Saturday, October 19, 2013

Jury examines the entries to Woodpecker film festival

The film festival jury met at Zorba the Budha  at Ghitorni in New Delhi.
Twenty members jury were selected from various sector to examine and select the films .

There were total of seventy films found place in the festivaL out of total entry of more than hundred movies.


Four Commmittee of  four to five members each were engaged eye  the screening of the movies .
Films  securing more than sixty percent marks  in the range of good  to excellent will finD place to the next level of examination and engagement to select the best film of the festival?

Jury chairperson Mr Kunal Verma, Ms Mitu Verma,  Mr Vikram Rajola,  Dr Manasvvini M Yogi, Ms Usha Goel,  Mr Pinaki Dasgupta, Mr Tapan Choudhry, Mr Anurag Mahindru, Mr N K Sagar, Mr Anurag Arora, Mr Pradeep Misra, Dr Nisha Varghese, Mr Rakesh Kishore 
,  Mr Pradeep Narayanan, Mrkailash Bhutani,  Mr ArkoProvo Bose,   Ms Aditi Sinha,  Ms  Dilmeet. Bhasin,  Ms Geeta Sahai.

News from abroad

 

 

White House tours to resume again following budget resolution

Tourists will again be permitted to take limited tours of the White House beginning on November 5, after tours were essentially canceled in March 2013 due to the federal budget crisis. Visitors will be taken through the East Wing of the White House as well as the executive residence, with access to the White House garden beginning on October 26. A Secret Service spokesman told the Huffington Post that he is “confident” the spending bill that US President Obama signed this week will allow the White House to “operate at reduced funding levels while still meeting our operational requirements.”
22:32

New Jersey set to begin same-sex marriages next week

The New Jersey Supreme Court has denied a request by Governor Christie to place a stay on same-sex marriages until an appeal filed by his office is heard, scheduled for early January. The court’s denial on Friday means that same-sex couples will be able to seek legal marriage as soon as Monday, and the ruling seems to indicate that justices do not believe that the Governor’s appeal has a “reasonable” likelihood of leading to a repeal, reports The New York Times. Christie vetoed a 2012 law that would have permitted same-sex marriages in the state, citing that the issue should be decided by a public referendum. “The state has advanced a number of arguments, but none of them overcome this reality: same-sex couples who cannot marry are not treated equally under the law today,” Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote in his opinion.
21:16

Apple denies ability to monitor iMessages

Apple refuted claims Friday that the company is capable of intercepting the content of iMessages, the instant messaging service users use to communicate through Apple products. The claim comes one day after security research firm QuarksLab presented a paper explaining that the tech behemoth would have no trouble infiltrating such conversations, as the “key infrastructure” of iMessage is, obviously, under Apple’s control. Apple has said that iMessages are fitted with end-to-end encryption and thus the company cannot turn over a vast quantity of data in response to a government request. QuarksLab noted that its research did not allege that Apple was actively reading iMessages, nor did it present evidence that the communications are actively being read, but that the company could “read your iMessages if they choose to, or if they are required to do so by a government order.”
21:12

NY man charged with attempting to join Al-Qaeda group in Yemen

US officials arrested a 25-year-old American living in New York on charges that he was attempting to join an Al-Qaeda branch in Yemen. Marcos Alonso Zea appeared before a district court and was indicted on five counts without bail on Friday. “Despite being born and raised in the United States, Zea allegedly betrayed his country and attempted to travel to Yemen in order to join a terrorist organization,” said Loretta Lynch, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Zea had previously been intercepted by British customs officials and sent back to the US in January of 2012 while trying to fly from New York to Yemen, Reuters reported. After that failed attempt, Zea then tried to help 18-year-old Justin Kaliebe on a similar trip last January – but Kaliebe was arrested while boarding a flight to Oman. Prosecutors said that authorities had recovered a semi-automatic rifle that Zea had handed over to an acquaintance prior to his planned trip to Yemen, where officials allege he intended to join the Ansar al-Sharia militant group.
20:34

19% of Americans trust US govt, federal agencies viewed favorably

A mere 19 percent of US citizens say they trust the government to do the right thing always or at least most of the time, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center. That number, recorded after the partial federal government shutdown that nearly resulted in a US debt default, means that Americans have seven percent less trust than when the poll was last conducted in January. A record 30 percent admitted they are angry with the federal government and another 55 percent described themselves as frustrated. Federal workers, on the other hand, are viewed favorably by a 62 percent to 29 percent margin. Excluding only the IRS, 12 of 13 federal agencies are viewed positively.
19:44

Chemical weapons watchdog verifies 14 sites in Syria

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has conducted inspections at 14 chemical weapons facilities in Syria, said the OPCW in a press release. Sixty UN inspectors and the OPCW team are currently working in Syria, investigating over 20 sites where chemical weapons have been used during the country’s ongoing civil war. Last week, Damascus began destroying the first chemical weapons. According to the deal brokered by the US and Russia during the Geneva talks in September, Syria’s entire stockpile of chemical weapons must be fully eliminated by June 30, 2014.
19:42

10 killed in wave of violence in Iraq

Militants killed four members of the same family – all members of the Yazidi religious sect – in the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar on Friday, AFP cited officials as saying. A separate blast left two dead and five others wounded in Baquba, north of Baghdad, while gunmen killed one Sahwa anti-Al-Qaeda fighter and wounded another in an attack on a checkpoint near the city. In Baghdad, a car bomb exploded in the Mashtal area, killing at least three people and wounding at least 12 others. More than 410 people have been killed so far this month and over 5,100 since the beginning of the year, according to AFP figures.
18:17

Paris bank assault: Police free all 4 hostages, suspect surrenders

An armed man took four people hostage at a CIC bank in southeastern Paris on Friday afternoon, AFP reported. The suspect allegedly urged the government to provide him and his son with subsidized housing in exchange for the hostages and demanded a negotiator. Two teams of special police units were deployed to the scene along with a hostage negotiator. Before the hostages were released and the suspect surrendered, Christian Flaesch, head of Paris’ judicial police, said the negotiations were “taking place in the best conditions possible” and the situation was “evolving well.”
18:15

Break-in at Russian diplomats’ apartments is ‘ordinary burglary’ – Dutch FM

The break-in that occurred in apartments housing Russian diplomats in The Hague was an ordinary burglary, said the Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans on his Facebook page late on Friday. He added that the suspect has been apprehended and he is now actively cooperating with the investigation. The incident comes a week after the arrest of Russian diplomat, Dmitry Borodin, in The Hague which caused tensions between the two countries.
17:50

