Saturday, December 7, 2013

Jordan elected to UNSC as non-permanent member


Jordan has been elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, filling a seat that Saudi Arabia had declined to accept, protesting the world body’s failure to end the Syrian and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts.
Jordan, was elected yesterday to serve on the Council for two years beginning January 2014. It received 178 “yes” votes in the election in the 193-member General Assembly.
Jordan has held the seat twice before since joining the world body in 1955.



Nelson Mandela: 3 days funeral cortege planned through Pretoria streets

A funeral cortege bearing Nelson Mandela’s body will travel through
the streets of Pretoria for three days ahead of his burial next
The South African government said the cortege will leave a
morgue on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning to go to the Union
Buildings where his body will lie in state.
Meanwhile, vigils for the former leader are continuing across South Africa. Hundreds of mourners have gathered outside Mandela’s home in Johannesburg and flowers and candles have been laid outside.
Mandela died on Thursday evening at the age of 95. Tributes to Mr Mandela have come from leaders, celebrities and members of the public around the world. US President Barack Obama said Mr Mandela achieved more than could be expected of any man. Pope Francis said Mr Mandela had forged a new South Africa built on the firm foundations of non-violence, reconciliation and truth.


India’s envoys in Gulf, West Asia and North Africa region to meet in Bahrain


The Gulf region, West Asia and North Africa region’s Indian Ambassadors and Heads of Missions gather in Bahrain capital Manama today. Over the next two days, 15 top Indian diplomats from the region will discuss the latest developments in the region. 
Besides the regional and energy security along with the matters related to the welfare of a large expatriate Indian community are expected to figure
prominently during the meet. External Affairs Minister, Salman Khurshid will chair the conference this evening .The participating Indian Ambassadors include those from the Gulf nations- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. 
Besides Indian Ambassadors from Iraq, Yemen, Israel, Egypt, Ethiopia, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco etc. will also be attending the conference. The meeting is significant in the wake of recent developments in the region such as the crisis in Syria, developments in Egypt and Middle East peace process among others. 
Apart from meeting its energy demands the Gulf and WANA region countries have extensive trade, historic and cultural linkages with India. India -GCC trade along is worth $180 billion. 
The countries from the Gulf and the North Africa region have always been a trusted and preferred partner for India.
The conference will also provide an opportunity to share ways and means to further consolidate the ties.


PCI: Media set panel to redress sexual harassment cases


<br /> PCI to media houses: Set panel to redress sexual harassment cases</p> <p>Updated
The Press Council of India (PCI) has asked all media organisations to set up internal committees to prevent and redress cases of sexual harassment of women at workplace.
The direction for setting up internal complaints’ committee came in the backdrop of sexual harassment charges against Tehelka Editor Tarun Tejpal by a journalist.
In a statement, PCI chairperson Justice (retd) Markandey Katju said that despite Vishakha guidelines having been framed by Supreme Court long back in 1997 and the enactment of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, many media organisations did not have an internal complaints committee.
He said that section 4(1) of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act made setting up of these committees mandatory.
Such establishments become even more meaningful in media organisations where women journalists adhere to non- conventional working hours and duty places, Katju said and requested media organisations to set up internal complaints committees.


Obama, Bush, Clinton to travel to South Africa 
Obama, Bush, Clinton to travel to South Africa Updated on : 07-12-2013 12:15 PM
At least three American presidents will travel to South Africa to attend memorial services for anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at age 95. 
The White House said on Friday that President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama would travel to South Africa next week to pay their respects. 
They will be joined on Air Force One by former President George W Bush and wife Laura Bush, who “gratefully accepted” the invitation from the Obamas, a Bush spokesman said. 
The White House said travel arrangements were still being made and it was unclear when the Obamas and Bushes would depart. 
A memorial service for Mandela will be held Tuesday at a stadium in Johannesburg, followed by a smaller funeral on 15th Decemeber in Mandela’s hometown. 
Former President Bill Clinton said he also planned to travel to South Africa, along with his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 
It was unclear whether the Clintons would also fly on Air Force One. 
“My whole family will be there,” Clinton said in an interview. 
“And we’re looking forward to having the chance to say good-bye one last time.” Obama also invited 89-year-old former President George H W Bush to travel with him to South Africa, but a spokesman for the elder Bush said he would not be able to make the trip. 
Mandela’s death has sparked an outpouring of memorials and celebrations of the former prisoner turned president who led his country out of apartheid rule. 
In remarks following Mandela’s death, Obama counted himself as one of the countless millions inspired by the South African leader.
“Like so many around the globe, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the example that Nelson Mandela set,” Obama said Thursday. 
For Obama and Bush, the trip to South Africa will mark the second time they have been on the continent together this year. 
The two men were in Tanzania at the same time this summer, though on separately planned trips.
They held a brief event together to honour victims of the 1998 US Embassy bombing in Dar es Salaam.
Mrs Obama and Mrs Bush both also attended an African first ladies summit during the trip. 


