31.5.14

Pakistan to grant NDMA status to India to facilitate bilateral trade



 Photo: Pakistan to grant NDMA status to India to facilitate bilateral trade
Pakistan has said it would grant India the status of Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) to facilitate enhanced bilateral trade. According to media reports, Pakistan Commerce Minister Khurram Dastigir Khan clarified that it was not Most Favoured Nation status but non-discriminatory and parallel market access that is being granted to India. 
He was addressing the media at Islamabad. Khan also described Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to India this week as positive and said Sharif did not indulge in reactionary diplomacy. India had already granted MFN status to Pakistan in 1996. Various sections in Pakistan, especially the extreme right wing, had objected to the term "Most Favoured" being given to India.

Pakistan has said it would grant India the status of Non-Discriminatory Market Access (NDMA) to facilitate enhanced bilateral trade. According to media reports, Pakistan Commerce Minister Khurram Dastigir Khan clarified that it was not Most Favoured Nation status but non-discriminatory and parallel market access that is being granted to India.

Former IB Chief Ajit Doval appointed as NSA to PM



 Photo: Former IB Chief Ajit Doval appointed as NSA to PM
Ajit Doval, former Intelligence Bureau  Chief, has been appointed as National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister. His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
Doval is the second key appointment made after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed charge. The first was that of Nripendra Misra as Modi's Principal Secretary.
A 1968-batch IPS officer, Doval is known as one of the best operational brains within intelligence circles.

Ajit Doval, former Intelligence Bureau  Chief, has been appointed as National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister. His appointment was approved by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.

Indian-Americans - Sriram J Hathwar & Ansun Sujoe script history; jointly win the Spelling Bee



 Photo: Indian-Americans - Sriram J Hathwar & Ansun Sujoe script history; jointly win the Spelling Bee
Two Indian-Americans - Sriram J Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe - today scripted history by becoming co-champions of the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee, after a thrilling final in which they almost exhausted the 25 designated words, the first tie since 1962.
This is the seventh consecutive year that Indian- Americans have retained the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which was watched live by millions of people in the US.
An eighth grader from the Alternative School for Maths and Science, Sriram is from New York, while Ansun is a seventh grader from Texas. Both said they are happy to share the trophy.
The last three contestants were also Indian-Americans.

Two Indian-Americans - Sriram J Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe - today scripted history by becoming co-champions of the prestigious Scripps National Spelling Bee, after a thrilling final in which they almost exhausted the 25 designated words, the first tie since 1962.

World observes No Tobacco Day today



Photo: World observes No Tobacco Day today
World No Tobacco Day is being observed today. This year, WHO and partners call on countries to raise taxes on tobacco.
The main goal of this day is to contribute to protect present and future generations not only from the devastating health consequences due to tobacco, but also from the social, environmental and economic scourges of tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke.
The member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) created World No Tobacco Day in 1987.
The global tobacco epidemic kills nearly 6 million people each year, of which more than 600 000 are non-smokers dying from breathing second-hand smoke. 
Research shows that higher taxes are especially effective in reducing tobacco use among lower-income groups and in preventing young people from starting to smoke.
World No Tobacco Day is being observed today. This year, WHO and partners call on countries to raise taxes on tobacco.

29.5.14

Get ACC nod for appointing personal staff and OSDs: Govt to Ministries



 Photo: Get ACC nod for appointing personal staff and OSDs: Govt to Ministries
The government has asked all ministries to take prior approval of the Appointments Committee of Cabinet, ACC before appointing all personal staff of Ministers, including their Officers on Special Duty. 
The ACC is headed by the Prime Minister. The Department of Personnel and Training said that it has come to notice that some Ministries do not process the cases related to their appointments as per procedures, therefore prior approval of the ACC is required for appointment of personal staff (other than Private Secretary) at the Deputy Secretary level and above.
As per norms, private persons can be appointed as OSDs to Ministers if their names are approved by the ACC.
The DoPT's order is seen as an attempt to discourage ministers from appointing private persons, including their acquaintances, friends or relatives, as their personal staff.

