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West Bengal

400 more buses for Chandigarh, 200 for Shillong under JnNURM

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The Union Ministry of Urban Development today sanctioned a total of 400 busines for the tri-city of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM).
 
At a meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee on bus funding and ancillary infrastructure projects under JnNURM here, approval was also given for installation of Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and a depot.
 
An official press release said the in-principle approval had been given subject to fulfilling of certain conditions like formation of a SPV (special purpose vehicle) as insisted upon in case of all other similar approvals, a written undertaking by the UT administration that it will bear the operational losses if any and revision of fares which was last carried out in 2010.
 
Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna also said the Ministry would finance the scheme of public biking which Chandigarh plans to implement to promote clean transport.
 
The CSMC also approved 240 buses for Greater Shillong area of Meghalaya along with request for ITS and bus depots. The state government was also asked to give a written commitment to bear operational losses, if any. Also, it was insisted that the state should meet all the revised norms for sanction of buses. 
 
Dr Krishna insisted that the SPV should operate for the entire Greater Shillong Area. The state has requested for more buses for Greater Shillong Area for new routes as well as to augment the buses for existing routes. 
 
The State of West Bengal was sanctioned an additional 45 buses over and above the 632 approved in the CSMC meeting of 11th November this year. 
 
Forty additional buses have been given for Asansol Durgapur area and five more for Jalpaiguri Siliguri stretch. 
 
The release of Rs 3.64 cr as third and final instalment of ACA to Mysore was also approved upon fulfilling of required conditions for purchase of buses under JnNURM sanctioned in 2009. 
 
Dr Krishna advised the states to adhere to the new norms laid down for funding of buses in the current year like formation of SPV, installation of ITS, constructing depots, underwriting losses by state Government among others. 
 
This, he added will help the cities to build a sustainable and efficient transport system which will bring maximum benefit to the people. 
 
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Indian Air Force bids adieu to MiG-21 T-77s

Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, during the phase out ceremony of Mig-21 FL at Air Force Station Kalaikunda on December 11, 2013.
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne, during the phase out ceremony of Mig-21 FL at Air Force Station Kalaikunda on December 11, 2013.
Three MiG-27 aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) performed the Trishul Break Manoeuvre as a salute to the MiG-21 Type 77 aircraft that was towed out and into the hangar for the last time at the Kalaikunda airbase in West Bengal today.
 
With this, the Kalaikunda based Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) bid a final farewell to its oldest workhorse. 
 
Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, Chief of the Air Staff, who was present on the occasion of phasing out MiG 21, Type -77, said the event marked a watershed moment in the history of the IAF, with the end of nearly five decades of remarkable service rendered by the iconic fighter aircraft.
 
"The induction of first batch of six MiG-21s way back in March-April 1963 heralded the arrival of IAF in the 's upersonic era’. Its unprecedented combat versatility afforded the IAF great amount of operational flexibility. Over the years, this delta wing marvel slowly evolved into the combat backbone of the IAF and close to 1000 fighters (which include all variants) have served in the IAF till date. In 1980-90s, the MiG-21s constituted nearly 60% of our combat fleet strength," he said.
 
Air Chief Marshal Browne said it was no wonder, therefore, that five generations of the IAF's combat pilots, including himself, who had cut their teeth on this fighter, swore by its unmatched prowess.
 
"As a matter of fact around 80% of the presently serving fighter aircrew in the IAF have flown the T-77 aircraft and 90% have flown one of the MiG variants at some time or the other in their flying career," he said.
 
He said the T-77 fleet had been flying on an average around 9000 hours per year. 
 
"Today, while we operate the Su 30s and are looking forward to inducting the Rafale MMRCA, MiG-21 fighters (all variants) continue to proudly contribute to the IAF’s operational strength," he said.
 
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"I salute your spirit of service and of countless other air warriors who brave daily challenges of operating and maintaining this fighter in the highest operational conditions in our various stations across the Air Force," he told the IAF personnel present.
 
"The T-77 may have flown its last sortie today, but its imprint on the ‘Operational DNA’ of the IAF will continue for a long time. Gradually the other variants of the MiG-21 would also retire from service with Bison continuing for more than a decade or so.
 
