Friday, March 13, 2015

Heat on Power: Green Rating of Coal-based Thermal Power Plants(2)
Today at 8:51 AM

Bollywood couple Arbaaz Khan Malaika Arora launched Ariel’s new ‘His & Her’ pack 

With this, Arbaaz Khan has vowed to share the load of laundry with Malaika Arora as a part of Ariel’s ‘Is laundry only a woman’s job’ initiative. Arbaaz Khan while interacting with the media and asked who are Great people who at home sharelaundry job with their better half  further said: “I’ve always been a firm believer that equality within the household is important for a happy marriage. Despite our work commitments, Malaika and I ensure we split the work at home. From raising the kids to doing the laundry, it’s a partnership.”
Malaika Arora added: “When it comes to managing the household, equal responsibilities is a key. Arbaaz and I, owing to our hectic schedules, have always ensured we take turns with all the chores. I’ve always said that a happy household is one where the man shares the load.”
Kejriwal accused of playing communal politics in Delhi polls
Mar 13,  9:31 AM
The tale of sting operations and audiotapes within Aam Aadmi Party's ranks took another twist yesterday as a former party leader accused Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of playing communal politics during the recently-concluded Assembly polls.

In the audio recorded, Mr Kejriwal is heard as having said that Muslims don't expect AAP to field many candidates from their community but wants the party to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Former AAP leader Shahid Azad released the tape, claiming that Mr Kejriwal refused tickets to Muslim hopefuls on the premise that the minority community's votes were already in his party's kitty.

Triumph Motorcycles expands the adventure portfolio in India with launch of Tiger XRx & XCx
·         The new Tiger’s to come into India as Completely Knocked Down (CKD) models
·         Extremely competitive pricing starting at INR 10.5 lakh for the XR, INR 11.6 lakh for the XRx and INR 12.7 lakh for the XCx
·         To expand reach in the country with 2 more dealerships

New Delhi, 12th March, 2015: Triumph Motorcycles, who recently celebrated a successful first year in India, introduced two new Tiger 800 models today. Keeping up with their commitment to strengthen the Indian premium motorcycle industry, the Tiger XRx and XRc are sure to take the Indian motorcycle community by a storm. The adventure and on/off-road category has been in need of technically suitable motorcycles. The growing demand in this sector has fuelled the launch of the new Tiger range.

The all new Tiger 800 is a dynamic Adventure motorcycle designed to deliver whatever you want no matter how you ride. On road or off, the new Tiger’s manners, riding position, handling and responsive engine give the rider everything required to enjoy every ride. The new Tiger 800 comes in two guises. The Tiger 800 XRx is more focussed to the world of road riding whereas the Tiger 800 XCx has a more off-road intent.  Both models have high levels of standard equipment. The XRx and XCx bring more technology to the segment offering the rider a range of standard equipment designed to match their purpose.

Vimal Sumbly, Managing Director, Triumph Motorcycles India said, “Triumph Motorcycles has had a dream run in India over the past one year. We are extremely inspired and humbled by the response and enthusiasm from the patrons in the country. Over the last one year, we have seen a growing interest in the adventure category. The Tiger range is among the most revered motorcycles across the world in its category. To address this emerging need in the Indian market, we have launched the Tiger XRx & Tiger XCx. To give an excellent value proposition, the new Tiger’s will be assembled locally through the CKD route in India. Both the Tiger’s boast of rider focused technology, efficient triple engine and are available at attractive prices thereby ensuring that they stand apart. They have been developed to optimize the ride both on and off-road. Whatever be the road, whatever be the distance and whatever be the challenge, the new Tiger 800 range has been built to excel!”

Key Features:
·         Two distinctive models giving greater rider choice
·         Rider focussed technology including standard fit traction control and switchable ABS on all models  delivering  improved rider safety
·         First in class inclusion of cruise control
·         Three riding modes to control throttle response, ABS, and traction control
·         Class leading, second generation, 800cc triple engine producing lower emissions and delivering a 17% increase in fuel efficiency over previous Tiger 800
·         Ride by Wire technology for smoother power delivery and lighter throttle response
·         Improved off road capability with standard fitment of WP Suspension on the XCx
·         New styling, improved ergonomics, and adjustable seat height giving 20mm of adjustability

Triumph Motorcycles India has been riding high on the success of achieving record sales of over 1300 motorcycles in its first year with a pan-India reach with 10 fully operational dealerships. With the launch of these two new Tiger’s the varied portfolio will now boast of 13 internationally acclaimed motorcycles in 5 motorcycling categories. Triumph is also looking to expand its footprint in India, with 2 more dealerships coming up soon.