Azad addresses first Meeting of the Mission Steering Group of National Health Mission


The Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad addressed the first Meeting of the Mission Steering Group of National Health Mission (NHM), here today.
Speaking at the occasion, Shri Azad stated that the launch of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has led to significant improvements in public health systems and health service delivery. He pointed out specifically the impressive progress on key priorities of NRHM including decline in maternal and child mortality as well as fertility rate; reduction in disease burden of TB and Malaria; focus on the emerging challenge of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and cardio-vascular diseases; and completion of three years of being a Polio free country as on 13th of January 2014.

He emphasized that the success of NRHM encouraged the Central Government to extend coverage to urban areas through a National Urban Health Mission, covering 779 towns and cities. 
Shri Azad informed that the implementation framework for the National Health Mission, proposed in consultation with the Planning Commission, has been approved by the Cabinet. This framework puts in place new principles, strategies and approaches which are based on evidence and aimed at accelerating progress towards achieving the goals, he added.
Highlighting the several initiatives taken in the recent past by the Health Ministry under the Mission, Shri Azad said that more than 1.6 crore women are now delivering in Government and accredited facilities per year under ‘Janani Shishu Suraksha Karyakram’. Also, more than 1.5 crore children have already been screened under ‘Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram’ out of which over 7 lakh have received referral support including 1 lakh children receiving free treatment at secondary and tertiary level facilities.
The Health Minister expressed happiness that through a new initiative of the Ministry free essential medicines will be provided to all patients visiting public health facilities. Twenty eight States and UTs have articulated the policy to provide free drugs in public health facilities. States have provided about Rs.3,500 crores for free drugs during the current year and NRHM has supplemented the State’s efforts with about Rs. 2,000 crores, the Minister noted. NRHM gives incentives to the States if they move in the direction of providing free drugs, he further added. 
Expressing his concern Shri Azad said that limited availability of funds is a continuing challenge. India’s public spending on public health is the lowest in the world.  Recognizing this, the 12th Plan lays emphasis on the need for augmenting resources for health. However, the allocation to the Mission during the first two years of the 12th Plan is merely 18% of the promised outlay, he pointed out.
The Health Minister hoped that the Ministry of Finance and the Planning Commission, both of whom are represented on the MSG, would support raising allocations from the present level to what has been pledged in the 12th Plan. Also the representation of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Rural Development, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Human Resource Development and Housing &Urban Poverty Alleviation on the MSG is intended to intensify collaborative action on improving social determinants of health namely: Nutrition, Drinking water, Sanitation, Hygiene, Environment, Poverty and Girls education and empowerment.
The Mission Steering Group approved all the agenda points which included the following:
  1. Proposal for revision/new incentives related to Multi Drug Resistant TB
  2. Proposal for revision of incentives related to Drug Sensitive TB in tribal and difficult areas
  3. Proposal for new incentives related to TB-HIV co-infected patients
  4. Proposal for pooling of united grants, annual maintenance grant and Rogi Kalyan Samiti grants and revision of quantum of united grants to Community Health Centres or equivalent and District hospitals.
  5. Proposal for streamlining Asha incentives: The MSG approved an advance to be adjusted against the monthly performance so that ASHA is able to get reasonable amount of money every month. In addition, incentives of existing activities have been increased, and new activities for which ASHA would get incentives have been added.
  6. Proposal for provision of recurring cost for the first referral units (community health centres, maternity homes, etc.) under the National Urban Health Mission
  7. Proposal for expansion of Hib vaccines in the Universal Immunisation programme as liquid pentavalent vaccine (DPT+HepB+Hib) in 11 states from October 2014 and remaining 16 states from April 2015
  8. Proposal for revision of formula for allocation of HRHM-RCH flexible pool funds
Present during the meeting were Kum. Sheilja, Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Smt. Girija Vyas, Minister for Urban Development, Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt. Santosh Chowdhury, MoS(Health) and Shri A H Khan Chowdhury, MoS (Health), Smt Syeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission, in addition to Shri K N Desiraju, Health Secretary, Shri N Sanyal, Secy (Aayush), Dr V M Katoch, DG, ICMR, Sh Sudhir Bhargava, Secy (Social Justice and Empowerment) and many senior officers of the ministries of health, WCD, Social Justice and Empowerment. Members and representatives from NGOs and private practioners were also present.  