The government has asked all ministries to take prior approval of the Appointments Committee of Cabinet, ACC before appointing all personal staff of Ministers, including their Officers on Special Duty.

Mumbai taxi drivers get English and behavioural skill training



 Photo: Mumbai taxi drivers get English and behavioural skill training
The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), along with the Maharashtra Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (MCED), have started training taxi drivers in Mumbai in spoken English and behavioral skills. 
According to a press release by MTDC the cab drivers will also be given more information on prominent tourism places across the city. 
The project has been conceptualized looking into the growing number of tourists visiting Maharashtra, and also to ensure smooth flow of information between tourists and cab drivers. 
The release stated n the first phase, 1,110 cab drivers will be trained, of which 750 will be trained at the international airport. 
The remaining cab drivers will be trained at Dadar, Kurla Terminus, Bandra Terminus, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Mumbai Central and Churchgate stations. 
It stated that the project will be carried out in a total of 37 training sessions spanning two months, with each batch having 30 cab drivers. 
Each cab driver who completes the training session will be given an identity card-cum-certificate, seat covers that show the various destinations of Maharashtra, and related brochures will be made available in the taxi. 
It added that MTDC has planned to conduct free medical camps for the cab drivers after a month, and planned to replicate the training to other cab drivers across the Mumbai region and other parts of Maharashtra.

The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), along with the Maharashtra Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (MCED), have started training taxi drivers in Mumbai in spoken English and behavioral skills.

Al Sissi heading for landslide win in Egypt Prez polls



 Photo: Al Sissi heading for landslide win in Egypt Prez polls
In Egypt, the unofficial results for the Presidential elections have shown that the former army chief General Abdel Fattah Al Sissi is heading for a landslide victory. 
Sissi’s campaign quoting judicial sources engaged in the counting of votes said that he has got 93 per cent votes in Egypt’s presidential elections. 
His rival Hamdeen Sabbahi is reported to have secured only 2.9 per cent votes. The polls were marked by a low voter turnout of around 44 percent even though the polling was extended by one more day till yesterday. 
Official results are scheduled to be declared on 5th of next month.

In Egypt, the unofficial results for the Presidential elections have shown that the former army chief General Abdel Fattah Al Sissi is heading for a landslide victory.
Sissi’s campaign quoting judicial sources engaged in the counting of votes said that he has got 93 per cent votes in Egypt’s presidential elections.

American author and poet Maya Angelou passes away



 Photo: American author and poet Maya Angelou passes away
Renowned American poet and author, Dr. Maya Angelou passed away in North Carolina yesterday. 
She was 86. Dr. Angelou rose from extreme poverty to become a force on stage, screen, the printed page and the inaugural dais.
An actress, singer and dancer in the 1950s and 1960s, she broke through as an author in 1970 with, 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings'.
In 1993, she was a sensation, reading her cautiously hopeful "On the Pulse of the Morning" at former President Bill Clinton's first inauguration. 
For former President George W. Bush, she read another poem, "Amazing Peace," at the 2005 Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the White House.

Renowned American poet and author, Dr. Maya Angelou passed away in North Carolina yesterday.

Father of Malaysian Hockey Sultan Azlan Shah passes away



 Photo: Father of Malaysian Hockey Sultan Azlan Shah passes away
International hockey suffered a big setback today as the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah passed away in Kuala Lumpur. He was 86.
Sultan Azlan Shah was known as the Father of Malaysian Hockey for his colossal contribution to the sport for over 41 years -- both as a player and an administrator.
His remains will be taken to the palace in Kuala Kangsar tomorrow morning and buried at the royal mausoleum after mid-afternoon prayers.He started Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in 1983.
Under his stewardship, Malaysia hosted two hockey World Cups -- 1975 and 2002 editions. In 1997, Sultan Azlan Shah was elected as the president of the Asian Hockey Federation and he held the post until his demise.

International hockey suffered a big setback today as the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah passed away in Kuala Lumpur. He was 86.

