SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Dr Prasad had just Rs 100 when he died
PNB keeps A/c open to show it to public
Patna, July 1
At a time when the present day politicians declare assets worth crores, including the latest revelation by Chief Minister of UP Mayawati declaring her assets running into Rs 52 crore, the balance amount of a savings account once held by the country`s first President, Dr Rajendra Prasad, is a meagre Rs 1,432.

Maharashtra rain toll 50
Mumbai, July 1
A day after some parts of the city received nearly 400 mm of rainfall, Mumbai returned to normal today even as the death toll in different parts of Maharashtra climbed up to 50. According to state government officials, nearly 50 people had died in Maharashtra’s Konkan region following last week’s downpour.
People enjoy the surging waves during high tide at the Worli promenade in Mumbai People enjoy the surging waves during high tide at the Worli promenade in Mumbai on Sunday.
— AFP photo





EARLIER STORIES


A lady doctor signs a campaign poster to support "Say no to Female Feticide" on the occasion of Doctors Day at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad
A lady doctor signs a campaign poster to support "Say no to Female Feticide" on the occasion of Doctors Day at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad on Sunday. — PTI

Post-Godhra Riots
Displaced victims get election ID-cards
Ahmedabad, July 1
Iqbalbhai Memon, a post-Godhra riot victim, got his photograph clicked this June after five years. What was different this time was that it was not just a mere photo opportunity but one meant to help exercise his fundamental right — vote — with Assembly elections in Gujarat slated later this year.

Maoist attack leaves nine dead
Patna, July 1
Eight persons, including six policemen and two civilians, were killed when nearly 250 armed Maoists attacked a police station and an outpost in Rohtas district of Bihar around last midnight. Eight others, including four policemen, were injured in the attack and taken to Varanasi in eastern UP for treatment.

Don’t bring presidential poll to municipal level: Bardhan
Nagpur, July 1
Advising the political leadership to maintain the dignity of Presidential nominees, CPI leader A B Bardhan today said the election to the country's highest constitutional post should not be brought to the level of a municipality poll.

Prez poll: Scrutiny today
New Delhi, July 1
The race for India's highest constitutional post would enter its closing lap tomorrow when scrutiny of nominations for the July 19-presidential elections would be taken up. A total of 84 nominations were filed for the presidential polls with as many as 33 new nomination papers being received on the last day.

Moily Panel Report
Centre, states asked to pay attention to prison reforms
New Delhi, July 1
Expressing concern over the appalling condition and overcrowding of jails, especially in Delhi and Jharkhand, the Administrative Reforms Commission has recommended that the Centre and the state governments should work out modernisation and reforms of the prison system.

IAF to buy 126 jets from 1 vendor
New Delhi, July 1
Putting aside rumours of multi-vendor acquisition, the Indian Air Force says it will acquire its 126 multi-role combat aircraft from a single manufacturer. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal F.H. Major, said in an interview to a defence magazine: "The world's single biggest fighter jet order will go to one supplier.

1971 War
US pleaded with China to ‘menace’ India
New Delhi, July 1
The recently declassified US official records throw new light on the anger and frustration that seized US President Richard Nixon during the 1971 Indo-Pak war and how Washington secretly pleaded with China to “menace” India by moving troops to the Indian border.

Son identifies FCI official’s body
Guwahati, July 1

Pravin Ram, son of abducted Food Corporation of India executive director, Dr P.C. Ram today identified the body of his father at the morgue of Nalbari district civil hospital in Assam. Dr Ram’s body bore a cut at the throat and there were marks of sharp weapons on the back.

FCI officials pay tributes to the mortal remains of FCI executive director P.C. Ram in Guwahati

FCI officials pay tributes to the mortal remains of FCI executive director P.C. Ram in Guwahati on Sunday. Ram was found dead at Boroma, Nalbari, on Saturday evening after he was kidnapped by alleged ULFA militants in April for a ransom money of more than Rs 20 crore. — PTI photo

Sahib Singh Verma cremated
New Delhi, July 1
Former Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma, who died in a road accident yesterday, was cremated today with full state honours here.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal pay floral tribute to BJP Leader Sahib Singh Verma at the party head office in New Delhi on Sunday. Verma died in a road accident in alwar district in Rajasthan. — Tribune Photo by Manas Ranjan Bhui

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal pay floral tribute to BJP Leader Sahib Singh Verma at the party head office in New Delhi

Diana Hayden helps build homes for poor
New Delhi, July 1
Indian beauty queen and former Miss World Diana Hayden has joined hands with some of Hollywood's most influential women to build homes for the needy and poor in Los Angeles.

