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President to visit Laos, Cambodia from September 9-18

President Pratibha Patil will pay state visits to Laos and Cambodia from September 9-18 as part of India's pursuit of a closer and enduring partnership with the countries of the ASEAN region. .

President Pratibha Patil will pay state visits to two East Asian nations - Laos and Cambodia - from September 9-18 as part of India's pursuit of a closer and enduring partnership with the countries of the ASEAN region as part of its Look East policy.

An official statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said Ms Patil would be in Laos from September 9-13, along with an accompanying delegation of senior officials at the invitation of the President of Laos, Mr Choummaly Sayasone.

It will be Ms Patil's first visit to Laos and only the second by an Indian President since the two countries established diplomatic relations. Mr Sayasone had paid a state visit to India in August 2008.

Apart from the capital Vientiane, President and her delegation will also travel to Luang Prabang.

The statement said the visit was meant to reaffirm India’s commitment to further strengthen and consolidate relations between the two countries and enhance their economic engagement and assistance to the socio- economic development of Laos.

In Vientiane, apart from official talks between the two sides, the President will also have discussions with Mr Sayasone and Prime Minister of Laos, Mr Bouasone Bouphavanh.

After Laos, Ms Patil will travel to Cambodia from September 13-18 at the invitation of Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni. Apart from the capital Phnom Penh, the President will travel to Siem Reap where the world famous temples of Angkor Wat are located.

The statement said India and Cambodia enjoyed a long-standing shared historical affinity and close cultural ties.

It said Cambodia was an important partner of India among the ASEAN countries and the President’s visit would provide an opportunity to reaffirm and strengthen the multifaceted bilateral ties, including commercial and investment relations.

Cambodia is also currently the coordinator on the ASEAN side on India ASEAN relations.

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SpiceJet to fly abroad with flights to Kathmandu, Colombo


Low fare carrier SpiceJet today said it would commence international operations with its first flights to Kathmandu and Colombo ready to take off in four weeks.


A press release from the airline said it would flag off its first international flight from Delhi to Kathmandu, Nepl on October 7. This will be followed by the first flight from Chennai to Colombo, Sri Lanka on October 9.


The release said bookings for flights to both sectors were open. The base fare on the Chennai-Colombo route begins from Rs. 999 (PSF, UDF, Fuel Charge & Govt. taxes extra) and that for New Delhi- Kathmandu route begins from Rs. 1499 (PSF, UDF, fuel charges & Govt. taxes extra).


It said SpiceJet would fly its 189-seater Boeing 737-800 aircraft on these routes.


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128 H1N1 deaths in India in past week: Govt.

As many as 128 people have died of influenza A (H1N1) in India in the week ended September 5, an official statement from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare said here today.


With this, the toll in the country since the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the swine flu as a pandemic in mid-June last year has gone up to 2241.


The WHO, on August 10, had declared an end to the pandemic but called for continued vigilance, pointing out that pandemics, like the viruses that cause them, are unpredictable.


Of the 128 deaths, 45 occurred in Maharashtra, 32 in Gujarat, 13 in Madhya Pradesh, 12 in Karnataka, 9 in Rajasthan, 5 in Andhra Padesh, 4 each in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and 1 each in Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Chattisgarh.


A total of 1257 fresh cases of the flu were reported during the week, including 381 in Maharashtra, 316 in Delhi, 212 in Karnataka, 70 in Uttar Pradesh, 64 in Gujarat, 55 in Rajasthan and 51 in Andhra Pradesh.


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Kolkata-Dhaka "Maitree Express" to be suspended on Sep 11-12

The Indian Railways today said the bi-weekly "Maitree Express" train service from Kolkata to Dhaka in Bangladesh will be suspended on September 11 and 12 on account of Eid.


This train normally runs from Kolkata on every Saturday and Wednesday while in the return direction it departs from Dhaka every Sunday and Tuesday.


According to an official press release, on a request from Bangladesh Railway, the Indian Railways has decided to cancel the trip of the train on September 11 from Kolkata and on September 12 from Dhaka to avoid operational complications arising due to non-running of trains in Bangladesh on Eid days.


Normal services of the train will resume thereafter, the release added.


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Delhi Metro extends trial runs on CTST-Badarpur corridor to Nehru Place

A Delhi Metro train on a trial run from Lajpat Nagar to Nehru Place on September 7, 2010.
A Delhi Metro train on a trial run from Lajpat Nagar to Nehru Place on September 7, 2010.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) today extended the trial runs on its Central Secretariat (CTST)-Badarpur corridor to Nehru Place following the energisation of the overhead electrification (OHE) in the Lajpat Nagar-Nehru Place section.

The trial runs, which had commenced on July 23, were being so far carried out from CTST to Lajpat Nagar.

The extended stretch includes Moolchand, Kailash Colony and Nehru Place Metro stations, making for a total distance of 9.65 kms from the Central Secretariat station.

Of the eight stations between CTST and Nehru Place, four - Lajpat Nagar, Moolchand, Kailash Colony and Nehru Place - are elevated ones and the remaining - Central Secretariat, Khan Market, Jawaharlal Nehru and Jangpura - are underground.

During the trial runs, the interaction of the Metro train with physical infringements (civil structures) will be checked to ensure that there is no physical blockage during the movement of the train on the track.

The entire signaling system will also undergo rigorous testing. Subsequently, the response of the train at different speeds, braking of the train and the interconnection with the Operations Control Centre (OCC) will also be monitored during the trials. The behaviour of the track system and the Over Head Electrification (OHE) will be checked repeatedly during all the trials, a spokesman for DMRC said.

In the process, the Metro trains will also pass over the Moolchand cable-stayed bridge that is one of the milestones in the Delhi Metro construction. The bridge, which has been designed with the help of a French company – Systra, has been constructed at a height of 12 meters above the Ring Road passing beneath it and has been built on only two pillars (piers).

DMRC ensured that the traffic movement below the bridge, which witnesses over 20,000 vehicles crossing the flyover everyday, was not disrupted even for a single day during the entire construction process. It had adopted the extra-dosed technique of bridge construction as per which the 167.5 meters long bridge consists of three large spans with the central span being 65.5 meters and other two spans being 51 meters each.

To provide a better aesthetic look to the bridge, its supporting cables have been encased in painted tubular pipes. About 15 tonnes of 15.7 mm Galvanized, Greased and PE (Polyethylene) coated stands have been used in the bridge. The cables resting on top of the pylons have been fabricated in Hong Kong and China.

The spokesman said the the trial runs would continue for a few days after which the trials will gradually be extended upto Sarita Vihar in a phased manner for the 20.16 kms long Central Secretariat (CTST) – Badarpur corridor. This is the second Standard Gauge corridor after the Inderlok – Mundka corridor of the DMRC.

DMRC plans to commission the CTST-Badarpur line by this month before the XIX Commonwealth Games that Delhi will host from October 3-14.

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Railways make "Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Sewak" scheme more flexible

The Ministry of Railways has modified its "Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Sewak" (JTBS) scheme to make it more flexible, give more benefits to the operators and improve the sale of unreserved train tickets in city areas.


The Railways had introduced the JTBS scheme in 2008 to appoint "sewaks" in various parts of big cities for the issue of unreserved tickets through its computerised Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS).


Under the new guidelines, which have become effective from August 26, 2010, the JTBS operators will be allowed to renew season tickets. Each season ticket will be treated as a single ticket/single passenger for the purpose of levy of service charge.


The service charges to be realized by JTBS shall be Re l per passenger instead of Re 1 per ticket.


According to an official press release, the bank guarantee has also been reduced to Rs 20,000 from Rs 40,000 and the security deposit from Rs 15,000 to Rs 5,000.


JTBS operators have been permitted to operate one additional counter, provided the sale of tickets is more than 800 per day on each counter for at least a period of one month. They have also been allowed to shift from the original location to a new location at their own cost with a view to increase sale of tickets.


The release said the present tenure of contract of two years is enhanced to three years, renewable by a tenure of three years subject to satisfactory performance of the JTBS operator and if the operator abides by all other terms and conditions prevailing at the time of renewal.


These instructions will be applicable to all JTBS operators including those who are existing JTBS licensees and also those who are appointed as outcome of the ongoing selection process.


The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), a public sector undertaking under the Ministry of Railways, has been asked to make necessary modification in the software accordingly, the release added.


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Trivedi calls for National Health Service to address healthcare needs


Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Dinesh Trivedi has suggested the creation of a National Health Service that would spawn a cadre of professionals with full commitment and accountability towards addressing the healthcare needs of the country.


Inaugurating a conference "FICCI Heal-2010: Healthcare for All: Global Standards with Local Touch", here yesterday, Mr Trivedi stressed the need for an overhaul of the existing governance structure for the implementation of healthcare projects.


"What we need is a separate cadre of personnel for manning health services, akin to the system that works in the Indian Railways, where nine different services and disciplines work in tandem to make the railway network tick. The railways run 11,000 trains that criss-cross the country through as many as 7000 stations," he said.


Mr Trivedi said that, just as the railways were the lifeline of the nation and were manned by technocrats, the health sector was critical for the well-being of citizens because it determined the real GDP of the country.


According to him, a cadre of health service professionals, from the bottom to the top of the governance structure, for whom healthcare delivery was a commitment, would go a long way in injecting all-round efficiency and efficacious service in the health sector.


The Minister said the Government had constituted a technical committee comprising members from Government departments, the National Informatics Centre (NIC), the Department of Information Technology and other agencies for suggesting ways and means for setting up and operationalising the National Health Portal.


