Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dear N.K,

This week's hot topics:

  • Guest bloggers for Metro Rail 2014 needed
  • Rotterdam Central Station royal opening
  • How the UK is leading the way with barcode mobile ticketing
  • ABB wins Great Western electrification contract
  • 5 interesting air rail projects in development
become a guest blogger for Metrorail 2014

Search for guest bloggers commences for MetroRail 2014

It's this time of year again and we are beginning our search for guest bloggers to join us at MetroRail on the 1 - 2 April 2014. The event will take place in Business Design Centre in London and will see over 400 attendees this year! ...
rotterdam central station

Rotterdam Central Station Royal opening

Rotterdam Central Station was inaugurated by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands this week.
13th March marked the Royal Opening of Rotterdam Central Station. The 675m euro project was implemented by Prorail, Netherlands Railways (NS) and the municipality of Rotterdam. The previous station lacked capacity for the current demand and traffic ...
How the UK Is Leading the Way With Barcode Mobile Ticketing

How the UK Is Leading the Way With Barcode Mobile Ticketing

With one of largest and most complex transport networks worldwide, the UK still often manages to lead in terms of technology and innovation due to the high levels of competition for franchises. With smart-ticketing high on government agendas, various ...
ABB wins Great Western electrification contract

ABB wins Great Western electrification contract

Swiss engineering group ABB have been awarded the Great Western electrification contract.
Abb and their consortium partner UK Power Networks have won an order worth �87 million to upgrade Britain's rail network in southern England and Wales.
The consortium will ...
air rail links

5 interesting air rail projects in development

This week I've taken a look at some of world's air rail projects under construction and others that will be very soon. I've picked 5 at some of the bigger airports that are quite interesting... Find out which cities and airports are investing in air rail links and what might be standing ...

AirAsia X Expands Japan Operations with First Flight into Nagoya
Offering Inaugural fares from as low as MYR299* (JPY11,000) to Nagoya
Photo Caption 1 (Arrival of AirAsia X into Nagoya): From left to right: Dato’ Fam Lee Ee, Director of AirAsia X, Azran Osman- Rani, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X, Tan Sri’ Rafidah, Chairman of AirAsia X and spouse, Tan Sri’ Bashir.
Photo Caption 2 (Fare Reveal): From left to right: Kamui Kobayashi, F1 Driver and Azran Osman-Rani, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia X at Chubu Centrair International Airport.
NAGOYA, 17 March 2014- Asia’s leading long-haul, low cost carrier affiliate of the AirAsia Group; AirAsia X Berhad commenced its inaugural direct flight into Nagoya from Kuala Lumpur today. Flight D7 542 arrived in Chubu Centrair International Airport at 16:20 carrying 341 passengers, a 90% passenger load.
Nagoya is AirAsia X’s third destination in Japan after Tokyo and Osaka. The airline will commence four weekly flights into Nagoya, Japan beginning today.
The AirAsia X flight, D7 542 which was operated by the Airbus A330-300 aircraft landed with a welcoming water canon salute arranged by Chubu Centrair International Airport at the tarmac. AirAsia X Chairman; Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, AirAsia X Director; Dato Fam Lee Ee, AirAsia X CEO; Azran Osman- Rani and a few of AirAsia X’s senior management officials were among the passengers on board the inaugural flight. They were warmly greeted at a press conference by the Malaysian Ambassador to Japan; H.E. Datuk Shaharuddin Mohd Som; Senior Executive Vice President & COO of Centrair International Airport; Mr. Shigeki Ito, Mr. Toshio Mita; Chairman of Chubu Economic Federation, Japan government officials, Tourism Malaysia representatives, members of the media and relevant business partners. Guests at the press conference received a surprise visitor when; Mr. Kamui Kobayashi; the Caterham F1 driver entered the function room and unveiled the inaugural launch fare together with AirAsia X CEO.
In commemoration of our first flight into Nagoya, AirAsia X will be offering launch fares from as low as MYR299* (JPY11,000) on Economy and MYR999* (JPY29,900) on Premium to Nagoya from Kuala Lumpur. Fly Thru launch fares are also available from selected destinations in Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, India and Vietnam to Nagoya. Bookings are available online from 18 to 30 March, 2014 for immediate travel between 19 March and 30 September, 2014.
Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X said, “With AirAsia X’s renowned low fares, guests from Japan may now travel from our ports in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya  when exploring their travel and holiday plans to the  South East Asia region and beyond via the Kuala Lumpur hub. This is very much in line with the government's tourism agenda, and the airline's commitment to boost the Malaysian tourism industry as well as increase tourism traffic across our group network. Similarly, with the addition of Nagoya, guests will have more travel options to explore Japan, and we believe Nagoya being a scenic and historical destination will be a popular tourist destination.”
Nagoya is strategically located just 50 minutes from Osaka city and 1 hour 40 minutes from Tokyo via train. Nagoya, the largest city in the Chubu region, more famous as the birth place of Toyota was also the birth place of the 3 samurai’s who unified Japan in the 16th century. Home to the famous Atsuta Shrine, known as the second-most venerable shrine in Japan, and the restored Nagoya castle which was then burnt down during World War II. Also famous for its abundance of cherry blossom trees during spring time, Japanese macaques, otherwise known as Snow Monkeys bathing in the hot springs are also a big tourist attraction in this region. 
AirAsia X was the first long-haul, low fare carrier to introduce Premium Flatbed seats, which have standard business class specifications of 20” width, 60” pitch and stretch out to 77” in full recline position.
The Premium flatbeds feature universal power sockets, adjustable headrests and built-in personal utilities such as tray table, drink holder, reading light and privacy screen. Premium seat guests also enjoy premium complimentary products and services including Pick A Seat, Priority Check-in, Priority Boarding, Priority Baggage, 25kg Baggage Allowance, Complimentary Meal and Pillow & Duvet.
AirAsia X was awarded the World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Seat and the World's Best Low Cost Airline Premium Class titles at the 2013 Skytrax World Airline Awards which took place at the Paris Airshow. The AirAsia Group also received its 5th consecutive year title as the World’s Best and Asia’s Best Low Cost Airline at the 2013 Skytrax World Airline Awards.
Venus Records cordially Invites you
 to attend the cover of Press Conference to
Share with you the uniqueness of their Latest Hindi Film