In a shocking incident, over 30 Dalit and Adivasi students and activists were arrested this afternoon from Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi when they demanded to meet the Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Smriti Irani, over unfair budgetary allocations in education of Dalit and Adivasi students. At the time of the arrest, the delegation, including N Paul Diwakar, well-known Dalit activist and general secretary of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), were about to submit a Memorandum of Demands  to the Minister asking for reallocation of funds. The activists were taken to Parliament Police station where another Dalit activist Beena Pallical was forcefully dragged taken inside the police station.

“How can they arrest us when all we wanted was an audience with Smriti Irani to put forward our Memorandum of Demands? Look at the way they behave with our woman activist! Smriti Irani being a woman herself should have some shame. This is no democratic way of handling people. It is autocratic but we will not bow down because we have the right to raise our voice at government indifference and inaction. We demand that our activists are released immediately and we are given an audience with the Minister to put forth our demands,” said Dr V Ramesh Nathan, General Secretary, National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ).

Earlier, in the day, over 500 students from Delhi, Haryana, UP and Bihar had gathered in Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to protest against the anti-Dalit/Adivasi policies of the present BJP-led government at the Centre.  A public meeting followed by a march by over 30 delegates to the Ministry of Human Resource Development was organized to submit the memorandum to the Minister. The demonstration was organised by the Campaign of Adivasis and Dalits for Rights on Education (CADRE 2201). Various student groups, networks, and CSOs participated in the demonstration.

Rajya Sabha Member Ramdas Athawale participated in the demonstration to boost the morale of the hundreds of Dalit and Adivasi students at the protest.

 “The general thrust of the budget is to strengthen the corporate forces and intensify the exploitation of the Adivasis and Dalits. So it is not surprising that the allocation of funds for education has declined to Rs 10,194.70 crore under the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan (SCSP) and Rs 5,486.44 crore under the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP),” said Abhay Xaxa, Coordinator,  CADRE 2201, earlier at the protest in Jantar Mantar.

“The budgeted expenditure by the Modi government for the most marginalised sections – Dalits and Adivasis -- of our country has seen a colossal decline this year. We strongly protest against this unilateral reduction in budgets for Dalits and Adivasis repeatedly. This year the SCSP has been allocated Rs 30,852 crores and the TSP Rs 19,980 crores though the allocations should have been to the tune of Rs 77235 Crores and Rs 40013.82 crores respectively. We are going to urge the Ministry of Human Resource Development to take immediate steps for restoration of the proper budgetary allocation to education of Dalits and Adivasis,” said Divakar, earlier at the protest in Jantar Mantar.

The objective underlying the SCSP and TSP was to channelise plan funds for the development of SCs/STs, in proportion to their shares in total population, which is 16.6 per cent for SCs and 8.5 per cent for STs. The Union Budget 2015-16 denied a share of 61 per cent to the SCSP and 53% to the TSP. As a result, there is drastic deduction in scholarships and academic support programmes as well. 

In school education, retrogressive allocations are seen in the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Mid Day Meal Scheme, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan.
In higher education, allocation of funds for SCs and STs in IITs, NITs, and IIMs has seen a decline. The Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for SCs,STs has not seen any increase. The critical Post Matric Scholarship Scheme for SCs,STs has been reduced from Rs 1904.78 to Rs 1599.00 crores.