This time, it is the Telugu-speaking people
NRIs to host another fundraiser for Hillary
Hyderabad, July 1
Signalling direct participation in the political process of their adopted country, non-resident Telugu-speaking people in the United States will host a breakfast meeting with the Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on July 5.

Israel’s tech helps cos meet fresh water needs
Mumbai, July 1
Faced with fresh water crisis, some of the major industries located on sea coast are using Israel's water desalination technology in their plants to meet their requirements.

Space technology beckons IIT students
New Delhi, July 1
Students who may not make it to the Indian Institutes of Technology despite clearing entrance exam can now look forward to careers in space technology. Such students can now directly apply to various courses in the new Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology which is launched in Thiruvananthapuram this academic year.

The countdown begins
New 7 wonders of world
New Delhi, July 1
Just seven days before the world gets to know the names of the new seven wonders, suspense is growing over Taj Mahal making the final cut as India remains in the fourth spot in voting percentage despite a sustained campaign to garner support for the marble monument.

Mysore emerges from shadows of Bangalore
Mysore, July 1
Emerging from the shadow of its cosmopolitan neighbour Bangalore, Mysore was witnessing a flurry of activities in many fronts and was all set to evolve as a brand and alternative destination in Karnataka.

Woman gives birth in water
New Delhi, July 1
A 29-year-old woman delivered a healthy baby girl in water in the birthing pool of a South Delhi hospital here on Monday evening. Prachi Agarwal, a Delhi based invitations designer was inspired by reports about successful water birth deliveries opted by a British and an Italian woman at Phoenix Hospital where she was undergoing pre-natal check up under the guidance of consultant obstetrician Dr Urvashi Sehgal.

Fake encounter case: ATS cop surrenders
Ahmedabad, July 1
A police inspector, wanted by the Gujarat CID in connection with the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake encounter, today surrendered to the agency. Balkrishna Chaube, an inspector with the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad, was arrested after he surrendered in Gandhinagar, officials said.

CM, others fail to file assets list
Bangalore, July 1
Karnataka Lok Ayukta N Santosh Hedge’s pro-active move recommending the sacking of two cabinet ministers who failed to file the annual statement of their assets and liabilities to the Governor last year has apparently not had the desired effect.

Brother-in-law of Lalu holds up Rajdhani
Patna, July 1
The Delhi-bound Rajdhani express from Patna, reportedly, left 15 minutes behind its scheduled departure time yesterday allegedly because of the uproarious protest by Railways minister Lalu Prasad’s brother-in-law and MP Subhas Yadav against the non-confirmation of his tickets in the first class AC coach of the train.

India to host World Toilet Summit
New Delhi, July 1
New Delhi will host the World Toilet Summit 2007, a four-day international event on sanitation in October 2007. The summit with the theme ‘Toilet for all’ will start on October 31. It is expected to attract experts from across the globe.

Urban share of population to soar: UN report
New Delhi, June 30
Six months from now, the world will reach an invisible but momentous milestone. For the first time in history, more than half of the human population of the world, 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas, according to projections made by the UNFPA report on the State of World Population 2007.

Mar Ivanios to be declared ‘Servant of God’
Thiruvananthapuram, July 1
Late Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, the first Metropolitan of Syro Malankara Church, is to be declared as ‘Servant of God’, marking the first step in the process of conferring sainthood by the Vatican.

Monkeys take up rooms in varsity hostel
Patna, July 1
Creating all sorts of nuisance, some 16 monkeys have made the life of the inmates of the Patna university girls hostel “unbearable” as all attempts by the authorities to drive them away failed.

Plane skids off runway, 5 hurt
Indore, July 1
Jet Airways Delhi-Indore flight with 49 passengers and crew on board here today had a narrow escape as the flight skidded-off the runway while landing during rains at the Indore’s Devi Ahilyabai Holkar airport with five passenger suffering minor injuries.

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Dr Prasad had just Rs 100 when he died
PNB keeps A/c open to show it to public
Ambarish Dutta
Tribune News Service

Patna, July 1
At a time when the present day politicians declare assets worth crores, including the latest revelation by Chief Minister of UP Mayawati declaring her assets running into Rs 52 crore, the balance amount of a savings account once held by the country`s first President, Dr Rajendra Prasad, is a meagre Rs 1,432.

What is more amazing is that Dr Rajendra Prasad had a meagre savings of only about Rs 100 in his personal bank account here when he died 43 years ago, which following accruals of interest had gone up to Rs 1,432 now.

The former President, who hailed from Bihar, opened a savings bank account, number 3068, in the local Exhibition Road branch of the Punjab National Bank (PNB) about 18 months before his death on January 28, 1963, and left it in operation till that day.

