|Saturday, July 1, 2000,
likely to visit USA in September
Parishad awards for
MDMK-sponsored rally triggers
Bribe money gets stuck in throat
Hotel files FIR against VIP
Congress stand on Emergency flayed
Rain likely in Punjab, Haryana, HP
GPO to pay for deficient service
Nina Sibal dies in New York
Four new CRPF battalions created
Sealdah-Amritsar train from today
PM likely to visit USA in
NEW DELHI, June 30 Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is likely to visit the USA in September for an Indo-US summit.
Mr Vajpayees visit came for a brief mention during a meeting between the US Secretary of State, Ms Madeleine Albright, and the External Affairs Minister, Mr Jaswant Singh, in the Polish Capital Warsaw this week.
Sources said the exact dates of the return visit of the Prime Minister are being worked out through diplomatic channels and a simultaneous announcement is likely to be made in the two Capitals in the next few days. The Jaswant-Albright bilateral meeting was part of the dialogue architecture of the Vision Statement of the Indo-US ties which was signed by Mr Vajpayee and the US President, Mr Bill Clinton during the latters official visit to India in March this year.
The two Foreign Ministers discussed bilateral, regional and international issues, a senior official said adding that developments in Pakistan also figured in talks. The issue of the CTBT also came up during the talks. Mr Singh reiterated Indias stand that efforts were going on to evolve a national consensus on the issue and the next session of Parliament would discuss the CTBT.
While the Indo-US group on counter-terrorism has already held its meeting, the working group on clean energy and environment is due to hold its first meeting shortly.
The first round of dialogue architecture will be completed before the Indo-US summit.
Mr Vajpayees visit to the US is likely to be coupled with his visit to New York to attend the millennium session of the UN General Assembly.
A firm indication of the momentum of the growing Indo-US ties was available in Warsaw during the conference of the Communities of Democracies when the US Secretary of State chose to accompany the External Affairs Minister to meet the UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, for expressing Indias concern on the hostage issue in Sierra Leone.
Demonstration by Youth Cong
NEW DELHI, June 30 Youth Congress workers led by its chief Randeep Singh Surjewala today held a demonstration protesting against attacks on minorities especially Christians.
The demonstrators had to face water canons and were cane charged by the police which also burst some tear gas shells to disperse the agitators. Mr Surjewala condemned the police action and demanded a judicial inquiry into it. The party claimed that at least 57 workers were hurt following the action.
Addressing the workers, Mr Surjewala condemned the attack on minorities and said that it appeared to be part of a conspiracy by the BJP and its allies to deflect attention from its "failures and misdeeds".
Indias human rights indices
IF the observations cited in the Human Development Report 2000, released in Paris on Thursday are anything to go by, India occupies an extremely favourable position with regard to realisation of human rights among the medium developed countries. The report cites India as progressive in the attainment of human development.
In the report, which has explored the issue of human rights in 174 countries, ranks Indias Human Development Index (HDI) at 128. Canada secures the first position for the seventh consecutive year. Unlike the general feeling, India has been shown to be steadily making improvements in its attempt to secure the citizens dignity. It is gradually making gains in the area of amelioration of human poverty, while many of its South Asian counterparts are slipping back, including Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The cited statistics places India in a very favourable light in the category of medium developed countries and points towards remarkable trends particularly in areas of gender empowerment and mobilisation of democratic institutions and the media. The report tells us about the increasing participation of women in issues of government and points out to the number of women holding positions in the government. In 1998, 4.9% women were holding positions in the government at all levels, 7.9% were holding ministerial positions and 4.2% sub-ministerial positions. Corresponding figures for Bangladesh are 1.1, 5.3 and 0; for Pakistan 3.0, 7.1 and 1.4; and for Nepal they are 1.3, 3.1 and 0.
The report, released by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Administrator, Mr Mark Malloch Brown, offers suggestions to national governments on how to face the challenge of threats to the freedom with which the current century has opened. In India also the report was released on Thursday.
An analyses of trends in terms of India revealed that the HDI and per capita income improved continuously from 0.405 (1975) and 0.470 (1985) to 0.563 (1998). While comparing the human development indices of eight nations that fall in South Asia, India occupies the fourth position after Sri Lanka, Maldives and Iran and Islamic Republic, while Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh are relegated in the list.
Economic growth of India has also improved from 0.026 in 1975 to 0.054 in 1998. Indias development in terms of survival which implies as to whether the nation has been able to offer a long and healthy life to its people India has particularly progressed. Its life expectancy at birth has shot up from 50.3 (1970- 75) to 69 (1998). The infant mortality rate has fallen to almost half in the said period.