The demands include:
Post-matric, postgraduate,  UGC, postdoctoral and overseas scholarships should be increased by 55 percent
The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment introduces the Savitrbai Pule scholarships on the lines of the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for SCs,STs
 The HRD ministry must introduce a new scheme to build hostels for SC/ST girls with quality infrastructure in all 100 proposed smart cities
The HRD ministry must set up a monitoring committee which will monitor and evaluate all existing scholarship/fellowship schemes for SCs,STs in higher education
SCs,STs pursuing distance education programmes should be exempted from course fees and study material costs
Full tuition waiver from class XI onwards irrespective of family income
A comprehensive national database of SC/ST students should be made available to track and monitor benefit flow

CADRE 2201 is a federation of like-minded student groups, Adivasi and Dalit organizations and activists who are working on the issue of higher education across the country. The Campaign works towards the effective implementation of the SCSP and the TSP, especially in higher education.

For more information, contact:
Dr V Ramesh Nathan
General Secretary, NDMJ  
An Open Letter from Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, to the Volunteers of Aam Aadmi Party (in English)
Dear Friends,
We do know that the events of the past few days have deeply disturbed our volunteers, be they in India or in different parts of the world. The hope and enthusiasm created by the historic win in Delhi has been dampened. Each volunteer – like you – wants to know why this historic win has been followed by such deep differences and disputes. All volunteers want that there should be no rifts and fights at the top. When volunteers hear of differences between the top leadership of the party through TV and newspapers, when they hear allegations and counter allegations, not only do they feel helpless, but they also feel insulted. This is causing us a deep sense of pain and anguish.
Keeping in mind the party’s best interests, as well as the sentiments of volunteers like you, the two of us have not added anything to the list of allegations and counter-allegations made in the last 10 days. We answered some questions that were posed to us, but we ourselves didn’t ask any questions. We repeatedly appealed to our volunteers and supporters that they should maintain their faith in the party, as the party is much bigger than any individuals. We all have our individual shortcomings, and that is the reason we have an organization where we can complement each other’s shortcomings. That is the reason the party is much bigger than any of us, and that is the reason that we have worked with the party till today and shall continue to do so in the future as well.
However, after four of our colleagues (Mr. Manish Sisodia, Mr. Gopal Rai, Mr. Pankaj Gupta and Mr. Sanjay Singh) made a public statement yesterday, we shall have to break our silence with a heavy heart. Wew are now being pushed to respond to the allegations made on both of us. Their statement putting forward the majority opinion in the National Executive was communicated by Aam Aadmi Party’s Media Cell, as well as the official websites, Facebook page and Twitter handles. Now if we remain silent, it would mean that there is some element of truth in the allegations made against us. That is the reason we want to put the whole truth before you.
Before we go any further, we must clarify that in the aforementioned statement, there were some allegations made linking the two of us to Mr. Shanti Bhushan. As it is well known, Mr.Shanti Bhushan made several statements before the Delhi elections that tarnished the image of party and could have had a negative impact on the preparations for the Delhi elections. His statements caused unhappiness and dissatisfaction to the volunteers of this party. On all such occasions, both of us made public statements expressing our disagreement with his opinions and statements. Since both of our opinion is not in agreement with Mr. Shanti Bhushan, we believe that he should address any questions related to these issues, in his own individual capacity.
Another issue that must be clarified and refuted is the allegation being repeatedly made in the past week. It is being said that this entire dispute is regarding the National Convenorship of the party. It has been said that we have been hatching a conspiracy to remove Arvind Bhai from this position and make Yogendra Yadav the National Convenor. The truth is that we have NEVER discussed this in any formal or informal meeting. In the National Executive meeting on 26th February, when there was a proposal on this issue, both of us voted that his resignation must not be accepted and he MUST continue as the National Convenor of the party. Let us assure you that whatever be the differences and disputes between us, the issue of National Convenorship have never been an issue, and never will be.
