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26march2010- News

26 March, 2010

The Headlines:
  • Government chalks out a multi pronged strategy to maximise rice production during the forthcoming kharif season.
  • Gujjars ready to discuss with Rajasthan government the reservation issue.
  • Pandemonium in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on inter-state recruitment policy.
  • Supreme Court refuses to direct the government for return of self-exiled painter M F Husain to India.
  • US-Pakistan strategic dialogue ends, no announcement on Civil Nuclear Deal for Islamabad.
  • In Pakistan, 21 militants killed in heavy clashes near the Afghan border.
  • BCCI announces team for T20 tournament; Dhoni to be captain;Vinay Kumar and Piyush Chawla included. 
  • Rajasthan Royals to clash with Deccan Chargers in the IPL Cricket match at Ahmedabad today.

The government has chalked out a multi pronged strategy to  maximise rice production during the forthcoming kharif season.  That was decided at a recent conference in New Delhi. As part of the  strategy, areas under rice cultivation will be expanded through crop intensity, specially in the eastern states.  Short duration and local-specific varities will be adopted for increasing the yield. Cultivation of hybrid rice will be promoted and the seed replacement rate will also be increased to enhance production.  Efforts will also be made to minimise crop losses through integrated test management.


India will have a GPS-based aviation navigation system by next year when it will launch its own satellite. Speaking at a function organised by the US India Business Council in Washington, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said,  the change over to a GPS satellite based navigation system from the present ground based system will shorten air routes. He said this is important especially at a time of global warming. He said that India would be doing trial run on borrowed satellite till its own satellite is launched.

Mr  Patel also said that he has raised with top US officials the issue of American restrictions over the dual use of technology to India in the aviation sector.

In reply to a question, Mr Patel said airport modernisation in Delhi is absolutely on track and  will be inaugurated by the Prime Minister on 3rd July. 


Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily has called upon the youth to promote national unity alongwith the economic renaissance of India. He was addressing the fifth convocation ceremony of the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University in Chennai today. MrVeerappa Moily said that today legal education has to not only meet the requirements of the bar and the new needs of trade, commerce and industry but also the requirements of globalization. On the proposed second generation reforms in legal education, Mr Moily said a National Consultation has been scheduled on the 1st and 2nd of May and urged the members of the legal fraternity to participate. Tamil Nadu Minister of Law, Courts and Prisons and Pro Chancellor of the University Thiru Durai Murugan presided over the function.


A 12 member delegation of Gurjar Sangarsh Samiti will talk with the government on their reservation issue. A spokesman of Sangarsh Samiti Dr. Roop Singh said that the delegation will today meet with the committee of Ministers formed by the state government. The decision to march towards Jaipur for Mahapadao will be taken after this meeting. The meeting is expected to take place  later this afternoon. Meanwhile, Mahapadao at Gajipur in Dausa district is continuing.  The Leader of Sangarsh Committee Col. Kirori Singh Bainsla is in Gajipur. Earlier, Sangarsh Samiti had announced they will march to Jaipur today. They also announced a Mahapadao in Ajmer. The state government has made all security arrangements keeping in view  the agitation. Gurjars are demanding 5 per cent reservation in government jobs.


In the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, the main opposition party PDP and some members of the ruling National Conference held a “Dharna” inside the House today  to protest against the Inter District Recruitment in the State. AIR correspondent reports, the protesting members were demanding that the discussion on the Inter District Recruitment Bill should be held, at the earliest, in the ongoing budget session in the State Legislature.

Reacting to the protest, the members of other opposition parties, that is National Panthers Party, BJP and Jammu State Morcha alleged that the ruling National Conference-Congress coalition has failed in providing a good governance to the people of the State and staged a walk out from the House. After this, however the Speaker of the House Mohd. Akbar Lone assured that the discussion on the said Bill would be held under the provision of the section 77 of the State Constitution, the members of main opposition party PDP also staged a walk out from the House in the support of their demand of banning the Inter District recruitment. Ultimately, the Speaker announced that the discussion on the said Bill will be held in the House during the ongoing budget session as soon as possible.


In Uttarakhand assembly, the no confidence motion notice was rejected by the Speaker after the Congress member did not go back to their seats and raised their hands in support of the motion. The Speaker rejected the motion notice as per rules in which the support of one fifth of the House was a must.

 Meanwhile, in view of unruly situation prevailing in the House, the speaker adjourned the House till 3.00 P.M.


The Tamil Nadu Assembly today adopted a vote on account to enable the government to withdraw the money from the consolidated fund with barely a week to go for the financial year end. The vote on account is for the first six months of the new financial year commencing from 1st of April.

