Friday, April 15, 2011

Lokpal bill draft first Meet

The first meeting of the newly-constituted joint committee comprising ministers and civil society activists to draft the Lokpal Bill will be held at 10:00 AM 16 April, 2011 at North Block New Delhi:Government today said, it has an open mind on the Lokpal Bill. The 10-member Joint Committee will hold its first meeting tomorrow to draft the Lokpal Bill. Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily hoped that discussions will pave way for a convergence of ideas on the anti-corruption legislation. Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who is also on the panel told reporters in New Delhi that the government, civil society and common people - all have one target that there should be greater transparency and responsibilities should be clearly fixed in the bill.
The minister said that the focus of the committee is to find the best way in which corruption in high places can be effectively tackled.
The minister also disapproved of political parties raking up issues related to the proposed Bill, saying it would be better if comments are made only after an outline on the bill emerges.
Festivals of Baisakhi and Rongali Bihu are being celebrated today with gusto and traditional enthusiasm across the country.The President, Vice President and Prime Minister have greeted the people on the occasion of Baishkhi, Vishu and Rongali Bihu.Baisakhi celebrations are on in many Northern states especially in Punjab. Farmers are jubilant as their crop is ready to give them dividend. Religious functions are going on in Gurdwaras to celebrate the founding of Khalsa Panth on Baisakhi in 1699.Farmers are admiring golden coloured wheat crop standing in their farms.Baisakhi is not merely a start of new season but is also a celebration of the Khalsa's birthday as it was on this day in 1699 the tenth Guru, Gobind Singh ji founded the Khalsa Panth at Anandpur Sahib.Besides all Gurdwaras in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and J&K, religious functions are on at Gurdwara in Anandpur Sahib and at Damdama Sahib in Talwandi Sabo where Guru Gobind Singh had compiled Adi Granth.People belonging to all faiths are paying obeisance and partaking ‘langar’ from community kitchens run by devotees and Gurdwaras.

Punjab Govt. has also announced to grant remission of sentence, from one year to two months, to those inmates who have been convicted by the criminal courts in the state but not to those who had been convicted in heinous crimes.

Assam, celebrate Rongali or Bohaag Bihu across the state. It marks the beginning of New Year at the advent of seeding time. Today is Goru Bihu(cow bihu).People are queuing up to wash and worship their cows in river and pond from morning. New ropes are also tied to cows.Tomorrow is the Manuh Bihu(Human Bihu).The day begins with the young seeking the blessings of the elders.Elder people offer Gamosha (traditional shawl) as Bihuwan (Bihu gift) to the family members along with other gifts. Husori troupes will visit house to house to perform Bihu dance.Over four hundreds of Bihutolis (community Bihu pandals) have been set -up in various places of the state with three to four -day programmes. Bihu dance competitions along with cultural programmes,rural sports will be organized.Performing Bihu dance by young women, wearing Muga attire and decorated with Kapou(coastal flower )and traditional ornaments, is truly a unforgettable moments for many people.Three hundred artists are ready to enthrall the audience in Bihu stage. The selling of clothes, Gamosha ,flatten rice,jaggery, curd and varieties of Assam dishes have already been increased .Governor J.B Patnaik, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta among others extended Bihu greetings to all sections of people.Baisakhi melas are also being organized to exhibit the local agricultural and handloom products.Guwahati city with over a hundred Bihu pandals have been erected. Today is the last day of the Chaitra month of the Assamese calendar. The day is celebrated as the Goru or cattle Bihu. On this day people worship cows and other domesticated animals and take them to ponds and rivers for a bath.

On Friday, the first day of the Assamese New Year Bohaag will be observed as the manuh (Man) Bihu. On this day, the younger generation respects the elders and exchange Bihuwans, gifts and good wishes among themselves. People also visit temples to offer prayers.

Alround merry-making mark this festival. Faat Bihu and Jeng Bihu are other forms of the Rongali Bihu where young men and women participate. Bodo-Kachari tribes of the State celebrate it as ‘Baisago’.

PM’s Press Conference at the BRICSSummit

Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s statement at the Joint Press Conference after the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) leaders meeting in Sanya, China today:

“I would like to thank His Excellency President Hu Jintao for hosting the BRICS Summit in this beautiful city of Sanya. I thank the Government and the people of China for their warm hospitality and for the excellent arrangements that have been made.

I would also like to warmly welcome South Africa as a member of BRICS. We have greatly benefited from President Jacob Zuma’s wise counsel in our deliberations.

We have had very fruitful discussions at the Summit. We have reviewed the international situation, discussed international economic, financial and trade issues, the challenges of sustainable development, food security, energy security and climate change.

We have adopted the Sanya Declaration and agreed upon an Action Plan to deepen and broaden cooperation among our countries. This is an extremely rich and ambitious agenda. It covers the areas of security, finance, business links, agriculture, health, culture, sports and the green economy.

Our designated banks have signed a framework agreement on financial cooperation which envisages grant of credit in local currencies and cooperation in capital markets and other financial services.

In a short span of two years since our first Summit in 2009, BRICS has thus travelled a long distance.

The quality and durability of the global economic recovery process depends to a great measure on how the BRICS economies perform. We have reason to be satisfied with the management of our economies, but there is no room for complacency. The developments in West Asia and North Africa and the aftermath of the huge tragedy that befell Japan have introduced fresh uncertainties in the global recovery process. At the same time, the world continues to grapple with threats to security from terrorism and piracy.

As members of the G-20, the BRICS countries closely cooperate with the rest of the world. We will continue to do so as we prepare for the next G-20 Summit in France.

It is a unique coincidence that this year all the BRICS countries are also members of the United Nations Security Council. We have therefore agreed to intensify our consultations to address the major economic and political challenges that face us. An important objective must remain the reform of institutions of global governance to make them truly representative of contemporary realities.

I am deeply encouraged by the consensus among us of the need for an international order that is rule based and respects the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of individual States.

I have invited the BRICS leaders to India for the next BRICS Summit in 2012, and I am happy that they have accepted my invitation.

I once again thank President Hu Jintao for hosting this Summit and for his admirable leadership in guiding it to a successful conclusion.

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