Tolerance of others, as a factor leading to human development, has also been talked about. Seen in this context, India has been referred as a nation which sees its diversity as a strength rather than a weakness. The report, while stating that many institutional changes have led to a gradual improvement in dispersal of rights, focuses India as follows: "In India affirmative action in economic and political spheres benefits scheduled castes and scheduled tribes."
India has also progressed in terms of reducing income poverty from 54 per cent in 1974 to 39 per cent in 1994. An insight into the report reveals that developing nations are reporting some encouraging human development trends: the persons born today but not expected to live over 40 years has declined from 20 per cent to 14 per cent (1990 and 1998); the share of people having access to safe water has fallen from 32 per cent to 28 per cent for this period.
Freedom from injustice as a right is another aspect of human development. It is heartening to note that in this context, the report quotes India favourably: "In India public interest litigation cases in education and environment have been important milestones in securing peoples economic and social rights." In context of political activism also Indias Mazdoor Kisan Sangh Samiti has been cited. This Sangh holds regular public hearings on public resources where people are free to ask for copies of official documents.
Indias policy of reserving 33 per cent for women in panchayats has also been appreciated. The report says: "In 1998 elections, this policy worked with women bagging 40 per cent seats. Another positive focus is in context with Indias decision to initiate an open debate on structural adjustment programme rather than signing a secretive agreement on the same with international financial institutions. In this act, India honoured its citizens rights of participation and freedom of expression in the framing of economic policy.
Links between social
rights and levels of nutrition are also explored. The
Indian state of Kerala is cited here. On account of its
high education and political awareness, Kerala has far
surpassed many other Indian states as far as
health-related achievements are concerned. Indian NGO
from Gujarat DISHA gets a special coverage
in the report as an NGO which has worked a lot for the uplift of tribals, mine and construction workers.
Parishad awards for Pattar, Sobti
NEW DELHI, June 30 (PTI) President K.R. Narayanan today Conferred the National Awards of Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad for 1999-2000 on eight renowned writers, including Hindi authors Krishna Sobti, Giriraj Kishor and Marathi litterateur Binda Karandikar.
The other awardees were M. Neelmani Sahu (Oriya), Dr M. Lilavati (Malayalam), Dr Vasireddy Sita Devi (Telegu), Surjit Pattar (Punjabi) and Nilmani Phukan (Assamese).
The award, given for the writers contribution to the Indian literature through their respective languages, includes a memento, a shawl and Rs 51,000.
Speaking on behalf of the recipients of the award instituted by the Calcutta based Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad, Mr Krishna Sobti said Indian writers may well be proud of their writings down the ages and of various publications brought out by them.
"Language binds the
country like nothing else can", she said while
exhorting them to bear in mind that a majority of people
in the country were illiterate and poor, and that an
endeavour must be made to reach out to this vital segment
of the society.
BC Roy award for PGI doctor
NEW DELHI, June 30 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, and the University Grants Commission Chairman Dr Hari Gautam, were among 16 doctors to be awarded Dr B.C. Roy national awards for 1999, the Medical Council of India announced today.
Dr Abdullah has been awarded in the category of doctor-cum-statesman and Dr Gautam as an eminent doctor. Both will receive Rs 1 lakh and a silver salver each.
The awards were given by the Medical Council of India since 1969.
Dr D.P. Baksi, Professor of Orthopaedics, Calcutta, Dr B.M. Hegde, Vice-Chancellor, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, Dr C.M.K. Reddy, Honorary Professor of Surgery and Honorary Surgeon, Stanley Medical College and Hospital, Chennai and Dr S.C. Mathur of Jaipur have been awarded for their services as eminent medical teachers.
Recognising the best talents in encouraging the development of specialities in different branches of medicine, the committee awarded Dr B.S. Singhal (neurology-Mumbai), Dr Ramesh Chandra, (plastic and reconstructive surgery, Lucknow), Dr Upendra Kaul, Batra Heart Institute, New Delhi, Dr S.S. Bapat, urology, Pune.
Dr Hiralal B. Shah, Baroda, Dr (Brig) M.L. Kataria, Chandigarh, Dr K.A. Ashok Pai, Shimoga, will receive the award for their services in the field of socio-medical relief. The Award for oration-1999 goes to Dr B.C. Das, Deputy Director and Chief, Division of Molecular Oncology of the Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology of the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi. All of them will receive a cash award of Rs 15,000 and a medal.
Prof Y. Chawla, PGI,
Chandigarh, has been awarded for his original and
outstanding work in the field of medical and allied
sciences done in the country. He will also receive a cash
prize of Rs 1 lakh and a silver salver, while Mr K.A.