UN’s helicopter comes under fire in DR Congo

Rebel forces fired at an unarmed UN helicopter in the Democratic Republic of Congo, 15 kilometers north of Goma capital in the North Kivu province, said the UN peace keeping mission. “Two helicopters left on reconnaissance missions this morning … the pilots of one of the helicopters felt some impacts on the cockpit … and landed” to inspect the damage, a source close to the UN peacekeeping mission in the Congo told AFP. There were no injuries reported, and the helicopter returned to the base
17:00

ICC excuses Kenyan president from presenting at his trial

The International Criminal Court has allowed Kenya’s president, who is due to go on trial in The Hague from Nov 12, to stay at home to carry out his duties instead of requiring his “continuous presence” at the trial. Uhuru Kenyatta is facing charges of orchestrating deadly violence in the aftermath of his country’s 2007 elections. Kenyatta insists he is not guilty, but still pledged to cooperate with the court.
14:51

Russian court denies bail for more Greenpeace activists

The Murmansk region court in Russia on Friday rejected an appeal filed by a UK Greenpeace activist Alexandra Harris over the detention after taking part in a raid on a Gazprom drilling platform in the Pechora Sea. The appeals to release Greenpeace activists Anne Mie Roer Jensen from Denmark and Canadian Alexandre Paul were also rejected by the court. Earlier, the court rejected similar appeals filed by activists from Russia, the UK, New Zealand, the US, Argentina and Australia. Greenpeace opposes drilling for oil in the Arctic because they say it is impossible to prevent potential oil spills.
14:29

Zeinalov charged with murder after Muscovite Shcherbakov’s death sparked protests

Investigators have charged Azerbaijani national, Orkhan Zeinalov, with the murder of a resident of Moscow’s Biryulyovo district, Yegor Shcherbakov. “Zeinalov was charged today under the Russian Criminal Code Article 105, murder,” Sergey Stukalov, spokesman of the Russian Investigative Committee’s main directorate for Moscow, told Interfax on Friday. The murder sparked mass protests among Biryulyovo residents last weekend.
13:36

Afghan militants attack foreign compound in Kabul – police

Insurgents have detonated a car bomb and attacked a heavily fortified private compound used by foreigners on the outskirts of Kabul, police said. The attack started late Friday when a car exploded near the gate of the compound, known as Green Village, AP quoted police officer, Mohammad Aslan, as saying. An hour after the attack, small arms could be heard in the vicinity of the camp. It houses contractors from various countries, European diplomatic personnel and UN employees. The camp was last attacked by a suicide car bomber and armed attackers on May 2, 2012, when several Afghan guards were killed.
13:09

EU allocates further $95m for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

The EU will allocate an additional $95 million for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, EU Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst said on Friday. “These days, an additional amount of 70 million euro ($95 million) will be allocated by the EU humanitarian agency ECHO to help the poorest refugees through the winter,” the Daily Star newspaper quoted the ambassador as saying after meeting with President Michel Sleiman. The EU contribution will cover all the needs planned under the “winterization” program developed by the inter-agency coordination in Lebanon. The program includes assistance for five months from November for 90,000 families living at an altitude of 500m above sea level, as well as 10 percent of vulnerable Syrian families living below 500m.
12:41

Libya’s military police commander killed by gunmen

Gunmen fatally wounded the commander of Libya’s military police force in the eastern city of Benghazi, a security source said. “Several shots hit Ahmed al-Barghathi. He was brought to hospital, but later died there,” Reuters quoted the source as saying. The attack is seen as the latest blow to a Libyan government that is struggling to assert control over militias and radical Islamists.
12:23

UN sets up Cyprus support base for chemical weapons team in Syria

The UN is to set up a support base in Cyprus for its chemical weapons team working in Syria, Reuters reported, citing Cypriot authorities. Cyprus will offer facilities for the mission’s activities and safety, the government spokesman said in a statement on Friday. The UN has kept a peacekeeping mission in Cyprus since 1964. The island hosted UN weapons inspectors shuttling into Iraq before the US-led invasion in 2003.
12:07

EU, Canada sign free trade deal

Canada and the European Union have struck a tentative free trade agreement that would make it easier for Canadian companies to invest in and sell in the EU, and vice versa. The deal will lower tariffs, streamline regulation and cut red tape that hampers trade, AP reported. Following talks with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Friday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the two sides have reached a “breakthrough in negotiations.”
11:03

Suicide bomber kills 5 Yemeni soldiers in attack on military base

A suicide bomber killed at least five Yemeni soldiers on Friday in a suspected Islamist militant attack on a military base. A military official said the bomber drove a car laden with explosives and blew himself up at the gate of the army camp in Ahwar, an area in the southern province of Abyan, Reuters said. Other militants attacked soldiers in the camp with machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades, the source said, adding that 15 soldiers were wounded in the clashes. Militants linked to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are increasingly targeting Yemeni army facilities.
10:42

Lebanon charges 18 Palestinians with terrorist plot

Eighteen Palestinians, only one of them in custody, were charged in Lebanon on Friday for planning terrorist activities, the state-run National News Agency reported. Wissam Ahmed Naim, who was arrested for forging identification documents for suspected terrorists, and Toufiq Tah from the Islamist Al-Nusra Front were among those charged for offences, including the formation of an armed gang to carry out terrorist activities.
10:27

Greek coastguard detains 78 migrants on Rhodes Island

Greece’s coastguard has arrested 78 migrants, believed to be Syrians, on the eastern island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea, AFP reported. Port authorities had been searching for the migrants on the island since Wednesday, following the arrests of two men, presumed to be smugglers. They reportedly sailed in a boat under a Turkish flag close to Rhodes. On Tuesday, Greece’s coastguard rescued 73 Syrian refugees stranded on a yacht in the Ionian Sea in the west of the country.
09:35

Uganda issues alert after Kenya-style mall attack threat

Ugandan police issued a security alert on Friday amid warnings of a possible attack similar to the assault by Somalia’s Shebab fighters in Kenya’s Westgate mall last month. “Stay alert and watch each other’s steps and activities, as we are still threatened by terror,” the Ugandan police said. The alert followed a message Tuesday from the US embassy in Uganda which said it was continuing “to assess reports that a Westgate-style attack may soon occur in Kampala,” AFP reported. At least 67 people were massacred in the shopping center in Nairobi when gunmen stormed the crowded complex on September 21.
08:10

