SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

Spoof Awards
Bhopal survivors ‘honour’ Manmohan, Ambani

New Delhi, August 12
It was an award ceremony with a difference. The “Dalal Foundation”, formed just around 15 days ago by Bhopal survivors’ organisations, yesterday presented “Mir Zafar awards for treachery” to top politicians and bureaucrats of the country in a dramatised version, peppered with satire.

Explosion in restaurant, 1 killed
Kolkata, August 12
An explosion which occurred today inside a restaurant at Park Street, killed one person on the spot and injured three others severely, who had been admitted to the SSKM hospital. The condition of the two was stated to be critical.


Forensic experts collect samples following an explosion at a McDonalds outlet in Kolkata on Sunday. — AFP photo

Forensic experts collect samples following an explosion at a McDonalds outlet in Kolkata





EARLIER STORIES


Gogoi ready to release ULFA leaders to facilitate talks
Guwahati, August 12
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is ready to release five jailed ULFA leaders to bring the group’s top leadership to the negotiating table for direct talks but doubts the outfit’s sincerity about joining the peace process as it is “under the influence” of the ISI.


Security personnel stand guard on a Guwahati street on Sunday. The security has been put on high alert in the wake of attacks by ULFA militants. — PTI photo
Security personnel stand guard on a Guwahati street on Sunday. The security has been put on high alert in the wake of attacks by ULFA militants

War Room Leak Case
CBI finds nothing against axed Captain
New Delhi, August 12
The war room leak case has landed the navy in a soup as the CBI has found nothing incriminating against sacked Captain Kashyap Kumar, whom the force had alleged was involved in the scam.

3 girls die following suicide pact
Bangalore, August 12
Among the four girls, who consumed poison after entering into a suicide pact yesterday, three have died and the fourth was discharged from a private hospital today. They entered into the pact fearing they would be separated if one of them got married.

A girl selling Tricolours and lapel pins smiles for the camera as she waits for customers in Hyderabad
I-DAY SPIRIT:
A girl selling Tricolours and lapel pins smiles for the camera as she waits for customers in Hyderabad on Sunday. — AFP

Eleven bus passengers electrocuted
Lucknow, August 12
At least 11 persons were killed and over 40 seriously injured after a high-tension electricity wire fell on a passenger bus near Deoband in Saharanpur district today. The Uttarakhand roadways bus was on way to Roorkee from Deoband when the mishap occurred, the police said here.

Legislator booked for threat to kill Taslima
Hyderabad, August 12
The police has registered a case against a leader of a Muslim political party on charges of threatening to kill exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who was attacked by his party members here on Thursday.

Flood-relief seekers baton-charged
Saharsa (Bihar), August 12
One person was killed and 12 were injured, including a woman, as police baton-charged hundreds of angry people, who demanded adequate flood relief and ransacked the Sonbarsa block office here today.

North helps food sector grow: Ficci
New Delhi, August 12
Fuelled by a strong 20 per cent plus growth in semi-processed, cooked ready-to-eat food, branded milk products, ice-cream, wine and sugar, the food and beverages (F&B) sector continues to surge ahead with a growth rate of 8.5 per cent in value terms in 2007-08, according to the Ficci’s Food & Beverages Survey.

UP Guv clips wings of 2 VCs
Lucknow, August 12
Uttar Pradesh Governor T.V. Rajeswar has restrained the vice-chancellors of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, Agra, and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya University, Gorakhpur, from discharging their duties.

Insulting or humiliating a child also corporal punishment: Rights panel
New Delhi, August 12
Making a student kneel down or stand for hours and pinching or slapping him or her could land teachers in trouble as all acts involving insult or humiliation to the child could soon be banned in schools.

Ashes of Chandra Shekhar immersed in Ganga
Varanasi, August 12
The ashes of former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar was immersed in the Ganga here today. The former PM's two sons, Pankaj Shekhar and Neeraj Shekhar, after immersing part of the ashes at the Triveni Sangam in Allahabad, reached Varanasi.

