Monday, December 28, 2015

Start-up India, Stand-up India' to be unveiled on Jan 16: PM
Dec 28
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, the Action Plan of the 'Start-up India, Stand-up India' will be unveiled on the 16th of next month. In his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' programme on All India Radio, Mr Modi urged the states to help spread this campaign across the country's nook and corner. He said, the programme will be designed to suit Indian conditions and focus would be on ensuring benefits for the youth from the lowest strata of the society.

The Prime Minister also expressed satisfaction over the successful implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer scheme.

Rescuers in northern Myanmar call-off their search for workers

Dec 28
Rescuers in northern Myanmar called-off their search for workers feared buried in a jade mine landslide, with no missing people or bodies recovered. A wall of rocks, mud and debris careered down a hillside on Friday afternoon at Hpakant in Kachin state, the war torn area that is the epicentre of Myanmar’s secretive multi-billion dollar jade industry. Locals reported as many as 50 people might have been buried. However officials said, only three men had been reported missing. Sunday, a police officer in Hpakant said rescue efforts were called-off because the risk of further landslides was too great.
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

December 28th, 2015 | Volume: 1 – 19/12
President Ghani and PM Modi inaugurate new Afghan parliament building
Khaama Press | 25th December
The Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the newly-built Afghan parliament building. President Ghani and PM Modi took a tour of the parliament building and arrived at the main session hall in the presence of the guests including Afghan parliament members. Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament (Wolesi Jirga) Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi thanked the government of India and the Indian people for the gift of the new parliament building.
President Ghani hails India for the delivery of three Mi-25 gunships
Khaama Press | 25th December
The Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani hailed India for the delivery of three Mi-25 gunship helicopters, calling it a major step towards the stability of Afghanistan as India is having a major contribution in the reconstruction of the country.
Gen. Raheel Meets Afghan Leaders, Discusses Bilateral Ties, Terrorism
Tolo News / Daily Outlook Afghanistan | 28th December
Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif on Sunday held talks with President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah on bilateral cooperation between the two countries, counter terrorism and peace in Afghanistan. According to a source close to Ghani, the president and Sharif reportedly discussed three issues – Afghanistan-Pakistan security, peace talks and counter terrorism initiatives.
Ghani-Erdogan Discuss Afghanistan, War on Terror, Bilateral Ties
Tolonews | Daily Outlook Afghanistan | 26th December
President Ashraf Ghani has said that regional efforts must be stepped up to counter ongoing insurgency and terrorism in the region, after holding talks with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on Thursday. He said a stable Afghanistan was in the interests of regional peace and stability. Meanwhile, Turkish president Erdogan has warned the international community against repeating mistakes in Afghanistan, calling on the world to remain involved in Afghanistan and to not push the war-hit country to the sidelines.

Khaleda Zia sued for sedition
The Daily Star | 28th December
A Dhaka court yesterday ordered an investigation into a sedition charge filed against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for her comments on the number of 1971 martyrs. The court also asked officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station to take legal action against Khaleda after probing the matter.
Eight including former Jamaat MP charged with war crimes
Bdnews 24 | 27th December
The Investigating Agency of the International Crimes Tribunal have finalised charges against eight persons, including former Jamaat-e-Islami MP Abu Saleh Mohammad Abdul Aziz Mia aka Ghoramarha Aziz. They have been charged with genocide, murder, illegal confinement, loot, arson, torture and other heinous crimes during the Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971.
World Bank to finance Siddhirganj power project
The Financial Express | 27th December
Bangladesh on Sunday signed a $177 million additional financing agreement with International Development Association (IDA) to complete the ongoing construction of a 335-megawatt combined cycle power plant in Siddhirganj, near Dhaka city. The power plant will account for 6.0 per cent of the total electricity delivered to the national grid.

Conference calls for better political finance regulation
KUENSEL | 26th December
Countries, including Bhutan, should formulate political finance regulations to curb abuse of money power in electoral frays and provide a level playing field for political parties and candidates. This recommendation was the culmination of a two-day regional conference on “The Use of Money in Politics and Its Effects on People’s Representation” held last week in New Delhi, India.
Asian Development Bank likely to fund Amochhu land reclamation
KUENSEL | 26th December
Amochhu Land Reclamation and Township Project (ALRT) in Phuentsholing could begin by 2017. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has shown special interest on the project.
Maldives minister claims drop in serious crimes
Haveeru Online | 28th December
President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s government has brought peace and stability to the streets of the archipelago where the country has witnessed a drop in serious crimes, home minister Umar Naseer said Sunday.
Police denies dropping suspicions against Adheeb in the Presidential Launch explosion
Sun Online | 27th December
Refuting lawyer Shameem’s statement about Adheeb being cleared of suspicion in the explosion, Police said that they have not informed anyone that any change has come to the suspicions against the former Vice President and that they are still investigating the Presidential Launch explosion.

