Wednesday, April 10, 2013

BJP leaders meet Indian Minister Overseas Affairs

BJP leaders meet Indian Minister Overseas Affairs
Protest memorandum given on the issue of minor child custody case of NRI couple in London
Indian couple allege child abuse against British officials : Jolly

New Delhi, 10th April 2013 : BJP National Committee Member & Convener OFBJP Mr. Vijay Jolly today led a BJP delegation to meet Shri. Vayalar Ravi, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs. They drew the attention of Govt. of India to the minor child custody case of a NRI couple in London. Mr. Jolly was accompanied by OFBJP Central Committee Members Mr. Vijay Mehta & Dr. Abhilasha Sharma. The BJP leaders expressed their deep shock over the reported case of Master Achintya Rajat, aged five years and separated since 6th March 2013 from the NRI couple in London Mrs. Shruti & Mr Rajat.

BJP Overseas Affairs Leader Mr. Jolly pointed out to the Minister Mr. Ravi that it is more than one month that Indian NRI couple in Oxford, UK have been denied custody of their son. Mr. Jolly vociferously protested over the fact that neither the Indian High Commission in London, neither Ministry of External Affairs & neither Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs took notice of this case. They failed to provide any help or counselor assistance to the beleaguered Indian couple. Though the couple hold Indian Passports and are on a working British visa.      

On BJP Leader Mr. Jolly’s request, Union Minister Mr. Ravi talked to the Indian High Commissioner in London Dr. J. Bhagwati. The Minister also talked to the parents in London and directed them to the IHC in UK.

Mr. Jolly stated that the NRI couple today met their son in the custody of British authorities. They noticed bruises on the arms of the child. Mrs. Shruti and Mr. Rajat the NRI parents have alleged child abuse charges on the British officials handling the physical custody of the child. They also told the Minister and BJP Leader Mr. Jolly on phone that the Hindu religious locket in neck of the minor child has been removed by the Britishers. 

BJP today demanded that Indian Govt. take immediate steps to restore the confidence of the couple, provide legal & counselor access and unite the separated minor child of the Indian parents in London.     

Mr. Jolly questioned Why The Indian High Commission in London did not take this case seriously so as to provide necessary legal and social assistance to Indian couple with Indian passports ?    



Encouraging Malaysian Voters Residing Overseas to Return Home and Vote

SEPANG, 10 APRIL 2013 – In conjunction with Malaysia’s 13th General Election, AirAsia X, the long-haul, low fare airline affiliate of the AirAsia Group today, launched its “Fly Home to Vote” campaign offering x-citing fares for Malaysian voters residing overseas to return home and vote.
The “Fly Home to Vote” campaign will allow Malaysian guests residing overseas to come home in time to vote on 5 May 2013 and plan their return flights after the elections.
AirAsia X is offering promotional fares to eligible Malaysian voters from Australia with fares from as low as AUD 199*, Japan from as low asJPY12,000*, China from as low as CNY600*, Korea from as low as KRW129,000* and Taiwan from as low as TWD3290* to Kuala Lumpur.Bookings are available from today until 30 April 2013 for the travel period between 22 April 2013 and 5 May, 2013 for inbound guests into Kuala Lumpur and between 5 and 19 May 2013 for guests returning after the elections. For more details on the election campaign, kindly e-mail your request to
AirAsia X’s Chief Executive Officer, Azran Osman-Rani said, “We are pleased to launch this promotional fare to our registered Malaysian voters residing overseas and we are confident that our low fares will help stimulate and trigger the travel demand among Malaysian voters across the region. We are aware that all Malaysians, local or abroad are the rightful stakeholders of our nation and hence, as a registered Malaysian voter, it is indeed important to come home and vote in person.”
“We are always constantly looking for ways to enhance and improve our services and offerings; and offering affordable fares for our Malaysians overseas to put their “X” in the ballot box is part of our initiative in serving our beloved country; Malaysia. Therefore, we encourage all eligible Malaysians to return home via our network across the region and take advantage of this promotional fare to fulfill their constitutional duty.”
Guests who are keen to take up this promotional offer must be a registered Malaysian voter and will be required to provide the following details:

1.     Full Name:
2.     Date of Birth:
3.     Identification Card* Number:
4.     Passport No:
5.     Passport Expiry Date:
6.     Departure from: 
Only for departures from Perth, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne, Taipei, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai
7.     Return To: Kuala Lumpur
8.     Departure Date:
9.     Return Date:
* Your IC number is essential, thus any submissions without an IC number will not be eligible for this promo
AirAsia X will then validate the details given with the SPR registry to ensure voting eligibility of guests.