Govt planning to re-launch farm income insurance scheme



 Photo: Govt planning to re-launch farm income insurance scheme
The government is planning to re-launch farm income insurance scheme to provide a guaranteed income to farmers. The scheme was launched on a pilot basis during NDA rule in 2003-04 in selected districts of the country. 
Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told reporters after assuming charge of his ministry that the scheme is intended to protect farmers' income by insuring minimum income. He said the minimum guaranteed income will be derived on the basis of average farm income. Singh said, the new government will also open more agriculture universities for research. 
The Agriculture minister said the government will also involve farmers in policy-making and its implementation. He said his ministry will also launch Prime Minister Rural Irrigation Scheme, to augment irrigation facilities. In reply to a question on controlling price rise, the Minister said, whenever NDA has been in power, it has kept the prices of essential commodities under check.
On the possible drought like conditions in the country due to prediction of below average rainfall, he said, states have been advised to make contingency plan and use 10 percent fund of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana to tackle the situation.

The government is planning to re-launch farm income insurance scheme to provide a guaranteed income to farmers. The scheme was launched on a pilot basis during NDA rule in 2003-04 in selected districts of the country.

India among top 10 markets for Australian business: Survey



 Photo: India among top 10 markets for Australian business: Survey
India has figured among the top 10 markets for the international business community of Australia, as per Australia's International Business Survey.
India has also emerged as the most challenging of the top 10 countries to do business with. AIBS 2014, a comprehensive study of Australian companies involved in international business commissioned by Export Council of Australia was released recently. 
The survey ranks India as ninth important market . 
The country was also seen as the third important future market, with respondents saying they were planning on doing business with India in the next two years. 
Education and Training industry stood as the most important market for Australian international business community when it came to India.

India has figured among the top 10 markets for the international business community of Australia, as per Australia's International Business Survey.

Sachin now in Maharashtra schoolbooks



 Photo: Sachin now in Maharashtra schoolbooks
Maharashtra government has added a chapter on Sachin Tendulkar in the school syllabus so that children are inspired by the iconic cricketer. 
The State School Education Minister Rajendra Darda said that class IV students in Maharashtra would now get to learn about the cricket legend as part their curriculum from this academic year, since a chapter on Sachin has been included in Marathi and English subject textbooks. 
This is not the first time that students in the state would have to study the life history of a cricketer as part of their syllabus. 
The likes of Chandrakant Gulabrao "Chandu" Borde and Sunil Gavaskar have found themselves in the pages of school syllabuses.

Maharashtra government has added a chapter on Sachin Tendulkar in the school syllabus so that children are inspired by the iconic cricketer.

24 Delhi hospitals get online OPD registration system



 Photo: 24 Delhi hospitals get online OPD registration system
The Delhi government yesterday launched an online OPD registration system in 24 hospitals for the benefit of the patients. 
The move will help reduce the waiting time in the OPDs and streamline the rush for out-patient consultations. 
Delhi Chief secretary S K Srivastava, while launching the system, said that it will allow patients to schedule appointments online, up to 15 days in advance sitting at home. 
As per the system, one has to create an user ID by clicking on the link on the Delhi government website and then select the hospital and department in which they are seeking treatment, fill in their details and get a date and time of appointment.

The Delhi government yesterday launched an online OPD registration system in 24 hospitals for the benefit of the patients.

Govt to set up SIT to unearth black money



 Photo: Govt to set up SIT to unearth black money
The government has decided to constitute a Special Investigation Team, SIT, to unearth black money stashed in banks in foreign countries. 
Briefing the media after the first Cabinet meeting of the new government, the Law and Communication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the team will be headed by former Supreme Court Judge M.B.Shah and another former Supreme Court Judge Arijit Pasayat will be vice chairman of the panel.
The panel will include revenue secretary, CBI and IB directors, Enforcement Directorate officials, CBDT Chairman and RBI Deputy Governor. 
The Supreme Court had last week granted the government one week to constitute the SIT for monitoring all black money cases.
Mr. Prasad said, the government will hold a high level meeting for railway safety in the wake of the Gorakhpur train accident. He said that the Railway Minister has already gone to teh accident site to take stock of the situation.
The Minister said that tomorrow, there will be a Cabinet meeting in which other important decisions including convening of Parliament Session will be taken.