Suu Kyi Thanks Trishaw Drivers for Election Support in Rangoon
The Irrawaddy | 26th December
Top leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD), including Aung San Suu Kyi, met with around 170 trishaw drivers in Rangoon on Saturday to convey the party’s appreciation for their support during the election campaign. Suu Kyi praised the drivers’ spirited backing during the party’s ultimately successful election campaign, during which trishaw drivers, many sporting NLD flags or other party paraphernalia, were a ubiquitous presence on the streets of the commercial capital and at various political rallies.
88 Gen calls on Thai PM for justice over ‘death row’ Myanmar migrant workers
Mizzima | 26th December
A Myanmar NGO has written a letter to Thailand’s prime minister to call for justice and a review of the case of two Myanmar migrant workers who have been sentenced to death for the murder of two British tourists on Koh Tao island. Min Ko Naing, writing on behalf of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, has called on Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha to review the case and the verdict.

Govt fails to sign fuel deal with China
The Himalayan Times | 28th December
The much-awaited Nepal-China petroleum trade deal could not be signed at the government-level during the official visit of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Thapa to Beijing last week, as the Chinese authorities failed to decide on Nepal’s proposal to waive tax on fuel export.
Writ at SC against govt decision to increase ministries
The Kathmandu Post | 27th December
The Supreme Court has been asked to reverse the KP Oli-led government’s decision to increase the number of ministries in the country. Advocate Kanchan Krishna Neupane on Sunday filed a writ at the SC and sought its wisdom on government’s decision of December 24, citing it is against the constitution.
Islamabad, Kabul agree upon steps for Taliban talks
DAWN | 28th December
Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed on Sunday to take first formal steps towards the resumption of reconciliation talks between the Afghan government and Taliban by convening a meeting in the first week of next month under the recently formed ‘quadrilateral framework’ that also involves China and the United States.
Indian PM Modi makes surprise visit to Pakistan 
Reuters / The News | 25th December
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise stopover in Pakistan on Friday to meet his counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, the first time an Indian premier has visited in over a decade. Pakistan’s PM House spokesman said the two leaders discussed a range of bilateral issues.
Next Nawaz-Modi meeting likely in Washington
The News | 27th December
The next meeting of Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi is expected to be held in Washington, as US president Barack Obama has invited both the leaders to the Nuclear Security Summit scheduled for March 31-April 4.

Sri Lankan Parliament to convene as a Constitutional Assembly on January 9
Colombo Page | 27th December
Sri Lanka’s parliament will function as a Constituent Assembly when it reconvenes in the new year after the holidays on January 9, according to report in the state-run English weekly Sunday Observer.
Sri Lanka to bring a law to introduce a National Minimum Wage for private sector
Colombo Page | 26th December
The Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting approved a proposal put forward by the Acting Minister of Labor and Trade Union Relations Ravindra Samaraweera to obtain the approval for the Bill prepared by the Legal Draftsman regarding the introduction of a national minimum wage for private sector employees.
Nawaz Sharif to visit SL next month
Daily Mirror | 27th December
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will visit Sri Lanka next month during which the two sides will sign several agreements including a pact on combating money laundering and terrorism financing, officials said.

AAP response on BJP’s lies about DDCA probe panel report

More than five weeks after the Delhi government’s three-member committee report into the DDCA irregularities was put in public domain, the BJP and Mr Arun Jaitley have finally found time to read it and misinterpret its findings through active connivance from sections of the media.
It is being fed to the media that the Delhi government’s probe report did not mention the name of union Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley, and the BJP is trying to falsely project that the report gives him a clean chit.
Let us look at the facts to call the bluff of the BJP and Mr Jaitley :
  • The terms of reference of this report was to (i) look into summary of irregularities/wrongdoings of the DDCA & (ii) Suggestions for revamping the DDCA to promote Cricket in Delhi.
  • The committee was asked by the Delhi government to submit its report within a definite time-frame.
  • The report submitted to Delhi government on November 17, recommended the following :
On the basis of these recommendations, the Delhi government has already set-up a Commission of Inquiry to probe the large-scale financial fraud and irregularities in the DDCA, which Mr Jaitley and his party are trying to scuttle.
  • Will the BJP and Mr Jaitley answer the question who headed the DDCA between 1999 and 2013 ?
  • Why are the BJP and Mr Jaitley afraid to face the Commission of Inquiry ?
  • Why are contents of the report made public on November 17being misinterpreted to mislead the country ?
  • Is Mr Jaitley trying to say that the report whose mandate was to recommend further action did not indict him, therefore his cronies and associates should be probed and not him ?
AAP condemns the attempts to divert attention from the DDCA corruption through a series of lies and half truths.
AAP Media Cell

