the previous month due to higher prices of zarda (10%) and bidi, beer and rectified spirit (2% each). However, the prices of dried tobacco (15%) declined.
 
The index for ‘Textiles’ rose by 0.5 per cent to 131.6 from 130.9 for the previous month due to higher prices of jute sacking bag (2%) and gunny and hessian cloth and woollen textiles (1% each). However, the prices of tyre cord fabric and jute yarn (1% each) declined.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The index for ‘Wood & Wood Products’ rose by 0.4 per cent to 171.7 from 171.1 for the previous month due to higher prices of processed wood and plywood & fibre board (1% each).
 
The index for ‘Paper & Paper Products’ rose by 0.2 per cent to 136.5 from 136.2 for the previous month due to higher prices of maplitho paper and books/ periodicals/ journals (1% each). However, the prices of paper cartons / boxes (1%) declined.
 
The index for ‘Leather & Leather Products’ declined by 0.6 per cent to 134.1 from 134.9 for the previous month due to lower prices of leather footwear and leathers (1% each).
 
The index for ‘Rubber & Plastic Products’ rose by 0.3 per cent to 137.9 from 137.5 for the previous month due to higher prices of rubber products (1%).
 
The index for ‘Chemicals & Chemical Products’ rose by 0.2 per cent to 144.1 from 143.8 for the previous month due to higher prices of shampoo (3%), rubber chemicals (2%) and ayurvedic medicines, adhesive & gum, vaccines, lacquer & varnishes and pesticides (1% each). However, the prices of hair / body oils, turpentine oil and safety matches/match box (1% each) declined.
 
The index for ‘Non-Metallic Mineral Products’ rose by 0.2 per cent to 164.8 from 164.5 for the previous month due to higher prices of polished granite (2%) and marbles and railway sleeper (1% each). However, the prices of slag cement (3%) and glass bottles & bottleware (1%) declined.
 
The index for ‘Basic Metals, Alloys & Metal Products’ declined by 0.2 per cent to 166.8 from 167.2 for the previous month due to lower prices of sponge iron (3%) and gold & gold ornaments, wire rods, copper products (other than wire), ferro chrome, rebars and angles (1% each). However, the prices of silver and steel structures (2% each) and pressure cooker and sheets (1% each) moved up.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
The index for ‘Machinery & Machine Tools’ rose by 0.2 per cent to 128.5 from 128.3 for the previous month due to higher prices of t.v.sets (4%), insulators (3%), machine tools and microwave oven (2% each) and hydraulic equipment, engines and electrical pumps (1% each). However, the prices of lamps and electric motors (3% each), textile machinery (2%) and pvc insulated cable, pump & assembly and ball/roller bearing (1% each) declined.
 
The index for ‘Transport, Equipment & Parts’ rose by 0.4 per cent to 130.1 from 129.6 for the previous month due to higher prices of shafts (all kinds) and bus/mini bus/truck (1% each), the provisional data showed.
 
The statement said that the final WPI for ‘All Commodities’ stood at 167.3 as compared to 166.6 (provisional) and, accordingly, the annual rate of inflation based on the final index stood at 8.01 per cent as compared to 7.55 per cent as reported on September 14, 2012.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

PM pays homage to Nehru on his birth anniversary

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paying homage at the "samadhi" of the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 123rd birth anniversary, at Shantivan, in Delhi on November 14, 2012.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paying homage at the
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paying homage at the "samadhi" of the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on his 123rd birth anniversary, at Shantivan, in Delhi on November 14, 2012.

Indira Gandhi National Service Scheme Awards announced

ADVERTISEMENT

Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Karnataka has been selected for this year's Indira Gandhi National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards for the Best University/+2 Council (State level).

An official press release said the university has made exemplary contribution in the field of Community Health through NSS. 
 
Dr. B. Vasantha Shetty, the Programme Coordinator has inter-alia organised, under the ‘School Health’ Programme, 550 camps, which benefitted 1,36,379 students . Under 73 ‘Health Education’ Camps, 33,385 people were benefitted. As many as 849 Health check- up’ camps were organised to benefit 54,930 people. Also, 146 blood donation camps were organized, through which 14,303 units of blood were collected. Through various programmes and camps, 51,218 children were immunized, it said.
 
In the category of Upcoming University, the award will be shared between Directorate of Higher Education, Himachal Pradesh and University of Kashmir, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. 
 
Both these Institutions have made valuable contribution to NSS, despite facing tremendous adversities. Their role is not only restricted to planting of saplings, collection/donation of blood, community service but also spreads to creation of durable assets in the community, spreading awareness on social and current issues, setting up of Social Harmony and Disaster Mitigation camps, improve literacy levels, and so on, the release said.
 