The setting up of the portal, recommended by the National Knowledge Commission, would make the optimum use of technology for establishing a database for the medical records of all citizens and other health related issues, he said.


Mr Trivedi also underlined the need for setting up "neighborhood hospitals" in each municipality, where 50% of the beds would be reserved for the poor. For the remaining 50% beds, the private sector could charge hospitalization services at the market rate, he said.


Describing as "elitist" the present model of healthcare delivery, Mr. Trivedi said today 80% of healthcare spending came from the private sector and 20% from the Government and 80% of the total spend is on 20% of the cities.


Mr. Philip Hassen, President, ISQua & CNIS & former CEO, Canadian Patient Safety Institute, called for a culture of safety as hospitalization was high risk. A systemic approach, he said, was not about changing the human condition but rather the conditions under which humans work.


The inaugural session of the two-day conference was addressed by Mr. Harsh Mariwala, President, FICCI; Mr. Anjan Bose, Chairman, FICCI Health Services Committee; and Dr. Girdhar J Gyani, Secretary General, Quality Council of India.


The FICCI-Hosmac report on healthcare infrastructure, released by Mr Trivedi on the occasion, said that India fell behind all the other countries in the number of hospital beds per thousand population and the number of doctors per thousand population in spite of having a higher total number of hospital beds as compared to other countries.


The study evaluates the global and Indian healthcare scenario, identifies the growth drivers, showcases the trends and recommends an action plan that aims at achieving – "Available, Accessible and Affordable Quality Healthcare for All."


According to a FICCI press release, India’s performance was examined and compared against a fairly representative global sample of countries. Seven countries were studied based on the parameters of Healthcare Infrastructure, Healthcare Manpower, Medical Equipment and Healthcare Education. The purpose of the study is to acquaint India with models from across the globe, know how India fares against external benchmarks and examine if a few of these models can be adapted to our milieu, it said.


The release said the survey showed that India had a higher number of nurses per thousand population while the United Kingdom lagged in this area.


India also has the highest number of medical as well as nursing colleges as compared to other countries. Though India has a shortage of nurses, it has a comparatively high percentage of Nursing Colleges. This implied that either there is huge drain of nurses abroad or the nursing colleges have fewer numbers of seats as compared to the global average or both, the report said.


"India needs to invest more in building hospitals in order to increase the beds per thousand population to the world average for developing nations defined by WHO (i.e. at least 3 beds/1000 population)," Dr Vivek Desai, Managing Director, Hosmac, said.


Although India in total has more number of medical and nursing colleges, the number of colleges per lakh population is very low as compared to most nations in consideration, except China. This indicates that India still requires investing in medical education infrastructure to meet the needs of its constantly expanding population and burdening healthcare needs, the report said.


According to Mr Bose, "Lack of standardization of healthcare delivery across the healthcare segment is a major concern which is mainly due to the absence of a national health policy. This has led to the creation of pockets of excellence that are inaccessible to the rural and urban poor, and the BPL population. The recent clearance of Clinical Establishment Bill 2010 at the Parliament is a welcome step towards creating appropriate guidelines for the healthcare sector."


"Due to the galloping growth of health costs and demand, even if the government doubles its spending on Health to around 2% of GDP till 2020, it may not maintain the current 1:4 ratio of public to private spending on health; public-private partnerships with a clarity of purpose, ease of implementation, with built in systems of measurement and monitoring need to achieve a scale to provide capital and improve efficiency in the primary and secondary healthcare," Dr Desai added.


The conference is deliberating on issues such as Creating Successful Healthcare Models in Emerging Cities; Will Health Insurance Work? Transforming Healthcare with ICT; the Human Resources Challenge; Quality for Nursing Homes and Hospitals; Medical Tourism: The Wakeup Call; Medical Technology and Diagnostics; Healthcare Education; Role of AYUSH in Healthcare Delivery; Quality in Healthcare Delivery; Healthcare Innovations and Medical Ethics.


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Kingfisher cancels, reschedules flights to Kolkata due to "bandh"

Private sector carrier Kingfisher Airlines today said it had cancelled 29 flights to and from Kolkata and recheduled two due to the "bandh" (general strike) called by some trade unions from 0600 hours tomorrow.


The airline also said that there would be no transportation available to and from the Kolkata airport while the 24-hour "bandh" is in force.


A press release issued by the airline said the flights cancelled tomorrow were:


1. IT 511 Mumbai – Kolkata


2. IT 512 Kolkata – Mumbai


3. IT 607 New Delhi – Kolkata


4. IT 608 Kolkata – New Delhi


5. IT 603 New Delhi – Kolkata


6. IT 604 Kolkata – New Delhi


7. IT 4573 Kolkata – Ranchi


8. IT 4574 Ranchi – Kolkata


9. IT 2192 Kolkata – Aizwal


10. IT 2193 Aizwal - Kolkata


11. IT 4541 Kolkata – Agartala


12. IT 4542 Agartala – Kolkata


13. IT 2804 Kolkata – Raipur


14. IT 2803 Raipur – Kolkata


15. IT 2501 Kolkata – Bhubaneswar


16. IT 2502 Bhubaneswar – Kolkata


17. IT 2502 Kolkata – Guwahati


18. IT 2812 Guwahati – Kolkata


19. IT 2531 Kolkata – Bagdogra


20. IT 2532 Bagdogra – Kolkata


21. IT 2503 Kolkata – Bhubaneswar


22. IT 2504 Bhubaneswar – Kolkata


23. IT 4577 Kolkata – Ranchi


24. IT 4578 Ranchi – Kolkata


25. IT 073 Kolkata – Dhaka


26. IT 074 DAC – Kolkata


27. IT 4805 Kolkata – Imphal


28. IT 4805 Imphal – Silchar


29. IT 4805 Silchar – Kolkata


The airline said flight IT 3434 Kolkata – Hyderabad, which usually departs Kolkata at 6:50 am, will leave tomorrow earlier at 5:35 am and reach Hyderabad at 7:30am.


Flight IT 3416 from Bangalore to Kolkata, originally scheduled to depart Bangalore on September 7 at 8:40 pm will now leave at 4:00 am on September 8, and arrive at Kolkata at 6:15 am, the release added.


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Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk arrives on three-day visit


Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk arrrived in Bangalore today at the start of a three-day visit to India during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on ways of strengthening the bilateral relationship further.


Mr Tusk, who addressed a session of the Indo-Polish business organisations in Bangalore and met Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj, reached the capital tonight. He will be accorded a ceremonial reception in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan tomorrow morning by Dr Singh.


Briefing journalists about the visit, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj will call on Mr Tusk. He will call on President Pratibha Patil and Vice-President M Hamid Ansari. A meeting with ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi is also scheduled tomorrow.


Later in the evening tomorrow, he will hold delegation-level talks with Dr Singh, who will also host a banquet in Mr Tusk's honour.


On Wednesday, Mr Tusk and his delegation will travel to Agra before leaving for Hanoi.


Ms Banashri Bose Harrison, Joint Secretary (Central Europe) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said the Indian team to the talks would include Defence Minister A K Antony, Mr Krishna and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma.


The two sides will sign an agreement on cultural exchanges during the visit.


Mr Prakash noted that India-Polish relations were deep-rooted and had been traditionally close and friendly. He said these contacts had been nurtured by regular people-to-people exchanges and close cultural interactions which date back to the 15th century.


There is also a strong tradition of Indology in Poland, with people of the country keenly interested in Indian culture, spirituality and traditions. Polish scholars have been visiting India over the centuries to study Sanskrit, religion, philosophy; and some Sanskrit classics have been translated into Polish, he said.


The first Chair of Sanskrit studies was established in Krakow more than a century ago in 1893. The Indology Department in the Oriental Institute of the University of Warsaw has been functioning since 1932.


The Indian Council for Cultural Relations has been supporting the Chair and been sending teachers for Hindi and Tamil. Chairs on Indian studies have also been established in other cities of Poland. Similarly, Polish is being taught in Delhi University since 2009.


The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1954, and have had regular high-level exchanges. President Pratibha Patil paid a state visit to Poland in April last year, when amongst others she also met with Prime Minister Tusk. A Parliamentary Friendship Group has been constituted between the two countries.

Poland, is also India's largest trading partner and export destination in the Central-European region. It has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 2004, and is one of the important gateways into the European Union and CIS. Poland will assume the Presidency of EU in the second half of 2011.


Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown to an all-time high of over $ 1.2 billion dollars in 2008, but dipped slightly in 2009 due to the global economic downturn.

More than 20 Indian companies, have invested in Poland, including Videocon, Escorts, Reliance, Ranbaxy, Essel Propac, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Tetley, Berger Paints and Arcolabs.


Polish companies have manufacturing facilities in India in areas like hygiene and sanitary products, metal packaging, air-conditioning systems; and they have been offering services in oil exploration and extraction.


Mr Prakash said the two sides had good cooperation in sectors like science and technology, defence, culture and people-to-people exchanges.


"And there is good potential which both sides want to harness, in furthering cooperation in areas like energy, engineering, mining, and so on," he said.


Mr Antony had visited Poland in November 2004 when a Joint Working Group of Defence Cooperation was established and it has been meeting regularly. The last meeting took place in Warsaw in April this year.


Mr Prakash said Poland had also committed support for India's candidature for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.


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India, Chad agree to enhance bilateral cooperation


India and Chad today agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries and signed a protocol on Foreign Office Consultations.


The protocol was signed by Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur and Chadian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, African Integration and International Cooperation Mahamat Bechir Okormi.