A bill for the purpose was moved by the leader of the House and Finance Minister Mr. K. Anbhazagan was adopted by a voice vote. There was no discussion as per the decision arrived at the business advisory committee meeting. The House also passed another bill towards the final supplementary estimate for the outgoing financial year 2009 -2010  The House was later adjourned to meet on the 5th of next month.


News Just In :- Senior IPS officer Anju Gupta has told a special CBI court at Rae Bareli that     BJP leader L K Advani gave provocative speech at Ayodhya on the day Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992. She made this statement  while deposing as a prosecution witness in the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition case in which L K Advani and other Sangh Parivar leaders have been accused of inciting violence. Ms Gupta further told the court that Advani and other BJP leaders had repeatedly said a Ram temple will be built at the same spot where the disputed structure stood. Ms Anju gupta is currently posted with R&AW in Delhi  and was the personal security officer of senior BJP leader Advani at the demolition of the disputed structure.


The CPI(M) has reiterated its firm and total opposition to the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill. The party after its one day politbureau meet in a statement today said the harmful provisions in the bill like the exemption of liability for the foreign suppliers of nuclear equipment nor the cap on the liability for the operator can be supported. The party expressed its strong opposition to the present version of the Food Security Bill. The Politbureau also criticised the Foreign Education Providers Bill proposed to be introduced in Parliament. AIR correspondent reports the meet also took stock of the overall political situation in the country.


In West Bengal, a major fire broke out early today in one of the largest ammunition depots of Indian Army at Panagarh in Burdwan district of West Bengal.  The fire gutted a store house coantaining a large number of small arms and ammunition.Though the fire was brought under control by around 3.30 am but the shed was totally destroyed. However, there is no casualty or injury due to fire.  An army spokesman said, the army has  begun an inquiry over the major fire.  A team of official of the eastern command is on the spot to probe the incident.

Panagarh is about 120 kms from Kolkata and has one of the largest ammunition depots of the Indian Army and is also an important air force base.


In Punjab, two Pakistani intruders were shot dead by Border Security Force  troops at Naushera Dhalla village near the border. BSF officials told AIR correspondent that fake Indian currency with a face value of  65 lakh rupees was seized from them. They said the duo infiltrated into Indian territory and reached near the barbed wire fencing at around midnight last night. When the troops asked them to surrender, they tried to flee, following which they were shot dead.

 In another incident in Rajpura area, five suspected terrorists have been arrested by police. According to the police sources, some cartridges and two pistols have been recovered from the arrested persons. The arrested persons belong to Babbar Khalsa International terrorist outfit.


The Supreme Court today refused to direct the government to take steps to ensure return of self-exiled painter M F Husain to India and withdraw criminal cases against him. Husain had recently given up his Indian passport and accepted Qatari citizenship. He has been living in self-exile for nearly four years following a spate of cases in India over his controversial paintings.


A recent study says that the fragile ecosystem of Maharashtra's Western Ghats has come under severe pressure from unabated developmental activities. It says these activites have lead to a loss of its forest cover over a period of 20 years since 1985.The study has been done by a team of scientists from Dehradun-based Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, Pune .The report says the region has lost dense and open forests at a rate of 0.72 per cent annually till 2005.


A public Accounts Committee, PAC in the Parliament has raised several questions with regard to the  implementation of the Midday meal scheme.  In its report tabled in the parliament earlier this month   the PAC headed by Gopinath Munde has said at the outset that the funds allocated for this landmark scheme which was launched to boost universilation of primary education and bringing a positive change in the nutritional levels of primary students were not utilised in 2007-08 as well as 2008-09.  AIR correspondent reports, the Committee pointed out that the support by the Food Corporation of India for the scheme is plagued with several deficiences as  the allocation of foodgrains was not based on actual enrolements but anticipated numbers.

Diversion  of funds and foodgrains meant for the Midday meal scheme in as many as  11 states, lack of infrastructure for the implementation of the cooked midday meal schemein most schools , withdrawal of foodgrains more than the requirment    Tripura, UP, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Haryana and Rajasthan were the defaulting states.Teachers in most states were found involved in the procurement of vegetables and condiments receiving foodgrains supervising cooking and even serving meals leading  to loss of valuable teaching time are among the many deficient that the PAC has pointed out . And though the scheme has benefitted  million of children across  the country  since its launch in 1995  no specific assessment has been made whether it has helped in improving the enrolement, attendance and retention of the students niether has any data been  collected whether this flag ship scheme has had positive impact on the nutritional status of the children covered under the midday meal scheme. The Panel  wants the centre and the state governments to conduct an assessment of the scheme to ensure that the implementation results in desired outcome.  