Four Firms Qualified for System Works Contract for 1st Phase of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor 
A total six international companies in joint venture with leading Indian companies participated in pre qualification bid process for system works (Electrical and signal & telecommunication woks) of Bhaupur- Khurja segment of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor project(343 km.). The joint venture firms who qualified are INABENSA-ANSALDO-EME-BCEPL, KEC-ELECNOR-KYOSAN, SIEMENS Consortium and ALSTOM Consortium. 
It may be recalled that the World Bank has agreed in principle to part finance the Eastern Corridor project from Mughalsarai to Ludhiana, which has been divided into 3 phases. The total in principle loan commitment is US$ 2.725 billion, out of which the loan for the first phase to the tune of US$ 975 million was sanctioned in May, 2011 and the loan agreement was signed in October, 2011. The loan for the second phase is expected to be of the order of USD 1100 million. 
DFCCIL, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is engaged in planning, construction, operation and maintenance of the dedicated freight corridors and in the first phase, the two corridors, namely, Eastern Corridor from Ludhiana to Dankuni (1839 kms) and the Western Corridor from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) (1499 kms) are being constructed. The entire Western Corridor is being funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), while the Eastern Corridor from Mughalsarai to Ludhiana is being funded by the World Bank. 


Employment and Income From Tourism

As per the 2nd Tourism Satellite Account of India 2009-10, the contribution of Tourism in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment generation in the country in 2009-10, has been estimated to be 6.8% and 10.2%, respectively. The Foreign Exchange Earnings (FEEs) during the years 2002-2012 were Rs.5,22,206 Crore.The tourism sector has a major role to play to promote faster, sustainable and more inclusive economic growth. It has better prospects for promoting pro-poor growth than many other sectors. This is because tourism is labour intensive and involves a collection of activities, services and industries comprising transportation, accommodation, eating and drinking establishments, retail shops, entertainment businesses and other hospitality services provided to individuals or groups traveling away from home for leisure, business or other purposes. The broad scope of economic activities involved enables wide participation in its growth, including participation by the informal sector.
Although the tourism sector in India has grown in recent years, it is felt that with India’s vast bounties of nature, its great treasures of art, architecture and philosophical thought, its rich cultural heritage, its varied rural countryside and wildlife, age – old practices of Yoga, Siddha, etc. spread across different States/Union Territories (UTs), there is immense tourism potential to tap, which can lead to further growth in tourism.
The Ministry of Tourism has taken the initiative of identifying, diversifying, developing and promoting the nascent/upcoming niche products of the tourism industry such as Cruise, Adventure, Medical & Wellness, Golf, Polo, Meetings Incentives Conference and Exhibitions (MICE), Eco-Tourism, Development of Camp Sites, Caravan Tourism, Campaign Parks, Film Tourism, etc. This is done in order to overcome the aspect of ‘seasonality’ to promote India as a 365 day destination, attract tourists with specific interests and to ensure repeat visits for the products in which India has a comparative advantage.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Tourism (I/C) Shri K. Chiranjeevi in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.


LIC to stop selling 34 life insurance policies

Insurance giant Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) has decided to stop selling as many as 34 policies, including Jeevan Anand, Jeevan Madhur and Jeevan Saral, to comply with new regulatory guidelines.
These policies are withdrawn in December as they are not in conformity with the provisions of new regulations on non-linked insurance products, linked insurance products and health insurance products, a senior LIC official said. 
Of the 34 products, LIC will stop sale of Jeevan Amrit from December 7, Jeevan Surabhi from December 14 while two other schemes from December 21 and December 28 respectively. 
Remaining 28 policies will go off LIC’s shelves from December 31. 
Last month, LIC had withdrawn 14 policies including Convertible Term Assurance, Children Deferred Endowment Assurance. 
These policies are being discontinued as part of regulatory compliance. 
The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) had extended the deadline for implementation of new individual product regulations for the life insurance industry by three months to December 31. 
The new guidelines are aimed at making insurance policies more customer-friendly. 
“All the existing group policies and all the existing individual products not in conformity with the provisions of this regulation shall be withdrawn from August 1, 2013, and January 1, 2014, respectively,” IRDA had said in a circular. 
With regard to group policies, life insurers have been asked not to enroll these policies after the immediate policy anniversary falling due after July 2013. 
However, it had said all group policies at the time of renewal of such policy shall be given an option to switch over to the modified version of the group product, if any, once introduced. 
LIC has outperformed its peers in the private sector by recording a 7 per cent growth in premium collection during the first half of the current fiscal. 
The company witnessed a 7.26 per cent growth in premium income to Rs 37,906 crore during the six-month period ending September. 