Pussy Riot’s Tolokonnikova resumes hunger strike

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, a convicted member of the Pussy Riot punk band, has resumed her hunger strike, her husband Pyotr Verzilov told Interfax on Friday. Tolokonnikova was returned to the penitentiary at night “in violation of the promises made by officers from the Federal Penitentiaries Service central staff to continue Nadezhda’s therapy or to transfer her to another region,” he said. Tolokonnikova, who is staying at the medical wing of the 14th penitentiary, resumed her hunger strike, “just like she promised, due to her transfer” back to the same penitentiary, Verzilov said.
07:23

Philippines earthquake death toll rises to 172

The death toll from a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that struck the central Philippines rose to 172 Friday, AFP reported. The tourist island of Bohol, which was the epicenter of Tuesday’s quake, suffered the most with 160 people dead. Bohol police commander Senior Superintendent Dennis Agustin said 22 people were missing on the island. Many Bohol residents have been living in tents fearing aftershocks.
06:38

Russia starts implementing $4.3bn arms contract with Iraq

Russia has started implementation of a multibillion dollar arms deal with Iraq signed in 2012, the Iraqi government said. Moscow is to supply over 10 fully-armed and equipped Mi-28NE Night Hunter attack helicopters to Iraq under a $4.3 billion agreement on cooperation in the defense and technology sector. The contract provides for the delivery of weaponry mainly for anti-terrorist operations.
04:41

​Top Syrian general killed by rebels in battle

General Jama’a Jama’a of a Syrian intelligence agency has been killed by rebels in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, Syrian state TV announced. The city is mostly controlled by forces fighting against the Syrian government. The rebel-friendly Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say the general was killed by a sniper during a battle with a rebel group linked to Al-Qaeda.
00:36

UN elects five new temporary members to Security Council

Five countries have won two-year terms in the UN Security Council (UNSC), General Assembly President John Ashe announced. “Chad, Chile, Lithuania, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia are elected members of the Security Council for a two-year term beginning on 1 January 2014,” Ashe said. The five new members will replace Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco, Pakistan, and Togo. Before going up for the UNSC vote, each country needed to get a two-thirds majority from voting UN member states. Two out of the five new members are said to be controversial – Chad has received criticism for the use of child soldiers and Saudi Arabia for its involvement in the Syrian civil war.

00:29

​Justice Dept. files new charges against former Blackwater guards for Iraq attack

The US Justice Department has levied new charges against four former Blackwater Worldwide security contractors over a 2007 shooting in Baghdad that killed 17 Iraqis. The new indictments follow 2008 manslaughter and weapons violations charges that were dismissed by a federal judge who ruled the Justice Department withheld evidence from a grand jury, violating the guards’ constitutional rights. A federal appeals court reinstated the case in 2011, saying the dismissal was the result of a misinterpretation of the law. The guards, hired to protect US diplomats, are accused of opening fire in the crowded Nisoor Square on Sept. 16, 2007. Prosecutors say the Blackwater, now known as Academi, convoy used machine guns and grenades in an unprovoked attack. Defense lawyers say their clients were ambushed by insurgents.
Media agencies




EU and Canada on free- trade-deal

19 10 2013
EU and Canada agree to a multi-billion euro free- trade-deal


The European Union, EU, and Canada have agreed to a multi-billion euro free- trade-deal aimed at boosting growth and employment. The Canadian Prime Minister said the deal is the biggest Canada has ever made.
The Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President Jose’ Manuel Barroso signed the historic agreement in Brussels. It is the first free trade agreement between the EU and a G-8 country.




India’s Export of Consumer Electronics Goods up by 16%

19 10 2013



India’s Export of Consumer Electronics Goods has gone up by 16 percent. India’s export was 296 million dollars during the year 2012-13, against 256 million in the year before. West Asia emerged as the 2nd top destination for India’s export of consumer electronics worth 81 million dollars, up by 13 percent.
Regional Director of the Electronics and Software Export Promotion Council , Kamal Vachan told AIR in Dubai that the major Indian consumer electronics export to west Asia include Loud speakers, Electronic Watches or Clocks, CTVs Cameras, Public Address Systems, Video CD’s and Audio Video Players.
India’s premier Trade Promotion Association for Electronics and Computer Software sector is now leading a delegation of 36 Indian Electronics and IT companies at the GITEX 2013 Exhibition which gets underway in Dubai tomorrow.
The India Pavilion at GITEX-2013 will be inaugurated by the Consul General of India in Dubai, Sanjay Verma. The move is aimed at giving a boost to the export potential of Indian companies in the region.




Miss America Nina Davuluri at White House

19 10 2013

Obama meets Miss America Nina Davuluri at White House
US President Barack Obama hosted a very special guest at the White House, Nina Davuluri, the first Miss America of Indian-Origin, despite the high drama surrounding a deal to end the government shutdown.
“Had the pleasure of having a conversation with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office today!” an ecstatic Davuluri twitted shortly after meeting Obama on Wednesday.”Miss America participated in a group photo with the President in honour of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Champions,” a White House official said.
“Following the photo, she briefly visited the Oval Office,” the official said.
Davuluri, 24, was the first Indian-American to win the coveted beauty pageant last month.
Incidentally, Obama had referred to Davuluri during his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Washington last month.
“Now Miss America is of Indian-American descent. I think it’s a signal of how close our countries are,” Obama had said.
“I’m so proud to be the first Miss America of Indian descent,” Davuluri, whose parents hails form Andhra Pradesh, said after winning the pageant.




Ethiopia parliament elects Mulatu Teshome as new president

19 10 2013
 
 
Ethiopia parliament elects Mulatu Teshome as new president
Ethiopia’s parliament elected Mulatu Teshome to be the country’s new president on Monday, for a six-year term in a largely symbolic and ceremonial post.
“Following the opening of the new parliament, a joint session of the House of Representatives and House of Federation elected Ambassador Dr Mulatu Teshome as the President of Ethiopia,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
While officially head of state, real power rests in the hands of the Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
Mulatu, 57, who was Ethiopia’s ambassador to Turkey until his appointment, replaces 88-year old Girma Wolde Giorgis, who first took the post in 2001 and was reelected in 2007.
Mulatu, who like all Ethiopia is known by his first name, comes from the Oromo people, the country’s largest ethnic group. He has also served as Ethiopia’s ambassador to China and Japan as well as Ethiopia’s Minister of Agriculture.