"We are indeed proud of the five decades of professional association with MiG-21 and are grateful for its invaluable contribution to the IAF over the years. I am sure that from this day onwards the MiG-21 T-77 will proudly go down in history as one of the finest combat aircraft which has served the IAF over the years," he added.
 
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Mukherjee to pay three-day visit to West Bengal from Friday

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President Pranab Mukherjee will pay a three-day visit to West Bengal from tomorrow, during which he will, among other things, attend the concluding ceremony of the platinum jubilee celebratins of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly.
 
Also tomorrow, he will attend a felicitation function organized by the Nayaprajanma and Suri Sabujer Abhijan at Suri, Birbhum. He will also inaugurate the Youth Science Congress organized by the M S Swaminathan Foundation at Visva-Bharati, Shantiniketan. 
 
On December 7, the President will inaugurate the new Bhasha-Vidya Bhavan (School of Languages) and attend the convocation of Visva-Bharati University. 
 
On the same day, he will address teachers and students of Aligarh Muslim University Centre (Murshidabad) at Jangipur. 
 
He will also witness the final of 5th KKM Memorial Rural Football Tournament and lay the foundation stone of KKM Memorial Sports Academy and Wellness Centre at Mackenzie Park, Jangipur, an official press release added.
 
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Minor earthquake rocks border region between West Bengal, Bihar

 
An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, rocked the border region between West Bengal and Bihar this evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 26.5°N and longitude 88.2°E, occurred at 1835 hours at a focal depth of 20 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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Cabinet approves financial assistance to Kolkata Port Trust for dredging


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The Union Cabinet today approved a proposal for extension of financial assistance to Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) to meet the dredging expenditure incurred by it for maintenance of the river/channel. 
 
This will make transactions commercially viable for the port users, an official press release said.
 
The scheme of financial assistance to KoPT towards dredging will be continued for a total amount of Rs. 1501.35 crore for the period from 2012-13 to 2015-16, with effect from 01.04.2012, it said.
 
The extant policy for awarding the dredging work in other major ports will be followed in respect of the dredging work to be carried out in Kolkata Port, it said.
 
An `on account` payment up to 90 percent of the amount payable towards financial assistance during the previous year may be made to KoPT in the following years in equal quarterly installments based on audit certificate for the previous year, it added.
 
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Vasan launches Inland Waterways Projects in Kolkata

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Union Minister of Shipping G K Vasan today flagged off coal barges of 2100 DWT (Deadweight tonnage) of Jindal ITF Ltd, to formally launch the recently started movement of imported coal on National Waterway-1 (the Ganga-Bhagirathi-Hooghly River System) by inland vessels from Sandheads in Bay of Bengal to Farakka Thermal Power Plant of NTPC Ltd. in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
 
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Vasan said it was the government's endeavour to make all the ports in the country profitable.
 
He said the inland waterways project launched today was one where government, public and private sectors had joined hands to provide a good alternative mode of transport. 
 
He said the Kolkata Port Trust would get revenues from the project.
 
Mr Vasan also inaugurated a terminal of the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) at the function at Garden Reach Jetty-2 in Kolkata Port Trust area.
 
He said the IWAI would develop more such inter-modal transportation hubs with rail and road connectivity for movement of not only coal but also for other bulk cargo like coal, fertilizers, foodgrains and so on.
 
According to him, this would also help augment coal supply to NTPC's power plant at Farakka.
 
Mr Vasan said this was the first time in the country that a private entrepreneur had made a substantial investment in an IWT project. Jindal ITF Ltd has invested about Rs 500 crore for transshipper at Sandheads, 23 coal carrying barges, inland water terminal at Farakka with state-of-art coal unloading cranes and a conveyor belt system. 
 
The operator, Jindal ITF Ltd., will transport a minimum of three million tonnes of coal per annum for seven years. 
 
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Two persons killed, one hurt in firing in Kolkata

Two shot dead in Kolkata street firing
Two persons were killed and one was seriously injured in an incident of firing during an altercation between two groups of peope here in the early hours of this morning over a long-standing property dispute, police said.
 
The incident occurred near a building in the Shakespeare Sarani police station area of the city around 4.45 am, police said.
 
They said a group of 10-15 people arrived at the premises suddenly and there was firing, possibly from inside the building.
 
The injured person was rushed to the Medical College Hospital here, they said.
 
Police said they had detained four persons, including a woman, for questioning as part of their investigations into the incident.
 