To quash Jet-Etihad deal if there are irregularities: SC

Will quash Jet-Etihad deal if there are irregularities: SC
The Supreme Court on Friday made it clear that it would quash the Jet-Etihad Airways deal if there are any irregularities in it.
The apex court also issued notice to Centre on a plea for putting on record a memo sent by PMO to the Corporate Affairs Ministry in which the PMO had allegedly raised serious reservations in respect of the growth of the middle eastern carriers including Etihad. 
A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam sought response from government and Income Tax Department on a plea seeking direction to them to place the transcript of tapped telephonic conversation of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia in which she allegedly had talked about the civil aviation sector. 
The court passed the order on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea seeking its direction to quash the deal on the ground that it was against public interest as there was squandering of natural resource i.e. sky and air space. 
At the outset, Swamy raised objection over Centre’s non-filing of its response on his plea. 
Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran sought further four weeks’ time to file the response and also raised the plea of maintainability by saying that earlier, a similar petition, questioning the Air Asia deal, was not entertained by the apex court and Swamy was rather asked to move the Delhi High Court. 
“We have already issued the notice in this case after finding prima facie merits,” the bench said on Friday. 
It assured Swamy that his plea will be heard and the deal would be set aside if it is convinced that irregularities were there. 
“If we are convinced then we would certainly set it aside,” the bench said giving last opportunity to the Centre to file the response and hoped that it would not seek any further adjournment in the case.
Referring to the Radia tapes, Swamy, in his application, said the documents are important for the adjudication of the case and the apex court had already ordered the CBI probe in the alleged involvement of middleman in aviation sector which was revealed in conversation. 


Armenian Parliamentary Delegation calls on President

A 19 member Parliamentary Delegation led by Mr. Hovik Abrahamyan, President (Speaker) of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia called on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee yesterday (December 5, 2013) at Rashtrapati Bhavan. 
Welcoming the delegation, the President said since ancient times, India and Armenia have enjoyed historical and civilizational ties. Indian and Armenians share common culture, traditions, language and values. He said India attaches importance to its friendship with Armenia and both countries enjoy excellent relations at political, official and cultural levels and between the people of the two countries. 
The President said the delegation is visiting India following the first ever visit of an Indian Parliamentary delegation to Armenia. He stated that such exchanges between the representatives of peoples help increase understanding and enhance the friendship between people of two countries and provide fresh impetus to cooperation between the legislative bodies of the two countries. The President welcomed the formation of an Armenia-India Parliamentary Friendship Group comprising of 11 MPs in the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia and expressed his confidence that soon such a group will be formed in Indian Parliament. 
The President observed that India-Armenia trade and economic engagement remains far below its potential despite the fact that both countries enjoy excellent political and cultural ties. He said the two countries should work together to explore avenues to expand bilateral trade and mutual investment. 
The Leader of the Armenian Parliamentary delegation said India and Armenia enjoyed excellent political relations. The Armenian Government is initiating measures to ensure that economic relations also catch up with political relations and has drawn up a road map in this regard. Stating that India and Armenia are bound by ties of spirituality and culture, Mr. Abrahamyan expressed confidence that their visit would further strengthen relations between the two countries. 


SMEs Excellence Award, 2013

The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Shri K. H. Muniyappa inaugurated a Seminar on SMEs and SMEs Excellence Award, 2013 here today. Speaking at the inaugural address the Minister said that worldwide, MSMEs have been regarded as the engine of economic growth and a tool for promoting equitable development. Their contribution to the national economy stands at about 45 per cent share of the manufacturing output and 43 per cent of the total exports of the country, contributing with 8% to India’s GDP. The sector employs an estimated 80 million people spread over 36 million enterprises that produce a diversified product basket. The 12th Plan allocation of funds has been more than doubled from around Rs. 11000 Crore during 11th Plan to around Rs. 24000 Crore in 12th Plan to accelerate the development of MSME sector in India. 
Highlighting the flagship programmes of MSME Ministry, the Minister said that under Skill Development Programmes for the entire value chain of manufacturing. During the current year the Ministry will be training at least 6 Lakh persons and in 12th plan the Ministry plans to train around 42 lakh persons through various programmes. 
The Minister said that PMEGP is a major credit linked subsidy scheme and a flagship employment generation programme for the unemployed implemented through banks. So far more than 2.22 lakh first generation entrepreneurs have been assisted since 2008-09 thus creating employment for over 20.42 lakh persons. The Ministry has now targeted over 100 new enterprises per district every year under PMEGP in all the 650 districts in the country. During 12th Plan period, the Ministry intends to create around 5 lakh such enterprises under PMEGP creating employment opportunities for around 40 lakh persons in the country. 
Addressing about innovation and technology Shri K H Muniyappa said that 18 Tool Rooms and technology development centres under the Ministry are providing both long and short term training to more than 1 lakh youth at present and additional 15 Technology Centres are being set up all over the country with investment of Rs. 2200 crore. 
The Ministry of MSME is also implementing National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP) covering entire gamut of manufacturing. National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme (NMCP) has specific components aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of the enterprise in this sector so as to withstand global and organized competition and to thrive through better technologies and skills, the Minister added. 
The Minister said that towards facilitating Technology Upgradation of Micro and Small Enterprises, under the Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme (CLCSS) the Ministry is providing 15% capital subsidy on institutional finance availed by micro and small enterprises for induction of well-established and improved technologies. 
To create awareness among small enterprises on the strengths and weaknesses of their existing operations and to enhance their organizational strength “Performance & Credit Rating Scheme”(PCRS) was introduced in 2006. Through this scheme, Enterprises are rated by third party national or international agency. Financial assistance to the extent of 75% of the cost of rating to all the rated units is provided. This rating benefits the units in many ways like establishing their creditworthiness which helps them in accessing credit from the bank quicker and cheaper and thus economizing the cost of credit, the Minister added. 
Addressing the availability of the credit to the MSMEs, Shri K H Muniyappa highlighted that under the “Credit Guarantee Scheme”, the Ministry have facilitated collateral free loan to more than 11 lakh Micro and Small Enterprises with the total sanctioned loan amount of Rs. 54,322 crore and is also following up with RBI to achieve 20% year on year growth in the credit to MSME Sector as recommended by Prime Minister’s Task Force’