I need your help, Naresh –

Before the end of the year:
Naresh —
I hope you got to enjoy some time off this weekend (I was so happy to see Bill, Chelsea, Marc, and especially Charlotte!), but now it’s time to get back to work: We’re just four days away from the biggest fundraising deadline yet of this campaign.
This is about more than money. It’s about showing the world how strong we are, that you and other folks from your area and New York and all over the country are standing together as part of this team.
I can’t do this without you. If you’re with me, chip in $1 right now, and let’s show the world what we’re about:
Naresh, donate $1
Thank you,

Cleanliness, Cleanliness, Cleanliness, But No Cleanliness
December28, 2015 (C) Ravinder Singh

Farmers Mann Ki Baat is that they are paid just Rs.2 for Pototo, Rs.4-6 for Radish, Saags, Palak, Methi greens, Cauliflower, Brinjal, Rs.8 for Tomato, Onion, Rs.10 for Peas all per kgand they are not paid to CLEAN & DRESS the vegetables.
There is no FIXED price for their produce Even For A Day or A Week they are Looted by city traders when they bring their produce to the markets before day break. Who then distribute to consumers at 3-10 times the farm gate price. BLACK MONEY in this is 2-3 TIMES NET EARNING OF POOR FARMERS – Rs.20,00,000 Cr/Yr.
So he dispatches all VEGETABLES PLUS GARBAGE – cities receive over 200 milliontones of Garbage because farmers are not paid for CLEANING & DRESSING in fresh clean water. Some of the vegetables are Cleaned in Dirty Waters in Filthy Drains or Polluted Rivers when farmers haveUnlimited Supply of Canal or Tube-Well Water.
Farmers Mann Ki Baat is that they are SUPPORTED by Banks to PRESERVE & PROCESS surplus fruits & Vegetables, Store their Own Foodgrains & Pulses to Add Value. 
Groundnuts in cities retail for Rs.200 per kg in Shells and Rs.300-400 per kg in packets when farm gate price is not even Rs.40 per kg. Kinnow (Orange) is retailed for Rs.40 per kg when farmers are paid just Rs.8 per kg –

GoI opened a new but UNVIABLE Railway Line to please a former PM – which costRs.430 in account books but Rs.1000 Cr to India in 15 years but run only two trains(71909 and 710910) – are too slow averaging 30 kpmh and depart in Up and Down directions at 5:55AM and 16:30PM and their scheduled destination arrival times are 10:00AM and 21:00PM.

When PM arrives in Moscow in 4:30 hrs flight, this train covers Agra to Etawaha in exactly the same time. Instead of one Bus Service Every 30 minutes – IR pack upto 3000 people in a train early morning on four hour plus journey – for 4.5 hrs DEMU is Residence of 3000 people who Eat, Drink, & Smoke and DEMUs have no toilets.

It is Funny But True – Litigants and OPD Patients have to arrive in Courts or Hospitals at 9AM even if their turn may come in the After Noon.

There are no Regular Arrangements for Foods & Toilets for 10,000 to 20,000 People arriving daily at Courts & Hospitals or over 500,000 at Railway Stations.

Roads are not cleaned by regular staff on daily basis – Brooms for Cleaning createunhealthy DUST CLOUD – there is no Regular Garbage Collection. 10 Times more Food is Cooked and Consumed in Roadside VENDS and Stalls in cities than regular shops.

Indian Rivers Carry Sewage & Drainage and Industrial Waste – Source of Water For Drinking, Cooking, All Municipal Uses. 