After realizing this truth, many volunteers have asked, “If the controversy is not over the post of the National Convenor, then what is the dispute about? Why have such deep differences erupted between the leaders of our party?” So far we have maintained a silence on these issues, so that differences remain within the four walls of the party. However, we now feel that till you know the real issues, you will have doubts and uncertainty in your mind. Therefore, we are discussing the main issues that have been the reason for the differences with Arvind Bhai and other colleagues in the past 10 months. We want you to tell us, whether we should have raised these issues or not?
1. Soon after the results of the Lok Sabha elections, Arvind Bhai proposed that we should one again take the support of the Congress and form the government in Delhi. Despite our best efforts to dissuade him, he and some other colleagues remained adamant on this stand. Most MLAs also supported them. However, most volunteers and leaders from Delhi and other parts of the country opposed this strongly, as soon as they heard of this proposition. Some even said that they would have to leave the party if such a move was made. The party had petitioned the High Court asking for dissolution of the Delhi Assembly. As it is, Congress had already been decimated in the Lok Sabha. An alliance with the Congress at this juncture would finish the standing of Aam Aadmi Party. We raised this issue within the party. We urged that such a decision should be taken according to the wishes of the PAC and the National Executive. Despite these requests, a letter was sent to the Lieutenant Governor and an attempt was made to form the government. Such attempts went on right up to the dissolution of the Assembly in November. (Here in this letter we are not disclosing various other confidential details regarding this entire episode in the interests of the party.) Both of us opposed the move to form a government with the Congress, at every party forum. It was on this issue that the deep differences between us began. We leave it up to you to decide whether it was right to have opposed the move of forming a government with the Congress. If we had formed a government with the Congress, would we have been able to win the hearts of the people of Delhi again?
2. Soon after the results of the Lok Sabha elections Mr. Manish Sisodia, Mr. Sanjay Singh and Mr. Ashutosh started putting forward a strange demand. They said that all members of the PAC must take responsibility for the defeat and submit their resignation to Arvind Bhai, who should be allowed to reconstitute a new PAC, according to his wishes and convenience. There was a demand for the dissolution of the National Executive. Both of us, and a few other colleagues opposed this decision. (Yogendra ji’s resignation from the PAC was related to this issue.) If we didn’t oppose such unconstitutional moves, how would we have remained any different from the Congress or the BSP?
3. In the National Executive meeting in June 2014, it was decided that the opinion of the volunteers should be taken regarding the decision to fight elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand and Jammu-Kashmir. After gathering the opinion of volunteers, there was a majority opinion within the National Executive that the decision of whether to fight elections or not should be left up to the State units. However, Arvind Bhai did not agree with the majority opinion. He said that is the party decided to contest elections anywhere, he would not go and campaign. The National Executive thereafter chose to overturn their decision and accept Arvind Bhai’s opinion and decided not to contest any State elections. Today in hindsight it seems that the decision to not contest was advantageous to the party. However, the question still remains as to how such decisions should be taken in the future? Is it not correct to raise the question of autonomy of State units in a party that upholds the ideals of Swaraj?
4. In the month of July when there were rumours of some Muslim MLAs from the Congress joining the BJP, there were some anonymous communal posters put up in Muslim-dominated areas of Delhi. The police alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party had put up these posters. Mr.Dilip Pandey and two other volunteers were accused of putting up this poster and arrested for it. The responsibility for putting up this poster was taken by a volunteer, Mr. Amanatullah and Arvind Bhai demanded his arrest. (Amanatullah was made the Vidhan Sabha incharge and eventually the candidate for Okhla). Yogendra made a public statement that such a poster was against the ideology of Aam Aadmi Party. He also expressed his confidence that our arrested colleagues had no hand in the matter of the communal poster. On the one hand, the party said that they have nothing to do with the poster, but on the other hand this statement by Yogendra was presented as anti-party, and was used to poison the minds of many volunteers against him. Do you think we should have stayed quiet on this issue?

