Tuesday, September 10, 2013

International snaps


11 people killed by roadside bombs in Afghanistan

Two roadside bombs killed 11 people in Afghanistan on Tuesday, officials said. In the first attack, a bus traveling to Kabul from Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan hit an explosive in Ghazni Province. The seven dead included three children, while 17 people were wounded. In a second attack, in Helmand’s Musa Khela district, a car hit a roadside bomb, killing one woman and three men, while eight people were hurt. A suicide car bomb went off in front of an Afghan National Army security post in Logar province’s Khushi district, wounding four soldiers.
 Gulf states demand Security Council acts against Assad

Gulf Arab states renewed their demands Tuesday for the UN Security Council to take deterrent measures against the Syrian government over its alleged involvement in the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack. “The Gulf Cooperation Council condemns the ugly crime committed by the Syrian regime by using internationally banned chemical weapons, which resulted in the killing of hundreds of civilians,” Reuters quoted Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa as saying.

Man charged with plotting to assassinate Putin jailed for 10 years

Moscow City Court on Tuesday convicted Kazakh citizen Ilya Pyanzin of plotting to assassinate President Vladimir Putin and sentenced him to 10 years in a high-security penal colony. Pyanzin had pled guilty and entered into a plea bargain with prosecutors, who had called for a jail sentence of 15 years. The alleged group of would-be assassins, consisting of Chechen-born Adam Osmayev and Ruslan Madayev, as well as Pyanzin, was exposed in January 2012 after a homemade bomb accidentally detonated in an apartment in Odessa, Ukraine, killing Madayev, RIA Novosti reported.

Iran won’t give up ‘one iota’ of nuclear rights – Rouhani

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that Tehran will not give up “one iota” of its nuclear rights. The comments come ahead of a meeting later this month between Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on restarting negotiations on Tehran’s nuclear program.“Our government will not give up one iota of its absolute rights” on the nuclear issue, AFP quoted Rouhani as saying. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has urged Iran to provide necessary cooperation, and a new round of talks between Tehran and the UN watchdog is set for September 27.

Iraq bombings kill at least 14 civilians, injure 48

Separate bomb attacks in Iraq killed at least 14 civilians and injured dozens on Tuesday, officials say. Near the eastern city of Baqouba, 60km northeast of Baghdad, three car bombs targeted outdoor markets, killing at least 10 civilians and injuring 34. A bomb hidden inside a coffee shop killed four and injured 14 in the town of Latifiyah, about 30km south of Baghdad.

Berlusconi allies threaten to bring down coalition over ex-PM expelling vote

Allies of Silvio Berlusconi have stepped up threats to bring down Italy’s ruling coalition if center-left lawmakers refuse to delay a hearing over expelling the former prime minister from parliament. A cross-party Senate committee resumes talks at 18:00 GMT after an initial meeting on Monday, to decide whether Berlusconi should be stripped of his seat in the upper house following a conviction for tax fraud last month, Reuters reported. It is unclear if a possible government crisis would lead to new elections.

Demonstrator dies as Turkey protests continue over Gezi Park

A 22-year-old protester in the southern province of Hatay has died in continuing protests over the Gezi Park. Ahmet Atakan died after being struck in the head by a tear gas canister fired by police, Dogan news agency reported. He took part in a march to show solidarity with students and locals in Ankara resisting against the construction of a road through Middle Eastern Technical University. The event was also staged to commemorate Abdullah Comert, another local of Antakya’s flashpoint neighborhood of Armutlu, who was killed by police in early June at the beginning of the Gezi protests.

8 children of US servicemen injured in Germany road accident

Eight children of US servicemen were injured after two school buses collided in southern Germany on Tuesday, police said. One bus with 23 American schoolchildren was heading to a school at the Grafenwoehr base in Bavaria when it collided with another school bus that had no passengers. Eight children were slightly injured, and six of them were taken to hospital with bruises and sprains.

4 killed in Egypt’s Sinai attacks

Attacks in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula over the past 24 hours, mostly against soldiers, have killed at least four people, security officials said Tuesday. Two people were killed and 10 others, including one soldier, were wounded when clashes erupted between troops and supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi in the town of Bir al-Abed, AFP reported. Separately, one soldier was killed and two wounded when a rocket-propelled grenade struck an army checkpoint next to the regional capital of El-Arish. Unknown gunmen near the Suez Canal killed another soldier, and three others were wounded in other attacks in the region.

4 men found guilty in Indian gang-rape trial

Four men were found guilty on Tuesday of the rape of a woman on a bus in the Indian capital, New Delhi, and her murder, a crime that triggered protests. All four could be hanged for the murder conviction, a defense lawyer said, adding that arguments on sentencing are due to begin on Wednesday. They had all pleaded not guilty, Reuters reported. The woman victim, dubbed Nirbhaya, 23, a trainee physiotherapist from a lower-middle class family who had worked in a call center, was lured onto the bus on the night of December 16. The case cemented India’s reputation as being unsafe for women.

44 killed as 2 buses collide in Iran

At least 44 people were killed when two intercity buses collided on a road south of Iran’s capital, local media report. Late on Monday, one of the buses swerved into the opposite lane due to a flat tire, colliding head-on with the other bus, and both caught fire. Another 44 people injured in the accident were taken to hospital in the city of Qom, about 130km south of Tehran.

