Sunday, February 3, 2013

Clashes in Spain after PM denies corruption allegations

Clashes between riot police and protester erupted in Mandrid, Spain after the televised denial of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy that he had accepted under-the-table payments.

Impromptu demonstrations were broke out in several cities including Barcelona, Alicante, Valladolid, and Sevilla calling on the party to explain its finances.
The Prime Minister promised to publicly disclose the amount of funds in all his personal bank accounts next week, denying recent media reports that alleged he and members of his governing conservative Popular Party accepted or made under-the-table payments.
Speaking at a special executive committee meeting at his party's Madrid headquarters on Saturday , the Prime Minister said "it is false" that he received or distributed undeclared money.
Earlier, El Pais, a leading newspaper in the country had published details of secret papers belonging to former party treasurer Luis Barcenas allegedly documenting undeclared payments.
The money was allegedly paid by businesses, many linked to the once booming construction industry, before the sector imploded in 2008.
Further, the paper stated nearly two-thirds of the alleged payments violated Spain's party financing laws.
However, the Prime Minister denies the allegations.


The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) , apex body of the trading community today at its national core committee held at Vashi in Mumbai resolved  to support the Bharat Bandh call on 20th and 21st February, given by 11 Central Trade Unions of the Country whereas on the other hand the meeting also declared to observe the February month as “ Retail FDI Agitation Month” across the Country in furtherance of success of the proposed Massive “Save Retail Democracy Rally” on forthcoming 7th March at New Delhi. To align the women power with the agitation against FDI in Retail, the CAIT has declared to form a “CAIT Women Organization” and constituted a six member women entrepreneurs of the Country.  To intensify the agitation , the CAIT has adopted “ Retail FDI Bhagao- Apne Watan Ko Bachao” as the punch line of the agitation and to make mass awareness all over the Country, the CAIT also adopted a ‘agitation song” “ Mat Becho Is Desh Ko Yaaron Duniaya Ke Bazar Main- Apna Fir Bhi Apna Hai Jaisa Bhi Ho Sansar Main. The meeting was chaired by CAIT National President Mr. B. C. Bhartia.

The core committee meeting was attended by 53 senior trade leaders of the Country from leading trade organizations of 21 States and was also attended by more than 100 prominent trade leaders from different Districts of the Maharashtra. The meeting also bitterly opposed the recently imposed LBT tax by Maharashtra Government and also demanded the Central Government for re-visiting of the Food Safety and Standards Act which is nothing but a carbon copy of the foreign Act.

CAIT National Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal while calling the FDI in Retail as a battle of “Corporate Aristocracy v/s Retail Democracy” informed that senior trade union leader and MP Shri Gurudas Das Gupta on behalf of all 11 Central Trade Unions delivered a request letter to CAIT to join the Bharat Bandh call of the trade unions on 20-21 Feburary,2013. The Committee while considering the request decided to support the Trade Union’s Bharat Bandh call and to decide about the closure of shops on these days a Committee has been constituted to talk to the trade unions and leaders of other retail stakeholders  and will soon take a decision. The Committee is comprised of CAIT National Chairman Shri Mahendra Shah, CAIT National President Shri B. C. Bhartia, Senior Vice President Shri Brijmohan Aggarwal, Kirti Rana, National Organising Secretary Shri Satish Garg and National Secretary Shri R. P. Khaitan.

Shri Khandelwal further stated that an Organising Committee of Trade Leaders for Save Retail Democracy Rally on 7th March, under the Chairmanship of Shri Satish Garg and consisting of CAIT Delhi State President Shri Narender Madan, General Secretary Shri Vijay Pal, Senior leader Shri Adarsh Gupta, Mr. Mahesh Bakhai, Secretary, CAIT Maharashtra Chapter, Prominent Leader from Haryana Shri Ashok Buwaniwala, Shri Sanjay Patwari of Uttar Pradesh Vyapar Mandal, Senior Leader from Rajasthan Shri Suresh Patodia, Shri Harish Garg from Chandigarh and leading trade leader of MP Shri Ramesh Khandelwal & Shri Radhey Shyam Maheshwari.
Shri Khandelwal further informed that to obtain the strength of women power in India with FDI in Retail agitation the CAIT has constituted “ CAIT Women Organisation” headed by Smt. Seema Sethi, as its National Convenor and a Governing Board comprising of six leading Women Entrepreneurs including Ms.Bhagyesh Soni from Gujarat, Smt. Rakhi Softa Sharma from New Delhi, Smt Jyoti Kapri from Mumbai, Smt Raksha Bharat Shah from Banglore and Smt. Sumitra Aggarwal .