International Tourism Mart Begins in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh

19 10 2013
International Tourism Mart Begins in Tawang, Arunachal PradeshUpdated on : 19-10-2013 12:16 AM
The 2nd International Tourism Mart(ITM) has begun in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. The three-day event from 18th-20th October, 2013, has been organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with the North-Eastern States and West Bengal.
This is the second International Tourism Mart to be organised in the North Eastern region with the objective of highlighting the tourism potential of the region in the domestic and international markets.
It will bring together the tourism business fraternity and entrepreneurs from the eight North Eastern States of India and West Bengal. The event has been planned and scheduled to facilitate interaction between buyers, sellers, media, Government agencies and others.
The North East Region of India comprising the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim and the state of West Bengal are endowed with diverse tourist attractions and products.
The varied topography of the region, its flora and fauna, the ethnic communities with their rich heritage of ancient traditions and lifestyles, festivals, arts and crafts, make it a holiday destination waiting to be explored.
International buyers and media delegates from countries around the world and from different regions of the country are participating in the Mart and will engage in business-to-business meetings with sellers from the North East Region and West Bengal.
This will enable tourism product suppliers to reach out to international and domestic buyers and promote tourism in the region.
Besides the foreign delegates, domestic buyers from other parts of the country and sellers from the North Eastern States and West Bengal will be participating in the Mart.
Representatives of State Tourism Departments of these States will also be present to showcase their tourism destinations and to interact with the delegates.
In addition to the business meetings, the three day event will include presentations, cultural evenings, sightseeing visits to local attractions in and around Tawang and press meetings with the media.
Post-Mart familiarisation tours to the states in the region have been arranged by the State Governments for the overseas delegates from the 21st to 27th October 2013 to create awareness about the rich and varied tourism products of the region.
More than 55 foreign delegates from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, U.K., USA and Vietnam are participating in the ITM.
The Tourism Mart will be officially inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh on 19th October, 2013.




High level meeting of South-South Cooperation for Child Rights in Asia and the Pacific

19 10 2013
Ministry of Women and Child Development to Host High Level Meeting on South-South Cooperation for Child Rights in Asia and the Pacific.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India is hosting the Second High Level Meeting (HLM) on South-South Cooperation for Child Rights in Asia and the Pacific from 23rd to 25th October, in New Delhi. The First HLM was held in Beijing, China in 2010.
The three-day meeting will be inaugurated by Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Women and Child Development. The meeting will bring together over 150 high-level delegates from 33 countries in Asia Pacific region, regional organizations and UNICEF. Many of these delegations are being led at the Ministerial level. The meeting will:
• Assess the progress and advances on South-South cooperation among countries of the Asia-Pacific region to advance children’s rights (follow up of the Beijing Declaration)
• Support governments and other national partners, including private-public players and child-related regional bodies to include the promotion of child rights in their South-South Cooperation activities on the thematic issues, and
• Encourage the development of networks for knowledge exchange, peer learning and coordination among South-South actors for cooperation for child rights in Asia and the Pacific.
Three themes have been identified for the Second High Level Meeting:
• Adolescents: current rights for future opportunities
• Fulfilling child rights with early childhood development
• Urban settings as an opportunity for realizing all child rights
The expected outcomes of this High Level meeting are as follows-
• A follow up report for the Beijing declaration and the status of South-South cooperation on the advancement of children’s rights in Asia and the Pacific, and further intensification of this cooperation
• Increased knowledge and understanding, and enhanced intra- and inter-regional cooperation around the thematic topics of the meeting
• A Declaration that will identify key issues, conclusions, recommendations and commitments for future action.
It is hoped that the meeting will agree to a ‘Delhi Declaration’ which will serve as a roadmap for future cooperation to ensure children’s rights.
A process to intensify cooperation at the ministerial level on child rights among countries in Asia and the Pacific was initiated in 2010, with the Government of China hosting a High Level Meeting on Cooperation for Child Rights in the Asia-Pacific Region within the framework of South-South cooperation. The event brought together more than 100 delegates from 28 countries in Asia and the Pacific, UN agencies and international organizations to discuss and share the progress, experience, problems and challenges in the survival, protection and development of the nearly 1.2 billion children in the region. The meeting provided a forum to further enhance and demonstrate political commitment to child rights and for the exchange of experiences among countries in Asia and the Pacific. In the final declaration, participants agreed and requested to meet again at the ministerial level in India in 2013.




Talabira Coal Block Allocation Matter

19 10 2013

There has been extensive media coverage recently of the matter relating to the allocation of Talabira-II and III coal blocks in Odisha to Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd, Neyveli Lignite Corporation and HINDALCO.

