Sunday, November 1, 2015

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese PM Li Keqiang and South Korean President Park Geun-hye agreed to continue work on creating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade zone that would bring together countries with populations totaling 3.4 billion people. The trilateral summit in the Korean capital was the first since 2012 and was touted as reconciliatory. The three nations had a falling out due to differences on historic issues and territorial disputes between them.
57% polling reported in Bihar 4th Phase Assembly Elections
Nov 1,  6:33 PM

In Bihar, polling for the fourth phase passed off peacefully barring sporadic incidents. 57.59 percent voting was registered during today’s poll. Maximum 59.96 voting was recoded in East Champaran. West Champaran 59.17 percent, Sheohar 56.05, Sitamarhi 56.09, Muzaffarpur 56.83, Gopalganj 58.90 and Siwan 54.31 percent voting has been registered.

Additional Chief Electoral officer R Lakshmanan said a report has been sought from Sheohar DM regarding clash between police and voters at booth number 50 of the district. Fifth and final phase phase of polling will be on November 05 and counting of votes will be on November 08.


Swiss pilot Kuffer wins AAI Paragliding World Cup ahead of legends

​Bir Billing, October 31, 2015​
Swiss pilot, Michael Kuffer finished a close second in the final Task on Saturday but emerged as the overall champion of the AAI Paragliding World Cup here in Bir Billing. The 26-year-old Kuffer finished a mere 14 seconds behind Mexican Manuel Quintanilla but his steady performances in the earlier tasks ensured the overall honours.
The women’s overall crown was claimed by Japan’s Yuki Sato. Sato was second in the final task, which was won by the legendary Polish pilot Klaudia Bulgakow.
It was Kuffer’s first World Cup win and the young pilot from the German-speaking area in Switzerland was overjoyed with his success. His best finish in a World Cup prior to this win was a third place finish in his home country Switzerland, as he was third at Dissentis World Cup earlier this year.
Enroute to his win in the AAI Paragliding World Cup, he beat the in-form Xevi Bonet of Spain, legendary French pilots, Julien Wirtz and Maxime Pinot, both former World Number 1s, and Slovenia’s Jurij Vidic, another former World No. 1.
Kuffer did not win each of the Tasks. He was ninth in Task 1, second in Task 2, 28th in Task 3 and 16th in Task 4 and capped it with a second place in Task 5.
The prizes, which included a customised 18-inch Winged Trophy, was presented to the winners by Mr. Sudhir Sharma, Minister of Urban Development and Town Country Planning and President of the Billing Paragliding Association.Also present at the Closing ceremony and the prize distribution were Mr. R K Srivastava, Chairman of the Airport Authority of India and Mr. Rajesh Srivastava, Senior Vice President of BPA.
Speaking about his win, Kuffer said, “I am overjoyed and I am going to celebrate this success with a relaxed week and I am going to see some more places around.”
Kuffer, who divides his time between studying Business Administration and taking tourists on Tandem flights in Interlaken, Switzerland added, “I have loved India, its food and the people. Bir Billing is a magnificent place and it just the kind of a place a Para gliding pilot would dream about,” said Kuffer, who was lying second overall after the penultimate task on Friday, completed his final task of  75.33 k in two hours, 29 minutes 42 seconds, which was just 14 seconds after Quintanilla touched down in 2:29:28. The Mexican, however was ninth overall.
Xevi Bonet Dalmau of Spain, who was the overall leader till Friday evening, ultimately ended second, while former World No. 1 and legendary Frenchman Julien Wirtz, who was fourth in the final task was third overall.
Another Frenchman Maxime Pinot and Slovenia’s Jurij Vidic ended fourth and fifth overall. Pinot was third in the final task and Vidic was sixth.
Among the Indians, Ajay Kumar was the best in 31st place overall, while Gurpreet Dhindsa was 63rd and Arvind Paul 70th.
The weather on the final day was clear and quite warm at times giving the pilots a good chance for a final shot at the AAI Paragliding World Cup. Task 5 on the final day of the weeklong AAI Paragliding World Cup was set a distance of 75.33 km and it ended just as the clouds began threatening to engulf the sun over Bir Billing, which till then had been bright and warm. 
Brief profile of Michael Kuffer
 Michael Kuffer, born on September 21, 1989, was ranked inside the Top-10 of the world around this time last year. He came into the competition at No. 33 bit this win will now enable him to make a bid to get back into the elite zone.
After finishing second in the Swiss Cup and fourth in British Open in 2011, he won the Swiss Cup the following year and logged his first Top-10 with a sixth place at the 2012 World Cup in Macedonia. In 2013 he was 13th at the World Cup in France and last year was a breakthrough of sorts with second place at the Pre-World Cup in Dissentis, Switzerland and fourth at the World Cup in Mexico. This year Kuffer third at the World Cup in Dissentis.
The young Swiss pilot, who turned 26 in September, continues to straddles his degree in Business Administration with Paragliding. In his free time he also works as a Tandem Pilot in Switzerland and got into serious flying only in 2006 and made his debut at an international event in 2009.
Like most Pilots in paragliding, he loves other adventures sports like skiing, hiking, climbing and sailing.
Results 
Overall MEN
1.       Michael Küffer (SWITZ)                         3266 points
2.       Xevi Bonet Dalmau (SPAIN)                  3257
3.       Julien Wirtz (FRA)                                 3254
4.       Maxime Pinot (FRA)                              3245
5.       Jurij Vidic (SLOVENIA)                          3222