Shri Khandelwal also informed that to generate a mass awareness about FDI in Retail, the CAIT has adopted a “agitation song’ composed by CAIT National Secretary Shri  Ramesh Khanna and such agitation song will be forwarded through CD, face book, You Tube  and by other means to enroll maximum people in the Country with the agitation,


General Motors India Launches Chevrolet Sail Premium Sedan
Redefines styling, comfort, performance and safety

New Delhi – General Motors India launched the Chevrolet Sail today. The premium sedan takes styling, comfort, performance and safety in its segment to a new level.
The Sail is built on a new global passenger car platform created especially for fast-growing emerging markets. Engineers at the GM Technical Center-India in Bangalore spent nearly two years refining the platform for India to ensure that it would meet the requirements of the local market and car buyers.
“The eagerly anticipated Sail is an important addition to GM’s sedan line-up in India. It competes in one of the largest and fastest-growing segments,” said Lowell Paddock, President and Managing Director of GM India. “The Sail embodies the bold pioneering spirit and ingenuity that have become the hallmark of Chevrolet.”
Dynamic and Sporty Exterior
The Sail’s exterior exudes Chevrolet’s sporty styling. It has an aggressive front end based on the dynamic sculpture design philosophy along with a wide stance. Its muscular physique is enhanced by wide-angled jewel-effect tail-lamps and wrap-around headlamps.
The front view features Chevrolet’s signature design cues, including a dual-port grille adorned with a gold bowtie that gives it a bold look. “Hawk Wing” headlamps and “Shooting Star” front fog-lamps enhance the vehicle’s elegance.
From the side, its unique waist-line accentuates the sedan’s dynamic stance. It has a long front and short rear, with a lower stance in front that moves upward in back. Its bold contours give it a classic three-dimensional look, which sets it apart in the segment. The streamlined shape adds a vibrant styling element while reducing drag, for lower fuel consumption. Large panoramic side windows and wide-opening rear doors give it the feel of a much larger car.
The Chevrolet Sail is available in seven exterior colours: Velvet Red, Switchblade Silver, Summit White, Caviar Black, Linen Beige, Sandrift Grey and Misty Lake.

Luxurious and Comfortable Interior
The Sail’s interior combines comfort and ergonomic convenience. Its Chevrolet Corvette-inspired dual cockpit design incorporates well-supported seats and fold-away rear armrests. The “Rising Sun” instrument cluster complements a luxuriously blended two-tone interior with highlights in silver and chrome.
The smart and spacious design philosophy was adopted to ensure the space of a family car, giving the sedan room for up to five people in comfort. Short front and rear overhangs along with a fuel tank situated in the middle of the car maximise interior space and provide among the best legroom in the segment.
The sedan’s high roof design offers ample headroom even for taller passengers. Smart and well-thought-out storage spaces as well as a spacious boot provide room for passengers to stow their belongings for a daily commute or weekend trip.
The Fun-Wide entertainment system has Bluetooth® functionality. It supports upto five phone pairings and music streaming.
Advanced and Efficient Powertrains
The Sail is available with a choice of SMARTECH diesel and petrol engines that provide a combination of power, fuel efficiency and low emissions.
1.3-Litre SDE SMARTECH Diesel Engine
The 1.3-litre SDE SMARTECH common rail diesel engine is a revolution in small diesel engine technology. It was developed by the GM Diesel Engine Technical Center in Turin, Italy, with the support of engineers in Pune and Bangalore to achieve a balance between cost, performance and fuel efficiency specifically for car buyers in the Indian market.
The state-of-the-art four-cylinder engine delivers power of 78 PS @ 4,000 rpm and torque of 205 Nm @ 1,750+/-50 rpm along with fuel economy of 22.1 km/l.
Among its cutting-edge technical features are a lightweight aluminum alloy DOHC cylinder head, lightweight pistons with graphite-coated skirts and anti-friction properties, and low-tension piston rings that decrease weight and increase fuel economy. A short-skirt compact cast iron cylinder block with an aluminum bedplate enhances stiffness.

Torsional vibration dampers are provided for improved noise, vibration and harshness performance. In addition, the engine has a low-inertia valvetrain with hydraulic lash adjusters and a lifetime maintenance-free timing chain.