Tehran backs Russia’s plan to put Syria’s chemical weapons under intl control

Iran has supported Russia’s offer to work with Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control. Tehran “favors that initiative and we find this to be within the framework of putting a halt to militarism in the region,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said, as cited by Reuters. Any action on chemical weapons should ensure they are not available to the rebels, Afkham said. “There are concerns regarding possession of an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists,” she added.

2 dead, 1 child injured in Thai school bombing

Two soldiers were killed and one child was injured in a suspected Muslim rebel attack on a school in southern Thailand, Reuters reports. The officers were part of a patrol unit sent to the location to protect the teachers, who are seen by the Islamic resistance as representing the government. “The explosion occurred inside the compound of a school in Yala province this morning where children were playing. The bomb was planted by local rebels,” authorities said. “At least one child was injured.” Yala – along with Pattani and Narathiwat – is predominantly Muslim and positions itself against the majority Buddhist orientation of the rest of Thailand. This resistance has lasted for decades, but has violently reignited in 2004. The attack comes after several weeks’ pause in negotiations between the government and the rebels.

California Senate okays tough gun storage bill

A new bill passed by the California state Senate would make storing a firearm where it is accessible to a child a misdemeanor. The bill would override existing California law that states charges may only be filed against the gun owner if someone is injured. AB231 passed on a 24-15 vote and now goes to the state Assembly.

Norway’s new prime minister proclaims historic win for right-wing parties

Erna Solberg will become Norway’s second female prime minister and the country’s first conservative prime minister in decades, after defeating Labor Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. Center-right Solberg is widely expected to form a government with the anti-immigration Progress Party. She described her win as “a historic election victory for the right-wing parties.” The election was Norway’s first since Anders Breivik, a far-right extremist, killed 77 people in a bombing and shooting at a Labor Party youth camp two years ago. He was previously a member of the Progress Party. Media agencies


Syria agrees with Russian weapons plan to “uproot US aggression”

Syria agrees with Russian weapons plan to "uproot US aggression"
Syria agreed on Tuesday, with the Russian proposal to place its chemical weapons stocks under international control to “uproot US aggression”, hours after President Barack Obama said he would “absolutely” put on hold any military strike on the country if it does so. 
Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said his country quickly “agreed to the Russian initiative.”He said Syria did so to “uproot US aggression.” 
“Yesterday, we had a round of very fruitful negotiations with (Russian Foreign Minister) Sergei Lavrov and he came forward with an initiative on chemical weapons,” Muallem said after a meeting with Russian parliament (Duma) speaker Sergei Naryshkin in Moscow.
On Monday, Moallem welcomed Russia’s initiative. “I carefully listened to (Russian foreign minister) Sergei Lavrov’s statement about it. In connection with this, I note that Syria welcomes the Russian initiative based on the Syrian leadership’s concern about the lives of our nationals and the security of our country,” Muallem had said. 
The proposal put forward by Russia – a key ally of Syria – is a dramatic shift after America was gearing up for weeks to lauch attacks against the embattled regime.
Earlier in the day, Russia announced that it was holding talks with the Bashar al-Assad regime to formulate a “workable, precise and concrete” plan for the smooth transfer of the chemical weapons. “We (Russia) are currently working on preparing a workable, precise and concrete plan and for this there are literally right now, in these minutes, contacts with the Syrian side,” Lavrov informed.
“And we expect to present this plan soon and we will be ready to work on it with the UN secretary general, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, with the participation of members of the UN Security Council,” he said. 
Meanwhile in separate interviews with six US news channels, Obama said, “If Syrian President gives up his chemical weapons, a military strike would absolutely be on pause.” He also called the Russian proposal a “potentially significant breakthrough.”
“Absolutely, if, in fact, that happened,” Obama said when asked if the military strike was on pause if Assad yields control of his chemical weapons to international authority.
“That’s in our national security interest. If we can do that without a military strike, that is overwhelmingly my preference. And now the key is, can we see a sense of urgency?” Obama added.
Asserting that he always preferred a diplomatic resolution to the Syrian crisis, Obama said, “I fervently hope that this can be resolved in a non-military way.” 
Obama, unsure of getting enough Congressional support on Syria, said he would take a final decision after talking to American people directly. 
According a media report, Obama could fall short of 50 votes needed to get Senate authorisation for a military strike against Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people.
The US had alleged that sarin – a deadly nerve agent – was used by the Assad regime near Damascus on August 21 that left at least 1,429 civilians, including over 400 children, dead. The Syrian government denied the charge, saying rebels had used the deadly gas to defame it.
In Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius today said France would place forward a resolution in the UN Security Council to press Syria to dismantle its chemical weapons.
The proposal would also condemn the chemical weapons attack in Damascus, he said. In Cairo, the Arab League head Nabil Elaraby expressed the group’s backing for the Russian proposal, saying the League has been always in favour of a “political resolution.” 
But the Russian initiative failed to bring cheers among Syrian rebels, who dismissed it as a manoeuvre to escape punishment. Meanwile, the main opposition bloc – Syrian National Coalition – said the proposal “aims to procrastinate and will lead to more death and destruction of the Syrian people.” 
“A violation of international law should lead to an international retaliation that is proportional in size,” it said in a statement. “Crimes against humanity cannot be dropped by giving political concessions or by handing over the weapons used in these crimes.” 


