Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Global News

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Iran’s Rouhani urges ‘serious’ nuclear talks without delay
President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Iran was ready for “serious” negotiations on its nuclear programme with the major powers “without wasting time”.
“We are the people of interaction and talks, with seriousness and without wasting time, if the other sides are ready,” he said at his first news conference since assuming office on Saturday.
“Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme is a national issue… we will not give up the rights of the Iranian people,” he said.
“We will preserve our rights based on the international regulations,” he added, in reference to Iran’s insistence that it has the right to peaceful use of nuclear power as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“As the president of the Islamic republic, I am announcing that there is political will to solve this issue and also take into consideration the concerns of the other sides,” he said.
Rouhani hit out a call by 76 US senators for tougher sanctions from Washington even as he took office with a call for constructive engagement.
He said Friday’s letter from the US lawmakers to President Barack Obama, which was published yesterday, showed a lack of understanding of Iranian politics.
“Recent declarations from the the White House show that some US officials do not have a correct and realistic assessment of the situation here and the message that the Iranian people gave in the election,” Rouhani said.
“They are still sending contradictory messages,” he said, adding, “We care about the US response in deeds, not in words.”
On Sunday, the White House said Iran will find the United States a “willing partner” if Rouhani is prepared to engage substantively and seriously on its nuclear programme.
In a message congratulating Rouhani on his inauguration, the White House said it “presents an opportunity for Iran to act quickly to resolve the international community’s deep
Tunisia: Thousands march against goverment

Tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets of the Tunisian capital to demand the resignation of the government as the political crisis in the north African nation deepened.
The country has been wracked by political unrest since July 25, murder of opposition lawmaker Mohamed Brahmi and on tuesday protests marked the biggest anti-government demonstration since the assassination.
A police official estimated that 40,000 people crowded the streets of Tunis to call for the government led by the moderate Islamic movement Ennahda to step down.
Opposition leaders cited in local media put the figure at 100,000-200,000.
On Tuesday the National Constituent Assembly (ANC), a body elected in 2011 to forge consensus on drafting a new constitution was suspended.
Brahmi’s murder, as well as that of another opposition politician, Chokri Belaid, have been blamed on radical Islamists, with the Ennahda-led cabinet criticised for not doing enough to prevent them.
The demonstration attracted a mixed bag of opposition parties, ranging from extreme left to centre-right, and was timed to mark six months since Belaid was gunned down outside his home.
Protesters carried pictures of both Belaid and Brahmi and shouted slogans such as “The people want the regime to fall” and “The government will end today”.
The march passed off peacefully. Assembly speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar said the ANC’s work would be halted until the government and opposition opened negotiations to break the deadlock “in the service of Tunisia”.
Brahmi’s killing had already prompted several opposition members to boycott the ANC and its suspension was a key demand of the protesters on the street.
The stalemate showed no sign of ending, however, with the opposition refusing to hold talks with the government until it steps down and Ennahda ruling out any dialogue conditional on its ouster.
Larayedh has refused to quit, offering instead to broaden the coalition. Ben Jaafar criticised the country’s politicians for failing to find a compromise as Tunisia also battles mounting
US, UK evacuating their nationals from Yemen amid Qaeda threat

The US on Tuesday evacuated nearly 90 Americans from Yemen, while the UK has withdrawn all diplomatic staff in the country amid a worldwide terror alert linked to electronic intercepts from Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, ordering a major attack since 9/11.
The State Department said it had pulled all non-essential personnel from Yemen, and the Pentagon said the US Air Force had flown staffers out.
Two US military planes carrying as many as 90 Americans from Yemen were en route to Ramstein Air Base in Germany, CNN reported.
“In response to a request from the US State Department, early this morning the US Air Force transported personnel out of Sana’a, Yemen, as part of a reduction in emergency personnel,” Pentagon press secretary George Little said.
“The US Department of Defence continues to have personnel on the ground in Yemen to support the US State Department and monitor the security situation,” Little said.
Meanwhile, the British government said it flew the embassy staff in Sanaa back to London overnight.
“Due to increased security concerns, all staff in our Yemen embassy have been temporarily withdrawn, and the embassy will remain closed until staff are able to return,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had already announced the closure of its embassy in Sanaa until the end