Gang of Ghosts

To be addressed by:
Sharman Joshi
Mahie Gill
Satish Kaushik
Anupam Kher
Mira Chopra

Venue     : Hotel Le Meridien, Raisina Road
Time       : 4 pm
Date      : 19th March 2014(Wednesday)

You are requested to send correspondents/photographers/camera crew for the Press Conference.
Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh rocked the Capital at a special “Jal”-less pre-Holi Celebration
Musical Maestros Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh who is making their debut as Music Directors with the forthcoming film “Jal” directed by Girish Malik, performed in the city at a special, one of a kind water-less pre-Holi celebration. The idea behind the event was to propagate the idea of saving water by going waterless for the Holi festivity. The cast and crew of ‘JAL’ applauded the initiative and talked about the significance of saving water and how the world is facing a water crisis at the moment. Held at the New Moti Bagh Colony, a luxury residential enclave for top government officials, the event saw over 500 of the country’s top civil servants and bureaucrats in attendance. This was in addition to the presence of the Director- Producer Girish Malik, film’s Producers Puneet Singh, Sumit Kapoor and Yogesh Mittal, Co-Producer Ajay Swami, Associate Producer Arun Tyagi, Music Director duo comprising of the legendary Sonu Nigam and World renowned percussionist & table maestro Bickram Ghosh, and its key cast Purab Kohli, Kirti Kulhari, Mukul Dev, Saidah Jules and Yashpal Sharma, and esteemed members of the media, amongst others.  

The evening started with a pre-Holi celebration which was followed up by a special screening of the excerpt from the film and an interaction with the stars. The highlight of the evening however, was the high voltage live performance by Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh who played tracks from the film. Their captivating act left the audience spellbound, ending the event on a high note. The entire team then captivated over 2000 Delhities at the ‘Looks’ silver jubilee celebration at a Vasant Kunj farm.
Jal” is the story of a young water diviner, Bakka who is gifted with a special ability to find water in the desert.  With the backdrop of water paucity, the film tells a complex and fascinating story of love, relationships, enmity, deceit and circumstances that bring about the dark side of human character. It is a high-octane, action- drama with a shocking climax. Shot on an epic scale, the film is a visual treat and has managed to capture ‘Rann Of Kutch’ like never before prompting even ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ to applaud Jal as “a breathtakingly photographed tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.”
Produced by OneWorld, in association with Clapstem Productions and NFDC, and distributed by DAR Film Distributors, the film is scheduled to hit the silver screen on 4th April 2014. Directed by Girish Malik, “Jal” stars Purab H Kohli, Kirti Kulhari, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Saidah Jules, Mukul Dev, Yashpal Sharma and Ravi Gossain amongst others.

 Evangelical Fellowship of India

805/ 92, Deepali Building, Nehru Place, New Delhi, India

18th March 2014

Andhra, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka top Christian Persecution in 2013.
154 cases of anti-Christian violence; churches, pastors, women attacked.

[The following is the text of the Press Statement released by Evangelical Fellowship of India General Secretary Rev. Dr. Richard Howell and Religious Liberty Commission Secretary Rev. Vijayesh Lal, on anti Christian violence in India in 2013.]

Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka top the list of Indian states in which Christians faced incidents of targeted communal violence in the year 2013, according to data collected by Evangelical Fellowship state offices. Women, rural pastors and home churches were the main targets of mobs which were often led by members of the Sangh Parivar. Police impunity resulted in most culprits going unpunished.

As many as 154 incidents of anti-Christian violence were reported in the year, with Andhra Pradesh registering 42 cases, Chhattisgarh 28 and Karnataka 27. Karnataka had been wrecked by extreme violence during August and September 2008 in the wake of the pogrom against Christians in the Kandhamal district of Orissa.

This list does not include large numbers of cases reported from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, which could not be immediately verified as being motivated by religious prejudice. These include at least three cases of murder, including one of a child of a pastor in Rajasthan.

