English Daily [email protected] www.indianhorizon.org RNI No: Deleng/2013/51507 Published from New Delhi and Hyderabad Volume No: 3 Issue No: 89 [email protected] In memory of Dr Asima Kemal and Prof. Dr. Salim W Kemal New Delhi, Friday, April 3, 2015 Congress chief meets rain-hit farmers in MP, assures support Pages 12 + 4 pull out (P16) Lal Masjid case: Arrest warrant issued against Musharraf 4 9 Over 350 return home from Yemen, wary of future Briefs Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee and actress Tannishtha Chatterjee during a song sequence from their upcoming film “UnIndian’ in Mumbai on recently. PTI Jaishankar in Nepal,supports its stability, prosperity Kathmandu, April 2 (IANS) Visiting Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Thursday reaffirmed that India always stood for peace, stability and development in Nepal and was ready to support the Himalayan nation’s effort to be prosperous, stable and peaceful. He said this in separate talks with Nepal Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey and Nepal’s Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi. Immediately after landing in Kathmandu on Thursday, Jaishankar held bilateral talks with Bairagi. Both sides reviewed the agreement signed between Nepal and India in August 2014 during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and during the visit of India’s Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. New Delhi Max 33 Price: 2:00 Min 21 DEOBAND MAX WEATHER FORCASTMIN 20 11 FAJAR ZOHAR ASAR MAGRIB ISHA : 5:01 : 12;27 : 4:51 : 6:31 : 7:55 MEDIA CENTRE Sadar Bazar Market, near I.M.A Bhawan Saharanpur (U.P.)(0132)271028, M :-9897639786,9359188546,9368117718 Saharanpur Admission Office : 4407/3, New Bhagat Singh Colony, Behind DM Residence Bajoria Road, Saharanpur UP-247001 Ph.:0132-6548036, 9045738000, 9045734000 Kochi/Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) Over 350 Indians were safely airlifted from strife-torn Yemen, but the returnees on Thursday were apprehensive about their future and hoped they would land jobs. India sent its biggest plane, the C-17 (Globemaster), to evacuate its nationals, 190 of whom landed in Mumbai on Thursday while another 168 went to Kochi in Kerala. Fighting has been going on in Yemen since January 22 when the government under President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was ousted by Shia Houthi forces. This has provoked the recent military campaign by a coalition of 10 countries led by Saudi Arabia. India has initiated a highly coordinated operation to evacuate its nationals and around 350 people stranded in Yemen’s port city of Aden were brought out by Indian Navy Ship INS Sumitra. The returnees were happy to be back home, but were con- Evacuated Indians from Yemen boarding the India Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft at Djibouti. PTI cerned about their future. “We are really happy to be with our near and dear ones,” said a nurse who was elated over her safe return in Kochi. “The bigger question is what will happen to our future... We want a job, but do not know where it will come from, as we have families to look after,” said the nurse. The number of Indian nationals in Yemen, which was es- timated around 14,000 in 2010, declined to an estimated 5,000 by June 2011 following political instability and violence in the country. However, only around 3,000 Indians are registered with the embassy in Sana’a. Most of the Indians living in Yemen comprise nurses, hospital staff, university professors, professionals, white collar workers, IT professionals and managerial and clerical staff in the private sector. A vast majority of them hail from Kerala but a few belong to other states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Kerala’s Minister for Diaspora K.C. Joseph told IANS that they are in constant touch with the ministry of external affairs in Delhi and with the Indian officials in Yemen and Djibouti. “Diplomatic efforts managed to break ice with Saudi Arabian authorities to clear the way for a free air zone to ensure our flights land in Yemen and then return through their air space. “But talks with Iranian authorities are on as their permission is also required. There are another 2,500 Keralites including nurses and teachers,” said Joseph. The Kerala government has given a token amount of Rs.2,000 to each of them. Recalling the horror, a returnee said: “The situation in Ye- Giriraj remarks: Sonia says narrow mindset, BJP for ending row Bhopal/New Delhi/Bengaluru, April 2 (IANS) Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday dismissed union minister Giriraj Singh’s “racist” remarks as stemming from a “narrow mindset” even as party members staged protests while the BJP sought the matter to be closed as he had expressed regrets. Gandhi, who visited Madhya Pradesh to meet farmers whose crops have been damaged in the recent untimely rains, expressed ignorance about the remarks. “What did he say,” she asked reporters in a brief interaction during her visit, and after having been told, conveyed her disdain. “It is not appropriate to respond to or comment on people with such narrow mindset. This is my answer,” Gandhi said. Singh, who is union minister of state for micro, small and medium enterprises, had told reporters in Patna on Tuesday that he wondered if former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had married a nonwhite Nigerian woman, would the Congress still have accepted her as its president.Singh, who has caused embarrassment to Bharatiya Janata Party earlier also, had to express regret over his remarks with the party leadership conveying its displeasure to him. Sources said party president Amit Shah had spoken to Singh on Wednesday and pulled him up over the comments. Congress leaders have strongly denounced Singh’s remarks and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should dismiss him and apologise to the nation. Former union Minister Kapil Sibal accused Modi of being silent on Singh’s controversial remarks. He said that it was Activists of opposition Congress party’s women wing burn effigy of Union minister Giriraj Singh over his controversial remark on Congress president Sonia Gandhi, outside the BJP headquarters in Jammu on Thursday. PTI part of BJP’s strategy that “intemperate comments” were made, then someone from the party conveys disapproval but Modi remains silent. He also took a dig at BJP over the party’s good governance pitch. “People of the country will decide if there will be Giriraj or Ramraj,” he said.Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha 2AAP leaders suspended from NE for backing Yadav, Bhushan New Delhi, April 2 (PTI) In continuing purge of dissidents, AAP has suspended two of its National Executive members from the party for attending a press conference held by rebel leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan immediately after they were expelled from the top echelons of the party. The party sent the suspension notices to Uttar Pradesh leaders Rakesh Sinha and Vishal Sharma Lathe for openly coming out in support of Yadav and Bhushan. Incidentally, Sinha who is an elected National Executive member, raised questions over the way its internal Lokpal Admiral L Ramdas was sacked and Bhushan was removed as the chief of its disciplinary committee. Lathe had voted against the resolution to sack Bhushan and Yadav from Political Affairs Committee (PAC) on March 4. Sinha and Lathe slammed the leadership for taking the punitive action against them without giving them any opportunity to explain their position. Both the National Executive (NE) members were present in a press conference held by Bhushan and Yadav on March 28 after the duo was expelled from the party’s top decision-making body. A senior AAP leader said the punitive action has been taken against the two UP leaders of the party for at- accused the BJP of being “casual and indifferent” on the issue and said Singh was a “repeat offender”. “Despite his previous observation on the campaign trail in 2014 where he asked all nonNarendra Modi supporters to leave India and go to Pakistan, he was rewarded by a post in the cabinet. men is getting worse day by day as there are frequent bombings. Bombs were dropped around 200 metres from where I stayed. The most affected are the children.” Another returnee said: “Communications are also breaking down and then it becomes tough for Indian Embassy officials to get in touch with Indians.” Joseph said the state government will press the central government to ensure that diplomatic talks are held to ensure the return of Indians. “Another tough ask is that nobody knows how many Keralites are there in Yemen. But the Kerala government will do its best to see how best we can help the nurses,” Joseph said. He said his government will look into providing jobs to the nurses who have returned. “There are practical difficulties to find jobs for around 2,000 nurses, but our government will do everything possible,” said Joseph. PM Modi may expand Cabinet on April 08; Mehbooba Mufti, Anil Desai likely to be inducted New Delhi, April 2 (AFP) Prime Minister Narendra Modi may expand his Cabinet on April 08, as per reports on Thursday. PDP MP Mehbooba Mufti and Shiv Sena leader and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai are tipped to be inducted into the Union Cabinet. Also, BJP’s Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who is MoS in the present Cabinet, may be elevated and Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla, the senior-most member of PM Modi’s Council of Ministers, is likely to be dropped. PM Modi had expanded his Cabinet for the first time in November last year after assuming power in May 2014 wherein former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar and former Shiv Sainik Suresh Prabhu were given Defence and Railway portfolios respectively. Total 21 new faces had been brought in at that time. Some reshuffle had also taken place then with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley being given Information and Broadcasting, which was with Prakash Javadekar. All praise for RBI chief, Modi says Rajan is perfect, explains complex economic issues in 3-4 slides Mumbai, April 2 (IANS) Amid a widespread perception about differences between RBI and the government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Governor Raghuram Rajan for being “perfect” in explaining to him complex economic issues and said there was similarity in thinking on both the sides. Stating that Rajan would explain implications of RBI’s policies in “just three-four slides”, Modi also said that he must have been a very good ‘teacher’ in the past. Rajan, who has been Professor of Finance at University of Chicago and joined RBI as its Governor in September 2013, said on his part that there has always been a “constructive dialogue” between RBI and the government. There have been talks from time to time about differences between the central bank and the government on a range of issues including on inflation and interest rates. While the government and RBI have always maintained that there were ‘no differences’ between them, some proposals in this year’s Budget indicated shifting certain functions out of the central bank’s ambit including on the public debt management. Indian Horizon, Delhi Man held in Delhi with heroin valued at Rs.20 lakh New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) A 46-year-old man has been arrested in Delhi with heroin valued at Rs.20 lakh in the international market, police said on Thursday.Mohammad Ibrahim was arrested on Tuesday from west Delhi’s Pitampura area where he went to deliver a consignment of 200 gram of heroin, police said. “Ibrahim befriended drug traffickers in the Loknayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) hospital,” Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Yadav said.“Ibrahim used to provide important information regarding drug traffickers to police but later he was lured to make easy money through the drug business and started supplying heroin,” he added. Court frees man charged with rape in Delhi New Delhi, April 2 (PTI( A man, accused of raping a girl on the pretext of marriage in 2010, has been acquitted by a Delhi court observing that the alleged victim had “enjoyed” his company for fun and had a liking for him. Noting that the 18-year-old girl had “freely exercised” a choice between resistance and assent, Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain (ASJ) freed Delhi resident Rocky of the charge of rape under section 376 of the IPC while also saying that there were inconsistencies and discrepancies in the girl’s version. “The facts and circumstances of the present case show that prosecutrix (girl) had liking for the accused but not to the extent of marrying him. She had enjoyed the company of the accused for fun,” the court said. “So how can it be said that there was promise of marriage and on account of this misrepresentation, the prosecutrix had agreed to have physical relations with the accused,” it said, adding the girl had sufficient intelligence to understand the significance and moral quality of the act she was consenting to. “Despite that she did not resist the overtures of the accused and in fact succumbed to it. She thus freely exercised a choice between resistance and assent,” it said. The court noted that girl had given “different versions” regarding the actual act allegedly committed by the accused. “Inconsistencies and various discrepancies have appeared. Further, there are improvements in her testimony. It also suffers from infirmities. So testimony of the prosecutrix cannot be said to be of sterling quality and no implicit reliance can be placed on her testimony,” it said. According to the prosecution, the girl complained to the police in November 2010 saying that the man was her neighbour and they were meeting each other. She alleged that on October 9, 2010 when she was returning home from tuition, Rocky met her and proposed to her for marriage. After this he took her to a room and established physical relations with her on the pretext of marriage. The complainant said she told her parents about it after which the man and his father asked them not to file a complaint as Rocky was ready to marry her. Protests in Gurgaon demanding justice for minor rape victim Gurgaon, April 2 (IANS) People protested here on Thursday on the busy Mehrauli-Gurgaon road, demanding justice for a five-year-old girl who was raped after being lured with the promise of a plate of chowmein.The girl, who is under treatment at Delhi’s Safdarjung hospital, was kidnapped from a function in Chakarpur and raped on March 29. People also blocked traffic near Bristol Chowk, and said the girl’s condition deteriorated as proper care was not being given at the hospital.Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner T.L. Satyaprakash, who visited the spot, assured the angry people that the girl would be shifted to Medanta the Medicity hospital in the city.The protesters demanded the suspension of Gurgaon’s chief medical officer, who referred the girl to Delhi.They also demanded the removal of inquiry officer Assistant Commissioner of Police Dharna Yadav, who allegedly misled the girl’s family saying that the arrested accused was a mentally disturbed person.Police arrested a 32-year-old man -- identified as Sharma Yadav hailing from Bihar’s Madhubani district -- from a park here. 2 City Friday, April 3, 2015 DDC expresses concern about solid waste management New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) The Delhi Dialogue Commission (DDC) on Thursday expressed concern on the issue of solid waste management (SWM) at a day-long conference held at the Delhi Secretariat.In the conference, Ghazipur land fill improvement and other such vulnerable land fill improvement plans were recommended to the Delhi government by the DDC. The agenda of the conference, chaired by DDC vice-chairman Ashish Khetan, was to bring all stakeholders in SWM on a common platform to discuss the challenges and all potential solutions for consideration of the Delhi government. “The Aam Aadmi Party government wants to encourage recycling by segregation of bio-degradable and non-biodegradable waste at the household level and also find a solution to the problem of littering or disposal of construction debris in public places,” Khetan said.The participants at the conference included national and international experts on waste management, MCD officials, Waste to Energy Plant representatives from Jindal Power Corporation, various representatives of the Civil Society, the Ministry of Environment and Urban Development and experts in the area of solid waste management. The representatives of the waste management community and non-profit organisations working in the field of solid waste management voiced their concerns and opinions on the issue. Formed under the leadership of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the DDC is meant to implement plans and fulfill the promises made by the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi. Ministers and councillors race for credit in Gurgaon GURGAON, April 2 (Agencies) With the underpass project finally cleared, elected representatives are making a beeline to claim credit for it. No sooner than the official release gave credit to local MLA Rao Narbir Singh for convincing the chief minister to give his final approval for the project, local MP Rao Inderjit Singh staked claim and tried to underline the fact that it was due to his efforts since July last year that the project got off the drawing board. “At last, the efforts of Haryana PWD (B&R) minister Rao Narbir Singh bore fruits and his proposal to construct underpasses at three junctions has been cleared”, read the official statement. A mail was sent to all media houses to this effect, along with a copy of a faxed letter (dated July 25, 2014) that had been sent to the ministry of road transport and highways. It lists the announcement, as well as efforts taken by Inderjit to improve road infrastructure along the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway. With MCG elections round the corner, Gurgaon’s elected councilors, too, don’t want to be left behind in the race to garner credit. Many of these councillors are hoping they can claim they were first to demand the underpass project, and that they had passed a resolution to this effect in a House meeting last year. AAP suspends National Executive member from UP New Delhi, April 2 (PTI) AAP National Executive member Rakesh Sinha was on Thursday suspended from the party days after he raised questions over the way its internal Lokpal Admiral L Ramdas was sacked and Prashant Bhushan was removed as the chief of its disciplinary committee.Sinha, a party leader from Uttar Pradesh, had accused the AAP leadership of taking the decisions to remove Ramdas and Bhushan in a hurry from the two crucial posts and without due consultations of all members of the National Executive. Sources in the party said that Sinha and another member from UP, Vishal Lathe, had been suspended from the party while an inquiry was pending.“They were part of the press conference convened by Yogendra Yadav and Bhushan after their ouster from the National Executive on March 28,” said a party spokesperson.In a letter to the party secretary Pankaj Gupta on March 30, Sinha had questioned the sacking of Bhushan and Yadav from the National Executive without referring the case to the party’s internal Lokpal as per norms.“I would like to bring to your notice that I came to know about this meeting through some journalists who called to ask me if I was attending the NE meeting.” “I was surprised and thought that it must be a PAC WCD Ministry detects fake NGOs applying for funds under ‘STEP’ New Delhi, April 2 (PTI) In an alarming revelation, the Women and Child Development Ministry (WCD) has found that nearly 90 per cent of around 1400 NGOs seeking financial grant under a major training and employment scheme were “fake”. Top officials in the ministry said applications were invited from NGOs to impart skill development training to women in rural areas under its Support to Training and Employment Programme (STEP) which has a corpus of Rs 30 crore. “We had received 1400 to 1500 applications of which 90 per cent are found to be fake. The scrutiny of applications revealed that most of the NGOs have applied multiple times giving false names and details,” a senior official told PTI.STEP is a major programme being implemented by WCD Ministry, aimed at providing employability skills to women.The official said that the ministry has decided to upload the names of all the fake NGOs on its website so that they can be “exposed” and identified” by other ministries as well.The last date of submission of project proposals by the NGOs for financial assistance under the scheme for 2015-16 was March 31. Applications have been sought by the ministry from the NGOs after the scheme was revised by WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi to improve its implementation. “The names will be uploaded on our website soon. We want to expose them for trying to cheat the authorities as we have people who check each application and are quick to spot fake ones,” the official said.The ministry had earlier also issued an advisory to all NGOs which had applied for financial grants under the scheme to impart training to women in sectors like carpentry, plumbing, electrical works and even construction and IT.The STEP scheme has already covered 24,037 beneficiaries in 2014-15 and 31,478 beneficiaries in 2013-14. The number stood at 30,481 in the 2012-13. ED attaches godman’s assets New Delhi, April 2 (PTI) The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets, including over a dozen bank accounts and cars, of a self-styled godman ‘Icchadhari baba’ in connection with its money-laundering probe against him and his associates for allegedly running a sex racket in Delhi.The case dates back to 2010 when a Delhi Police team nabbed the alleged kingpin of a sex racket in the capital, Shiv Murat Dwivedi alias Shiva alias Rajeev alias Swami alias ‘Icchadhari baba’, when he was allegedly conducting a flesh trade deal near PVR Saket cinema along with his accomplices. The police subsequently pressed charges under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act against Dwivedi and his associate Praveen along with half-a-dozen girls, who were apprehended from the same spot. Police lathicharge youth Congress workers while they staged a protest outside a residential complex where Union Minister Giriraj Singh lives, in Delhi on Thursday.PTI meeting since I got no intimation and I had received an SMS from your office on March 18 that there will be no meeting before or after the NC meet.”