Five Universities have been selected for “Certificate of Appreciation” awards for their valuable contributions -- Andhra University, Directorate of Technical Education-Kerala, University of Mumbai, Annamalai University (Tamil Nadu) and University of Calcutta.
ADVERTISEMENT
 
This year, the awards will be given away by President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan on November 19, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
 
National Service Scheme is one of the flagship programmes of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports aimed at developing qualities of good citizenship and spirit of volunteerism among youth and to provide them an opportunity to work with the people in the villages and slum dwellers. 
 
The scheme seeks to achieve its objectives through twin approach -- “Campus to Community” and “College to Village”. 
 
NSS was launched during the birth centenary celebration of Mahatma Gandhi on 24th September 1969 in 37 Universities involving 40,000 students. Today, NSS has more than 3.2. million student volunteers on its rolls spread over 299 universities. The scheme is implemented through the State Governments and the operations of NSS are at the University/ College and Higher Secondary School level.
 
In 1993-94, during the Silver Jubilee year of NSS, the Indira Gandhi National Service Scheme (IGNSS) Awards were instituted to give recognition to selfless service rendered by the NSS volunteers, Programme Officers and the Programme Coordinators. 
 
The full list of awardees can be seen here.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT

ATMs cross one lakh mark in India in October

The banking system in India crossed a major landmark in October with more than one lakh automated teller machines (ATMs) in the country now, according to the latest data released by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). 

Almost all the ATMs in the country are part of NPCI’s National Financial Switch (NFS) network  which facilitates routing of ATM transactions through inter-connectivity between the banks' systems, thereby enabling the ATM/debit cardholders of the country to utilize the services in any ATM of a connected bank.
 
As of October, 2012 the total number of ATMs was about 1,04,500 in the country. Public sector banks and the State Bank group with about 61,500 ATMs accounted for 59% of the ATMs. The private sector and foreign banks put together have about 41,800 ATMs accounting for 40% of the ATMs and the balance 1% representing about 1150 ATMs are deployed by co-operative banks, regional rural banks and so on.
 
Nearly 200 million transactions are processed every month in NFS, of which 75 % are cash withdrawal transactions with an average ticket size of Rs. 3,300. The balance 25% transactions are non–financial transactions. 
 
Besides Cash Withdrawal and Balance Inquiry transactions, presently, NFS supports other Value Added Services (VAS) like PIN Change and Mini Statement through the ATMs. 
 
There are plans to increase the VAS such as Card-to-Card Transfer, Cheque Book Request, Statement Request, and so on through the ATMs.
 
All the banks put together have plans to install additionally about one lakh ATMs over a period of next two years raising the number of ATMs per million population  from 85 to about 170 ATMs.
 
NPCI is an umbrella organisation for retail payments in India and was incorporated in December 2008 through the efforts of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks Association (IBA). 
 
The objective of NPCI is to consolidate and integrate the multiple systems with varying service levels into nation-wide uniform and standard business process for all retail payment systems. 
 
NPCI has setup a domestic card scheme called ‘RuPay’ and also offers various other services like Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AEPS), Inter-bank Mobile Payment Service (IMPS), Cheque truncation, National Financial Switch (NFS), and Express cheque clearing system.
 
NNN
 

Indian scientific study shows neural connection to Type 2 diabetes

ADVERTISEMENT

The Indian Diabetes Consortium (INDICO), a pan-India initiative led by CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) with the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) as a principal clinical partner, has recently brought to light an entirely novel candidate gene, TMEM163, implicated in Type 2 Diabetes. 

TMEM163 encodes a probable vesicular transporter in nerve terminals; and the study established a plausible mechanism of action for TMEM163 through impaired insulin secretion. 
 
"This lends an unprecedented ‘neural angle’ to diabetes that needs to be explored further and holds immense potential in understanding new pathogenetic mechanisms involved in diabetes causation," an official press release said.
 
The study currently accepted for publication in the Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association’s flagship journal, authored by 37 researchers, is the first and the largest Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) conducted for any complex disorder conceived and executed entirely in the developing world. 
 
The work involved 12,535 Indians; with an initial phase involving 2465 subjects; Type 2 Diabetes patients and matched control individuals, followed by validation in two ethnic populations of India including Indo-Europeans and Dravidians, followed by a comprehensive meta-analysis. 
 
This effort places India to the list of countries which have the technology and human resource to perform high throughput complex genomic experimentation, at par with leading researchers in the developed world, the release said.
 
“The breakthrough represents the triumph of ‘Indian Functional Genomics Capacity’, whose nucleation started almost fifteen years ago under the CSIR umbrella with an objective to advance understanding towards complex diseases prevalent amongst Indians,” said Prof Samir K. Brahmachari, Director General, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
 
“This study is an outstanding example from India, of a close collaboration between genomic scientists and clinical partners,” said Prof Nikhil Tandon, AIIMS, a lead investigator of the project. 
 
“This study shall go a long way in furthering the aims and objectives of INDICO as well as untangling the intricacies involved in this complex disorder,” said Dr. Dwaipayan Bharadwaj, Principal Scientist, CSIR-IGIB. 
 