The Evangelical Fellowship also received a very large number of complaints of structural and institutional violence from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Gujarat. Most of these pertain to Tribals being deprived of their land f they convert to Christianity. In Gujarat, the computerized registration systems have been so engineered that Tribals have mandatorily to fill their religion as Hindu.

This is in violation of the Constitutional provisions for Scheduled Tribes. The matter is to be taken to the High courts of the respective states. The most shocking aspect of the anti Christian violence is the targeting of women. This emerging pattern of violence is seen with great concern by the Christian leadership. We will bring this issue to the notice of national and state political leaders soon.

In one horrendous case on 12th September 2013, a Christian woman, Sanamma, a helper in Anganwadi school was caught by a mob of 40 people when she was inviting children to join the school after the summer break. The mob accused her of forceful conversion, beat her up severely and took her to a temple where they poured water on her as a form of religious cleansing and thereafter applied "kumkum" on her forehead, a sign of Hindu married woman. Local Christians rescued her later and took her to a hospital for treatment.

In another shocking case in Taragoan, Lohandiguda, Hindutva extremist activists forcefully took a Christian widow to the temple and tried to sacrifice her to the idols. Her daughter and relatives rescued the widow.

The Evangelical Fellowship, in association with other Church groups, has consistently demanded that the Central government enact suitable legislation to end communal and targeted violence. We had hoped that Parliament would pass the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill in the last session. It did not happen. We hope that the government formed after the 2014 General elections will take it up in earnest.

The list of incidents of violence is attached.

[For further details, please contact Rev. Vijayesh Lal at vijayesh@efirlc.org , and +91-9810176973]

Rev. Vijayesh Lal
National Director
Evangelical Fellowship of India
Religious Liberty Commission
New Delhi, India
   55th Edition of National Exhibition of Art

-        National Exhibition of Art promises to be a treat for the city’s art connoisseurs
-        10 National Awards announced carrying Prize Money of Rs 1 Lakh, Plaque & Certificate
-        Exhibition to display works of art of 168 participating artists, 9 invited artists &                    4 LKA produced films
-        Admission Free

New Delhi, 18th March, 2014: The intoxication of colors is yet to subside, the exaltation of love and expression is yet to pass, with Holi and it’s time again to paint our soul with colors of the art of 168 artists at the Lalit Kala Akademi’s 55th edition of National Exhibition of Art.

Theodore Dreiser said, “Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.” While our life runs aground in the grooves of cement, bricks, stone and steel, Lalit Kala Akademi (India’s premier Art Institution), after a gap of 20 years, brings the 55th National Exhibition of Art back to Delhi, to let it revel in the colours, tones and hues of human yearnings.

Oil, Acrylic, Canvas, Stone, Bronze, Charcoal, Etchings, Ceramic artwork are on display at the National Exhibition of Art. After a double screening by eminent Juries, artists from the entire country will display their work at the National Art Exhibition in Delhi from 20th March to 10th April, 2014 at the, Rabindra Bhawan Gallery (Mandi House). Works of 9 invited artists and four films will also form part of this exhibition.

The National award carries Prize Money of Rs 1 Lakh, a Plaque and a Certificate each. (The list of awardees is attached.)  The Akademi congratulated those chosen by the Jury and wished that they too, like earlier awardees including MF Hussain, NS Bendre, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh and many others will bring name to the country and add lustre to the Academy.

Dr K. K Chakravarty, Chairperson, Lalit Kala Akademi says “The 55th National Exhibition of Art looks at the world made by human beings in the eye and creates a spectrally heightened and distorted actuality, autonomous self-evolving structures, in tune with the transformative, leavening power of nature. The exhibition lends extraordinary meaning to ordinary objects by associating them in unforeseen permutations and combinations, in simultaneity and fusion.”

“It builds bridges between the corporeal and incorporeal, figurative and non-figurative, to express the inexpressible, and to communicate a sense of urgency for diagnosing and curing the radically fractured human condition. It reminds us that ‘hidden worlds connect to the things that hide them; within the red wood bark lies moss, under which are toads and insects: Tide pools connect us with unfathomable seas, which connect with our chromosomes’.

The works were chosen by a Screening Committee consisting of eminent personalities including, Mr Sachida Nagdev, Dr. Asharfi S. Bhagat, Mr Ajit Kumar Dubey, Mr Satish Sharma, Mr Aditya Arya , Mr H A Anil Kumar. A second-tier Jury for choosing the ten National Awardees from this selection has been done by another eminent jury comprising of Mr V Ramesh, Mr Ajay Kumar, Mr Deepak Kanal, Mr Deepak Banerjee, Mrs Shobha Broota, Mr S. Paul, Mr Suresh Jayaram and Mr Shrenik Jain.

Mr Ramakrishna Vedala, Secretary, Lalit Kala Akademi elucidates the methodology involved in choosing the works for the National Exhibition of Art “The works in the current exhibition merit attention on account of their challenging content, epitomizing creative features, individual commitment, discriminating quality of methods, materials used and more, so that the exhibition becomes a true representation of the dimensions of contemporary art thinking nationally.”

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