Schwarznegger may visit India in November
Bangalore, August 12
Hollywood star and California Governor Arnold Schwarznegger is expected to visit India in November, a trip that is likely to formally flag off a major collaborative effort between industries and universities in his home state and the Indian Institute of Science here.

No date yet for Indo-Pak talks on tackling terror
New Delhi, August 12
India and Pakistan have not been able to finalise the date for the second meeting of the anti-terror mechanism and the delay is being attributed to the recent developments in Pakistan.

Flag ‘insulted’ on TV, boy files complaint
Surat, August 12
A schoolboy today filed a police complaint against a private television channel for allegedly "insulting" the national flag during a music programme aired last night, said police.

Kapil, Sunita given Rajiv awards
Mumbai, August 12
Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty, cricketer Kapil Dev and Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams were among 10 people who were today presented the Rajiv Gandhi Awards for achievements in their chosen fields.

Cobra venom for cancer cure
New Delhi, August 12
The poisonous venom of snakes like the black cobra and viper may provide a possible cure for cancer, according to a new research. A team of scientists at the Drug Development Division in the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, have found that proteins present in snake venom can be used to prepare anti-cancer drugs.

Videos

Rockstar Shekhar!
(56k)

Delicious food, fresh from the sea.
(56k)

The Very Popular Bewqoof Hotel.
(56k)

Drink milk to lose fat!
(56k)

Kerala holds colourful boat race.
(56k)





Top








 

Spoof Awards
Bhopal survivors ‘honour’ Manmohan, Ambani
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 12
It was an award ceremony with a difference. The “Dalal Foundation”, formed just around 15 days ago by Bhopal survivors’ organisations, yesterday presented “Mir Zafar awards for treachery” to top politicians and bureaucrats of the country in a dramatised version, peppered with satire.

The spoof awards were given to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, finance minister P. Chidambaram, vice-chairman planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and industrialists Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani, who according to Bhopal survivors were being “felicitated for their efforts to bury Dow Chemical’s liabilities in Bhopal tragedy cases and clear the way for Dow and Carbide to freely do business in India”. Activists wearing respective masks received the awards.

Mir Zafar had betrayed his troops and cut a deal with the British East India Company. Today’s event marked the 250 anniversary of the Battle of Plassey, where Mir Zafar betrayed his troops and his act could be likened to the present government’s “kowtowing” to US corporations.

“The Indian government is indulging in activities that favour the elite and exacted a heavy toll on lives of common citizens,” they said.

The list of award-winners included commerce minister Kamal Nath, industrialist Ashok Punjwani, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi and senior bureaucrats like principal secretary T.K.A. Nair and former cabinet secretary B.K. Chaturvedi.

Madhya Pradesh gas relief minister Babu Lal Gaur came in for special mention for a “lifetime spent in betraying Bhopal victims”. Besides, Indian Ambassador to US Ronen Sen was also presented a Mir Zafar Award.

The Mir Zafar “Best environmental talk the talk award” was given to Ashok Punjwani, director of Bharuch Enviro Infrastructure Limited, Gujarat.

The “Birds of a feather award 2007” went to Mukesh Ambani, “who recently announced plans to acquire Union Carbide technology for his new plastic factories in Gujarat.” B. K. Chaturvedi won the Mir Zafar “Bureaucrat for Business Award 2007”.

Ratan Tata, played by activist Satinath Sarangi, received the award from a Singur resident to highlight his offer to lead an effort to mop up Union Carbide’s toxic wastes and facilitate Dow’s investments in India.

Bhopal survivors said the ministry of chemicals filed an application seeking Rs 100 crore from Dow Chemical. However, files unearthed from the PMO using the RTI Act revealed that most of the “award-winners” were strongly pushing to exempt Dow.

Survivors added that a note by the cabinet secretary on April 6 said given the scope for future investments in the petrochemical sector, Dow’s Bhopal liabilities should be resolved out of court.