Ravinder Singh, Inventor & Consultant, INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, New Delhi-110016, India. Ph; 091- 9871056471, 9718280435, 9650421857

in viaggio con la tabla
In viaggio con la tabla/A Journey on the Tabla
50’ – 2015
Un documentario di/ A documentary by
Simone Mariani
Domenica 10 Gennaio 2016, ore 18.00
Sunday 10th of January, 6.00 PM
Sanjay Kansa Banik è il musicista protagonista di questo documentario girato sia in Italia – Roma e varie altre località dal Nord al Sud  della penisola – che in India – Kolkata,Habra,Shantipur.La vicenda umana e artistica di Sanjay è raccontata attraverso i suoi concerti,le interviste con alcuni dei musicisti con i quali collabora in ambito nazionale e internazionale, tra cui S.Cammariere, G.Ricchizzi, F.Laterza, nonché la prestigiosa Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio di Roma. Completano il quadro le interviste/testimonianze dei familiari e del suo primo maestro, J.Cloarec, presidente onorario della Fondazione Find (Fondazione India/Europa Nuovi Dialoghi), nonché fotografie e video di repertorio.
Sanjay Kansa Banik is a musician, the main protagonist featured in this film shot in Rome and in other locations ranging from North to South on the Italian peninsula as well as Kolkata, Habra and Shantipur, India. The human and artistic story of Sanjay is told through his concerts and interviews with some of the musicians with whom he collaborated on both national and international levels, including S.Cammariere, G.Ricchizzi, F.Laterza, and members of the prestigious Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio of Rome. The interviews with friends and family, his first teacher and J.Cloarec, honorary president of the Find Foundation (Foundation India/New Dialogues Europe),photographs and video footage further enrich and deepen the story of this film.
Q&A after the screening with FABRIZIO FERRARI Founder & Artistic director of Rome Independent Film Festival
Italian Embassy Cultural Centre
50- E, Chandragupta Marg (Entry from Nyaya Marg)
Chanakyapuri, New Delhi – 110 021
Phone: 0091-11-26871901/03/04

Chikkarangappa, wins McLeod Russel Tour Championship & Rolex Ranking crown

Bengaluru lad posts solid 69 to cap memorable season, Randhawa & Joshi are joint second

Kolkata, December 27, 2015: It was double delight for Bengaluru’s Chikkarangappa S as he capped a memorable 2015 season with victory at the season-ending McLeod Russel Tour Championship which also paved the way for his ascendancy to the status of Rolex Player of the Year. Chikka shot a tenacious final round of three-under-69 at the Rs. 1.5 crore event at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) on Sunday to register a one-shot win with a 12-under-276 total.

Gurgaon-based Indian golfing great Jyoti Randhawa and Khalin Joshi, another Bangalorean, were joint runners-up at 11-under-277.

Chikka’s brilliant win at RCGC earned him his highest ever pay cheque of Rs. 22,50,000 which took his season’s earnings to an outstanding Rs. 48,87,440. He thus climbed from second place to first position in the money list to take home the Rolex Player of the Year title. At 22 years and three months of age, Chikka became the youngest winner of the Rolex Ranking title. In his seven starts in the season he posted three wins, a runner-up and three other top-10s. The seasoned Mukesh Kumar of Mhow, who finished tied sixth at five-under-283 this week, claimed second place on the 2015 PGTI merit list with earnings of Rs. 39,41,710.

Chikkarangappa (68-69-70-69), who was overnight third, three off the lead, had a steady start to the day with pars on the first three holes. He started making inroads with birdies on the fourth and sixth, having converted a 15-footer on the latter. The pro from the Eagleton Golf Resort, made the turn at one-under after dropping a shot on the eighth where his ball was plugged in the bunker.

While Chikka’s nearest rivals Jyoti Randhawa and Khalin Joshi couldn’t really make a move on the back-nine, Chikka seized the initiative with three birdies against a lone bogey. The 22-year-old marched towards his eighth career title, sinking birdie putts from eight to 12 feet on 12 and 17. He also capitalized with a birdie on the par-5 15thafter finding the green in two shots. The 2013 PGTI Emerging Player of the Year finally sealed the victory with a two-putt for par on the 18th.

Chikka said, “It’s amazing to win the biggest tournament on the PGTI and also the Rolex Ranking title on the same day. Emerging Order of Merit champion is special for me because I’ve been finishing second on the merit list for the last two years. I’m also delighted to have won here at RCGC since I missed cuts for three weeks running on the Asian Tour before this event.