AirAsia X was the first long-haul, low fare carrier to introduce Premium Flatbed seats, which have standard business class specifications of 20” width, 60” pitch and stretch out to 77” in full recline position.

The Premium flatbeds feature universal power sockets, adjustable headrests and built-in personal utilities such as tray table, drink holder, reading light and privacy screen. Premium seat guests also enjoy premium complimentary products and services including Pick A Seat, Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, Priority Baggage, 25kg Baggage Allowance, Complimentary Meal and Pillow & Duvet.

AirAsia X also recently introduced the “Quiet Zone” cabin. Guests who are interested in traveling in the “Quiet Zone” cabin may simply choose the pick-a-seat option during the booking process within the ”Quiet Zone” cabin area. No extra charge will be imposed for this option except for the standard pick-a-seat fee. Guests who are below 12 years of age will not be able to book and select a seat in the “Quiet Zone” as part of this product enhancement.
In addition, AirAsia X has expanded their ancillary offerings to include the Red Carpet service, a special service for those seeking for a more personalised check in experience at the Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal. The Red Carpet Service includes a dedicated check-in counter, priority baggage tagging and loading, access to the Plaza Premium lounge at LCCT, fast track immigration, security clearance and priority boarding with buggy service to the bay (subject to aircraft parking bay distance) which includes priority baggage delivery upon arrival.

*Promo Fares include airport taxes and fees.
Flights and fares are subject to availability and are for one way travel only.
Promo Fares are limited and not available on all flights/days or at peak periods.

India is safe; inbound tourism must focus on leisure, business, medical & adventure

10 04 2013


India is safe; inbound tourism must focus on leisure, business, medical & adventure segments; domestic tourism on middle aged: FICCI Tourism Survey
NEW DELHI, April 9, 2013. India’s inbound tourism strategy needs to be tailored to the leisure segment, business travel, medical and adventure tourism and domestic tourism should be targeted at the middle age segment (35-50 years) to cash in on the rising disposal incomes and increased propensity to travel, a quick survey by FICCI reveals.
The survey findings released to the media today by Dr. (Ms.) Jyotsna Suri, Vice President and Chairperson of FICCI’s Tourism Committee, show that a bulk of the respondents (37%) saw the potential growth in inbound tourism in the Leisure segment. Business travel and Medical tourism came second with Adventure Tourism, the third.
The respondents are of the view that India’s tourism should target the Middle Age Segment (35-50) to accelerate its growth. The strategy, hence, should be to capitalize on the growing disposable incomes on travel and entertainment.
The survey received 480 written and telephonic responses from tourism industry professionals in hotels of all categories, tour operators, travel agents,  airlines, investors and tourism associations.
Dr Suri said fifty five (55%) per cent of the respondents felt that there will be a moderate impact of the slowdown on tourism over the next six months on tourism, forty five (45%) per cent opined that there would be no impact.
She said to discuss some of the findings of the survey and for targeting potential consumers of tourism products from across the globe and India, FICCI along with the Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan and Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is organizing the sixth ‘Great Indian Travel Bazaar 2013′ (GITB) from 14th to 16th April in Jaipur, Rajasthan. GITB is a landmark event and the largest international tourism mart of the country which is widely attended by the industry from India and abroad.
The FICCI survey reveals that the industry feels let down by the Union Budget 2013-14 proposals as these have had no impact on tourism. In fact, around 45 per cent said the Budget impacted the industry negatively due to major unmet and long standing demands such as declaration of tourism as an industry, export industry status and inclusion of hotels as infrastructure.
The silver lining is that 46 per cent of the respondents were confident of the foreign tourist arrivals to go up in the coming six months. Their optimism stems from the fact that Foreign Tourist Arrivals to India have grown by 2.1% in  January and February 2013 and in during these two months, the Foreign Exchange Earnings from tourism rose by 19.8% in rupee terms and by 11.4% in dollar terms.
It was remarkable and extremely encouraging to note that 83% of the respondents were of the view that the current environment of safety and security for the foreign travellers in India was totally safe. A small minority was skeptical on this point.
As regards the air fare structure, a majority (75%) of the respondents felt that the air fares for foreign tourist movement in the country were expensive as compared to India’s competing destinations. Said Dr Suri, this must be noted as cheap air connectivity is imperative for augmenting foreign tourist arrival.
It was positive to note that majority of the respondents (66%) found the hotel tariff to be expensive but not burdensome.
A food for thought for the tourism industry as majority (56%) of the respondents found the state of air connectivity to tourist destinations as satisfactory but could be better.
As for hygiene and sanitation, both have been rated (by 91% of the respondents) as very important for choosing India as a destination.
Asked which countries can India partner with for joint tourism programmes, the respondents listed the following in order of priority:
1.   China
2.   Sri Lanka
3.   Nepal
4.   Germany
5.   Australia
6.   Japan and Thailand
7.   The UK
The respondents listed out what is required for the growth of Inbound Tourism in India that is not being provided today by the stakeholders in tourism. These are:
·         Neat and clean hotels in remote places
·         Budget hotels
·         Last mile road connectivity catering to smooth and seamless travel
·         Security and safety for tourists
·         Visa on arrival for at least all western countries
·         Better infrastructure in Tier II cities
·         Knowledgeable guides
·         Greater awareness on accessibility
·         To look at new markets
·         More thrust on promotion of India in mainland China and Latin American countries
·         Promoting destinations collectively
·         Recognizing tourism as an Industry and grant it export industry status
Dr. Suri said that the Government of India needs to work towards meeting the critical demands of the tourism industry that contributes an estimated Rs. 94,487 crore towards foreign exchange, around 6.4% to the GDP and 7.8% towards total employment.
India Water Week-2013 commences in New Delhi today
~Emphasis on Challenges and Opportunities in Efficient Water Management ~