The Mir Zafar Awards will be now be an annual affair. This year’s ceremony was officiated by theatre personality Suhasini Mulay who spoke for the Dalal Foundation.

She said: “We at Dalal Foundation believe that freedom is okay as long as it is recognised and respected that the freedom to exploit natural and human resources for profit generation takes precedence over all other freedoms.”

Top

 

Explosion in restaurant, 1 killed
Tribune News service

Kolkata, August 12
An explosion which occurred today inside a restaurant at Park Street, killed one person
on the spot and injured three others severely, who had been admitted to the SSKM hospital. The condition of the two was stated to be critical.

Though the cause of the explosion could not be immediately known, but the city police chief, Prasun Mukherjee did not rule out the possibility of the terrorists’ involvement behind the incident.

The explosion occurred when several hotel boys were arranging a luncheon party in the presence of an organiser, in which over 100 children were to be present for celebrating the birthday function of one of their friends.

The accident could have been more disastrous and the death casualties could have been more if the explosion had occurred a few minutes later in the presence of children, who were invited at the birthday party.

Immediately after the explosion, several cars parked in front of the restaurant were damaged, the roadside railings twisted and some adjacent buildings developed cracks.

All vehicular movements on the roads were stopped and entire area was cordoned off.

According to eyewitness account, around 10 in the morning, people in the area were suddenly stuck at the sounds of heavy explosion coming from inside the restaurant. The explosion occurred simultaneously twice and soon, several people working inside the restaurant were seen rushing out, raising alarms.

The fire-brigade personnel and the police present at the spot initially thought that the explosion might have been due to the bursting of the gas cylinders preserved inside the restaurant. But after inquiry it was found that all the cylinders were in order. But the air-condition machines installed inside the restaurant had been blown.

The forensic experts and the army authorities, who took the samples of the explosion from the spot, suspected that some explosive materials or a time-bomb might have been placed inside the air-condition machines, which resulted in the accident.

Top

 

Gogoi ready to release ULFA leaders to facilitate talks

Guwahati, August 12
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is ready to release five jailed ULFA leaders to bring the group’s top leadership to the negotiating table for direct talks but doubts the outfit’s sincerity about joining the peace process as it is “under the influence” of the ISI.

Gogoi said the jailed ULFA leaders, including ideologue Bhimkanta Buragohain, could be freed provided that paves the way for unconditional direct talks with chairman Arabinda Rajkhowa and commander-in-chief Paresh Barua, believed to be living in Bangladesh.

“If these five people (jailed ULFA leaders) can bring their leadership to talks, I don’t mind releasing them. But I make it clear that talks must be direct and not through these five people or the People’s Consultative Group,” Gogoi said in an interview to PTI at his residence.

With incidents of the killing of civilians, particularly Hindi-speaking people, on the rise in Assam, he said: “See frankly speaking, they (ULFA) are under the influence of many others like the ISI and jehadi groups. Their links with the ISI and jehadi groups should be broken, which is an international problem.”

Asked whether ULFA leaders were sincere in wanting to hold talks with the government or whether they were only posturing, he replied: “That is my doubt also. Their sincerity is in question.” Gogoi also feels the People’s Consultative Group, which includes eminent writer Indira Goswami, has been unable to make a breakthrough in persuading the ULFA’s leadership to participate in the peace process. — PTI

Top

 

War Room Leak Case
CBI finds nothing against axed Captain

New Delhi, August 12
The war room leak case has landed the navy in a soup as the CBI has found nothing incriminating against sacked Captain Kashyap Kumar, whom the force had alleged was involved in the scam.

The probe, which has been completed, had indicated that Kumar was made a scapegoat in this matter though he had nothing to do with the leak of secret information from the Directorate of Naval Operations or the war room, a senior CBI official said.

There was no connection whatsoever between Kumar and other defence officials and businessmen linked to the scandal, the official said.

The CBI’s findings have clearly dispelled the ‘extensive campaign’ launched by the navy’s Public Relations Department against Kumar, official said.