2. Coal block allocations, including this one, are the subject of a CBI inquiry which is being monitored by the Supreme Court. However, the Talabira coal block allocation is a case where the final decision differed from the earlier recommendation of the Screening Committee, and this was done following a representation received in the Prime Minister’s Office from one of the parties, which was referred to the Ministry of Coal.
3. The Prime Minister is satisfied that the final decision taken in this regard was entirely appropriate and is based on the merits of the case placed before him. The details of the processing at different stages of the decision making are summarized in the Annexure to clarify the position.
5. It is recognized that this allocation is subject to an ongoing investigation. No impediment is being placed on the CBI to continue the investigation and seek fresh information which may have a bearing on the case.
6. The investigation on this and other matters must take their normal course under the law.
Annexure
1. The Prime Minister received a letter dated 7.5.2005 from Shri Kumar Mangalam Birla requesting allocation of Talabira-II coal block in Odisha to HINDALCO for its 650 MW captive power plant in its Integrated Aluminium Project in Sambalpur District, Odisha and for a 100 MW captive plant for the expansion of its Hirakud Aluminium plant in Odisha. The letter was acknowledged by the Prime Minister who noted on the letter– “Please get a report from Coal Ministry”.
2. The Prime Minister’s Office forwarded the letter to the Ministry of Coal on 25.5.2005 requesting it to look into the matter and send a report.
3. Shri Kumar Mangalam Birla submitted another letter to the Prime Minister on 17.6.2005 repeating the request. This letter was linked to the earlier reference and sent to the Ministry of Coal with a request to send their report on the matter.
4. In August 2005, Ministry of Coal sent its file on the matter to the Prime Minister. In the file, it was mentioned that the Screening Committee had considered three major contenders for allocation of Talabira-II and decided to allocate this block to Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) as:
(i) adequate coal linkages had been provided to HINDALCO from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. (MCL) a long time back and HINDALCO had not used the coal,
(ii) Talabira-II & III blocks needed to be developed together to extract an additional 30 million tonnes of coal which would have gone waste otherwise at the boundaries of each block, (Talabira-III is a coal block which had been separately allocated to Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.) and
(iii) NLC & Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. can develop the two blocks together as one large mine through a Joint Venture (JV).
Shri Kumar Mangalam Birla had requested for allocation of Talabira-II to HINDALCO as:
(i) HINDALCO was the first applicant for it as long back as 1996,
(ii) the coal linkage granted earlier was not used as a bauxite mine lease relating to the aluminium plant had not materialized,
(iii) in view of the current shortage of coal, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. will not be able to supply coal as per the earlier linkage, and
(iv) the Government of Odisha favoured allocation of Talabira-II to HINDALCO in preference to NLC.
5. While the file was being processed in PMO, the Prime Minister received a letter dated 17.8.2005 from the Chief Minister of Odisha on the allotment of Talabira-II to HINDALCO. The CM’s letter mentioned that the State Government had assigned topmost priority to the allocation of Talabira-II to HINDALCO and had strongly supported the case in the Steering Committee meeting. The letter mentioned that aluminium plants should get higher priority over independent power plants as they generate more employment, create more wealth for the country and add to the growth of the manufacturing sector directly. Further, it stated that it is equitable to accord higher priority to units adding more value through manufacturing within the state where the coal mine is located. The letter urged that these special considerations be kept in mind and the matter examined expeditiously.
6. On 29.8.2005, the Ministry of Coal file on the matter was returned with the comment that while the file was being processed, a letter was received from Chief Minister, Odisha and the Ministry of Coal may please take this letter of CM, Odisha on record, re-examine the matter in light thereof and resubmit the file.
7. Ministry of Coal resubmitted the file on 16.9.2005 with the proposal that
i) Talabira II & III be mined as a single mine with the mining done by a JV formed between MCL, NLC & HINDALCO.
ii) The shareholding of the JV between MCL:NLC:HINDALCO to be 70:15:15.
iii) Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd’s equity shareholding of 70% would approximately equal Talabira-III’s extractable reserves as a proportion of the total of the two blocks. Under the sharing arrangement, 70% of the total annual production will be handed over to Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.
iv) The remaining 30% of the annual production will be shared equally between HINDALCO and NLC with each getting 15%.
v) The satisfaction level of NLC would be 29% of its total requirement and of HINDALCO, 81.5%.
8. The reasoning given by the Ministry of Coal was that:
i) Talabira-II & III combined have reserves of 553 million tonnes.
ii) The total requirement of coal from these blocks from the three main contenders is 503 million tonnes, with NLC seeking 280 million tonnes, HINDALCO seeking 100 million tonnes and Orissa Sponge Iron Ltd (OSIL) seeking 123 million tonnes.
iii) Allocating the blocks to these three would leave little coal for Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd.
iv) NLC may not be dropped as it is a Central PSU already recommended by the Screening Committee. HINDALCO’s case for allocation has been strongly recommended by the State Government and it has also been an early applicant. OSIL can be accommodated elsewhere.
v) It was further brought out that the Government of Odisha have indicated a clear preference for allotment of the block to HINDALCO in the interest of creating more employment and growth of the manufacturing sector in the state.
vi) It was also pointed out that while both HINDALCO and NLC get the same amount of coal, HINDALCO’s satisfaction level is about 80%, whereas NLC’s is much lower.. However, as NLC and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. are proposing to set up a JV power plant from the coal available from Talabira-II & III, NLC’s full requirements could be met from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd’s reserves in Talabira-III. This would fully meet the coal requirement of the two CPSUs to set up their power project and protect the interests of the CPSUs.
9. While processing this proposal in PMO, it was noted that the ownership ratio in the JV ownership was not in congruence with the guidelines approved by PM on 09.06.2005 which required this ratio to be in proportion to the assessed requirement of coal of each allocatee. As per this guideline, the NLC:HINDALCO ratio in their 30% share should be 22.5:7.5 and not 15:15 as was proposed.
10. While recommending the case to the Prime Minister, it was clearly brought out that:
i) The State Government of Odisha has strongly recommended allocation of Talabira-II to HINDALCO and supported it in the Screening Committee. Chief Minister, Odisha had reiterated this position assigning topmost priority to the allocation of Talabira-II in favour of HINDALCO.
ii) Under the MMDR Act, the mining lease for coal is granted by the State Government with the previous approval of the Central Government. Thus, under the federal framework of sharing mining rights as provided under the Act, both the Central and State Governments need to concur before an allocatee can be granted a mining lease. Accordingly, the strong recommendation of the Government of Odisha is important and has to be given due consideration while taking a decision in the matter.
iii) The Ministry’s suggestion for allocation of 30% share of production in the JV for Talabira-II & III combined to NLC & HINDALCO, with the remaining 70% of the total production taken by MCL has merit and may therefore be considered for acceptance.
iv) As for the NLC:HINDALCO equity ratio in the JV, this would require relaxation of guidelines that were approved by PM earlier, but this could be considered as NLC and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. are sister PSUs and NLC’s requirements of coal could be met from Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd’s 70% share of production. This would fully meet the coal requirement of the two CPSUs to set up their power project and protect the interests of the CPSUs.
11. Based on these arguments, and also on the reasoning of the Ministry, it was proposed that Prime Minister may approve:
i) Allocation of Talabira-II & III to a JV owned jointly by MCL:NLC:HINDALCO in the ratio 70:15:15 with the other aspects as proposed by the Ministry.
ii) The existing long term coal linkage of HINDALCO may be reviewed and suitably reduced after taking into account HINDALCO’s requirement of coal for the project and the share of HINDALCO in the coal mined by the JV in Talabira-II & III.
12. The Prime Minister approved the proposal on 1.10.2005.