“It was a tough fight today as I knew Jyoti and Khalin will not give up till the end. I think the turning point for me was the 12-feet birdie conversion on the 17th. That’s when I thought, I can take this, since I was one ahead with one hole to play. I didn’t strike it well through the week but my short-game was very sharp. I made very few birdies at this event as compared to my other successful weeks.

“The change of caddie this week also helped my cause. I had Anirban Lahiri’s previous caddie Narasimha on the bag this week. His inputs were quite useful. The focus will now be on making it back on the Asian Tour through the Qualifying School and thereafter doing well on the tour,” added an elated Chikka.

Jyoti Randhawa (68-65-71-73), the overnight leader by one stroke, slipped to joint second place on Sunday after mixing three birdies with four bogeys during his final round of 73. Jyoti, who had struggled with stomach cramps on Saturday, scrambled for most part of the final round and was three-over through 15 holes. Despite his tap-in birdies on 16 and 17, Randhawa could not catch up with Chikka.

“I was in a much better physical condition today but couldn’t really produce a round that could’ve helped me win on the final day. Nonetheless, I’m glad to have finished in the top-3 after all that I went through in the third round,” said Randhawa.

Khalin Joshi (70-67-68-72), lying overnight second, one behind leader Jyoti, showed promise in the first half of the day as he took the lead at one stage. However, he finally brought in a card of 72 and had to settle for tied second place along with Randhawa. Joshi was three-under through seven holes, having sunk three birdie putts from 10 to 20 feet. Khalin, a two-time winner on the PGTI, then missed some short putts to add three bogeys to his card.

Joshi said, “It was disappointing that I couldn’t close it despite taking the lead today. A bad tee shot on the eighth that landed in the hazard took away the momentum from me. I’ll now look to earn my card on the Asian Tour through the Qualifying School and make an impact there.”

Kolkata’s SSP Chawrasia, the 2012 champion, fired the day’s joint best score of 68 to finish fourth at 10-under-278. Rahil Gangjee (71), another local favourite, finished three shots behind in fifth place.

Mukesh Kumar (68) of Mhow and Sri Lankan Anura Rohana (70) were tied sixth at five-under-283.

Kolkata’s Shankar Das, the 2014 champion, ended eighth at four-under-284 after his final round of 75.

Bengaluru’s Udayan Mane, who finished tied 20th this week at one-over-289, won the 2015 PGTI Emerging Player of the Year title for recording the highest earnings among the rookies this season. Mane’s earnings for 2015 stood at Rs. 22,21,507. Mane also finished a creditable fifth in the Rolex Ranking. Feroz Singh Garewal of Chandigarh, tied 27th this week, finished second in the Emerging Player list with season’s earnings of Rs. 6,81,040.

The growth as given by the OECD Composite Lending Indicator points to stable growth momentum in the OECD area as a whole. Stable growth momentum is anticipated in Canada and Japan as well as in the Euro area as a whole, including Germany and Italy. Amongst the major emerging economies, tentative signs of stabilization are emerging in China as well as in Brazil, while firming growth is anticipated in India. In Russia the outlook continues to be for weak growth momentum.
According to Markit Economics, the manufacturing PMI in USA fell to 51.3 in December of 2015 from 52.8 in the previous month. However, the manufacturing PMI in Canada increased to 48.60 in November from 48 in October of 2015.
On the price front, according to the Federal Statistics Office, consumer prices in Germany rose 0.4 percent year-on-year in November of 2015, up from a 0.3 percent increase in the preceding month and matching preliminary estimates.
All key indices except Dow Jones Industrial Average exhibited a negative trend during the period November-December. During the period November-December, the international prices of almost all key commodities exhibited a negative trend except sugar.
On the trade front, US goods and services deficit was $43.9 billion in October, up $1.4 billion from $42.5 billion in September as exports fell to a three-year low hurt by strong dollar.
Among the major policy development, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent. Given the encouraging economic outlook, and recognizing the time it takes for policy actions to affect future economic outcomes, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate.
Additionally, the Reserve Bank of India left its benchmark repo rate at 6.75 percent, as expected. The central bank also decided to keep the cash reserve ratio at 4.0 percent, to provide liquidity under overnight repos at 0.25 percent and to maintain daily variable rate repos and reverse repos to smooth liquidity.
Among other developments, according to the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2016 report, the world economy stumbled in 2015 and only a modest improvement is projected for 2016 and 2017.

Competitiveness, climate, security Finn’s priorities Ministry of Finance release Finnish road map of EU presidency. Finland i...