The government has decided to constitute a Special Investigation Team, SIT, to unearth black money stashed in banks in foreign countries.

27.5.14

Nation pays homage to Jawaharlal Nehru on his 50th death anniversary today



 Photo: Nation pays homage to Jawaharlal Nehru on his 50th death anniversary today
The nation pays homage to the former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his 50th death anniversary today.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohd Hamid Ansari, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and leaders from various political parties and dignitaries offered floral tributes to Nehru at his Samadhi- Shanti Vana in the national capital. 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tributes to Jawaharlal Nehru on his death anniversary.
Soon after assuming office, Mr Modi tweeted to pay respects to Nehru.

The nation pays homage to the former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his 50th death anniversary today.

Union Council of Ministers



 Photo: Union Council of Ministers    
 
1.Shri Narendra Modi-Prime Minister Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Department of Atomic Energy Department of Space All important policy issues and all other portfolios not allocated to any Minister

CABINET MINISTERS
 
1.Shri Raj Nath Singh-Home Affairs
 
2.Smt. Sushma Swaraj-External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs
 
3.Shri Arun Jaitley-Finance, Corporate Affairs, Defence
 
4.Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu-Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Parliamentary Affairs
 
5.Shri Nitin Jairam Gadkari-Road Transport and Highways, Shipping
 
6.Shri D.V. Sadananda Gowda-Railways
7.Sushri Uma Bharati-Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
 
8.Dr. Najma A. Heptulla-Minority Affairs

9.Shri Gopinathrao Munde-Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation
 
10.Shri Ramvilas Paswan-Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
 
11.Shri Kalraj Mishra-Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
 
12.Smt. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi-Women and Child Development
 
13.Shri Ananthkumar-Chemicals and Fertilizers
 
14.Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad-Communications and Information Technology, Law and Justice
 
15.Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati- Civil Aviation

16.Shri Anant Geete-Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
 
17.Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal-Food Processing Industries
 
18.Shri Narendra Singh Tomar-Mines, Steel, Labour and Employment
 
19.Shri Jual Oram-Tribal Affairs
 

20.Shri Radha Mohan Singh-Agriculture
 
21.Shri Thaawar Chand Gehlot-Social Justice and Empowerment
 
22.Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani-Human Resource Development
 
23.Dr. Harsh Vardhan-Health and Family Welfare
 
MINISTERS OF STATE

1.General V.K. Singh-Development of North Eastern Region (Independent Charge), External Affairs, Overseas Indian Affairs
 
2.Shri Inderjit Singh Rao-Planning (Independent Charge), Statistics and Programme Implementation (Independent Charge), Defence
 
3.Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar-Textiles (Independent Charge), Parliamentary Affairs, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
 
4.Shri Shripad Yesso Naik-Culture (Independent Charge), Tourism (Independent Charge)
 
5.Shri Dharmendra Pradhan-Petroleum and Natural Gas (Independent Charge)
 
6.Shri Sarbananda Sonowal-Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge)
 
7.Shri Prakash Javadekar-Information and Broadcasting (Independent Charge),
Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge), Parliamentary Affairs
 
8.Shri Piyush Goyal-Power (Independent  Charge), Coal (Independent Charge), New and Renewable Energy (Independent Charge)
 
 9.Dr. Jitendra Singh-Science and Technology (Independent Charge), Earth Sciences (Independent Charge), Prime Minister Office, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space
 
10.Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman-Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge), Finance, Corporate Affairs
 
11.Shri G.M. Siddeshwara-Civil Aviation
 
12.Shri Manoj Sinha-Railways
 
13.Shri Nihalchand-Chemicals and Fertilizers
 
14.Shri Upendra Kushwaha-Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation
 
15.Shri Radhakrishnan P-Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
 
16.Shri Kiren Rijiju-Home Affairs
 
17.Shri Krishan Pal-Road Transport and Highwaysm, Shipping
 
18.Dr. Sanjeev Kumar Balyan-Agriculture, Food Processing Industries
 
19.Shri Mansukhbhai Dhanjibhai Vasava-Tribal Affairs
 
20.Shri Raosaheb Dadarao Danve-Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution
21.Shri Vishnu Deo Sai-Mines, Steel, Labour and Employment
 
22.Shri Sudarshan Bhagat-Social Justice and Empowerment.