Tejpal’s police custody extended

Tehelka case: Tejpal
Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal, accused of sexually assaulting a journalist woman colleague, will remain in custody of Goa Police for four more days. 
After expiry of his six-day remand on Saturday, the 50-year-old journalist was produced before a local court, which extended his police custody till December 10. 
Tejpal, accused of sexually assaulting a junior woman colleague in a hotel in early November, was arrested by Goa Police on Saturday last. 
During arguments before Judicial Magistrate First Class Kshama Joshi, his counsel Sandip Kapoor opposed extension of the remand. 
He said his client has been thoroughly interrogated by police and relevant materials besides the clothes which he wore on the day of alleged incident have been recovered. 
Public Prosecutor Saresh Lotlikar told the court that many witnesses were yet to be examined and hence further custody of Tejpal is required. 
The Tehelka founder underwent two rounds of medical tests during his 6-day custody. Three colleagues of the victim-reporter, who has since resigned from the weekly magazine, deposed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate on Friday. 
The victim had confided in them about the alleged sexual assault. The statement of Shoma Chaudhury, former Managing Editor of the magazine to whom the reporter had written about the incident, is also to be recorded by the Magistrate.


Cyclone ‘Madi’ to intensify in Tamil Nadu, AP


A cyclonic storm named ‘Madi’ would intensify into a severe cyclonic storm, bringing rain or thundershowers over some parts of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh during the next 48 hours, Indian Meteorological Department said on Saturday. 
“The depression over southwest Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm ‘MADI’ early this morning and will intensify into a severe cyclonic storm and move nearly northwards very slowly in the next 48 hours,” an IMD bulletin said. 
It was “practically stationary” and lay centred about 500 km southeast of Chennai and 370 km northeast of Triconamalee in Sri Lanka, it added. 
“Under the influence of this system, rainfall at a few places would occur over coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands during the next 48 hours,” it added.


Swap windows prop forex kitty by USD 5.04 bn: RBI

Swap windows prop forex kitty by USD 5.04 bn: RBI
India’s forex reserves surged by a USD 5.04 billion to USD 291.3 billion in the week ended 29th Nov, the biggest weekly gain since October 2011, helped by RBI’s concessional swap windows opened in August as parts of efforts to arrest rupee fall.
The unconventional measures employed by the central bank saw the bank receiving a whopping USD 34 billion from the two swap windows which closed last week. 
As of 29th November, the forex kitty swelled by USD 5.04 billion at USD 291.3 billion, the Reserve Bank said on Friday. 
The reporting week’s gain is the biggest weekly gain since the week ended 14th October 2011, when it jumped USD 5.2 billion. 
The biggest weekly forex gain was recorded on the week ending 1st July 2011 when the reserves zoomed USD 6.7 billion. 
The current reserves however, are still down USD 3.29 billion from the year-ago period, according to the RBI data. 
Since the new Governor Raghuram Rajan took over on 4th September, the forex reserves have gained by USD 13.6 billion from USD 277.72 billion on 30th August. 
The RBI announced a swap window for foreign currency non- resident (bank) deposits on 4th September after the import cover or balance of payment position became precarious on the back of massive fund outflows following the US Fed’s tapering talk on 17th May. 
The special window allowed banks to swap fresh FCNR-B dollar funds, mobilised for a minimum tenor of three years, at a fixed rate of 3.5 percent per annum. 
The RBI also allowed banks to borrow up to 100 percent of their tier-I capital from overseas, which could be swapped with the central bank at a concessional rate of 100 basis points (1 percentage point) below the ongoing swap rate prevailing in the market. 
The RBI closed these swap windows for FCNR-B funds and banks’ overseas borrowings on 30th November. 
“The reserves rose as amount mobilised through both the swap windows came into the RBI’s kitty,” said a treasurer at a state-owned bank. 
Foreign currency assets, which form a major part of the overall forex reserves, rose by healthy USD 5.071 billion to USD 263.736 billion for the week under review, the RBI said. 
This is the fourth consecutive week when the reserves have jumped and one of the sharpest spikes in recent times. 
In the week ago period, the reserves had risen by USD 2.691 billion to USD 286.26 billion. 
Foreign currency assets expressed in dollar terms include the effect of appreciation or depreciation of the non-US currencies such as the euro, pound and yen, held in reserves. 
During the week under review, the gold reserves continued to remain unchanged at USD 21.227 billion. The special drawing rights rose by USD 12.2 million to USD 4.432 billion. 
The country’s reserve position with the IMF fell by USD 46.2 million to USD 1.905 billion in the week under review, RBI data showed. 