“Your SMS saying that it was an emergency meeting is well taken but it still does not explain why I was not informed,” Sinha had said in the letter. Sources said the decision to suspend Sinha was taken in the National Executive meeting held on Sunday.Interestingly, Sinha is one of the NE members who had opposed the removal of Yadav and Bhushan from the party’s Political Affairs Committee. He had also walked out of the March 28 National Council meeting when the two dissident leaders were ousted from the panel.AAP leader Christina Samy from Tamil Nadu tendered her resignation yesterday from its National Executive over the removal of Yadav and Bhushan, first from the PAC and then from the National Executive.After the sacking of Yadav, Bhushan, Ajit Jha and Anand Kumar from the National Executive and following Sinha’s suspension and Samy’s resignation, the strength of AAP’s second-most important decisionmaking body has been reduced to 16. “They were part of the press conference convened by Yogendra Yadav and Bhushan after their ouster from the National Executive on March 28,” said a party spokesperson.In a letter to the party secretary Pankaj Gupta on March 30, Sinha had questioned the sacking of Bhushan and Yadav from the National Executive without referring the case to the party’s internal Lokpal as per norms. Delhi seeks land for hospitals New Delhi: Delhi government has sought land at 18 sites in the city given to private firms over 40 years for building hospitals in vain. In a letter to Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu recently, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain asked that the allotment of 18 sites, estimated to be nearly 50 acres across the national capital, be cancelled. An official said in the last 40 years, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had allotted 18 plots to private firms for construction of hospitals, which were to come up in three years of allotment. But no construction has been done till Man gets life term for murder New Delhi, April 2 (Agencies) A Delhi court has sentenced a man to life imprisonment for stabbing to death his colleague in Rohini in 2013.The accused, Vishal Kumar, was working as a helper on a Tata 407 along with the victim, Madan Lal, who was the driver. According to the prosecution, Vishal was the elder brother of a man, who was married to the sister of the wife of the victim.Vishal was a drug addict and allegedly had an evil eye on the victim’s wife, the prosecution alleged, adding that, therefore, there used to be frequent quarrels between the accused and the victim.On the fateful day, the younger brother of the accused had come to the house of the victim. They were together enjoying drinks. Meanwhile, Vishal came there in an inebriated condition and overheard the victim complaining to the accused’s younger brother that Vishal was a drug addict and had an evil eye on his wife. Vishal immediately left the house of the victim abusing him. He came back after a few minutes with a knife and started stabbing the victim, shouting at him that he would teach him a lesson.The wife of the victim was an eyewitness to the incident as she had seen the accused stab her husband.“Her deposition does indicate that the accused was keeping an evil eye on her which was the cause of altercations between the accused and her husband. It also indicates that the accused had come to their house and there was an altercation between the accused and her husband Madan Lal,” the court noted.The police had also recorded the statement of the victim before his death and the court believed it. NAME CHANGE People protesting near Sikandarpur metro station demanding better treatment of a five-year-old girl rape victim in Gurgaon on Thursday. PTI date on these 18 sites.“DDA is supposed to cancel the lease if construction is not done in stipulated period,” Jain said in the letter.He further requested Naidu to hand over the land to Delhi Government for construction of hospitals and dispensaries.A senior official confirmed that Delhi government had earlier sent two letters to DDA in this regard. “This is a clear case of land-hoarding. Precious land is allotted in prime localities of Delhi to non serious players. They are waiting to sell the land. Citizens of the city are deprived of health facilities they deserve,” the official said. I.Mohd.Imran Ali S/o Mohm.Umar R/o A-791 SF Gali Pipal Wali, Krishna Basti, Nabi Karim Pahar Ganj New Delhi 110055 have changed my name To Imran Khan for all future purposes. HC declines stay on appointment of eight judges New Delhi, April 2 (Agencies) The Delhi High Court last week declined to stay the appointment of eight additional judges in the Hyderabad High Court, stating that this was not the correct forum to decide on the issue. A plea was filed last week challenging the appointment of the eight additional judges for the States of Andhra Pradhesh and Telangana.Justice Valmiki J Mehta, while asking the petitioner to move the High Court for both the States in Hyderabad, said, 3 Indian Horizon, Delhi City Friday, April 3, 2015 Swine flu toll climbs to 2,097 as 13 more people die New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) Thirteen more persons succumbed to swine flu as the toll from the disease climbed to 2,097 while the number of those affected by the H1N1 virus touched 34,351.According to the Union Health Ministry, the contagious disease has till yesterday claimed 2,097 lives.The ministry said that the toll has?increased to 434 in Gujarat, the state worst-hit by the swine flu menace which has reported a total of 6,535 cases of the disease since January. Rajasthan has seen 423 casualties with 6,618 persons so far affected by the H1N1 virus in the desert state.The toll in Maharashtra has risen to 422 with the state reporting 4,670 cases of swine flu while Madhya Pradesh has seen 305 swine flu deaths. The number of cases registered in MP is 2,213.Karnataka has recorded 85 swine flu deaths with the?number of those affected in the state now touching 2,813.Seventy-seven persons in Telangana have succumbed to the disease, which has killed 53 people each in the two neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana. The toll in Jammu and Kashmir has risen to 19?after one person died in Kashmir while Uttarakhand has?reported 12 casualties so far.West Bengal has seen 26 swine flu deaths while, in Uttar Pradesh, 38 people have died due to the disease.Twelve people have died of the disease in Delhi which has seen 4,245 cases of swine flu this year. Andhra Pradesh has registered 22 swine flu deaths while?an equal number of people have died in Chhattisgarh. President Pranab Mukherjee with Trinamool Congress MLA and Tollywood actor Chiranjeet during inauguration of the new building of Sarada Maa Girls College in Barasat, West Bengal. PTI Man found hanging in lock-up New Delhi, April 2 (Agencies) A 52-year-old man, detained at a police station in East Delhi in connection with a domestic violence case, allegedly committed suicide inside the police station.The man, identified as Sushil, was found hanging inside the lock-up of the Shakarpur police station late on Tuesday evening.According to the police, he was detained on Tuesday afternoon on the basis of a complaint filed by his wife. The police said that he was drunk when he was brought to the police station and he suddenly turned violent and started banging his head against the wall and hurting himself. A police constable was also sent to his home to inform about his violent behaviour to his family. “We had detained him on the basis of his wife’s complaint. When he was brought to the police station, he was in an inebriated condition and a constable put him in the police station lock-up. After sometime he asked for food from the constable. When the constable went to him around 10 p.m., he was found hanging from the ceiling using his pants,” a police officer said. Dead upon arrival He was taken off the ceiling and taken to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead upon arrival. The Delhi Police are now investigating the case. They have questioned his wife who told them that he was alcoholic and used to drink almost every day.“Sushil’s wife told us that he used to get drunk daily and then beat up his wife,” the officer said.“We do not find any other reason behind his suicide apart from the fact that he could have been scared of police action.”Meanwhile, a magisterial inquiry in the case has been ordered. Luxury store Ekaani opens first store in Delhi New Delhi, April 2 (IANS) Luxury store Ekaani, a one-stop shop for gifting solutions from foreign brands like Versace and Roberto Cavalli, has announced the launch of its flagship store in the capital.Saurabh Garg with Minica Garg in association with Sunayana Chibba hosted the launch of Ekaani in south Delhi’s Defence Colony area. Ekaani is the latest venture by the renowned Brijbasi Group. The store brings best of gifting solutions from various renowned luxury brands like Rosenthal, Versace, Roberto Cavalli and Noritake.“It is a proud feeling to bring to India Ekaani’s flagship store. We are happy to see wishes pouring. We promise to bring to people best of gifting solutions. With globalisation and access to international gifting options, it was the right time for Ekaani to expand its product portfolio and also bring this unique art to India,” store owner Saurabh Garg said in a statement. Their gifting solutions comprise of silver plated gifts sourced from various parts of the world. Be it silver plated and porcelain statues of Indian gods, glassware from across the globe like crystal de Paris, Nachtmann, Riedel, or gifting solutions from various renowned brands from across the world like Linea, Tia, Camilletti, dinnerware and glassware from Rosenthal, Versace, Roberto Cavalli and Noritake. Khattar okays Rs. 779 crore plan to ease Gurgaon traffic GURGAON, April 2 (Agencies)Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal has given an in-principle approval to three different integrated schemes worth around Rs.779 crore. These projects will provide uninterrupted traffic flow on Rajiv Chowk, Signature Tower and IFFCO Chowk Junctions at Gurgaon. The Chief Minister was presiding over a meeting of senior officers of various departments on Wednesday. The project report of the underpasses has been prepared by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Limited.The Chief Minister gave approval to the estimated expenditure of Rs.224 crore for Rajiv Chowk, Rs.248 crore for Signature Tower and Rs.307 crore for IFFCO Chowk.The expenditure on the proposed project will be borne by the National Highways Authority of India, the National Capital Region Planning Board, the Haryana Urban Development Authority and the Haryana Government. Senior Congress Leaders and workers shouts slogans during a protest rally against the Union Minister Giriraj Singh for his controversial remarks against Congress president Sonia Gandhi at Lal Chowk in Srinagar on Thursday. PTI PHC woman employee alleges molestation attempt by pharmacist Workers threaten to expand strike to North, South Delhi Greater Noida, Apr 2 (PTI) A woman employee at a primary health centre has accused a pharmacist of trying to molest her, police said today.The incident took place on Tuesday when the woman had gone to a store to get medicines and other goods and pharmacist Satish Kumar caught hold of her and tried to molest her.On raising an alarm, he allowed her to go but threatened her with dire consequences if she reported the matter to anybody. She then complained to a PHC doctor and other senior medical?officers but no action was taken by them following which the woman lodged a complaint New Delhi, April 2 (Agencies) Municipal workers on Wednesday threatened to extend their strike to South and North Delhi, even as employees in East Delhi resumed work after a five-day agitation for salaries.Apart from timely salary payments, South and North Delhi municipal employees are also demanding regularisation of jobs for contractual workers and cashless treatment at government hospitals.Sources said the representatives of about 40 unions will meet on Thursday to decide the course of action.However, workers in some parts of North Delhi started their protest on Wednesday. Delhi Nagar Nigam Safai Mazdoor Sangh president Sanjay Sitara said safai karamcharis in Karol Bagh, Civil Lines, Narela Zones in North Delhi struck work on Wednesday. “We are demanding timely salary payments and permanent jobs for contractual staff. Sanitation workers in South Delhi may also join us in the strike,” said Vikram Dikka, a representative of North Delhi Municipal Corporation employees’ union.Sanitation workers in the East Delhi Municipal Corporation were on strike since March 27, but most unions called off the stir on Tuesday after officials agreed to their demands of cashless medical treatment and regularisation of posts. A union leader from East Delhi, Mukesh Gahlot, said though EDMC workers had called off their strike, the employees would support the agitation in other parts of Delhi.“All unions, including sanitation staff and ward boys in hospitals, are meeting on Thursday. We will take the demonstration forward from there. We will throw garbage outside the homes of the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister,” said Mr. Gahlot. The EDMC resumed cleaning on Wednesday, with spokesperson Y.S. Mann saying the situation had “returned to normal”. Garbage that was dumped on streets as a sign of protest was cleared and dhalaos were cleared of the accumulated trash.EDMC commissioner Amit Yadav said all 154 auto tippers of Shahdara (North) Zone were deployed and 54 tractor trolleys were used to collect garbage. In Shahdara (South) Zone, 43 trucks and eight loaders were deployed. As of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, the EDMC had picked up 2,000 metric tonnes of garbage and sent it to the landfill site at Ghazipur. today at Dankaur police station. PUBLIC NOTICE My client Sh. Om Prakash S/O Sh. Gopi Ram R/o 45, German Nagar, Najafgarh, South-West Delhi- 110043 has disconnected all his relation with his Son Namely Ashish disowned /disinherited all of His movable/ immovable properties with immediate Effect as he does not want to do any work and not Obey my. Client being a quarrelsome nature. Henceforth, anyone dealing with him shall be on His/her own risks and consequences, I shall not Be responsible for any respect, (RAVI VATS) Advocate Chamber No. 410, 1st Floor Tis Hazari Courts PUBLIC NOTICE I is hereby inform to the general public at large that my client Sh. Kamla Devi W/o Late Sh. Mannu Ram R/oH.No-262, Street No-1, Shiv Colony, Rewari, Haryana Have Debarred and disowned their son-in-law Gaurav Mayal s/o Shri Krishan Mayal (Ex.D.D.P.O) R/o Mayal Farm House near Badopal Nehar Village Fatehabad Haryana From all his moveable and immovable properties and have severed their relations from him and he is not under the control of my client. And my client is not responsible for any of his liability whether it was arise on past, present or future. If any person dealing with above shall be doing so solely at his/her own costs and risks and my client shall not be in any mannaer. VISHAL KHADIA (Advocate) Dwarka Court Complex-ND Alleged drug trafficker arrested New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) An alleged drug trafficker was arrested by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police which also recovered 200 gm heroin worth Rs 20 lakh from him.The accused, identified as Mohd Ibrahim (46) was arrested on Tuesday after police received a tip off that he is supplying heroin in Delhi/NCR and he would come near Bus Stand, Guru Govind Singh University Ring Road, Delhi to deliver a consignment of heroin to someone in forenoon.“A trap was laid at the given place and the accused was apprehended. On search, 200 gm of fine quality heroin was recovered from his possession following which a case was registered,” said a senior police official.During interrogation, it was revealed that Ibrahim is an illiterate and he has three children. His father used to sell kites in the area of Chitali Kabar, Jama Masjid. He had started garment business from a shop in the area of Chitali Kabar, Jama Masjid. Babus got BPL plots in Gurgaon and sold them for big profits: RTI GURGAON, 2 (Agencies) Plots meant for below poverty line (BPL) families in Mubarikpur, a village in Farrukhnagar, have allegedly been allotted to employees of government departments and a bank executive, replies to several RTIs have revealed. The 100 sq yd residential plots, which were to be given to poor families for free under the Mahatma Gandhi Gramin Basti Yojana launched by the Haryana government in 2008, are on prime land, located a kilometre from the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) expressway. “One RTI application revealed that a plot has been allotted to an MCD veterinary department employee. Another RTI revealed that a public sector bank employee has been allotted the plot. Many others, some with salaries of over Rs 4 lakh per annum, have also benefitted,” said RTI activist Sudhir Yadav, who filed the queries in various government departments, after disgruntled villagers brought the issue to his notice. Under the scheme, nearly seven lakh BPL families in villages across the state were to get residential plots. Village panchayats were given the authority to distribute the plots among poor families. Records show 94 plots were allotted in 2011 and another 21 in 2014. However, beneficiaries were often not from eligible families, said Yadav. A 33-year-old resident of Nirvana bought a plot of land in Farrukhnagar in 2011. “I paid Rs 10 lakh (excluding paperwork charges) to a property dealer in the village. Today, I am getting offers of up to Rs 22 lakh,” the buyer said, requesting anonymity. Yadav said this is not all. Documents in his possession (copies of which are with TOI) show some of the families that were allotted plots in 2011 were again recipients in 2014. Real estate agents said with land prices in the city zooming, nearby villages have become attractive for real estate prospectors. For instance, around 80% land in Sultanpur, a village near Farrukhnagar, has been sold to private developers. Pipe upgrade delay may spell water worries this summer for Gurgaon GURGAON, April 2 (Agencies) The upgradation work of a 20-year-old water pipeline in HUDA’s zone 1 has been stagnant for more than a year and the delay is likely to cause water shortage in over dozen areas in the coming summer months.Officials said the pipeline was laid about 20 years ago with a width of 900mm. But due to corrosion and leaks from weather changes over the years, colonies at the end of the pipeline have been receiving erratic supply. Worst hit are sectors 21,22,23, Palam Vihar and Surat Nagar.HUDA decided to undertake replacement of the 13-km supply line in zone 1 in December 2013 to improve the situation. However, after an expenditure of Rs 8.5 crore over 15 months, the work in several areas remains unfinished with no signs of the authority completing it soon. Zone 1 includes over half-a-dozen colonies in old Gurgaon, apart from another 15 sectors that are supplied treated water from the Basai plant. HUDA has put up new pipes in areas where the old pipes were in a state beyond repair. In others places they have placed new pipeline next to the old ones without switching supply, an official said. Jain community participate procession on the occasion of Mahavir Jayanti in Patna on Thursday. PTI Indian Horizon Delhi Two security personnel killed in encounter in Baramulla Children wailing over the death of a policeman Mohammad Shafi who was killed during an encounter at Tangmarg,at His Residence in Pattan on Thursday.One Army Jawan and a Policeman were killed during an encounter . PTI SRINAGAR, Apr 2 (PTI): After killing an Army soldier and one police personnel in Baramulla district in north Kashmir on Thursday, police officials said that the militants broke the cordon and escaped from the gun battle. Police officials said that they are looking for the militants Janata Parivar to meet on Sunday, merger announcement likely and are carrying out a cordon and search operation of the area.“The gun battle is over and we are conducting a search operation, and the militants, two or three in number, seems to have escaped from the spot,” A police officer told. According to the police, the encounter started at around 8 a.m. in the morning when a joint team of Army’s 29 RR, 52 RR and J&K police’s Special Operations Group at Hardshoora are combing in Kunzar area of Baramulla district.“The attack was based on specific intelligence inputs early in the morning and our joint team established contact with the militants at 7.50 in the morning,” Colonel Brijesh Pandey of the Indian Army said. “In the gunfight, an Army soldier and a policeman of J&K Police counterinsurgency wing were killed. One civilian was also injured in the gunfight.” NDA is honouring those involved in Babri Masjid demolition: SP Rampur Apr 2 (PTI): Criticising NDA government’s move to erect a memorial for late Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao, SP leader Azam Khan said that the Centre carries an ‘inclination’ to accord honour to those “involved in Babri Masjid demolition”. The Union government’s resolve to erect a memorial for late Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao is an indication that the government headed by Narendra Modi carries an inclination to accord honour to a person who was involved in the conspiracy to demolish Babri Masjid, he told media persons on Wednesday. The leader also came down heavily on the links 4 Nation Friday, April 3 , 2015 between BJP and RSS.“RSS is the root and BJP its branch and the present government is being run by RSS and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). They are determined to award honour to those who in-spite of holding pivotal positions in the then government were responsible for the demolition of the historic monument. Senior BJP leader L K Advani, who happens to be one of the main accused in the demolition case was decorated with Padma Vibhushan award,” he said. The Uttar Pradesh minister lashed out at CBI for “acting like slaves of the Centre” and hailed the recent Supreme Court verdict seeking response from ac- cused BJP leaders in the Babri Masjid demolition.“Though persons involved in murder, loot, arson and sedition are availing acknowledgements, it is a matter of great relief that the apex court has questioned why those involved in the demolition should not be made accused,” he said. The Supreme Court had on Tuesday sought the responses of veteran BJP leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, union minister Uma Bharti and 16 others on a fresh plea against a 2010 order of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court dropping criminal conspiracy charge against them in the Babri mosque demolition case. New Delhi Apr 2 (PTI): The six parties of the erstwhile Janata Parivar could announce their decision to merge into one on Sunday following a meeting in which the name of the new political entity and its symbol will be decided. The new socialist entity will have a ‘Samajwadi’ tag, said sources in JD-U. “All the leaders of the Janata Parivar constituents will meet at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence on April 5, where the name of the new party, its symbol and pro- grammes will be decided,” sources said. The meeting is expected to be attended by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav, RJD President Lalu Prasad and representatives from Indian National Lok Dal and Samajwadi Janata Party. Mulayam, whose SP has the largest number of MPs among the parties which have planned the proposed merger, will be the chairman of the new umbrella entity.The April 5 meeting will decide as to what would be the election symbol of the new entity. Policemen attacked in Bihar for stopping ‘forced’ donations Patna, April 2 (IANS) Six police officials were injured in Bihar’s Sheikhpura district on Thursday when a mob attacked them after the policemen objected to their alleged forced donation drive for organising a religious programme.A station house officer was among those injured in the mob attack on the Chabda police station, a district police official said. All the injured were admitted to a hospital. According to police, some people were forcibly demanding donations from all those passing through the village road. “After a complaint was filed, police intervened and detained some people and stopped the forced donation,” the official said.Irked the Goa government’s Power Department, in the minister’s own cabin for failing to respond to a power cut.Pacheco, who heads the Goa Vikas Party, was sworn-in as a minister during a cabinet expansion in November last year after then chief minister Manohar Parrikar was elevated to the union cabinet. On Wednesday, Parsekar hinted at dropping Pacheco, claiming that it was embarrassing to have a convicted minister in his 12-member cabinet. Parsekar also said the final decision to drop Pacheco would be taken after the minister returns from Delhi.Pacheco arrived in Goa from New Delhi on Thursday afternoon. Chandigarh, April 2 (IANS) Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday said compensation would be given to the farmers affected by unseasonal rains and hailstorms within 30 days of submission of crop damage survey report. Speaking to the media in Hisar, Khattar said unlike the previous governments, his government would act fast and give away cheques for the compensation amount to the farmers within one month of submission of the Girdawari report. “In view of the widespread damage caused to the crops, the state government has already converted crop loans into short-term loans payable over three years. Besides, the affected farmers will also be provided loan for the next crop at zero rate of interest,” he said. Reports have suggested that damage to crops in Haryana could be over 30 percent due to the recent adverse weather. 