The engine’s advanced common rail fuel injection system, close-coupled diesel oxidation catalyst, and electrically operated, water-cooled external EGR with pneumatically controlled EGR bypass effectively limit emissions. A fixed-geometry turbocharger with a vacuum-operated waste gate for smooth and efficient operation delivers superior torque from very low engine rpms. An electronic accelerator control further enhances the engine’s smooth operation.
1.2-Litre SMARTECH Petrol Engine
The 1.2-litre SMARTECH petrol engine was created by the GM Technical Center-India in cooperation with GM India’s Powertrain plant in Talegaon, Pune. The engine features aluminum cylinder heads, a deep skirt cylinder block and lightweight pistons with low-tension rings, which decrease weight and maximise fuel economy.
The engine also features a DOHC valvetrain with direct-acting valve actuation to further improve efficiency, as well as a long-runner plastic intake manifold for good low-end torque and a lightweight counterbalanced crankshaft that limits noise, vibration and harshness. The engine’s maintenance-free inverted tooth timing chain drive system has chain links that engage at a lower impact speed for quiet operation.
The engine delivers uncompromised power and durability in a small package. The application of an epoxy coating on the cylinder block and anti-corrosion coating on cam cover baffles along with the use of stainless steel core plugs and bay-to-bay ventilation ensure a long life.
Extensive testing and validation of the engines were carried out in India to guarantee top-of-the-line performance. Both engines are being built at GM’s world-class flexible engine plant in Pune.
F17 Premium Transmission
The Sail equipped with a diesel engine comes with a premium F17 transmission, which is popular in Europe and other parts of the world. It features a high-efficiency two-shaft single housing gearbox with slick shifting for sporty and spirited performance. The gear ratios have been customised to handle demanding traffic conditions in India, which mandate low-end torque delivery. This ensures hassle-free driving in the city and enables quick overtaking on highways.
TautRide and Handling
The Sail’s steering, suspension and braking systems have been finely tuned. As a result, the sedan delivers taut, tight handling, which enhances road feedback and connectivity with the driver.
Significant attention was given to short as well as long commutes by reducing fatigue-inducing road vibration. Gas-filled front and rear shock absorbers optimise damping to isolate road undulations on rough to coarse terrain. MacPherson struts in front and a torsion beam axle rear suspension with gas-charged dampers along with a rigid chassis work together to maximise ride quality. Large 14-inch tires enable the Sail to negotiate speed bumps and potholes with ease.
Advanced Safety and Extensive Testing
In line with Chevrolet’s global focus on safety, the Sail comes with an extensive array of active and passive safety features. It includes safety cage body construction, which is supported by the extensive use of high-strength steel. The three-point structure is capable of dispersing 80 percent of the force in a front impact. It also prevents intrusion into the cabin. The fuel tank is protected by steel beam-rolling ribs.
An engine immobilizer, central door locking, speed-sensitive automatic door locks and remote keyless entry enhance active safety. In addition, three of the four Sail variants come with air bags, while anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) are available in the top two variants.
The Sail has been put through more than 6.3 million km of testing on different terrains and in extreme climate conditions across India and in other countries. To further meet the highest quality expectations of customers, 1,567 parts and components underwent the same stringent global testing that GM applies to its luxury cars. GM’s global quality management processes and standards were also applied in R&D, procurement, quality control and manufacturing. 
The Sail comes with an industry-first 3-5-3 advantage: a three-year/100,000-km (whichever comes first) standard warranty; a five-year/150,000-km (whichever comes first) engine and transmission warranty; and the three-year/ 45,000 km (whichever comes first) Chevrolet Promise.
The Chevrolet Promise can also be optionally bought upfront by consumers by choosing the Chevrolet Promise Retail Package as a free maintenance package for 3 years or 45,000 km (whichever comes first) under which the vehicle maintenance including cost of consumables, parts and labor cost are covered for the said period at no additional cost. The only exclusions are tire replacement, battery replacement, accident repair and accessories repair or replacement and Car care / detailing products.
About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. The Chevrolet brand was introduced in India in 2003 and is one of the fastest-growing automotive nameplates in the country. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design and high quality. The Chevrolet portfolio in India includes the Captiva, Cruze, Sail, Sail U-Va, Spark, Beat and Tavera. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at

Media Contacts:
GM India
Avishek Dutta: Ph: 0124-3080125
Saahil Anant: Ph: 0124-3080285

Integral PR Services Pvt. Ltd.
Abhilash Pushpan: Ph: +91 9810300526
Emanuel Joute: Ph: 9811134450

Noted Tamil actor S.V.Shekhar and his family pays courtesy visit to CM

Noted film actor from Tamilnadu S.V.Shekhar and his family paid courtesy visit to the Chief Minister Narendra Modi today at Gandhinagar. He congratulated Mr.Modi for coming at the helm of Gujarat for the fourth consecutive time and for spearheading the State towards exemplary development through his able leadership.