1.Shri Narendra Modi-Prime Minister Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Department of Atomic Energy Department of Space All important policy issues and all other portfolios not allocated to any Minister

CABINET MINISTERS

26.5.14

Japan beat Australia in Women's Asian Cup Football final



 Photo: Japan beat Australia in Women's Asian Cup Football final
In the Women's Asian Cup Football final in Vietnam, a strong second half fightback was not enough for Australia, eventually going down 1-0 to world champions Japan. 
The defending champion Australia created most of the chances in the second 45 minutes, but could not find the touch that brought them nine goals in their four previous games. 
Japan's victory in the decider was their first after losing each of their four previous Asian Cup finals. 
Azusa Iwashimizu broke the drought by scoring the only goal in the 28th minute from a well executed corner.

In the Women's Asian Cup Football final in Vietnam, a strong second half fightback was not enough for Australia, eventually going down 1-0 to world champions Japan.

Japan lifts maiden Thomas Cup Badminton trophy



 Photo: Japan lifts maiden Thomas Cup Badminton trophy
Japan have won their maiden Thomas Cup badminton title. 
In the even keel final at the Siri Fort Complex in New Delhi yesterday, the Japanese team defeated Malaysia, 3-2. 
Japan lost the opening Singles, bounced back in the next two games, lost the fourth, and eventually edged past Malaysia the final Singles to bag the title.

Japan have won their maiden Thomas Cup badminton title.

A first: Sign language interpreters at PM's swearing-in ceremony



Photo: A first: Sign language interpreters at PM's swearing-in ceremony
For the first time in India, sign language interpreters will be part of Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on Monday. As many as three Indian sign language interpreters would be on duty at the swearing-in ceremony “to ensure that the oath-taking and related ceremonies are interpreted for as many as 18 million citizens of India, who are hearing impaired”.
For the first time in India, sign language interpreters will be part of Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on Monday. As many as three Indian sign language interpreters would be on duty at the swearing-in ceremony “to ensure that the oath-taking and related ceremonies are interpreted for as many as 18 million citizens of India, who are hearing impaired”.

Saudi Energy 2014 gets underway in Riyadh today



 Photo: Saudi Energy 2014 gets underway in Riyadh today
Saudi Energy 2014, a three day long exhibition showcasing the best in energy sector, gets underway in Riyadh today.
An India Pavilion has been set up by the Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre to showcase India’s technical expertise and prowess. 
25 leading Indian companies led by a high level business delegation are taking part in the exhibition under the banner of Engineering Exports Promotion Council of India, EEPC.
These Indian companies export a variety of high quality electrical and engineering machineries and goods world over.

Saudi Energy 2014, a three day long exhibition showcasing the best in energy sector, gets underway in Riyadh today.

Anandiben Patel sworn-in as Gujarat first woman CM



 Photo: Anandiben Patel sworn-in as Gujarat first woman CM
73-year-old Patel, who was Revenue, 
Urban Development and Disaster Management Minister in the Modi Cabinet, was administered oath of office and secrecy by Governor Kamla Beniwal.
Along with Patel, six ministers of Cabinet rank and 14 Ministers of State were also sworn-in at a ceremony. Patel was elected leader of Gujarat BJP Legislature Party yesterday after Modi's resignation as Chief Minister following a 12-year stint.
The six Cabinet Ministers who were sworn-in are Nitin Patel, Raman Vora, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Saurabh Patel, Ganpat Vasava and Babu Bokharia. 
Dilip Thakor, Vasuben Trivedi, Pradipsinh Jadeja, Chatrasinh Mori, Jaydrathsinh Parmar, Rajnikant Patel, Govind Patel, Nanu Vanani, Jayanti Kavadia, Jayesh Radadia were sworn in as Ministers of State.
Four new faces inducted as MoS are- Shankar Chaudhary, Tarachand Cheda, Bachubhai Khabad and Kanti Gamit.
Three MoS in the Modi government including Purshottam Solanki, who has charges of corruption against him, Parbat Patel and Vasan Ahir were dropped.