49 schoolgirls allege sexual harassment in Maharashtra Mamata to hit the streets against Congress chief meets rain-hit farmers in MP, assures support land acquisition ordinance Kolkata, April 2 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will hit the streets here on April 8 against the Narendra Modi government’s ordinance amending the land acquisition law, the Trinamool Congress announced Thursday. Disclosing this at a media meet here, Trinamool secretary general Partha Chatterjee said Banerjee, who is also the party supremo, would take part in the protest rally to be taken out by the party from Moulali to Gandhi statue on Mayo Road. Calling the acquisition “draconian” and “kala ordinance” (black ordinance), Chatterjee said: “We will protest against it.”“Our party chairperson will participate in the mega rally in Kolkata against the ordinance. Similar rallies will be held in every district of Bengal,” he said. Chatterjee, also the state education minister, said the protesters would wear black badges and cover their mouth with a black cloth. Calling upon the people of Kolkata to participate in the rally, he recalled that the party had carried out movements against land acquisition in the past too. The Trinamool had led a farmers’ protest in Nandigram in East Midnapore district and Hooghly district’s Singur in protest against the then Left Front government’s bid to acquire farmland for industries between 2006 and 2008.Its popularity graph went up after the protests and it came to power in the state in 2011. The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015, which will replace an ordinance promulgated by the union government, was passed by the Lok Sabha but is facing stiff opposition in the Rajya Sabha with even some NDA allies coming out against it. Unable to have the bill passed before the land acquisition ordinance lapses on April 5, the BJP-led government has now prorogued the Rajya Sabha and is likely to repromulgate the ordinance. Neemuch (MP), Apr 2 (PTI) Congress President Sonia Gandhi today assured farmers in Madhya Pradesh, who suffered severe crop loss due to the recent untimely rains, that she will fight for their rights and ensure adequate compensation for them. Gandhi arrived this morning at the Neemuch air strip to meet farmers in the district and take stock of the damage caused to the crops due to unseasonal rains and hailstorm in various parts of the state recently.She is also scheduled to visit more villages later in the day.The Congress chief surveyed damaged crops in Madavada by walking nearly half-a-kilometre in the fields.“Though we do Congress president Sonia Gandhi meets hailstorm affected farmers in Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh on Thursday. PTI not have a government in Madhya Pradesh, we are with you. We will fight for your rights and ensure that you get due compensation,” Gandhi told farmers during an interaction. Farmers also showed her ravaged Isabgol (psyllium husk) and other crops and also narrated their by the police action, hundreds of villagers protested in front of the police station and later attacked the officials.Villagers pelted stones at the policemen and also beat up some of them inside the police station. They also freed some villagers detained over the donation drive, police said. Farmers to get compensation within 30 days: Haryana CM Goa CM ducks queries on dropping convicted minister Panaji, April 2 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Thursday dodged questions about removing a minister, whose conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court earlier this week.Parsekar, who was questioned by reporters on the sidelines of a function at the Police headquarters here, chose to duck queries on Archives and Archaeology Minister Francisco Pacheco. “I will speak to him in the evening,” Parsekar said.Pacheco, an MLA from Nuvem, has a string of cases against him related to extortion, assault, bigamy, money laundering, etc, and was booked in July 2006, for assaulting Kapil Natekar, a junior engineer in Currently each of the six constituents of the erstwhile Janata Parivar has a separate symbol. The wheel symbol of Janata Dal was frozen in 1999 as the party was split into JD-U led by Sharad Yadav and JD-S under HD Deve Gowda when the former decided to join the then NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpyee. The two parties were then allotted separate symbols.Sources said what while the new party’s name could be either Samajwadi Janata Party or Samajwadi Janata Dal, the party is actively considering the wheel symbol as well as the cycle, which is currently the SP party symbol. ordeal. In the morning, she met the rain-affected farmers in Hingoria Fatak village. Gandhi has so far visited Jamunia Kalan, Bhatkheda, Maalkheda, Nevad, Semli Chandrawat, Sarvania Maharaj, Morvan, Madavada villages in the district. Akola Apr 2 (PTI): Two teachers of a government school here were booked on charges of outraging the modesty of a woman, after as many as 49 girl students accused the duo of sexually harassing them, police said on Thursday. The accused, identified as Rajan Gajbhiye and Shailesh Ramteke were booked last night under section 354(a) of IPC and Section 7 and 8 of Protection of Child from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act on a complaint filed by the principal of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalay, Ramavatar Singh they said. On Tuesday, the aggrieved girls had approached Maharashtra State Women Commission member Asha Mirge with their complaint. According to the statement given by two of the victims, the girls were being sexually harassed for long by their Chemistry and Biology teachers on the pretext of not granting them marks in Practical exams.The girls alleged that both the teachers used obscene language, made sexual advances and tried to make physical contact with them following which they complained to the Principal, who called an emergency parentsteachers’ meet on Tuesday after enquiring into the matter. Maharashtra beef ban: Police seek 3 Army personnel killed in Arunachal Pradesh ambush ‘mugshots’ of cows from cattle owners Policemen in action as Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) shouting slogans during a protest against leaked question paper of Uttar Pradesh PCS (pre)-2015 in Allahabad on Thursday. PTI Itanagar Apr 2 (PTI): Three Army personnel were killed on Thursday and four injured when suspected NSCN rebels militants ambushed their vehicle in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tirap district bordering Nagaland. The ambush on the last of the four vehicles of the convoy took place around 6 AM at Tupi village along Khonsa-Longding road, Tirap SP Ajit Kumar Singla said. The personnel of the 4 Rajput Regiment were on their way to the camp at Longding in the morning after a night halt at Khonsa, about 530 km east of here.“They were coming from Tinsukia in neighbouring Assam in four vehicles. Most of the personnel, who were on leave, were returning from their home state,” Singla said. The injured have been rushed to Army hospital. However, there were no casualties on the other side, the SP said. Army sources said the three personnel were killed on the spot.They said it is suspected that one of the two factions of NSCN -- IM and K -- was behind the ambush. The NSCN faction led by S S Khaplang had recently called off the ceasefire with the government. Mumbai Apr 2 (PTI): Police in Malegaon have asked the cattle owners to provide photographs of their cattle along with details on them in view of the new law that bans beef trade in the state. Malegaon’s Additional Superintendent of Police Sunil Kadasne Tuesday held a meeting with the cow owners in the town and asked them to provide proper information to police of their cattle along with photos and guarantee letter - an undertaking that the animal belonged to them.The decision was taken to maintain law and order in the town in view of the enforcement of the new beef ban law and also to prevent miscreants from spreading rumours, Kadasne told reporters yesterday. Hence, those keeping cows and calves are required to register with the police along with the animals’ photograph for identification, the ASP said.The meeting was attended by Nashik Additional Collector Ramchandra Pawar, several locals and religious leaders from Malegaon town. In the first case registered under the new law, two persons were arrested last month by Malegoan police for allegedly slaughtering calves.A case was registered against three persons and two of them Mohammed Rashid Akhtar (36) and Abdul Ahad Mohammed Ishak alias Hamed Lendi (28) - were arrested, police said.Prior to the arrest, police had raided a shack in Azad Nagar area in Malegaon and seized two heads of slaughtered calves and 150 kg of beef.The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, banning slaughter of bulls and bullocks, was enforced by the state BJP-led government on March 4. Indian Horizon, Delhi Short Takes Record Rs 7,678 cr NABARD financing to Kerala in 2014-15 Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 2 (PTI): Southern Indian state of Kerala has received an-all time high financing of Rs 7,678 crore from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) during 2014-15, with agriculture loans accounting for over Rs 5,300 crore. Giving details of finance provided to the state, NABARD said an amount of Rs.1,200 crore was sanctioned from the Rural Infrastructure Development Fund for creation of rural infrastructure. An aggregate amount of Rs.5,348 crore was disbursed as agriculture loans to the Kerala State Cooperative Bank, Kerala State Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank and Kerala Gramin Bank to support their lending operations to farmers, a NABARD release said here today. Law students demand dismissal of arrested professor Puducherry, Apr 2 (PTI): Students of Government Law College here today staged a demonstration demanding the immediate arrest of a Professor of Pondicherry University, who has been arrested on the charge of sexual abuse of a minor girl. The students, who abstained from classes, held a demonstration and volunteers of Puducherry Students Federation led by Swaminathan also joined the protest seeking the dismissal of Professor M Madhialagan. “This (suspension) is not a sufficient step. The professor should be sacked as he had committed a very serious crime which had tarnished the image of teaching community,” they said. R V Pandit takes charge as head of Southern command Kochi, Apr 2 (PTI): Rear Admiral R V Pandit today took charge as the new Chief of Staff of the Southern Naval Command, the training Command of the country’s Navy. Prior to this, he was Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Foreign Cooperation and Intelligence) at Naval Headquarters immediately after promotion to the Flag rank, a Navy release said. The officer in his present capacity as the Chief of Staff of the command would be deputising for the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief in the discharge of the training and operational roles of the Southern Naval Command, it said. He was commissioned into the Indian Navy in July 1984 and is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakvasala, Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) Wellington, the College of Naval Warfare (CNW) Mumbai, the Royal College of Defence Studies ( RCDS), London UK. Youth arrested for smuggling gold worth 1 crore Kochi, Apr 2 (PTI): Customs Officers arrested a passenger, who arrived from Dubai, for allegedly attempting to smuggle gold bars valued around Rs one crore at Cochin International airport here, police said today. The gold, in the form of 30 biscuits weighing 3.5 kg and concealed, was seized when Customs’ Air intelligence Unit officials checked the youth’s baggage on suspicion, a release from the Additional Commissioner of Customs office said. The passenger, a resident of Thamarassery in Kozhikode district of Kerala, attempted to pass 5 Nation Friday, April 3, 2015 through ‘green channel’, which is used by those with no dutiable goods, it said. “As a result of detailed scanning of his baggage, 30 numbers of gold biscuits, each weighing 116.600 grams, totally weighing 3.5 Kgs were recovered,” it said. Fishermen relieved as dredging machinery reaches Kundapur Mangaluru, Apr 2 (PTI): Meeting the long-pending demand of fishermen in the coastal area of Udupi, a dredging equipment was brought to Kundapur in the district, official sources said. The estuary and the fishing port at Gangolli near Kundapur had been filled with silt for long and accidents were frequent in the region. Fishermen had been requesting the government for a dredging machinery to avoid loss of lives in such mishaps. As per the government’s decision to construct a breakwater there, the dredging operations would begin soon.The dredging operations would begin by April 5 and fishermen need not worry about their routine fishing activities in the area during the period, the sources said. The dredging is scheduled to be executed at Gangolli port, Gangolli estuary, and Kody jetty. 2 youths killed in road mishap Virudhunagar (TN), Apr 2 (PTI): Two engineering students were killed in a head-on collision involving their two-wheeler and a bus near Srivilliputur in the district today, police said. The two riding the motorbike were returning home when the mishap occurred at Vanniyampatti. Saravanan, studying in Dindigul engineering college, died on the spot, while Muhilan, doing engineering in a college in Tirunelveli, was declared brought dead at the government in Srivilliputtur, police said. Five persons detained under Goondas Act in rape case Namakkal (TN), Apr 2 (PTI): Five persons who were arrested in connection with the alleged rape of a tapioca factory employee at Nammagiripet have been detained under the stringent Goondas Act, police said. The woman was returning home from work on the night of March 16 with her paramour when the five persons accosted her, beat her up and allegedly raped her. A special team formed by Namakkal Superintdent of Police Sakthivel arrested them on March 17. They were booked last night under the stringent Goondas Act under which persons cannot come out on bail for a minimum period of one year. Owner ordered to demolish building where plaster peeled off Puducherry, Apr 2 (PTI): The owner of an under construction multi-storyed building, where cement plastering had come off, scaring away workers, has been ordered by authorities to demolish it. Official sources said the demolition order was served to the owner last night by the Puducherry Planning Authority. They said the cracks betrayed the building’s unsafe nature and that there was deviation from the approved plan. Residents nearby had yesterday noticed cement plastering on one pillar in the car parking zone of the building, with nine dwelling units, peeling off and informed police and planning authority officials. Giriraj row: BJP says the matter is closed B engaluru, Apr 2 (PTI): With Congress stepping up attack over the controversial remarks of Union Minister Giriraj Singh, BJP today said it considers the matter closed as the minister has expressed his regret. “Giriraj Singh has clarified his position. The matter has ended and should not be made an issue by our opponents. Giriraj Singh has expressed his regret,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters in the city, where party leaders have converged for the National Executive meeting. “The matter should be considered as closed.? BJP considers the matter as closed,” he said. Hussain was replying to questions posed to him on Congress’ protests against Singh’s remarks against So- nia Gandhi. The BJP leader, however, evaded queries on Congress? demand for sacking of the minister. Congress and NSUI workers today staged a major protest at a junction, about a kilometre away from a hotel where top BJP leaders have gathered for the party’s two-day National Executive meeting beginning tomorrow. The protesters shouted slogans Singh and burnt his effigy. BJP chief Amit Shah today addressed a meeting of office bearers ahead of the National Executive meet. According to party sources, Singh was forced to express his regrets after a call from Shah who made it clear to him that “such language” was not acceptable. They said Shah called Singh over telephone and made it clear in no uncertain terms that it was unbecom- Questions over whether Advani will address BJP meet Bengaluru, Apr 2 (PTI): The stage is now set for the two-day meeting of the BJP National Executive beginning here tomorrow to finetune strategies including on blunting the opposition campaign on the land acquisition ordinance even as speculation mounted over whether veteran leader L K Advani would address the conclave. Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here today joining party President Amit Shah and others in a meeting of the central office bearers to chalk out the agenda for the meeting of the newly- ing of a minister to use such a language. The minister has kicked up a row with his remarks asking whether Congress would have accepted Sonia Gandhi’s leadership had she not been white-skinned. “Had Rajiv Gandhi married a Nigerian woman and if she was not a white-skinned woman, would the Congress have then accepted her (Sonia’s) leadership?” he had told journalists on Tuesday. To another question on Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam allegedly making derogatory remarks against Union Minister Smriti Irani, Hussain said it would not be proper to link both the issues and the matter has ended as far as the party is concerned. “Sanjay Nirupam has been making such statements. The people already given him a befitting reply,” he said. constituted Executive. Shah told the leaders about BJP having become the largest party in the world after enrolling nearly 10 crore members. The meeting discussed the two resolutions to be discussed by the Executive. “The party leaders lauded the efforts of the BJP President and all those involved in the membership drive and in making BJP the largest party in the world,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters about the meeting. The Land Acquisition ordinance that is likely to be re-promulgated is one of the important issues that will be discussed at the meeting when leaders will attempt to evolve a strategy to counter the vigorous opposition campaign. No calling off strike till Kerala meets demands: truckers Chennai, Apr 2 (PTI): Transportation of goods to Kerala was severely affected today as the indefinite strike by truckers, demanding quick clearance of vehicles at Walayar check post in the neighbouring state, entered the second day, The transporters made it clear to the Kerala government that the trucks will not ply till such time their demands are met. The trucks carry a variety of consignments ranging from vegetables, textile and electronics across Walayar, the gateway to Kerala, everyday. “Our demands must be met and till such time our strike will continue,” National Managing Committee member of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), N P Velu, told PTI. Increasing counters at the Walayar check post at Kerala to ten from three, installing scanning machines, a green channel for goods like steel and cement, parking lot, ba- The first batch of 168 Indian nationals, evacuated from Yemen by Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft, arrive at Kochi International Airport on Thursday. (PTI Photo) sic amenities like drinking water and toilets are the major demands. Presently, sales tax authorities of Kerala take a minimum of ten hours to a maximum of fifteen hours to clear a single truck at Walayar, he claimed. “It happens nowhere else. Across 1,268 border check posts in the country, the average clearance time is about an hour,” he added. Stating that about 3,000 vehicles on an average “should cross Walayar point,” he however said this often “does not happen” as vehicles gets delayed at check posts. “We face huge losses stretching to several crores of rupees a day and it is the smaller trucks that get cleared at relatively lesser time,” Velu added. Kerala authorities still use “age-old” system to check consignments by piercing the bags with needle, he said, adding “we demand installation of scanners which will ensure quick clearance of vehicles.” Adverse situation in Yemen, says Kerala CM Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 2 (PTI): Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy today said the situation in the warhit country was not conducive for speedy evacuation of stranded Indians, including Keralites, as almost all airports there were closed. “Practically all airports there are closed. The airport at Aden is the only one operating for three hours a day,” he told reporters here quoting Indian embassy officials in Yemen. Explaining the adverse situation prevailing in Yemen, he said: “Even a part of that airport is also reportedly occupied by rebels and so it is doubtful whether the evacuation process can be speeded up.” The current plan was to bring back the stranded persons through sea route and for that Centre has informed state that more ships would be sent to Yemen, Chandy said. However, indicating hitch in that process also, he said as per reports it was not easy to travel from the places where the stranded people reside to the three sea ports in Yemen. Majority of Keralites were residing over 500 km away from the sea ports and to provide security for safe travel to the ports was a major issue, he said. Asked about the number of Keralites in Yemen, Chandy said though state did not have any specific number, an estimate is that half of the more than 4,000 Indians are from Kerala. Chandy also said he had written three letters so far to the Prime Minister seeking urgent steps for the evacuation of Indians from Yemen. Decision on demand for Chief Whip removal on April 6: Chandy Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 2 (PTI): A decision would be taken on April 6 on the demand of ruling UDF partner KC(M) for removal of its dissident leader P C George from the post of Government Chief Whip, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said today. “The ruling UDF understands the sentiments of KC-M and so a final decision will be taken on April 6 itself’, he told reporters here. KC-M headed by state Finance Minister K M Mani had recently submitted a letter to Chandy seeking removal of George, also the Vice-Chairman of the party, from the Government Chief Whip following differences with him. “I talked to Mani, who is not in town, over phone and discussed the issue,” Chandy said adding it was usual for the Front to accept the suggestions of a Front partner. Irritated by George’s public remarks against Mani, facing bribery charges in bar scam after he presented the budget on March 13, eight KC(M) legislators headed by Mani have sought removal of George, MLA, and barring him from attending the liaison committee meeting of UDF. Congress workers protest outside Giriraj’s residence Members of Youth Congress stage protest against the controversial remarks on Sonia Gandhi by Union Minister Giriraj Singh in Bengaluru on Thursday. (PTI Photo) Bengaluru, Apr 2 (PTI): Congress and NSUI workers today staged a protest here, demanding dismissal of Union Minister Giriraj Singh for his “racist” and “distasteful” remarks against party President Sonia Gandhi. Singh had kicked up a major row with his remarks, wondering if Congress would have accepted Gandhi’s leadership if she was not whiteskinned. Congress workers assembled at a major junction, about a km away from the hotel where top BJP leaders have gathered for the party’s twoday National Executive meeting beginning here Karuna comes out in support of 6 suspended DMDK MLAs Chennai, Apr 2 (PTI): Coming to the support of fellow opposition party DMDK, whose six MLAs were suspended for allegedly creating ruckus in state Assembly last month, DMK President M Karunanidhi today urged the ruling AIADMK to be “magnanimous and commute the punishment. The AIADMK should realise that it is not proper in a democracy to run tomorrow. The workers shouted slogans against Singh and burnt his effigy. State Mahila Congress chief Manjula Naidu condemned the minister’s “racist” remarks and said an apology from him would not do and he should be sacked. The protesters were whisked away by police. the Assembly without the main opposition party, and be magnanimous and commute their punishment,” he said. Karunanidhi said that his party representatives in the Privileges Committee had argued against any further punishment for the MLAs, but they were ignored. The six MLAs - V C Chandrakumar, R Mohanraj, L Venkatesan, S R Parthiban, C H Sekhar and K Thinakaran - were suspended on Tuesday for 10 days in the next session and stripped off their monthly salaries. 