Noted film actor Paresh Rawal pays courtesy visit to the CM
Noted film actor of the Hindi film industry Paresh Rawal paid courtesy visit to the Chief Minister Narendra Modi today. He congratulated Mr.Modi for coming at the helm of Gujarat for the fourth consecutive time and for winning immense love of people through his exceptionally able leadership
दिल्ली जल बोर्ड में 10 हज़ार करोड़ का घोटाला

दिल्ली में पिछले 8 साल में पानी के दाम 18 गुणा बढ़ने से आम आदमी का जीना दुष्वार हो गया हैं। दिल्ली में एक सामान्य परिवार का पानी का बिल जो 2004 में 45 किलोलिटर पानी के लिए 73 Rs आता था, वो अब बढ़कर 1355 Rs प्रतिमाह हो गया है। शीला दीक्षित के भ्रष्टाचार की वजह से ही दिल्ली में पानी के दाम इस कदर बढ़ रहे है। दिल्ली जल बोर्ड, जिसकी अध्यक्ष खुद दिल्ली की मुख्यमंत्री हैं, उसमें हो रहे भ्रष्टाचार का एक नमूना- फ्रांस की कंपनी डेग्रोमेंट जो सोनिया विहार ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट चला रही है, जिसकी क्षमता 140 MGD है। सरकारी आंकड़ों के मुताबिक इस प्लांट में 90 MGD गन्दा पानी रोज़ दिया जाता है  मगर इससे 140 MGD  साफ़ पानी निकलता है। ये चमत्कार कैसे हो रहा है? 
ऐसे ही एक और उद्धाहरण नांगलोई ट्रीटमेंट प्लांट का है। इस प्लांट में वाटर ट्रीटमेंट, वितरण और बिल कलेक्शन का काम फ्रांस की कंपनी Veolia को दिया गया है। इस कंपनी को दिल्ली जल बोर्ड ट्रीटमेंट के लिए गन्दा पानी और बिजली मुफ्त में देती है और बदले में इन कामों के लिए Veolia दिल्ली जल बोर्ड को 14 Rs प्रति किलोलीटर के हिसाब से वसूलती है। जोकि पहले दिल्ली जल बोर्ड 5 Rs प्रति किलोलीटर में करता था।   

दिल्ली में भ्रष्टाचार के कारण पानी और बिजली के दाम बढ़ाने के मुद्दे पर आम आदमी पार्टी ने अब गली गली में अभियान शुरू कर दिया है। आम आदमी पार्टी के संयोजक अरविन्द केजरीवाल ने दिल्ली के पश्चिमी छोर स्थित नजफगढ़ से एक बड़ी जनसभा से साथ इस अभियान की शुरुआत की।   
अरविन्द केजरीवाल और संजय सिंह दोपहर को ही अपने साथियों के साथ नजफगढ़ पहुँच गए और गली गली पहुंचकर लोगों से मुलाकात की और बताया की किस तरह शीला दीक्षित टाटा और अम्बानी के भ्रष्टाचार के लिए ढाल बनकर काम कर रही है। नजफगढ़ में उनसे मिलने के लिए गली गली में लोग उमड़ पड़े। स्थानीय लोगों ने उन्हें बताया कि वे  खुद बिजली पानी के बढ़ते बिल और महंगाई से परेशान हैं, ऐसे में वे अपने बच्चों को पढ़ायें या फिर शीला दीक्षित और टाटा अम्बानी को मालामाल बनाये। 

इसके बाद शाम 5 बजे अरविन्द केजरीवाल जनसभा में पहुंचे जिसमें करीब 15 हज़ार लोग उनका पहले से ही इन्तिज़ार कर रहे थे। यहाँ पर भी उन्होंने बताया कि किस तरह से शीला दीक्षित के भ्रष्टाचार के चलते सामान्य परिवार का बिजली बिल 500 से बढ़कर 1500 हो गया है। उन्होंने उस दस्तावेजों को जनता के सामने पढ़कर सुनाया जिनके बारे में शीला दीक्षित सफेद झूठ बोल रही हैं। अरविन्द केजरीवाल ने लोगों को आह्वान किया कि अब दिल्ली को जनता को भ्रष्ट सरकार और कंपनियों के खिलाफ आवाज उठानी होगी और इस आज़ादी की जंग में शामिल होना होगा। साथ ही उन्होंने लोगो से कहा कि लोग बिजली का आधा बिल ही भरें क्यूंकि दिल्ली में बिल्ली के दाम आधे होने चाहिए। अगर बिजली कटती है तो वो खुद आकर जोड़ेगे।

उधर पूर्वी दिल्ली में AAP कार्यकर्ता मनीष सिसोदिया ने विकास मार्ग पर जन संपर्क के जरिये इस अभियान की शुरुआत की। उन्होंने विकास मार्ग स्थित लक्ष्मी नगर बाज़ार के दुकानदारों से मुलाकात की। यहाँ भी तमाम दुकानदार बढ़ते बिजली और पानी के बिल से परेशान थे।