The police were also examining closed circuit television footage from the area to determine the sequence of events, the sources added.
 
They said there was a long-standing civil dispute and some related criminal cases over the plot of land.
 
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P Y Rajendra Kumar appointed Director General of National Library, Kolkata

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Mr P.Y. Rajendra Kumar has been appointed as the Director General, National Library, Kolkata under the Ministry of Culture.
 
An official press release said he had been appointed to the post on contract basis for a period of three years, subjec to satisfactory performance.
 
Before moving to his current assignment, Mr Rajendra Kumar worked in various capacities in the Department of Public Libraries, Karnataka and retired as its Director. 
 
After his retirement he also worked as Consultant (Administration) at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Southern Regional Centre,  Bangalore. 
 
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Mukherjee to visit West Bengal, Sikkim on Nov 10-11

 
President Pranab Mukherjee will visit Darjeeling in West Bengal and Gangtok in Sikkim on November 10-11, an official press release said here today.
 
In Darjeeling, he will inaugurate the 125th Year Celebrations of St. Joseph’s School, North Point on November 10.
 
In Sikkim, he will, on the following day, inaugurate the 40th Jawaharlal Nehru National Science, Mathematics and Environment Exhibition (JNNSMEE). 
 
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Heavy rains likely in Bihar, sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim

 
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned that rainfall would occur at many places in Bihar during the next 24 hours and in sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim during the next 48 hours, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls.
 
It also said that rainfall would occur at many places over north Jharkhand during the next 12 hours, with isolated heavy falls.
 
The rains are a consequence of the deep depression over Jharkhand and adjoining areas of north Chhattisgarh and Odisha, which moved slightly north-northeastwards and lay centred at 0530 hours IST of oday over the same area, centred near latitude 23.80 N and longitude 84.00 E, about 40 km south-southwest of Daltonganj in Jharkhand.
 
The system would move north-northeastwards and weaken gradually into a depression during the next six hours, an IMD bulletin said.
 
The bulletin said squally winds with speed of 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, would prevail around system centre during the next six hours and would gradually decrease thereafter.
 
"No further adverse weather would occur over Odisha, Chhattisgarh, South Jharkhand and Gangetic West Bengal and adjoining Bay of Bengal," it added.
 
A very severe cyclone, Phailin, had hit the Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coast on the night of October 12.
 
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India-Bangladesh "Maitree Express" cancelled on October 15, 16

The Indian Railways today said it had cancelled the trip of the Maitree Express train from Kolkata on October 15 and from Dhaka on October 16 on the request of the Bangladesh Railway.
 
An official press release said this had been done to avoid operational complications arising out of the non-running of trains in Bangladesh on Eid-ul-Zuha.
 
"Normal services of the train will resume thereafter," the release added.
 
The train normally runs from Kolkata every Tuesday and Saturday and in the return direction on Wednesdays and Sundays.
 
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Six additional judges appointed to Calcutta High Court

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The President has appointed Mr Indrajit Chatterjee, Mr Shib Sadhan Sadhu, Mr Sudip Ahluwalia, Mr Tapash Mookherjee, Mr Ranjit Kumar Bag and Mr Ishan Chandra Das, as Additional Judges of the Calcutta High Court.
 
An official press release said here today 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 respective office. 
 
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ABP sells Businessworld to Anurag Batra, Vikram Jhunjhunwala

Anurag Batra
Anurag Batra
 
The Anand Bazar Patrika (ABP) Group, which owns English newspaper The Telegraph and Bengali daily Anand Bazar Patrika, today said it had sold its business magazine, Businessworld, to Mr Anurag Batra of Exchange4media and investor Vikram Jhunjhunwala.
 
"Anurag Batra and Vikram Jhunjhunwala have bought the Businessworld business from ABP on behalf of some undisclosed investors," Mr. D D Purkayastha , MD & CEO of ABP said in a statement.
 
"We have divested the Businessworld business. The brand and the publication will continue under the new owners with Prosenjit Datta as the Editor," he said.
 
The statement did not give any details of the transaction.
 
Mr Datta said: “I expect the magazine and the brand to scale newer heights.”
 
Businessworld began publication in 1981 and is the second oldest business magazine in the country. It became a fortnightly in February this year after nearly a decade as a weekly magazine.
 