6 Indian Horizon Delhi EDIT Janata Parivar on verge of merger Indian Horizon Delhi Compulsions of all six parties are strong BY INDER MALHOTRA N Friday April 3, 2015 It is high time that Muslims give up sectarianism and become one single cohesive group The Arabs have now decided to do away with the help of the U.S.A and reorganize their own resources to build up an Arab force to meet the challenges that are responsible for creating trouble in the Middle East, where a Shia minority exists. All this has been the result of Iran`s evolving strategy to arm this minority of Shias to create disturbance wherever they have a presence in Arab countries. This is a new strategy and a new force, which operates outside Iran for the protection of Shia minority groups. International law and most civilized countries have been practicing the recognition of minority rights but, the strategy adopted by the Shia Arab minority is to get their power recognized on the basis of armed force and the help needed to implement this strategy is supported by Iran, both by finance and armaments. The situation has become more acute because of the attempts by Iran to acquire atomic power. Obama`s policy has been wavering and the Arabs have lost confidence in U.S strategy. Now, they have decided to have their own military command with the help and support of Sunni countries in the world and even a country like Kuala Lumpur is keen on helping Saudi Arabia. ECESSITY is the mother not of invention alone. In this country, in particular, it also breeds political unification or fragmentation as the requirement may be. The compulsions of the six parties that are planning to merge by April 20, when the second phase of Parliament’s Budget session begins, are so clear as to be visible even to the most myopic of observers. Up to May 16, 2014, each of these parties was happy to operate on its own whether in power or out of it. They were badly shaken by what Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s followers are still calling the “Modi tsunami”. Particularly shattered were Mulayam Singh Yadav, supremo of the Samajwadi Party that rules U.P., and Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (United) who has been ruling Bihar for a long time. It deserves a mention that these two very large states in the Hindi heartland, between them, send to the Lok Sabha 140 of its 543 members. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s overwhelming victory in both these states struck the SP and the JD (U) dumb. Since a number of byelections were due, especially in Bihar, all concerned realised that either they must unite or they might be annihilated separately. The bitterest foe of Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad, the supreme leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, who had ruled the state for ten years before Nitish ousted him, became the Chief Minister’s firm ally. Consequently, the two together did rather well in Bihar and the BJP could not repeat its earlier performance even though Modi was in the saddle. So Lalu’s RJD is the third of the large parties anxious to merge. Their relatively small three allies included in the merger venture are the Indian National Lok Dal in Haryana, the Janata Dal (Secular) — a legacy of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda now run by his son in Karnataka —and the Samajwadi Janata Party, a breakaway group from UP’s ruling party. Their influence may be limited of Islamic solidarity throughout the world and other countries are likely to take advantage of it. We have been writing continuously that the strategy of sectarianism evolved and intensified by any Islamic sect, is not in the interest of Islamic solidarity. Islam has been suffering under sectarianism almost from the second generation after the holy Prophet and the attempts to establish a Shia Caliphate on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean far away from Baghdad and gradually moving towards Egypt and the Shias eventually made it a center of the Fatimid Caliphate. This policy stymied the rising sun of Islamic expansion in the Mediterranean and even through Turkey upto Geneva, the center of Europe. This strategy stimulated the Christian Church throughout Europe to arm itself against the Muslims. Consequently, they isolated and occupied the Islamic state of Spain by cheating Muslims into making a treaty of peace but after they surrendered, they forced them to leave Spain. Even Turks were not in a position to give them succour under these harsh conditions. This was the beginning of the crusades against Islam, which ultimately was stopped by Salahuddin Ayubi, who was also instrumental in the demolition of the Shia Caliphate of Egypt, which was but their enthusiasm is boundless. By November last the move for unification had been accepted by all the six parties. What gave a big push to the idea is the imminence of the assembly elections in Bihar which must take place towards the close of this year. The elections in U. P. are due in 1917. Those in West Bengal will take place earlier but Mamata Banerjee has shown no interest in the essentially northern phenomenon. However, there are three factors that make it reasonably certain that the merger plan will go through. First, everyone knows that without unity it would not be possible to keep the BJP at bay. Secondly, there is no dispute over the leadership of the new combination, which was one of the several major reasons for the ignominious self-destruction of the Janata that had come to power in the 1977 election almost entirely because of the nightmare of the Emergency. Atal Behari Vajpaee, the then Foreign Minister, had even declared that the people had “consigned Indira Gandhi into the dustbin of history”. All the six partners know that Mulayam Singh has the greatest clout and should be the leader. His party’s election symbol, the bicycle, will be the new party’s emblem. Its name has yet to be chosen. Thirdly, the Modi government has lost some of its shine and is likely to lose more, especially because of its ordinance on land acquisition. It has already been branded as “anti-farmer” and yet is being re-issued! Even so, there is no guarantee that heavy bargaining among the stalwarts within the new combine will not take place and damage the venture. After all, Lalu Prasad has already told Nitish Kumar that when he returns as Chief Minister of Bihar, the post of Deputy Chief Minister must go to his daughter who is ambitious enough to have falsely claimed only the other day that she had delivered a lecture at Harvard. Most analysts of Indian politics I have talked to feel that a combined party of the six regional parties will surely materialise. But the real question is how long it will last. This question is pertinent because past experience is far from encouraging. Ram Manohar Lohia’s strategy of mobilising the entire spectrum of non-Congress parties — from the Jan Sangh to the CPI (M) and call it Samyukt Vidhayak Dal — gave it victory in eight northern states. People joked that one could travel from Calcutta (now called Kolkata) to Amritsar (whose name mercifully remains unchanged) without crossing a single inch of Congress-governed territory. This glee boomeranged. For all eight non-Congress ministries collapsed under the weight of their own contradictions rather fast. In 1971 the slogan of “Indira hatao”, coined by an alliance against her, was smashed to smithereens by her response: “Voh kehtay hain Indira hatao; mein kehti hoon garibi hatao”. No government rose to power with such gargantuan goodwill as did the Janata in the post-Emergency poll. Indira Gandhi and her son Sanjay were defeated humiliatingly. The Janata Party claimed to be a single entity, not a coalition. But its mistakes were many and these included their resolve to persecute Indira Gandhi and Sanjay instead of prosecuting them for their guilt of clamping the curse of Emergency on the country. Ultimately, however, the Janata government collapsed under the unbearable weight of clashing ambitions of its three top leaders — Morarji Desai, Charan Singh and Jagjivan Ram — in thirty months. Indira Gandhi was back in power spectacularly. V. P. Singh also rose to power amidst huge public applause on December 2, 1989. Initially, a member of Rajiv Gandhi’s Cabinet, he eventually became his nemesis. Thanks to infighting within his party right from the start and his reckless decision to accept the Mandal Commission’s report, he fell in 11 months flat. Few regretted his early departure. However, let us not prejudge the future of the combination that is now in the making. It would be better to wait and watch. IANS Qutb Shahi tombs to regain lost grandeur This is likely to intensify further and the differences between ShiaSunni will keep increasing the conflict and this is not in the interest Friday April 3, 2015 BY MOHAMMED SHAFEEQ I f Charminar is the symbol of Hyderabad, the Qutb Shahi Tombs along with Golconda Fort are an integral part of the city’s rich history and culture. A unique royal necropolis, Qutb Shahi Tombs are a must on the itinerary of visitors to the city. The Qutb Shahi Heritage Park, as the entire complex is called, has 72 monuments including mausoleums of rulers of the Qutub Shahi dynasty (1518-1687) spread over 108 acres at the foot of the majestic Golconda Fort. Like many historic monuments in this 425-year-old city, the tombs have also been long neglected and face threat from encroachers. The 16th-17th century necropolis is now getting a new lease of life thanks to the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which began the conservation work in November 2013. For AKTC, a not-for-profit organization engaged in conservation of monuments in various countries, this is the second conservation project in India after Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. “The scale of the Qutb Shahi Tombs project is enormous. Perhaps nowhere in the world such a large-scale project was undertaken,” Ratish Nanda, project director of AKTC, told IANS. The complex has 40 mausoleums, 23 mosques, six ‘baolis’ (step-wells), a ‘hamam’ (mortuary bath), pavilions and garden structures, each with its striking grandeur and a unique synthesis of architectural styles. “There is no site like this anywhere in the world. In one complex there is such a huge diversity and architectural styles. There are at least 10 monuments which are of the scale of the Taj Mahal,” said Ratish. The monuments in the complex are a blend of Persian, Pathan and Hindu architectural styles and built with local granite and traditional materials. AKTC had initially earmarked Rs.100 crore for the project. But Ratish said the cost may exceed if there are more discoveries like a 16th century wall enclosure they found during excavation at one of the tombs. “The trust is committed to spending any amount of money by raising the same from its donors or its own money,” said Ratish. Given the magnitude of the project, he believes it may take 10 years to complete it. Before launching the project, the multi-disciplinary team of experts in 2012 carried out exhaustive recording, documentation, condition assessment, surveys and research exercise to understand how the entire complex would have originally looked. The project officials found that the task to restore and retain the authenticity of the monuments is gigantic as plaster work of the wall and dome surfaces had deteriorated due to dampness and water seepage. The inappropriate application of 20th century material like cement during the earlier repair works disfigured the historical architectural character. “We are using only lime mortar mix, stone, wood and other traditional materials originally used in the construction,” said Rajpal Singh, chief engineer, AKTC. Banking on its experience and expertise, the trust is carrying out the work in a phased manner. At any given time, 75 percent of the complex will remain open for tourists. Currently focussing on the southwestern corner, AKTC plans to complete conservation and restoration of 30 monuments by 2016. Besides involving 30 experts including historians, conservation activists and architects, AKTC has hired master craftsmen for the works, which are expected to generate over 300,000 mandays of employment. Project officials say 80 percent of the cost is being spent on master craftsmen. The project also involves landscape restoration of the core monuments zone as well as ecological restoration to revive ‘Baolis’, aqueducts and planting native trees. Over the centuries the original landscape has been altered and disfigured and as such today bears no resemblance to the original builder’s intention. “Our principal objective is to ensure that these monuments survive for another 500 years,” said Ratish. “Once the work is finished it will be like the Taj Mahal and attract tourists from all over the world and also improve the quality of life in Hyderabad,” he promised. The Telangana government is also planning to tap Rs.85 crore announced in the union budget for restoration of the tombs. The government proposes to use it for building site museum, landscape garden and more. “Our aim is to propose the tombs along with Golconda Fort for UNESCO world heritage site,” said B.P. Acharya, principal secretary in the department of tourism and culture in Telangana. The tag always eluded the tombs despite their rich heritage, historical and architectural value. IANS then transferred to Turkish rule, which continued upto the end of the First World War. This was the lowest ebb of Islamic prestige and it gave rise to three Turkish groups known as the Moghul Turks in India, the Safavi Turks who converted into the Shia sect in Iran and the Turkish Caliphate in Turkey. Taking cognizance of this, all the Muslims of the world must give up sectarianism because there is no room for it in Islam. The Quranic verse “Vate Somu Bahablillahi Jamia vala taffaraku,” hold on to Allah`s cord firmly and don’t allow any differences among yourselves. Muslims must understand that their internal differences are the main cause of their humiliation and their prestige is adversely affected. It is not justified to project it into sectarian groups who fight each other and weaken themselves. History has a good lesson for each Muslim community and it is high time they gave up their worthless differences. India to help in evacuating Sri Lankans from Yemen I ndia has acceded to Sri Lanka’s request to evacuate stranded Sri Lankans along with Indian nationals from strife-torn Yemen, the Foreign Ministry said here. There are reportedly around 75-100 Sri Lankan expatriates, including students, in Yemen. Due to the volatile situation in the country, Sri Lanka is making arrangements to evacuate all Sri Lankans in Yemen, who are principally residing in the capital Sanaa and other main cities, such as Hodeida, Aden and Mukalla. “The Government of Sri Lanka has sought the assistance of the UN Office in Sanaa and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Colombo in the evacuation efforts,” the Foreign Ministry said in statement yesterday. “The Indian Government has promptly acceded to the request of the Govern- ment of Sri Lanka to bring the stranded Sri Lankans along with Indian nationals in Yemen, who are to be evacuated by air and sea on special flights and ships respectively,” it said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in coordination with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Muscat, which is concurrently accredited to Yemen, is exploring all possible avenues to ensure the safe return of the Sri Lankans, the statement said. The Sri Lanka mission in Muscat is in contact with some Sri Lankans in Yemen, who are directly monitoring the welfare of the Sri Lankans in their present locations. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ajith P Perera, in his capacity as Acting Minister, had last week instructed the Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi and the Sri Lanka Embassy in Muscat to liaise with India’s Ministry of External Af- fairs of India and the Indian Embassies in Muscat and Sanaa to coordinate the evacuation process, the statement said. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, too has issued directives to the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in Kenya and the Charge d’Affaires in Muscat to go to Djibouti to support the operation and coordinate with the Indian officials. “The Ministry continues to closely monitor the situation in Yemen and is making every effort to ensure the safe evacuation of Sri Lankans in Yemen back home,” the statement said. Saudi-led coalition warplanes have been pounding Yemen’s Shiite rebels, destroying missiles and weapons depots and for the first time using warships to bomb the rebel-held airport and eastern outskirts of the port city of Aden. Readers Response and contribution Welcome IANS 7 OP-ED Indian Horizon Delhi Friday April 3, 2015 Cuba calling... but are we listening? The visit of the First Vice President of Cuba was an opportunity for India to get to know Cuba’s world view. India should focus its leadership on a country and region that has been low priority for too long BY DEEPAK BHOJWANI I NDIA’S diplomatic agenda recently included an important but low-key visitor. On March 23, the First Vice President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel met India’s President and Prime Minister, apart from holding talks with his counterpart, Vice President M H Ansari, who had visited Cuba in September 2013. In a region that evokes exotic images, Cuba stands out as a serious political example. Fidel Castro ranks with the best- known global leaders. Popular Indian familiarity with the largest nation-state in the Caribbean ends there, or perhaps extends to Cuban cigars. Indian historians and analysts recall Fidel Castro’s visit to Delhi for the Non-Aligned Summit in 1983 and his embarrassing bear hug of Indira Gandhi; Rajiv Gandhi’s visit there in 1985; Manmohan Singh’s visit (for the Non-Aligned Summit in 2006); perhaps even Jawaharlal Nehru’s call on Fidel in Harlem, New York in 1961. Then there is the recent thaw in Cuba’s relations with the US, marked by a historic telephone conversation between US President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro in December 2014, when they agreed to work on the normalisation of bilateral relations. Cuba became — and stayed — communist not because of external pressure, as in Europe, but through an internal process. The Cold War rivalry between the US and the USSR enabled it to stand off the former with extensive support and aid from the latter. With the Soviet Union gone, Cuba got a lifeline from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a soulmate of Fidel. The geopolitical scenario has since undergone radical transformation. Today China, Russia, Brazil have a growing presence on the island. The European Union is probably seeking a figleaf to jettison its 1996 “Common Position” that calls for more gestures on human rights by Cuba before full normalisation of relations. François Hollande travels to Cuba in May, the first- ever visit by a French President. Fumio Kishida will make the first-ever visit by a Japanese Foreign Minister to Cuba in late April. To be fair to President Obama, he had reached out early in his term to the Leftwing regimes in the region. He has had to contend with entrenched US political opposition to the New Left in Latin America, personified by Hugo Chavez — and his nominee Nicholas Maduro — in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and others. Cuba poses even bigger issues. Full normalisation of relations would require the repeal of the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, which extended the territorial application of the initial US embargo (Cuba calls it a blockade) to apply to foreign companies trading with Cuba, and penalised foreign companies that allegedly “trafficked” in property formerly owned by American citizens but confiscated by Cuba in the 1960s. Obama expects to meet Raúl Castro at the VIIth Summit of the Americas in Panama on April 10-11, the first Summit of the Americas — which commenced in 1994 — that Cuba will attend. Cuba is trying to untangle its economy. It has set up a special economic zone around the Mariel port, 45 km west of Havana, will modernise Havana airport and several industrial plants, and has permitted small private businesses. Cuba’s offshore reportedly stores several billion barrels of hydrocarbon deposits, a potential bonanza. Prospecting has been slow and unsuccessful, complicated by the embargo. Tourist arrivals, to this island of 10 million, went up to one million in the first quarter of 2015. US companies have been allowed to provide telecom services, the luxury cruise industry is waiting in the wings, and hotel chains are gearing up for the boom. Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermúdez, a university professor, became a member of the political bureau of the Cuban Communist Party in 1997, long after Cuba left the Soviet orbit. At 53, he belongs to the post-revolution generation of Cuban leaders. Minister of higher education (2009-12), he became one of the five Vice Presidents of the Council of Ministers in 2012 . In February 2013, the Cuban National Assembly, which elected him First Vice President, also ratified Raúl Castro in his post as President of Cuba for a second five-year term. Castro declared he will not continue beyond 2018. This quelled speculation over the leadership transition to the next generation. Diaz-Canel is clearly a lead player in the transition from a closed economy to a more flexible system that recognises the need for foreign involvement. Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, on a visit to India in May 2013, outlined his government’s strategy. Cuba is determined to overhaul archaic laws on taxation and salaries; eliminate dual currency; redistribute idle lands for cooperative and private farming; and attract foreign investment in key sectors of the economy. Sugar, rum and cigars will continue to be produced and exported. Tourism, biotechnology/medicine, information technology will be the primary focus. India has been invited to participate in these areas. India’s relations with Cuba were close during the Cold War. Thereafter the Cuban establishment, which emphasises solidarity, looked askance at India’s moves to integrate with an increasingly globalising world. India wrote off Cuba’s debt of approximately $68 million in 2008. Trade has been abysmally low ($37.93 million in 2013-14), economic cooperation restricted to the extension of a few lines of credit to modernise some Cuban industrial plants. Offers of further credits, dating back almost a decade, have still to be availed by the Cuban bureaucracy. India financed a Centre for Excellence in Information Technology in Havana. ONGC (Videsh) Ltd. was allotted sizeable tracts in Cuba’s offshore in 2006, but exploration was hampered by the US embargo, and financial constraints. The company shut down its office in Havana in early 2014. The lack of engagement has much to do with the lack of economic substance, partly due to the embargo, but also restrictive and dilatory Cuban regulations. DiazCanel’s visit yielded an agreement to exempt diplomats and officials from visas and talks touched upon India’s strengths in IT, nanotechnology, biotechnology, sports medicine and training, and human resource development. COURTESY : GULF NEWS T he Arab League’s proposed Joint Arab Force looks likely to be used to intervene in the failed states in the Middle East, thus backing the important agenda of the majority surviving Arab powers to help restore working national governments in the current failed states and stop the slide into increasing anarchy. This work has started with a series of different coalitions that have been adapted to the particular circumstances of the different countries where Arab forces are engaged. The new force will probably not replace the ad hoc coalition that has been assembled to fight Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) in Iraq as its membership reflects the complicated political balancing that includes some Arab states in the Iraq action but not others. It will probably not replace the Qatari and Saudi efforts to support the US in rebuilding the secular Syrian rebels. But the new joint force could supplement the ad hoc coalition in Yemen fighting the Al Houthi rebels, as the backers of the joint force all agree that the Al Houthis need to be stopped. This week’s Arab summit in Sharm Al Shaikh defined the purpose of the new joint Arab defence force as to be deployed at the request of any Arab nation facing a national security threat and that it would also be used to combat terrorist groups. The Joint force was not announced by the Arab League Secretary-General, Nabeel Al Arabi, but by the host, Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi, who used his closing address to tell the world that the force would be set up. In his opening statement at the conference, Al Sissi had spoken of the need to fight terrorism in Libya and to arm the Libyan government, which has been interpreted as a hint to where the force might get its first deployment orders. The details of the force remain unclear, but the structure and operational mechanism will be worked out by a high-level panel under the supervision of Arab chiefs-of-staff. But it does seem that it would be made of troops permanently assigned to the Joint force who would train together as a coherent unit. This would make it far more effective than if it was made up from units from different countries who met annually to train together. Egyptian military and security officials have said that the force would be substantial and would consist of up to 40,000 elite troops backed by jet fighters, warships and light armour and would be based in either Cairo or Riyadh. Other commentators said it would be headquartered in Saudi Arabia. Al Arabi later announced that the chiefs-of-staff would meet within a month and would have an additional three months to work out the details before presenting their proposal to a meeting of the Arab League’s Joint Defence Council. It is fortunate that the executive triumvirate of the Arab League’s former, present and next chairs (Ku- Arab force to rescue failed states BY FRANCIS MATTHEW wait, Egypt and Morocco) are all Sunni powers committed to the ideals of the new force. The new Arab force is being hailed as a great example of the Arab world finally taking action to defend itself and its ideals. But it will have to work hard to avoid the fate of the previous Arab force that got sucked into its local conflict with miserable results. It is easily forgotten that the Lebanese civil war had led the Arab League to form the Arab Deterrent Force in 1976 at the Arab Summit in Riyadh from a ‘token’ force into the Arab Deterrent Force of 30,000 troops of which 25,000 were Syrian. But the Arab Deterrent Force had an unhappy legacy as by 1979, the Sudanese, Saudi, Libyan and UAE troops departed, leaving only the Syrians in place, who remained in Lebanon after their mandate expired and became the Syrian occupation that continued till 2005. The new force is likely to be focused on restoring governments in countries that are wracked by civil war. It is both an expression of a new Arab determination to sort out the region’s issues themselves matched by a new sense that relying in particular on the Americans to come to the rescue will not work. The post-Iraq faltering American military commitment to the region has led to Washington’s refusal to act over the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on its own people, America’s minimal commitment in Iraq and the Obama administration’s refusal to support action in Libya, which have all helped build a welcome determination that the Arabs have to be able to act on their own. In addition to restoring order, the immediate context of the new Joint force is to resist Iranian expansionism and some of the possible actions may be designed to reinforce an Arab solution for Arab countries. But one glaring case where the new force will not be used is the Arab world’s longest struggle in Palestine. It is certain that the new force will not be directed to march into occupied Jerusalem, regardless of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s continued occupation of Palestinian territory. There are limits to the new Arab activism. COURTESY : AL-JAZEERA Northeast Asia’s shared destiny 'India needs to step up research W in photonics' BY CHRISTOPHER R. HILL hen the foreign ministers of China, South Korea and Japan convened in Seoul last week to discuss potential cooperation on a range of issues — from counterterrorism to air pollution — it was the first time they had met in nearly three years. But, beyond agreeing to hold a trilateral summit at the “earliest convenient time”, the key question that all three face remains unresolved: Will they manage to settle — or at least set aside — their territorial and historical disputes in order to advance their common interests? China certainly hopes so, at least with regard to its Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a thinly veiled effort to promote and stimulate China’s construction industry. But, on this front, Japan and South Korea were reticent, politely agreeing to study China’s invitation to join the AIIB. Both countries recognize the implications of participating in an initiative that undermines the Asian Development Bank and even the World Bank, though South Korea has now announced its intention to join. The AIIB is envisioned as a kind of throwback development bank, one that launches infrastructure projects with little red tape and no consideration of social or environmental factors. But, if the AIIB is to achieve its ambitious goals, which include a modern recreation of the ancient Silk Road trade route to Europe, China will have to overcome more than its neighbours’ reluctance. It will also have to contend with its citizens’ growing impatience with grandiose visions. For the Chinese public, massive collective endeavours are simply not as important as, say, sidewalks and buses that enable their children to get to school safely. As China’s urban sprawl increasingly turns what once had been short, simple trips into long, dangerous odysseys, managing such demands is requiring a growing proportion of the government’s attention. The Chinese authorities are also struggling to cope with the conflicting impulses of their growing national-security state. In recent years, China has taken most of its regional relationships for granted, acting unilaterally in ways that raised tensions with its neighbours. China can repair these relationships – but only if it can navigate the historical issues in which many of today’s conflicts are rooted. Given the depth of these issues, China’s longoverdue trilateral discussions with Japan and South Korea must be about more than development cooperation or even counterterrorism. They must aim to cultivate a sense that the three countries, however incompatible they may seem, share a common destiny. Indeed, their futures will be just as intertwined as their pasts were. The sooner these countries’ leaders recognise this and take responsibility for their common future, the better their chances of escaping, once and for all, the conflict and resentment of the past. In this effort, each country will have a role to play. For Japan, the imperative is to continue to be an engine of development as it builds a post-industrial economy that, given its aging and shrinking population, is increasingly dependent on others. Already, Ja- pan’s iconic brand names have become more internationalised than ever before. Meanwhile, Japan’s political system, like many others around the world, must reconcile domestic demands with diplomatic relationship-building — no easy feat, as rising nationalism raises suspicions among the country’s neighbours. Japan must also meet the expectations of its more distant allies, especially the US, so that it can assume a larger, more sustained role in global governance. South Korea, as usual, is caught in the middle. Historically, when China and Japan were not tormenting each other, they were tormenting Korea. Given how deeply these experiences have affected Koreans, they should be forgiven if they appear at times to dwell excessively on old wrongs, especially those committed by Japan during Second World War. But deep historical resentments should not obscure the fact that South Korea is facing many of the same challenges as Japan. Faced with demographic decline, it, too, is attempting to shift towards a more internationalised post-industrial economy. In this sense, the two countries have much to offer each other. China’s role is more complicated — not least because of its apparent competition with the US for regional influence. Indeed, though the US encouraged the trilateral meeting, it seems to worry that successful cooperation would undermine its ability to contain an increasingly powerful China and protect its own interests in Asia. The US should not be concerned. China understands that it stands to benefit more from a dynamic and prosperous US economy than from fishing rights in the South China Sea or control of uninhabited rocks and outcroppings in the East China Sea. Clearly, this benefits America’s allies, Japan and South Korea. They know that the US gives them leverage in their dealings with China, not only in discouraging its increasingly bold security posture, but also in advancing mutually beneficial economic and investment ties with their giant neighbour. In short, cooperation among China, Japan and South Korea is vital to secure their long-term shared future. But it can be effective only if they focus on the right issues — and that does not mean the AIIB. What these three countries, together with the US, should focus on is mitigating the threat posed by North Korea. To this end, they must address an issue that was left out of the latest discussions: The American Thaad missile-defence system to protect South Korea from rogue North Korean launches. As it stands, the Thaad system is causing much consternation in China. But it is under discussion for good reason. Indeed, as South Korean media speculated about whether the Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean foreign ministers had discussed the shield, a North Korean diplomat spoke proudly of his country’s success in marrying a nuclear device to a missile. The timing of the boast was probably not intentional. Nonetheless, it was a useful reminder of the North’s idea of regional relations — and of why the “earliest convenient time” for a trilateral summit cannot come soon enough. COURTESY : GULF NEWS BY SHARON THAMBALA I ndia needs to step up research in photonics, which will help it solve several problems ranging from lack of adequate communications in rural areas to reliable supply of water, says a pioneer in the realm. Photonics is the marriage of light sciences or photonics with electronics. The entire Internet is based on optical technology and all the heavy lifting of the Internet is through fibres buried in the ground and under the oceans, says David Payne, director of the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton. An acknowledged leader in the field, Payne says in India it is being looked at in only some pockets. The IITs have done quite a lot of work in photonics, which is growing. But these "pockets of excellence" need to expand. "India has been slow to get on the photonics bandwagon," Payne told IANS at recently concluded IIT-Roorkee's Cognizance festival. Payne said photonics has the potential to solve many of India's problems. "It has solutions for water, energy, communication to the villages and access to the villages" Payne says, adding that "it's almost essential now to do anything." If the country has a problem like water leakages from pipes, photonics can help detect such leakages and thus help both conservation and reliable supply. Research in the field saw hectic developments with the invention of the laser in 1960s and now photonics even encompasses the optical fibres where light or photons carries the information instead of regular wire, where electrons do the work. India also needs photonics as the country is the world's largest importer of defence products, Payne said. Target designators, range finders or smart weapons, all work with photonics. Photonics also has a role to play in high energy physics, energy generation and nuclear fusion. "There are fibres on the International Space Station, there are fibres on Mars, there are fibres on the Moon, all doing sensing applications. The latest Moon Rover and Mars Rover are firing lasers on the rocks and examining the plumes for analysing what it is made of. These are some of the examples of the power of optics or photonics," added Payne. UNESCO has declared the 21st century as the century of light; the last century was the century of electronics which saw massive developments in computers, laptops, microprocessors and software among others, said Payne. The present centure is expected to see big advancement in photons for communication and computers. "There will be massive lasers for cutting and welding. And creating the conditions at the beginning of the universe can only be done through lasers," he said. IIT-Roorkee's annual festival Cognizance featured Ajoy Ghatak, contributor to the field of optics and Bishnu Pal, scientist, Photonics Society of India, along with Payne. The theme of Cognizance was "Photonizing I" which IIT-R interpreted as individual empowerment through the power of light. IANS The views expressed in these columns are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Indian Horizon or its management.-Editor 8 Indian Horizon, Delhi Nation News Brief Medha Patkar to Visit AP Capital Region Villages on April 9 Hyderabad, April 2 (NSS): National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded that the capital of the newly formed Andhra Pradesh should be built mainly on Government lands and on lands which are not under cultivation. It demanded that lands on which multiple crops were gown should be exempted from the Capital region. Addressing a Media meet at NSS here today, NAPM State Convenor B Ramakrishnam Raju, State President of Jana Chaitanya Vedia V Lakshamana Reddy and environmentalist Dr M Babu Rao said that prominent social worker Medha Patkar will visit the proposed Capital region villages where multiple crops are grown on April 9 and acquaint herself with the situation of the farmers there. Same day evening she would address a public meeting at Penumaka village, where former Minister for Agriculture Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao, local MLA Ramakrishna Reddy and other leaders of people’s organizations would speak. They said that the A P Government should give back the lands taken from farmers under threats, if they ask for the same. They also said that concentration of all offices and power at one place, that too in a developed area, might result in regional imbalance and regional agitations. They demanded the Centre to give up attempts to re-promulgate the 2013 Land Acquisition Ordinance, which aims at taking away the rights of farmers, tenants and farm workers. Naidu seeks people’s support for building New Capital Hyderabad, April 2 (NSS): Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu today sought the cooperation of all people in building up of new capital for the state. In a video conference with all districts from the secretariat here, the chief minister said everybody should contribute for development of the new capital city. He said every state government employee should also contribute his one day salary in every month for this purpose. At least a brick should be contributed by every person, Naidu said. The chief minister said the name of new capital city would be “Amaravathi” and directed officials to work for achieving double digit growth. NABARD sets up separate TS & AP Offices Hyderabad, April 2 (NSS): NABARD has set up separate offices for the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States. On Thursday, it appointed VVV Sathyanarayana as the Chief General Manager of Telangana State NABARD and GG Mammen as Andhra Pradesh NABARD Chief General Manager. NABARD has announced that loan target is Rs. 14, 074 crores during 2014-15, but it has distributed Rs.16,183 crores. It also announced that the loan target during 2015-16 is Rs.15, 232 crores. AP Governor, AP CM to attend Sru Seeta Rama Kalyanostavam Kadapa, Apr 2 (PTI): Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana E S L Narasimhan and AP CM Chandrababu Naidu are scheduled to participate in the Sri Seeta Rama Kalyanotsavam ritual at Sri Kodanda Ramaswamy temple and offer new clothes as well as pearls to the deities, official sources said here today. It may be recalled that the AP government had announced earlier that the official function of the Seeta Rama Kalyanostvam would be held at the Sri Kodanda Ramaswamy temple in Ontimitta village. Meanwhile, all arrangements have been made to perform Sri Seeta Rama Kalyanotsavam amid tight security at Ontimitta village of Kadapa district on Thursday night, official sources said. The administration has made elaborate arrangements to cater to the needs of pilgrims, besides deploying 3,200 police personal, police sources said. Two additional Superintendents of Police, 20 DSPs, 70 circle inspectors, 150 police sub-inspectors and 1,500 police constables have been deployed besides home guards and head constables, police sources said. 100for100 Foundation to organise ‘I RUN’ Hyderabad, Apr 3 (PTI): Not-for-profit organisation 100 For 100 Foundation will organise event ‘I RUN’ on Sunday where participants will be paid up for taking part in it and can voluntarily contribute the prize money for various causes. The run will be held at GMC Balayogi Stadium at Gachibowli from 7 AM onwards on Sunday, the Foundation said in a statement today. In the ‘I RUN’, participants would be paid based on the distance they complete, if one runs for 100 metres, he or she will earn Rs 100. They stand to win a maximum of Rs 2,000 for completing 2000 metres (two kms), it said. “’I RUN’ is neither a race nor a charity run. Every participant wins here. Of course, there is a mission and it’s to promote a healthy world and a healthier soul,” it said. The maiden event will have 100 participants. The runner can simply take home the money he or she earned or give to someone or some institution, organisation, cause one chooses, it added. Interested participants will have to register online on website www.100for100.in. Selection of the candidates for run will be random and in sponsored cases, it will be based on invitation, the statement further said. TS Secretariat employees seek shift of AP staff Hyderabad, April 2 (NSS): Telangana Secretariat Employees today urged their AP counterparts to work in their own state and premises rather than continuing to work in T region. The officials and staff of the AP Government should pave way for a favourable atmosphere to them to discharge their duties in T region by shifting to their capital region and offices, they demanded. The Telangana Government should take immediate measures, lest we will have to take up another movement, they warned. They also raised objection that AP officials and staff who ridiculed and opposed bifurcation, are now overstaying in their region. They also opposed the officials in finance department for trying to hold supremacy. The TS Secretariat employees also found fault with the staff for not willing to shift over to their capital and offices. Even after nine months of bifurcation, the AP officials and staff are still working in our state, they contended. This is ridiculous that the AP staff is reluctant to leave Telangana Secretariat and other offices they are working in their respective offices, they bemoaned. The AP officials are deliberately overstaying in our secretariat only to defame TS Government, they deplored. Three day Lok Satta N C Meet from today Hyderabad, April 2 (NSS): Lok satta party is organizing its national council meeting for three days from tomorrow here at Amirpet here. The meeting would be at R S Brothers building on fifth floor, according to a release here. Party’s national president Surendra Srivastav will preside over the function in which 150 representatives from nine states would participate. The meeting would begin in the morning with the speech of founder president Jayaprakash Narayan, said party’s national communication committee chairman Srinivas Alivilli. On the first day of meeting tomorrow, Lok satta party’s steering committee would meet in which detailed discussion would be held on strengthening of the party and its organizational elections issues. Second day meeting would begin with paying tributes to Telangana martyrs at Telangana martyrs memorial. On the Final day, the party would take stock of the political situation prevailing in the states particularly Telantgana and Andhra Pradesh. A strategy would be finalized for the elections to be held in some states which would be released to media on April 5, said Srinivas Alivilli. MS welcomes Shabbir Ali’s appointment as LoP Hyderabad, April 2 (INN): Congress MLC MS Prabhakar has welcomed the appointment of Mohammed Ali Shabbir as the Leader of the Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council. Speaking to media persons at Gandhi Bhavan here on Thursday, Prabhakar said that Shabbir Ali fully deserved the post as he was among the senior most leaders of the Congress party in Telangana. He said Shabbir Ali was promoted as Leader of the Party in Legislative Council so as to give proper representation to the minorities. He said while the post of TPCC chief and Opposition Leader in Assembly is being given to leaders of Reddy community, a Dalit has been made the party’s Working President. Therefore, Shabbir Ali’s selection for the post of LoP was absolutely justified. Prabhakar also slammed a section of media for publishing false and misleading reports about MLCs not being happy over Shabbir Ali’s elevation to the post. He alleged that a section of media has been carrying such stories only to mislead the people to project the Congress party as a divided house. He said all the MLCs have welcomed the decision taken by the Congress High Command. Friday, April 3, 2015 Tummala-Gadkari agreed to develop 1018 km NH RTC employees strike notice from Apr 16 Hyderabad, April 2 (NSS): Seeking a speedy decision on their demand of hike in salaries on par with state Government employees in the two states who are entitled to get 43 per cent fitment, APRTC employees today warned of taking up strike from April 16, if the management failed to take a decision by 15. The RTC employees forwarded a notice in this regard to APSRTC Managing Director giving him two weeks time on salary hike. The employees will be forced to go in for a strike from April 16 if the management failed to take a decision by 15, the employees warned. Keeping in view the 43 per cent fitment offered by the Telangana Government which was also replicated by the AP Government, the RTC employees are demanding a similar hike in their salaries. Also the staff demands immediate bifurcation of the RTC assets, officials and staff. The APSRTC management should not ignore their demand of salary hike, else they would intensify their agitation into a massive strike, they warned in the notice handed over to the MD on Thursday. ‘Ours is just demand and there is also a need for speedy bifurcation of the RTC assets, officials and staff’ they pleaded. In the wake of the RTC buses going off the roads for the salary hike on Thursday causing a lot of problem for daily commuters through RTC buses, the employees demanded that the management take a decision in two weeks time. ‘Otherwise, we will be compelled to take on to the streets’ they warned. Sudden Strike Causes Hardships to Students, Employees The RTC buses went off the roads abruptly today, and