MEN - TASK 5
1.      Manuel Quintanilla (Mex)                         1000 points
2.       Michael Küffer (SWITZ)                      985
3.       Maxime Pinot (FRA)                                 977
4.       Julien Wirtz (FRA)                                    974
5.       Jurij Vidic (SVN)                                       973
Indians
31.      Ajay Kumar                                           2703 points
63.      Gurpreet Dhindsa                                 2223
70.      Arvind Paul                                           2169
Overall women
1.       Yuki Sato (JPN)                                     2425 points
2.       Petra Slivova (CZE)                              2173
3.       Yael Margelisch (CHE)                         1907
Women Task 5
1.       Klaudia Bulgakow (POL)                       522 points
2.       Yuki Sato (JPN)                                     519
3.       Petra Slivova (CZE)                               518
Nations:
1.    France
2.    United Kingdom
3.    Slovenia
12. India
Winners of the each Tasks:
Task 1: 97.6 km;       Winner: Maxime Pinot (FRA)
Task 2: 74.7 km        Winner: Xevi Bonet Dalmau (ESP)
Task 3: 96.3 km        Winner: Julien Wirtz (FRA)
Task 4: 93.8 km        Winner: Julien Brung (FRA)
Task 5: 75.2 km        Winner: Manuel Quintanilla (Mexico)

Note: There were no Tasks on Day 1 and Day 2, because of inclement weather and Task 4 was curtailed from the original 93.8 km and was called off with the leader having covered just over 34 km.

About Billing Paragliding Association
The Billing Paragliding Association formed in 2006 had successfully organised the Pre-World Cup of Paragliding at the same venue in 2013 to test the waters with extremely encouraging results and great response, which paved the way for the World Cup to be brought here.
The BPA is the only organization recognised by Aero Club of India, which in turn is the only body recognised by Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the governing world body for air sports, and the Paragliding World Cup Association (PWCA). The FAI was formed in 1905.
As a competitive sport, Paragliding has already featured in some Games like the South-East Asian Games and the Asian Beach Games. Paragliding was also short-listed in the initial list of new events for the 2020 Olympics, but will now be considered for the 2024 Olympic Games.
 About Bir Billing
Bir Billing is considered the second best paragliding spot in the world and steps have been taken to develop infrastructure of international standards for the championship. The take-off and landing areas are being completely redone, and state-of-the-art facilities are being built for the paragliders, officials and spectators alike.

About Airports Authority of India
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the Title Sponsors and will actively promote the sport and the event through various avenues and platforms to be announced soon. The AAI has also taken up the task of promoting Adventure Sports and help build an additional avenue for Tourism.
About 130 of the best paragliders, including those in World’s Top-5, from over 40 countries are set to participate in the championship, which will put India firmly on the global paragliding map.
During the week-long tournament, the edge of competitive sport during the day will give way for some fun and frolic in the evenings, with specially-themed programmes being planned for each evening. The gala opening and the closing ceremonies promise to be extravaganzas, adding their own colour to the World Cup.

Michael Kuffer Photograph Courtesy - The Outdoor Journal / Billing Paragliding Association (BPA) 

Criminal background of fifth phase of Bihar assembly elections

ADR have analysed the self-sworn affidavits of all 827 candidates who are contesting in thefifth phase of Bihar assembly elections, 2015.