Invitation to participate in National Conference on Police Reforms

Sub: Invitation to participate in National Conference on Police Reforms

Foundation for Peace Harmony and Good Governance (FGG), in collaboration with Global Steel, is organizing a National Conference on Police Reforms on 6th  February 2013 at Gulmohar Hall of India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
There is unanimity in the Nation that for ensuring Good Governance reforms are necessary on many fronts. Political reforms, Electoral reforms, Administrative reforms and Judicial reforms are required urgently. However, Police reforms are the first step towards Good Governance.  
Keeping in mind the urgency and primacy to be given to police reforms, a day-long National Conference on Police Reforms is planned to be held at India Habitat Centre on Wednesday 6th February 2013.
I am writing to invite you to participate in the day-long National Conference on Police Reforms as our valued delegate and to participate in the discussions of the conference. Eminent personalities will form the panels on various sub-themes.
The seats are limited. While we do not want any empty seat, at the same time we also do not want any delegate to be left without a seat. Hence it is requested to confirm your participation by replying to this email or by sending your confirmation to
On receipt of confirmation, your name will be at the registration desk to assist your registration on arrival. The registration starts at 9 am. The conference would conclude at 6pm. Complementary tea and lunch will be provided at the venue.
We look forward to having you with us.
With Warm Regards,
D. R. Kaarthikeyan
President – Foundation for Peace, Harmony and Good Governance

Conference Focus:
·        Police Reforms: Reasons behind Reluctance
·        Ensuring Police Reforms: Role for Legislature, Executive and Judiciary
·         Ensuring Police Reforms: Role for Media and the Civil Society
·         Police Reforms: A Time-bound Action Plan
Confirmed Speakers:
1.    Hon’ble Justice Shri. R.C. Lahoti, Former Chief Justice of India
2.    Hon’ble Shri Mullappally Ramachandran, Minister of State, Home Affairs, Govt. of India
3.    Shri. Soli Sorabjee, Former Solicitor General of India - Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
4.    Shri. Wajahat Habibullah, Chairperson, National Commission for Minorities
5.    Shri P.P. Rao, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
6.    Shri. KTS Tulsi, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India
7.    Shri. Ved Marwah, Former Governor – DG,NSG
8.    Dr. Gurcharan Das, Well-known Author - Management Guru
9.    Shri. Prakash Singh, Former DG, BSF - DG, Uttar Pradesh
10. Shri. R. Sri Kumar, Vigilance Commissioner, CVC- Former DG, Karnataka
11. Shri. Joginder Singh, Former Director, CBI
12. Dr. Kiran Bedi, First Lady IPS Officer - Civil Society Activist
13. Shri. Pravin H Parekh, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India - President, Confederation of Indian Bar
14. Shri. R. Prasannan, Bureau Chief, The Week Magazine
15. Dr. Ashwani Kumar, Former Director CBI – Professor, OP Jindal Global University
16.  Shri. Arun Kumar Jagatramka, Chairman Gujarat NRE - Conference Co-Chairman, Global Steel 2013
17.  Shri. D.R. Kaarthikeyan, President FGG – Former Director CBI – DG, NHRC

Padmashri Awardee
Former :
             Chief of SIT-CBI, Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case
             Director, Central Bureau of Investigation
             Director General, National Human Rights Commission
             Special Director General, Central Reserve Police Force
Advisor: Law-Human Responsibilities-Corporate Affairs
102, Ground Floor
Anand Lok
New Delhi - 110 049

Phone : 91- 11- 4601 3255
            : 91- 11- 4601 3266
Fax       : 91- 11- 46013277