The PNB authorities, however, instead of closing the account following his death, as per the bank regulation, decided to keep it open and operational till date as a mark of respect to the departed leader.

Senior manager of PNB here S. C. Sinha said as a mark of respect to the country’s former first citizen and the recipient of the country’s highest award "Bharat Ratna", the bank authorities had decided not to treat Dr Prasad’s account as closed.

Interestingly, no member of Dr.Prasad’s family, who also reside in Patna, had ever come forward to claim the meagre amount which remained as it is since the death of the former President.

The bank was now planning to exhibit the account book containing the signature of Dr Prasad for public viewing.

According to the bank authorities, the public viewing of the passbook and some other papers signed by Dr Prasad,was also aimed at creating awareness among the public, particulatly among the youth, about the simplicity of the great leader.

The revelation of the savings in Dr Prasad’s account was obviously in sharp contrast of what people of Bihar were experiencing these days with a series of financial scams allegedly involving high and mighty politicians ranging from fodder scam to flood relief scam.

Rajendra Prasad was born on December 3,1884, at Zeradei in Siwan district and died on February 28, 1963, in Patna.

Incidentally,it was the same Siwan, which in the past one decade, had witnesed the emergence of the biggest-ever crime citadel in Bihar under the controversial RJD MP Mohd Shahabuddin.

Dr Prasad, a true Gandhian, would only accept a token Re 1 a month.

Secretary of the Gandhi Sangrahalaya here Razi Ahmed observed that Dr Prasad’s paltry savings only indicated his austerity and honesty in private and public life.

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Maharashtra rain toll 50
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 1
A day after some parts of the city received nearly 400 mm of rainfall, Mumbai returned to normal today even as the death toll in different parts of Maharashtra climbed up to 50.

According to state government officials, nearly 50 people had died in Maharashtra’s Konkan region following last week’s downpour. Most of the deaths were reported from towns of Mahad, Sangli, Kolhapur and Satara which experienced heavy rainfall. The victims either died of electrocution, snake-bite or were struck by lightning, officials said.

Meanwhile, Mumbai returned to normal as pumps were deployed to drain out the water accumulated in the city’s low-lying areas. However, skies remained overcast and a light drizzle kept people indoors.

Heavy rains have been forecasted for Monday.

In most parts of the city, shopkeepers could be seen pumping out water. In several places, merchandise was damaged after water rose to waist level.

In several parts of the city, power was disrupted as rain submerged the transformers completely. Officials of Reliance Energy informed that power had to be switched off to prevent deaths by electrocution.

However, the city’s train services returned to normal today, though a few delays were reported in the morning.

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Post-Godhra Riots
Displaced victims get election ID-cards

Ahmedabad, July 1
Iqbalbhai Memon, a post-Godhra riot victim, got his photograph clicked this June after five years.

What was different this time was that it was not just a mere photo opportunity but one meant to help exercise his fundamental right — vote — with Assembly elections in Gujarat slated later this year.

Memon (36) is among the thousands of enrolled electorate in Gujarat who are displaced from their homes now living in shanty colonies and have been just handed over their election ID-card.

He availed his Election Process Identity Card (EPIC) as a displaced communal riot victim living in a colony on the outskirts of Ahmedabad with hundred others who share a similar fate.

“I underwent the entire process of enrolling myself for getting an election I-card. I stood in the queue and got my photo clicked after five years. Now I have a new election I-card,” the riot victim, who originally lived in Naroda-Patiya area, told PTI.

Memon lives with his family of five among a cluster poorly constructed houses adjoining each other in a colony called ‘Citizen Nagar’ in the Danilimda area, 15 km away from his original house. This colony is just adjoining one of the city’s biggest open garbage dump sites.

“This is our home even though it is next to a dump-yard resembling a hill. I will have less fear to cast my vote from this area rather than going back to my original home in Naroda Patiya as we are still under threat there”, Memon said.

Noorbano Sheikh, a 34-year-old displaced woman living in ‘Citizen Nagar’ also got hold of her brand new ID-card but is not too eager to cast her vote.

“What is the use of voting for any party when we are sure that BJP will again come to power? I know that even if a Muslim candidate stands from this locality he will be bought over by the BJP and he will make us all vote for them,” Sheikh said.

She said that in the past five years not a single leader had approached them and enquired about their horrible living conditions.

“The road to come to our colony is not useable...how will they come for election campaigning? I will greet them with chappal if they come seeking my vote,” comes out the anger in her.

The state Election Commission and NGOs have been working round the clock to complete the tedious process of finding out displaced voters across 25 districts and issuing them fresh election I-cards.