Mr Okormi is currently on an official visit to India at the head of a seven-member delegation that includes Mr. Youssouf Abassalah, Minister of Commerce and Industry.


Ms Kaur received the two visiting Ministers today and also held delegation level talks with the Chadian delegation.


An official press release said the Chadian side thanked the Government of India for the $ 50 million Line of Credit extended through the TEAM-9 initiative for five projects. It also sought more assistance for several projects which will be considered by India.

The Chadian delegation particularly emphasized possibilities of cooperation between the two countries in the areas of hydrocarbons, minerals and agriculture.


The delegation will also interact with FICCI, RITES and Exim Bank during its stay here, the release added.


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Jet cancels many flights to/from Kolkata due to Tuesday's "bandh"

Private sector carrier Jet Airways today said it and its low-cost subsidiary Jet Lite had cancelled and rescheduled several of its flights to and from Kolkata in view of the 24-hour "bandh" (general strike) called by trade unions tomorrow.

According to a press issued by the airline, the cancelled Jet Airways flights are:

9W-065/066 Bangkok-Kolkata-Bangkok

9W-615/616 Mumbai-Kolkata-Mumbai

9W-2278/2279 Kolkata-Delhi-Kolkata

9W-2480/2481 Kolkata-Bagdogra-Kolkata

9W-913/914 Kolkata–Delhi-Kolkata

9W-2451/2452 Kolkata–Bengaluru- Kolkata

9W-2153/2154 Mumbai-Kolkata–Guwahati- Kokata

9W-2157 Kolkata-Mumbai

9W-2401/2019 Kolkata–Mumbai-Kolkata

9W-2482/2483 Kolkata–Guwahati-Kolkata

9W-2852/2853 Kolkata–Patna-Kolkata

9W-2850/2851 Kolkata–Bhubaneshwar-Kolkata

9W-2856/2857 Kolkata–Ranchi-Kolkata

9W-2854/2855 Kolkata–Patna-Kolkata

9W 2151/2152 Mumbai-Kolkata-Mumbai

9W 2454/2455 Chennai-Kolkata-Chennai

9W 217/218 Mumbai- Kolkata-Mumbai

9W 2282/2283 Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi

9W 2289/2290 Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi

9W 2450/2453 Chennai-Kolkata-Chennai

The re-scheduled Jet Airways flight is 9W-2285 Delhi-Bagdogra-Guwahati-Delhi, which will operate as Delhi-Guwahati-Delhi tomorrow. The flight will depart Delhi at 1115 hrs, arriving in Guwahati at 1345 hrs. The return flight will operate as per schedule.

The release said 9W-274 Kolkata-Dhaka had been advanced and will now depart Kolkata at 0530 hrs, arriving in Dhaka at 0645 hrs. (local time). 9W-273 Dhaka-Kolkata of September 7, 2010 stands postponed and will now operate on September 8, 2010. It will depart Dhaka at 0530 hrs (local time), arriving in Kolkata at 0545 hrs.

The JetLite flights cancelled tomorrow are:

S2-371/372 Kolkata-Agartala-Kolkata

S2-363/364 Kolkata-Guwahati-Imphal-Guwahati-Kolkata

S2-364/402 Kolkata-Bengaluru-Kolkata

S2-361/702 Kolkata-Guwahati-Kolkata-Mumbai

S2-703/704/705 Mumbai-Kolkata-Mumbai-Kolkata

S2-319/320 Delhi-Kolkata-Port Blair-Kolkata-Delhi

S2-6411/6252 Kolkata-Vishakhapatnam-Chennai

S2-6251/6218 Chennai-Vishakhapatnam -Delhi

S2-6217/6412 Delhi-Vishakhapatnam- Kolkata

S2-6367/6368 Kolkata-Bhubaneshwar- Kolkata

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Six-phase polling for Bihar Assembly between Oct 21 and Nov 20

Elections to the Bihar Legislative Assembly will be held in six phases between October 21 and November 20, the Election Commission announced today.

Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi told a press conference that the first phase of polling would be held on October 21 for 47 seats, the second on October 24 for 45 seats and the third on October 28 for 48 seats.

The fourth phase of polling will be held on November 1 for 42 seats, the fifth on November 9 for 35 seats and the sixth and last phase on November 20 for 26 seats.

Counting of votes for all 243 seats will begin on November 24 and all results are expected to be in by that evening.

More than 5.5 crore electors are eligible to cast their votes in the state, Mr Quraishi said.

He also announced that the bye-election for the Banka Lok Sabha seat, which fell vacant because of the death of sitting MP Digvijay Singh on June 24 this year, will be held on November 1 along with the assembly constituencies that form part of it.

The notifications for the six phases of polling will be issued on September 27, September 29, October 4, October 7, October 15 and October 27, respectively.

The last date for filing of nominations for the six phases will be October 4, October 6, October 11, October 14, October 22 and November 3.

The term of the Bihar Assembly is due to expire on November 27 and the Election Commission is required to constitute a new House before that date.

Of the 243 seats in the Assembly, 38 are reserved for Scheduled Castes and two for Scheduled Tribes.

Mr Quraishi said the electoral rolls of all the Assembly constituencies in the State, as delimited anew by the Delimitation Commission, had been revised with reference to January 1, 2010 as the qualifying date and had been finally published. As per the final rolls, there are 5,50,88,402 electors in the State.

He said Bihar has photo electoral rolls, which will be used during the elections for easy identification of voters. He said 89 per cent of the voters in the state had photographs in the rolls and efforts were continuing to incrase the photo coverage in the rolls. All residual electors without photographs in the rolls have been advised to contact their nearest Designated Photography Location or the Electoral Registration Officer of their constituency for inclusion of photographs in the roll against their names.

The poll will be conducted at all polling stations using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

Mr Quraishi said that, based on the assessment of the ground situation, Central Police Forces (CPF) and State Armed Police (SAP) drawn from other States would be deployed during the elections in Bihar.
He said the CPF and the SAP would be used generally for safeguarding the polling stations and for providing security to the electors and polling personnel at the polling stations on the poll day. Besides, they would be used for securing the strong rooms where the EVMs are stored for securing the counting centre.

The Election Commission has been issuing instructions from time to time with regard to the advance preventive measures to be taken by the District Magistrates and Police authorities to maintain law and order and to create an atmosphere conducive for the conduct of free and fair elections.

Mr Quraishi said the Commission would be constantly monitoring the ground situation closely and would take appropriate measures to ensure peaceful, free and fair polls in the State.

He said the Commission would deploy General Observers in adequate number to the smooth conduct of the elections. The Observers, usually senior bureaucrats from the Centre, would be asked to keep a close watch on every stage of the electoral process to ensure free and fair elections.

Their names, addresses within the district/constituency and their telephone numbers will be publicized in local newspapers so that the general public can quickly approach them for any grievance redressal. The Observers will be given a detailed briefing by the Commission before their deployment.

The Commission has also decided to appoint adequate number of Expenditure Observers in the State who will exclusively monitor the election expenditure of the contesting candidates.

In addition to General Observers, the Commission will also deploy Micro-Observers to observe the poll proceedings in the polling stations on the poll day in selected critical polling stations. They will be officials chosen from Central Government and Central public sector undertakings.

The Micro-Observers will observe the proceedings on the poll day right from the mock poll to the completion of poll and the process of sealing of EVMs and other documents to ensure that all instructions of the Commission are complied with by the Polling Parties and the Polling Agents. These Micro-Observers will work directly under the control and supervision of the General Observer. They will be tasked to ensure purity of polling process and will report to the General Observers directly about any vitiation of the poll proceedings in their allotted polling stations.

Similarly, it has been decided to appoint micro observers for closely monitoring the expenditure of the candidates. These micro observers will work directly under the control and supervision of the Expenditure Observers and will report to them directly.

Mr Quraishi said the Commission expected all officials engaged in the conduct of elections to discharge their duties in an impartial manner without any fear or favour. They are deemed to be on deputation to the Commission and shall be subject to its control, supervision and discipline.

"Several instructions have been issued from time to time to ensure impartiality of officials who are engaged in the conduct of elections. The conduct of all government officials who have been entrusted with election related responsibilities and duties would remain under constant scrutiny of the Commission and strict action shall be taken against those officials who are found wanting on any account," he said.

Mr Quraishi said the Commission had already given instructions that no election-related official or police officer fo the rank of sub-inspector and above shall be allowed to continue in his home district.

Besides, instructions have also been issued that election-related officials, including police officials, who have completed three years in a district during last four years should be transferred out of that district.

The State Government has also been asked to transfer all those officers against whom the Commission has recommended disciplinary action or who have been charged for any lapse during previous elections or for any election- related work, from positions entailing any election work.
 
The State Government has been instructed to ensure that those who stand transferred shall move out physically from their last place of posting and shall not remain there on any pretext, including leave. The Commission has also instructed the State Government not to associate any officer with the electoral process against whom charges have been framed in a court of law in any case.

Mr Quraishi said there would be 56,943 polling stations in Bihar. The Commission has issued instructions that, for the convenience of physically challenged persons, as far as practicable, all polling stations should be located on ground floors and ramps are provided.

Facilitation shall also be provided for locating electors’ names in a polling station or a group of polling stations through help lines and facilitation centres.

The Chief Election Commissioner said polling parties would be formed randomly, through special application software.

The Election Commission has told the District Election Officers to videograph all critical events and arrange sufficient numbers of video and digital cameras and camera teams for the purpose.