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Mukherjee confident economy will return to high growth path soon

President Pranab Mukherjee being felicitated at the 160th Annual General meeting of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kolkata on September 14, 2013. Also seen is the the Governor of West Bengal M.K. Narayanan.
President Pranab Mukherjee being felicitated at the 160th Annual General meeting of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kolkata on September 14, 2013. Also seen is the the Governor of West Bengal M.K. Narayanan.
 
President Pranab Mukherjee has expressed confidence that the country's economy will return to a high growth trajectory soon as a result of the various measures taken by the Government to contain the current account and fiscal deficits and to boost investment.
 
Addressing the annual general meeting of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry here yesterday, on the occasion of the 160th foundation day, he voiced concern over the slow growth of the economy.
 
Mr Mukherjee said that, during 2008-09, the growth rate came down from 9 plus to 6.7 percent.
 
Thereafter the economy grew at a rate of 8.7 per cent and 9.3 percent during 2009-10 and 2010-11, respectively, he said
 
He said that there has been a slump as the world economy did not fully recover from downtrend of 2008-09.
 
"Our economy is going through a difficult phase due to the slowing down of world economy and persistent crisis in Euro zone; but there is no room for gloom and despondency," he said.
 
"Our growth scenario has had a chequered history since 1951 to 1979 when the growth rate of 3.5 per cent which gradually increased to 7.9 per cent during last decades despite three extremely bad years since 2008-09," he said.
 
He attributed this to certain fundamentals of the Indian economy but underlined the need for corrective measures to address the problem of rupee depreciation, high inflation, slow employment generation, and so on.
 
Mr Mukherjee expressed his confidence regarding the recovery of India’s economy because of the record production in agricultural sector and also the new manufacturing policy which envisages the manufacturing sector to increase its contribution from 15-16 per cent to 25 per cent of GDP.
 
He also noted that the government ha passed certain legislations to instill confidence among investors and indicated many more steps would follow in due course. 
 
Mr Mukherjee said that, normally, the President did not attend any functions of chambers of commerce but an exception was made to attend this event because of his long association with this city and the Bengal Chamber of Commerce, which is perhaps the oldest in the country. 
 
Referring to the strategic location of West Bengal as the gateway of trade and commerce to East/North-east of India and South East Asia, the President urged the chamber to utilize the opportunities in Asian countries which can provide new vistas to boost the economy. 
 
Those present at the function included West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan and Bengal Chamber of Comerce and Industries president Kallol Dutta. 
 
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Two judges appointed in Calcutta High Court

 
The President has appointed Mr Justice Asim Kumar Mondal, and Mr Justice Toufique Uddin, Additional Judges of the Calcutta High Court, as Judges of that High Court.
 
An official press said here today that the appointments would be with effect from the date they assume charge of their office. 
 
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Cabinet okays establishment of International Centre for Drinking Water Quality at Kolkata

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The Union Cabinet today gave its approval to a proposal for establishing the International Centre for Drinking Water Quality in Kolkata.
 
The Centre will be registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, with the requisite manpower, building and support infrastructure, an official press release said.
 
It said the Centre would work in the area of identification, mitigation and management with focus on research and development on drinking water quality related problems in India (both urban and rural) with a focus among other contaminants, also on arsenic and fluoride. 
 
The Centre will also provide policy advice on request to the Central and State Governments as also to other countries on demand on water quality issues. 

Minor earthquake shakes South 24 Parganas region of West Bengal

 
An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale, shook the South 24 Parganas region of West Bengal this evening, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 22.1 degrees North and longitude 88.7 degrees East, occurred at 1858 hours at a depth of 28 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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CCEA okays new major ports in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved a proposal of the Ministry of Shipping for setting up a new major port at Sagar Island in West Bengal.

This will be done through the public-private partnership (PPP) mode by following the extant procedures for project appraisal/approval, including obtaining environmental clearances, and so on, an official press release said.
 
The meeting also approved appointment of the transaction advisers and legal consultants and initiation of the bidding process for award of the project and finalization of the the project structure in consultation with the West Bengal government and the Planning Commission.
 
The CCEA also approved the commissioning of techno-economic feasibility reports for the new major port at Dugarajapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

CCEA nod for 4-laning of Ghoshpukur-Falakata-Salsalabari section of NH-31D in W. Bengal

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) yesterday gave its approval for four- laning with Paved Side Shoulders (PSS) of the Ghoshpukur-Falakata-Salsalabari section of National Highway (NH)-31D in West Bengal under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase II.