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Škoda Prize for Indian Contemporary Unveils the 2012 winners at the finale at the Embassy of the Czech Republic
          - Unveiling of the 2012 winner of the ŠKODA Prize                                                                                                                                                                                                                     -Unveiling of the 2012 winner of the Art India Breakthrough Artist Award at the ŠKODA Prize
 2nd February 2013, New Delhi- The Škoda Prize, one of the most prestigious awards on the Indian visual arts scene, unveiled the 2012 winners of the Škoda Prize and the Art India Breakthrough Artist Award at the Škoda Prize. The chief guest William Kentridge presented the trophy to L.N. Tallur who was named the 2012 winner of the Škoda Prize and won the coveted cash prize of INR 10,00,000. Sangita Jindal named Rohini Devasher the 2012 winner of the Art India Breakthrough Artist Award at the Škoda Prize who won the cash prize of INR 2,00,000.
The chief guest William Kentridge (South African artist of international acclaim) joined as the 5th member of this year’s jury panel of the Škoda Prize alongside Anupam Poddar (co‐founder of the pioneering Devi Art Foundation), Sheela Gowda (leading Indian artist) Mirjam Varadinis (art historian, curator and writer based in Zürich, Switzerland). The panel was chaired by Geeta Kapur (eminent Indian art historian and critic). This esteemed panel chose the winner of this year’s Škoda Prize.
The runners-up of the 2012 Škoda Prize were invited to participate in international residencies supported by Prohelvetia, the Swiss Arts Council.
 The eminent panel of jurors who decided the winner of the 2012 Art India Breakthrough Award at the Škoda Prize included Geeta Kapur (eminent Indian art historian and critic), Sangita Jindal (Owner, Art India Magazine), Abhay Sardesai (Editor, Art India) and Girish Shahane (Director - Art of the Škoda Prize).
H.E. Mr. Miloslav Stasek, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to India, hosted the Škoda Prize Finale, a private awards ceremony at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in New Delhi on February 1st, 2013. The evening consisted of a welcome note and a short address from Martin Da Costa (CEO, Seventy EMG), Sudhir Rao (MD, Škoda Auto India), Geeta Kapur (art historian) and Sangita Jindal (Jury member, Art India Breakthrough Artist Award at the Škoda Prize) and Chief Guest, William Kentridge. The Škoda Prize finale also featured music by the band Furbar Getto and also a special screening of the Škoda Prize film- a documentary on the shortlisted Top-4 artists of the Škoda Prize and their art practice.
The Škoda Prize finale was well attended by art enthusiasts, collectors, artists, gallerists, curators, writers, photographers, people from the art fraternity which included names like Tasneem Mehta, Ram Rahman, Mithu Sen, Jiten Thukral, Suchitra Pillai, Neha Kirpal, Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher, Jitish Kallat, Robin Mallick, Yamini Mehta, Deepak Ananth, Sumant Jayakrishnan, Priyanka and Prateek Raja, Anupam Poddar, Bose Krishnamachari, Abhay Maskara, Jeebesh Bagchi, Sheba Chhachhi, Pablo Bartholomew, Vivan Sundaram, Peter Nagy amongst others.
The Škoda Prize show will be open to the public till 28th February 2013 at the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), New Delhi

The Škoda Prize, one the most prestigious awards on the Indian visual arts scene, offers an unparalleled opportunity for mid-career artists across India to showcase their work amongst the country’s leading artists, to a discerning art audience both within India and internationally. It recognises cutting-edge work demonstrating vision, innovation, and a mature understanding of material and form. The Prize brings to public notice exciting trends in contemporary art, highlighting the output of established mid-career artists as well as new voices. It is backed by jurors of impeccable credentials, renowned patron institutions, a dedicated group of advisors, and a management team of proven capability. Nominees need to be below the age of 45, and should have had a solo show in the country over the last 12 months. The winner takes away the prestigious ‘The ŠKODA Prize Winner’ title and also receives a prize money of INR 10,00,000. Runners-up are invited to participate in international residencies supported by Prohelvetia, the Swiss Arts Council. Visited by thousands every year, The ŠKODA Prize Show (which takes place alongside the India Art Fair in New Delhi) showcases country's most promising contemporary artists.
Juried by a panel of notable personalities and supported by museums and cultural institutions of international repute. In the past, renowned artists Marc Quinn, and Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor have presented awards to past winners Mithu Sen (2010) and Navin Thomas (2011). The ŠKODA Prize is a Seventy EMG Arts Initiative.

Audio Guide:-

The foundation of the first Transport Museum (Now National Rail Museum) in India was laid on 7th October, 1971 by then President of India, Shri V.V. Giri, with the objective to explain to the public at large the historical development of the Railways, their achievements in a clear, lucid and scientific manner so that the public in general evince interest in the Railways. The NRM was inaugurated by then Rail Minister Sh. Kamlapati Tripathi on 1st February, 1977. The museum is located in over 10 acres of land & has both indoor and outdoor exhibits. In all there are 88 outdoor exhibits, some of them are about 150 years old namely “Ram Gooty Steam Engine”. Museum boasts of  having Steam Engines of the various gauges, fireless Steam Engine, mono rail train, working Fire Engine of Nizam (Morris Fire Engine), Various, saloon, belonging to erstwhile rulers & British viceroys, coaches & Vans plying on different gauges for transporting public & animals, self-propelled  Rail cars, Break down Cranes, Military Vans etc. All these exhibits has a story to be told.

NRM alongwith RITES Ltd. has taken a step in this direction by procuring Audio Guide System in which the historical significance of these exhibits has been recorded in a story telling format. The equipment alongwith story for this project has been supplied by M/s Integrated Digital Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

On implementation of Audio Guide system, it will overtake the role of a Human Guide. It will enhance the overall experience of visiting and learning about collections of the museum. This will also ease the overcrowding of visitors at a particular place of exhibit as the peak Footfall per day registered is as high as 5500 and average Footfall is 1700-1800 visitors. The system has been designed in both English & Hindi languages and also for the children separately to suit the interest of public of all generations.