As per official figures collected till June end, 6094 voters across Gujarat had been issued fresh election I-cards out of 9590 riot displaced voters identified by the Election Commission. — PTI

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Maoist attack leaves nine dead
Tribune News Service

Patna, July 1
Eight persons, including six policemen and two civilians, were killed when nearly 250 armed Maoists attacked a police station and an outpost in Rohtas district of Bihar around last midnight.

Eight others, including four policemen, were injured in the attack and taken to Varanasi in eastern UP for treatment.

Rohtas is among the 23 Naxalite affected districts of the total 38 in Bihar.

IG (operations) S.K.Bhardwaj said that Maoists looted 15 rifles and two carbines, besides hundreds of rounds of ammunition, from the possession of security men. Bharadwaj himself was now camping in Rohtas to supervise the combing operation to nab the left-wing ultras.

Rohtas SP N.H.Khan said that before retreating the Maoists also blew up the building of the police station and the outpost using dynamite. The ultras also attacked another police station in Aurangabad today.

Incidentally, the Naxalite attack at Rohtas and Aurangabad came close on the heels of the two-day economic blockade by the proscribed outfit from June 26 against the "neo-liberal" policies of the Centre, including creation of special economic zones and alleged torture of their comrades in police custody.

Intelligence sources disclosed that the two-day "economic blockade" by Maoists in six states, including Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal that ended on June 27 led to losses of well over Rs 150 crore to the economy.

Although there were only a few incidents of violence during the blockade between June 26 and 27, with a railway station torched at Purulia near Jharkhand border in West Bengal, the protest crippled normal life in parts of Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal, proving the rebel clout in impoverished rural areas.

Besides the incident in West Bengal, on the second day of the blockade on June 27 Naxalites also tried to blow up the Anjan Bridge on Kiul River in Jamui district. The alert law-enforcement officials, however, thwarted the bid when they recovered a large bag from under the bridge containing explosives and other paraphernalia required to blast the structure.

Train services between Bihar and Jharkhand, including the state capitals Patna and Ranchi, were cancelled during the economic blockade.

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Don’t bring presidential poll to municipal level: Bardhan

Nagpur, July 1
Advising the political leadership to maintain the dignity of Presidential nominees, CPI leader A B Bardhan today said the election to the country's highest constitutional post should not be brought to the level of a municipality poll.

Talking to reporters here, the CPI general-secretary described as "uncalled and "unjustified" the allegations against UPA-Left Presidential nominee Pratibha Patil and her relatives.

Lashing out at senior BJP leader L K Advani without naming him, Bardhan said, "He was facing chargesheets in the hawala and Babri Masjid cases when he occupied the offices of Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister and was keen to become Prime Minister. Now, he is levelling allegations against Patil."

Advani had asked the UPA-Left to replace its Presidential candidate in light of the charges against her.

The Congress has been restrained from indulging in counter-allegations against the NDA-supported independent candidate Bhairon Singh Shekhawat since it will bring disrepute to the highest office, Bardhan observed.

"Either of them will occupy the post and so let's prepare ourselves to welcome the new incumbent with all dignity and respect," he said.

"I never said Patil was a great economist or a chief executive officer," he said in reference to a cooperative bank, founded by her, defaulting on loan payment.

"But I knew her as a matured and honest politician having been MLA for several years, minister in various portfolios and Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. What else do you require?" the veteran leader asked.

Bardhan said after the presidential and vice-presidential polls, the four Left parties will review the performance of the three-year-old Congress-led administration.

"Since only two years are left for the general election, the Left parties want a critical review of the common minimum programme before deciding on extending their outside support to the UPA government," he stated.

"I rule out nothing," was Bardhan's reply when he was asked whether the Left parties, whose backing is crucial for the survival of the government, will withdraw support to the UPA. On the contentious issue of SEZs, he said uneven and distorted development in these tax-free enclaves will not help. — PTI

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Prez poll: Scrutiny today

New Delhi, July 1
The race for India's highest constitutional post would enter its closing lap tomorrow when scrutiny of nominations for the July 19-presidential elections would be taken up.

A total of 84 nominations were filed for the presidential polls with as many as 33 new nomination papers being received on the last day.

The last date for withdrawal of nominations is July 4 and the counting of votes is slated for July 21. The term of President Kalam ends on July 24 and the new president would assume office the following day. — UNI

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Moily Panel Report
Centre, states asked to pay attention to prison reforms
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
Expressing concern over the appalling condition and overcrowding of jails, especially in Delhi and Jharkhand, the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) has recommended that the Centre and the state governments should work out modernisation and reforms of the prison system.

The Union and state governments should work out, fund and implement at the earliest modernisation and reforms of the prison system as recommended by the All-India Committee on Jail Reforms, the ARC, headed by M. Veerappa Moily said in its fifth report, focused on 'public order'.

