Tuesday, April 25, 2017


World military expenditure is estimated to have been $1686 billion in 2016, equivalent to 2.2 per cent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) or $227 per person.
The 2016 estimate is a marginal increase of about 0.4 per cent in real terms on 2015

The top 15 countries with the highest military spending in 2016 were the same as those in 2015, although there were some changes in their ranking .
The 15 largest spenders account for $1360 billion, or 81 per cent, of total global spending.
Between 2007 and 2016, China has seen the biggest growth in military spending, with an increase of 118 per cent, followed by Russia (87 per cent) and India (54 per cent).
In the same period, Italy (–16 per cent), the United Kingdom (–12 per cent) and the United States (–4.8 per cent) were the only countries in the top 15 to see their military expenditure fall.
In 2016, total US military expenditure of $611 billion is over one-third (36 per cent) of world military expenditure. This is nearly three times the level of China’s spending, which is ranked second.
US military spending grew by 1.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016, the fi rst increase after fi ve consecutive years of decline. Despite this slight growth, US military spending remains 20 per cent lower than its peak in 2010. The small upturn in 2016 can be attributed to legisla tion adopted in 2013 and 2015, which eased the budget limits imposed in 2011. However, given the context of the presidential election and the inability of the US Congress and the White House to reach agreement on a budget to be implemented on 1 October 2016, there is uncertainty about short-term developments in the country’s military expenditure.
As a result of an unexpected increase in Russia’s military expenditure in late 2016 and large cuts to Saudi Arabia’s military budget, Russia moved above Saudi Arabia to the position of third largest spender in 2016.
India moved from 7th to 5th place after its largest annual spending increase since 2009. Meanwhile, both the UK and Brazil dropped one place in the rankings.
The UK fell from 6th to 7th—a move largely attributed to the devaluation of the British pound following the result of a refer endum on the country’s


The Master Dinanath Mangeshkar award ceremony was held on Monday, April 24, on the occasion of the 75th death anniversary of Master Dinanath Mangeshkar, and it had a surprise turn.
Superstar Aamir Khan turned up at a private award function after 16 years! 
Take a look at all those who received the awards.
Aamir Khan was honoured with the 75th Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Award for his blockbuster Dangal.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat presented the Vishesh Puraskar, part of the Dinanath Mangeshkar Awards given to eminent personalities in various fields, to the 52-year-old actor whose wrestling saga was one of the biggest hits of 2016.
“Today wherever I am, the credit goes to all the writers who have written my films.
“I am here because of the directors and writers for the wonderful work they’ve done. I thank all of them,” Aamir said after receiving the award.
Director Nitesh Tiwari, who was also present at the event, thanked the audience for making the film a huge hit.
Aamir Khan chats with Lata Mangeshkar.
Legendary actress Vyjayanthimala Bali was honoured with the Master Dinanath Vishesh Puraskar for her achievements in Hindi cinema.
“I am speechless to receive this award. I’ve been blessed to still perform at some events, across the world. I acted in films and I am dancing still. May be it means that people have loved it. Lata didi (singer Lata Mangeshkar) invited me so I had to be here,” said the 80-year-old actress.
Yesteryear Marathi actress Ashalata Wabgaonkar was also honoured with an award on the occasion.
The Mohan Wagh award for best drama was presented to Sunil Barve for Amar Photo Studio – Subak Sanstha.
India’s 1983 World Cup winning cricket captain Kapil Dev was awarded for his outstanding contribution to the sport.
Speaking on the occasion, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who was the chief guest, said the award winners are a source of inspiration and their good work in respective fields will help in nation building.
Other awardees included Kishore Deshpande, presented with the Anadmayee Puraskar for his work in social service; Vishwanath Karad, founder, Vishwashanti Kendra, presented with the Samarpit Jeevan Puraskar; Vijaya Rajadhyaksha, conferred with the Vagvilasini Puraskar for her work in literature.
Uday Nirgudkar received an award for his editorial work while Kaushiki Chakraborty was awarded for her endeavour in the field of music.
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar was also present at the event, organised by the Master Dinanath Smruti Pratishthan and Hridayesh Arts.
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar.


  • Indian basketball players Amritpal Singh, Amjyot Singh, Yadwinder Singh and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi were invited to Melbourne by the National Basketball League (NBL) to participate in their draft combine for the upcoming 2017-18 season.
  • Amritpal Singh stood out amongst all the participants and impressed the scouts.
  • The Combine took place on the 17th and 18th of April, 2017 in the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.
  • The invitation and participation in the NBL Draft Combine was facilitated by basketball management company Pursuit India.