No threat to food security plan: Anand Sharma

Major victory at WTO, no threat to food security plan: Anand SharmaUpdated on : 07-12-2013 08:34 AM
In a major victory for India, the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed to allow countries to provide subsidy on staple food crops without any threat of punitive action, a concession that salvaged the current round of world trade talks from the brink of collapse. 
After burning the midnight oil and tough negotiations over the past four days in the face of India’s unrelenting stand on the food security issue, the 159-member WTO reached a historic agreement that will boost global trade by USD 1 trillion. 
The deal allows nations such as India to fix a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for farm produce and to sell staple grains to the poor at subsidised rates. 
It also permits countries to store foodgrains to meet contingency requirements. 
“A great day for India, I am more than happy…India has clinched WTO deal for the farmers and poor of the world,” Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said after the final round of negotiations.
The draft agreement, which will protect the right to food and allow India to go ahead with its USD 20 billion food security scheme, is expected to be adopted by the plenary later in the day. 
“It’s a victory for Indian farmers and farmers of the developing world. It is also recognition of the right of developing nations for public stock-holding of food grains to ensure food security for their citizens,” Sharma added. 
The agreement will come as booster for the WTO, which until yesterday had failed to make headway with regard to the Doha round of trade talks, pending since 2001. 
The deal was clinched after WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo on Thursday night, called a crucial meeting of key players, which continued till early morning.
It was attended by Sharma, US Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman and Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan. 
Developed countries such as the US and the EU wanted India to accept a peace clause, which offers four years of immunity from penalties imposed for breaching the farm subsidy cap of 10 per cent under the AoA. Host Indonesia shared the same view. 
India and other developing nations, on the other hand, wanted the peace clause until a permanent solution is found on the matter for smooth implementation of the food security programme. 
Sharma said, “It’s a path-breaking decision…This is the first major decision or agreement that has been reached ever since the WTO was established. 
“The previous agreement based on the Uruguay round was inherently imbalanced and flawed. The balance was against the developing countries and that is why support was mobilised and it became an imperative to launch a new round of negotiations, which is the Doha Development Agenda.” 
As per the draft on the agriculture sector, members have agreed to put in place an interim mechanism until a final solution is found with regard to public stock-holding for food security purposes. 
Members, the draft added, “shall refrain from challenging through the WTO dispute settlement mechanism…support provided for traditional staple food crops in pursuance of public stock-holding programme for food security purposes…” 
Sharma had until Thursday maintained that it was “better to have no agreement than to have a bad agreement…” and got support from major emerging economies, including South Africa. 
Meanwhile, an Indian official said that India would be entitled to adequate transition time as well as external support and assistance, if required, for implementing trade facilitation agreement. 
The trade facilitation agreement will improve competitiveness of Indian industry both in domestic trade and international trade. 
“India recognises benefits of a trade facilitation agreement, which aims at simplifying customs procedures and reducing transaction costs,” the official said, adding that the agreed text marks a fair balance reflecting the aspirations of both the developed and developing countries. 
“It is a historic decision. It is a victory not only for India but also for developing and poor countries,” Sharma said after the decision was taken on the text on the public stock holding. 
Sharma talked to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he kept him informed on all the developments on Bali Ministerial that started on 3rd December, sources said. 
“Today he talked two times to the Prime Minister, morning and afternoon,” the source said. 
The WTO issue was also discussed in the special meeting of the Union Cabinet which condoled the death of Nelson Mandela, officials said. 
The 159-member WTO also agreed on the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which is aimed at making international trade much easier by simplifying and streamlining custom procedures across the globe. 
The pact is billed to bring in gains worth USD 1 trillion for global trade. The TFA would help countries cut transaction costs. 
“India recognises the inherent benefits of TFA. It will improve competitiveness of Indian industry both in domestic and international trade. It will also help in the movement of commodities like grapes, groundnut and pharma consignments,” an official said. 
The Bali deal, which a few termed as an “early harvest”, is a major breakthrough in the so-called Doha Round of talks which were launched in the Qatari capital in November 2001. 
“All traditional staple food crops, without any numerical limit will be covered under the decision…this decision provides legal certainty and also committees WTO members to work towards updating the rules under Agreement on Agriculture (AoA)”, a source said. 
“Now the four year peace clause will continue till a permanent solution is reached.” 
As per the draft on agriculture sector, members have agreed to put in place an interim mechanism till a final solution is found with regard to public stock holding for food security purposes. 
Members, the draft added, “shall refrain from challenging though the WTO dispute settlement mechanism …of the agreement on agriculture in relation to support provided for traditional staple food crops in pursuance of public stock holding programme for food security purposes…” 