The prison population in the country stood at 3,31,391 as on 2004, reflecting jail occupancy level at 139 per cent of the capacity. Jharkhand had the highest overcrowding at over 300 per cent followed by Delhi at nearly 250 per cent.

It said hardened convicts as well as petty offenders like ticketless travellers end up being imprisoned together for long periods in crumbling buildings with inadequate accommodation and sanitary facilities.

The panel pointed out that while prison reforms have been a neglected area,

For administration in the country, courts have intervened to lay down specific rules and guidelines with regard to matters like the right to physical protection, protection against physical assault and restrictions on handcuffing and fetters.

The panel noted that jails in the country suffer from serious overcrowding with the bulk of inmates comprising undertrial prisoners. While 65.5 per cent of these prisoners are undertrials, about 30 per cent are convicts.

The commission cited an instance in which one Machan Lalung was released in 2005 at the age of 77 from a jail in Assam after 54 years in prison for an IPC offence for which the maximum sentence is not more than 10 years.

It said reforms in prison administration require modernisation of jail infrastructure as well as procedural reforms in the entire criminal justice system to reduce the number of arrests for petty offences and increase the availability of bail and speeding up of trials.

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IAF to buy 126 jets from 1 vendor

New Delhi, July 1
Putting aside rumours of multi-vendor acquisition, the Indian Air Force (IAF) says it will acquire its 126 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) from a single manufacturer.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal F.H. Major, said in an interview to a defence magazine: "The world's single biggest fighter jet order will go to one supplier.

"It doesn't make any sense to go to two or three sellers just to keep different countries happy." He said there was no proposal at the moment to increase the order to 200 aircraft but "a review after induction, based on cost-benefit analysis, is of course possible in future".

The air chief said although the process of issuing tenders had taken time, "all possible issues" were being verified in advance.

"The first squadron of 18 new jets will be inducted within five years (by 2012)," he said.

Senior officers in the ministry also indicated the same time period, pointing out that the new acquisition procedures under the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP) 2006 would facilitate time-bound technical evaluation by the IAF followed by financial clearance by the ministry.

The interview, conducted during the Paris Air Show, will published in the July issue of the India Strategic, a defence magazine.

The initial deal for the 126 jets is estimated at $10 billion, inclusive of the aircraft as well as training and weapons package, the latter accounting for some 25 per cent of the overall costs.

Future upgrades, to be conducted twice or thrice during the estimated 40-year life of the aircraft, will be additional.

Major said the air force wanted to reduce the inventory in its combat jet arsenal to three-aircraft systems only, and over the next few years, it would use the home-made Tejas as the light combat aircraft (LCA), the new MRCAs as the medium combat aircraft (MCA) and the 35-tonne Su30-MKIs as the heavy combat aircraft (HCA).

The Air Chief said while the selection criteria for MRCA - called the Air Staff Requirements (ASR) - are secret, the air force wanted the new fighter jets to be "contemporary and futuristic and with a cost-benefit angle".

This is the first time the IAF has indicated the capabilities that it wants in the MRCA. Both Major and his predecessor S.P. Tyagi have said technologies like the new AESA radar, which gives a pilot the capability to acquire targets far away - say 100 nautical miles plus - as well as to use the same system as a communication platform to "talk" to his colleagues and command, will be vital in the selection process.

At the moment, this still evolving technology is best available with the US companies, primarily Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, while the Russians and others are also developing their versions.

Whether these technologies will be available to India, the answer is yes from all vendors. But whether India will have Transfer of Technology (ToT) rights is still not known.

According to Raytheon International president Torkel Patterson, whose company is supplying this technology on US bombers and the F-18 Super Hornets, "it will depend upon the agreements between the Indian and US governments" because the manufacturer has no control on export of sophisticated technologies. — IANS

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1971 War
US pleaded with China to ‘menace’ India

New Delhi, July 1
The recently declassified US official records throw new light on the anger and frustration that seized US President Richard Nixon during the 1971 Indo-Pak war and how Washington secretly pleaded with China to “menace” India by moving troops to the Indian border.

Poring over thousands of pages of national security files and telephone transcripts of the then US national security adviser Henry Kissinger and 2,800 hours of Nixon tapes, well-known American author and historian Robert Dallek recalls the events in the White House during the December of 1971 in a just-published book “Nixon and Kissinger-Partners in Power”.

Nixon’s infamous tilt towards Pakistan is well known but the author reveals many other facets of how Nixon and Kissinger were upset with India and how they tried to rope in China in a bid to prevent the formation of Bangladesh.

Nixon describes Indians as “a slippery, treacherous people” and his national security adviser calls the Indians “insufferably arrogant”.