this sudden strike created great difficulty for the common man. With the RTC buses coming to a halt, SSC students who have to appear for the examinations, employees and the teachers suffered a lot. Thousands of commuters were stranded due to lack of buses. Taking advantage of the situation, auto-drivers and private vehicles have jacked up their fares. At 11 AM, the RTC drivers took out a rally to the RTC Bus Bhavan in RTC Cross Roads. SCR to run special trains to Kakinada Town Hyderabad, April 2 (INN): In order to clear extra rush of Passengers, the South Central Railway will run four special trains between Hyderabad - Kakinada Town - Secunderabad and Secunderabad – Kakinada –Town - Hyderabad via., Nalgonda, Guntur. As per the schedule, the Train No. 07427 Hyderabad - Kakinada Town Special train will depart Hyderabad at 11:00 pm today i.e., 2nd April (Thursday) and arrive Kakinada Town at 11:00 am on the next day. In the return direction, Train No.07202 Kakinada Town - Secunderabad Special train will depart Kakinada Town at 06:30 pm on 3rd April (Friday) and arrive Secunderabad at 05:10 am on the next day. Enroute, these special trains will stop at Secunderabad, Nalgonda, Miryalguda, Nadikude, Piduguralla, Sattenapalli, Guntur, Vijayawada, Eluru, Tadepalligudem, Rajahmundry and Samalkot stations in both the directions. Similarly, the Train No. 07201 Secunderabad Kakinada Town Special train will depart Secunderabad at 11:50 pm on 4th April (Saturday) and arrive Kakinada Town at 11:00 am on the next day. In the return direction, Train No.07428 Kakinada Town - Hyderabad Special train will depart Kakinada Town at 06:30 pm on 5th April (Sunday) and arrive Hyderabad at 06:00 am on the next day. Enroute, these special trains will stop at Secunderabad, Nalgonda, Miryalguda, Nadikude, Piduguralla, Sattenapalli, Guntur, Vijayawada, Eluru, Tadepalligudem, Rajahmundry and Samalkot stations in both the directions. KCR working for the rich: TDP Hyderabad, April 2 (NSS): TDP polit bureau member Ravula Chandrasekhar Rao today alleged that the TRS government is not bothering about the poor people and it is work- CII Andhra Pradesh welcomes AP new Industrial Policy Hyderabad, April 2 (NSS): CII Andhra Pradesh welcomed the much awaited Industrial Policy of Government of Andhra Pradesh, which was announced yesterday by the Chief Minister N Chandra Babu Naidu. The initiatives like 100 % reimbursement of stamp duty; power cost reimbursement @ Rs.1 per unit to industrial units for a period of five years from the date of commencement of commercial production; 50% of net VAT/CST/SGST reimbursement max up to 7 years; introduction of single window clearances to the industrial units; besides others initiatives will be very useful for industrial growth in the new state of Andhra Pradesh. Suresh Chitturi, Chairman, CII Andhra Pradesh & Vice Chairman & Managing Director, Srinivasa Hatcheries Ltd. mentioned that with the announcement of the State Industrial Policy, Andhra Pradesh is all set for accelerated industrial growth. “CII and Government of Andhra Pradesh are aggressively working on industrial promotion ing in the interests of the rich. Speaking to media at NTR trust bhavan here, he said the government is purchasing fortune cars and lands for rich people whereas it is fleecing the poor people by increasing power tariff, toll gate fee and VAT on petrol and diesel. The AP Minister complaints to Guv on TS transport tax Hyderabad, April 2 (NSS): The Andhra Pradesh Transport Minister S Raghava Rao today complained to the Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan about the Telangana Government imposing entry tax on transport vehicles from Andhra Pradesh coming to Telangana, with effect from April One. The Minister called on the Governor and explained to him the difficulties being faced by the transporters in the state. He told the Governor that AP also could impose the tax on vehicles com- Hyderabad, April 2 (NSS): The Centre has accepted many state pleas, including development of six state roads into national highways up to 1018 km and setting up of two dry ports in Telangana, according to Roads and Buildings Minister Tummala Nageshwar Rao. Addressing a press conference at Secretariat here today, he said that union Surface Transport Minister Nithin Gadkari agreed to the demand of constructing two dry ports in the state to navigate the goods, containers through water ways that will come up across the country. He said that Nithin Gadkari agreed for inclusion of river Godavari in the forthcoming “Water Transport Bill” to be placed in next Parliament session which includes a total of 101 rivers across the country. The union minister has given an assurance to set up two dry ports for which places will be found soon, Nageshwar Rao stated. He said that Gadkari also positively responded to their plea to connecting Godavari River with that of Buckingham River to ensure water transport to Chennai from Basara in Adilabad district. The Government will accord top priority to Dry Ports which will play a key role in the state economy in near future, he said. As per Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, existing state roads should be connected to national highways by developing them to national standards, he said adding that the total area of the state roads in Telangana are comparatively less than that of the AP. Gadkari agreed to develop a highway from southern Hyderabad connecting Shamshabad to Western Nagapur for which land pooling was done. Efforts made by the state government fructified as Gadkari agreed to most of the state appeals, he said. through a series of domestic and international road shows and the announcement of the policy will certainly add more value to these road shows. CII will be eager to work with the State Government to meet the 2020 policy targets of increasing the contribution of manufacturing sector to GSDP to 15%; increase the contribution of industries to GSDP; attract investment to the tune of two lakh crores; and create employment opportunities to the additional 10 lakh people ”, he said. Chitturi also opined that the planned industrial development is the need of the hour and Government of Andhra Pradesh is rightly following cluster based approach and also by involving the private sector in the development process. The infrastructure initiatives through - Industrial Area Development Authority, Industrial Corridors, NIMZ at Chittoor and Prakasam, Information Technology Investment Regions (ITIR) at Vizag and Chittoor, Smart Industrial Township, SEZ’s and Industrial Parks are most welcome”. TDP leader wanted to know for whom the TRS government is working. Taking a dig at KCR government, Ravula said the state government does not belong to a single party and it was like a coalition government because MLAs and former MLAs of other political parties were ing from Telangana, but they were exercising restraint. Speaking to the media later, Rao said that since Hyderabad is the common capital for both the States, it is not proper on the part of Telangana to levy the tax. He said the Telangana government was acting in a manner that caused hardships to Telugu people. The transport minister said if the issue was not resolved, the state government would take it up with the Centre. It may be recalled that a large number of private bus operators from Andhra Pradesh have suspended their services to Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana. made ministers in KCR cabinet. Strongly criticizing the suspension of TDP members from Telangana assembly, the TDP leader said TRS government deliberately acted on this issue and it was afraid that TDP members may embarrass it by raising public issues in the house. ADVERTISEMENTS INVITED To Advertise in INDIAN HORIZON English Daily at concessional rates. Pleasing display, Wider reach Please contact: 040-66616611, 66839818, or Email: [email protected], [email protected], 9 Gunmen attack university in northeastern Kenya Japanese Zen practitioners, “Komuso”, in traditional religious outfit parade, playing the bamboo flute, or shakuhachi, as cherry blossoms are in full bloom at Ueno park in Tokyo, Thursday, April 2, 2015. AP/PTI Three policemen killed in terrorist attack in Iran Tehran, April 2 (IANS) Three policemen were killed in a terrorist attack in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan on Thursday, Press TV reported. The on-duty police officers were killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire at a tem- porary police station, which was set up for the Nawroz (New Year) holidays in the city of Hamidiyeh, a provincial deputy police chief was quoted as saying. Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) had claimed in April 2014 to have busted a major terrorism and sabotage network in Khuzestan which is partially populated by people of Arab ethnicity. Nairobi, Apr 2 (AP) Gunmen attacked a college campus in northeast Kenya today, opening fire in dormitories and killing at least 15 people and wounding 29 others, witnesses said. The attack bore the hallmarks of a Somali Islamic extremist group. Augustine Alanga, a 21-year-old student who survived the attack at Garissa University College, described a panicked scene as gunshots rang out outside their dormitory in the pre-dawn hours when most people were still fast asleep. The shooting became more intense almost immediately, he told The Associated Press by phone. The heavy gunfire forced some students to stay indoors as others fled with gunmen firing at them.He said he saw at least five heavily armed, masked gunmen.“I am just now recovering from the pain as I injured myself while trying to escape. I was running barefoot,” said Alanga, who was one of scores of students who managed to escape through At least 54 dead in trawler sinking off Russia’s Far East Moscow, Apr 2 (AFP) Rescuers were today searching freezing waters off Russia’s Far East after a fishing boat sank in the Sea of Okhotsk, possibly after a collision, with the loss of at least 54 lives. Some 132 people were on board the trawler Dalny Vostok when it went down, off the coast of Kamchatka. Sixty-three people were rescued alive. Fifteen people were still miss- Suicide blast kills at least 16 in east Afghanistan: officials ing.Surviving victims were still awaiting evacuation to hospitals after a helicopter failed to pick them up on the first attempt and had to return to base for more fuel, an emergency ministry spokeswoman said. “Nine people are in a grave condition, some are unconscious and some in a state of shock,” said Tatyana Yukhmanova, spokeswoman for the ministry in the KaKhost, Apr 2 (AFP) A suicide bomber today killed at least 16 people and wounded around 40 others, including a prominent Afghan lawmaker, in an attack on an anti-corruption protest outside the residence of the governor of restive Khost province, officials said.The attack Indian dies in Australia after falling from balcony Sydney, April 2 (IANS) An Indian IT professional died on Thursday after falling from the third-floor balcony of an apartment in this Australian city, police said. Pankaj Saw, 29, an IT analyst, was talking to his wife in India on the phone when he plunged about 10 metres to the ground at the apartments block in Macquarie Park about 1 a.m. on Thursday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. A New South Wales police spokesperson said investigators believed the Indian national’s death was a result of “misadventure”, and initial investigations sug- Indian Horizon Delhi International gested there might have been “some fault with the balcony”.Saw suffered critical head and internal injuries, and died at the scene. Saw worked as a systems support analyst for an Indian IT firm, Tech Mahindra, which has offices in North Sydney and Chatswood, and carries out outsourcing work for Optus. His manager, Karen Waller, said Saw had only recently returned from India after his marriage. Saw is believed to have returned to Australia on his own, and was staying with friends ahead of his wife joining him in Australia at a later date. barb-wire fencing.At the time the attack started, morning prayers were underway at the university mosque, where students were not attacked, he said.A mortuary attendant in the town of Garissa says at least 15 people have been killed and at some 60 were injured. The attendant saw the casualties arrive by ambulance. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press. Some of the more serious wounded were being flown to Nairobi, the capital, authorities said. The National Disaster Operations Centre said on Twitter that three of four dorms have been evacuated, with the gunmen cornered in one dorm.No further details were immediately available and Kenya Defence Forces have surrounded the area, journalists said, impeding their access.Terrified students streamed out of buildings, some young men shirtless, as arriving police officers hunkered down, taking cover. mchatka region, which is taking part in the operation.“Although they were wearing wetsuits, they suffered hypothermia because the water temperature is around zero degrees Celsius,” she told AFP.She said the rescue efforts would continue until nightfall at which point they would be scaled down with the search continuing with the use of projectors.Those survivors in the most serious condition were to be taken by a helicopter to Magadan, a city which lies 250 kilometres to the north in the sparsely populated region.Others were waiting for a large depot comes just a week after Washington announced it would not be halving the 9,800 US troops still in Afghanistan by the end of the year, backpedalling on previous plans. The Taliban, waging a deadly insurgency since they were ousted from power in late 2001, Cairo Apr 2 (PTI): Jihadists in Egypt`s Sinai killed 15 soldiers and two civilians in attacks on checkpoints on Thursday, security officials said, the deadliest in months despite a massive army campaign against the insurgents. The gunmen, believed to be members of the Islamic State group`s Egypt branch, simultaneously opened fire with assault rifles and grenade launchers at five checkpoints in the restive north of the peninsula, the security officials said. Medics confirmed 15 soldiers and two civilians were killed in the attacks.Military sources said 15 militants also died in an exchange of fire warned that the announcement would damage any prospects of peace talks as they vowed to continue fighting. “Today morning, a suicide attack was carried out by the enemies of peace and stability of Afghanistan at a rally in the city of Khost, in which 16 people were Western diplomat cautioned “the conclusion is far from being imminent.” And German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier cancelled a planned trip to the Baltics to stay at the talks in Switzerland.In a sign that eight days of negotiations may be drawing to a close, Zarif said he and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini would make a “joint declaration” to the press if everyone was in agreement. “But the text still has to be worked on,” he said. After 18 months of intense negotiations, the six world powers and Iran are hoping to pin down the main contours of a deal to put a nuclear bomb out of Iran’s reach. The aim is to turn this into a comprehensive accord backed by specific technical commitments by June 30 when an interim deal struck in November 2013 expires.After just a few Egypt jihadists kill 15 soldiers and two civilians in Sinai but the toll could not be verified by medics.It was the deadliest attack in Sinai since suicide car bombers and gunmen killed more than 30 soldiers at a military base in North Sinai`s capital El-Arish in January, prompting Egypt`s president to shakeup the military command. The army has since claimed it killed more than 170 militants in air strikes and ambushes. Thursday`s attacks suggested the jihadists were still capable of conducting large scale attacks in broad daylight despite a massive army deployment.In a separate incident, a mortar shell fell on a house east of El-Arish, wounding three civil- ians, police and health officials said. Ansar Beit al-Maqdis -- Partisans of Jerusalem in English -- changed its name last year to the Sinai Province after pledging allegiance to IS, which controls territory in Iraq and Syria. The group, which has claimed several sophisticated attacks in Sinai and the Nile valley, now wants to establish a province of the self-declared IS “caliphate”.After the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, militants claimed a string of deadly attacks against security forces which they claimed were in retaliation for a deadly government crackdown against Islamists. Al Qaeda attacks Yemeni city, frees 300 prisoners Sanaa, April 2 (IANS) The terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Thursday launched a massive assault on al-Mukalla, the capital city of the eastern Yemeni province of Hadramaut, and freed 300 prisoners from the central prison.Dozens of AQAP fighters simultaneously at- tacked six military positions and several provincial government offices, as well as three state banks and the main provincial prison, security force sources told Efe news agency.The sources explained that the jihadis attacked the Republican Palace, the local residence of the president when he is in the region, with explosives, machine guns and grenades.During the attack on the central prison, four prison guards were killed along with five prisoners and three assailants, according to the sources. Dozens of the 300 freed convicts are Al Qaeda members, including the group’s leader, Khaled Said Batarfi, the sources added. America’s Golden State of California to have water rationing courses to reduce usage by 25 percent. “It’s a different world,” state Governor Jerry Brown Brown said on Wednesday as he issued an executive order asking cities and towns across California to cut usage by about 325,000 gallons over the next nine months. Officially nicknamed the Golden State for its clear, golden coastal sunsets over the Pacific, California, where gold was discovered in 1848, is home to America’s rich and Hollywood stars.“We’re in a new era,” Brown told reporters. “The idea of your nice little green grass getting lots of water every day... that’s going to be a thing of the past.”“This historic drought demands unprecedented action,” he said standing on a patch of dry, brown grass in the Sierra Nevada mountains that is usually blanketed by up to five feet of snow, according to CNN.The action comes as the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which Californians rely on heavily during the summer for their water needs, is near a record low. Washington, April 2 (IANS) Faced by its worst drought in history, America’s richest state of California has imposed mandatory water restrictions requiring residents, businesses, farms and even its expansive golf ship with an onboard hospital to arrive.The trawler, a 5,700-ton, 104-metre-long factory ship designed to carry several dozen sailors on fishing trips over several months, had a multinational crew. Russian investigators said it included 78 Russian citizens, 42 Myanmar nationals, five from Vanuatu, three Latvians and four Ukrainians, without elaborating on the nationality of those who died.The bodies would be brought to the port of Korsakov in the Sakhalin region, Russian agencies said, quoting emergency ministry representatives. ‘’Progress’’ at Iran nuke talks after all-night haggling Lausanne, Apr 2 (AFP) Weary negotiators hoped to see the light at the end of the tunnel today after talking until dawn, but cautioned they were still haggling over the last details to clinch a ground-breaking Iran nuclear deal. US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif talked through the night, going line by line over their differences in a bid to seal the outlines of a framework accord to cut back Iran’s nuclear ambitions, diplomats close to the talks said. They made “significant progress,” but there is no “final result yet,” Zarif told reporters at the luxury lakeside Lausanne hotel hosting the marathon negotiations for the past eight days. The six powers “have to examine among themselves the results of the negotiations. We don’t know yet the result of those discussions.” But a Friday, April 3, 2015 martyred, and 40 others were wounded,” said Abduljabar Naeemi, the acting governor of eastern Khost province, which borders Pakistan.Humayoun Humayoun, a well-known MP from Khost province, was wounded in the explosion, he added in his statement. Yemen’s Houthis take Aden’s centre in blow to Saudi campaign Aden Apr 2 (PTI): Yemen`s Houthi fighters and their allies seized a central Aden district on Thursday, residents said, striking a heavy blow to the Saudi-led coalition which has waged a week of air strikes to try to stem advances by the Iran-allied Shi`ite group. The southern port city has been the last major holdout of fighters loyal to the Saudibacked President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who fled Aden a week ago and has watched from Riyadh as the vestiges of his authority have crumbled. The Houthis, who took control of the capital Sanaa six hours sleep, the six world powers -Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- were back at the negotiating table. The stakes were very high, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, adding that at issue was the question of non- proliferation, and “Iran’s reintegration into the international community.” Under the interim 2013 accord, which has been extended twice and which expires on June 30, Iran froze certain nuclear activities in return for minor sanctions relief.Success in Lausanne would end a 12-year-old standoff. Failure may set the United States and Israel on a road to military action to thwart Iran’s nuclear drive.The White House said the talks were still “productive” and progress was being made. “But if we are in a situation where we sense that the talks have stalled then yes, the United States and the international community is prepared to walk away,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. Israeli forces arrest Palestinian lawmaker Ramallah/Jerusalem, April 2 (IANS) Israel on Thursday arrested a member of the Palestinian parliament in the West Bank city of Ramallah, official Palestinian sources told Xinhua news agency. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) confirmed the arrest, saying the lawmaker, Jarrar, is “a leader in the terror organisation of the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine”. Jarrar is a leading figure in the Palestinian organisation.According to Palestinian sources, Israeli soldiers broke into the house of Jarrar and arrested her.The soldiers seized two laptops and a mobile phone in the raid, the sources added. The IDF said in a statement that Jarrar has “actively supported and encouraged terror activities over recent months”. “Jarrar’s detention is based on substantial concerns for the security and safety of the region,” the statement said. Israel is now holding 16 Palestinian members of parliament in prison; most of them are Hamas representatives. Also on Thursday, the IDF announced that it has arrested 12 “wanted” Palestinians in the West Bank. months ago in alliance with supporters of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, have weathered eight days of air strikes by a Saudi-led regional coalition which aims to return Hadi to power. Residents of Aden`s central Crater district said Houthi fighters and their allies were in control of the neighbourhood by midday on Thursday, deploying tanks and foot patrols through its otherwise empty streets after heavy fighting in the morning.It was the first time fighting on the ground had reached so deeply into central Aden. Lal Masjid case: arrest warrant issued against Musharraf Islamabad, Apr 2 (PTI) A non-bailable arrest warrant was issued today against former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf by a court here for repeatedly failing to appear in the 2007 murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi. An Islamabad district and sessions court judge rejected Musharraf’s pleas for exemption from appearance and issued the non-bailable arrest warrant against the former president. The court adjourned the hearing till April 27.71-year-old Musharraf is living with his daughter in Karachi where he underwent a medical check-up yesterday. The case was registered against Musharraf for the murder of the cleric and his mother during the Red Mosque operation of 2007. Ghazi was killed when army commandos stormed the mosque in the capital on Musharraf’s orders. Musharraf was nominated in the case but he never appeared in court, citing health and security reasons.The ex-army chief is facing a slew of court cases after returning from five years of self-exile in Dubai to contest the general elections in 2013 which he lost. Musharraf is already facing murder charges in the case of former premier Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated in 2007. He is on bail in the case.He has also been indicted in a high treason case in March last year for suspending, subverting and abrogating the Constitution and imposing an emergency in Pakistan in November 2007, the first army chief to face such a prosecution. He has also been charged in the judges’ detention case.Musharraf came to power in a bloodless coup in 1999, deposing then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Facing impeachment following elections in 2008, Musharraf resigned as president and went into self-imposed exile in Dubai. 