Shri Uddhav Thakeray meet C M Narendra Modi at Gandhinagar

Shri Uddhav Thakeray meet HON C M Narenadra Modi at Gandhinagar dt 07-12 -2013 is seen in the political charged atmosphere their thought to be bring two saffrons building better national outlook to garner Hindutava votes.
With International and national scene building up to bring pride to India and make Indians their due place in world politics the duo meeting could bring more support from the financial capital  and  co-operative state.
More meeting of this sort are likely to come up as the time for the ensuing general election come close.


धूम-धाम से मनाया विजय दिवस समारोह
अयोध्या में भगवान श्री राम का भव्य मंदिर निर्माण व सांप्रदायिक हिंसा विधेयक को रोके जाने की मांग।
नई दिल्ली 06 दिसंबर। बाबरी ढांचे के विध्वंश की 21वीं वर्षगंाठ को राष्ट्रवादी शिवसेना व यूनाईटेड हिंदू फ्रंट ने विजय दिवस के रूप में धूम-धाम के साथ मनाते हुए राजधानी के जंतर-मंतर में विशाल भगवा मार्च आयोजित किया। इस मौके पर पार्टी ने राष्ट्रपति महोदय को ज्ञापन भेंट कर अयोध्या में भव्य मंदिर निर्माण करवाने और हिन्दुओं को अपराधी बनाने वाले काले कानून सांप्रदायिक हिंसा विधेयक पर तत्काल रोक लगाए जाने की मांग की। कार्यक्रम का आयोजन राष्ट्रवादी शिवसेना की दिल्ली ईकाई द्वारा किया गया। इस मौके पर राष्ट्रवादी शिवसेना प्रमुख व यूनाईटेड हिंदू फ्रंट के अध्यक्ष श्री जयभगवान गोयल मुख्य अतिथि के रूप में मौजूद थे। इस मौके पर कई प्रमुख हिंदूवादी संगठनों के पदाधिकारी व श्रीराम भक्त हिन्दू भारी संख्या में मौजूद थे।
इस मौके पर उपस्थित कार्यकर्ताओं को संबोधित करते हुए पार्टी प्रमुख श्री जयभगवान गोयल ने कहा कि विगत 21 वर्षों से अयोध्या में खुले आसमान के नीचे विराजमान श्रीराम लला, मां जानकी की दशा से हिन्दू समाज की आहत हो रही भावनाएं और केन्द्र सरकार द्वारा लाया जाने वाला सांप्रदायिक हिंसा अधिनियम के कारण हिन्दू समाज में आज गहरा नाराजगी है। उन्होनंे कहा कि अयोध्या में 21 वर्ष पूर्व हिन्दू समाज ने अपनी धार्मिक भावना के केन्द्र बिन्दु श्री रामलला के जन्म स्थली पर से आक्रांता बाबर के नामो-निशान को मिटा दिया था और उन्हे विश्वास था कि सरकार अब इस स्थल पर भगवान श्री रामलला का भव्य मंदिर निर्माण करवाकर देश के बहुसंख्यक हिन्दू समाज की भावनाओं का सम्मान करेगी मगर वोट बैंक के लालच में हमेशा ही हिन्दू भावनाओं को कानूनी दावपेचों में फंसाकर रखा गया। यहां तक कि जब इलाहाबाद उच्च न्यायालय की लखनऊ खण्डपीठ द्वारा गर्भगृह हिन्दुओं का ही होने का निर्णय दिया गया इसके बाद भी सी.बी.आई. द्वारा आज तक भी विध्वंश के आरोपित रहे अभियुक्तों पर से कानूनी कार्यवाही की प्रक्रिया बन्द नहीं की गई।
श्री गोयल ने कहा कि केन्द्र सरकार द्वारा एक अध्यादेश “सांप्रदायिक हिंसा कानून“ भी लाया जा रहा है जिसके द्वारा राज्य सरकारों के अधिकारों का हनन तो होगा ही, हिन्दू समाज को भी अपराधी बनाए जाने की साजिश रची गयी है जो हिन्दू-मुस्लिम समाज के मध्य नफरत की दीवार को ऊंची तो करेगा ही, इससे देशद्रोही तत्वों को भी मनमानी करने की पूरी आजादी मिल जाएगी। यहां यह कहना गलत नहीं होगा कि केन्द्र सरकार हिन्दुस्तान को धर्म-निरपेक्षता और अल्पसंख्यकों को अधिकार देने की आड में मुस्लिम राष्ट्र बनाने की राह पर निकल पड़ी है। इस बिल के पास होने के बाद धार्मिक और भाषायी शिनाख्त और भी मजबूत होगी और हिंसा की मामूली घटनाओं को भी सांप्रदायिक रंग दिया जाएगा जिससे हिन्दुओं का जीना दूभर हो जाएगा। उन्होंने कहा कि इस नये अध्यादेश के बाद देश-द्रोही तत्व आतंकी गतिविधियों, धर्मान्तरण करके हिन्दू व हिन्दुस्तान को तबाह करने की साजिशे रचते रहेंगे फिर भी उनके खिलाफ कोई आवाज नहीं उठा सकेगा। कारण सिर्फ एक ही है कि देश प्रेम व हिन्दुत्व प्रेम भी हिन्दुओं के लिए अपराध होगा और प्रशासन को बहुसंख्यक हिन्दुओं पर कार्यवाही के लिए विवश होना पड़ेगा जिसके कारण देश में विस्फोटक हालात पैदा होंगे जो गृहयुद्ध जैसे हालातों से भी बदतर होगें।
राष्ट्रपति महोदय से उन्होंने मांग करते हुए कहा कि अयोध्या में भव्य श्री राम मंदिर निर्माण करवाने व अयोध्या मामले में हिन्दू नेताओं पर चलाए जा रहे मुकदमें खत्म किये जाए तथा सांप्रदायिक हिंसा अधिनियम को तुंरत रोका जाए। 
इस मौके पर सर्वश्री विनोद जैन, देवेन्द्र कुमार सिंह, चै. ईश्वर पाल सिंह तेवतिया, चन्द्रप्रकाश कौशिक (हिंदू महासभा), अनिल आर्य (केन्द्रीय आर्य युवक परिषद), स्वामी ओम जी (यूनाईटेड हिंदू फ्रंट), बलदेव राज मनचंदा, बाल योगी जी महाराज, सुनील कुमार, विजेन्द्र धारीवाल, वैभव भारद्वाज, सुभाष शर्मा, रंजना (महिला मोर्चा), अर्जुन सिंह, प्रकाश पासवान, गंगा राम, मुकेश जैन, सुमित जैन, मदन माहौर, खेम चन्द, भोजराज, बजरंग बहादुर, के.के. यादव, श्रीकांत, सरदार योगेन्द्र ंिसंह, रामनरेश, प्रवीन गोयल,  सुमन, रंजना, जंग बहादुर मल्होत्रा, श्री राम कुमार (आर्य समाज), महेन्द्र भाई (आर्य समाज), अनिल हाण्डा, श्री भारतेन्दु जी (गया, बिहार) सहित भारी संख्या में राष्ट्रवादी शिवसेना एवं यूनाइटेड हिंदू फ्रंट के पदाधिकारी व कार्यकर्ता मौजूद थे।
भरत लाल शर्मा
कार्यालय सचिव,
मो. 9899815284