Bengaluru/Melbourne, 24th April, 2017: India’s international basketball star Amritpal Singh has impressed the Australian scouts and the media alike at the recently concluded NBL Draft Combine at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. The Combine took place on 17th and 18th April and also featured three other Indian players Amjyot Singh, Yadwinder Singh and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi.
The captain of the Indian national team, Amritpal Singh, ended the Combine tied as the leading shot blocker among all the participants. His defensive presence coupled with his footwork were the talking points amongst most scouts and drew comparisons with former players of the NBL like Matt Hodgson and Matt Smith.
Amritpal Singh ended the Combine tied as the leading shot blocker among all the participants. His defensive presence coupled with his footwork were the talking points amongst most scouts and drew comparisons with former players of the NBL like Matt Hodgson and Matt Smith.
The captain of the Indian National Team, Amritpal Singh, could potentially be the first Indian-born player to play in the NBL… Singh, … with a large frame and giant wing-span, was one of the standout performers at last week’s NBL Combine in Melbourne, capturing the attention of a number of coaches in attendance.
Rohan Short, a former NBL assistant with Townsville and Melbourne, who worked closely with Amritpal throughout the two days of the Combine said, “I was super impressed, it’s clear he can play. Once given the opportunity to learn off a big man’s coach here in Australia and adapt to the speed of the Australian game, I think he would do quite well.I don’t think he is necessarily a starting five guy from the outset, but off the bench for some team. I mean we just don’t have much of that kind of size in our league.”
“I loved his work ethic, desire to learn and his coachability. He runs the floor really well and he’s a good passer and those traits alone for a big guy are going to be attractive to an NBL team. Depending on the system, I think he has the ability to contribute. His work ethic, his passion for the game and his desire to improve make him a worthwhile investment,” said former head coach of the Sydney Kings, Damian Cotter, who spent some time last year working with the Indian team.
Amritpal was part of the 4 member (Amjyot Singh Gill, Yadwinder Singh and Vishesh Bhriguvanshi) contingent of basketball players that were invited to the NBL Draft Combine. The Combine took place on the 17th and 18th of April. A total of 80 players participated in the Combine. These included returning US college players, South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL) players, Australian state league players, and members of Australia’s national U18 and U20’s teams.
As standard practice, players participating in the NBL Draft Combine must pay an entry fee of AUD $250. However, this feewas waived off for all the invited Indian players.The waiver of fees for the Indian contingent by the NBL is just another sign that the NBL has serious intentions to enter the Indian market. Last year, the NBL signed a historic deal with VEQTA to stream NBL games live in India.
Under the new rules of the NBL, the players belonging to the countries of the FIBA Asia zone would be given a separate spot that would not take up anyof the three spots reserved for the foreign players. This move has been made to attract the top Asian talents an                d ensure that they consider the NBL as a serious destination to ply their trade.


(Sourced verbatim from the official NBL page. The link: http://www.nbl.com.au/history/)
The National Basketball League is regarded as one of the premier basketball leagues in the world, and after a humble beginning, is today home to some of the world’s best players.
In 1978, New South Wales Basketball president John Raschke sat with 10 interested parties in an unused aircraft hangar at Sydney Airport to discuss the formation of a national competition that would help the development of the sport throughout Australia.
A national competition was also seen as a way of improving the standard of players who would compete for Australia at events such as the Olympic Games and World Championships.
Since that day, the NBL has grown from a fledgling competition with games played in front of just a few hundred people to a league that attracts more than 750,000 spectators each season, as well as prime-time television audiences for games broadcast nationally.
While games were initially played in small suburban stadiums, clubs now perform at major Australian arenas, including Perth Arena which can seat 14,000+ spectators.
Basketball also has one of the highest participation rates of any team sport in Australia, with numbers continuing to grow each year.
Between 1979 and 1997, the NBL season was played between April and September, but in 1998 the league moved its season to the summer place, with games played between October and April.
Eight teams currently compete in the NBL – the Adelaide 36ers, Cairns Taipans, Melbourne United, New Zealand Breakers, Perth Wildcats, Sydney Kings, Brisbane Bullets and Illawarra Hawks.


Date: 17th-18th April
Location: Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre

  • Patrick Hunt (Basketball Without Borders World Camp Director) will be the director of the camp.
  • All participants will be provided the opportunity to showcase their skills infront of every NBL club with all clubs ensuring to have coaching staff present each day.
  • All participants will be provided with 2 reversible training singlets, 1 pair of training shorts, 1 T-Shirt.
  • Lunch will be provided for all participants each day.
  • Ice baths will be provided for all participants at the conclusion of each day.
  • Doctors and Physiotherapists will be provided each day (for ankle taping and treatment).