Criminal background

·        
Candidates with criminal cases: Out of all the 827 candidates, 254 (31%) candidateshave declared criminal cases against themselves.
·         Candidates with serious criminal cases: 193 (23%) candidates have declared serious criminal cases including cases related to murder, attempt to murder, communal disharmony, kidnapping, crimes against women etc.
·         Candidates with cases related to murder15 candidates have declared cases related to murder (Indian Penal Code Section-302)Mahboob Alam of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation
(CPI (ML)(L)) 
from Balrampur constituency has declared 3 charges related to murderagainst himself.
Laxmi Narayan Mehta of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) from Forbesganj constituency and Shankar Singh, an Independent candidate fromRupauli constituency, have each declared 2 charges related to murder in their respective affidavits. In total, candidate of 
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)1 of CPI (ML)(L), 1 candidate of Communist Party of India (CPI), 2 fielded by Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)), candidate ofLok Janshakti Party (LJP)candidate of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), 2 candidate ofIndian Union Muslim League (IUML), candidate fielded by Shiv Sena (SHS), and 3 Independent candidates have declared cases related to murder in their affidavits.
·         Candidates with cases related to attempt to murder: 48 candidates have declared cases of attempt to murder (IPC Section-307)Chandan Singh of LJP fromAlamnagar constituency and Sanjay Paswan of Garib Janata Dal (Secular) fromHarlakhi constituency have each declared 6charges related to attempt to murder in his affidavit. Shankar Singh, an Independent candidate from Rupauli constituency, andMahboob Alam of CPI (ML)(L) from Balrampur constituency have each declared 5charges related to attempt to murder against themselves. In total, candidates ofBharatiya Janata Party (BJP)5 of CPI (ML)(L), 2 candidates of JD(U), candidates fielded by IUML, 2 candidate of the National Janata Party (Indian), 3candidates of CPI, 2candidates of CPI(M) , 2 candidates of Samajwadi Party (SP), 1 candidate of LJP, 7candidates fielded by Jan Adhikar Party(Loktantrik), 1 candidates of Garib Janata Dal (Secular), 1 fielded by Samras Samaj Party, 1 candidate SHS, 1 candidate of Janta DalRashtravadi, 5 candidate of BSP, candidate of NCP, candidate of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and 6 Independent candidates have declared cases related to attempt to murder in their affidavits.
·         Candidates with cases related to crimes against women: 16 candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women. Gulab Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) from Jhanjharpur constituency and Jahur Alam, also a candidate of RJD fromSupaul constituency along with Sushil Mishra of CPI(ML)(L) from Jale constituency have each declared 1 charge relating to rape (IPC Section-376).
·         Candidates with cases related to causing communal disharmony: 3candidates have declared cases relating to causing communal disharmony. Saba Zafar, a candidate fielded by BJP from Amour constituency and Ram Kumar Yadav of SP fromPhulparas constituency have declared 1charge each related to promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony (IPC Section-153A). Ashok Kumar Yadav of BJP from Keoti constituency has declared a charge related to Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class (IPC Section-295).
·         Candidates with cases related to robbery and dacoity: candidates have declared cases related to robbery and dacoity. Hira Nand Mandalof Rashtriya Jankranti Party from Bahadurganj constituency has declared offences related torobbery and dacoity, which include charge related tomaking preparation to commit dacoity (IPC Section-399), 1 charge related to assembling for purpose of committing dacoity (IPC Section – 402)and 1 charge related to dacoity (IPC Section-395).
·         Candidates with cases related to kidnapping: 13 candidates have declared cases related to kidnapping.  Purshottam Jha, an Independentcandidate fromKhajauli constituency, has disclosed 1 charge each related to kidnapping (IPC Section-363), kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person (IPC Section-365)kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc. (IPC Section-366) wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement, kidnapped or abducted person (IPC Section-368) against himselfShankar Singh, an Independentcandidate from Rupauli constituency has declared charges related to kidnapping for ransom, etc. (IPC Section-364A)1charge related kidnapping or abducting in order to murder (IPC Section-364) and offence related to wrongfully concealing or keeping in confinement, kidnapped or abducted person (IPC Section-368).
·         Party wise candidates with criminal cases: 21 (55%) out of 38 candidates from BJP, 11 (55%) out of 20 candidates from CPI16 (29%) out of 55 candidates fromBSP13 (52%) out of 25 candidates fielded by JD(U), 12 (46%) out of 26 candidates fromSP, 10 (50%) out of 20 candidates of RJD, 7 (58%) out of 12 candidates fielded by INC, 21 (53%) out of 40 candidates of JAP(L), 12 (52%) out of 23 candidates of the CPI(ML)(L), 9 (69%) out of 13 candidates of CPI(M) and 55 (21%) out of 262 Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
·         Party wise Candidates with serious criminal cases 15 (39%) out of 38 candidates from BJP, 9 (45%) out of 20 candidates from CPI13 (24%) out of 55 candidates from BSP(28%) out of 25 candidates fielded by JD(U), 10 (38%) out of 26 candidates from SP, 6 (30%) out of 20 candidates ofRJD, 3 (25%) out of 12 candidates fielded by INC, 17 (43%) out of 40 candidates of JAP(L), 8 (35%) out of 23 candidates of the CPI(ML)(L), 7 (54%) out of 13 candidates of CPI(M) and 43 (16%) out of 262Independent candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
·         Red Alert constituencies*: 47 (82%) out of the total 57 constituencies in the fifth phase of Bihar assembly elections have 3 or more candidates with declared criminal cases. Constituencies of Jhanjharpur, Kishanganj, Balrampur, Bisfi andRupauli with candidates have the highest number of candidates who have self-declared criminal cases against themselves.
*Red Alert Constituencies are those which have 3 or more candidates with criminal cases contesting elections.