73-year-old Patel, who was Revenue,
Urban Development and Disaster Management Minister in the Modi Cabinet, was administered oath of office and secrecy by Governor Kamla Beniwal.

25.5.14

14 year old Andhra girl becomes youngest to climb Mount Everest



 Photo: 14 year old Andhra girl becomes youngest to climb Mount Everest
A 14-year old girl from Andhra Pradesh has become the youngest woman to climb Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. Poorna is from the Nizamabad district of Andhra Pradesh. On the unique mission, she was accompanied by Anand, who is from the Khammam district. Poorna and Anand symbolically carried photographs of BR Ambedkar and former IAS officer SR Sankaran to the top of the world.
In November last year, Poorna and Anand were among a dozen teenagers, who became the youngest group to climb Mount Renock, after initially being denied training for being too young.
New Zealand's Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay were the first to climb Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. This week marks the 61st anniversary of the conquest. Since then, more than 4,000 people have climbed Mount Everest.

A 14-year old girl from Andhra Pradesh has become the youngest woman to climb Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. Poorna is from the Nizamabad district of Andhra Pradesh. On the unique mission, she was accompanied by Anand, who is from the Khammam district. Poorna and Anand symbolically carried photographs of BR Ambedkar and former IAS officer SR Sankaran to the top of the world.

Turkey's 'Winter Sleep' wins Cannes top Palme d'Or prize



Photo: Turkey's 'Winter Sleep' wins Cannes top Palme d'Or prize
Turkish film "Winter Sleep" by the director Nuri Bilge Ceylan has won the Palme d'Or prize for the best film at the 67th Cannes International Film Festival. American director Bennett Miller won the best director award for "Foxcatcher". British actor Timothy Spall won best actor for Mike Leigh's film "Mr Turner" and Julianne Moore was named best actress in David Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars".
The lengthy, philosophizing "Winter Sleep," a domestic drama, was among the favourites at Cannes. Ceylan has earlier been recognized as Best Director at the festival in 2008 with his movie Three Monkey and also twice received the Grand Prix award the second most-prestigious prize at Cannes in 2003 and 2011.
Turkish film "Winter Sleep" by the director Nuri Bilge Ceylan has won the Palme d'Or prize for the best film at the 67th Cannes International Film Festival. American director Bennett Miller won the best director award for "Foxcatcher". British actor Timothy Spall won best actor for Mike Leigh's film "Mr Turner" and Julianne Moore was named best actress in David Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars".

Rupee best performing Asia-Pacific currency in 2014



 Photo: Rupee best performing Asia-Pacific currency in 2014
The rupee's surge this week to 11-month high levels has made it the best performing currency against the US dollar, so far this year, in the Asia-Pacific region. This was attributed to capital inflows, and euphoria around the incoming government. With a gain of about 5.3 per cent since the start of 2014, the rupee has sprinted ahead of its other Asia-Pacific peers, including Indonesia's rupiah and New Zealand dollar in terms of year-to-date rise.
The rupee, which closed at 58.52 levels on the last trading day on Friday, has incidentally seen a lion's share of 5.3 per cent gain in the past one month. The Indian currency stood at 61.8 level at the start of this year, and has recorded a gain of 327 paise in less than six months. This marks a major turnaround since August last year when rupee touched its life-time low of 68.80.

