Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mines and Mineral Development Bill, 2011 in Parliament soon

Mines and Mineral Development Bill, 2011 will come up for approval of Parliament soon. The passage of the Bill will ensure speedy clearance to extract minerals.

In an exclusive interview to AIR correspondent, the Mines Minister Dinsha Patel said that the Bill requires Coal Mine companies to share 26 per cent of their profits and non-coal mining companies to shell out an amount equal to the royalty to people affected by a project.

He said the Bill also seeks to tackle the problem of illegal mining. It recommends a penalty of up to 25,000 rupees per hectare or two years imprisonment or both for those engaging in illegal mining.

Sandeep Sejwal qualifies for 2012 London Olympics

Indian swimmer Sandeep Sejwal on Sunday qualified for the 2012 London Olympics after clocking 1:02.62sec in the 100m Breaststroke event at the FINA World Championships in Shanghai.

The 2008 Beijing Olympian became the first Indian to qualify in the swimming events for the London Olympics after he bettered Olympic Invitation cut in the 100m Breaststroke event which was set at 1:02.92sec.

Sejwal had contested in the men's 100m and 200m breaststroke events at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, but failed to reach the finals in both events.

Khade qualifies for 2012 London Olympics

Virdhawal Khade on Wednesday became the second Indian swimmer to qualify for next year's London Olympics by clocking 50.34s in the 100m freestyle event at the 14th FINA World Championships in Shanghai.Khade thus joined Sandeep Sejwal, who had earlier qualified for the 100m breaststroke event in the London Games.

Competing in heat nine, Khade could not make the semifinals but managed to cross the qualifying mark.He covered the 50m distance in 24.08s.He finished tied 41st overall out of 105 competitors.Sharath Gayakwad has also qualified for the London Paralympics in the 100m breaststroke event.

India and Pak announce Additional confidence building

India and Pak announce additional confidence building measures-India and Pakistan on Wednesday decided to continue their constructive cooperation to counter terror threats in all its form through firm and undiluted measures.Foreign Ministers of both countries Krishna and Khar made positive statements maintaining that they were looking towards a cooperative relationship.

"I look forward to working closely with her, in forging a peaceful and cooperative relationship between India and Pakistan, which is in the interest of peace and development of both our countries, the region and beyond. We owe this to ourselves and to the generations to follow," Krishna said.

Asserting that they have come with a "positive outlook", Khar, the youngest and the first woman Foreign Minister of Pakistan, said, "We feel that the relationship between the two countries should not be held hostage by the past that the two countries have faced. We look forward to a genuine interaction with India in a setting which is respectful of reality of the two countries.

"As I have said, (there should be) peaceful co-existence recognising the realities that exist within the two countries," Khar said while noting that burden of responsibility on the shoulders of India and Pakistan was not only to work for peace and prosperity for the people of two neighbours but also for peace and stability in the region.

"I visualise a resurgent South Asia, proudly marching forth on a path of development, in a terror free and harmonious atmosphere," Krishna said.

Emphasising that Pakistan was looking for a positive engagement with India, Khar said Pakistan seeks good, friendly and cooperative relationship with India as an important neighbour."We also understand the responsibility that both the countries have on their shoulders as important players in the region," she said.Both leaders noted that the challenges and aspirations for the people of India and Pakistan and that of South Asia were similar.The restricted talks lasted for over half-an-hour followed by delegation-level parleys.

Krishna was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Foreign Secretary-designate Ranjan Mathai, Y K Sinha, joint secretary in-charge of Pakistan in MEA, Sharat Sabharwal, India's High Commissioner to Pakistan, and other senior officials.

Khar's delegation included Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Zehra Akbari, Director General, South Asia, in Pakistan's Foreign Office and Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Shahid Malik.

Ahead of the Minister-level talks, Rao and Bashir on Tuesday finalised a slew of CBMs designed to expand cross-LoC travel and trade in Jammu and Kashmir apart from holding discussions on terror including progress in Pakistan in the probe into 2008 Mumbai attack case and ISI's links with Kashmiri separatists.

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