ADHM 2013 Get Active Expo Bigger & Better

New Delhi, 6th December 2013: With just one week to go for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2013, the
excitement levels only seem to get bigger and better. The thrill to
run the six edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, was evident at
the Get Active Expo, which was inaugurated by First Indian IPS Women
Dr. Kiran Bedi, Mr. Somdeb Basu, Brand Director, Reebok India, Mr.
Mahesh Shetty from Radio Mirchi and Mr. Dilip Jayram, CEO Procam
International, the promoters of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon at the
NSIC Ground, Exhibition Complex, Gate No. 3 & 4, Okhla Industrial
Area, here on Friday.
The Get Active Expo is organised and marketed by Radio Mirchi
Activations from December 6 to 8 and is a unique opportunity for
health, fitness and wellbeing enthusiasts to come together under one
roof. The Expo will be on between 11.00 am to 7.00 pm on all the three
days and will also be the venue for all confirmed participants from
Delhi and its surrounding areas to come and collect their running
numbers along with the goodie bags. Outstation runners can collect
their running numbers and goodie bags on December 14 between 11.00 am and 5.00 pm at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Gate no.14.
Exciting times at the Expo: The grand finale of the Airtel
Treadmillion Challenge will be conducted at the Expo on all 3 days.
Reebok Brand Director, Somdeb, conducting Health & Fitness session on Friday between 4.45 to 5 pm, also Rahul Verghese Running & Living
session on Friday and Sunday.
A limited number of running bibs will be sold at the Expo by Concern
India Foundation at their stall, with the proceeds going towards
charity. Bibs for the Half Marathon will be available for Rs 4000, and
bibs for the Great Delhi Run at Rs 3000.
The Following partners will have interactive stalls at the Expo:
Reebok, Max Healthcare, Enerzal, Radio Mirchi and Concern India
Foundation. In addition to the above, Oxfam India, Fitness First,
Borges, Snickers, JK Developers, GU Labs and ASICS Japan will also
have stalls at the Expo.

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