5. Karan Singh was ousted from the party on charges of anti-party activities and for helping form AVAM. He was accused of sending an SMS to party volunteers to leave AAP and join the BJP. However, Karan Singh denied this and sensing foul play on the party's behalf, to sully his image, he approached the party's disciplinary committee headed by Prashant Bhushan to have the matter investigated thoroughly. As the party office bearers did not show much inclination or interest in trying to get to the root of the matter, despite PB demanding a strict investigation, Karan Singh finally approached the police to get the matter investigated independently. It was revealed that another volunteer named Deepak Chaudhary, and not Karan Singh, was responsible for sending out the SMS. However, instead of upholding PB's intent to deliver judicious justice on the party's behalf he too was implicated of supporting AVAM. There is little doubt that later AVAM did indulge in anti-party activities too. But from an ethical viewpoint if a volunteer makes an appeal for a fair investigation should the party's disciplinary committee not live up to that expectation?
6. In the run up to the recent Delhi elections both of us started receiving complaints from party volunteers regarding the credibility and suitability of some of the AAP MLA contestants. Volunteers accused that the party was compromising its principles by making winnability as the main criterion and overlooking the fact that some of the candidates had criminal backgrounds or were hardly any different from the MLA aspirants of other political parties. There were also complaints regarding the sidelining of old party volunteers and that the transparency of candidate selection in local party committees was being compromised. Given the situation both of us urged that detailed information regarding all candidates be shared first with the PAC and later with the people. We suggested that any final decision regarding MLA candidature should only be made after a systematic discussion within the PAC - a requirement that would also help us align with our party's constitution. In trying to uphold the party's principles and standards, we were being perceived as problematic who were creating distractions and diversions from election work. Finally, due to our continued pressure a Lokpal was constituted to investigate the candidature of 12 contestants. Out of these the nomination of 2 got rejected, 4 were cleared and the remaining six were allowed to file nominations with some abiding preconditions. We would like to leave it to the judgement of the volunteers to label our decisions and actions either as anti party or upholding party principles.
It was to uphold the principles of transparency, democracy and swaraj, on which our party was founded, that we raised these above mentioned six issues as well as several other questions. We raised these questions within only within the party and through appropriate platforms. Also, so that these questions do not create diversions or disruption of election activity we waited for the Delhi elections to end and it was only on 26 Feb 2015 in the National Executive meeting that we tabled the following four proposals through our note:
1. A committee be appointed to uphold the core values and principles of the party. In-depth investigation of matters such as the 2 crores funding cheque, distribution of liquor during campaigning, etc. should fall within the ambit of this committee. This would allow our party to articulate a clear stand of such matters and not deliver mere lip-service like other parties.
2. State bodies of the party should have autonomy. Political decisions regarding States should be decentralized and at least the regional units should be able to take decisions regarding respective local body elections.
3. Internal democracy as well as the organizational structure of the party should be upheld and the meeting of the PAC and the National Executive should be held as per schedule and in a systematic manner.
4. The party needs to build mechanisms to be able to represent and respect the opinion of the party volunteers better.
In return for trying to uphold these institutional principles we have been made targets of false allegations and accusations. While our core goal was to safeguard the unity and integrity of our party, and we made every effort towards this, we are now being accused of harming and damaging the party. It is being said that we both were conniving to make the party lose the election, that we were carrying out negative campaigns, that we were interested in wrangling the post of the Convenor and so on among equally hilarious and preposterous claims. The claims are so outrageous and child like that one feels they are best left ignored. That even responding or reacting to them will only bestow a sense of legitimacy and importance to these charges, which they are of course not worth. But, since these charges have been raised repeatedly, we think it is worthwhile to respond to them and clear the questions and doubts that have been perhaps surfacing in your minds and to clear the facts.
Allegations have been made that Prashant Bhushan was aiding activities that would lead to the party's defeat in Delhi. The facts and issues around candidate selection have been enumerated above. Prashant was visibly upset with the manner in which candidates had been chosen. Prashant was deeply against the party compromising any of its core principles to ensure winnability in the elections and he continues to believe that this will ultimately be the cause of the party's demise. According to him to be a principled party was more important than gaining a majority in the short term. He was also worried that if the party fell short or just above the majority mandate by a few seats, the candidates with questionable backgrounds might try and blackmail the party and the party might even fall prey to political horse-trading. To label Prashant Bhushan's intentions and reasonable insecurities and doubts within the party and call them instead as efforts damaging the chances of the party's victory is a severe case of misrepresentation.
How Yogendra has harmed the party has not been made explicit in the accusations. As most volunteers know Yogendra held between 80-100 jansabhas during the course of this recent election, addressed the media everyday, conducted poll surveys and predicted the thumping victory of the party, and connected with volunteers over phone and google-hangouts.
Another charge being levied against Prashant Bhushan is that he blackmailed the party that he would hold a press conference to make public the issue of the credibility of the AAP candidates and the process of their nomination. It is true that Prashant Bhuashan was quite upset with the issue of candidate selection. To address his concerns, Yogendra Yadav and fifteen other eminent party members held a three day long meeting at the residence of Prashant Bhushan. It was unanimously decided that suspicious candidatures will be duly investigated by the internal Lokpal and the decision of the Lokpal will be final. And as per this decision, we abided with the decision of the Lokpal and accepted it. Instead of treating these internal voices as voices of dissent, should we not instead feel proud that we are perhaps the first party in the country which is trying to uphold the principle of transparency even in the manner in which it selects its candidates?
In this spate of accusation, yet another one is that in a breakfast meeting in Chandigarh Yogendra told correspondents of 'The Hindu' that while deciding about the Haryana Assembly elections the decision of the National Executive was sidelined. This accusation was made by a woman journalist over a telephonic conversation which was covertly recorded by an AAP volunteer. However, when this accusation came into the public fold, Shri SP Singh - an eminent correspondent - who was also present at the same breakfast meeting, clarified that no such information was given by Yogendra as was mentioned by the woman journalist. In fact had such information been shared, there is little reason why the other correspondents present at that breakfast meeting would have not published it. SP Singh's article can be read at It is also being said that during the Delhi elections Yogendra shared further damaging information with other journalists. If these charges have any merit and any truth then why are the names of these journalists and correspondents not being shared with the public?
Another allegation made against us is that Prashant and Yogendra supported the group called, AVAM. As has been mentioned earlier that in the capacity as the Chairperson of the National Disciplinary Committee, Prashant requested for a fair investigation in the matter. How can the role of a ‘judge’ be called indiscipline? No evidence has been produced against Yogendra on this count. In fact, AVAM actually wrote an email and accused Yogendra, to which he had publicly replied. And when AVAM attacked the party one week before the elections, it was Yogendra who played a prominent role in defending the party publicly.
However, since these allegations have been made, it is necessary to have an investigation. The constitution of the party says that any allegation made against a National Executive member can be investigated by the Lokpal of the party. Both of us are requesting the Lokpal to investigate the allegations made against us by our four colleagues. If the Lokpal finds us gulty, we would accept any disciplinary action taken against us. What we don’t understand is why the investigation is not being carried out as per the constitution, and allegations are only being leveled in the media.
Friends, this is a moment of grave crisis for the party, as also an opportunity. After such a historic win, it is an opportunity for historic achievements. This is not the moment for getting caught in quibbling and arguments. The dispute in the past few weeks have benefitted some vested interests and damaged and weakened the party. The way out of this is to put all the facts before the volunteers of the party. This party has been created by the sweat and blood of our volunteers. It is the volunteers who will have to decide what is right, and what is wrong. We came into politics with the dream of truth and honesty. You will have to decide whether the two of us have compromised with the ideals of truth, honesty and swaraj?
To reach all of you, we are sharing this letter with the media. We hope that our minority opinion will be respected and our letter would be shared, just as the letter of our four party colleagues was shared. But we don’t want to fuel the public spectacle that this dispute has become in the media. We don’t want the party to suffer further damage to its image. Therefore, after releasing this letter, we are going to maintain silence. We appeal to all colleagues in the party to maintain this silence so that wounds can be healed, and there can be an opportunity for constructive thinking.
Friends, Arvind Bhai is in Bengaluru to improve his state of health. We too are extremely concerned about his state of health. Today Arvind is not only the uncontested leader of Aam Aadmi Party but also the symbol of honest politics in this country. All volunteers of this party want that he regain his good health and return with renewed energy to fulfill his responsibilities to the people of Delhi and the country. We are confident that on his return Arvind Bhai will find a resolution to this deadlock that will save the soul and the unity of this party. We want to assure all of you that the two of us will cooperate in every possible way to keep the party together, without compromising on its ideals and principles. So far we have welcomes any efforts at mediation, and shall continue to welcome them. Whatever happens, we will not let our egos come in the way of any solution. Our holding any posts and positions is not of any relevance. All we want is that party should stay true to its ideals and remain connected to the dreams of lakhs of volunteers. Both of us shall continue to remain within the party, and work according to its principles and discipline.
Prashant Bhushan (
Yogendra Yadav (

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