Financial background

·         Share of wealth among candidates : The share of wealth amongst the candidates contesting in the fifth phase of assembly elections in Bihar is as follows:
Value of assets (Rs)
Number of candidates
Percentage of candidates
10 crores and above
8
0.97%
5 crores to 10 crores
17
2.06%
1 crore to 5 crores
157
18.98%
50 lakhs to 1 crore
126
15.24%
less than 50 lakhs
519
62.76%
Table: Share of wealth amongst contesting candidates
·         High asset candidates*:  The 3 richest candidates contesting in the fifth phase of assembly elections in Bihar are given below:
S.No.
Name
District
Constituency
Party Name
Movable Assets (Rs)
Immovable Assets (Rs)
Total Assets (Rs)
PAN Given
1
Araria
Araria
IND
1,06,86,017*
22,61,65,000*
23,68,51,017
23 Crore+
Y
2
Darbhanga
Benipur
JD(U)
12,18,13,591
2,05,00,000
14,23,13,591
14 Crore+
Y
3
Darbhanga
Jale
SP
73,42,000*
13,12,00,000
13,85,42,000
13 Crore+
Y
Table: Top three candidates with highest declared assets
*Total Assets includes income of self, spouse and dependents.
* on assets value indicates that the candidate has not provided the total in their affidavits, it has been calculated on the basis of details provided by them in the same
·         Party wise crorepati candidates: 24 (63%) out of 38 candidates from BJP, 5 (25%) out of 20 candidates from CPI18 (72%) out of 25 candidates fielded by JD(U), 10 (38%) out of 26 candidates from SP, 12 (60%) out of 20 candidates of RJD, 5 (42%) out of 12 candidates fielded by INC, 9 (81%) out of 11 candidates of LJP and 49 (19%) out of262 Independent candidates have declared assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore.
·         Average assets: The average of assets per candidate contesting in the fifth phase of Bihar assembly elections is Rs 85.82 lakhs.
·         Party wise average assets: Among major parties, the average assets per candidate for 38 BJP candidates is Rs 2.29 crores20 CPI candidates have average assets of Rs 55 lakhs, 25 JD(U) candidates have average assets worth of Rs 2.16 crores, 12 INC candidates have average assets worth Rs 1.61 crores20 RJD candidates have average assets worth of Rs 3.13 crores, average assets of 26 SP candidates areRs 1.89 crores, average assets of 11 LJPcandidates are Rs 3.06 crores and 262 Independent candidates have average assets of Rs. 70 lakhs.
·         Low asset candidates:  candidates out of all the 827 candidates, Ram Lakhan Ram of Bhartiya Jagaran Party from Benipatti constituency andZahoor Alam, an Independent candidate from Katihar constituency, have declared zero assets in their affidavits. The three candidates with lowest assets excluding the ones with zero assets are as follows:
S.No.
Name
District
Constituency
Party Name
Movable Assets (Rs)
Immovable Assets (Rs)
Total Assets (Rs)
PAN Given
1
Araria
Sikti
Janta Dal Rashtravadi
600
0
600
6 Hund+
N
2
Supaul
Triveniganj (Sc)
BSP
4,000
0
4,000
4 Thou+
Y
3
Araria
Jokihat
Bharat Nirman Party
5,200
0
5,200
5 Thou+
N
Table: Candidates with declared lowest assets