The rupee's surge this week to 11- month high levels has made it the best performing currency against the US dollar, so far this year, in the Asia-Pacific region. This was attributed to capital inflows, and euphoria around the incoming government. With a gain of about 5.3 per cent since the start of 2014, the rupee has sprinted ahead of its other Asia-Pacific peers, including Indonesia's rupiah and New Zealand dollar in terms of year-to-date rise.

23.5.14

Tipu's ring with Ram inscription sold at Christie's to undisclosed bidder



 Photo: Tipu's ring with Ram inscription sold at Christie's to undisclosed bidder
A ring belonging to an 18th Century  Indian ruler has been sold at an auction in London amid criticism from heritage groups. The jewelled golden 41.2 grams ring was sold to an undisclosed bidder for almost ten times its estimated price in 145,000 ponds by Christie's auction house. It belonged to Tipu Sultan, a Muslim king, and is notable because it was inscribed with the name of the Hindu God Ram in raised Devenagri script which shows that the king was more sympathetic to Hindus than previously thought.Tipu Sultan is best known for fighting against British rule in India. The ring is thought to have been taken from him by a British General as he lay dead.

A ring belonging to an 18th Century  Indian ruler has been sold at an auction in London amid criticism from heritage groups.

Abhijeet Gupta wins Agzamov memorial International open chess tournament



Photo: Abhijeet Gupta wins Agzamov memorial International open chess tournament
Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta has won the Agzamov memorial International open chess tournament. 
At Tashkent today, the Indian came up with an inspired performance in the last round to beat Russian Grandmaster Oleg Korneev. Abhijeet ended up with Seven and a half points out of a possible nine for a clear first place. He remained unbeaten in the tournament. 
Apart from the winner's cheque of 4,000 US dollars, Gupta also added important rating points to his kitty. 
This is Gupta's second major title this year after the Parsvnath International Open Chess tournament in New Delhi early in January. 
Gupta had also finished fourth in the prestigious Dubai open in April this year.

Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta has won the Agzamov memorial International open chess tournament.

Coal import in 2013-14 financial year up by 17.9%



 Photo: Coal import in 2013-14 financial year up by 17.9%
Coal import in 2013-14 financial year increased by 17.9 per cent to 171 million tonnes amid the widening demand-supply gap in the country.
According to a coal ministry document, coal import was at 145 million tonnes in 2012-13. It said, as per the 12th Plan documents, coal demand-supply gap is estimated to further rise to 185 mt in 2016-17. Coal is the mainstay of India's energy programme as 70 per cent of power generation is dependent on the dry fuel.
Coal India produced 462 million tonnes in the year ended March 31, 2014, against a target of 482 million tonnes. In 2012-13, CIL produced 452.5 million tonnes of coal, short of the goal of 464 million tonnes.

Coal import in 2013-14 financial year increased by 17.9 per cent to 171 million tonnes amid the widening demand-supply gap in the country.

21.5.14

Naveen Patnaik is Odisha CM for 4th consecutive term



 Photo: Naveen Patnaik is Odisha CM for 4th consecutive term
Biju Janata Dal President Naveen Patnaik was sworn-in today as Chief Minister of Odisha for fourth consecutive term. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor SC Jamir at Raj Bhawan in Bhubaneswar. 21 ministers, including 10 of cabinet rank, were also administered the oath of office and secrecy. Naveen Patnaik led the BJD to a landslide victory in the just concluded assembly elections in the state. The BJD has won 117 of the 147 seats in the state assembly.

Biju Janata Dal President Naveen Patnaik was sworn-in today as Chief Minister of Odisha for fourth consecutive term. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Governor SC Jamir at Raj Bhawan in Bhubaneswar. 21 ministers, including 10 of cabinet rank, were also administered the oath of office and secrecy.

Kiev guarantees Russian as state language



Photo: Kiev guarantees Russian as state language
Ukraine's parliament passed a memorandum on mutual understanding and peace yesterday that guarantees Russian as a state language, and calls for the decentralization of power. The move is seen as a concession by the interim government to pro-Russian residents to ensure that the presidential election will go ahead as planned on Sunday. But Ukraine's central election commission said yesterday that 11 of the 34 local election commission offices in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk were occupied and 8 other offices were facing the risk of attacks.
Ukraine's parliament passed a memorandum on mutual understanding and peace yesterday that guarantees Russian as a state language, and calls for the decentralization of power.