The project will be implemented on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis in Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) (Toll) mode of delivery, an official press release said. 
 
The cost is estimated to be Rs.3119.6 crore including Rs.907.60 crore towards the cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of road will be approximately 155 kms, it said.

Calcutta High Court judge transferred to Rajasthan High Court

The President has, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, transferred Mr Justice Kanwaljit Singh Ahluwalia, Judge of the Calcutta High Court to Rajasthan High Court. 

As per the communique issued in this regard, the transferred judge has been directed to assume charge of his office in the Rajasthan High Court on or before April 25, 2013, an official press release added.
 
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Railways launch wi-fi facility on Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani Express

File photo of a Rajdhani Express
File photo of a Rajdhani Express

For the first time, the Indian Railways today launched wi-fi facility on the Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani Express that will enable passengers to access the internet on the moving train.

The facility was launched by Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on the Rajdhani Express between Delhi and Rajdhani in both directions (trains 12301 and 12302).
 
An official press release said the provision of the facility was a major technological challenge, considering that the train passes through all types of terrain and in all kinds of weather.
 
The Railways have opted for a satellite communication link to th train and wi-fi connectivity to different coaches and have successfully completed technical trials.
 
Presently, this facility is being extended free of cost to the travelling passengers, the release said. It has been set up at a total cost of Rs 6.30 crore, covering all three rakes of the Howrah Rajdhani Express.
 
The satellite communication link is arranged through satellite hub facility, set up by Indian Railways.
 
Initially, 4 Mbps download bandwidth and 512 Kbps upload bandwidth is earmarked for internet facility in the moving train.
 
The satellite antenna is placed in one of the two power cars of the rake. This is linked through wi-fi radios provided outside each coach. This is further distributed inside the coaches through indoor access points. This will help passengers of the Rajdhani Express train to access internet during their journey, the release said.
 
For accessing the internet facility, bonafide passengers will have to access Indian Railways' wi-fi network. Passengers will be able to register by providing the PNR and other details like mobile number and so on.
 
On validation of the data entered by the passengers, as per extant Department of Telecommunications (DoT) guidelines, the log-in ID and password will be sent through SMS to the registered mobile telephone number. These will remain valid for the entire journey, the release said.
 
The Railways plan to extend this service to other Rajdhani/Shatabdi/Duronto express trains progressively based on customer feedback and acceptance, the release added.
 
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CBI arrests Central Excise superintendent in Kolkata in bribery case

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested a superintendent of Central Excise (Anti-Evasion) in the Haldia Commissionerate, Kolkata for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 3.50 lakh from the manager of a resort in Port Blair.

A press release from the agency said that the agency had, based on a complaint by the manager of the resort, registered a case alleging that the official had demanded illegal gratification from him for not imposing penalty on the service tax payable by the resort.
 
The CBI laid a trap and the official was allegedly caught red-handed while demanding and accepting a bribe Rs.3.50 lakh from the complainant.
 
According to the release, during a search of the accused, cash worth Rs 1.17 lakh was recovered from his possession. Cash worth another Rs 7.98 lakh, fixed deposits, national savings certificates and other investments aggregating Rs 75 lakh, bank balance of Rs 30 lakh in 14 bank accounts and documents relating to immovable properties worth Rs 80 lakh were recovered from his residence, it said.
 
The official was produced yesterday before the Designated Court at Kolkata and remanded to 14 days in judicial custody, the release added.
 
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PM says education, skill development crucial for sustaining economic growth

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday underscored the need to pay attention to education and skills development to meet the needs of India's rapidly growing economy.

Economic growth proportional to quality education: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today underscored the need to pay attention to education and skills development to meet the needs of India's rapidly growing economy.

"Without this, the country cannot sustain its economic growth rate," he said after laying the foundation stone of the Ghani Khan Choudhary Institute of Engineering and Technology at Malda in West Bengal.
 
Dr Singh said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government understood this fully and had, therefore, increased the allocation for education from 3.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 4 per cent.
 
He also pointed out that the Government had set up several new institutions of higher learning in the country in recent years, including 16 Central Universities, 7 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), eight Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs), 10 National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and 5 Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISER).
 