April 8, 2013, New Delhi:  Highlighting the issues related to judicious use of water and water-conservation, the second edition of India Water Week-2013 being organised between 8th – 12th April 2013 with the theme “Efficient Water Management: Challenges and Opportunities”. was inaugurated today at Vigyan Bhawan by Honorable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee. Also, present at the occasion were Shri Harish Rawat, Union Minister for Water Resources, Hon’ble Kausea Natano, Deputy Prime Minister of Tuvalu, Ambassadors of various countries, Secretaries of various union ministries, Principal Secretaries of States & Senior Officers from the Ministries  and its associated Organizations.
Experts from various sectors such as irrigation, water-supply, hydro and thermal energy-production, steel, cement had gathered at the capital today for a five-day long event which will have a conference-cum-policy dialogue forum coupled with a Business to Business exhibition. The event’s theme this year is “Efficient Water Management: Challenges and Opportunities” which focuses on framing policies that would recognize water as an integral part of the eco-system, a precious natural resource with a social and economic value and to implement these policies for the prosperity and well being of mankind.

Welcoming the president and the audience, Mr. S. K. Sarkar, Secretary, Ministry of water Resources said, “It is my privilege to welcome you to the second edition of India Water Week 2013 thematised on ‘Efficient Water Management: Challenges and Opportunities.’ As water is a scarce natural resource, it proves to show India is facing a severe danger of depleting water resource. Availability of water has declined and demand has risen in the past year in all the sectors. As our population has risen to 1.7 billion people, this theme of water conservation is even more important and apt at present. So the availability and management of water in agriculture, irrigation and domestic use is very important.  At this conference, we aim and propose to improved efficiency and organizing of water efficiency. More than 1,000 delegates are expected to participate in our endeavor. I extend a special thanks to the president, Minister of Water Resources and all the people present to have come and graced the occasion.”