Magnitude 5.1 quake rattles Greece

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck northeast of Patras, Greece, at a depth of 9.7 miles on Wednesday, US Geological Survey data showed. The earthquake rattled Athens causing buildings to shake for several seconds, Reuters reported. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Premiers of UK, Spain speak as Cameron cites concerns over Gibraltar tensions

British Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken to his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy to raise “serious concerns” about tensions on the border with Gibraltar, his office said on Wednesday. Cameron spoke to Rajoy by phone after Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said that Spain may introduce fees at the border with the British overseas territory and close its airspace to planes using Gibraltar’s airport, Reuters reported. Long-running tensions over the territory flared up last month when boats from Gibraltar dumped concrete blocks into the sea to create an artificial reef for fish.

Moscow court satisfies TV company’s copyright claims against websites

The Moscow City Court on Wednesday satisfied claims by the Seichas broadcasting company to defend its exclusive rights to show several TV series online. The subsidiary of television company TNT, which owns a website offering online movies, has accused two companies of illegally posting series and sitcoms on their websites. A lower court had rejected two claims by Seichas, but the City Court said the company had submitted documents that support its exclusive rights. According to the new Russian anti-piracy law, the two firms will have to remove the films in one day or have their websites blocked.

Bahrain amends law to ban protests in capital

Bahrain’s King Hamad has banned protests in Manama in an amendment to a law on public gatherings. The move came ahead of a major opposition demonstration called for mid-August. The decree modifies the law to “ban organizing protests, rallies, gatherings or sit-ins in Manama.” The monarch also toughened penalties against the guardians of minors caught taking part in protests, BNA news agency said late on Tuesday. The Sunni-ruled kingdom has been rocked by Shiite-led protests since 2011.

Gas leak kills at least 12 in building explosion in Argentina

At least 12 people were killed and 60 more injured by an explosion that brought down part of a building in Argentina on Tuesday. Leaking gas was likely to blame for the incident, authorities say. A man who was working at the scene in the city of Rosario before the blast ignited at 9:15am local time has been reportedly taken into custody.

6 suspected militants killed by US drone strike in Yemen

A US drone killed at least six suspected Al-Qaeda militants in southern Yemen on Wednesday, officials said. Witnesses and local officials in the province of Shabwa said the drone fired at least six missiles at two vehicles in a remote area some 70km north of the provincial capital, Ataq. Both vehicles were destroyed, Reuters said. It was the fifth strike in less than two weeks and follows warnings of potential attacks by militants. Washington has shut missions across the Middle East and on Tuesday the US and Britain said they would evacuate some staff from Yemen.

N. Korea reopens shuttered Kaesong factory

North Korea said on Wednesday it was reopening the shuttered Kaesong industrial zone, run jointly with the South, to South Korean businesses. The North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said the safety of South Koreans visiting the factory park will also be guaranteed, KCNA news agency said. The statement came about 90 minutes after South Korea announced steps to compensate its firms that operate factories in Kaesong for losses due to the suspension. Pyongyang also proposed new talks on normalizing the troubled project to be held next week.

Italy to take in stranded migrants after Malta refuses

Italy has agreed to take 102 migrants stranded on a tanker in the Mediterranean after Malta refused to allow them entry for three days. The migrants were rescued from a boat 39km off the Libyan coast on Sunday night by the Liberian-registered tanker Salamis. The tanker then headed for Malta, but was refused entry to Maltese waters, Reuters said. Early on Wednesday, the Maltese government announced that Italy had agreed to take the migrants and the tanker would head for Syracuse in Sicily. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat resisted calls by the EU to let the migrants in, saying they were not in distress.

Fonterra dairy CEO says infant formula botulism scare over

The risk that people could contract botulism from infant formula made with New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra’s whey concentrate has ended, the company’s chief executive said Wednesday. Theo Spierings said that all supplies of potentially contaminated infant formula had been removed from the international market. He said there was almost no more risk for consumers. “I apologize for the discomfort and anxiety and distress this has caused,” Spierings said. About 18 metric tonnes of potentially-contaminated whey protein concentrate had been turned into 2,300 tons of infant formula that had now been successfully contained in warehouses or recalled.

28 people killed in Pakistan attacks

A bomb blast killed 11 people before dawn Wednesday at a soccer field in southern Pakistan, one in a series of attacks that left 28 people dead across the country, officials said. The bomb in the city of Karachi was hidden in a motorcycle and went off near the vehicle of Provincial Minister Javed Naghori. He was leaving after witnessing a late-night match between local teams in the Lyari neighborhood. Naghori escaped unharmed, but the blast killed 11 people and wounded 24 others, said provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Memon. On Tuesday, police found the bodies of 13 people who were pulled off a convoy of buses in southwest Baluchistan province, shot dead and dumped in a ravine. A paramilitary soldier was also killed.

Anti-Islam film producer released from prison

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who allegedly wrote and directed the inflammatory film ‘Innocence of Muslims’, has been granted supervised release from a federal prison, according to the US Justice Department. Nakoula, 56, had been incarcerated since September 2012 for a probation violation related to a 2010 bank fraud conviction. The conditions of his release allow him to leave the facility for a few hours a day, CNN reported. Nakoula’s film, which Islamic groups said was derogatory of Muhammad, sparked protests at the US embassy in Cairo and the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Actors in the movie said they were duped as to the true nature of the film.

US and Russian officials to hold talks as planned despite Snowden asylum

Officials at the US State Department have confirmed that talks with Russia’s defense and foreign ministers in Washington will go ahead as planned on Friday, despite Moscow’s recent decision to grant former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden a one-year asylum. According to the State Department, which confirmed a Reuters report of the meeting’s go-ahead, Snowden’s case will likely be one of the first issues raised with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu by their US counterparts. “We have raised Mr. Snowden with Russian officials many times in recent weeks. We expect to do so again,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. The planned talks seem to indicate a halfway measure to maintain relations between the two countries, although a future meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama in Moscow remains in doubt.

Media agencies


 

Kurdish delegation that is visiting India.

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CENTRE  FOR POLICY ANALYSIS is organising a small interaction of select interested persons with a Kurdish delegation that is visiting India. 
The delegation is led by Fayik Yagizay who is representing the Peace and Democracy Party. Mr Yagizay was an English teacher in Kurdistan, then detained and imprisoned in 1992 for three years. He went to Europe from Turkey in 1999 and became the representative of the Kurdish party at the Council of Europe and the European Parliament.This was banned by the Turkish Courts and the Peace and Democracy Party was formed in its stead.
Mr Yagizay will be speaking on “Finding a Political Solution to the Kurdish issue, and the ongoing Peace Process with the Turkish state”. 
It will be an interactive discussion from 3p.m on August 13, at the office of the Centre for Policy Analysis, N-24A Green Park Extension.
We hope you will enrich the discussion with your participation and observations.
A line in confirmation will be deeply appreciated

Thanks and regards,
Seema Mustafa


 

PV Sindhu enters third round of World Badminton Championships

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PV Sindhu enters third round of World Badminton Championships; Kona-Vishnu crash out 

 
Rising Indian shuttler PV Sindhu overcame a fighting Kaori Imabeppu of Japan to secure her place in the third round of the women’s singles competition at the World Badminton Championships, in Guangzhou on Wednesday.

Seeded 10th, Sindhu, who won the Malaysia Grand Prix in May this year, had to sweat it out for one hour and 11 minutes to prevail over unseeded Imabeppu 21-19 19-21 21-17.
World number 12 Sindhu, who made her debut at the World Championship, had beaten the world number 32 Japanese in Japan Open last year.
Sindhu, who got a bye in the first round, will have to raise her game by leaps and bounds as he takes on the winner of the match between second seed Wang Yihan of China and Indonesian Belaetrix Manuputi in the next round.
Sindhu’s higher-rated compatriot, Saina Nehwal will open her campaign against Olga Golovanova of Russia. Saina, seeded third, had got a bye in the opening round.
However, it was heartbreak for India in the men’s doubles competition as Tarun Kona and Arun Vishnu crashed out in the second round, but not before giving a tough fight to the fancied Indonesian pair of Alvent Yulianto Chandra and Markis Kido.
The unseeded Indian duo fought tooth and nail for 40 minutes before going down 15-21 21-13 17-21 to the Indonesian pair, who are seeded 15th in the competition.
Kona and Vishnu had earlier got a walkover in the first round after Polish pair of Adam Cwalina and Przemyslaw Wacha conceded the encounter.
India’s hopes in the men’s doubles event now rest on Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar who will play the German duo of Peter Kaesbauer and Josche Zurwonne in their opening match later in the day.
In the mens’ singles event, Ajay Jayaram will be up against Pablo Abian of Spainin the second round, 13th seed Parupalli 


 

Thousands to Assemble on Parliament Street on August 8th, demanding GMOs, BRAI, Monsanto.

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Thousands to Assemble on Parliament Street on August 8th, demanding GMOs, BRAI, Monsanto… Quit India
New Delhi, 6th August, 2013: The massive public debate and opposition to Genetically Modified crops will be touching a new high in the first week of the monsoon session of the Parliament with thousands of citizens from more than 18 states coming together at Jantar Mantar on this 8th of August, on the eve of Quit India Day. This is part of the public campaign launched bythe Coalition for a GM-Free India demanding that the Union Government stop promotion of GM crops which are a threat not only to the health of our citizens, our environment and farm livelihoods but also to the nation’s sovereignty itself. The Coalition has called for a day-long dharna and a march to the Parliament demanding that GMOs, BRAI and Monsanto… Quit India! The protest is expected to draw in all major political parties in addition to all major farmer unions of the country.
“We are assembling in big numbers on the eve of ‘Quit India’ day to send a strong message to our government that citizens of this country are not going to allow the government to sell away our food, farming and freedom to corporate interests” said Pankaj Bhushan, Co-Convenor, Coalition for a GM-Free India. He further stated that “global experience in the handful of countries that have opted for GM crops has shown that transgenic crops benefit none other than their developers, even as numerous problems are emerging on the ground with the use of these crops (superweeds, superpests, contamination of other crops etc.). The developers have ended up earning huge royalties, in addition to getting control of the seed market through proprietary GM technology. This is the case with Bt cotton in India too”.
 
The protest at Parliament Street comes at a time when the Union government has introduced the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill, 2013 in Parliament in the last (budget) session. This Bill has been facing strong opposition inside and outside the parliament as it would facilitate the fast track entry of GMOs into our agriculture and environment. The Bill proposes to set up a centralised single window clearance system which is designed to lower the bar for GM crop approvals with no independent long-term safety assessments or need assessment of a particular GM product. Besides this, it takes away the decision-making power of state governments on open field trials in their respective states. The Bill has also faced flak from RTI groups as it proposes to override the RTI Act.
 
Pointing to the fact that BRAI is nothing but a ‘Monsanto Promotion and Protection Act’, Rajesh Krishnan, Co-Convenor of the Coalition said that “at a time when various credible bodies including the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture and the Technical Expert Committee (TEC) set up by the Supreme Court have reccommend for a precautionary approach towards modern biotechnology in our food and farming, it is absolutely unacceptable that  the Union government, especially the Ministry of Agriculture, continues to promote GM crops. Meanwhile, our message is also to Monsanto which has voluntarily withdrawn from Europe citing public rejection of GMOs; Monsanto should realise that there is massive public opposition to its products even here in India: we ask it to quit India”.
 
Both the Standing Committee as well as the TEC reports talk about the need for a robust regulatory system for GMOs with biosafety as the main mandate. The BRAI Bill which was introduced by the Science and Technology Ministry is now under review by the Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests.
 
Thousands have been writing to the Standing Committee asking it to recommend to the government the immediate withdrawal of the BRAI Bill, to be replaced by a Biosafety Protection law instead (1).
 
For more information, contact:
 
Rajesh Krishnan: 09845650032
Pankaj Bhushan: 09472999999
Kavitha Kuruganti: 09393001550


 

If you’ve got questions about President Obama’s plan

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The White House, Washington
Hey all –
Owning a home is at the very heart of middle-class security. It means a lifetime of memories — of family dinners, basketball in the driveway, cookouts in the backyard, and watching your children grow up.
Your home is also a tangible connection to your community — a critical part of the American identity. That’s why having a home you can call your own is a cornerstone of what it means to have a middle-class life.
Today, President Obama will return to Phoenix to talk about the progress we need to build on in the housing market — higher home values and helping millions refinance — and the opportunities still before us.
It’s time to help hard-working folks fulfill their dream of buying their first home. We can help responsible homeowners refinance their mortgage, and make sure middle-class families and all of those working to get into the middle class are never again on the hook to bailout certain mortgage lenders for irresponsibility and bad loans.
And that’s just what President Obama outlined in Phoenix: commonsense steps that will help protect the middle class and everyone working to join it. So even as Washington gets bogged down by endless distractions and political game-playing, the President is focusing on what really matters.
But in the weeks and months ahead, we’ll need your help getting the message out.
We put together a graphic that helps explain the President’s plan for a more secure foundation for middle-class homeownership.
Thanks!
David
David Simas
Deputy Senior Advisor
The White House
@Simas44
P.S. — If you’ve got questions about President Obama’s plan, you can ask him yourself.
He’ll be answering questions about his plan tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET, so ask your question and be part of the conversation.


 

Tharoor awards 10 business schools

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Indian Management Conclave 2013 
HRD Minister Tharoor awards 10 business schools for best practices in management education 
HCL Tech Vice Chairman Vineet Nayar delivers keynote 
Winners include: 
North: BIMTECH, IIM Kashipur, Jaipuria 
South: Great Lakes, Chennai, TAPMI, Manipal and IFIM Bangalore 
West: NMIMS, S.P. Jain, Institute for Technology & Management (ITM), Goa Institute of Management
New Delhi August 6, 2013: 
Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Dr Shashi Tharoor awarded 10 Indian business schools for best practices in management education at 4th Indian Management Conclave held here over the weekend.
The awards, instituted by MBAUniverse.com, document and recognize the most successful initiatives by management institutes to enhance the value of their MBA programs.
Dr Tharoor applauded the winners at the award ceremony attended by over 250 MBA educators including directors from B-schools from India, China, USA, Singapore and Canada.
In his valedictory keynote Dr Shashi Tharoor said, “Indian management education has contributed significantly to the Indian and global industry over the last 60 years. Today’s B-Schools need to prepare managers and leaders with sensitivity for larger national goals.”
The Minister, who has authored a dozen books, hoped that the case studies by the winning schools will help B-schools instill the spirit of inquiry and excellence to produce MBAs who are better equipped to address the challenges facing business and industry.
The awards instituted by MBAUniverse.com received over 50 entries from B-schools and departments of management of Universities across India.
Delivering the opening keynote address HCL Technologies Vice Chairman Mr Vineet Nayar said, “India can be the hot bed for researching and developing the next big management ideas and theories. Indian B-schools and educators must play a proactive role in identifying, researching and documenting big ideas from India.
“The American business schools are taking a lead. I hope Indian Management Conclave provokes and energizes them,” said Mr Nayar who is known for advocating the radical idea “Employees First, Customer Second” when he took over as the CEO of HCL Technologies in 2005
The IMC Awards finalists were selected though a transparent multi-tier process by an eminent IMC Awards jury– Dr. Devi Singh, Director, IIM Lucknow; Fr. E. Abraham S.J., Director, XLRI, Jamshedpur; Dr Pritam Singh, DG, IMI and Former Director IIM Lucknow; Dr Rajan Saxena, Vice Chancellor, NMIMS University, Mumbai; Dr Debashis Chatterjee, Director, IIM Kozhikode and Dr Sesha Iyer, Director, S P Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai – who shortlisted 12 finalists who presented their case studies during the two-day 4th Indian Management Conclave 2013.
Mr Amit Agnihotri, Convenor, Indian Management Conclave said, “With the exception of Top 100 B-schools, the remaining need significant improvement in curriculum, education process management and absorption in the talent pool.
“Well researched best-practices from among the 50 leading B-schools presented during the Indian Management Conclave would benefit 3500 plus B-schools in India,” Mr Agnihotri, who also serves as Chairman of MBAUniverse.com, added.
IMC Awards winners highlight B-school initiatives aimed at developing socially sensitivity managers with inclusive approach. Many winners highlighted B-schools’ efforts create industry-relevant curriculum and teaching methods.
IMC Awards were keenly contested with 50 top B-schools participating, including IIMs, PGDM Institutes, Central University B-schools, and Private University B-schools.
IMC Awards 2013 Winners: 
Theme 1: Effective Demand Management: Developing Successful Engagement Programs and Finding Niches 
Gold award to NMIMS School of Business Management, Mumbai for launch of Modular Credit based Executive MBA Programme 
Silver award to Jaipuria Institute of Management for Creating an integrated and Engaging online platform
Theme 2: Improving Core Product: Revisiting The Program Architecture 
Gold award for Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai for Karma-Yoga leadership Experiential Project
Gold award for S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai for 
Developing an Appreciation for Distributive justice amongst MBAs 
Silver award to: Indian Institute of Management, Kashipur for Design and Delivery of courses with industry Support
(The scores for top position tied in this category, hence two Gold winners)
Theme 3: Improving Core Product: Innovations In Curriculum Delivery 
Gold award to: T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipal for Assurance of Learning initiative 
Silver award to: Goa Institute of Management, Goa for Give GOA Initiative
Theme 4: Effective Industry-Institute Engagement 
Gold award to: BIMTECH, Greater Noida for Programme on Sustainable Development 
Silver award to: IFIM Business School, Bangalore for Industry Internship Program Silver award to: Institute for Technology and Management (ITM), Navi Mumbai for Radically different iConnect Program
(The scores for runner-up position tied in this category, hence two Silver winners)
About Indian Management Conclave Awards 2013 Organisers–MBAUniverse.com: (www.mbauniverse.com) 
IMC Awards 2013 is instituted by MBAUniverse.com, India’s No 1 MBA portal. 
India is a booming MBA market with over 3500 B-schools and over 500,000 students enrolled in various MBA or equivalent programs.
As the Indian MBA school sector goes through crucial shake-out and consolidation. Phase, MBAUniverse.com, India’s most respected voice of MBA community, sees this as a painful, but constructive development.
MBAUniverse.com plays an important role in fostering the ecosystem – by connecting B-schools to its peers (through networking conferences and online portal), and with quality MBA aspirants seeking admissions. A vast majority of the Top 200 Indian B-schools utilize MBAUniverse.com services. MBA aspirants rely on MBAUniverse.com to prepare for CAT or GMAT, and our counseling to choose the best-fit B-school.
The annual Indian Management Conclave, held at New Delhi in August, is the Mecca for Chancellors, Vice Chancellors, Directors and Deans from Top 100 B-schools and Universities.
For any further information, please contact: 
Sanjiv Kataria Sanjiv.kataria@gmail.com +91 9810048095


 

Two trains in Switzerland have collided

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Dear N.K,Here’s your copy of Total Rail newsletter, our bulletin on news, views and the latest thinking on the rail world. We hope you find it useful and thought provoking.
Enjoy!
Lorna
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Featured Posts
Swiss train collision
Two trains in Switzerland have collided, killing one of the drivers and injuring dozens of passengers. The crash happened in Granges-pres-Marnand in Vaud canton, around 30 miles from the capital, Bern. The accident occurred as one train left for Lausanne while another coming… read more ›
Winning bidders for Riyadh metro project announced
Arriyadh Development Authority have announced the winning bidders for the metro project to go ahead in the Saudi Capital, Riyadh. Three design and build contracts worth around $21bn for the construction of a 176.7km six-line automated metro network were up for grabs. Tendering for the… read more ›
Railcare enters administration: 500 jobs at stake
Railcare, a rolling stock and repair company in the UK has sadly entered administration. After a shaky couple of years and a planned takeover by Knorr Bremse recently falling through, the decision to enter administration went through on the 31st July 2013 at midday. Over the… read more ›
Infographic – Jobs in the Rail industry: Facts you can’t ign…
Today I’m looking into jobs in the rail industry and have gathered some facts I thought might be useful for those looking for work and managers looking for employees. With the recent situation at Railcare in the UK and around 150 jobs having been cut… read more ›
Presentation: Capital Investment Outlook in the South African Pass…
  PRASA merges the operations, personnel and assets of the South African Rail Commuter Corporation, Metrorail, Intersite Property Management Services, Shosholoza Meyl and the long distance bus company, Autopax (Translux and City-to-City). As part of the process of integrating these entities, the role of Intersite…read more ›
Research Reports
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Geologists’ Examination, 2012

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The Union Public Service Commission will be conducting Interviews/Personality Tests for Geologists Examination, 2012 from 19-08-2013 to 22-08-2012 in the Commission’s 0ffice at New Delhi. Summon Letters for PT/Interview to all the eligible candidates are being issued. If any candidate has not received summon letter for PT/Interview, he/she may contact on Tel. No. 011-23386267 or can send message on Fax No. 011-23387310. He/She may also contact UPSC Facilitation Counter near Gate ‘C’ of its campus in person or over Telephone Nos. 011-23385271/011-23381125/011-23098543 on all working days between 1000 hrs to 1700 hrs. The schedule of Interviews/Personality Tests is also available on Union Public Service Commission Website at http://www.upsc.gov.in


 

Policy Initiatves and Schemes for Handloom Industry

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The handloom industry is one of the industries which uses labour intensive techniques. The total number of people currently employed in this sector/industry is 43.32 lakhs as per the census of 2009-10. Handloom weaving constitutes one of the richest and most vibrant aspects of Indian cultural heritage, hence Ministry of Textiles GOI is making serious efforts to sustain and promote handloom sector in different parts of the country.

For overall development of handloom industry/sector and welfare of handloom weavers, the Government of India has taken various policy initiatives and schemes interventions like cluster approach, technological up-gradation, marketing promotion, revival of viable and potentially viable societies through loan waiver and recapitalization assistance, availability of subsidized yarn and credit, besides, providing health and life insurance cover to the handloom weavers. The details of schemes being implemented by Ministry of Textiles, GOI are as under:-

Integrated Handloom Development Scheme provides need based inputs to clusters of 300 – 500 handlooms or Groups of 10 – 100 weavers for making them self sustainable by providing them financial assistance for margin money, new looms and accessories, skill upgradation, marketing opportunities and for construction ofworksheds etc. 

Marketing and Export Promotion Scheme provides platform to the weavers and their organizations to participate in the domestic as well as international trade events and sell their products directly to the buyers. 

Handloom Weavers Comprehensive Welfare Scheme: This comprises of two separate schemes viz. the Health Insurance Scheme (HIS) for providing Health Insurance to the Handloom weavers and Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Bima Yojana(MGBBY) for providing Life insurance cover in case of natural/ accidental death, total/partial disability due to accident.

Mill Gate Price Scheme: This scheme makes available all types of yarn at mill gate price to the eligible handloom agencies to facilitate regular supply of basic raw material to the handloom weavers and to optimize their employment potential. Under the scheme, the Government of India reimburses the transportation expenses involved in the supply of yarn from mill to godown of the user agencies. In addition, a new component of 10% price subsidy on hank yarn has been added to the scheme since January 2012 for supply of cotton and silk yarn to handloom weavers and their cooperative societies. 

Diversified Handloom Development Scheme: This scheme provides assistance for technological  and skill-upgradation of weavers for design and product development through 25 Weavers’ Service Centres and 05 Indian Institutes of Handloom Technology all over the country to improve the productivity and earnings of the handloom weavers.

Revival Reform and Restructuring Package (RRR): In order to open the choked credit lines to enable access to fresh credit for handloom sector, GOI has approved RRR package for waiver of overdue loan as on 30/03/2010 for eligible apex and primary weaver cooperative societies and individual weavers.  The Government has also approved weaver credit card under institutional credit component, providing margin money assistance @ Rs. 4200/- per weaver, 3% interest subvention for three years and credit guarantee for 3 years by Credit Guarantee Trust Fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

The financial allocation for implementation of the above scheme during 2013-14 is Rs 487 crore.