The story began in the fall of 1971, when differences in the administration and the country over the White House China policy posed little threat to a major transformation in Sino-American relations.

A larger danger to rapprochement with Peking and detente with Moscow came from rising tensions in South Asia.

Long standing tensions between the Punjabis, who dominated the central government in West Pakistan, and the Bengalis in the East now had erupted into a full-scale crisis.

The President and Kissinger had less interest in what the Indians or Pakistanis did to each other than in assuring that nothing sidetracked Kissinger’s trip to China and the revolution in Sino-American relations.

In July, on his way to Peking, Kissinger discussed the crisis with Pakistani and Indian officials in Islamabad and New Delhi.

Kissinger’s meetings with the Pakistanis were cordial, but, predictably, the Indians complained that US support of Pakistan was encouraging a "policy of adventurism," which China was also promoting.

Indira Gandhi saw little chance of a political settlement. She did not want to use force and was open to suggestions. Kissinger warned India that a war would be a disaster for both countries and the sub-continent would become an area for conflict among outside powers.

Kissinger recalls returning from his trip with "a premonition of disaster". He expected India to attack Pakistan after the monsoon. He feared that China might then intervene on Pakistan's behalf, which would move Moscow "to teach Peking a lesson".

But a message from the Soviets assured Washington that India had no intention of attacking West Pakistan and that ceasefire discussions were under way.

To their surprise and relief, the US got a Chinese message that said nothing about moving troops to the Indian border. Instead, appreciating that independence for East Pakistan was a foregone conclusion, Peking said it was prepared to endorse an American UN proposal for a standstill cease-fire and forgo a demand for mutual troop withdrawals.

The crisis now petered to a conclusion. Between December 14 and 17, Indian forces completed their conquest of East Pakistan and agreed to a ceasefire in the West with no occupation of additional Pakistani territory.

Although Nixon and Kissinger put the best possible face on the outcome, the result of the war was essentially a victory for India and its Soviet ally, which declared the emergence of Bangladesh from the ruins of East Pakistan a triumph for Socialist and democratic principles, the book recalls. — PTI

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Son identifies FCI official’s body
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, July 1
Pravin Ram, son of abducted Food Corporation of India executive director, Dr P.C. Ram today identified the body of his father at the morgue of Nalbari district civil hospital in Assam.

Dr Ram’s body bore a cut at the throat and there were marks of sharp weapons on the back. The postmortem report said the death was caused due to bleeding. A copy of the postmortem report was given to Pravin Ram.

Nalbari DSP Kankanjyoti Saikia informed that 25-year-old Pravin Ram, an MBA student, didn’t take much time to identify the body of his 57-year-old father.

A grief stricken Pravin refused to talk to waiting newsmen at the hospital where postmortem was conducted on his father’s body that was dug out by police from a paddy field at Anandapara in the neighbouring Baksa district. “I am not in a position to speak,” Pravin said.

“We strongly condemned the cowardice killing of our executive director Dr P.C. Ram and will observe cease-work all over the region tomorrow in protest. The entire FCI operation in the region will remain suspended tomorrow,” said Biren Barman, zonal secretary of the FCI employees’ union in the Northeast.

Meanwhile, police registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC against the five hardcore ULFA ultras who were arrested during a raid operation at Murkusiapara village on Friday. The arrested militants identified as Mono Das alias Jintu, Shankar Rajbongshi alias Bipul, Haramohan Saud alias Bikash, Pradip Barman and Modo Rajbongshi were suspected to be involved in murder of the FCI official.

Dr Ram happened to be the fourth prominent person who was abducted and subsequently killed by the banned ULFA.

Sergei Gritchenko, a Russian engineer working with the Coal India Limited at Ledo in Tinsukia district was abducted and killed by the ULFA ultras in 1991.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) engineer T.S. Raju was also abducted and killed by ULFA militants near Simaluguri in Sivasagar district in 1991. Renowned social worker Sanjoy Ghose was abducted and killed by the outfit in Majuli River Island in 1997 creating widespread condemnation.

Meanwhile, according to PTI, maid Junu Murmu, whom Ram had adopted, came under scanner on suspicion of involvement in the abduction.

“Murmu will be interrogated as there are reasons to believe she is involved in the episode,” a senior police official told PTI here today.

The police official said Murmu, who earlier worked as a maid in Ram’s house in Guwahati, hailed from Baska, where the ULFA militants, believed to be involved in kidnapping the FCI executive director, had kept him in several hideouts.

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Sahib Singh Verma cremated

New Delhi, July 1
Former Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma, who died in a road accident yesterday, was cremated today with full state honours here.

Leaders of different political parties and top officials from Delhi attended the funeral at Gevra Mor on Rohtak Road.