Patiala State Mono Rail TRAMWAYS (PSMT):-

PSMT was a unique rail guided, partially road-borne railways systems running in Patiala in the state of Punjab from 1907 to 1927. It is the only operational locomotive – hauled Railway system built using the Ewing system in the world i.e. monorails using a balancing wheel for balancing the train. Maharaja Sir Bhupinder Singh ji of Patiala got this unique railway system constructed under supervision of Col Bowles to facilitate movement of people and goods in his state. Four locomotives for PSMT were built and delivered by Orenstein & Koppel of Germany (O&K) in 1909 at a cost of £500 to £600 (about Rs. 7,000/-) each. Out of these 4 locos:-

a) Loco no. O&K 3359 is preserved at Amritsar workshop.
b) Two other locos now does not exist.
c) Loco O&K 3358 and the saloon are preserved at NRM, New Delhi.

The coach under frame at NRM belongs to inspection coach of Col Bowles, on which the present coach body had been reproduced.

National Rail Museum, New Delhi took the initiative to get the PSMT loco and saloon revived & restored. With the help of Amritsar workshop, Rewari Steam Shed staff and NRM staff the loco has been brought back into operational condition.

The saloon has been revived and restored with the help of M/s Heritage Conservators, Chandigarh. Now both loco & coach are in fully operational condition.

On the occasion of 37th Museum Foundation Day Chairman Railway Board,            Sh. Vinay Mittal will inaugurate PSMT after restoration, Audio Guide System and dedicate it to public.

Haryana CM Mr Hooda launches Direct Benefits Transfer Scheme in two  districts of Haryana
Sends e-mails to the Deputy Commissioners of the Ambala and Sonipat districts to start operating the Scheme
                                    Seven schemes are being covered under this project
Mr Hooda compliments Aadhaar teams, bankers and Haryana officers for making it possible
New Delhi , February 1, 2013
 Haryana Chief Minister Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda today launched the Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) Scheme in Haryana. In first phase, it has been launched for seven schemes in Ambala and Sonipat districts of the state.
            The Chief Minister Mr Hooda launched the scheme by sending an email to Deputy Commissioners of Ambala and Sonepat districts, which was followed by disbursal of the due amount to 3,338 beneficiaries. These beneficiaries were transferred an amount of Rs 323.33 lakh. With this disbursal, Haryana become the leading state to have distributed 25 percent of the total central schemes beneficiaries of the country from January 1, 2013. Prime Minister Office had informed the state government about it.
            Mr Hooda had a video conference with the Deputy Commissioners of the two districts and beneficiaries, who received the amount today. Mr Hooda described the scheme as a gift to people from the UPA government on the occasion of New Year. He said that the DBT scheme would be beneficial to the poor as they would get the money in time. He congratulated the concerned on Haryana becoming the leading state in DBT scheme among the central beneficiaries.
            Mr. Hooda announced that the state government would launch the DBT scheme in the whole state would be launched from April 1, 2013 after its successful implementation in Ambala and Sonipat districts of the state.  The scheme would be launched in the whole state after reviewing the performance in the two districts. He informed that state’s social security scheme has already been implemented in village Durana of District, where 219 beneficiaries have been benefitted.   
Mr Hooda informed that in first phase, Haryana government has launched the DBT scheme for Post Matric Scholarship for SC Students, Post Matric Scholarship for OBC Students, National Means-cum-Merit Scholarship Scheme, National Scheme for incentive for Girl Children for Secondary Education, Post Matric Scholarship for Minority Students, National Means cum Merit Scholarship for Minorities Scholars and Janani Suraksha Yojana. The total numbers of beneficiaries under the above schemes is 9639 in Ambala and 6509 in Sonepat, he added.
Launching the scheme in New Delhi today, Mr Hooda said that all the beneficiaries in the seven schemes in two districts have been enrolled for generation of Aadhaar number and Adhaar numbers of 6552 (68%) beneficiaries in district Amabla and 5227 (80%) beneficiaries in district Sonepat had been generated till yesterday. We have facilitated the opening of bank accounts of all those beneficiaries, who did not have their bank account, he added.
Describing the DBT scheme as a ‘giant leap towards transparent and people friendly governance’, Mr Hooda said that it would prove to be a big help for beneficiaries as the money would now go straight into their bank accounts. The Aadhaar enabled DBT would help Union Government in providing end to end traceability and availability of funds transferred. Aadhaar linked DBT would help in providing de-duplicated database to the Government while for individual beneficiaries it would facilitate cash withdrawal from Business Correspondents or micro ATM across India, he added.
          Mr. Hooda said that Haryana Government has been implementing various schemes of direct cash transfer to the targeted beneficiaries. With the launching of the present scheme, however, a huge qualitative change has been brought out by linking the beneficiaries to UID or Aadhaar numbers, he noted.
Mr Hooda also asked the implementing agencies to put in place ‘a very robust machinery and manpower so that the scheme succeed in letter and spirit’. The detailed networking and forward and backward linkages should not be lost sight of at any cost and in fact, the actual hard work would start now, he added while adding a word of caution for the implementing agencies, particularly the banks.
Mr Hooda said that to begin with, Haryana Government has decided to operate the DBT scheme only for Government of India’s schemes and state schemes would be incorporated later after the stabilization of the system in the state.       
Mr Hooda said that direct cash benefit scheme is a path breaking initiative of our social policy.  It would provide greater security to the poor. It is also a significant step in our move to achieve financial inclusion.   Fifty years ago who could think of poor people interacting with the banks for routine transactions? It is a reality today. We can legitimately hope now that eventually a day would come when all benefits and schemes would be universally accessed through such a scheme, he further added. 
Mr Hooda said that DBT scheme is a move towards transparent governance as it will help in eliminating bogus and spurious claimants.  It will instill a sense of dignity and confidence in the minds of beneficiaries. Secondly, this initiative will enable the beneficiaries to make choices in how to spend their money, because, regular payment will enable them to plan their day-to-day expenditure issues.  In a way, it will provide a kind of insurance to the poor, he added.
Mr Hooda said that Haryana Government has been implementing various schemes of direct cash transfer to the targeted beneficiaries, for quite some time. With the launching of the present scheme, however, a huge qualitative change has been brought out by linking the beneficiaries to UID or Aadhaar numbers.  Aadhaar or UID is an end-to-end solution to a number of issues and this is the fundamental basis of an individual’s identity, he added.
The Aadhaar Payment Bridge provides transparent mechanism to check the outflow of cash benefit to the beneficiary account. A MIS is generated every evening whereby the concerned department could verify how much amount has been transferred to which beneficiary and in which bank account. In case the cash transfer has not been done, the department would immediately come to know, the payment could not be processed. Aadhaar Payment Bridge also ensures that there is no duplication, falsification in transfer of benefits to identified beneficiaries under the identified government schemes.
Haryana Chief Secretary Mr PK Chaudhery, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr Chhattar Singh, DDG UIDAI Mrs Keshni Anand Arora, Principal OSD Mr MS Chopra, Media Advisor Mr Shiv Bhattia, Secretary Coordination Mr TC Gupta, Director General Information, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs, Mr Sudhir Rajpal and number of senior officers were also present on the occasion. 

New Delhi World Book Fair 2013

National Book Trust, India an apex body of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India organised a press conference at Constitution Club, New Delhi to brief the media about the upcoming New Delhi World Book Fair, 2013 to be held from 4 to 10 February 2013 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Shri A Sethumadavan, Chairman, Shri M A Sikandar, Director and Ms Farida M. Naik, Joint Director (Admin & Finance) were the speakers on the occasion.

Shri Sethumadhavan said that we took very conscious decision to make the Fair annual to promote reading habit among people in the country. He informed that this year France will be the Guest of Honour country and French Embassy will bring a delegation of renowned French authors, publishers and scholars at the Fair. He said that the theme of the fair is Indigenous Voices: Mapping India’s Folk and Tribal Literature.  The presentation will include special exhibition of books on various aspects of folk and tribal literature and culture,        exhibits of art and crafts, workshops, panel discussions etc.

He added that the format of the Fair has been changed and several new initiatives have been taken to attract large number of booklovers, authors and publishers to promote reading habit. The Fair would provide a platform to distinguished authors and readers to interact with each other at the Authors corner. There will be Book Art exhibition at the Fair which is a new concept for Indians.

New initiatives have also been taken for business negotiations at the Fair, NBT will organize Rights Table on 2 & 3 February 2013 to help publishers exchange rights especially translation rights. About 65 publishers will participate in this forum. CEO Speak is another avenue in which CEOs and Senior Executives of the Indian publishing industry will participate to discuss and share common issues and concerns to evolve a composite agenda of Indian publishing

Shri Sikandar said that 28 countries are participating in this Fair and there will be fair representation of Indian languages publishers of Indian languages like Santhali, Assamese, Sanskrit, Telugu, at the Fair. He said that this time we have designated section for e-books where digital publishers will be given space. There will be 2100 stalls at the Fair. He also informed about other major activities undertaken by NBT other than New Delhi World Book Fair.  

Dr Shashi Tharoor, Hon’ble Minister of State has kindly consented to inaugurate the Fair on 4th February 2012, Monday, at 10.30 a.m. at Hall No. 7, Pragati Maidan, New DelhiDr Karan Singh, the eminent author, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations would be the Guest of Honour.  Mr François Richier, Ambassador of France for India will be the special guest on the occasion. 

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