The navy refused to comment on this issue.

Kumar, during the case in which five charge sheets have been filed so far, has been called only thrice by the CBI for questioning and that too in the initial stages.

Thereafter, the agency did not consider him a suitable witness in the case, sources said.

The leak occurred when Admiral Arun Prakash was the Navy Chief. His kin Ravi Shankaran, a key suspect in the scandal, is still absconding.

The CBI’s stand could embarrass the navy, which dismissed Kumar from service in October 2005 under the rarely used ‘President’s pleasure’ principle without making him face a court-martial.

This fact was also disputed as then President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam’s office had not received any file about the withdrawal of ‘presidential pleasure’ for Kumar, sources said. — PTI

Top

 

3 girls die following suicide pact
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, August 12
Among the four girls, who consumed poison after entering into a suicide pact yesterday, three have died and the fourth was discharged from a private hospital today. They entered into the pact fearing they would be separated if one of them got married.

The girls - Ammu, Jayanti, Divya and Hemasaveni - all studying in class X at Nagaraj Memorial School on the Magadi road, anti-bug pesticide tablets after returning home from the school. The girls, who lived in the same locality, returned for their homes to have lunch and then gathered at a nearby place after telling their parents they had to attend a special class.

An auto-rickshaw driver who saw them vomiting rushed them to the Victoria hospital. Ammu, Divya and Jayanti died in the hospital late last night. Hemasevani, who responded to emergency treatment, was shifted to a private hospital late last night and was discharged today.

Hemasaveni survived the suicide pact because she consumed the least poisonous tablets among all. Hemasaveni said all four of them had been collecting insecticide tablets since the past few days and that the tablets were in Ammu’s possession. On the fateful day Ammu bought the tablets and was the first to consume. Hemasaveni said she was the last to take the tablets and had consumed the least number of tablets as there were few left when her turn came.

The girl said all of them were tense after coming to know that Ammu may be married off to her maternal cousin. After deciding to end their lives rather than be separated from each other, the girls wrote a suicide note stating no one should be held responsible for their deaths.

Trying to explain the reason for their act, the joint suicide note said: “We could not live together in this world. We wish to be together at least in death”.

They even stated that they did not have any love affairs and that following their deaths their eyes should be donated and no postmortem should be conducted on their bodies.

Meanwhile, the Victoria Hospital authorities did an inquest on the three bodies today following which they were cremated at the Mysore Road crematorium.

Top

 

Eleven bus passengers electrocuted

Lucknow, August 12
At least 11 persons were killed and over 40 seriously injured after a high-tension electricity wire fell on a passenger bus near Deoband in Saharanpur district today.

The Uttarakhand roadways bus was on way to Roorkee from Deoband when the mishap occurred, the police said here. The injured were admitted to the district hospital in Saharanpur where several of the passengers were stated to be critical, the police added.

“The bus was parked on the side of the road when it came into contact with 11,000 Kv line,” Commissioner Saharanpur Division R P Shukla said.

The tyres of the bus burst with a deafening sound and it caught fire trapping the passengers inside, he said.

He said that it was a clear-cut case of negligence’ on the part of the power officials. The incident would be investigated thoroughly and stern action would be taken against the guilty, he added. — PTI

Top

 

Legislator booked for threat to kill Taslima

Hyderabad, August 12
The police has registered a case against a leader of a Muslim political party on charges of threatening to kill exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who was attacked by his party members here on Thursday.

Hours after registering a case against Nasreen for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments of Muslims through her writings and speech, on a complaint by Majlis-e-Ittedhadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader-cum-legislator Akbaruddin Owaisi, the police booked him on charges of criminal intimidation.

The Punjagutta police station registered a case under the IPC against Owaisi last night even as the latter denied issuing any threat to kill Nasreen if she visited Hyderabad again. Owaisi, party leader in state assembly, said his statement after Thursday’s incident was distorted by a section of media.