The events that will be filmed include filing of nomination, scrutiny thereof and allotment of symbols, preparations and storage thereafter of Electronic Voting Machines, important public meetings and processions during campaign, process of dispatching of postal ballot papers, polling process in identified vulnerable polling stations, storage of polled EVMs, counting of votes, and so on.

Digital cameras will also be deployed inside polling booths wherever needed. CDs of video recordings will be available on payment to anyone who wishes to obtain a copy of the same.

The Model Code of Conduct has come into effect immediately from now onwards. Mr Quraishi said all the provisions of the code will apply to the whole of Bihar and to all candidates, political parties, the State Government and the Union Government from today itself.

The following are the constituencies that will go to the polls in each phase:

Phase 1:
Hours of Poll : 7 AM TO 5 PM

31-Harlakhi
32-Benipatti
33-Khajauli
34-Babubarhi
35-Bisfi
36-Madhubani
37-Rajnagar(SC)
38-Jhanjharpur
39-Phulparas
40-Laukaha
41-Nirmali
42-Pipra
43-Supaul
44-Triveniganj(SC)
45-Chhatapur
46-Narpatganj
47-Raniganj(SC)
48-Forbesganj
49-Araria
50-Jokihat
51-Sikti
52-Bahadurganj
53-Thakurganj
54-Kishanganj
55-Kochadhaman
56-Amour
57-Baisi
58-Kasba
59-Banmankhi(SC)
60-Rupauli
61-Dhamdaha
62-Purnia
63-Katihar
64-Kadwa
65-Balrampur
66-Pranpur
67-Manihari(ST)
68-Barari
69-Korha(SC)
70-Alamnagar
71-Bihariganj
72-Singheshwar(SC)
73-Madhepura
74-Sonbarsha(SC)
75-Saharsa

Hours of Poll : 7 AM to 3 PM
76-Simri Bakhtiarpur
77-Mahishi

Phase 2
Hours of Poll : 7 AM to 5 PM

22- Sheohar
23-Riga
24-Bathnaha(SC)
25-Parihar
26-Sursand
27-Bajpatti
28-Sitamarhi
29-Runnisaidpur
30-Belsand
78-Kusheshwar Asthan(SC)
79-Gaura Bauram
80-Benipur
81-Alinagar
82-Darbhanga Rural
83-Darbhanga
84-Hayaghat
85-Bahadurpur
86-Keoti
87-Jale
88-Gaighat
89-Aurai
91-Bochaha(SC)
92-Sakra(SC)
93-Kurhani
94-Muzaffarpur
95-Kanti
96-Baruraj
131-Kalyanpur(SC)
132-Warisnagar
133-Samastipur
134-Ujiarpur
135-Morwa
136-Sarairanjan
137-Mohiuddinnagar
138-Bibhutipur
139-Rosera(SC)
140-Hasanpur
12-Narkatia
17-Pipra
18-Madhuban
20-Chiraia
21-Dhaka 

Hours of Poll 7 AM to 3 PM
90-Minapur
97-Paroo
98-Sahebganj

Phase-3
Hours of Poll : 7 AM to 5 PM

3-Narkatiaganj
4-Bagaha
5-Lauriya
6-Nautan
7-Chanpatia
8-Bettiah
9-Sikta
10-Raxaul
11-Sugauli
13-Harsidhi(SC)
14-Govindganj
15-Kesaria
16-Kalyanpur
19-Motihari
99-Baikunthpur
100-Barauli
101-Gopalganj
102-Kuchaikote
103-Bhorey(SC)
104-Hathua
105-Siwan
106-Ziradei
107-Darauli(SC)
108-Raghunathpur
109-Daraundha
110-Barharia
111-Goriakothi
112-Maharajganj
113-Ekma
114-Manjhi
115-Baniapur
116-Taraiya
117-Marhaura
118-Chapra
119-Garkha(SC)
120-Amnour
121-Parsa
122-Sonepur
123-Hajipur
124-Lalganj
125-Vaishali
126-Mahua
127-Raja Pakar(SC)
129-Mahnar
Hours of poll 7 AM to 3 PM
1-Valmikinagar
2-Ramnagar(SC)
128-Raghopur
130-Patepur(SC)

Phase-4
Hours of Poll : 7 AM to 5 PM

141-Cheria Bariarpur
142-Bachhwara
143-Teghra
144-Matihani
145-Sahebpur Kamal
146-Begusarai
147-Bakhri(SC)
149-Khagaria
150-Beldaur
151-Parbatta
168-Lakhisarai
165-Munger
152-Bihpur
153-Gopalpur
154-Pirpainti(SC)
155-Kahalgaon
156-Bhagalpur
157-Sultanganj
158-Nathnagar
178-Mokama
179-Barh
180-Bakhtiarpur
181-Digha
182-Bankipur
183-Kumhrar
184-Patna Sahib
185-Fatuha
186-Danapur
187-Maner
159-Amarpur
160-Dhauraiya(SC)
161-Banka
Hours of poll 7 AM to 3 PM
148-Alauli(SC)
167-Suryagarha
164-Tarapur
166-Jamalpur
162-Katoria(ST)
163-Belhar
240-Sikandra(SC)
241-Jamui
242-Jhajha
243-Chakai

Phase-5
Hours of Poll : 7 AM to 5 PM

192-Sandesh
193-Barhara
194-Arrah
195-Agiaon (SC)
196-Tarari
197-Jagdishpur
198-Shahpur
236-Hisua
237-Nawada
239-Warsaliganj
230-Gaya Town
232-Belaganj
233-Atri
234-Wazirganj
169-Sheikhpura
170-Barbigha
171-Asthawan
172-Biharsharif
173-Rajgir(SC)
174-Islampur
175-Hilsa
176-Nalanda
177-Harnaut
Hours of Poll 7 AM to 3 PM
235-Rajauli(SC)
238-Gobindpur
214-Arwal
215-Kurtha
216-Jehanabad
217-Ghosi
218-Makhdumpur(SC)
229-Bodh Gaya(SC)
188-Phulwari(SC)
189-Masaurhi(SC)
190-Paliganj
191-Bikram

Phase-6
Hours of Poll : 7 AM to 5 PM

199-Brahampur
200-Buxar
201-Dumraon
202-Rajpur(SC)
203-Ramgarh
204-Mohania(SC)
209-Kargahar
211-Nokha
220-Obra
223-Aurangabad
Hours of Poll 7 AM to 3 PM
205-Bhabua
206-Chainpur
207-Chenari(SC)
208-Sasaram
210-Dinara
212-Dehri
213-Karakat
219-Goh
221-Nabinagar
222-Kutumba(SC)
224-Rafiganj
225-Gurua
226-Sherghati
227-Imamganj(SC)
228-Barachatti(SC)
231-Tikari

NNN

Maoists release all three abducted cops in Bihar

Maoists on Monday released three policemen they had abducted on August 29 from the Lakhisarai district of Bihar, three days after they killed a fourth cop they had been holding hostage. .

Districts of Bihar
Districts of Bihar

Maoists today released three policemen they had abducted on August 29 from the Lakhisarai district of Bihar, three days after they killed a fourth cop they had been holding, bringing to an end an eight-day hostage crisis.

The three policemen, identified as Abhay Yadav, Rupesh Kumar Sinha and Ehsan Khan, were released early this morning in the jungles near Lakhisarai, near the spot where the body of the killed policeman, Lukus Tete, an assistant sub-inspector with the Bihar Military Police (BMP), was found on Friday morning.

Television channels showed pictures of the three policemen emerging out of cars and walking into the Lakhisarai police station, where they would be debriefed by senior police officers. All three policemen appeared to be in good health.

Relatives of the three policemen who were outside the police station expressed a deep sense of relief over their release.

A doctor who examined the three policemen told reporters outside the police station that they were fine and had no external injuries of any kind.

On Friday, the Maoists had left a hand-written note next to the slain policeman's body, demanding the immediate release of eight of their arrested colleagues, failing which they had threatened to kill the three cops in their custody.

The four policemen were abducted by the Maoists on August 29 after a six-hour gun battle in Lakhisarai district. Seven policemen were killed and ten others suffered injuries in that incident.

The Maoists had claimed that the gunfight was in retaliation for the killing of their leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and a journalist on the night of July 1-2 in Andhra Pradesh.

Later in the day, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced the release of the three men and denied there had been any deal in this regard with the Maoists.

He told a press conference that the three policemen were on their way home to their families and thanked all political parties for making a joint appeal to the Maoists to set them free.

He also said that a sustained campaign by the media and the strong stand taken by some civil society groups had helped to bring about a happy end to the eight-day crisis.

Mr Nitish Kumar, however, expressed deep regret that one of the four abducted policemen had been killed by the extremists.

The Chief Minister recalled that, at the all-party meeting convened by him at the weekend, all the political parties had supported his unconditional offer of talks to the Maoists. "It is another matter that the Maoists rejected the offer," he remarked.

He had a special word of praise for the Bihar police and the other security forces for keeping up their morale after they had lost one of their men.

Mr Nitish Kumar urged the Maoists to abandon the path of violence and join the national mainstream.

He felt the coming Assembly elections, scheduled for between October 21 and November 20, provided a big opportunity for the extremist groups to participate in democratic political processes and gain the support of the people they claim to represent. He said nothing would be achieved by purusing the path of violence and extremism.