PM on a visit to Russia, China

19 10 2013
<
PM leaves tomorrow on a visit to Russia, China<br /> Updated on : 19-10-2013 02:25 PM
Civil nuclear liability issues posing hurdles in clinching a deal with Russia on acquiring two new reactors for Kudankulam project and sticky points over an agreement with China to avoid army face offs on the border await resolution as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh embarks on a five-day visit to the two countries on Sunday.
Hopeful of reaching according on both the issues, officials are said to be working over time to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution so that the deals can be signed during the visit to Moscow and Beijing.
Singh, who will be paying an official visit to Moscow, will be participating in the 14th annual summit with Russian President Vladmir Putin on Monday, his fifth in Moscow.
Official sources said in a bid to assuage Russian concerns on the civil liability clause in the nuclear law in India New Delhi has made proposals outlining the parameters for taking insurance on the possible damage that could arise in case of an accident.
They include the quantum of liability on suppliers of equipment both foreign and Indian, which has been made clear that it is not unlimited.
Russia has been opposed to application of the nuclear liability law on the reactors for the proposed III and IV units in Kudankulam power project since the original scheme was conceived under an inter-government accord.
Public sector General Insurance Corporation (GIC) has been tasked to work with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to work on quantifying the damage and the liability on suppliers of equipment, including the reactors.
Sources are confident that the accord on Unit III and IV will be clinched during Singh’s visit to Moscow.
The visit to Russia also signifies the deep strategic partnership between the two countries over the years in defence, science and technology and space.
India is also interested in expanding cooperation in the hydro carbons with ONGC’s overseas arm OVL seeking new opportunities in exploration of gas and oil in Russia’s far east and Arctic zonel.
OVL is already participating in two projects as 20 per cent partner in the Sakhalin one project and as 100 per cent owner and operator of Imperial Energy in Tomsk Region.
After talks and a working lunch with Putin on Oct 21, the Prime Minister will be conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).
A customary joint statement will be issued at the end of the visit during which a few agreements will be signed in areas like science and technology, energy efficiency and standards. Also on the margins of the Summit, there will be a meeting of the newly-constitute CEOs Council.
Last year, there was a 24 per cent rise in bilateral trade crossing USD 11 billion in 2012 for the first time.
Investment is emerging as an important focus of bilateral trade.
From Moscow, the Prime Minister flies to Beijing on Oct 22 for a meeting with his counterpart Li Keqiang on Oct 23, his second in six months. He will be hosted a luncheon banquet.
Singh will also be meeting President Xi Jinpeng, who will host a dinner banquet, a rare honour for an Indian leader after such a courtesy was extended to Jawaharlal Nehru in the fifties.
The focus of the visit to China will be the proposed landmark Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) to avoid face offs between the two armies along the disputed Line of Actual Control, which officials are hopeful of clinching next week.
The BDCA, which provides for ‘no tailing’ of each other and ‘no shooting’ by troops of both sides, is expected to boost steps to maintain peace, tranquility and status quo on the border with China.
Coming against the backdrop of the longest face off in Depsang valley in Ladakh this summer, where PLA troops stayed put for over 20 days, it will be a step forward over the 2005 accord that set out standard operating procedures and be part of the confidence building mechanism between the two countries.




Hungary backs India’s “more than legitimate” bid for permanent UNSC seat

19 10 2013


Hungary backs India
Hungary supports India’s bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and said it was “more than legitimate” and will be good for global peace.
Prime Minister of Hungary Dr Viktor Orban, who called upon President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, said, “India’s quest for permanent membership of the UN Security Council was more than legitimate and India’s membership will be good for global peace and cooperation.”
Welcoming Orban, the President said India gives great importance to its relations with Hungary and our cultural relations far predate diplomatic relations.
President Mukherjee, while citing USD 1.5 billion Indian investments in Hungary, said both the countries must expand in areas including bio-tech, agriculture and water resource management.
The President said regular and frequent exchanges of bilateral visits in the last few years have enabled India and Hungary to enhance bilateral co-operation. “It is satisfying to know that Indian investments in Hungary are in the range of USD 1.5 billion employing over 8,000 Hungarians and are spread over a number of sectors,” he said.
Bilateral trade has increased from USD 398 million in 2007 to an impressive USD 840 million in 2011, he said during a meeting with Dr Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“However, this is far below our true potential. There is considerable scope for expansion to new areas such as bio-tech, clean energy, agriculture and water resource management,” the President added.
He also expressed happiness over the large business delegation visiting India with the Hungarian Prime Minister and said he has no doubt that their interactions with Indian counterparts will enable both sides explore new avenues to further strengthen economic relations.
He pointed out that Sanskrit was formally included as a regular subject of study in ELTE University in 1873. He also thanked the Hungarian Government for preserving the rooms where Rabindranath Tagore stayed while undergoing medical treatment and for establishing a beautiful Tagore Esplanade in the town of Balatonfured.
Responding to the President, the Hungarian Prime Minister said there has always been great appreciation in Hungary of India which represents a high culture of civilisation.
He said there exists good prospects for greater cooperation, not just with Hungary but the whole of central Europe which is a big area which can help India play a bigger




MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT INTERNAL MIGRATION

19 10 2013
New Delhi, 17 October 2013: On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Hon’ble Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Rural Development, Government of India, releases UNESCO publication, Social Inclusion of Internal Migrants in India, at UN Conference Hall, Lodi Estate, New Delhi. The Hon’ble Minister says, “Internal migration is a force for good for the migrant family, a force for good for the local economy, and a force for good for the country”. At this occasion, an expert panel composed of Government officials, researchers, social activists and partners, share their experiences on social inclusion of internal migrants and interact with the media.
 
Media Launch_UNESCO
 
The publication, supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and UNICEF,  focuses on the many positive aspects of internal migration and to this end displays ten key areas that are essential to the social inclusion of internal migrants: Registration and Identity; Political and Civic Inclusion; Labour Market Inclusion; Legal Aid and Dispute Resolution; Inclusion of Women Migrants; Inclusion through Access to Food; Inclusion through Housing; Educational Inclusion; Public Health Inclusion and Financial Inclusion. It provides an overview of existing innovative practices that help to increase the inclusion of internal migrants in society and dispels current myths and misconceptions about internal migrants.
  Aproximately three out of ten Indians are internal migrants, accounting for a large population of 309 million as per Census of India 2001, and by more recent estimates, 326 million (NSSO 2007-2008), nearly 30 per cent of the total Indian population.  The many positive aspects of internal migration remain unrecognized. Internal migration is an integral part of the development and urbanization of cities; internal migrants are vital, yet invisible, key actors of socially dynamic, culturally innovative and economically prosperous cities. “There is an urgent need to raise awareness of internal migrants’ positive benefits to society. This will in turn lay the foundations for a more inclusive and integrated society, and balance economic prosperity and social diversity”, says Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka.




President calls to civil servants to be instruments of socio-eco transformation

18 10 2013

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee called upon civil servants to be instruments of socio-economic transformation. He was addressing officers attending Phase-V of mid-career training programme and also officers trainees of IAS, IPS, IFS and Royal Bhutan Civil Service attending 88th foundation course at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie at Mussoorie today (October 18, 2013).
Addressing the Officers, the President said there are few bureaucracies in the world who posses the qualifications, repertoire of skills and talents that they possess. When Civil Servants face political pressure, they should be patient and tactful in handling issues within the prescribed legal framework. At the same time Civil Servants should understand the compulsion of political leaders who are answerable to their constituents, in wake of the growing development aspirations. He advised civil servants to have a vision of their own and contribute towards nation building.
President Mukherjee recalled his first stint as a minister in the 1970s, saying he had a seasoned and senior IAS officer as his Secretary, whom he once asked if he felt `embarrassed` taking instructions from a young Minsiter like him. He quoted his Secretary`s reply, “Mr Minister, when I receive instructions from you, I do not look at your face. I look beyond your face, at the vast multitude of people of this country who have chosen you to be here”.
The President urged the officers to work towards strengthening of institutions. He stressed that institutions are the building blocks of our democracy and a fine balace, as envisaged in the Constitution, must be maintained. The President emphasized on the importance of role of women in development and prosperity of society. He said that women should be encouraged to come forward and their safety and security must be ensured. He urged the nation to reset its moral compass.
Also present on the occasion were Shri Aziz Qureshi, Governor of Uttarakhand Shri, V. Narayanasamy, Union Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Prime Minister’s Office and Shri S.K. Sarkar, Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India.