He clarified that he never issued any threat to kill or behead Nasreen but only that as a Muslim he would abide by a “fatwa” against the writer issued in Bangladesh.

The case against the MIM legislator was registered under a non-bailable Section after a magistrate granted permission to the police.

He is yet to be arrested because that would require permission from the speaker of the state assembly.

The police is also conducting a probe against Majeedullah Khan Farhat, a leader of MIM’s rival Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT), for stating that the attack by MIM leaders on Nasreen was to foil their plan to kill the writer outside the press club.

A police official said the cases against both Nasreen and Owaisi were being probed. The police was going through Nasreen’s writings and speech made at the book release function and also the video footage of Owaisi’s statement.

The MIM leader has also filed a complaint against the organisers of the function for inviting Nasreen. He has demanded a ban on the Telugu translation of Nasreen’s book. — IANS

Top

 

Flood-relief seekers baton-charged

Saharsa (Bihar), August 12
One person was killed and 12 were injured, including a woman, as police baton-charged hundreds of angry people, who demanded adequate flood relief and ransacked the Sonbarsa block office here today.

District magistrate Niranjan Kumar Choudhry told PTI here that Bino Sharma died in a government hospital. He announced Rs 1 lakh as ex-gratia for Sharma's family.

Choudhry said nearly 2,000 flood victims of Kopa and Pararia panchayats, who gathered at the block office for relief, got angry when they were told that there was no relief material.

As the block development officer Prabhakar Prasad Singh was absent, the villagers went on the rampage damaging furniture and documents. To control the enraged villagers, the police used batons resulting in injury to 12 people, including Sharma and Asok Mukhiya. While Sharma succumbed to his injuries, Mukhiya's condition was critical.

The state government suspended BDO Singh on the charge of dereliction of duty in distributing relief, Choudhry said. — PTI

Top

 

Bihar floods: Nitish meets PM

New Delhi, August 12
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and apprised him of the worsening flood situation in the state.

According to the Prime Minister's spokesman, Dr Singh assured Kumar of all help from the Central government.

The Prime Minister has directed the PMO to extend help to the state. — UNI

Top

 

North helps food sector grow: Ficci
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 12
Fuelled by a strong 20 per cent plus growth in semi-processed, cooked ready-to-eat food, branded milk products, ice-cream, wine and sugar, the food and beverages (F&B) sector continues to surge ahead with a growth rate of 8.5 per cent in value terms in 2007-08, according to the Ficci’s Food & Beverages Survey.

The survey reveals higher growth rates for almost all segments of the F&B sector as compared to the previous year. The growths dynamics of the F&B sector is such that in terms of total output addition, food has surpassed IT and pharma industry.

The study found that north India has emerged as one of the most important markets for food and beverage industry. North India has become an important hub for ready to eat foods, snacks, namkeens, processed fruits, juices, milk and milk products and branded products.

Ghee produced in northern India accounts for 45 per cent of the country's ghee market.

In alcoholic beverages and health drinks segment also, the north India has established strong position because of the changing lifestyles and the incentives provided by the state governments. In alcoholic beverages, Rajasthan has regularised sales in the state with the formation of a distribution corporation similar to Karnataka, it said.

The northern region has become the destination of companies to start manufacturing food and beverage products and form retail chains because of the growing market and incentives provided by the respective governments, the study said.

With the changing lifestyle and rising disposable incomes of the growing middle-income consuming class, branded, health and convenient food products are the rapidly rising segments of the F&B industry. The market for branded foods across different segments of the industry is growing by 15 to 20 per cent.

The Ficci ‘Food & Beverages Survey report is based on information and feedback provided by over 300 sector-specific industry associations, companies, extensive interaction with representatives of industry and experts from companies both in the private and public sectors.

The survey also projects higher growth ranging between 8.5 per cent and 9 per cent during 2007-2008 in almost all the products belonging to the F&B sector.