The information was given by the Minister of State in the Ministry of Textiles Smt. Panabaaka Lakshmi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha today.


 

Lalit Kala Akademi is celebrating its Foundation Day

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Lalit Kala Akademi is celebrating its Foundation Day from 5th to 9th August 2013. In this week long celebrations, the Academi is organising a Painting Exhibition, Painting workshop and cultural event too on the theme “Ragas on Canvas”.
Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Union Minister for Culture, will inaugurate the foundation day of the Lalit Kala Akademi, in New Delhi on August 05, 2013.
Eleven artists from across the country from different traditional painting and folk art will be participating in the painting workshop. I, Babita Biswas, the first female Contemporary Warli Folk artist, will also participate in this event.
My painting is based on Vasant Raga, son of Hindola Rag and being prepared in contemporary Warli folk art style. It’s a challenging task because till date Ragmala painting has never been painted in Warli Folk Art style.
I have also put up several exhibitions on Contemporary Warli Folk Art that originates from Maharashtra. First time in the country, I have also depicted Jaydev’s immortal verses Geet Govinda in this art form.
Since childhood I have been inspired by my mother who also did painting. Her first exhibition was displayed at AIFACS in 2006. My art work on Geet Govindom has been appreciated by Queen Elizabeth II, Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, Dr Karan Singh, Prof Shiv Prakash, Late Shri Rajesh Khanna, Dr Neeru Mishra, Emenint Hindi Writers Himanshu Joshi, Batuk Chaturvedietc.
I have participated extensively at various solo shows all over the country, as well as group shows. In the year 2010 ICCR, India and the Ministry of Cultural of Republic of Armenia, hosted solo show at National Gallery of Armenia, and also ICCR, India along with Georgian National Musuem. I have also hosted another solo show at Sh. Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts, Tblisi. I am the 1st Indian whose show has been put up at Armenia and Georgia.
Further ICCR, Delhi, Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal, MP and The Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi has also sponsored solo shows.
Besides, being the proud recipient of letter of appreciation and commendations, I have also been conferred with three important awards- “Best Poster Design Artist” by Sahitya Kala Parishad, New Delhi; “2nd Prize on Painting” by Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, New Delhi; and “AbhivyaktiSamman” by Karvat Kala Parishad, Bhopal, MP. Currently, I am working as Artist at the renowned publishing House, National Book Trust, India.
About Warli Painting
This folk art is characterized by the use of three symbols to compose all forms: dots, lines and triangles. The painting of Warli tribes (originally) does not depict mythological characters or images of deities but depict social life. Images of human beings, animals along with scenes from daily life are created in a loose rhythmic pattern.
About Vasant Rag:
Vasant is a raga (an Indian musical melody) that appears in the Sikh tradition from northern India and is part of the Guru Granth Sahib. Every raga has a strict set of rules which govern the number of notes that can be used; which notes can be used; and their interplay that has to be adhered to for the composition of a tune. In the Guru Granth Sahib, there are a total of 31 raga compositions and this raga is the twenty-fifth raga to appear in the series.
The name Basant is from Sanskrit “vasant” meaning “spring”, and during that season of the year Basant may be performed at any time of the day or night. Otherwise, it is reserved for the time between 9 p.m. and midnight. The Ragmala gives Basant as a putra (son) of Hindol, also a spring raga. Today it belongs to the Purvithata. The only variant noted in the Holy Book is Basant-Hindol. Basant is a very old raga dating from the 8th century. Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and Guru TeghBahadar composed Shabads in this raga. Performed in slow tempo, this gentle melody depicts quiet joy. The descending scale is usually found at the beginning of a composition with the ascending form follows later.
Other Participants are:
Balbinder Kangri : Kangra, HP
Prikshit Sharma : Chamba, HP
Dhani Ram: Kangra, HP
Suresh Km. Chudhary: Kangra, HP
Nikhal Bansal: Shimla, HP
Nitin Kalayaniya: Shimla, HP
Vijya Verma: Jaipur, Rajasthan
Rajesh Km Kumabat: Jaipur, Rajasthan
Bhawar lal Kumabat: Jaipur, Rajasthan
Sarvesh sharma, Jaipur, Rajasthan

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