Thanking and welcoming the president, Mr. Harish Rawat, Union Minister of Water Resources said, “Respected President, your presence here is tantamount to the importance, being given to the water sector, in our country. Your blessings will go in a long way, in inspiring us for putting the whole-hearted efforts, in addressing the water related challenges, and bringing solutions for them.
Since 2012, the Ministry of Water Resources is celebrating the India Water Week, to showcase our sincerity and efforts, in exhibiting the importance given to the water sector in the country. India Water Week, a five day long event, provides excellent forum for policy planner, water managers, professionals, scientists, academicians, non-governmental organisations, and other stakeholders, to deliberate on the issues therein. The event provides us platform, to share the best practices, adopted across the world. It has helped us in generating innovative ideas, and recognising the significant works, by the individuals and the organisations. Growing population and urbanisation, combined with fast increasing developmental needs, have put a tremendous pressure, on our water availability. I am quite hopeful that, we will get whole-hearted support from the Planning Commission, and the Ministry of Finance, for achieving target, fixed by my Ministry, under AIBP, RRR, DRIP programmes which, are crucial to increase the storage capacity, to meet the challenges of future. Continuous depletion of ground water is another challenge before us. We have about 802 over exploited talukas, 169 critical talukas, and 523 semi-critical talukas, as far as ground water situation is concerned.  It calls for serious all round action programme, to augment the ground water resources in these areas. We have also laid emphasis on incentivizing the use of efficient irrigation practices, recycling of water, including wastewater in different manners.   Undertaking pilot projects for improvement in water use efficiency, in collaboration with States, has also been proposed in National Water Mission.
Our scheme for “Information, Education and Communication” is aimed, to create awareness among various target groups, about the importance of development and management of water resources, in a holistic manner. Effective transfer of technology and knowledge, and sharing of experiences among developed and developing countries, and their implementation, need to be promoted, to further the cause of efficient water management. Sir, India Water Week 2013, will be able to provide opportunities, to usher in new & innovative thinking, and will come out with the best practicable solutions.”
After lightning the ceremonial lamp at the inaugural of India Water Week 2013, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, President of India said, “I am delighted to join you for the inauguration of the India water week organized by the ministry of Water Resources. It is a privilege to be a part of this august gathering comprising renowned public figures, policy makers, experts and professionals. The available water must be managed judiciously to meet the twin burden of population growth and economic development. Conservation, balanced distribution and reclamation of used water are essential cogs in the wheel of water management. As part of the national action plan on climate change, the national water mission was launched in 2011 with the objectives of water conservation, minimization of wastage and equitable distribution. I urge all stakeholders to work towards its success. Our efforts must be directed at mitigating the regional imbalance in water availability. Equitable allocation of water across the country could be made possible by inter-basin water transfer. But for that, the environmental and socio-economic impact should be studied before such an initiative is envisaged. We must also strive to achieve equity in the allocation of water between urban and rural areas. Rain water harvesting should be popularized by dovetailing existing rural development schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. The 3R strategy of reduce, recycle and reuse must find application in our farmlands. Our system should encourage judicious use of water. I am hopeful that the India Water Week 2013 would be able to provide meaningful solutions and guide our approach to water management. I also expect the Water Expo 2013 to showcase exciting technological possibilities for sustaining this vital resource.”

About India Water Week-2013
On behalf of the Ministry of Water Resources in association with other Union Ministries: Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation, Ministry of Environment and Forest, National Water Development Agency, Central Water Commission, National Institute of Hydrology, Planning Commission and with active support of various State Governments, Industries, NGOs and others are organising the 2nd India Water Week 2013   The event will have a conference-cum-policy dialogue forum coupled with a Business to Business exhibition. This year's Water Week have two major components namely, a multi-disciplinary dialogue in the form of a conference and a concurrently running exhibition enriching the theme and showcasing the technologies in water sector for efficient use and management of water resources.

The India Water Week-2013 is targeted at International and National audience comprising of policy planners and technologists involved with water resources management in all key sectors of economy like Agriculture and Irrigation, Energy and Industry.
The exhibition conducted simultaneously with the International Conference on the same subject will provide the Small & Medium Enterprises an international platform & a world class exposure, to develop their skills & providing them the accurate knowledge to increase their profits & by teaching them the corrective measures to grow & adopting the new & advanced technology. Besides, identifying, encouraging the progress in the Water Industry and the allied ministries.

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