The US and Pakistan ended their upgraded strategic dialogue with no signs of a civilian nuclear deal materialising for Islamabad. The joint statement that was issued at the end of

two-day first-ever Cabinet-level strategic dialogue also made no reference to United States' mediation in Kashmir as was being pushed by the Pakistani officials. The statement said the US recognised the importance of assisting Pakistan to overcome its energy deficit and committed to further intensify and expand comprehensive cooperation in the energy sector.The dialogue saw the two countries reaffirming the importance of advancing peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. The statement also talks about the US pledge to work with Pakistan against terrorism in the region.Among major assistance commitments offered by the Obama Administration to Pakistan included grants for establishing cold storage facilities and roads.


US has said that its efforts in Pakistan were vital for American success in Afghanistan. Speaking before Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programmes, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US has made it a strategic priority to strengthen its partnership with the Pakistani people. She said the US is moving in the right direction and the progress that they have made is possible because the US has demonstrated a clear commitment to work with the people and the Government of Pakistan.

 The top US diplomat argued that the military offensives have created new humanitarian needs that, if not addressed immediately, could make these areas ripe for extremism. Clinton further said that US is beefing up its presence in both Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to have greater oversight accountability, monitoring of the funds.


In Pakistan, at least 21 suspected militants were killed in heavy clashes near the Afghan border.  The Pakistani military said that five of its soldiers were also killed in the fighting in the tribal district of Orakzai. The army said the fighting occured during an operation by security forces to re-capture a check point seized by militants yesterday. It came a day after military aircraft bombed areas in the district killing at least 11 people.


China and Afghanistan have vowed to jointly fight terrorism and drug trafficking. This has been decided during a meeting between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and visiting Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Beijing yesterday. Mr. Wen also pledged aid and economic support for Afghanistan's reconstruction, while calling for both nations to jointly fight terrorism and drug trafficking. Mr. Karzai thanked Wen for the support and invited China to expand cooperation in agriculture, economy and trade, investment, mining and infrastructure construction.


The Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden has threatened to execute any Americans taken prisoner,  if the  accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is executed. Bin Laden, in a new audio message, said that the day the US takes the decision to execute Sheikh Mohammed and his co-inspirators, al-Qaeda will also take the decision that any American falling into its hands will be executed.

 Sheikh Mohammed is accused of masterminding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington that took nearly 3,000 lives. The alleged architect of terror was captured in Pakistan in 2003.


The Arab Foreign Ministers meeting in Libya have agreed to raise five hundred million dollars for Jerusalem Palestinians. The Arab League Chief, Amr Mussa told newsmen that the step has been taken to help Jerusalem Palestinians who are being squeezed out by Israel's settlement drive.


The United Nations Human Rights Council has called on the Israeli Government and the Palestinian side to carry out independent and credible investigations into the conflict in the Gaza Strip that ended early last year.

According to a statement of UN, received by AIR in Dubai today, the Council has said that those inquiries must look into the serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law reported by the Goldstone fact-finding mission set up to investigate the conflict. Earlier this month, the General Assembly also appealed for independent investigations by Israel and the Palestinians.

The Human Rights Council also called on the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to look into setting up an escrow fund to provide reparations to Palestinians who suffered losses as a result of unlawful Israeli actions during the conflict. <>< The Minister of state for External affairs Mr. Shashi Tharoor today said that failure of the governments in neighboring countries to tackle poverty and unemployment is increasing the threat of terrorism in India. Speaking at a Symposium on “India’s Role in Multi Polar World” in New Delhi, Mr. Tharoor said that poverty and unemployment are the major factors in deviating the youth towards terrorism in various societies but these factors do not work in the case of India. He said that India believes in the principle of promoting security and prosperity for neighbors.


The BCCI today  announced a 15 member team for the Twenty twenty world cup to be held in West Indies in May this year. M S Dhoni will lead the side while Virender Shewag is the vice captain. Vinay Kumar and Piyush Chawla have been picked up for the tour.


In the  Indian Premier League cricket tournament, Rajasthan Royals will clash with Deccan Chargers in Ahmedabad tonight. Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by five wickets at the  Brabourne Stadium Mumbai in yesterday's match to soar to the top of the points table. In another match, Kedar Jadhav's breezy unbeaten half-century and some immaculate bowling fashioned Delhi Daredevils' 17-run victory over the  Royal Challengers Bangalore. 


The Annual Akashvani Awards for 2008 will be presented at a glittering function in Chennai this evening. The Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting , Dr.S.Jagatharakshakan will present the awards . Over fifty awards will be presented in various categories including News, Programmes and Technical excellence.

 Prasar Bharati Chief Executive Officer B.S. Lalli and senior officers of All India Radio will be present at the award ceremony. Various cultural programmes portraying the cultural diversity of the country will be a part of the event.



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