·         Candidates with high liabilities: The top three candidates with highest liabilities are as given below;
S.No.
Name
District
Constituency
Party Name
Movable Assets (Rs)
Immovable Assets (Rs)
Total Assets(Rs)
Liabilities (Rs)
PAN Given
1
Kishanganj
Kishanganj
BSP
19,47,993
19 Lacs+
4,25,40,000
4 Crore+
4,44,87,993
4 Crore+
2,67,00,000
2 Crore+
Y
2
Darbhanga
Benipur
JD(U)
12,18,13,591
12 Crore+
2,05,00,000
2 Crore+
14,23,13,591
14 Crore+
2,60,04,591
2 Crore+
Y
3
Araria
Araria
LJP
11,53,93,419
11 Crore+
2,05,00,000
2 Crore+
13,58,93,419
13 Crore+
1,76,51,103
1 Crore+
Y
Table: Top three candidates with high liabilities

·         Undeclared PAN:  A total of 366 (44%) candidates have not declared their PAN details.
·         Crorepati candidates with no PAN: 21 candidates with total assets worth more than Rs. 1 crore have not declared PAN details. The top candidates with high assets who have not disclosed their PAN details in their affidavits are as given below;
S.No.
Name
District
Constituency
Party Name
Movable Assets (Rs)
Immovable Assets (Rs)
Total Assets (Rs)
1
Purnia
Rupauli
IND
86,40,435
5,32,00,000
6,18,40,435
6 Crore+
2
Araria
Forbesganj
NCP
8,47,000*
4,71,57,000
4,80,04,000
4 Crore+
3
Saharsa
Saharsa
RJD
12,06,798
3,12,82,080
3,24,88,878
3 Crore+
Table:  Top three high asset candidates without PAN
* on assets value indicates that the candidate has not provided the total in their affidavits, it has been calculated on the basis of details provided by them in the same

·         Candidates with high income as declared in the ITR*: 3 candidates have declared total annual income of more than Rs 1 crore. These candidates are as given below:
S.No.
Name
Party Name
District
Constituency
Total Asset (Rs)
The financial year for which the last income tax return has been filed by candidate
Total income shown by candidate in ITR (Self+Spouse+Dependent) (Rs)
Self income shown by candidate in ITR (Rs)
1
JD(U)
Darbhanga
Benipur
14,23,13,591
14 Crore+
2014-2015
5,32,19,753
5 Crore+
4,92,55,237
4 Crore+
2
BJP
Kishanganj
Kishanganj
10,26,81,534
10 Crore+
2014-2015
1,62,72,738
1 Crore+
82,06,221
82 Lacs+
3
SP
Darbhanga
Jale
13,85,42,000
13 Crore+
2014-2015
1,01,60,350
1 Crore+
98,60,350
98 Lacs+
Table: Candidates with high income as declared in ITR
*Total income includes income of self, spouse and dependents

·         Candidates who have not declared Income Tax Details*: 569 (69%) out of 827 candidates have not declared income tax details.
* Some candidates may be exempted from filing Income Tax Returns

·         Candidates with high Assets who have not declared Income Tax Details*: 51candidates with assets worth more than Rs 1 crore have not declared Income Tax details. The top three candidates with highest assets who have not declared their IT returns are as given below;
S.No.
Name
District
Constituency
Party Name
Total Income (Rs)
Movable Assets (Rs)
Immovable Assets (Rs)
Total Assets (Rs)
PAN Given
1
Araria
Araria
IND
0
1,06,86,017*
22,61,65,000*
23,68,51,017
23 Crore+
Y
2
Saharsa
Saharsa
Jan Adhikar Party (Loktantrik)
0
41,30,000
6,87,00,000
7,28,30,000
 7 Crore+
Y
3
Purnia
Rupauli
IND
0
86,40,435
5,32,00,000
6,18,40,435
6 Crore+
N
Table: Top three candidates with highest assets who have not declared ITR details
* on assets value indicates that the candidate has not provided the total in their affidavits, it has been calculated on the basis of details provided by them in the same
* Some candidates may be exempted from filing Income Tax Returns

 Other background details
·         Education details of candidates: 395 (48%) candidates have declared their education qualification to be between 5th pass and 12th pass while 315 (38%) candidates have declared having an educational qualification of graduate or above100 candidates have declared themselves to be simple literates andcandidates has declared to be anilliterate.
·         Age details of candidates: 571 (69%) candidates have declared their age to be between 25 and 50 years while 253 (31%) candidates have declared their age to be between 51 and 80 years. While candidate has disclosed to be older than 80 years of age, 2 candidates have not disclosed their age details.
·         Gender details of candidates: 59 (7%) female candidates are contesting in thefifth phase of Bihar assembly elections this year.
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