NNN

President urges teachers to prevent ragging in educational institutions

President Pratibha Patil on Sunday spoke out against the disturbing trend of ragging in institutions of higher education in the country and called upon teachers to play their role in preventing it.
President Pratibha Patil presenting the National Award for Teachers-2009 to Ms Ngurthankhumi Sailo, a school teacher from Mizoram, on the occason of Teachers' Day in New Delhi on September 5, 2010. Union Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal and Minister of State D. Purandeswari are also seen.
President Pratibha Patil presenting the National Award for Teachers-2009 to Ms Ngurthankhumi Sailo, a school teacher from Mizoram, on the occason of Teachers' Day in New Delhi on September 5, 2010. Union Minister of Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal and Minister of State D. Purandeswari are also seen.

President Pratibha Patil today spoke out against the disturbing trend of ragging in institutions of higher education in the country and called upon teachers to play their role in preventing it.

"I have often said that this practice is not healthy, as it is a manifestation of intolerance on the part of senior students towards their juniors, who are new to the campus," Ms Patil said after presenting the National Teachers' Awards at a function here on Teachers' Day.

"It must be strongly condemned and should not take place in any institution of the country. You have a role in preventing it," she said.

Ms Patil said schools were the basic units of an education system, where children spend the formative years of their lives and where the process of learning begins. She said children were given the opportunity in schools to acquire skills and values necessary for their growth as confident and self-assured adults.

According to her, the coming into force of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act is a historic milestone, which places greater responsibility on all stakeholders.

"The challenge before teachers is to ensure that children actively participate in school activities. They, particularly in rural and distant areas, should hold classes regularly and ask students to attend school every day. They should remain in contact with parents and pay personal attention to the difficulties that their students may face," she said.

The President said good teaching was a long-term investment in which the fruit was often invisible for a long time.

"The results can be seen only when their students begin to bear the responsibilities of their families, society and the nation," she said.

"Students should be made aware of the many hues of life, and the reality that along with opportunities, there will invariably be obstacles and difficulties. Challenges are a daily occurrence, we should not get intimidated by them, but rather learn to surmount them. As self discipline is that one quality which can help tide over many difficulties, due emphasis must be placed on this aspect," she said.

Ms Patil said that, if the youth were to be utilised for building up a new country and a new society, the beginning must come from the teachers themselves.

"You must not only be a teacher, but more. You must be a facilitator, friend, philosopher and guide to those whose lives you mould. I am sure that our teachers, by the dint of their hardwork and their passion, whether in schools in our cities or in our remotest villages, will strive to achieve high levels of professional work. You must constantly upgrade your teaching methodologies so that children get quality education. Use new techniques to make lessons more interactive and effective. Moreover, in-service teachers' training is an important aspect of a good education system. It enables teachers to renew their teaching skills," she said.

Ms Patil said that an appreciation of the diversity that existed in the world invariably broadened horizons and promoted understanding ebtween peoples. She said that, in a globalised world, it was all the more necessary that children understood these linkages, as also the human values of love, respect and tolerance, which are essential for a peaceful world.

"It is, therefore, vital that teachers emphasize the importance of these values, which are a part of our country's ancient civilizational heritage. Students should be made to think in terms of the welfare of humankind and progress of the nation. I am sure all teachers, whether they teach social sciences, environmental studies, science or mathematics, subjects very important in themselves, would also inculcate in their students a sense of pride in our cultural heritage," she said.

The President said that, in an age where there was so much information available in books, on television and myriads of vehicles of electronic transmission, the role of teachers had only expanded.

"They have to interpret the vast information, often guiding children in distinguishing between what is relevant and what is not. This is important so that children are not submerged in a barrage of information, but instead develop an understanding of events and happenings around them by analyzing them," she said.

She said teachers must inculcate in their students the approaches and principles that constitute civilized human behaviour.

"This is crucial today, as our nation is passing through a period of economic transformation. In such phases, the anchor is usually found in values such as tolerance, understanding and respect for different opinions. We are a large, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and pluralistic society. The youth therefore, must develop an attitude that embraces all and which unites rather than divides. They must be responsible citizens. If our teachers do this well, then, along with prosperity, we shall have a society which is caring and compassionate," she added.

Teachers' Day is celebrated on September 5 year on the birth anniversary of former President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

NNN

Prakash Karat meets PM on Kashmir, seeks maximum autonomy

File photo of Prakash Karat.
File photo of Prakash Karat.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Prakash Karat today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said that a solution to the problem in Jammu and Kashmir could be found only by recognising the special status of the State and assuring the Kashmiri people of their identity.

"This requires a new political framework in which the bedrock is maximum autonomy," he said at the meeting at which he apprised the Prime Minister of the serious situation in Kashmir and suggested steps that needed to be taken immediately.

The CPI(M) leader urged the Prime Minister to take a bold initiative for a political dialogue with all sections of the State without any pre-conditions.

Mr Karat, who had visited Srinagar recently and held discussions with a wide section of people there, submitted a letter to the Prime Minister containing his views.

The CPI(M) leader said that, given the fact that 66 young men and women had lost their lives due to police firing from June 11, it was imperative that the approach of resorting to police firing to control the stone-pelting crowds should be stopped forthwith. There has to be a distinction between dealing with stone-pelting youth and tackling militants resorting to terrorist violence, he felt.

He said there were a large number of injured people in hospitals who should be adequately compensated. He also wanted rehabilitation measures to be taken for those with permanent disabilities.

Mr Karat said juvenile prisoners should not be kept in jail and all those youth who had no serious charges against them should be released.

He suggested that Srinagar and other urban centres should be taken out of the purview of the Disturbed Areas Act, a move which will make the enforcement of the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) redundant. There should be a reduction in the security forces deployed in the areas which have seen a drastic reduction in militancy, he said. He also called for the removal of many of the bunkers in Srinagar localities manned by the paramilitary forces.

Mr Karat said that, given the major economic losses suffered due to the continued curfews and hartals for the past two-and-a-half months, the government must compensate and revive trade and other economic activities of different sections of the people.

NNN

Panel set up on Drought Mitigation Strategies in Bundelkhand Region

The Planning Commission has constituted an Advisory Committee on implementation of the Drought Mitigation Strategies in the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.


The committee will be chaired by Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and include Members of Parliament (MPs) from Bundelkhand.


The other members of the committee include Ministers of State V Narayanasamy (Planning and Parliamentary Affairs) and Pradeep Kumar Jain (Rural Development), Planning Commission Members B K Chaturvedi, Mihir Shah and Abhijit Sen, and Planning Commission Member-Secretary Sudha Pillai.


The MPs in the committee are Mr R K Singh Patel (Banda), Mr Vijay Bahadur Singh (Hamirpur), Ghanshyam Anuragi (Jalaun), Dr Virendra Kumar (Tikamgarh), Mr Ashok Argal (Bhind), Mr Jeetendra Singh Bundela (Khajuraho) and Mr Shivraj Singh Lodhi (Damoh).


Dr. J. S. Samra, Chief Executive Officer, National Rainfed Area Authority, will be the Member- Secretary of the Advisory Committee


The Specific Terms of Reference assigned to the Advisory Committee are:


i) Advising on requirements of Bundelkhand region;


ii) Suggesting future strategy for development of Bundelkhand region;


iii) Giving suggestions on Bundelkhand Package; and


iv) Advising on need for new schemes for development of Bundelkhand region.


The Union Cabinet had approved a special package of Rs.7,266 crore for implementation of a drought mitigation strategy over a period of three years commencing from 2009-10 for the integrated development of the Bundelkhand region.


The region comprises seven districts of Uttar Pradesh (Banda, Chitrakoot, Hamirpur, Jalaun, Jhansi, Lalitpur and Mahoba) and six districts of Madhya Pradesh (Chhatarpur, Damoh, Datia, Panna, Sagar and Tikamgarh).


The prime mover of the package is optimization of water resources through rainwater harvesting and through proper utilization of the river systems. Intensive and diversified agriculture is to be promoted for productivity gains in the crops along with promoting higher sown area in the Kharif season. Animal husbandry and dairy activities will be expanded as an ancillary activity to enhance farmers’ incomes to cope with the drought conditions.


NNN

Panel projects India's urban slum population at 93.06 m in 2011


An expert committee has projected that India's urban slum population would grow to 93.06 million in 2011, which is 23.65 per cent higher than the number of 75.06 million it estimated for 2001.


The committee, chaired by Dr Pranob Sen, Principal Adviser, Planning Commission and former Secretary of the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation, was set up by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) to study the slum definition and to estimate urban slum population for the whole country on the basis of available data.


The committee had submitted its final report to the Ministry on August 30 and Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja released it here yesterday.


The committee had made adjustments and corrections to create a reliable statistical model based on data for 1743 cities and towns which had been enumerated in the Census 2001. It then applied this model to estimate the slum population in all 5161 urban areas of the country, including the 3799 statutory towns.


Using this model, the committee estimated the slum population in the country in 2001 at 75.26 milion and the projected figure for 2011 at 93.06 million. The Census 2001 had shown the slum population in the country in that year as 52.4 million after surveying 1743 towns with population 20,000 and above reporting slums.


For the Slum Census 2011, the committee has recommended that, for policy formulation purposes, it is absolutely essential to count the slum population even in towns with less than 20,000 population.


For the purpose of planning for the Rajiv Awas Yojana, which aims at a slum-free India, it would be necessary to count the population in all statutory towns in the country, it said.


The committee has suggested a different definition for a slum than the one currently adopted by the Census of India and the States. It has recommended a normative definition based on appropriate indicators and checklists for the purpose of identification of slum areas and enumeration of population in them.