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BJP leaders L K Advani, Rajnath Singh and others were among those who paid tributes to the party vice-president. Verma's son Parivesh Singh Verma lit the funeral pyre.

Verma is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.

The Delhi government declared a holiday tomorrow for its offices as a mark of respect to the late former chief minister. — PTI

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Diana Hayden helps build homes for poor

New Delhi, July 1
Indian beauty queen and former Miss World Diana Hayden has joined hands with some of Hollywood's most influential women to build homes for the needy and poor in Los Angeles.

Last week, Diana teamed up with more than 100 of Hollywood's leading women such as actresses Jeanne Tripplehorn of "Big Love" fame, Julie Bowen ("Ed" and "Boston Legal"), Diane Farr ("Numbers") and author of "The Tuff Chix Guide to Easy Home Improvement" for an event designed to empower and celebrate women while raising awareness about the need for affordable housing in the US.

"Diana helped put up framing for the homes and worked on other aspects including the fittings," said her spokesperson Dale Bhagwagar. "Apart from being delighted to support a charitable project like this, the most touching part was when Diana met the families who will one day live in these homes," he added.

The families will be able to move into their new homes later this year.

The families were chosen from more than 500 applications. They were selected on the basis of need, willingness to invest at least 500 hours of "sweat equity" building their home and an ability to repay a zero-interest loan. — IANS

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This time, it is the Telugu-speaking people
NRIs to host another fundraiser for Hillary
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, July 1
Signalling direct participation in the political process of their adopted country, non-resident Telugu-speaking people in the United States will host a breakfast meeting with the Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton on July 5.

“We can raise about $1 million for the Democrats. There is a growing desire among Telugu-speaking people to play a role in the American political process,” a spokesman of the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) K. Krishna Prasad told mediapersons here today.

The fundraiser is being organised at Washington DC to coincide with the three-day annual meeting of TANA, which begins on July 5. "We are expecting over 400 guests at the meeting,” Prasad said.

There are an estimated 5 lakh Telugus in United States. NRIs, numbering around 2.5 million, account for nearly one per cent of the American population.

The growth of IT industry has seen a large number of Telugus migrating to the US. They also form a major chunk of professionals in medical, engineering and other fields.

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Israel’s tech helps cos meet fresh water needs

Mumbai, July 1
Faced with fresh water crisis, some of the major industries located on sea coast are using Israel's water desalination technology in their plants to meet their requirements.

"Being located near sea shore, some of the major oil refineries, fertiliser plants and power companies opted for Israel's water desalination technology for fresh water needs," Technochem Agencies (Bombay) Pvt Ltd Director Sriram Kulkarni told PTI.

"Since 1994, Israeli company IDE Technologies Ltd has installed 20 thermal desalination plants in five major companies costing $ 400 million. Together they provide 200 million litres of water per day (MLD)," he said.

Technochem is the sole distributor of IDE in India, catering to oil refineries of Reliance Petroleum Ltd and Essar Oil Ltd at Jamnagar, cement manufacturer Sanghi Industries Ltd in Kutch, EID Parry Fertilizer near Chennai and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) in Kanyakumari.

"Reliance has installed the maximum number of plants at Jamnagar, nine of them. It is also world's largest desalination installation. Two more are coming up at their Kakinada gas project in Andhra Pradesh. Two each exist in Essar and Sanghi, four in NPCIL, one in EID Parry," he said.

Tata Group has set up an Israeli desalination plant at Kudankulam, the nuclear plant site near Kanyakumari.

"The technology has proved itself by transforming Israel from a desert region to a nation flourishing with agriculture exports," Kulkarni said.

The companies using this technology are also supplying the unused recycled water to adjacent townships and villages as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programme, company sources said.

On the other hand the government authorities consider this technology as expensive and cumbersome.

"Setting up a large desalination plant needs an adequate space, there are environment obligations and most importantly, it is expensive. It costs Rs 40 per metre cube (one metre cube is 1,000 litres) and also needs power," Member, Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority, A Sekhar said. — PTI

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Space technology beckons IIT students

New Delhi, July 1
Students who may not make it to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) despite clearing entrance exam can now look forward to careers in space technology.

Such students can now directly apply to various courses in the new Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) which is launched in Thiruvananthapuram this academic year.

The IIST will offer the undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes in space technology and space science.

“The institute is being established with the objective to meet the high technology requirements of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO),” an adviser to IIST told PTI.

Students successfully completing the academic programme with a minimum first class will be directly absorbed as scientists or engineers in ISRO with a service condition of five years.

The online registration for the first batch of the IIST has started and all candidates, who are placed in the extended list of IIT-JEE 2007, are eligible to apply in the first phase.