Fish in the hills! Himachal emerges as trout hub



 Photo: Fish in the hills! Himachal emerges as trout hub
In Himachal Pradesh, Kullu valley is not only famous for its scenic beauty but is also emerging as a big trout producing place. Trout is found in Beas and Tirthan river in Banjar valley of the District, Barot in Mandi as well as Sangla in Kinnaur Districts. V.K.Puri, Deputy Director, Indo-Norwegian Trout Fish Farm said that many farmers have their own fish farms and are earning handsome income. He said that the trout will be supplied to other districts like Shimla, Mandi and Kangra through a mobile van soon. Trout is in big demand in metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai and businessmen come to Kullu to buy it.Our correspondent reports that British officer G.S.Howell had brought trout eggs to the valley about 105 years ago and poured it into Beas near Patlikuhl in Kullu. The Indo-Norwegian Trout Fish Farm at Patlikuhl has emerged as a major income generating source for the government. The farm has produced 11 metric tonnes of trout and earned Rupees one crore during the last financial year. Nearly two lakh trout eggs were supplied to Bhutan and Sikkim. Trout farming can be done in cold water where the temperature remains between 12 to 19 degrees. Trout is not only full of protein but is fat free and good for the heart.

In Himachal Pradesh, Kullu valley is not only famous for its scenic beauty but is also emerging as a big trout producing place.

At 12.80 lakh, Kumar is costliest Pro Kabaddi player at auction



 Photo: At 12.80 lakh, Kumar is costliest Pro Kabaddi player at auction
Two-time Asian Games gold medal winner Rakesh Kumar emerged as the top money earner and was bought for 12.80 rupees lakh by Jaipur franchise Pink Panthers in the inaugural Pro Kabaddi League player auction held in Mumbai. Charu Sharma of league promoters Mashal Sports briefed the media in Mumbai on Tuesday. Kumar was part of the Indian men's gold winning squad at the 2006 Qatar Asian Games and the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games as well as the 2007 World Cup winning team. He fetched the top prize in the auction featuring 96 players from 13 countries. The league is scheduled from July 26 to August 31.

Two-time Asian Games gold medal winner Rakesh Kumar emerged as the top money earner and was bought for 12.80 rupees lakh by Jaipur franchise Pink Panthers in the inaugural Pro Kabaddi League player auction held in Mumbai.

Tiniest synthetic motor to aid drug-delivery to live cells



 Photo: Tiniest synthetic motor to aid drug-delivery to live cells
US Scientists have developed the world's smallest, fastest and longest-running tiny synthetic motor to date that can fit inside a cell and spin as fast as a jet engine. Researchers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin said the nanomotor is an important step towards developing miniature machines that could one day move through the body to administer insulin for diabetics when needed, or target and treat cancer cells without harming good cells. The invention could provide a new approach to controlled biochemical drug delivery to live cells. The study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

US Scientists have developed the world's smallest, fastest and longest-running tiny synthetic motor to date that can fit inside a cell and spin as fast as a jet engine.

Chamling is Sikkim CM for record 5th time



 Photo: Chamling is Sikkim CM for record 5th time
Pawan Chamling was today sworn in as Sikkim Chief Minister for a record fifth consecutive time. Governor Shriniwas Patil administered the oath of office
to Chamling and 11 ministers at Raj Bhawan in Gangtok. The Chamling-led Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) had secured a two-thirds majority in the Assembly elections winning 22 seats out of 32. He was yesterday elected as the SDF Legislature Party leader following which the Governor invited him to form the government.

Pawan Chamling was today sworn in as Sikkim Chief Minister for a record fifth consecutive time. Governor Shriniwas Patil administered the oath of office
to Chamling and 11 ministers at Raj Bhawan in Gangtok.