He also said the Government had launched a national skills development programme which would benefit more than 5 crore young men and women across the country.
 
Dr Singh said the Government was simultaneously paying greater attention to the quality of education
 
"We want world class education for our youth. Our scientists and engineers must earn a name for themselves in the world," he said.
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Among others, National Advisory Council (NAC) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and West Bengal governor M K Narayanan were present on the occasion.
 
Dr Singh paid rich tributes to former Union Railways Minister A B A Ghani Khan Chaudhury, after who the institute is named. He said the late Mr Chaudhary had worked tirelessly for the development of the area.
 
He said the Centre had given an aid of Rs 26 crore for the institute, which would help education and employment in Malda and the surrounding districts.
 
The institute will offer post-graduate, graduate, diploma and certificate courses in engineering and technology with special focus on food technology and sericulture.
 
Dr Singh said the Government wanted to see the institution develop into one of the best engineering colleges in the country and would do everything possible to help it attain this goal.
 
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CCEA nod for multipurpose and mechanised berths at Haldia

A view of the Haldia Docks complex
A view of the Haldia Docks complex

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved projects for the development of multi-purpose berths and mechanized berths with allied facilities at Haldia Docks in West Bengal.

The projects will be taken up for a period of 30 years on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis at Haldia Dock II (North) at an estimated cost of Rs. 821.40 crore and at Haldia Dock II (South) at a cost of Rs. 886.10 crore, an official press release said.
 
The projects will enable Kolkata Port Trust to enhance its capacity by 23.4 MTPA and meet the demand for coal and other bulk cargo in the hinterland of Kolkata Port, it said.
 
According to the release, industrial development, commerce and trade of the eastern and north eastern parts of India are inseparably linked with the growth of Kolkata Port. 
 
"These projects are critical for meeting future needs for export and import of dry bulk cargo by various steel industries, power utilities and coal and iron ore mines and other local industries. The two projects will also lead to the socio-economic development of the region and thereby generate more employment," it added.
 
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19 killed in major fire in Kolkata market complex

At least 19 people were killed in a major fire that broke out in an old six-storeyed market complex in the congested Sealdah area of Kolkata in the early hours of Wednesday.

 
Fire engulfs a six-storey market complex in Kolkata, 11 feared dead

At least 19 people were killed in a major fire that broke out in an old six-storeyed market complex in the congested Sealdah area of Kolkata in the early hours of today.

About ten others suffered injuries and were admitted to the state-run Medical College Hospital and the NRS Hospital. The condition of some of them was stated to be critical.
 
Kolkata Fire Brigade sources said their teams had removed at least 19 bodies from the building, that was completely gutted in the blaze.
 
According to various sources, the fire broke out around 3.50 am and caught many workers, who were sleeping in the building, unawares. About 30-40 workers, who hail from different parts of West Bengal and who travel home only at weekends, normally spend the night in the building.
 
About 25 fire tenders rushed to the scene and managed to bring the flames under control after  nearl three hours, though there were small pockets of fire in different parts of the building. Smoke could be seen emanating from different parts of the building.
 
Ambulances were seen rushing the injured to hospitals and rescue teams were trying to ascertain if there were any more people still trapped in the building. 
 
The building, located on the Surya Sen Street, houses many shops and godowns, including several dealing in paper and plastic items.
 
West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services Minister Javed Ahmed Khan told mediapersons at the scene of the fire that the building was an unauthorised one and that thousands of such buildings had come up during the more than three decades of rule by the Left Front in the state.
 
He said there were more than eight lakh buildings in the city alone and it was difficult for official agencies to monitor all of them. He said the present Trinamool Congress government was trying to address the problem.
 
Similar sentiments were echoed by Chief Minister West Bengal Mamata Banerjee, who said the tough measures announced by the state government after the devastating AMRI Hopsital fire of December 9, 2011 in which 93 people, mainly patients, had died, but they had not been implemented on the ground.
 
Ms Banerjee also announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 2 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those injured in the incident. She also ordered a police inquiry into the tragedy and asked for its report within three days.
 
Official sources said the cause of the fire could not be immediately ascertained, but there was speculation that it could have been set off by an electrical short circuit. Tangles of electric wires could be seen hanging outside the building as well as in the dark and narrow corridors inside.
 
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