It recommends contiguous area with 20-25 households having slum like characteristics as a slum area. Based on the pilot studies carried out by the Registrar General of India (RGI), the following characteristics have been identified as slum characteristics:


i) Predominant roof material: any material other than concrete (RBC/ RCC)


ii) Availability of drinking water source: not within premises of the census house


iii) Availability of latrine: not within premises of the census house


iv) Drainage facility: no drainage or open drainage


The Committee has recommended that once the layout maps are released before the general census in 2011, the RGI should share them with the Ministry of HUPA with marking of the contiguous areas having slum- like characteristics for use in planning and as an aid to slum surveys.


The Ministry would work closely with the RGI to carry out the ground verification of slum clusters within the identified enumeration blocks to finalize the Master Frame of slums in the country, an official press release added.


NNN

PM speaks out against corporal punishment in schools

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today spoke out against corporal punishment in schools which, he said, must have an environment free from fear, trauma and anxiety for the children.


"No child, irrespective of caste, gender or community to which he or she belongs should dread the thought of going to school," Dr Singh said while addressing Awardee Teachers on the eve of Teachers' Day here.


He said the Right to Education (RTE) Act banned corporal punishment and mental harassment as also detention and expulsion.


Dr Singh said these provisions had led many teachers to question how discipline would be maintained in the classroom.


"The answer to this important issue was given by the well known philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti: Discipline is an easy way to control a child, but it does not help him to understand the problems involved in living… If the teacher can give full attention to each child, observing and helping him, then compulsion or domination or discipline in any form may be unnecessary'," he said.


NNN

PM says teachers must have say in process of educational reforms

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Saturday teachers must be empowered with real opportunity for them to share policy perspectives and decision-making in the process of educational reforms.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing the Awardee Teachers on the eve of Teachers’ Day, in New Delhi, in New Delhi on September 04, 2010.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressing the Awardee Teachers on the eve of Teachers’ Day, in New Delhi, in New Delhi on September 04, 2010.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said teachers must be empowered with real opportunity for them to share policy perspectives and decision-making in the process of educational development and reforms in the country.

"Teachers are invariably seen as front-line participants in educational reform, critical to successful quality schooling in our country. But, sadly, teachers are often excluded from policy-making, governance and management of our educational system as also from day-to-day instructional strategies and decision making," Dr Singh said while addressing Awardee Teachers on the eve of Teachers' Day here.

He said he beleived that all teachers were creative and talented people who respond remarkably when they are respected and included in the decision-making integral to their work in the classroom.

"They gain a sense of ownership over their work and their classrooms, when they are involved in the development of the curriculum, designing of the syllabus, making and selecting of teaching materials and in training programmes leading to their own intellectual and professional development," he said.

Dr Singh said teaching had always been considered a noble profession and his own years as a teacher had been the most satisfying and fulfilling in his life.

"Through teachers flow the values and culture of a nation and its people. Teachers’ own value system, their character and their behaviour directly influence our children. But, misinformation and limited learning behaviours, that children sometimes internalize, can also be traced back to teachers' lack of knowledge, poor understanding, or biases. We must guard against these negative features," he said.

Dr Singh said that one critical area that all teachers must reflect upon is equality and inclusiveness of the educational system.

He said numerous programmes had been initiated in the country that focus on equality and inclusiveness paying particular attention to the girl child, or children from the scheduled caste or scheduled tribe or minority communities, or for differently-abled children with special needs and problems.

According to him, such programmes will result in an empowered youth and citizenship, only if their teachers are empowered supporters of equality and inclusiveness. If efforts to increase student access, learning and retention in elementary and secondary education are to succeed and make headway, relevant and empowering teacher education is of critical importance, he said.

"This is particularly true of women teachers who must serve as positive role models for our society at large," he said.

The Prime Minister said the Government was committed to provide quality education to all.

"The Right to Education Act was passed by the Parliament last year. The Right to Education Act and Article 21-A of our Constitution guaranteeing elementary education as a Fundamental Right, have now become operational with effect from 1st April 2010," he said.

Dr Singh praised Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal for the zeal, dedication and enthusiasm that he has brought to bear on his work.

He recounted his own childhood experience of studying in extremely difficult and adverse circumstances.

He said the time had come for all concerned to change this situation and ensure that every child in the country had the opportunity to exercise his or her right to an education of equitable quality, and thereby making the Right to Education a grand national movement.

"Today, you have both challenge and opportunity to provide good quality education to all our children. Through you, our nation aspires to build in our children a commitment to the values of democracy, and the values of equality, justice, freedom, secularism, respect for human dignity and human rights," he said.

Dr Singh urged the teachers to develop in children independence of thought, action and capacity of carefully considered, decision making which is based on reason and understanding.

"Through you, our children must develop a sensitivity to others’ well-being and feelings. Through you, our children must develop the ability to work and participate in economic and social processes and in processes of social change," he said.

The Prime Minister said the educational system in the country was at a very critical juncture, with the need to maintain the fine balanace between tradition and continuity, between tradition and modernity on the one hand, and innovation and change on the other.

"As teachers, you are the most important nation builders, you constitute our nation’s most precious national resource, and we look to you to guide our children in their quest for knowledge, truth and in their capacity to lead a life of dignity and self respect," he added.

NNN

Results of Combined Medical Services Examination 2010 announced

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has announced the results of the Combined Medical Services Examination 2010 held on January 17 this year and the Personality Test held from July 12 to 26.


An official press release said 357 candidates had been recommended for appointment to medical posts in the Railways, Indian Ordnance Factories Health Service, Central Government Health Service, Municipal Corporation of Delhi and New Delhi Municipal Council.


They include 157 General candidates (including 11 Physically Handicapped candidates), 121 candidates belonging to Other Backward Classes (including 1 Physically Handicapped candidate), 55 Scheduled Caste (including 1 Physically Handicapped candidate) and 24 Scheduled Tribe candidates.


According to an official press release, the candidature of the following Roll Numbers is provisional: -


00004, 00188, 00404, 00435, 00641, 00650, 00892, 00969, 00988, 01375, 01629, 01722, 01738, 01899, 02007, 02735, 03193, 03331, 03574, 03658, 03677, 03688, 03802, 03843, 03911, 03949, 04134, 04172, 04674, 04776, 05071, 05077, 05272, 05389, 05534, 05575, 05624, 05723, 05730, 05772, 07188, 07283, 07379, 07773, 08066, 08232, 08342, 08772, 08831, 09171, 09644, 09951, 10028, 10309, 10431, 10824, 10872, 11143, 11400, 11402, 11922, 12076, 12105, 12380, 12388, 12446, 12521, 12960, 12975, 13120, 13191, 13271, 13479, 13485, 13524, 13547, 13655, 13951, 14128, 14442, 14766, 14998, 15376, 15919, 16101, 16650, 16946, 17033, 17067, 17342, 18101, 18631, 19197, 19287, 19405, 19434, 19717, 19874, 20097, 20250, 21053, 21695, 21745, 21975, 22461, 22762, 22924, 22951, 23068, 23344, 23561, 24318, 24496, 25798, 25831, 26221, 26424, 26756, 26829, 27332, 27409, 28088, 28100, 28216, 29937, 30463, 30783, 31424, 31837, 31997, 34093, 36644, 38092, 38567.


Appointments to the various posts will be made according to the number of vacancies available and subject to the candidates fulfilling all the prescribed eligibility conditions and all verifications, wherever due, being completed satisfactorily, the release said.


In accordance with the rules of the examination, the UPSC is maintaining a consolidated Reserve List of 84 candidates which includes 42 General, 40 Other Backward Classes and 2 Scheduled Caste candidates.


The results are available on the UPSC website. http://www.upsc.gov.in


According to the release, the following is the list of successful candidates, in order of merit:


1 025777 SANDHEEP JANARDHANAN


2 000517 ARIHANT JAIN


3 006274 ALOK RAINA


4 004308 MANISH KUMAR


5 016713 KIRAN GOPICHANDANI


6 000416 RACHITA PRAVALINA


7 006824 INGALE NILESH SURYAKANT


8 002852 ANKIT KUMAR SAHU


9 000988 C K RAMYA


10 005099 DEEPTI VERMA


11 008831 RAJENDRA KUMAR CHOUDHARY


12 017696 MUKUL AGARWAL


13 016047 SUMIT KUMAR


14 005723 PRITESH ASHOK PAWAR


15 010866 SUMIT SETHI


16 005919 DIVYA SHARMA


17 023766 SAURABH MITTAL


18 011400 GUNEET AWAL


19 022951 NEETIKA GUPTA


20 005719 SWATI SRIVASTAVA


21 023649 VINOD ARORA


22 016689 AMBIKA GUPTA


23 001810 VASANTH KUMAR S


24 007935 ABHILIPSA ACHARYA


25 020298 SAMIK HAZRA


26 003872 ANADI PACHAURY


27 005339 RAJAT RANJAN


28 020087 ASHOK CHOUDHARY


29 017033 SHIV RAM KRISHNA DUBEY


30 014267 MANISH SHARMA


31 015895 M SARASU


32 028735 DIPESH KUMAR DHOOT


33 001908 K PADMAVATHI


34 011143 RAVISH KUMAR


35 006702 SAUMYA SRIVASTAV


36 010942 SHUBHRA SINGH


37 000493 AMBREEN LIYAKAT


38 015132 SHENOY APEKSHA A


39 016440 AMIT SHARMA


40 007193 NILOY BANERJEE


41 012421 MANISH PANDEY


42 019228 RAJNISH KUMAR


43 000333 ARATI MALLICK


44 017464 SYED TAUSIF AHMED


45 009951 SUNITA GROVER


46 022762 SWATI CHAUDHARY


47 008717 NIVEDITA SHARMA


48 025890 MISHRA VIKAS ASHOK


49 026424 SHASHI RANJAN PRASAD


50 020328 CHARU PARUTHI


51 001722 TARUN KUMAR CHADHA


52 013655 RAKESH YADAV


53 011284 MANISH KUMAR MISHRA


54 003677 SHANKER DEEP SONDHI


55 006752 ASHRAF AZAM


56 008063 BHARAT SUKHIJA


57 013120 RAKESH KUMAR VERMA


58 016876 BISWARANJAN NAYAK


59 012809 DEBASISH NANDA


60 005266 NIDHI JAIN


61 003193 PAWAN KUMAR PAL


62 013036 BHAWANA TIWARY


63 014280 BHARTI SINGH


64 000188 SUNITA NAMDEV


65 022257 SHRIRAM V


66 001832 KIRTI


67 006354 HEENA DOBHAL


68 024318 JOSHI SAURABH ANANT


69 001518 PRABHAT NARAIN SHARMA


70 018788 SWATI AGRAWAL


71 002138 SURYA NANDAN PRASAD


72 021975 BHARAT KUMAR


73 005575 JITENDRA SOLANKI


74 019717 SURABHI ROY


75 023205 CHANCHAL KUMAR


76 006541 CHARU PRATAP


77 031109 BRAJESH KUMAR JHA


78 020686 RAHUL VARSHNEY


79 013479 ANUPAM DAS


80 011392 RITU SINGH


81 025552 DEEPSHIKHA


82 012975 NARKHEDE AMIT MADHUKAR


83 030012 GARIMA GUPTA


84 021671 SAURABH MITTAL


85 038567 SHALABH JAIN


86 029937 MUHAMMAD UWAIS ASHRAF


87 005529 DEEKSHA ELWADHI


88 014174 NANDANI PRIYADARSHINI


89 026829 PRAKASH CHOUDHARY


90 001899 VIKAS PUROHIT


91 020047 MOOGAMBIGAI K


92 002274 NIKHIL GUPTA


93 004134 RAVINDRA KUMAR JANGIR


94 009952 NASIR EQUBAL NIZAMI


95 001851 VIJENDRA NATH JHA


96 009365 SOHAM CHOWDHURY


97 016946 ROOPA AGRAWAL


98 031142 SANJAY KUMAR


99 004776 SHIKHAR GANJOO


100 026859 SONIA HASIJA


101 006177 ANUP SARKAR


102 004660 JITENDER SHARMA


103 031290 SHAMSH TABREZ ALAM


104 020871 TAVISHI SRIVASTAVA


105 012076 NEHA


106 027332 GANESH SHANKER


107 005077 PRITHVIRAJ SINGH


108 015455 HIMANSHU SHEKHAR


109 016670 ANOOP SHARMA


110 026839 BAL GOVIND SINGH


111 011768 SWATI GUPTA


112 010016 SANTOSH KUMAR


113 002982 ANANTA GUPTA


114 003851 SINDHU SAPRU


115 010663 NEETHU MOHAN MENON


116 015919 RANJAN BHATTNAGAR


117 003885 VIMAL T


118 012960 SANTOSH KUMAR VERMA


119 012969 SIBASISH PATRO


120 007963 AKANSHA


121 000285 SURABHI


122 022265 VARUNA VYAS


123 028164 PANKAJ KUMAR MITTAL


124 013511 JAYANTI KASHYAP


125 006477 SANDEEP YADAV


126 012521 AKSHAT SHARMA


127 015255 AMITA JAIN


128 002174 HIMIKA CHAWLA


129 005389 KAVITA NAGPAL


130 025354 RAMANDEEP SINGH


131 003617 NEELESH CHANDRA PANDEY


132 028100 AJEET SINGH


133 012105 BAND RAHUL MOHANRAO


134 028894 MUKESH KUMAR TIWARI


135 007470 AKBER ALI BOHRA


136 021695 PRASHANT KUMAR CHOUDHARY


137 002813 NAVNEET


138 021053 POONAM PATEL


139 017220 AMBAR BHATNAGAR


140 010309 KANA RAM GURJAR


141 026756 SONAL SINGH


142 005534 DIBYA RANJAN BEHERA


143 017595 JEENA ANNIE PHILIP


144 002689 RANVEER SINGH CHOUDHARY


145 007805 TARUN KUMAR JAIN


146 001998 ASHWINI KUMAR MISHRA


147 030473 VIJETA KHANDELWAL


148 013293 BIRENDRA PRADHAN


149 017681 NIDHI CHANSAURIA


150 028174 SIDDHARTHA KUMAR KESHARWANI


151 000969 KAMAL PRAKASH SUMAN


152 002007 PRIYADARSHINI C


153 010814 PRINCY


154 006644 SANJEEV KUMAR


155 003491 ANURAG GOYAL


156 006845 RAJEEV KHANDELWAL


157 009636 MANSI ARORA


158 015728 NISHINT GUPTA


159 025415 DHANANJAY KUMAR


160 003843 VIJENDER KUMAR


161 019206 RAJAT MALOT


162 016327 RAJEEV KANT PANDEY


163 022918 DHANANJAY KUMAR


164 010824 ADARSH M B


165 004733 SARV PRIYA


166 007256 NOOPUR JAISWAL


167 001308 RAJENDRA A


168 005709 SHWETA GUPTA


169 007188 ANKUR KAMRA


170 011673 VIJAY DEEP


171 012402 MANISH KUMAR


172 011675 ASHISH TIWARI


173 007918 RAJNAND KUMAR


174 012471 SARITA


175 004970 JAHANGEER AHMAD BHAT


176 009928 KADHIRVEL S


177 022268 TANVI RAJ


178 008329 AASTHA SINGH


179 008217 SACHIN BANSAL


180 019711 SAURABH GAUR


181 022961 ARVIND GUPTA


182 013355 JUHI ASOPA


183 028497 NISAR K K


184 006929 AMITABHA PAL


185 004755 SAUMYA SINGH


186 000641 KAUSHAL KUMAR


187 012530 SAPNA SINGH


188 021107 MINHAJ AHMAD


189 026652 ANJALI NAGPAL


190 010872 MANISH SHARMA


191 003658 SURYA PRAKASH GORA


192 017869 ALOK RANJAN


193 023798 MANAS RANJAN PATEL


194 008772 ILAVARASI V


195 012093 MUKESH KUMAR


196 013951 ANJU KUMARI


197 026147 SUMAN


198 000937 SUDHA YADAV


199 017129 ANAND KUMAR GUPTA


200 010028 CHAUDHARI HARSHAL SUBHASH


201 018101 KAMAL KUMAR BHAGAT


202 028037 SHASHIVARMA D


203 018631 RAHUL KUMAR


204 011708 ABHINIT KUMAR


205 001738 JADHAV PAVAN HANUMANTRAO


206 005772 HARIDAS SANDEEP VENKATRAO


207 011922 ASHUTOSH KUMAR ANAND


208 024378 SUSHIL GOUR


209 018232 GOURAHARI PRADHAN


210 000404 HARIKISHAN SUTHAR


211 007283 AKHLAK HUSSAIN


212 010399 ANIMESH KUMAR


213 008066 MARBATE TUSHAR TARACHAND


214 013734 AMJAD ALI


215 016650 ASHUTOSH SHARMA


216 030924 MD RASHID EQUBAL


217 003574 SAURABH YADAV


218 000100 PRATIBHA KUMARI


219 007291 S USHA


220 023561 PARIHAR MAHENDRASINGH Y


221 009633 RAKESH KUMAR


222 020097 ABHISHEK


223 007039 DHARMENDRA KUMAR JANGID


224 002768 RAVI KUMAR


225 022461 RANVEER SINGH RANA


226 031997 SWARNA


227 021032 CHANDER BHAN


228 007598 ASHUTOSH KAUSHAL


229 014895 KAUSHIK SADHUKHAN


230 010334 SUSHANT RANJAN


231 020250 RANJAN KUMAR PATEL


232 001375 UPASANA VERMA


233 013191 SUJATA


234 019538 MOHD YUNUS KHILJI


235 015586 KARULEY VIRAJ SAHEBRAO


236 003054 HUDEKAR RAMESHWAR BHAGAJI


237 031424 R USHA DEVI


238 014766 SARITA


239 017671 INDIRA PRIYADARSHINI


240 003331 SOMA


241 019434 JUHI KUMARI


242 008232 RAJESH KUMAR


243 005730 SUMIT PRIYADARSHI


244 021745 MAMTA PODDAR


245 005414 DEEPIKA


246 007379 KUMAR JITENDRA


247 025205 SUMIT SAINI


248 006060 VINAY PRABHAT


249 027306 RITESH KUMAR


250 017342 RAKESH KUMAR PASWAN


251 004053 DEEPAK KUMAR


252 012446 SASHANK SAINI


253 000650 ARUN DOHARE


254 000004 PRASANNAKUMAR R


255 006032 DEEPAK CHANDRA PRAKASH


256 007773 SUNIL KUMAR SINGH


257 031557 RAJEEV KUMAR VERMA


258 011362 RAMNIWAS YADAV


259 027409 MORDHWAJ


260 008504 ALKA SONI


261 010431 MANOJ KUMAR SINDHI


262 030783 NISHU BALA


263 008271 MOHAMED NISHAD M


264 003802 NEEL KAMAL


265 001750 T RAJALAKSHMI


266 014780 RAHUL KUMAR


267 003160 LOKENDER YADAV


268 002667 RAKESH RANJAN


269 005272 SRINIVASA RAO LENKA


270 013524 ASHISH KUMAR


271 011605 SURAJ KUMAR


272 005769 BHAVANI V K


273 006748 MANJUNATH G S


274 004203 DEEPTHI K PRABHAKARAN


275 006291 KRISHNA PADA SARDAR


276 012829 MANAS RANJAN JENA


277 015376 KAMBLE DIPAK YASHAVANT


278 013485 NEERAJ KUMAR


279 016694 BANSOD GANESH BABARAO


280 012380 BANDSODE RAHUL KHANDERAY


281 008918 SANDEEP KUMAR


282 022924 NEHA MEENA


283 028778 NAYAN MONI BISWAS


284 002028 G ARUN KUMAR


285 001916 CHETAN SINGH


286 019287 SANJAY KUMAR MEENA


287 003688 SHENDE DIPTI PRALHAD


288 011402 NEHA KUMARI


289 013547 VARUN GOEL


290 012388 WAGHMARE ANAND SHIVAJI


291 027666 ANUJ CHAUDHARY


292 011478 EUDEN BHUTIA


293 028088 SWAPNA R


294 005289 MANISH BHARTI


295 023344 SUNIL SAMARWAL


296 020822 RESMI CHANDRA A P


297 004674 ARVIND KUMAR ANAND


298 005071 DAWALWAR SWATI RAMCHANDRA


299 008342 ASHWANI KUMAR


300 025798 PRASHANTA KUMAR ROUT


301 009171 WAGHMARE PRASHIK YASHWANT


302 020520 REVANTA SAHA


303 002495 CHANDRAHASA


304 007418 SATYA PAL


305 014123 PIALI MANDAL


306 013561 MAYANK


307 009644 ASHOK KUMAR


308 036644 DEBABRATA JENA


309 004747 PAVALA KANNAN V


310 025831 GAIKWAD PRIYANKA HEMANT


311 026221 SAPNA


312 038092 KISHOUR KUMAR DIGRA


313 016101 AMAR GAUTAM