Balasubramanian, Professor of Biochemistry at Christian
Medical College, Vellore, has been chosen for basic
research in the medical sciences. He will be given a cash
award of Rs 10,000 and a medal.
MDMK-sponsored rally triggers
CHENNAI, June 30 It is a grand Vaiko show known as the Tamil Nadu Awakening Conference with participation by BJP and other NDA partners that opens at Erode tomorrow. The two-day MDMK sponsored rally has already stirred up a sharp controversy with the Congress and the Tamizhaga Rajiv Congress dubbing it as a "pro-Eelam and pro-LTTE meet.
The TNCC president, Mr E.V.K.S. Elangovan, has announced that he would lead a black flag demonstration if the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, participated in the conference.
While MDMK leaders, including Mr Vaiko, are trying to soft-pedal the issue, the slogans and posters projecting the Erode conference have given the critics enough ammunition to denounce the rally as an attempt to highlight the Tamil Eelam demand.
The slogans have sought to hail Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka and to sympathise with the Eelam cause. The posters include a picture of a tiger on the prowl and of Mr Vaiko with a tiger cub. One poster in Chennai had hailed Mr Vaiko as the "Prabhakaran of Tamil Nadu". Asked about this obvious embarrassment to him, Mr Vaiko recently told reporters. "What can I do if somebody puts up an odd poster like that in some remote corner?"
Mr Vaiko and other MDMK spokesmen have declared that the Erode conference will basically focus on ways to ensure that Tamil Nadhu is not ruined by caste and communal clashes.
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Mr M. Karunanidhi, one of the prominent NDA invitees, is expected to attend the conference. He has taken care to caution that discretion is required while discussing sensitive issues such as Tamil Eelam, taking note that LTTE is a banned organisation in the country.
The BJP is hoping that the conference would not prove to be an embarrassment to the NDA, especially in the context of the latters stand on the autonomy resolution passed by the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly.
It is not yet clear if
the Erode meet would adopt any resolution on the Eelam
issue. According to an MDMK spokesman, the resolutions at
the conference would focus centre on the protection of
the interests of Tamil Nadu.
Bribe money gets stuck in throat
NAGPUR, June 30 (PTI) A head constable who literally tried to "digest" currency notes when caught red-handed by an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) team was left gasping for breath as the notes got stuck in his throat.
The police said here today a constable and a head constable were trapped by the ACB while allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 500 from a resident at Deolapur yesterday to hush up a theft case.
Sensing trouble, the
head constable swallowed the notes, but they got stuck in
his throat. He started gasping for breath and was
immediately rushed to a Primary Health Centre in the area
where the doctor extricated the notes.
Hotel files FIR against VIP squatter
PATNA, June 30 (PTI) A controversy has erupted over alleged forcible occupation of rooms of a hotel owned by Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC) by a senior minister belonging to the Congress with the BSTDC managing director registering an fir against him.
Irked by forcible occupation of rooms of Hotel Kautilya, Bihar, of BSTDC by Bihar Labour Minister Chandrashekhar Dubey, the BSTDC MD, Atul Prasad, ordered institution of a case against the minister on Wednesday last.
According to Mr Dubey, he had yesterday written a strongly-worded formal note to chief secretary V.S. Dubey, against the BSTDC officials for their audacity in lodging an fir against him and his staff.
BSTDC sources said Mr Dubey was staying in the hotel ever since he became minister in March last and his staff forcibly occupied rooms later on. Repeated requests to Mr Dubey to get the hotel rooms vacated had failed.
Mr Dubey told PTI that
he had already informed Chief Minister Rabri Devi and RJD president Laloo Prasad Yadav, besides Tourism Minister
Madhav Lal Singh, about the misdeed of the BSTDC MD and sought stringent punitive action against
Congress stand on Emergency
NEW DELHI, June 30 The Bharatiya Janata Party today lashed out at the Congress for its stand on Emergency imposed 25 years ago. Addressing newspersons, the party Vice-President, Mr K. Jana Krishnamurthi, said the Congress by terming the BJP stand on Emergency as diversionary tactics had "revealed the hollowness of its convictions on democracy".
Referring to the Congress position on the issue that the proclamation of Emergency was to meet an extraordinary situation within the provisions of the Constitution, Mr Jana Krishnamurthi said that by saying so they stand self-condemned.
"Emergency was an attempt to banish democracy and enter into a fascist regime", the BJP leader said adding that this insidious attempt was thwarted by democratic forces in the country.