  • Amritpal Singh is India’s most dominant centre who is listed as 6’11”. He has played professionally in Japan and has led Tokyo Excellence in winning 2015-16 championship in Japan Development League.
  • Amjyot Singh Gill is a 6’9” power forward and is arguably India’s most talented player. He is currently #1 Ranked FIBA 3×3 pro player in Asia, Oceania and Africa regions combined.
  • Yadwinder Singh is the contingent’s senior most players. He is a 6’6” power forward who featured in India’s famous victories over China and is also a multiple time national champion with Uttarakhand.
  • Vishesh Bhriguvanshi is a6’4’’ combo guard. He is currently the best guard in India. He was2nd in assists per game at 2015 FIBA Asia Championship.


Amjyot Singh Gill, Amritpal Singh and Yadwinder Singh are represented by Pursuit India Sports & Entertainment Private Limited, India’s leading basketballmanagement company. Pursuit’s aim is to find and create the right opportunities for budding athletes with the talent and potential to succeed at the international level. Through its grassroots network, Pursuit is able to spot athletic talent from a young age and help them along their playing careers, whether in India or abroad. Pursuit is headed by Vishnu Ravi Shankar and is India’s pre-eminent and pioneering basketball scouting and talent management agency.


This is to cordially invite you to “Transforming India Dialogues‘ being organised on April 28th at 4.15PM at Dy Speaker Hall, Constitution Club of India, New Delhi.
Speaker – Dr Jitendra Singh, Minister of State DONER (IC), PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Government of India
Invitation card – Enclosed
A line of confirmation would be very helpful.
Thanks & Regards
Ravi Pokharna
Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini




Team Speedo’s Paralympic swimmer Niranjan Mukundan features in Limca Book of World Records
& is crowned ‘Junior World Champion’

~ Young Mukundan brings new glory for India, his winning spree of ten medals in one edition of the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Junior Games features in Limca Book  ~

25th April 2017: It’s a glorious moment for Team Speedo and whole of India as Team Speedo’s Paralympic swimmer, Niranjan Mukundan’s historic win at the IWAS World Junior Games makes its way to the Limca Book of World Records. After winning a record 10 medals, he bagged the coveted “Junior World Champion” title in one edition of the (IWAS) International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Junior Games.
This Indian Para-swimmer’s string of achievements shine as bright as the medals and trophies he has won. Starting off this year with 5 gold’s and 1 silver at the national para-games held in Jaipur, Niranjan now stands with a total of 27 international medals and over 100 state and national medals to his tally, he is now a global sensation and an inspiration for able and the differently abled.
He won a National Award in 2015 for his outstanding achievement, recognizing him as the Best Sportsperson of the Country under the differently abled category. He is also the winner of the TIE Indian of the year award 2015, state’s highest civilian honour the Karnataka Rajyotsava award 2015 and the Ekalavya Award in 2016.
His list of victories is endless and unsurpassed. He is a winner of titles like 15th Para National Swimming Championships, Belgaum where he won 4 Golds and 2 Silvers. Competing in the S-8 category, he has also hoisted the victory flag internationally by winning titles like Para Asian Games 2014, Incheon, South Korea and Junior World Champion title in the World Junior Games 2015, Stadskanaal, Netherlands (10 medals out of which 7 were Gold and 3 Silver).
This Bangalore boy hails from a modest family. Born with a medical condition called Spina bifida and with clubbed feet, he has undergone as many as sixteen surgeries. Doctors advised him to take up swimming to strengthen his leg muscles. His mother took him to the swimming club in Bangalore and it is here that the renowned coach John Christopher spotted and promised to turn him into an international level swimmer. After an extensive training under him, Niranjan later trained at Thanyapura, Phuket, Thailand where he is currently based.
From a young age, Niranjan learned to take every challenge as an opportunity. During his college days, he emerged as the best outgoing sportsman of the university. 2012 proved to be a stupendous year for Niranjan. At the national swimming championship in Chennai, he won 3 Golds, 1 Silver medal in swimming and 1 Bronze in Water polo. Mukundan won his first international medal, a bronze in 200m freestyle at the IDM German Swimming Championship in Berlin. In 2013 and 2014, he won further international medals at the IWAS World Junior Games in Puerto Rico and in Stoke, Mandeville, U.K. respectively.
At the recently concluded IWAS U-23 World Games in Czech Republic Niranjan defied the odds and won 8 medals – 3 Golds in 200m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke, 2 Silvers in 100m fly and 50m freestyle events and 3 more medals in 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 100m breaststroke. He was selected among representatives from 35 other countries to deliver the oath for the tournament, making him the first Indian to do so.
At the proud moment, Mr. Shamir Genomal, Chief Strategy Officer at Speedo expressed, “Having Niranjan’s name in the prestigious Limca Book of Records is a golden moment to cherish and celebrate. We salute him for his courage and tenacity. Team Speedo is extremely proud to be associated with this young man. 

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