State Civil Aviation Ministers Conference

“Beginning of a Fruitful and Mutually Beneficial Partnership”: Shri Ajit Singh 
With the recognition that civil aviation is a growth engine for economic development, it is high time that Central Government and State Governments join hands together and let the sector soar into greater heights, said Union Civil Aviation Minister, Shri Ajit Singh while addressing the Conference of State Aviation Ministers and Secretaries of the state governments here today. He said the Conference was a “beginning of a fruitful and mutually beneficial partnership bringing synergy in efforts.” 
Highlighting the causes of losses to the airlines, Civil Aviation Minister said, “One of the major reasons for the economic losses of the airlines is the high cost of ATF, which constitutes 40-50% of the operational cost of all domestic carriers. Compared with our neighboring hubs, ATF prices in India are 50-60 % costlier. This is mainly due to the high base price of ATF topped up by the very high ad valorem VAT imposed by state governments.” The Civil Aviation Ministry has taken this up with the Ministry of Petroleum and state governments. Some states have responded positively. Jharkhand has reduced VAT on ATF to 4%, Madhya Pradesh has agreed to reduce it to 23% at Indore and Bhopal and 13% at other airports. West Bengal has agreed to reduce it with certain conditions. The Minister said, “The reduced VAT on ATF can be a game changer for the states also as seen in the case of Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh had reduced VAT on ATF to 4% in 2010 and it has since seen six-fold increase of ATF uplift from Raipur and an increase in number of flights from Raipur from 8 to 18 per day. With more people travelling to the state, there has been considerable spin-off effects to the economy.” He made a request to the representatives of the state governments to reduce VAT on ATF to 4%. This would significantly reduce operational expenses of the airlines leading to reduced fares and more passenger traffic. 
Emphasizing that growth in the civil aviation sector is equitable and inclusive, Shri Ajit Singh said, “The issue of providing regional and remote area connectivity therefore, attains great significance. Considering the vastness of the country and varied terrains- ranging from the high mountainous region in the North, hilly terrains in the North-East, and deserts in the West and thickly populated congested regions in the South, the number of airports in the country is very small. We need to develop smaller low-cost no-frill airports in potentially economically growing cities identified in various parts of the country, with the help of the state governments.” There are 454 airports and airstrips in the country out of which only 93 are operational. Many of the smaller airstrips are owned by state governments. The respective state government can provide land required for expansion free of cost and develop road and electricity connectivity to the airports. 
There is a need to encourage the airlines to operate flights to provide regional air connectivity to Tier-II & Tier-III cities and connectivity to remote and difficult areas. “This is possible only if operational costs of the airlines are reduced to minimum and the State Governments can contribute by bearing some operational expenses like cost of security, power, fire and rescue machinery and providing incentives by minimizing property tax of the airports and also under-writing of seats in the flights,” the Civil Aviation Minister said. Ministry of Civil Aviation is already working to bring out an integrated policy regime in this regard which includes encouraging airlines to acquire smaller planes and reduction of various airport charges. 
An Inter-Ministerial Task Force was constituted by the Planning Commission to prepare a financing plan for the 12th Plan period. The Task Force has provided a blue-print for robust expansion and modernization of airports across the country, especially with private participation and recommended the development, operation and management of several airports through Public-Private Partnership (PPP). In line with the recommendation of the Task Force, Government of India has decided, in principle, to operate, manage and develop 20 airports of Airports Authority of India under PPP which include Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Coimbatore, Trichy, Varanasi, Indore, Amritsar, Udaipur, Gaya, Raipur, Bhopal, Agartala, Imphal, Mangalore and Vadodara. RFQs for Chennai and Lucknow airports have already been uploaded and RFQs for another four airports are in the process. Further, Government of India is in the process of identifying 50 low cost small airports for their development in collaboration with state governments through feasibility studies to be carried out by Airports Authority of India. 
The Ministry of Civil Aviation is also trying to provide international connectivity to new destinations not only from Metro International Airports but also from the Regional International Airports. Only last week, the Ministry gave new Bilateral International Traffic Rights to Indian carriers to fly to different destinations from Lucknow, Chandigarh, Madurai, Mangalore, Trivandrum, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Bagdogra. “I hope the Indian carriers, who have been given these rights, would start their flights effective Winter-13,” the Minister said. There is a need to set up an expertise in the state governments to look into the issues associated with general aviation, he added. 
During the meeting the delegate from West Bengal raised the issue of night landing at Bagdogra and demanded pro-active steps from Pawan Hans services between Kolkata and Durgapur whereas the representative of the Government of Meghalaya requested for granting permanent refuelling facility in the state. The representative of the UP Government drew attention towards making flying rules more realistic and user friendly while the Jharkhand Government appealed for waiving off night parking charges in cases of non-scheduled operators. The Conference was also addressed by Minister of State in Civil Aviation, Shri K. C. Venugopal. It was attended by about fifty delegates including Aviation Ministers of eight states. 


Kapil Sibal, to interact with Media


Dear Friend,

You are invited to cover the following event as per the details given below:

EVENT:          Minister of Communications & Information Technology, Shri KapilSibal, to interact with Media on matters concerning the Telecom sector.  
VENUE:          Banquet Hall, 3rd Floor, Hotel Ashok, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi.

TIME:              12.45 P.M.  
DATE:            September 11, 2013 (Wednesday).

                                                                                                     Yours sincerely,

 Press Officer for the Ministries of:  Communications & IT; Law & Justice; Corporate Affairs; and Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises


“International Conference on Public Health Priorities in the 21st Century:

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, will address the International Conference on Public Health Priorities in the 21st Century: The Endgame for Tobacco.”