"The BJP represents
the democratic spirit of the nation and hence we are
observing this week to further strengthen the spirit and
make masses aware so that never ever democracy should
fall victim to fascist designs.
GPO to pay for deficient service
NEW DELHI, June 30 (PTI) A Delhi court has ordered a city post office to pay a compensation of Rs 16,000 to a man who missed his flight due to the delayed delivery of a speed post containing air tickets.
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Tis Hazari which found Kashmiri Gate GPO guilty of deficiency in service, directed the concerned Post Master to deduct the compensation amount from the salary of three defaulting employees who had allegedly demanded money from the complainants son for the timely delivery of the speed post.
The compensation money, including the price of air tickets and the cost of litigation will be deducted from the salary of APM Kirpal Singh, DGPM Rattan Chand and Sudesh. The three had allegedly asked for an illegal gratification of Rs 1,000 for handing over the speed post to complainant Ram Avatar Guptas son Pankaj Gupta.
"To root out corruption from public offices it is recommended that departmental action for major punishment should also be taken against these officials," forum chief P.K. Jain and members G.T. Gupta and Santosh Khanna said in a recent order.
Ram Avatar Gupta, a resident of Katra Badiyan, Fatehpuri in the walled city area of the Capital, was to receive four air tickets sent to him from Indore on May 22, 1998 for a flight scheduled for 11 am four days later.
When Mr Gupta did not receive the speed post a day before the scheduled flight, he checked up with the GPO and was informed that the same would be delivered to him by 7 am positively.
When the tickets were not delivered till 9 am, the complainant sent his son Pankaj Gupta to the GPO who met the said three employees. All of them allegedly demanded a bribe of Rs 1,000 for the delivery of the speed post.
Though after some time
they agreed to give the speed post on payment of Rs 500
only, Pankaj did not have the amount with him. The result
was that the letter was not delivered and the Guptas
missed the flight.
Rain likely in Punjab, Haryana, HP and J&K
PUNE, June 30 (UNI) Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places in Andaman and Nicobar islands, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat region, Saurashtra, Konkan and Goa, Marathwada, Vidarbha, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, coastal Karnataka and Kerala during next 48 hours.
Southwest monsoon has been active in sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, coastal Andhra Pradesh, coastal Karnataka and Kerala.
Rain or thundershowers have occurred at most places in Andaman and Nicobar islands, Orissa, Jammu and Kashmir, Konkan and Goa, at a few places in east Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, west Madhya Pradesh and Lakshadweep and at isolated places in Assam and Meghalaya, Bihar plateau, plains of west Uttar Pradesh, east Rajasthan, Saurashtra and Kutch and Tamil Nadu. Mainly dry weather prevailed over the rest of the country.
Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at many places in Haryana and Punjab and at a few places in Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and at isolated places over the rest of the country.
Nina Sibal dies in New York
NEW DELHI, June 30 Ms Nina Sibal, Director of UNESCOs New York Office, passed away there yesterday after prolonged illness. She was 51.
Ms Sibal is survived by her husband, Mr Kapil Sibal, MP, and two sons, a UNESCO press note said here today.
She belonged to the 1972
batch of Indian Foreign Service and was posted in the
permanent mission of India to the UN and later appointed
as the Deputy Director General of the ICCR. Following a
stint as a Minister in the Indian Embassy in Cairo. Ms
Sibal became Indias permanent delegate to UNESCO in
1992 and joined it in 1995 as a Director in the
Organisations Liaison Office in New York.
Four new CRPF battalions
NEW DELHI, June 30 Four new battalions have been created for the Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF), thereby increasing its battalion strength to 141.
The current strength includes 10 battalions of the Rapid Action Force, two women battalions and one special duty group, a CRPF press note said here today.
Sealdah-Amritsar train from today
NEW DELHI, June 30 (UNI) Two Rajdhani express trains between Delhi and Mumbai will be run daily and another biweekly Rajdhani train will be introduced tomorrow from Calcutta to New Delhi with limited stops en route.
Announcing the summer time table to be effective from tomorrow, Northern Railway General Manager S.P. Mehta said the Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani express and the Mumbai-Hazarat Nizamuddin August Kranti express which runs six days a week will now be running daily. A new train between Lucknow and Chapra in Bihar and Bikaner-Suratgarh will be run daily.
Other new trains to be
introduced tomorrow are Okh-Dehradun, Jodhpur-Bangalore,
Sealdah-Amritsar, which would be operated weekly,
Lucknow-Bhopal Express and Manduvadih-Baidyanathdham
Express, which would be run biweekly. A DMU train will be
introduced between Amritsar and Pathankot, Mr Mehta said.
70 held for
Drunk son kills
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