The respondents to the Survey confirm that the F&B industry has shown buoyancy due some liberal policy measures and initiatives taken by the government, such as giving high priority for development of food processing industry to encourage commercialization and value addition to agricultural produce by declaring food processing industry as a priority area and tax benefits.

Additionally, a package of fiscal incentives provided by various state governments like Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal, have encouraged companies to set up manufacturing facilities in these regions.

Top

 

UP Guv clips wings of 2 VCs

Lucknow, August 12
Uttar Pradesh Governor T.V. Rajeswar has restrained the vice-chancellors of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, Agra, and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya University, Gorakhpur, from discharging their duties.

While VC of Agra university, Prof A.S. Kukla, was restrained from his duties after the Governor accorded sanction for his prosecution in a criminal case, Gorakhpur university VC, Prof Arun Kumar, was punished following several complaints about financial, administrative and academic irregularities.

In two separate orders issued yesterday by the Raj Bhavan, the Governor has directed Dr Bhumitra Deo, former VC of Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Rohilkhand University, Bareilly, to discharge the duties of the Agra VC. Senior-most professor of the Gorakhpur university A.K. Mittal has been asked to perform the functions of the VC till further orders.

According to a Raj Bhavan press statement here today, Agra SSP had sought prosecution of Kukla in connection with a criminal case under Sections 306, 342 and 330 of the IPC registered in Hari Parbat police station in 2005.

On police investigation, prima-facie charges have been found against Kukla after which the sanction for prosecution was sought from the Raj Bhavan.

Action against Gorakhpur university VC was taken after serious complaints about irregularities in admission in BEd courses in the colleges affiliated to the university were received.

On May 23, 2007, the Allahabad High Court had directed the state’s digher education department to conduct a detailed inquiry into the entire episode of irregularities in the BEd admission and if there are facts resulting in criminal liability, suitable action in this regard may be initiated.

The HC, in another petition, had asked the Gorakhpur university VC to show cause as to why recommendation should not be made to the chancellor to consider as to whether the continuance of the present incumbent on his post is in the interest of the university or not.

The chancellor had ordered an inquiry against the Gorakhpur university VC, appointing the commissioner, Gorakhpur division, as inquiry officer, who was to submit his report within two months after serving the charge sheet and giving sufficient opportunity to the VC to present his side. — UNI

Top

 

Insulting or humiliating a child also corporal punishment: Rights panel

New Delhi, August 12
Making a student kneel down or stand for hours and pinching or slapping him or her could land teachers in trouble as all acts involving insult or humiliation to the child could soon be banned in schools.

Taking a serious view of increasing instances of violence on children in schools, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has expanded the definition of corporal punishment to include even small acts.

NCPCR chairperson Shantha Sinha has written to all chief secretaries recommending that there should be no gradations while judging corporal punishment and noted that "small acts" should not be condoned as they actually lead to gross violations.

"A slap is as detrimental to the child's right as grievous injury. Indeed there are no gradations since it must be seen that condoning so called 'small acts' actually lead to gross violations," Sinha wrote in the letter.

The commission has enlisted rapping on the knuckles, making students kneel down or stand up for long hours, sitting like a chair and beating up with a scale, pinching and slapping, locking up student alone in classrooms and making a child run in the school ground as forms of corporal punishment.

Among the more serious forms of violence against children that the commission has taken note of are child sexual abuse, torture, and electric shocks. — PTI

Top

 

Ashes of Chandra Shekhar immersed in Ganga

Varanasi, August 12
The ashes of former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar was immersed in the Ganga here today.

The former PM's two sons, Pankaj Shekhar and Neeraj Shekhar, after immersing part of the ashes at the Triveni Sangam in Allahabad, reached Varanasi.

In Allahabad, a large number of people, including senior Congress leader and former Union minister Satya Prakash Malviya, Congress MLA Anugrah Narain Singh, Allahabad mayor Chaudhary Jitendra Nath Singh, garlanded the photo of the former Prime Minister and paid last tributes at the Circuit House here.

Later, the urn was taken in an open flower-decked vehicle to Kilaghat and ashes were immersed in the holy water of Sangam with rituals.