18 10 2013
राम मंदिर हेतु संकल्पित हुए लाखों दिल्लीवासी
राजधानी में सैंकड़ों स्थानों पर संकल्प सभाओं का आयोजन

नई दिल्ली, 18अक्टूबर, 2013. अयोध्या में भगवान श्रीराम की जन्मभूमि पर भव्य मंदिर निर्माण हेतु आज पूरी दिल्ली ने संकल्प लिया तथा सम्पूर्ण सत्तर एकड भूमि पर संसदीय कानून के माध्यम से इस मसले के हल के साथ अयोध्या की सांस्कृतिक सीमा में किसी भी प्रकार की नई मस्जिद या इस्लामिक केन्द्र नहीं बनने देने के प्रति अपनी वचन-बद्धता व्यक्त की। दिल्ली में अनेक संकल्प सभाओं को संबोधित करते हुए विहिप के अंतर्राष्ट्रीय कार्याध्यक्ष श्री प्रवीण भाई तोगडिया ने कहा कि बहुत हो चुका, अब दुनिया की कोई भी शक्ति भगवान श्री राम के भव्य मन्दिर के निर्माण से हमें नहीं रोक सकती है। उन्होंने कहा कि अब समय आ गया है कि भारत सरकार उच्चतम न्यायालय को दिए गए अपने हलफ़नामे को याद कर सम्पूर्ण 70 एकड भूमि हिन्दू समाज को सौंपे और सोम नाथ के तर्ज पर अयोध्या में एक भव्य मन्दिर के निर्माण का मार्ग प्रशस्त करे।
कार्यक्रमों की विस्तृत जानकारी देते हुए विहिप दिल्ली के मीडिया प्रमुख श्री विनोद बंसल ने बताया कि आज दिल्ली के हर कोने से एक ही आवाज बुलन्द हो रही थी कि अयोध्या में हमारे आराध्य भगवान श्री राम लला को टाट के टेन्ट से निकाल उनकी मर्यादा के अनुकूल एक भव्य मन्दिर में प्रतिस्थापित करो। इसके लिए दिल्ली भर में लगभग दो हजार स्थानों पर श्री राम जन्म भूमि संकल्प सभाओं का आयोजन किया गया जिनमें लाखों राम भक्त स्त्री, पुरुष, बच्चों, बुजुर्गों व जवानों ने संकल्प लेकर सम्पूर्ण सत्तर एकड भूमि में संसदीय कानून के माध्यम से श्री राम जन्म की भूमि पर भव्य मन्दिर निर्माण के साथ अयोध्या की सांस्कृतिक सीमा में किसी भी प्रकार की नई मस्जिद या इस्लामिक केन्द्र नहीं बनने देने के प्रति अपनी वचन-बद्धता व्यक्त की। भगवान वाल्मीकि जयन्ती तथा शरद पूर्णिमा के दिन दिल्ली की हर बस्ती/कालोनी में सुबह से शाम तक चली इन सभाओं को अनेक विहिप, बजरंग दल, राष्ट्रीय स्वयं सेवक संघ, सनातन धर्म प्रतिनिधि सभा के पदाधिकारियों व अनेक संतों ने संबोधित किया।   
पूर्वी दिल्ली के सोनिया विहार, पश्चिमी विनोद नगर, व त्रिलोक पुरी में जहां विहिप कार्याध्यक्ष डा तोगडिया ने संबोधित किया तो ललिता पार्क(लक्ष्मी नगर), महालक्ष्मी एंक्लेव इत्यादि स्थानों पर विहिप के अंतर्राष्ट्रीय संगठन महा मंत्री श्री दिनेश चन्द्र ने संबोधित किया। उत्तरी दिल्ली के सुल्तान पुरी, प्रेम नगर व जैन नगर में बजरंग दल के राष्ट्रीय प्रशिक्षण प्रमुख श्री मनोज वर्मा ने तथा जहांगीर पुरी व चांदनी चौक में बजरंग दल के राष्ट्रीय संयोजक श्री राजेश पाण्डेय ने संबोधित किया। दक्षिणी दिल्ली के बदर पुर, संगम विहार, कालका जी, महरौली इत्यादि क्षेत्र में आयोजित अनेक सभाओं को विहिप के केन्द्रीय मन्त्री श्री धर्म नारायण ने संबोधित किया। पश्चिमी दिल्ली के रोहिणी, द्वारिका, मादी पुर, पंजाबी बाग, शालीमार बाग इत्यादि स्थानों में प्रान्त महा मंत्री श्री सत्येन्द्र मोहन ने संबोधित किया।
श्री राम जन्म भूमि संकल्प सभाओं के प्रान्त प्रभारी श्री राम पाल सिंह ने बताया कि इन सभी सभाओं में लाखों नर नारियों ने जो संकल्प लिया उसमें श्री राम जन्म भूमि परिसर सहित उसके चारों ओर की सम्पूर्ण अधिगृहित 70 एकड भूमि को संसदीय कानून द्वारा राम लला को सौंपे जाने तथा अयोध्या की सांस्कृतिक सीमा में किसी भी प्रकार की नई मस्जिद या इस्लामिक केन्द्र नहीं बनने देने के प्रति वचन बद्धता व्यक्त की गई है। संकल्प सभाओं को विहिप के प्रान्त अध्यक्ष श्री स्वदेश पाल गुप्ता, क्षेत्रीय संगठन मंत्री श्री करुणा प्रकाश, उपाध्यक्ष श्री दीपक कुमार, बृज मोहन सेठी, श्री अशोक कुमार, गुरदीन प्रसाद रुस्तगी व संयुक्त महा मंत्री श्री राम कृष्ण श्रीवास्तव, मीडिया प्रमुख श्री विनोद बंसल तथा बजरंग दल संयोजक श्री शिव कुमार सहित अनेक वक्ताओं ने संबोधित किया।
   भवदीय
विनोदबंसल
(मीडियाप्रमुख)
इंद्रप्रस्थविश्वहिंदूपरिषद, दिल्ली
Mo. 9810949109