11th September (Wednesday)


9.00 am


Taj Palace, New Delhi


Press Conference India-Japan Ministerial and Government-Business Dialogue meeting

Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Mr. Toshimitsu Motegi, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan will meet tomorrow for the below-given events:
1.      Business Government Dialogue (OPEN FOR VISUAL COVERAGE ONLY) 
Venue:       Long Champ, Hotel Taj Mansingh, New Delhi
Date:          Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Time:         1245 hrs
2.    Press Conference (OPEN FOR ALL)
Venue:   Diwan-e-Am, Hotel Taj Mansingh, New Delhi
Date:     Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Time:    1355 hrs
          You are invited to cover the event.


Organizing for Action
Naresh –
It’s actually kind of scary to think about what would happen if some members of Congress get their way and let the government shut down. 
Think about it:
– Students would lose access to Head Start, which provides critical early education to kids in need.
– Veterans could see their benefits delayed, and uniformed military could find their paychecks interrupted. 
– New Social Security applicants would have to wait to receive their benefits. 
– Small businesses would be hurt, as the Small Business Administration wouldn’t be able to process new loans.
That’s obviously just a small glimpse of what’s at stake in this debate — we need more voices of reason to speak out. 
Add your name and tell Congress to pass a smart budget, and don’t put our economy — and programs that help millions of Americans — at risk: 
Our elected officials shouldn’t use the economy, the budget, or even the threat of taking away health care from millions of Americans just to score political points with their base. We have to hold them accountable.
Lindsay Siler 
National Director of Issue Campaigns 
Organizing for Action


A delegation of Punjabi farmers settled in Kutch district meet Badal

A delegation of Punjabi farmers settled in Kutch district expresses full-confidence in the Gujarat government before Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal


Punjab chief minister Mr. Prakash Singh Badal:
  • Punjabi farmers are fortunate that they are making progress in an honest and safe state like Gujarat
  • Expose those trying to malign image of Mr. Narendra Modi and government of Gujarat by holding a press conference in Chandigarh

Gujarat chief minister Mr. Narendra Modi:
  • There is no question of confiscating land of Punjabi farmers or forced them out of Kutch district

Both the chief ministers accepts an invitation and agrees to jointly visit Kutch district

A delegation of the Punjabi farmer families who have settled in Kutch today held a meeting with visiting Punjab chief minister Prakash Singh Badal, chief guest at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Agriculture Summit -2013, on Monday. During their meet with Punjab chief minister Mr. Badal at Mahatma Mandir, the Punjabi farmer families who have become active participant in the progressive, peaceful and business friendly environment of the state, praised the total cooperation of Gujarat government. They told Mr. Badal of it was being a deliberate political ploy to disgrace the state government and Mr. Narendra Modi, which they have condemned thoroughly.

Also the delegation extended an invitation of joint visit of Kutch by Mr. Modi and Mr. Badal, which the duo has accepted it. The families met Mr. Badal on the sidelines of first Vibrant Gujarat Global Agriculture Summit – 2013 at Gandhinagar.

While praising the Gujarat government’s compassion and sentiments of Punjabi farmers of Kutch, Mr. Badal said, “Punjabi farmers are fortunate to have been residing in a state which is honest, good law and order situation and safer social life, and where sisters and daughters with gold ornament on can roam around even at midnight without fear. Punjabis have made their names wherever they have stayed in the World.”

It should be noted that Gujarat chief minister and the government has made it very clear that there is no question of either taking away the land of Punjabi farmers to force them out of Kutch district. The visiting delegation from Kutch has accepted the suggestion of holding a press conference in Chandigarh to expose the political ploy behind it and those detractors trying to disgrace the Gujarat government when the issue is sub-judice in the Supreme Court.

Welcoming the sentiments of the Punjabi families toward Gujarat, Mr. Modi during his recent public speech made it clear that state government will take stern action against the official behind this entire issue and not the families but he will be dismissed first.

Gurudwara of Lakhpat which houses the charanpaduka of Guru Nanak, the Shikh Guru, was affected due to earthquake and later on it was restored. It also won the Asia Pacific Heritage Award. At no stage Gujarat government wanted to take away the land or forced the Punjabi families to leave the state, and no such question had arisen.

It was detractors of state government who spread this ill information to disgrace state under the guise of speaking for Punjabi families. And thus Punjabi farmers must understand this reality and must keep their faith in the state administration. 




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Agro Seminars at Global Agriculture Summit


Agro Seminars at Global Agriculture Summit help realizing Chief Minister’s dream of generating a vibrant economy in rural India:
Vibrant Gujarat Global Agriculture Summit witnesses 11 successful agro-related seminars in two days:

Mahatma Mandir, September, 10: The two-day Global Agriculture Summit-2013 that began with a bang in Gandhinagar witnessed as many as 11 agro-related seminars aiming to educate farmers with application of modern science technology in their farming, animal husbandry and food processing methods. Significantly, three country seminars by Netherlands, Israel and Denmark were also held. A gigantic Kishan Panchayat was also held in presence of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, where innovative farmers shared their experiences that encouraged the farmers across the country present in the Panchayat.

The seminars that were organized to realize Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s dream to generate a vibrant economy in rural India and promoting farming and strengthening farmers by ensuring handsome return to their produces, encouraging organic farming, holistic health care and application of modern technology in farming by the farmers of different states and countries.

Bio-Technology in Agriculture seminar: 
 Agricultural bio technology holds a very important place as far as development of agriculture sector is concerned. The seminar saw large presence of the farmers and participants as they saw luminaries like Dr. Swapan Kumar Dutta, deputy director general of crop science at ICAR, Dr. S R Rao of department of biotechnology government of India, Dr. Rajiv Modi of CII Gujarat chapter and Dr Mohammed Oufattole talked on range of aspects affecting the sector. The dignitaries were of the view that biotechnology is a potential tool to address food security issue in India and it has shown great potential in terms of benefits to the farmers and community at large. It has also played key role in introducing crop varieties with high yield, increased nutritional values, improved resistance to climatic conditions, reduced maturation period and has increased the shelf life of the produce.  


 Hi-tech Horticulture and Far Mechanism:
The seminar was attended by large group of participants, which saw important addresses from dignitaries like Dr. K L Chaddha, former deputy director general of horticulture at ICAR, Gujarat government’s agriculture minister Mr. Babu Bokhiriya, Dr. Balraj Singh director National Research Centre on Seed Spices, Dr A M Shekh vice-chancellor of Anand Agriculture University and others. The talks by speakers revealed that in recent years the horticultuproduction (fruits, vegetables and other horticulture crops), in India has increased considerably. In last five years it has increased by 30%. As compared to total production of 191.80 million tonnes in year 2006-07, it has increased to 250 million tonnes in year 2011-12. Apart from productivity, the seminar discussed on the challenges faced by the horticulture of which major challenge was how to reduce the post harvest losses which amounts to almost 16-18% of the total horticulture produce in the country.
 Input-Output Agriculture Supply Chain and Linking Farmers to the Market:
 The seminar was addressed by former agriculture advisor to Planning Commission on Dr V V Sadamate, minister of education, food and civil supplies Mr. Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Dr A R Pathak vice chancellor of Navsari Agriculture University, chief advisor to National Centre for Cold Chain Development Pawanexh Kohli and others. Since India is endowed with great agricultural advantage, another biggest advantage was its soil fertility, which is highly favorable for different crops. As of now country has 15 broadly classified agro-climatic zones, which are best suited for cultivation. The seminar also focused on present agriculture value chain, its inefficiencies and the ways to improve farm-market linkages. It also dwelled on issues like market imperfection ranging from shortage of storage space, poor transportation facilities and improper infrastructure being another factor adding to the rising food inflation.

Agriculture, Livestock and Dairy Sector:
 Animal husbandry has been an integral part of Indian agriculture sector where land and cattle traditionally are two basic income yielding assets for Indian farmers. The seminar was addressed by dignitaries like minister of social justice and empowerment Ramanlal Vora, GCMMF (Amul) managing director R S Sodhi, NDDB executive director Sangram Chaudhary, director National Dairy Research Institute Dr A. K. Srivastava and others from the filed.

 Access to Agriculture Credit & Risk Management:
 Since Indian agriculture sector is heavily dependent on monsoon, making it an inherently risky activity. The seminar was addressed by luminaries from the field which included P S Shenoy, ex-chairman Bank of Baroda, minister of revenue Anandiben Patel, Rajesh Sinha executive vice president National Commodity & Development Exchange, chief general manager National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development M K Mudgal, ex-DGM (R&D) Agriculture Insurance Company of India Dr K N Rao  and others. The speakers said that timely and low cost credit from institutional sources will be of a great help especially to the marginal farmers. It also focused on historical overview of agriculture credit in India, agri credit system in country and recent policy initiatives and risk associated with it.
Food & Agro Processing: The seminar had speakers like Vishwanath Tiwari, MD Gandour India Food Processing Pvt Ltd, minister of state for agriculture and food chairman & CEO Himalaya International Ltd Manmohan Malik, Rajender Reddy Gaddam MD of Srini Food Park Pvt Ltd. 
Country Seminar – Israel: The seminar was addressed by Dr Edna Pesis department of post harvest, Dan Meiri GM Agritech, Raz Ganelevin development manager Meteor Agricultural Nets, Ronen Koll, regional manager Affimilk.
 Country Seminar – Denmark: Mr. Anders Adamisen, counselor food and agriculture Denmark, Ajit L Inamdar, director & CFO Cheminova India Ltd, director strategic initiative & external affairs Danfoss Industries Pvt Ltd and Krishnan G S regional president of Novozymes South Asia Pvt Ltd addressed the participants of the seminar.
Others seminars which were held during this Vibrant Gujarat Global Agriculture Summit -2013 include Agriculture & Nutritional Security, Agricultural R&D Extension and Country Seminar by Netherlands.



Joint Press Conference of Ministry of IT & Communication & CAIT

Joint Press Conference of Ministry of IT & Communication and Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) 
The Ministry of IT & Communication, Government of India in association with Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), an apex body of the trading community has decided to launch a joint project for up gradation, modernistion and computerization of retail trade of India.
To give details of the joint project, its basic fundamentals and structure, a joint Press Conference by Senior officials of Ministry and Senior Leaders of CAIT will be held tomorrow 11th September, 2013 at 4.00 pm. at Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi.
Since it is a unique project of its own kind, we shall be grateful if you kindly depute a Staff Correspondent of your esteemed news paper to cover the same.
Thanking you. With regards
Truly yours
Praveen Khandelwal
National Secretary General
Contact Cell : +91-9891015165-9310199771


Arjun Singh Chaudhri shoots fiery 65 for round one lead


Forest Hills Golf Resort, Mohali, September 10, 2013: Arjun Singh Chaudhri of Noida shot a fiery five-under-65 to be the round one leader at the PGTI Feeder Tour event being played at the Forest Hills Golf Resort in Mohali district in Punjab. Akshay Sharma of Chandigarh is in second place at three-under-67.

Arjun Singh ChaudhriⳠbogey-free 65 at the par-70 course came as a result of some excellent hitting. Arjun, the current Feeder Tour Order of Merit leader, began the day with birdies on the first two holes as he landed it within three feet on both occasions. The 34-year-old converted a six feet putt for birdie on the fifth to move to three-under for the day. ChaudhriⳠtee shot stopped two feet from the hole on the 11th to set up another birdie. His final birdie of the day came on the 14th where he holed an eight-footer.

Chaudhri said, ㉠was in good hitting form today. I hit 16 greens in regulation and landed it close on a consistent basis. One has to keep it in play on this course as there are a lot of hazards. The five-stroke victory in the first event of the Feeder Tour season at Faridabad had given me a lot of confidence and Iⶥ been playing well since then.伯span>

Akshay Sharma of Chandigarh fired four birdies against a lone bogey in his round of 67 to be placed second.

Moinuddin Malak of Pune occupies third place at one-under-69 while the 2010 Feeder Tour Order of Merit champion Maniram Sharma of Karnal is in fourth place at even-par-70.
PanchkulaⳊAngad Cheema and the Chandigarh duo of Rajiv Kumar Jatiwal and Roop Singh are in tied fifth place at one-over-71 along with DelhiⳠHoney Baisoya, Shubhankar Sharma of Gurgaon and Patna golfer Md Nawab.

Ashbeer Saini of Kapurthala is placed tied 11th along with Rajinder of Chandigarh and DelhiⳠWasim Khan.

The two seasoned Chandigarh professionals Ranjit Singh (six-over-76) and Harmeet Kahlon (eight-over-78) finished the day in tied 32nd place and tied 44th place respectively.

The top-36 players (and ties) will make the cut at the end of round two on Wednesday.


Aug export grows at 12.9%


India’s exports for the month of August 2013 stands at USD 26.14 billion with a (Y-O-Y) increase of 12.9% as compared to USD 25.83 billion in July 2013 with a (Y-O-Y) growth of 11.6%. During August 2013, the imports were USD 37.05 billion with a (Y-O-Y) growth of around (-) 0.7% as compared to USD 38.10 billion in July 2013 with a (Y-O-Y) growth of (-) 6.2%. The balance of trade stands at around USD (-) 10.92 billion during August 2013 as compared to USD (-) 12.27 billion during July 2013.

  Value of foreign trade                                                    USD billion
FY 14
Growth (%)
FY 14
Growth (%)
Trade balance
FY 14
 Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt of India

The cumulative figure for the period of April-August FY2014 shows exports at USD 124.43 billion as compared to USD 119.77 billion in April-August FY2013 with a growth of 3.89%; while the cumulative imports for April-August FY2014 stands at USD 197.79 billion as compared to USD 194.44 billion in April-August FY2013 with a growth of 1.72%. The cumulative figure for the balance of trade for the period of April-August FY2014 stands at USD (-) 73.37 billion as compared to USD (-) 74.67 billion in April-August FY2013.

Trend in Exports and Imports                                                                                               (%)
Source: PHD Research Bureau, compiled from Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Govt of India

Warm regards,

Dr. S P Sharma
Chief Economist


Letter to Mamat Banerjee on Ban on Cycles



National Office : 6/6 Jangpura B, New Delhi 110 014 . Phone : 011 2437 4535 | 9818905316
New Delhi, September 10, 2013
To,;Smt. Mamata Banerjee,
Chief Minister of West Bengal
Sub: Ban on non-motorised transport in the city of Kolkata by Police
Dear Mamata Ji, 
Namaskar !
We are stunned to know that the Kolkata Traffic Police through 29th May, 2013 Gazette Notification has passed an order to ban cycles, hand cart, pull cart, tri-cycles and other forms of non-motorised roads from 174 major and minor streets in the Kolkata city. The order is not only in violation of the National Urban Transport policy of 2006 that encourages non-motorized forms of transport but also an assault on livelihoods of working class people. Millions of poor and working class people in Kolkata are dependent on these forms of transport for earning an honest living and also commute within the city.
Cycles are a perfect manifestation of your party’s slogan and vision – since Bicycles and non-motorized transport are socially inclusive, directly support livelihoods, inexpensive; take much less space, good for the environment and health, and least likely to cause jams and accidents.༯span>
Here are few facts and figures for your attention:
  • Data of the Union Ministry of Urban Development shows people in Kolkata make nearly 2.5 million cycle trips a day, second only to Delhi.
  • Kolkata is the only metropolitan city in India where trips by cycle (11 per cent) outnumber trips by cars (8 per cent).
  • Traffic accident data for West Bengal (2011) shows only 1.5 per cent of road accidents happen due to fault of cyclists against 71 per cent due to faults of motor vehicle drivers
  • Kolkata has the lowest number of private cars and the least amount of road space (6 per cent) among metro cities. Even smaller cities like Gwalior have more registered motor vehicles than Kolkata. Cycling is practical and popular with the masses.
  • Cycles do not slow down vehicular traffic. Average speed of traffic in Kolkata varies between 14-18 km/ hour. The national average is 22 km/hour
  • With a population of over 14 million, urban agglomeration of Kolkata is among the most densely populated in the country. At least 7,750 people live in one sq km area. Cycling is a practical mode of transport in such areas
We are aware that these notifications have been passed on the orders of the Honorable High Court, but we feel your government must deal with this legally, rather than taking this anti poor and anti working class step.
Hence we urge you to revoke this ban and demand that adequate authorities on lines of other Metro cities be set up to take where local authorities can work with experts to find a holistic solution to KolkataⳠtraffic congestion problems that focuses to provide safety to pedestrians and Non Motorised Transport through building of cycle tracks, public cycle scheme and integrate that with other forms of public transport.
We do hope your government will take adequate notice and revoke the ban at the earliest.༯b>
Yours Sincerely,
Medha PatkarୠNarmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of PeopleⳠMovements (NAPM)
Prafulla SamantaraୠLok Shakti Abhiyan, NAPM, Odisha
Dr. Sunilam - Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, NAPM, MP
Gautam Bandopadhyay֠Nadi Ghati Morcha, NAPM, Chhattisgarh
Vilas Bhongade, Suniti SR, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe୊NAPM, Maharashtra
Gabriel Dietrich, Geetha Ramakrishnan֊Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, NAPM, TN
C R Neelakandan NAPM Kerala
Ramakrishnan Raju, Saraswati Kavula, P Chennaiah NAPM Andhra Pradesh
Bhupender Singh Rawat, Rajendra Ravi, Anita Kapoor, Sunita Rani, Madhuresh Kumar, Seela M֠NAPM, Delhi
Arundhati Dhuru - NAPM, Uttar Pradesh
Sister Celia - Domestic Workers Union & Sudhir Vombatkere - NAPM, Karnataka
Vimal BhaiୠMatu Jan sangathan, NAPM, Uttarakhand
Krishnakant,༢>Anand Mazhgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, NAPM Gujarat
Pranab Banerjee, Samar Bagchi, Anuradha Talwar, Debjit Dutta, Amitava Mitra, Kalyan Sengupta, Pasharul AlamNAPM West Bengal





IEEE-SA Industry Connections think tank intends to develop standards proposals, education initiatives and policy recommendations for cloud computing in India and other emerging markets
New Delhi, India, 10 September 2013 IEEE, the world’s largest professional organization advancing technology for humanity, today announced that the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) has formed the Cloud Computing Innovation Council for India through its Industry Connections program. The new council will serve as a 㴨ink tank䠦or propelling technological innovations across the cloud-computing ecosystem in India and other emerging markets.
㔨e council is very important to the adoption and deployment of cloud computing as IndiaⳠIT (information technology) infrastructure of choice,䠳aid Srikanth Chandrasekaran, standards senior manager for IEEE India. 㔨e government of India is already driving several cloud-computing projects under the guidance and leadership of the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DEITy). To help further direct these programs, the council will provide proposals for standards, research, education initiatives and regulatory, legislation and policy recommendations to promote innovation thatⳊvital to the framework of this technology.伯span>
㔨is council is focused on developing an innovation framework and ecosystem to enable new and relevant cloud-computing initiatives in the country for both national and global impact䬠said Pamela Kumar, chair of the Cloud Computing Innovation Council for India. 㗥 will soon publish a white paper that will specify an innovation roadmap for cloud-computing technologies in India. The scope of this white paper encompasses the usage scenarios and service delivery, platform and infrastructure technologies, and the enablement framework for cloud computing. The council is composed of 14 working groups addressing global trends in the relevant technologies, initiatives and opportunities in India. This includes challenges and barriers unique to the Indian ecosystem, which will be providing recommendations and innovation proposals.伯span>
The new council is established as an IEEE-SA Industry Connections activity. Through Industry Connections, IEEE-SA facilitates like-minded organizations and individuals coming together quickly, effectively and economically to build consensus at strategic points in a technologyⳊlifecycle. Industry Connections activities have the unique opportunity to leverage IEEE resources in a customized format to produce a variety of shared results.༯span>
㔨e new council provides a platform for companies, government agencies and others to come together to accelerate the deployment and mobilization of innovation for cloud computing,䠳aid Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director of the IEEE-SA. ス gathering industry experts and members of other professional bodies and academia, the council aims to position India as a global provider of cloud-computing services and infrastructure. As the council further matures, we look forward to the formation of globally relevant IEEE standards and other technological advancements that will make a significant difference in the future of cloud computing in India and around the world.
For more information about the IEEE-SAⳠIndustry Connections program, please visit standards.ieee.org/industryconnections.
To learn more about IEEE-SA, visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ieeesa, follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ieeesa, connect with us on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1791118 or on the Standards Insight Blog at http://www.standardsinsight.com.
About the IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 900 active standards and more than 500 standards under development. For more information visit http://standards.ieee.org/.
About IEEE
IEEE, a large, global technical professional organization, is dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Learn more athttp://www.ieee.org.
Niti Thakur,Account Executive
+91 9560519528


“India & the US”

  Session on
“India & the US”
Mr. Shivshankar Menon, National Security Adviser
 Friday, September 20, 2013, 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.
WWF Auditorium, 172 – B, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi
India and US relations have transformed over the last few years. Amid a perception that the India-US relationship has plateaued of late, both countries are banking on a successful visit by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in September to take their ties to greater heights.
As a precursor to Prime Minister’s visit to United States, Aspen India invites you to special session on “India and the US” with Mr. Shivshankar Menon, National Security Adviser.
The session will be chaired by Mr. Gautam Thapar, Chairman, Aspen Institute India and Chairman & CEO, Avantha Group
Participation is restricted and will be by prior registration only. The session will be followed by Lunch.

Friday, September 20, 2013 12:00 PM  - 1:00 PM
Registration : 11:30 am
WWF Auditorium, 172-B, Lodhi EstateNew Delhi – 110003
Please respond by clicking one of the buttons below
Menon is National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India since 23 January 2010. Menon was previously Foreign Secretary of India from October 2006 to August 2009. He has served as Ambassador and High Commissioner of India to Israel (1995-97), Sri Lanka (1997-2000), China (2000-2003) and Pakistan (2003-2006). He has been a member of the Atomic Energy Commission since 2008.
A career diplomat, he served in China (thrice), in Japan, and in Austria in the Embassy and the Mission to the IAEA and UN. He was seconded to the Department of Atomic Energy in the early eighties. His professional experience included India’s relations with her neighbours, atomic energy and disarmament issues, and India’s relations with the major powers.  Menon speaks Chinese and some German. He is an MA in ancient history from Delhi University.
He is married to Mohini, and has two children.
Born in 1960, Gautam Thapar was educated at the Doon School in India and studied chemical engineering in the U.S. at Pratt University. Upon returning to India, he worked as a factory assistant in one of his family-owned manufacturing companies. He rose steadily and steered the organisation through a strategic and visionary turnaround. Gautam became Group Chairman in 2006, and the conglomerate was rebranded as Avantha in 2007. With a global footprint in more than 20 countries, Avantha today has business interests in diverse areas, including pulp & paper, power transmission & distribution equipment and services, food processing, farm forestry, energy, chemicals, insurance, infrastructure, information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services. Gautam passionately promotes education, leadership development and sports. He is President of Thapar University, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Chairman of The Aspen Institute India, Past President of All India Management Association (AIMA), and President of the Professional Golf Tour of India. One of India’s youngest global business leaders, Gautam has been appointed Board Member of the National Security Advisory Board.  He received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Manufacturing in 2008.


Global Swing States: India and the International Order

Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 5:00 – 06:00 p.m.
WWF Auditorium, 172 – B, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi
The international order that has helped ensure peace and prosperity for much of the past six decades confronts numerous challenges today: the rise of China, with its outsized maritime claims; stagnating multilateral trade talks; a weakened global financial architecture; fiscal and political pressures in the U.S. and Europe; and the retrenchment of democracy in many parts of the world. How might India, with its large and growing economy, its strategic location, and its commitment to democratic institutions, influence the future international order?
Aspen Institute India and German Marshall Fund of the United States(GMF) invite you to a discussion of, “Global Swing States”, a report co-authored by Dr. Daniel Kliman, Senior Advisor of the German Marshall Fund of the United States and  Mr. Richard Fontaine of the Center for a New American Security.  The report focuses on how India – along with Brazil, Indonesia, and Turkey – will decisively influence the trajectory of the current international order.
Dr. Kliman will discuss how India’s economic growth and longstanding democratic institutions make it a quintessential global swing state and what this means for the future of U.S.-India relations
Ambassador Kanwal Sibal, Former Foreign Secretary of India, would present the Indian perspective on the report.
Mr. Daniel Twining, Senior Fellow for Asia, German Marshall Fund of the United States will moderate the session.
Participation is restricted and will be by prior registration only.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 5:00 PM  - 6:00 PMRegistration : 4:30 pmWHERE
WWF Auditorium, 172-B, Lodhi EstateNew Delhi – 110003

Please respond by clicking one of the buttons below
Dr. Daniel Kliman is a Senior Advisor with the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). He leads the Global Swing States Project, which focuses on how four rising democratic powers — Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey — might bolster the prevailing international order. He also leads the Young Strategists Forum, which aims to develop a new generation of strategic thinkers in the United States, Europe, and like-minded nations. Before joining GMF, Kliman was a visiting fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He has served as a Japan Policy Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and an Adjunct Research Associate with the Institute for Defense Analyses. Kliman graduated from Stanford University and received his Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University.
Ambassador Kanwal Sibal was India’s Foreign Secretary (2002-2003), Ambassador to Turkey (1989 to 1992), DCM in Washington with rank of Ambassador( 1992-1995), Ambassador to Egypt (1995-1998), Ambassador to France(1998-2002), Ambassador to Russia( 2004-2007) and member of the National Security Advisory Board (2008-2010).
Mr. Daniel Twining is Senior Fellow for Asia at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, where he leads a 15-member team working on the rise of Asia and its implications for the West.  He is also a consultant to the U.S. government on global macro trends, teaches a graduate course on South Asia at Georgetown University, and teaches a strategic seminar to senior U.S. military officers preparing to deploy to Afghanistan.  He previously served as a Member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, where he was responsible for South Asia and regional issues in East Asia; as the Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator John McCain, for whom he handled foreign and defense policy in the United States Senate; and as a staff member of the U.S. Trade Representative.  Dr. Twining has also served as senior policy advisor and foreign policy spokesman for several presidential campaigns.  He holds a doctorate in International Relations from Oxford University, where he was the Fulbright/Oxford Scholar for three years.


Kishtwar Cauldron: The Struggle against ISI’s Ethnic Cleansing

Ajit Doval, Director
Vivekananda International Foundation
cordially invites you to the launch of
Kishtwar Cauldron: The Struggle against ISI’s Ethnic Cleansing
Authored by
Maj Gen (Dr) G D Bakshi SM,VSM (retd)
Lt Gen S K Sinha PVSM (retd)
(Former Governor of J & K and Assam)
Date:Friday, Sept 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm
Venue : Vivekananda International Foundation
3, San Martin Marg, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi-110021

Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...