Later, they left for the Rajendra Prasad Ghat from where the two sons, other relatives and Samajwadi Janata Party (SJP) leaders embarked on a motorboat with the urn containing the departed leader's ashes.

The ashes were immersed in the Ganga near the 'Samadhi' of Bhagwan Ram Avdhoot Ram. The remaining ashes will now be immersed in the confluence of the Ganga and Saryu rivers near Chandra Shekhar's native district of Ballia in east Uttar Pradesh.

Later, interacting with newspersons, Pankaj Shekhar said ''All efforts will be made to preserve the political legacy of my father by keeping his party SJP intact.''

When asked about the political successor to the former PM, he remained non-commital. ''Decision on who will contest the bypoll from the Balia parliamentary constituency will be made soon.'' Keeping mum over the prospects of sibling Neeraj being nominated the SJP candidate for the bypoll, Pankaj said they would go for the most suitable candidate.

The bypoll to the Balia parliamentary seat, which fell vacant following Chandra Shekhar's demise on July 8, has been postponed due to floods in east UP. — UNI

Top

 

Schwarznegger may visit India in November

Bangalore, August 12
Hollywood star and California Governor Arnold Schwarznegger is expected to visit India in November, a trip that is likely to formally flag off a major collaborative effort between industries and universities in his home state and the Indian Institute of Science here.

S Mohan, the chairman of the IISc Alumni association who has just returned from a five-week interaction in California, said the action hero was expected to make “some announcements” on such collaboration during the trip.

After the IISc Alumni association had a meeting at Santa Clara on June 22, Mohan stayed back in the US, interacting with the universities and industries in California.

“The outcome was that the IISc (which begins its centenary celebrations in May next year) will be interacting with a number of US universities and industries for joint collaboration programmes,” Mohan said.

“Scientists will move from both sides, faculty and student exchanges will take place for mutual benefits.

Industries will fund the programmes of IISc and US universities so that both sides do whatever they can.” Initially, 10 California-based universities would work with IISc on collaborative programmes in energy, environment, knowledge sciences, information and communication, automotive and aerospace technologies and bio-technology. — PTI

Top

 

No date yet for Indo-Pak talks on tackling terror
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 12
India and Pakistan have not been able to finalise the date for the second meeting of the anti-terror mechanism (ATM) and the delay is being attributed to the recent developments in Pakistan.

After the first meeting held in Islamabad in March, it was decided that the second meeting would be held after three months. But due to various problems being faced by President Pervez Musharraf, Islamabad has not been able to decide the date even after five months.

The ATM was formed to deal with problems related to cross-border terrorism.

Officials here attribute it to Pakistan’s internal fast changing developments in the recent past, including the sacking and the subsequent restoration of its Chief Justice.

A decision to set up the ATM was taken at a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Musharraf in Havana last year on the sidelines of the NAM summit.

Top

 

Flag ‘insulted’ on TV, boy files complaint

Surat, August 12
A schoolboy today filed a police complaint against a private television channel for allegedly "insulting" the national flag during a music programme aired last night, said police.

In his complaint lodged with the Adajan police station Saurabh Vinod Ramchandani -- a class X student -- has alleged that during an Independence Day related episode, the Indian Tricolour shown in the background during the programme was not positioned correctly.

He alleged the flag was upside down with the green band at the top.

Several luminaries including Kapil Dev, singer Bappi Lahri, Himesh Reshammiya and others present on the show did not notice the aberration, he alleged. The complainant noted that displaying the national flag incorrectly is “insulting” it and asked for strict action against those responsible for this. — PTI

Top

 

Kapil, Sunita given Rajiv awards

Mumbai, August 12
Bollywood actors Salman Khan and Shilpa Shetty, cricketer Kapil Dev and Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams were among 10 people who were today presented the Rajiv Gandhi Awards for achievements in their chosen fields.

Union power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh presented the awards at a glittering function here.