10 Business Indian Horizon Delhi Friday, April 3, 2015 Rajan ‘perfect’; RBI, government think on similar lines: Modi Mumbai Apr 2 (PTI): Amid a widespread perception about differences between RBI and the government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday praised Governor Raghuram Rajan for being “perfect” in explaining to him complex economic issues and said there was similarity in thinking on both the sides. Stating that Rajan would explain implications of RBI’s policies in “just three-four slides”, Modi also said that he must have been a very good ‘teacher’ in the past. Rajan, who has been Professor of Finance at University of Chicago and joined RBI as its Governor in September 2013, said on his part that there has always been a “constructive dialogue” between RBI and the government. There have been talks from time to time about differences between the central bank and the government on a range of issues including on inflation and interest rates. While the government and RBI have always maintained that there were ‘no differences’ between them, some proposals in this year’s Budget indicated shifting certain functions out of the central bank’s ambit including on the public debt management. Speaking at a function to mark 80 years of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Modi expressed satisfaction over the role played by the central bank under Rajan. “There is lot of similarity between the thinking of the RBI and government... This is absolutely essential. As a representative of the government, I express my satisfaction. RBI is performing its role and I congratulate Raghuram ji and his team,” he said. At the same function, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also congratu- lated Rajan, his team and past RBI Governors for their contribution in making the country’s economy resilient. Recalling his bi-monthly meetings with Rajan, Modi said he is “perfect” in explaining the implications of the policies and would do so in just three-four slides. Modi said he himself was not adept at understanding economic issues, but as the Prime Minister he had to learn and understand complex issues. In his address, Rajan said: “There has always been a constructive dialogue between the Government and the Bank, informed by their respective time horizons and attitudes towards risk. “And history records that successive governments have invariably appreciated the wisdom of the Reserve Bank’s counsel.” Underscoring the need to nurture strong institutions like RBI, Rajan said, “Strong national institutions are hard to build. Therefore existing ones should be nurtured from the outside, and constantly rejuvenated from the inside, for there are precious few of them.” Jaitley also lauded RBI’s efforts in improving macro- economic conditions in the last eight decades. “It is the professionalism and ability of the central bank which has indeed served the country well. We’re indeed proud of its performance,” he said. “Starting from 1935 till on Thursday , a large part of the country’s sovereign functions rests on shoulders of the RBI. From management of the country’s monetary policy, inflation, rates... (to) banking sector regulator, manager of public debt... “These are among the functions which RBI has undertaken in this 80-year-long journey and performed them in a commendable manner. Alibaba finance arm, Xiaomi partner in wearable payments Beijing: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd`s finance arm and smartphone maker Xiaomi Inc said on Thursday they will jointly develop mobile payment systems using wearable technology, a first for China`s major tech firms. Xiaomi and Ant Financial, an Alibaba affiliate which includes China`s most popular online payment service Alipay, will enable the Alipay Wallet mobile app to link with Xiaomi`s Mi Band smart fitness bracelet. That will let users smooth the process of making payments, bypassing the need for passwords. Although a small step for an emergent technology tipped to eventually replace wallets, the partnership marks a milestone in China where the function has thus far been more pipedream than reality. The Alipay-Mi Band link will be made available on the current version of Alipay Wallet for Google Inc`s Android mobile operating system, which runs on handsets in- cluding those of Xiaomi. The next version will be compatible with Apple Inc`s iOS. The encrypted link will avoid potential security pitfalls of near-field communications (NFC) wireless technology, which has been criticised for potential vulnerability to theft and cyber attacks. Apple will use NFC to allow users to make payments on its Apple Watch, to be released this month, rather than on a phone. Mutual funds near Rs 12 lakh cr mark in FY15; add Rs 3 lakh cr New Delhi Apr 2 :Mutual fund (MF) industry’s assets base has surged by nearly Rs 3 lakh crore in 2014-15 to become a Rs 12 lakh crore market, mainly driven by a smart rally in the equity market. In fact, the MFs’ assets under management (AUM) hit a record Rs 12.02 lakh crore in February itself. Fund houses are upbeat about the industry’s performance for the current fiscal (2015-16) as equity markets are expected to continue their momentum, making the segment attractive, industry insiders said. In 2014-15, the country’s 44 fund houses together saw a growth of 31 per cent in their asset base to Rs 11.88 lakh crore at the end of March 31, 2015, according to data released by the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) today. The AUM stood at Rs 9.05 lakh crore in preceding fiscal and has been on the rise since 2011-12. The growth in asset base comes on the back of BSE Sensex surging around 25 per cent in the past financial year. “The impressive growth in asset base is due to improved stock market condition and strong inflows in equity and ‘liquid’ or ‘money market’ segment,” said SBI Mutual Fund Chief Marketing Officer D P Singh. “The number of investors has also grown substantially in the past fiscal and a rally in markets and improving economic indicators are expected to result in a much more broad-based participation in 2015-16, especially among retail investors,” he added. However, Amfi’s decision to put one per cent cap on upfront commission paid to distributors may impact the sector, industry insiders said. MFs collect money from investors and later invest the same in various market segments, including stocks, IPOs (primary market) and bonds. Individually, HDFC MF continued to retain its top spot with an AUM of Rs 1.62 lakh crore, followed by ICICI Prudential MF (Rs 1.48 lakh crore), Reliance MF (Rs 1.37 lakh crore), Birla Sun Life MF (Rs 1.2 lakh crore) and UTI MF (Rs 92,751 crore). The fiscal year, however, saw some exits in the MF space. Those which have exited include Daiwa, ING, Morgan Stanley, Pramerica, Fidelity and Pinebridge. Indirect tax collection exceeds target by Rs 4,000 cr in FY15 New Delhi Apr 2 (PTI): The collection of indirect taxes has surpassed the revised estimates by Rs 4,000 crore to reach Rs 5.46 lakh crore for the fiscal ended March 2015, despite a slowdown in the manufacturing sector. The total collection as on March 31 is Rs 5,46,479 crore, based on the provisional report as against revised estimates of Rs 5,42,325 crore for 2014-15, an official statement said. Revised estimate was Rs 82,577 lower than the Budget estimate of Rs 6,24,902 crore for 2014-15. At many occasions earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the Rs 6.24 lakh crore indirect tax collection target for 2014-15 is challenging. The provisional collections during the 2014-15 increased by 9.9 per cent as against the actual collections during 2013-14, which was Rs 4,97,061 crore. Indirect tax collection growth is linked to industrial output. The growth in factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), grew by 2.5 per cent during April-January period of 2014-15, reflecting the slowdown. However, details of individual categories like excise and customs are awaited but excess tax mobilisation would help the government in meeting its fiscal deficit target of 4.1 per cent. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is keen to meet the fiscal deficit target set by his predecessor P Chidambaram. Nudge staff to give up LPG subsidy: PM to banks, corporates Mumbai Apr 2 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked banks and industrial houses to nudge their employees to give up subsidised LPG, saying if one crore people surrender it, an equal number of poor families would get the benefit of this clean energy. Modi had recently launched ‘Give It Up’ campaign, asking well-off people to surrender their LPG subsidy. Addressing the 80th anniversary of the Reserve Bank here, he said so far about two lakh consumers have joined the initiative. There are about 15.3 crore LPG consumers in the country. “I believe that our banks should take all their employees in confidence. Every bank should resolve that their employees would give up the subsidy. All industrial houses should decide that their employees would give up subsidy,” Modi said. The Prime Minister said that the government’s intention behind the campaign is not to add to its coffers by saving on subsidy bill, but to provide LPG cylinders, a clean energy, to poor households who use firewood for cooking. “Give up voluntarily. If one crore people give up this gas cylinder subsidy... One crore poor families who burn firewood, which leads to deforestation, carbon emission (and) their children grow up in smoke... The cylinder (subsidy) you give up should reach to the house of that poor,” he said. Since the government started the new scheme of direct benefit transfer (DBT) for cooking gas, several persons opted out of the subsidy scheme. Modi also said that DBT has brought transparency in cooking gas subsidy which has also checked leakages in the government support programme. Under the DBT, the subsidy amount is directly credited into the bank accounts of consumers even as they pay full amount for LPG cylinder at the time of purchase. The government has so far saved Rs 8,000 crore due to subsidy transfer through DBT. Modi had recently launched ‘Give It Up’ campaign, asking well-off people to surrender their LPG subsidy. Addressing the 80th anniversary of the Reserve Bank here, he said so far about two lakh consumers have joined the initiative. There are about 15.3 crore LPG consumers in the country. “I believe that our banks should take all their employees in confidence. Every bank should resolve that their employees would give up the subsidy. All industrial houses should decide that their employees would give up subsidy,” Modi said. The Prime Minister said that the government’s intention behind the campaign is not to add to its coffers by saving on subsidy bill, but to provide LPG cylinders, a clean energy, to poor households who use firewood for cooking. At present, consumers are entitled to 12 refills of 14.2-kg cylinders or 34 refills of five-kg bottles in a year at subsidised rates. Public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) have given an option to existing LPG consumers to convert their current domestic LPG connection into a non-subsidised domestic connection. Modi had recently launched ‘Give It Up’ campaign, asking well-off people to surrender their LPG subsidy. This can be done by submitting a written request to the distributor or electronically via www.MyLPG. In. In 2015-16 Budget estimates, petroleum subsidy has been halved to Rs 30,000 crore, from estimated Rs 60,270 crore, in the current fiscal. Of Rs 30,000 crore for next fiscal, Rs 22,000 crore has been earmarked for LPG subsidy and the rest is for kerosene. Foreign fund inflows hit record Rs 2.7 lakh cr in FY’15 New Delhi Apr 2 (PTI): Inflows from overseas investors hit a record high as they pumped in a staggering Rs 2.7 lakh crore into the Indian capital markets last fiscal, which ended on March 31. Foreign Institutional Investors made a net equity investment of Rs 1.09 lakh crore in 2014-15, and a further Rs 1.64 lakh crore into debt markets -- over Rs 2.73 lakh crore in all, as per the latest data with Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL). This was the highest net inflow by FIIs since being allowed to invest in Indian capital markets (equity and debt) over two decades ago in November 1992. The previous high was in 2012-13, when the net investment climbed to Rs 1.68 lakh crore. These investors got re-christened as FPIs or Foreign Portfolio Investors in the current fiscal under a new regulatory regime that promises to make it easier for them to invest in India. They have emerged as the key drivers of the market rally here and are likely to remain so. The FIIs had made a net infusion of nearly Rs 80,000 crore into equity markets during 201314, while a record high amount of Rs 1.4 lakh crore was pumped in the preceding financial year. This is the fourth time in history that net FII inflows for a year have crossed the Rs 1 lakh crore mark and analysts are optimistic about the current fiscal year as well. However, they had pulled out about Rs 28,000 crore from the debt markets in the 2013-14. According to market analysts, foreign investors remained bullish on the Indian equities and debt markets throughout the fiscal year 2014-15, mainly on account of several reform measures taken by the Central government. The experts believe that the inflows will remain equally strong or become even better in the current fiscal in view of Parliament clearing bills related to insurance, coal allocation and mining as well as assurances in the Budget to revisit controversial tax areas like General Anti-Avoidance Rule. Right time for talks on India-EU free trade pact: Commerce Secretary New Delhi Apr 2 (PTI): It is the right time for European Union to resume negotiations for the free trade pact from the point where they were left in 2013, but if EU is “more ambitious”, then there might be “some reservations”, a top Indian official said on Thursday. “What is the point at which EU will feel satisfied? In our perspective, we have already arrived at that point and EU should (also) feel satisfied. If EU has more ambitions which it believe should be satisfied now, (then) we might have some reservations,” Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher said here at a Ficci function. Besides demanding significant duty cuts for exporting automobiles to India, EU wants tax reduction in wines/spirits and dairy products as well as a strong intellectual property regime (IPR) in the country. On IPR, India has made it clear that it would not go beyond its WTO obligations on the issue. In May 2013, India and the 28-nation bloc had failed to bridge differences over critical differences including data security and visa liberalisation related matters. After that, no formal round of talks have been held. “We have not spoken for some time now in a formal sense. Informally, we have been getting messages through public announcements that EU is interested in taking up the process forward. This has been said on our side that we find it very interesting to pursue India-EU BTIA,” Kher said. India has asked for ‘datasecure’ nation status, a tag which is crucial as it will have a bearing on Indian IT companies wanting market access in the EU market. India is among the nations not considered as data-secure by the EU. The EU law mandates that European countries doing outsourcing business with countries that are not certified as data secure must follow stringent contractual obligations. This increases operating costs and affects competitiveness. India and EU are negotiating Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) that will include trade in goods, services and investments since June 2007. Recently, the European Union sought a political push by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to restart the stalled talks for the agreement and had expressed readiness to adopt flexibility to iron out differences on crucial issues. Kher said the textile sector would be one of the major beneficiaries of this agreement among others. RBI chief says banks too exposed to infrastructure Mumbai Apr 2 (PTI): The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) chief said on Thursday the country`s push to build infrastructure should not come at the expense of financial stability, adding banks already had too much exposure to the sector. Instead, Governor Raghuram Rajan said, India needed to find new sources of funding for infrastructure so that debt levels remained “moderate”. The comments, at a financial event organised by the RBI that was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, come as the government says it wants $1 trillion invested in infrastructure in the five years to 2017, with half of the funding coming from private companies. “The nation has enormous financing needs in infrastructure, and far too many of our banks already have too much exposure,” Rajan said. “Big corporate infrastructure players have also taken too much debt. The required national push to finance infrastructure should not override financial stability, which is key to national security.” Funding for infrastructure is expected to pose a challenge to India, whose banks, especially state-owned lenders, continue to struggle with non-performing loans. The gross bad loans ratio at banks could rise as high as 5.7 percent by March 2016 from 4.5 percent last December, rating agency ICRA estimates. Last year the central bank launched infrastructure bonds, allowing banks to raise debt and use the proceeds to help fund the government`s plan to provide affordable housing for all by 2022. But issuance has been slower than expected due to low trading volumes in secondary markets. The comments, at a financial event organised by the RBI that was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, come as the government says it wants $1 trillion invested in infrastructure in the five years to 2017, with half of the funding coming from private companies. Still, the government is pushing ahead with its ambitious infrastructure initiatives, which it sees as vital for economic growth. 11 Oil prices down in thin Asian trade Singapore, Apr 2 (AFP) Oil prices fell in thin pre-holiday trade in Asia today after a mixed US stockpiles report, while talks over crude producer Iran’s nuclear programme drag on, analysts said. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 52 cents to USD 49.57 while Brent slipped 50 cents to USD 56.60 in late-morning trade. “Prices have come off with thin volumes ahead of the holiday tomorrow,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, told AFP. Financial markets in major crude trading hubs including Singapore, the United States and Britain will be closed on Friday for the long Easter weekend. McCarthy said dealers are still digesting the latest US Department of Energy’s weekly petroleum report released Wednesday. The report, for the week to March 27, showed another increase in inventories to a new record high of 471.4 million barrels. But it also revealed a slight decline in US production of 36,000 million barrels per day, ending a long climb to record output levels that has contributed to the global supply glut. “The decline in crude production does give some hope that the state of oversupply can be brought under control, and bring about a lift in prices,” McCarthy said. Talks between Iran and world powers aimed at preventing Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb remain in focus, he added. “We are a few metres... from the finishing line, but we are well aware that the final metres are the hardest,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters, as he arrived late yesterday back in Switzerland to rejoin the negotiations. The United States, China, Britain, Russia, France and Germany hope a full agreement, due to be finalised by June 30, will see Iran scale back its nuclear capability, which would prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapon. In return, the diplomatically isolated Islamic republic, which denies wanting to build a bomb, is demanding the lifting of sanctions that have strangled its energy-reliant economy. Flipkart makes senior level appointments New Delhi Apr 2 (PTI): Online marketplace Flipkart on Thursday announced a slew of appointments to its senior leadership team. The firm appointed Hari Vasudev as Senior Vice President (Engineering, IT & Analytics) for Supply Chain vertical. Vasudev will spearhead the charter to build innovative supply chain products and services enabled by technology, focusing on key areas such as robotics, mobile, IOT and data sciences, the firm said in a statement. Prior to Flipkart, he worked with Yahoo! as VP & Center Head and played a key role on a range of end-to-end consumer products and various platform products in the consumer and advertising domains. Flipkart appointed Anand KV as the Senior Vice President Customer Experience - (Commerce Platform) and will work on driving the customer experience charter for the marketplace. Business Before Flipkart, he spent over 18 years in the satellite broadcasting and Direct To Home (DTH) satellite television industry across Middle East, Hong Kong and India. The eCommerce firm also announced the appointment of txtWeb Co-founder Manish Maheshwari as VP & Head of Seller Ecosystem. Maheshwari will be responsible for driving key initiatives such as seller acquisition, enablement & growth and helping to beef up the overall seller ecosystem team. Prior to founding txtWeb, Maheshwari was the Head of New Markets, Global Business Division at Intuit, a provider of software products for SMEs and retailers. Max Healthcare elevates Rajit Mehta as MD and CEO New Delhi: Max Healthcare has elevated Rajit Mehta as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. He was earlier working as Deputy Managing Director of the healthcare provider. Mehta has been associated with the Max Group for more than 14 years and after being transferred from Max Life Insurance (MLI) in April 2014, was working as the Deputy Managing Director of Max Healthcare (MHC). “In his new role, Rajit will provide strategic thinking, dedicated execution and a sense of confidence to MHC as the company pursues its growth goals, explores organic and inorganic growth opportunities and invests in new capabilities, while sustaining the already high clinical outcomes,” Max Healthcare said in a statement. Commenting on the development, Mehta said: “My aspiration is to work closely with the shareholders, the board, the leadership team of management and clinicians to take MHC to even greater heights of sustainable success and accelerate the journey of building an institution that is truly admired for its values and credibility by genuinely serving the society.” Max Healthcare, at present, has 12 hospitals with 1,900 beds offering services in over 30 medical disciplines. Of this nine facilities are located in Delhi & NCR and others in Mohali, Bathinda and Dehradun. Listed companies need to have at least independent woman director: IiAS New Delhi Apr 2 (PTI): To ensure gender diversity in boardrooms, capital market watchdog Sebi should look at having at least one independent woman