314 023068 PRIYANKA SINGH


315 014121 ARCHANA MEENA


316 014128 SUNDEEP KAUSHIK


317 001629 SOMKUWAR ANAND SURESH


318 011788 RAGHAVENDRA K


319 016176 ATUL KUMAR MEENA


320 005449 MAMTA LUCKWAL


321 017067 SUTSUNGKOKLA IMCHEN


322 003949 KULDEEP KUMAR


323 005363 HENA D


324 013271 SHYAMA


325 031837 SONAWANE ALPA SURESH


326 030463 NISHU BHUSHAN


327 014442 KAMLESH KUMAR


328 019405 TUSHAR KUMAR


329 007676 RAJESH KUMAR


330 009284 BISHMITA MALLICK


331 013379 GYAN BHUSHAN RAMAN


332 017206 OM NARAYAN MEENA


333 019197 AJAY CHAUDHRI


334 026665 MANOJ TANWAR


335 018159 NEHA MITTAL


336 000435 BHAMARE HARSHVARDHAN SHANTILAL


337 003911 SHYAM LAL MEENA


338 004172 GODE VAIBHAV KASHINATH


339 028216 DR MAHESH CHAND MEENA


340 003534 NIKUNJA KUMAR DASH


341 017152 MANOJ GUPTA


342 005624 K LALAWMPUIA


343 020995 RAMKESH MEENA


344 019874 SHAKEEL AHAMAD KHAN


345 014998 SONAL SWAROOP


346 034093 TALIB HUSSAIN


347 002265 AJIT KUMAR JAIN


348 012037 PARIMITA BARUA


349 002735 SANGEETA MEENA


350 022179 AJAY G V


351 010868 KADAPPA JALIGIDAD


352 005499 RANJIT SINGH


353 020358 CHAUDHAY DEVANAND GULAB


354 009373 AJESH KUMAR DAMOR


355 000892 SHYAM KANUPRIYA RAMESH


356 024496 JYOTI SHARMA


357 015740 BIJENDAR KUMAR MEENA


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Army Chief to visit Sri Lanka from September 5-8

Chief of Army Staff General V K Singh will leave here on September 5 on a three-day visit to Sri Lanka that is aimed at strengthening bilateral military ties.


During the trip, Gen Singh will hold discussions with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Prime Minister D M Jayaratne.


He will aso have discussions with all three services chiefs of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces. He will be presented with a guard of honour at Colombo. He will also visit training institutions, Service Headquarters and various operational units to give a boost to defence cooperation between the two countries, an official press release added.


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Sonia Gandhi re-elected Congress President for record fourth time

File photo of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
File photo of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Ms Sonia Gandhi was today re-elected as president of the 125-year-old Congress, the main constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance, for a record fourth time.

Ms Gandhi, 63, the only candidate who had filed her nomination for the position, was formally declared elected at a ceremony at the party headquarters today at which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior leaders were present.

In a brief speech, Ms Gandhi thanked the party for bestowing the honour again on her and reminded its leaders and workers that the Congress always stood for all sections of society.

"Since the beginning, the Congress has been working for every section of the society. Whether we are in government or not, we should not forget this big responsibility," she said.

"It's a great responsibility and I thank all Congress workers. Whether we are in power or not we should always work for the oppressed."

Dr Singh, party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, and several Union Ministers and Chief Ministers were among those who proposed Ms Gandhi's name for the top post during filing of nominations yesterday.

Ms Gandhi had joined the Congress in 1997 and took over as party chief in April the following year, replacing Mr Sitaram Kesri. She has steered the party since then, earning the distinction of having the longest tenure at the top, more than Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Ms Indira Gandhi.

The Italian-born widow of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is also the chairperson of the UPA and the National Advisory Council, and has been often listed among the most powerful women in the world.

Ms Gandhi joined the party at a time when its fortunes were on the downswing. Earlier, she had declined to take up the party chief's job after the May 21, 1991 assassination of her husband. In 2004, she declined the Prime Minister's job.

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More fresh fruits, eggs, condiments for Indian soldiers

The Government has taken a series of measures in recent times to improve the scale and variety of rations being provided to the troops of the Indian Army to increase their satisfaction levels and achieve higher morale and enhanced combat capabilities.


An official press release said that, as part of these measures, the procurement procedure for "atta" (flour) had been modified and branded "atta" from reputed vendors was being procured on a pilot project basis at select stations.


This has been welcomed by the troops and would be extended to other stations also in a time-bound manner.


It said sanction had been accorded for authorisation of special rations to all troops deployed above 12,000 feet. This is expected to go a long way in meeting the physiological and psychological needs of troops deployed in such inhospitable terrain and climate.


At present, junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and jawans are authorised 230 grams of fruits thrice a week. Stressing that fresh fruits were essential for intake of minerals and vitamins, the quantity has now been enhanced to 230 grams every day. With this decision, the scale of fresh fruits for officers and jawans has been made identical.


According to the release, one of the major shortcomings observed in the scale of rations was the lack of variety for breakfast for JCOs and jawans. In almost all units, the breakfast menu is invariably "puris" and "sabji", which, over a period of time, gets extremely monotonous. This was partially addressed by the introduction of 115 grams of bread in lieu of atta /rice for four times a week in June 2006. However, eggs which are the normal accompaniment to bread was not authorized to JCOs and jawans which has now been addressed by authorization of two eggs every day. This would result in meeting the long-standing requirement to provide variety in the diet of troops especially for breakfast.


The Government has also made a significant increase in condiment allowance, which has now been enhanced to Rs 76.62 per man per month. This will address the high inflation and resultant rise in prices of these commodities, especially in far-flung areas.


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Bye-election to Chhattisgar Assembly on October 1

The Election Commission today said that a bye-election would be held on October 1 to fill up a casual vacancy from the Bhatgaon constituency in the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly.


An official press release said the the notification for the bye-electio would be issued on September 6 and the last date for filing nominations would be September 13. Counting of votes will be taken up on October 4, it added.


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Delhi Metro's Central Secretariat-Qutub Minar corridor opens

Central Secretariat (CTST) – Qutab Minar Metro corridor opens for commuter operations.
Central Secretariat (CTST) – Qutab Minar Metro corridor opens for commuter operations.

The Delhi Metro's Central Secretariat-Qutub Minar corridor opened for commuter operations today, completing an approximately 45 km long line that connects Jahangirpuri in North Delhi to HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon.

The 12.53 km corridor from Central Secretriat to Qutub Minar is an underground stretch. With its inauguration by Union Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit this afternoon, the total operational Metro network has expanded to 138 km with 117 stations.

Gurgaon in Haryana is the second satellite city in the National Capital Region (NCR) to be linked by the Delhi Metro after Noida in Uttar Pradesh.

The Central Secretariat-Qutub Minar section consists of 11 stations: Central Secretariat, Udhyog Bhawan, Race Course, Jor Bagh, INA, AIIMS, Green Park, Hauz Khas, Malviya Nagar, Saket and Qutub Minar.

The sections from Jehangirpuri to Central Secretariat on the one side and the from Qutub Minar to HUDA City Centre in Gurgaon, on the other, had already become operational.

The time taken to travel from Central Secretariat to HUDA City Centre will be approximately 48 minutes, a spokesman for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said.

The work on the corridor was started in November, 2006. This section is expected to benefit about 1.8 lakh commuters per day by 2011.

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