D.Y.Patil, who was honoured for his contribution to Indian education, said it was a great honour to receive the award instituted in the memory of a prominent member of the Gandhi family, with whom he has had long and close relations.

Among other winners editor-in-Chief of the ‘The Indian Express’ Shekhar Gupta was awarded for his contribution to journalism while Veerendra Heggade was awarded for philanthropy.

Swati Piramal, director of pharma major Nicholas Piramal India, received the award in the woman achiever category.

"Rajiv Gandhi had always encouraged research and science. An award coming in his memory is a great honour," she said.

Williams, who was not present to receive the award, was honoured as a super achiever, while the UK-based NRI Sir Gulam Noon received the award in the global Indian category.

Khushagra Bajaj was recognised as a promising young entrepreneur while Suzlon Energy chief Tulsi Tanti got the honours in the industrialist category.

Eight-year-old Pooja Bhangira was awarded for her accomplishments as a young swimmer.

Bollywood actors Vivek Oberoi, Koena Mitra and Aftab Shivdasani and Pakistani comedians Ali Hasan and Irfan Malik regaled the audience. — PTI

Top

 

Cobra venom for cancer cure

New Delhi, August 12
The poisonous venom of snakes like the black cobra and viper may provide a possible cure for cancer, according to a new research.

A team of scientists at the Drug Development Division in the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, Kolkata, have found that proteins present in snake venom can be used to prepare anti-cancer drugs.

The scientists are now trying to single out the proteins in the venom that have anti-cancer properties and inhibit the growth of malignant cells.

“The research can provide clues for development of anti-cancer drugs and our team is working on developing such drugs,” said Aparna Gomes, who led the team.

The scientists studied the anti-carcinogenic activities in the crude venom of the Indian monocellate cobra and Russell’s viper on cancer of the skin, tumour (soft tissues) and blood in mice.

The study published in the journal of ethnophamacology gives an overview of various snake venom components that have prospects in health and diseases. — PTI

Top

 

Dasmunsi releases DVD on Mahatma Gandhi

New Delhi, August 11
Union minister for information and broadcasting Priyaranjan Dasmunsi yesterday released a DVD titled ‘Mahatma’.

Scripted and directed by noted documentary film director Brijendra Rehi, the DVD was originally a television serial that was beamed in 1998-99. The serial has been taken from Doordarshan archives and released by Prasar Bharati.

Dasmunsi said that the DVD would be of immense value for the youths as it offers an insight into the history of India's freedom struggle. — TNS

Top

 

Authorities conduct raids on UP jails

Lucknow, August 12
Raids were today conducted in district jails across Uttar Pradesh to ensure that prison norms were being followed strictly and to prevent prisoners from running any illegal rackets.

The raids started this afternoon in all 62 district jails in the state, inspector-general of police (Law and Order) Brijlal said.

In Meerut, a mobile phone, a CD player, 40 CDs, two phone chargers and Rs. 8,645 in cash were seized from a prisoner during a raid on the Chaudhary Kiran Singh district jail. — PTI

Top

 

Four killed in truck-bus collision

Jaipur, August 12
Four persons were killed and over a dozen persons injured in a collision between a truck and a private bus at Dudu on the Ajmer-Jaipur national highway.

The police said the bus was on its way from Udaipur to Jaipur when it collided with a truck at about 1730 hrs. The injured have been admitted to the SMS hospital here. — UNI

Top

 

Ansari meets Pratibha

New Delhi, August 12
Vice-president Mohammed Hamid Ansari today met President Pratibha Patil. The vice-president was with the President for nearly 30 minutes, Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesman S M Khan said here. He termed the meeting a "courtesy call". Ansari was sworn-in as vice-president yesterday. — PTI

Top

 

Ordnance factory blast kills 1

Jabalpur, August 12
One person was killed and three were injured in a blast at ordnance factory here today, the police said. The Army was yet to specify the nature of the blast which took place in sector S-III of the factory, SP Makarand Deoskar said. — PTI

Top

 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |