Friday, May 24, 2013

Abe for Myanmar

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is on visit to  Myanmar.
The first Japanese leader to visit the Southeast Asian country in thirty six years.
Abe's government plane left Tokyo on Friday afternoon.
Abe said he hopes to hold in-depth talks with President Thein Sein, to help bilateral ties leap forward.
The summit is due to be held on Sunday in the capital, agencies

Indian street food vendors to get global spotlight at World Street Food Congress in Singapore
New Delhi, 24 May:  Earning prestige and recognition for its unflinching commitment and work for the street vendors, the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) has got a new feather in its cap with Makansutra, a Singapore based street food promotion company, and the Singapore Tourism Board inviting a team of Indian street food vendors to join the World Street Food Congress (WSFC) in Singapore from 31 May to 9 June with their best culinary items.  
The eight street food vendors who would be a part of ten member NASVI delegation led by Sangeeta Singh, the manager, street food programs of NASVI include Narayanswami and Akbar  of Dharwar and Bhaskar Urs and Ashok Kumar of Mysore in Karnataka, Gulab Singh and Rajan of Delhi, and Ashok Shah and Vijay Kumar of Patna in Bihar. The WSFC would have 40 corners with street food masters from 32 countries.
Alongside the ten day long international street food carnival, the World Street Food Dialogue would also take place in Singapore on 3-4 June. The dialogue would have presence of more than 50 key speakers including NASVI national coordinator Arbind Singh. Mr. Singh would be speaking on ‘India's Quest to Legitimize Five Million Street Food Vendors, Future Potentials & Vision of NASVI’. The speakers would share, discuss and present on the ways to preserve, professionalize and create new opportunities for street food vendors across countries.
Addressing a press conference here in the national capital along with the team of street food vendors set to fly for Singapore, NASVI national coordinator Arbind Singh said, “It would be a great opportunity to participate in such a wonderful street food advocacy event with a team of selected Indian street food masters.  We hope to gain a lot in terms of exposure, cross learning, professional planning and wider linkages with hosts of key actors involved in promoting the street food across many countries”.
Mr. Singh announced that NASVI would form a national company of street food vendors soon to brand their products. The food vendors would have their own shares in the company and linkages would be developed with the formal financial institutions and the mission driven individuals.
Mr. Singh said, “Many a countries protect and promote street foods as street food enterprise contributes immensely to local economy and tourism. The concept of traditional street food has acquired new dimensions in developed countries, with food streets/ food centers emerging as new tourist attractions.  Evidences also suggest that the street food prepared with safe handling of ingredients and water contain more nutritional values in comparison to the foods served in hotels and restaurants.”
He added, “Though street food culture pervades almost all countries of developed regions, the Asian street food is considered as the best in the world. However, India lags behind several south-east Asian countries.  Our cities trail in the race because there is usually no support from formal institutions to improve street food enterprises or protect them from external influences. The usual response at policy level is generally poor.  We never pause to think that promoting street food and cementing the identity of street food vendors is closely linked with preserving and promoting the social- cultural diversity of place and region, and making economy and society equitable and just.”
Mr. Singh said that the most important challenge is to sensitize the policy makers and other stakeholders on key advantages of promoting street food. The country needs a comprehensive National Policy on Protecting and Promoting Street Foods. The cities  need wider and wider consultations, camps and capacity building measures among street food vendors, health department functionaries,  executives of tourism, transport and railways as well as municipal authorities, police administrators and civil society actors.  Creating Street Food Courts in all cities and towns, and celebrating the  social-cultural diversity of India through showcasing vibrant culinary traditions in events like Street Food Festival are  long felt need of the cross sections of society in fast urbanizing India.
Talking about the details of Indian street food vendors’ participation in the WSFC, Sangeeta Singh, Manager, Street Food Programs, said, “While Mr. Narayanswami with Akbar and Mr. Bhaskar with Ashok would be dishing out lips smacking Chicken 65 with steamed rice, and tamarind and lemon rice respectively, Mr. Ashok with Vijay would be making thunder with Liiti Chokha and special garlic soaked mutton rice. Mr. Gulab Singh with Rajan would make his presence felt with his special Bhelpuri with potato crisps having seedless dates and amchur and Pao Bhaji.”  All food vendors would be travelling abroad for the first time, she added.
“In last three years, we have undertaken sustained street food advocacy campaign.  Organizing successful Street Food Festival is a major component of this street food advocacy.  We believe   that nothing represents the rich tapestry of India’s multi-cultural fabric better than the street foods. The street food is not just palatable, inexpensive and convenient, but also is a large source of employment generation for thousands and thousands of informal workers”, said Sangeeta Singh who has been the soul and brain of successful street food festivals organized by NASVI in Delhi in last three years.
The ecstatic street food vendors who would be leaving Delhi on 26 May morning for Singapore shared how they journeyed over the years coping up with the adversities created by the municipal bodies, police forces and health department people. “We have the acumen and brilliance to develop ourselves as successful street food entrepreneurs. The only barrier is lack of support from government side”, said Bhaskar Urs of Mysore.
Ranjit Abhigyan
Program Manager
The list of key speakers lined up for the World Street Food Dialogue
KF SEETOH, Founder of Makansutra, Singapore.
Accorded Singapore's Food Ambassador by Singapore's President Mr. SR Nathan, also hailed as the Guru of Grub by CNN and host of TLC's The Food Surprise!
Arbind Singh, National Coordinator, National Association of Street Vendors of India. 
Well known development activist and social entrepreneur, also recipient of Skoll Foundation Award in 2011.  He has played significant role in center staging the agenda of inclusive central legislation in favour of street vendors of India. Organizer of series of Street Food Festival in India
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, USA - Chef, author, TV show host
Author of bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, and host of CNN's Parts Unknown and hit TV shows Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover
BRETT BURMEISTER, USA - Managing Editor and co-owner of Food Carts Portland Ate at his first food cart in 1991 and never looked back - logged roughly 1000 visits to street vendors in Portland and beyond
JOHNNY CHAN, China - TV show host 5 million people watched him eat the streets over 30 cities in China
IAN KITTICHAI, Thailand - Thailand's first international celebrity chef. The first Thai national to become the Executive Chef of a 5-star hotel
PAULINE LOH, China - Managing Editor of The China Daily
Published two well-received cookbooks - Love, Food and Dad & Company
CLAUS MEYER, Denmark - Gastronomic entrepreneur
Recently established a foundation whose mission is to help disadvantaged individuals and communities through culinary projects
JAMES OSELAND, USA - Editor-in-chief of Saveur, America's most critically acclaimed food magazine (under his leadership, the magazine has won over 35 national awards),and acclaimed author of Cradle of Flavor (one of 2007's best books by Time Asia and the New York Times)
VO QUOH, Vietnam - Top Vietnamese chef and editor
Editor-in-chief and owner of three Vietnamese cuisine magazines: Mon Ngon Viet Nam, Gia Dinh Vao Bep and Vietnamese Delicious.
RICHARD TAN, Singapore - Divisional Director, Hawker Centers Division at the National Environment Agency. His team is responsible for implementing hawker policies, managing about 16,000 hawker stalls in the 107 hawker centers around Singapore
SIMON TAY, Singapore -Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs Public intellectual and private advisor to major corporations and policy-makers
Best known for his successful food chain, Eat&Eat, the themed food court founded in 2008 that has changed the dining landscape across Java Island
DANIEL WANG, Singapore - Ex-Commissioner of Public Health/Director-General of Public Health
BONDAN WINARNO, Indonesia - Indonesia's celebrated culinary expert. Head of "Jalansutra," an online community for food lovers in Indonesia
WILLIAM WONGSO, Indonesia - Indonesia's culinary expert
Restaurateur, food consultant, critique and TV show host

Ranbir Kapoor on Pyaar Ka Dard Hain 
The hot and happening bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor came on STAR Plus Pyaar Ka Dard Hain for the movie integration of his up coming movie Yeh Jawaani hain Deewani. The actor shot a surprise birthday with Pankhuri and Aaditya. Ranbir played Aaditya's friend Bunny who helps him plan a surprise birthday party for his wife. The actors had a Gala time shooting together on the show. 
Catch Ranbir Kapoor in Pyaar Ka Dard hain on Monday 27th May at 10 pm only on STAR Plus

Recently Ranbir Kapoor came on STAR Plus’ show Pyaar ka Dard Hain for the promotion of his up coming movie Yeh Jawani hai Deewani. The actor who was alone promoting the movie got extremely chatty with Aditya aka Nakuul Mehta.
It seems both the talented actors have played a lot of cricket when they were in college. The actors who met through college friends had a great time catching up about their college days and the hours they spent while playing cricket. This is not all Nakuul acted as a good host and took care Ranbir making him feel comfortable during the shoot.
“We had a great time catching up. It had been long since we met. It’s always great to catch up with old friends”, said Nakuul. Ranbir will be seen playing Aditya’s friend, Bunny on the show and will help him in giving Pankhuri a surprise on her first birthday after their marriage.

It’s a treat for the Fans of Ravi Dubey and Aishwarya Sakhuja as the popular duo will be seen together on STAR Plus’ India’s Dancing Superstar. Ravi Dubey will be making a debut as a host on the show. The actor is very happy and excited to be back on television in a different avatar.
When contacted Ravi Dubey he said, “My Fans wanted to see me and Aishwarya together and thanks to India’s Dancing Superstar we are coming back. I am extremely excited to host the show and wanted to become an anchor from very long time. After doing fiction shows from 7 years, when I participated in Nach Baliye-5 I felt really connected to non-fiction shows format. I am grateful to Star Plus that they gave me this superb opportunity to become a host.”

Getting engaged requires a lot of preparation: ISHITA DUTTA
Well, the young actress who has debuted on the TV screen with STAR Plus⠅k Ghar Banaonga as Poonam is already feeling the heat of the profession but she doesnt complaint. Ishita is busy shooting for her onscreen engagement and loves every moment of it.Poonam is all set to get engaged and the entire household is preparing for the big day. 㗥ll, I have never been so excited but I have realized that getting engaged is not easy, it requires a lot of preparation and planning. We are all excited about it and it actually feels like I am preparing for my real life engagement,䠳hares the pretty actress.
Well, planning an engagement is not easy but a lot of fun and this we have learnt from Ishita brilliantly.

Upbeat Sharmila all set for the Deloitte Ladies Open 2013

Inline images 1
Amsterdam, May 23 2013:  Hero Motocorp sponsored Indian golfer Sharmila Nicollet is raring to go at the Deloitte Ladies Open after her recent success at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open at Antalya, where she finished tied 17th. Sharmila, the only Indian at the Ladies European Tour (LET), is playing in the prestigious tour for a second successive year and will compete against some of the top lady golfers in the world. The € 250,000 tournament will be played at ‘The International’ golf course here in Amsterdam, Netherlands between May 24 and May 26, 2013.
Sharmila who made a strong comeback on the final day of the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open is keen to continue the good run and consolidate her position as one of the most promising young golfers in India making her mark in the world. Sharmila has been in good form this season winning one tournament of the three she played at the Hero Women’s Professional Golf Tour 2013. Her performance at the recently concluded Turkish Airlines Ladies Open has given her the much needed boost to score well on the big stage and she hopes to make the most of her good form.
The Deloitte Ladies Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the LET and I am very excited to play in it. This year it will be played at the magnificent ‘The International’ in Amsterdam, which has been termed as a very challenging course with innovative water hazards and other challenges. My performance at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open has been a real morale booster and I am confident of continuing my good run this weekend ”, said Sharmila Nicollet, “I am confident of overcoming the cold, wet and windy weather conditions and putting up a good show.”, she added.
The Deloitte Ladies Open has grown into one of the most popular stops on the Ladies European Tour. Returning for its 18th edition in 2013, the tournament is headed to an exciting new home in Amsterdam. The International has a challenging layout complete with innovative water hazards, 14-metre height variations, plenty of Dutch polder character and fantastic sightlines for players and audiences.

‘Oberoi Garden City’ Awarded as the ‘Integrated Township of the year’
Oberoi Realty’s Flagship development awarded at the Realty Plus Excellence Awards 2013 - West

New Delhi, May 23, 2013: Oberoi Realty, one of India’s leading real estate development companies focused on premium developments, has been awarded for its flagship development – the ‘Oberoi Garden City’ as the “Integrated Township of the Year” by Realty Plus Excellence Awards 2013 – West, at an award function held at the Trident, Bandra Kurla, Mumbai on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

Commenting on the company’s achievement, Mr. Vikas Oberoi, Chairman and Managing Director, Oberoi Realty, said, “It is a great honour for us to have won the award for our flagship development - the Oberoi Garden City. Through this development we aim to provide a holistic living experience that fulfils the customers’ live, work, play and other lifestyle needs all in the same location.  This recognition is a testament to our efforts across all our projects and will continue to keep us motivated to create spaces that enhance the quality of lives of our homebuyers."

The Oberoi Garden City (OGC) at Goregaon is a ‘City within a City”, where residential developments are anchored by a mall, an international school, a five star hotel and premium office spaces. The on-going projects in the area include Oberoi Exquisite along with other two more phases of residential development, and Commerz II in the office space segment. Apart from this, a hospital has been planned under the social infrastructure development at OGC.

The Realty Plus Excellence Awards were started in 2009 to honour excellence in the real estate sector in India. The Integrated township of the year’ award is given to the township which has demonstrated excellence in creating a self sufficient and sustainable development to become a city in itself by establishing provisions for physical & social infrastructure, and adopting environmental initiatives.

About Oberoi Realty Limited
Oberoi Realty Ltd. is India’s leading real estate development company, headquartered in Mumbai, focused on premium developments in the residential, office space, retail, hospitality and social infrastructure verticals. Oberoi Realty has an established brand and a track record in the real estate industry of developing innovative projects through its emphasis on contemporary architecture, strong project execution and quality construction. Oberoi Realty seeks to create “destination developments” through its in mixed-use and single-segment developments. It has a total of 35 completed projects across Mumbai, the commercial capital of India. More information about the company is available on

a series of monthly screenings

in collaboration with the India International Centre
6th June, 2013, 6:30 pm

 India International Centre
Max Mueller Road, New Delhi - 110003


A film directed by David Raynr
  99 minutes
The film highlights the age old saying, 'Every life has a purpose'. It’s the story of Finn, an out-of-work actor involved in a messy drug deal, who forms an intriguing friendship with Roger- a compelling and patient spiritual teacher. It is under his guidance that Finn realises the truth of his spiritual nature and the purpose of his life. The film heralds love as the source of all inspiration, motivation and success. 

  • Official Selection, Toronto Indie Can Film Festival, 2007
  • Official Selection, Tel Aviv Spirits Film Festival, 2007
  • Official Selection, Cairo International Film Festival, 2007
          “The film is a terrific voyage, a memorable journey through the light and dark of our lives and ultimately to hope.”
                                                -    Victor Salva, director, Peaceful Warrior and Powder

    A Tibetan Perspective
    An initiative to provide a platform to young Tibetans in exile to present and discuss their ideas and suggestions to stimulate dialogue & improve networks of the vibrant Tibetan diaspora.
    23th June, 2013, 2pm
    Seminar Hall 3, Kamla Devi Block
    India International Centre, Max Muller Road, New Delhi
    let's read & talk

    An Assistant News Editor with Hindustan Times based in New Delhi. An alumnus of Central School for Tibetans, she finished her graduation with English honours from St. Bede's College, Shimla. She completed her post-graduation in journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication.

    She started her career in Journalism by working with The Indian Express Newspaper at Chandigarh.

    an initiative of
    in collaboration with

    MAJOR SCHOOLS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHYTheir impact on India’s Civilizational Heritage and Contemporary Relevance
    a monthly lecture series
    in collaboration with the India International Centre

    The talk series will explore some of the important philosophical traditions and the impact they have had on the Indian Mind. We hope to help cultivate a deeper understanding of India's civilizational heritage in a manner that is accessible to a lay person. To start with we plan to look at Sāmkhya, Yoga, Nyāya, Vaiśeşika, Pūrva, Mīmāmsa and Uttara Mīmāmsa that advanced Vedic ideas & philosophies. In time we hope to look at the philosophies of The Mahābhārata, Śankara/Rāmānuja, Buddhism/Jainism, Ramakriṣhṇa/Vivekānanda and the four yogas (Karma, Bhakti, Raja, Hatha) etc.
    13th June, 2013, 6:30 pmAuditorium, India International Centre
    Max Muller Road, New Delhi
    Advaita Vedanta
    Swami Atmapriyananda

    (Vice-Chancellor, Educationist, Scholar, Philosopher)
    Swami Atmapriyananda is the Vice Chancellor of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University, a multi-campus University trying to actualize Swami Vivekananda’s educational vision and devoted to teaching and research in a variety of unique Faculties. On account of its unique features, particularly its emphasis on ‘gap areas’ (areas scarcely addressed by the conventional Universities in India), this new University has been awarded full membership of ‘Global University Network for Innovation’ (GUNI), a Europe-based global organization networking Universities with social commitment. Swami Atmapriyananda received his Ph.D. from the University of Madras, India, in Theoretical Physics for his work in particle theory and has a number of research publications in reputed international journals. Inspired by Ramakrishna-Vivekananda ideology, he joined the Ramakrishna Order of monks in 1978 and was posted at Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira, a premier college of Ramakrishna Mission at Belur Math, where he taught Physics for nearly 25 years besides serving as Vice-Principal and Principal for 19 years before taking charge as Vice Chancellor of Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda University in July 2005.
    As a monk and an educationist, his present interests are: (i) Swami Vivekananda’s educational vision education for character building in the youth (ii) Yoga-Vedanta vis-à-vis modern science, (iii) Ramakrishna-Vivekananda thought in the context of present day challenges, (iv) Consciousness Studies as taught in the Upanishads, (v) Synthesis of the four yogas as taught by Swami Vivekananda and Bhagavad-Gita, and (vi) Harmony of religions as lived and taught by Sri Ramakrishna. He has a good number of publications on the above subjects in the journals of Ramakrishna Order and of various organizations.
    Swami Atmapriyananda participates on invitation in various religious and educational seminars, symposia, colloquia, workshops and conferences in India and abroad organized by Universities, research institutes and religious organizations on the subjects of his interest as mentioned above. He toured Europe twice during 2008-2009 on invitation to act as a Resource Person at international and national yoga conferences in Italy organized respectively by Sarvayoga International and Italian Yoga Federation. As a member of the Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders, an arm of Elijah Interfaith Institute, a global organization working for interreligious understanding and peace, he attended on invitation a conference at Haifa, Israel, in October 2009 on The Future of Religious Leadership. He was an invited speaker at the Parliament of World Religions organized in Melbourne, Australia, in December 2009, on The Training of Religious Leadership in a Multi-religious World. He attended on invitation a meeting of religious leaders of various world religions at the ‘Guerrand Hermes Forum for the Interreligious Study of Mysticism and Spirituality’, a project of the Elijah Interfaith Academy and Elijah Board of World Religious Leaders, held at Marakesh, Morocco, during 22-26 February 2011. On his way back, he had lively talks and interactions with groups of interested spiritual seekers at Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

    During March-May 2012 and again in early 2013, he again visited the following countries abroad:
    1. Marrakesh, Morocco, to attend the second meeting of the Guerrand Hermes Forum for the Study of Mystical and Spiritual Life, organized by Elijah Interfaith Institute, held during 15-18 March 2012, 
    2. Oxford, UK, to attend a meeting of the Elijah Board of Religious Leaders, organized by Elijah Interfaith Institute, held at Oxford during 18-21 March 2012,
    3. Curitiba, Brazil, to attend the second meeting of the Executive Council as a member of ’World Day of Prayer and Action for Children’, a global      organization working for holistic welfare of children with Secretariat at New York, during 21-24 March 2012,
    4. New York, USA, to attend the first meeting of the Executive Council as a member of ’World Day of Prayer and Action for Children’, a global organization working for holistic welfare of children with Secretariat at New York, during July 2011,
    5. Assisi, Italy, to attend the third international yoga conference of ‘Sarva Yoga International’, Italy, held during 29 March – 1 April 2012,
    6. Vedanta Centres of the Ramakrishna Mission in USA, viz., Ridgley Manor, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Olema Retreat, Berkeley, Los Angeles’ Hollywood centre, Santa Barbara centre, Trabuco centre for talks, discourses and interactions on spiritual matters,
    7. New York to attend a High Level Meeting convened by the Royal Government of Bhutan, upon the invitation from the Prime Minister of Bhutan, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 2 - 4 April 2012 to discuss the developing of a new economic paradigm ‘Gross National Happiness’ in place of ‘Gross National Product’ or ‘Gross Domestic Product’.
    8. South Africa during the first two weeks of May 2012 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the starting of the Ramakrishna Centre in South Africa. He visited and spoke at the main centre at Durban and the satellite centres at Chatworth, Phoenix, Pietermaritburg, Ladysmith and Johannesburg. 
    9. Marrakesh, Morocco, to attend the third meeting of the Guerrand Hermes Forum for the Study of Mystical and Spiritual Life, organized by Elijah Interfaith Institute, held during 18-21 February 2013.
    10. Ukraine to attend the 3rd interfaith meet of the Kiev Interfaith Forum held during 23-24 April 2013.

    Highlights of the Talk:
    Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda’s Master and Guru, considered the Prophet of Harmony in the modern age, said, in his inimitable language, ‘Tie Advaita Jnana (the Knowledge of Advaita Vedanta) in the corner of your cloth and act as you please’, meaning thereby that Advaita should be basis of our daily life. It is not merely a system of philosophy to be studied for intellectual pleasure by scholars, it is not even a spiritual truth to be practised and pursued exclusively by monks and ascetics in the seclusion of caves and forests, but it is the highest truth about our existence, living and vibrant, to be put into practice and applied in daily life by men and women belonging to all strata of society and all walks of life. Defining his Ideal, Swami Vivekananda said, “My Ideal indeed can be put in a few words, and that is, to preach unto mankind its Divinity and how to manifest that Divinity in every movement of life.” In fact, the manifestation of this Divinity already present in every being is what Swami Vivekananda defined as ‘religion’, for which Advaita is the basis, the very foundation. Swami Vivekananda wanted Advaita Vedanta to be living and dynamic and that it should interpenetrate and percolate into every aspect of our individual and collective life. His famous words are: 
    “The dry, abstract Advaita must become living -- poetic -- in everyday life; out of hopelessly intricate mythology must come concrete moral forms; and out of bewildering Yogi-ism must come the most scientific and practical psychology -- and all this must be put in a form so that a child may grasp it. That is my life's work.” (Swami Vivekananda’s Complete Works, 5.104). On a similar note, he wrote on another occasion:
    “I want to give them dry, hard reason, softened in the sweetest syrup of love and made spicy with intense work, and cooked in the kitchen of Yoga, so that even a baby can easily digest it.” (Swami Vivekananda’s Complete Works, 5.104).

    Advaita Vedanta raises the awareness of humankind to the highest level of Oneness of Existence and Divinity of all beings not through philosophical reasoning or by metaphysical enquiry, but by opening up the unknown chambers in one’s own heart, by revealing the Ultimate Truth about our own inner Self, the self-effulgent, ever pure, ever awakened, ever free Atman (nitya shuddha, nitya buddha, nitya mukta). Since one’s own self is the dearest to oneself, enquiry into its real nature and discovery about the truth of one’s self is the most rewarding, most soothing, most liberating and the most delightful experience one can have in this modern life of mad rush and meaninglessness in which we seek to gain everything outside, but seem to have lost our own self! As the great psychologist Carl Jung’s famous book ‘Modern man in search of his soul’ tell us in a different language, Advaita Vedanta beckons the modern man to come back to his own Self and possess his Self (atmavan, as the Bhagavad-Gita puts it). As Jesus the Christ said, ‘What avails it if you possess everything but lose your own Soul?’ Now that the modern man is most panic-stricken, strife-torn and conflict-ridden, he would do well to listen quietly to the divine music of Advaita Vedanta that is constantly reverberating in the depths of his being.

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