Further work on functionally validating this genomic discovery has already been initiated by Dr. Dwaipayan Bharadwaj’s group, in the facility at CSIR-IGIB, through the development of zebra fish models. 
 
The INDICO consortium has countrywide participation spanning Delhi, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Chennai, involving premier research institutes and stalwarts of diabetes research like Dr. Nikhil Tandon, M.D, Ph.D (Department of Endocrinology, AIIMS).
 
Since Indians are not only genetically diverse but also have an exceptionally high prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, the consortium provides researchers a unique and unparalleled opportunity to investigate the complex dimensions of diabetes genetics, the release added.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi arrives on visit to India

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived here on Tuesday on a six-day visit that India says is part of its ongoing engagement with the democratic and multi-party polity in the neighbouring country.

 
Myanmar pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi arrives in India

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi arrived here today on a six-day visit that India says is part of its ongoing engagement with the democratic and multi-party polity in the neighbouring country.

This is Ms Suu Kyi's first visit to India in nearly four decades and observers see the invitation to her to visit the country as an effort by New Delhi to rebuild its relations with her. India was at one time one of her most ardent supporters, but it appeared to change course in the mid-1990s when it decided to engage with the ruling junta in Myanmar.
 
Ms Suu Kyi, Chairperson of the National League of Democracy, is scheduled to deliver the Nehru Memorial Lecture on the occasion of the birth anniversary of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru tomorrow
 
The invitation to her for the lecture was extended by ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi in her capacity as Chairperson of Nehru Memorial Fund to deliver the Nehru Memorial Lecture.
 
The invitation was conveyed to Ms Suu Kyi when she met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his visit to Myanmar in May this year.
 
During her visit, Ms Suu Kyi is scheduled to call on Vice President M Hamid Ansari, the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
ADVERTISEMENT
She will pay tributes at the "samadhis" of Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru in New Delhi. She will  visit her alma mater, Lady Sri Ram College, where she will interact with the faculty and students and also visit The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in Gurgaon.
 
Besides her engagements in Delhi, she will be travelling to Bangalore where she will visit the Indian Institute of Science and the Infosys campus. She is also scheduled to tour rural areas in Andhra Pradesh to gain a firsthand impression of the rural development and women’s empowerment programmes being undertaken in India.
 
Ms Suu Kyi spent several years in India during her early days when her mother Khin Yi was Ambassador to India. She also spent some time as a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla in 1987.
"The close and friendly relations between India and Myanmar have been strengthened in the recent past through exchanges of high level visits, including the State visits of the President of Myanmar to India in October 2011 and the Prime Minister of India to Myanmar in May 2012," the official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs said.
 
He said the visit would provide an opportunity to exchange views on all matters of mutual interest with a view to building upon the positive momentum in India-Myanmar relations.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
 
SEE MORE NEWS VIDEOS

8 killed, 8 hurt in fire-cracker explosion in UP

ADVERTISEMENT

Eight persons, including six members of a family, were killed and eight others injured in an explosion in a house in Yaqoobpur town in the Bela police station area of Auraiya district in Uttar Pradesh late last night, police said.

The victims included four women, a 12-year-old child and three minor children, deputy superintendent of police Ashok Kumar Singh said.
 
He said the incident occurred around 10 pm last night, when a loud blast occurred, followed by a fire.
 
According to him, the owner of the house had a licence to manufacture firecrackers at a secluded spot, about 200 metres away from his residence, but they were being manufactured inside the house in violation of the licence conditions.
 
The official said four of the injured had been rushed to a hospital in Lucknow and the rest to Kanpur.
 
NNN
 
ADVERTISEMENT

Mukherjee lays foundation stone for new housing complex in President's Estate

ADVERTISEMENT

President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday laid the foundation stone of a housing complex in the President's Estate and unveiled the plaque for construction of 50 Type-II Quarters for subordinate staff of the President’s Secretariat. 

Ms Omita Paul, Secretary to the President, Mr Sudhir Krishna, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Mr Rakesh Mishra, DG, CPWD and Ms Sobhna Chatterjee, Chief Architect, CPWD were present on the occasion. 
 
There are a total of 576 staff quarters in Type I category spread in 13 blocks of the President’s Estate. Most of the houses were constructed during 1927 to 1932 and are now dilapidated, have outlived their life and are beyond economical maintenance and repairs, an official press release said.
 
In the Redevelopment Scheme of the President’s Estate, these quarters are being replaced by well-designed Type II quarters, it said.
 
According to it, the new housing complex will be built as per the green building parameters laid down by CPWD. 
 
In addition, the new construction will have external stone cladding, stone moulding and stone jali to match with the original architecture of Rashtrapati Bhavan. 
 
The building will meet all the requirements of three star GRIHA structures, the release added.
 
NNN
ADVERTISEMENT
Syndicate content
© Copyright 2012 NetIndian. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of NetIndian content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of NetIndian Media Corporation. Write to info[AT]netindian[DOT]in for permission to use content. Read detailed Terms of Use.