STOP LEAD POISONING IN CHILDREN

18 10 2013 STOP LEAD POISONING IN CHILDREN
On the occasion of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, WHO urges countries to address lead paint as a first step
Geneva – 18 October –Lead poisoning has devastating health consequences in particular for children, with childhood lead exposure estimated to contribute to 600,000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year. Overall, 99% of children affected by high exposure to lead live in low and middle income countries, says WHO on the occasion of International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, and calls on countries to strengthen national actions to eliminate lead paint.
Lead paint is a major source of potential lead poisoning for young children. It may be found in the home, on toys, furniture and on other objects. Decaying lead paint on walls, furniture and other interior surfaces creates lead-contaminated dust in the home that young children easily ingest. Mouthing lead-painted toys and other objects also exposes young children to lead. The sweet taste of lead paint means that some children even pick off and swallow small chips of paint.
“Lead poisoning remains one of the most important environmental health concerns for children globally, and lead paint is a major flashpoint for children’s potential lead poisoning,” says Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health and Environment. “The good news is that exposure to lead paint can be entirely stopped through a range of measures to restrict the production and use of lead paint.”
It is estimated that 143 000 deaths per year result from lead poisoning and lead paint is a major contributor to this. Its use creates a health problem for many years into the future. Even in countries that have banned leaded paint decades previously, such paint continues to be a source of exposure until it is finally stripped and replaced. The cost of replacing lead paint means that people living in older, poorly-maintained housing are particularly at risk, and this disproportionately affects economically-deprived communities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified lead as one of ten chemicals of major public health concern, and lead requires action by Member States in order to protect the health of workers, children and women of reproductive age. Such actions include adopting regulations and procedures to eliminate the use of lead decorative paints and provide information to the public on renovation of homes where lead paint may have already been applied.
“Paints with extremely high levels of lead are still available in most of the developing countries where paint testing has been conducted as part of the efforts of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint. In most of the countries with lead paint, equivalent paint with no added lead is also available, suggesting that alternatives to lead are readily available to manufacturers,” says David Piper, Deputy Director, UNEP DTIE Chemicals Branch. The International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, provides an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the widespread availability of lead paint.
Worldwide, 30 countries have already phased out the use of lead paint. The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, co-led by WHO and UNEP, has set a target of 70 countries by 2015.
At high levels of exposure, lead damages the brain and central nervous system to cause coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive such poisoning are often left with intellectual impairment and behavioural disorders.
At lower levels of exposure, which cause no obvious symptoms and that previously were considered safe, lead is now known to produce a spectrum of injury across multiple body systems. In particular, lead affects brain development in children, resulting in reduced IQ, behavioural changes such as shortening of attention span and increased antisocial behaviour, and reduced educational attainment. These effects are believed to be irreversible. Adults are at increased risk of kidney disease and raised blood pressure.
The International Lead Poisoning Awareness Prevention Week of Action runs from 20-26 October 2013.This year’s theme, “Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future”, underscores the importance of avoiding the use of lead paint and using safe alternatives in order to prevent children coming to harm from lead poisoning.

PM on a visit to Russia, China

19 10 2013 <
PM leaves tomorrow on a visit to Russia, China<br /> Updated on : 19-10-2013 02:25 PM
Civil nuclear liability issues posing hurdles in clinching a deal with Russia on acquiring two new reactors for Kudankulam project and sticky points over an agreement with China to avoid army face offs on the border await resolution as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh embarks on a five-day visit to the two countries on Sunday.
Hopeful of reaching according on both the issues, officials are said to be working over time to negotiate a mutually acceptable solution so that the deals can be signed during the visit to Moscow and Beijing.
Singh, who will be paying an official visit to Moscow, will be participating in the 14th annual summit with Russian President Vladmir Putin on Monday, his fifth in Moscow.
Official sources said in a bid to assuage Russian concerns on the civil liability clause in the nuclear law in India New Delhi has made proposals outlining the parameters for taking insurance on the possible damage that could arise in case of an accident.
They include the quantum of liability on suppliers of equipment both foreign and Indian, which has been made clear that it is not unlimited.
Russia has been opposed to application of the nuclear liability law on the reactors for the proposed III and IV units in Kudankulam power project since the original scheme was conceived under an inter-government accord.
Public sector General Insurance Corporation (GIC) has been tasked to work with the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) to work on quantifying the damage and the liability on suppliers of equipment, including the reactors.
Sources are confident that the accord on Unit III and IV will be clinched during Singh’s visit to Moscow.
The visit to Russia also signifies the deep strategic partnership between the two countries over the years in defence, science and technology and space.
India is also interested in expanding cooperation in the hydro carbons with ONGC’s overseas arm OVL seeking new opportunities in exploration of gas and oil in Russia’s far east and Arctic zonel.
OVL is already participating in two projects as 20 per cent partner in the Sakhalin one project and as 100 per cent owner and operator of Imperial Energy in Tomsk Region.
After talks and a working lunch with Putin on Oct 21, the Prime Minister will be conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).
A customary joint statement will be issued at the end of the visit during which a few agreements will be signed in areas like science and technology, energy efficiency and standards. Also on the margins of the Summit, there will be a meeting of the newly-constitute CEOs Council.
Last year, there was a 24 per cent rise in bilateral trade crossing USD 11 billion in 2012 for the first time.
Investment is emerging as an important focus of bilateral trade.
From Moscow, the Prime Minister flies to Beijing on Oct 22 for a meeting with his counterpart Li Keqiang on Oct 23, his second in six months. He will be hosted a luncheon banquet.
Singh will also be meeting President Xi Jinpeng, who will host a dinner banquet, a rare honour for an Indian leader after such a courtesy was extended to Jawaharlal Nehru in the fifties.
The focus of the visit to China will be the proposed landmark Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) to avoid face offs between the two armies along the disputed Line of Actual Control, which officials are hopeful of clinching next week.
The BDCA, which provides for ‘no tailing’ of each other and ‘no shooting’ by troops of both sides, is expected to boost steps to maintain peace, tranquility and status quo on the border with China.
Coming against the backdrop of the longest face off in Depsang valley in Ladakh this summer, where PLA troops stayed put for over 20 days, it will be a step forward over the 2005 accord that set out standard operating procedures and be part of the confidence building mechanism between the two countries.

LAUNCH OF DIGITAL MSME SCHEME JUNE 27, 2017 LEAVE A COMMENT ON LAUNCH OF DIGITAL MSME SCHEME Kalraj Mishra Gives Away National Awards...