director in listed companies over a period of time, according to proxy advisory firm IiAS. The suggestion comes at a time when many listed companies are required to comply with the Sebi’s norm of having at least woman director on their boards. The deadline ended on March 31. “Sebi must change the requirement, over time, to having at least one independent woman director,” IiAS said on Thursday . From April 1 onwards, all listed companies are required to have at least one woman director on their boards as per a new Sebi directive, as also under the Companies Act, 2013. Indian Horizon Delhi Friday, April 3, 2015 Sebi proposes including family trusts, NBFCs in QIB segment New Delhi Apr 2 (PTI): Markets regulator Sebi has proposed including ‘systematically important’ NBFCs and some registered family trusts in the Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIB) category, a move that will put such entities at par with institutional investors like banks and mutual funds. Further, the market watchdog has suggested that any other entity registered with Sebi and having a minimum networth of Rs 500 crore may also be considered as a QIB. At present, QIBs are defined under Sebi regulations as those institutional investors, who are generally per- ceived to possess expertise and the financial muscle to evaluate and invest in capital markets. The existing QIBs include public financial institutions like scheduled commercial banks, mutual funds, foreign institutional investor and venture capital funds. In a new proposal, Sebi has said that the definition of QIBs “may be extended to include systematically important NBFCs as per RBI guidelines and family offices/ trusts, subject to such family offices/trust registering itself as Alternate Investment Funds (AIF).” The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has sought public comments till April 20 for this proposal, which is part of a draft paper on setting up an Alternate Capital Raising platform for startups. The move is aimed at helping such companies raise funds from within India and stop their flight to overseas markets. Under the proposed alternate capital raising platform, money should be raised only from institutions and high networth individuals by the newage companies having innovative business model and belonging to knowledge-based technology sector. However, retail investors ONGC plans to invest Rs 40,000 cr in KG oil, gas finds New Delhi Apr 2 : Stateowned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) will invest about Rs 40,000 crore in bringing to production oil and gas discoveries in its Krishna Godavari basin block KG-D5, Chairman Dinesh K Sarraf said on Thursday . ONGC is using cluster approach to bring oil and gas finds in the block KG-DWN-98/2 or KG-D5, which sits next to Reliance Industries’ Bay of Bengal block KG-D6, to production by 2018-19. “We plan to submit a field development plan (FDP) for the discoveries by the second quarter. Total investment in eastern offshore will be over Rs 40,000 crore,” he told PTI here. This will be the single largest investment by ONGC at one location. The block is divided into Northern Discovery Area (NDA) and Southern Discovery Area (SDA). Estimated reserves of NDA are 121 million tonnes of oil in place and 78 billion cubic meter of initial gas in place, and that of SDA are 80.9 bcm of initial gas in place. ONGC plans to develop the discoveries in the block in three clusters -- 14.5 million standard cubic meters per day of gas for 15 years from Cluster-1 comprising of D&E finds of NDA in KG-D5 block and G-4 find in the a neighbouring area. Cluster-2A mainly comprises of oil finds in NDA which can produce 75,000 barrels per day (3.75 million tons per annum), ONGC Director (Offshore) Tapas Kumar Sengupta said. Cluster 2B, which is made up of four gas finds in NDA, envisages a peak output of 14 mmscmd of gas, with cumulative production of 32.5 bcm of gas in 14 years. “We are currently going ahead with the development of Cluster 2A and 2B as we do not have all approvals for Cluster-1 discoveries,” he said. Oil, he said, is planned to be produced using a floating production system (FPSO). A floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit is a floating vessel that receives oil from subsea, process it, and stores it until oil can be offloaded onto a tanker or ship for transportation to shore. ONGC plans to drill 14 oil wells and 10 water injectors in Cluster-2A and is expected to produce 31.5 million tons of oil in 15 years. “We plan to get first gas by mid-2018 and first oil by mid-2019,” he said. Cluster-3 is the UD-1 gas discovery in SDA. “UD-1 lies in water depth of 2400-3200 meters and there is no technology to produce from such depths. “We plan to submit a field development plan (FDP) for the discoveries by the second quarter. Total investment in eastern offshore will be over Rs 40,000 crore,” he told PTI here. This will be the single largest investment by ONGC at one location. And so Cluster-3 is presently not being pursued for development,” he said. ONGC and RIL won KG-D5 and KG-D6 block in the first round of auction under New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) in 2000. RIL began production from the oil discovery in KG-D6 in September 2008 and put gas find on production in April 2009. would be restricted from investing in such companies. At present, QIBs are defined under Sebi regulations as those institutional investors, who are generally perceived to possess expertise and the financial muscle to evaluate and invest in capital markets. The existing QIBs include public financial institutions like scheduled commercial banks, mutual funds, foreign institutional investor and venture capital funds. The regulator came out with this proposal after taking into account suggestions made by Primary Market Advisory Committee (PMAC) of Sebi. Jet Airways to provide seamless travel to Berlin, Dusseldorf New Delhi Apr 2 (PTI): Private carrier Jet Airways on Thursday said its customers can now travel seamlessly to the German cities of Berlin and Dusseldorf via its overseas hub Abu Dhabi. The Mumbai-based full service carrier has entered into a code-share pact, which comes into effect from this month with second largest German carrier airberlin to offer these services. “We are pleased to commence our code-share partnership with airberlin, offering our guests convenient flight connections to Berlin and Dusseldorf via Abu Dhabi. We are confident that these flights will prove to be popular amongst travellers between India and Germany, not only for business purposes but tourism as well,” Jet Airways Chief Commercial Officer Raj Sivakumar said today. Jet Airways, in which Gulf airline Etihad is a strategic investment partner with 24 per cent stake has now 21 code-share partners and over a 100 inter-line partners, the airline said in a release. While code-sharing allows an airline to book passengers on its partner carriers and provide seamless transport to multiple destinations where it has no presence, an inter-line pact allows an airline to issue and accept tickets for flights that are operated by the partner airlines. When selling an inter-line ticket, the operating airline’s own flight numbers are used. Jet Airways operates 12 daily services to Abu Dhabi from 11 Indian cities. Under the pact, Jet Airways would place its code (9W) on airberlin’s (AB) daily flights to Berlin (TXL) and Dusseldorf (DUS) from gateway point Abu Dhabi. “We look forward to welcoming travellers from India on board of our airberlin flights from Abu Dhabi to the German capital Berlin and to Dusseldorf, the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, which is one of the most powerful economic regions in Germany. “Our joint guests will benefit from smooth flight connections and our outstanding product which we are offering on the ground and in the air,” airberlin’s senior Vice-President. Greece tells creditors it will run out of cash on April 9 Greece has told its creditors it will run out of money on April 9, making an appeal for more loans before reforms on which new disbursements hinge are agreed and implemented, but the request was rejected, euro zone officials said. The appeal was made by Athens at a teleconference of euro zone deputy finance ministers on Wednesday organised to assess how far Athens still was from meeting the conditions for unlocking new financial aid. Greece`s appeal echoed remarks by Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis on Wednesday that the country would have to choose whether to pay back 450 million euros to the International Monetary Fund on April 9th or pay salaries and pensions. He said it would choose the latter. A government spokesman later denied that Greece would miss the IMF repayment deadline. But the choice Athens said it would face was repeated at the closed teleconference with creditors. Greece can get 7.2 billion euros of new loans from the euro zone and the IMF if it implements reforms that the previous government agreed would be the condition for disbursement. The new government does not want to imple- ment most of these measures because they go against its election promises of ending budget consolidation policies. It is now negotiating a new list of steps that would keep both sides satisfied. The Greek representative on the call said that a deal on the reforms should not be a “post mortem” for the country as “there is no way we can go beyond April 9th”, euro zone officials said. He added that holding off with new loans until a deal with creditors can be reached was unrealistic. But others on the call, including Germany, reiterated that for Greece to get the reminder of the 240 billion euro bailout, Athens would have to agree on the reforms and implement them and there was no chance of releasing the funds on April 9. Euro zone officials pointed out to Greece that it could manage its liquidity by tapping funds of various entities in the Greek general government and those of state-owned companies, even if it had to pass appropriate laws to do so if necessary. But Greece repeated that this would not be enough to cover both the IMF repayments and its wage and pension obligations in April after next week. No resolution was reached on the call regarding what would happen if the talks continue beyond April 9. Greece sent a more detailed list of planned reforms to institutions representing the creditors -- the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF -- earlier on Wednesday. But the list was work in progress and far from satisfactory, representatives of the institutions said on the call. Some policies, like social measures, went in the right direction, while others still lacked detail or an estimation of how much they would cost, they said. Others still, like some measures on tax, the labour market, a law to allow the payment of tax debt in instalments or steps to limit the autonomy of public revenue administrations, went clearly against earlier agreed objectives, officials said. Fiscal reform assumptions were far too optimistic, some officials on the call said. Euro zone officials said on the call that even though teams of creditor representatives have been in Athens for three weeks, useful work went on only in the last four days and at this rate reaching a deal by the end of April was impossible. He added that holding off with new loans until a deal with creditors can be reached was unrealistic. But others on the call, including Germany, reiterated that for Greece to get the reminder of the 240 billion euro bailout, Athens would have to agree on the reforms and implement them and there was no chance of They said creditor representatives were struggling to get information on the policy intentions of the Geek government because Greek officials were sometimes unaware of plans or not allowed to talk about them. But the list was work in progress and far from satisfactory, representatives of the institutions said on the call. Some policies, like social measures, went in the right direction, while others still lacked detail or an estimation of how much they would cost, they said. Euro zone deputy finance ministers and the institutions representing the creditors will hold further discussions on Greece on April 8, but it is unlikely that a deal could be reached by then, officials said. They said the aim was to have an agreed list of reforms, including their impact on the Greek budget by the week of the next meeting of euro zone finance ministers on April 24 in Riga. CRICKET WORLD CUP 2015 Let s know more about it 12 12 Indian Horizon Delhi Indian HoriFriday, April 3, 2015 Saina in quarters, Prannoy, Kashyap lose in Malaysia Open Kuala Lumpur Apr 2 (PTI): World No.1 Saina Nehwal reached the quarter-finals while men’s singles shuttlers H.S. Prannoy and Parupalli Kashyap suffered crushing defeats in the second round of the $500,000 Malaysia Open Superseries Premier at the Putra Stadium here on Thursday. Olympic bronze medallist Saina registered a facile 21-13, 21-9 win in 30 minutes against Chinese qualifier Xue Yao in the second round of the women’s singles event. In the last eight stage, the 25-year-old Hyderabadi, who currently trains under Vimal Kumar in Benagluru, will face World No.15 Sun Yu. The Chinese worked hard for her 21-17, 20-22, 21-17 victory over Malaysian Beiwen Zhang. Prannoy, who jumped three places to be 14th in the World rankings on Thursday, lost 15-21, 14-21 in 52 minutes to fivetime World champion Lin Dan of China. World No.17 and Commonwealth Games champion Kashyap received a 10-21, 6-21 thrashing in 35 minutes at the hands of reigning World champion Chen Long of China. In another heartbreak for India, leading Indian women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost 23-21, 8-21, 17-21 in 58 minutes to the Indonesian pair of Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii. In the quarter-finals, World No.1 Chen will face Kento Momota, who crushed Hu Yun 21-6, 21-9. India to submit bid for 2024 Olympics to IOC, claim sources New Delhi Apr 2 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi is setting his sight on the right track in order to revive sports in India and Gujarat’s capital Ahmedabad could be pitched in for a bid for the 2024 Olympics. According to sources, there have been developments of a formal plan being worked upon to host the Games in Ahmedabad when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, Has time come for an Indian coach to replace Fletcher? MUMBAI Apr 2 (PTI): “He gives space and time to the player. He’ll have a chat with him, the players speak to him like he is their friend.” This was veteran opener Virender Sehwag’s assessment about coach Sanjay Bangar’s impact on Kings XI Punjab. The franchise made it to their maiden IPL final last season. A low-profile person, but a brilliant man-manager, Bangar has now been with the Indian team since August last year, and the word is that both he and the fielding coach R Sridhar have made a crucial contribution since they were added to the set-up. With Duncan Fletcher’s contract having expired after India’s semifinal loss to Australia in the ICC World Cup, should the BCCI mandarins again look for handing the reins of the side over to a foreigner? If our coaches have shown the potential to do a good job, why not give them a chance? “Absolutely. There is no question about it. There are a lot of advantages with having an Indian coach. The foreign coaches only know about the 15 players who are part of the squad. They have no idea about fringe players and in fact are wary of them. Whereas, an Indian coach would have seen a player, who has been selected into the Indian team, earlier in domestic cricket, and that really helps,” says former India skipper and chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar. “If an Indian is good, why not? There is nothing wrong in it. It is not necessary to have a foreign coach all the time,” agrees ex-India stumper Kiran More, who too has served as chief selector. Team India’s batting coach Sanjay Bangar describing Ajinkya Rahane how to do it at team’s practice session. When John Wright was hired as the India coach by the BCCI 15 years ago, it was thought that a foreign coach would help the team evolve into a more disciplined outfit, bring in a new training regimen and be free of bias when it came to judging the merit of a player. While the results have been encouraging since Wright, Greg Chappell, Gary Kirsten and then Fletcher took charge in this period, a few critical issues cropped up too. meets Narendra Modi for a scheduled official visit next month. Going by reports it is expected that the discussion between the two dignitaries will be based on the dates and hosting the mega event. Modi has already made it clear that he wants to work at the grassroot level to make India a powerhouse of sports and this certainly will be a great step towards that goal. Sources also confirmed that sports secretary Ajit Mohan Sharan has already had a word and held discussions with key IOC officials in this regard. Though sports officials still haven’t confirmed any of the happenings. Brazil will host the 2016 Olympic Games while Japan’s capital city Tokyo will play host to 2020 Summer Games. The ‘Expression of Interest’ to bid for 2024 Olympics has already started and India look eager to ply its trade in submitting a bid. The other countries who have shown their interest and had already sent their bids to the IOC to host the Games are Italy’s Rome, Germany’s Hamburg and USA’s city of Boston. Kenya’s Nairobi, Morocco’s Casabianca, Qatar’s Doha, France’s Paris and Russia’s St.Petersburg are all in contention to bid for the greatest sporting event of the world. The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) will have to send the name of their ‘Applicant Cities’ to the IOC latest by September 15, 2015 to set the process in motion for hosting the Games. No complaints to make against anyone: Mustafa Kamal New Delhi Apr 2 (PTI) Mustafa Kamal, who on Wednesday tendered his resignation from the post of ICC president, said that he was stepping down on personal grounds and had no complaints to make against anyone, according to an International Cricket Council (ICC) press release. Kamal had announced his resignation in a brief talk with the media in Dhaka over the Cricket World Cup trophy presentation snub and was critical of the role of ICC chairman N Srinivasan, who presented the trophy to a victorious Australian team on Sunday, but in a letter to the ICC he backtracked on his earlier outburst, in which he had threatening to expose “mischievous” designs of some people who had denied him the “constitutional right” to hand over the World Cup trophy. In his resignation letter to the ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, Kamal stated, “Let the game of cricket under the leadership of ICC touch the hearts and minds of every cricket lover.” The former Bangladesh Cricket Board chief was very vocal over a controversial no-ball decision during World Cup quarterfinal match between India and Bangladesh, accusing the on-field umpires of biasness. In response to Kamal’s comments, Richardson had to clarify that Kamal’s comments were very unfortunate but were made in his personal capacity. The incident took an ugly turn when Kamal quit after the World Cup trophy was handed over to Australian captain Michael Clarke by chairman Srinivasan in the final which, according to Kamal, should have been awarded by him. Liverpool’s Sterling going nowhere: Rodgers LONDON Apr 2 (PTI): Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers declared on Thursday that Raheem Sterling will not be leaving the club at the end of the season after talks over a new contract broke down. Sterling, 20, has two years left to run on his contract and is believed to have rejected a new deal worth £100,000 ($148,320, 137,710 euros) per week -- a significant improvement on his current £35,000-a-week salary. He said in a BBC interview on Wednesday that he would not address his future until the end of the campaign, but Rodgers is confident the England forward will still be at Anfield for the start of the 2015-16 season. “Concentration should be on his football,” Rodgers told a press conference on Thursday. “If his ambition is to win trophies, that’s aligned with what we do here. Raheem has two and a half years left on his deal and he’s not going anywhere in the summer.” Rodgers revealed that the interview with the BBC had not been sanctioned by the club, but echoed Sterling’s wish that he will be left alone to concentrate on his football. “There was no permission from us,” Rodgers added. “He will learn we all make mistakes in life, especially when you are young. “I think the kid has tried to put off all talk a b o u t Kevin Pietersen `not on England radar`, says Peter Moores London Apr 2 (PTI): Kevin Pietersen isn`t on the radar for an England recall, coach Peter Moores told reporters on Thursday as his squad prepared to fly out to the West Indies. Incoming England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman Colin Graves has suggested that Pietersen may yet be able to resurrect his England career, having been frozen out of the national set-up a year ago. The South Africa-born batsman agreed a return to Surrey last week in a bid to enhance his chances of a recall, but Moores says that his entire focus is on the three- Test series in the Caribbean. “For me, Kevin`s not on this trip, so I don`t need to focus on Kevin at all,” Moores contract and money. For now hopefully the focus will be on football. “Liverpool are one of the superpowers of football and if the owners don’t want to sell, they don’t have to.” Sterling described reported interest in him from Arsenal -- Liverpool’s opponents this weekend -- as “quite flattering”, but the London club’s manager Arsene Wenger was reluctant to discuss the matter. “Raheem Sterling is a top player, everybody in the country knows that now. He is a very important player for Liverpool of course,” Wenger told his weekly press conference on Thursday. ICC World Cup 2015 is biggest ever on Indian television MUMBAI Apr 2 (PTI): With 635 million viewers, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 turned out to be the most watched event in the history of Indian television. The cumulative reach of the tournament, till the semifinals stage, reached an unprecedented 635 million with every second Indian tuning in to watch the biggest extravaganza of cricket. A record 309 million Indians (TAM Panel CS4+ extrapolated to the universe using a standard conversion factor) tuned in to watch India’s semifinal clash with Australia on their televisions, as the two best teams in the world battled for a berth in the World Cup finals. The pivotal game was the most-watched cricket match of the ICC Cricket World Cup Jwala Gutta slams sports ministry for leaving her out of TOP scheme NEW DELHI Apr 2 (PTI): India’s ace doubles shuttler Jwala Gutta on Thursday slammed the sport ministry for ignoring her for the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme, saying that she did not deserve such a treatment from the government after all the struggle she had faced to bring laurels to the country. Jwala, a bronze medallist along with Ashwini Ponnappa in the 2011 World Championships, said that she was disappointed to have been left out of the scheme despite being a top shuttler all these while. “I just read news about Ashwini and my names not being there in TOP scheme. The only support we had was of Govt of India and now that also seems bleak. The players who are already having lot of corporate support are in the list and Ashwini and me not considered. I don’t know what more to be done. I am kind of tired, kind of disappointed,” Jwala said. “If we speak its called cribbing and if we don’t we will be just left out. We have struggled so much to just play doubles even after the performance which was never expected but continuously being discouraged like this by association and now the govt. How else are we suppose to motivate ourselves?” she asked. The TOP scheme identifies medal prospects from a few sports. Printed, Published & Owned by Dr.Rahimuddin Kemal, Printed at M/S AGS publication, D-67, SECTOR-6 ,Noida 201301, UP Editor Mr.Fahim Arij Kemal. Published from K-556, Bawli Gate,Nizamuddin (W) New Delhi – 110013 Phone No. 011-42903388.
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