The registration for the IIST closes on Tuesday.

The candidates qualified with an IIT-JEE rank will be eligible to apply in the second phase after the completion of IIT counselling, provided they have not selected an IIT seat.

“At the IIST, students will have the privileged access to advanced facilities of ISRO to carry out high technology research in space technology and science,” he said.

The IIST will offer the B.Tech in Space Technology Avionics, B.Tech in Space Technology Areospace Engineering and Integrated Masters in Applied Sciences.

“Assistantships to meet the cost of education will be provided to all students who meet the performance standard set by the institute with a condition to serve ISRO for a period of five years,” he said.

The academic programme is being framed by utilising curriculum taught in IITs and other premier institutions in the area of electronics and communication, mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Faced with a talent crunch, ISRO decided to set up an institute to tap students early and train them the key field of space technology.

Heeding the call of space scientists to groom talent, the government had allocated Rs 75 crore in the Budget this year to set up the institute. — PTI

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The countdown begins
New 7 wonders of world

New Delhi, July 1
Just seven days before the world gets to know the names of the new seven wonders, suspense is growing over Taj Mahal making the final cut as India remains in the fourth spot in voting percentage despite a sustained campaign to garner support for the marble monument.

The New 7 Wonders Foundation, a Swiss non-profit group that launched the global online, phone and SMS poll to select the top seven marvels, does not plan to release the latest ranking before the official announcement in Lisbon on July 7, but Taj retains its position among the top ten.

“Last week, eight per cent of all votes came from India, but now it has increased to 13 per cent. However, to make it into the top seven, we should aim at 23 per cent,” said R.D. Bhatnagar of the “Indian Unites for the Taj” campaign, which is mobilising people to vote for the architectural splendour.

According to the voting percentage, India is in the fourth place, while Peru, rooting for the Inca city of Machu Picchu, leads with 20 per cent votes.

The publicity campaign has already gathered steam and will reach a crescendo in the next six days, Bhatnagar said, hoping that with so many organisations and individuals appealing to vote for Taj, the 17th century monument has a fair chance of making it to the list.

Union culture minister Ambika Soni cast her vote in favour of the monument of love on June 22 and appealed to Indians to do the same. Members of the Federation of Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) and the Hot Air Ballooning Community too have agreed to vote for Taj Mahal.

Bhatnagar said Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam and actress and social activist Shabana Azmi addressed a press meet on Thursday to ask people to vote for Taj. A mass SMS campaign, to be attended by Bollywood celebrities Salman Khan and Manisha Koirala, has also been planned.

A private cellphone service provider is planning to make the first SMS for Taj from its subscribers free, said Bhatnagar, vice-president of I Media Corp, the official partner of the N7W Foundation in India.

However, Bhatnagar said the UNESCO issuing a statement last week that it was not associated with the poll and a section of media here projecting it as the UN agency dissociating itself from the competition has resulted to a slight slump in voting.

“UNESCO was never associated with the poll. It and the N7W are separate organisations. So there is no question of it dissociating itself,” he said.

Vying with Taj to make into the elite list are the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum of Rome, the statues of Easter Island and the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Brazil.

The official declaration ceremony will take place at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon on July 7 at 9:30 pm local time.

The show will include appearances by Hollywood stars Hilary Swank and Ben Kingsley and Bipasha Basu from Bollywood, footballer Christiano Ronaldo and the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong. — PTI

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Mysore emerges from shadows of Bangalore

Mysore, July 1
Emerging from the shadow of its cosmopolitan neighbour Bangalore, Mysore was witnessing a flurry of activities in many fronts and was all set to evolve as a brand and alternative destination in Karnataka.

The city hitherto known for its rich history, heritage and regal past, was now promising to be the next hot industrial destination, not only in Karnataka, but across the country. Making the task of building 'Brand Mysore' seems to be easier, as the Information Technology (IT) majors have committed to invest crores of rupees and create thousands of jobs here.

Even though Mysore, located just 140 km away, lagged behind Bangalore for about three decades in terms of industrialisation, the Royal city could take on the state capital, as it scored better in offering good quality of life, population free atmosphere and lived up to its reputation of being a centre of education and knowledge, the IT honchos of the city told UNI.

After finding a place among the top five tourist destinations in a survey conducted by the Union Tourism ministry recently, the city had been ranked among the top 10 in a study conducted by a Real Estate Consultancy 'Knight Frank', which puts the Mysore city on nineth among the 15 cities, considered as emerging growth centres in the country.

The study was conducted on the basis of real estate, people, physical infrastructure and social environment with a conclusion that India's hottest emerging city is Chandigarh.

Mysore was rated by all categories of respondents, as the least polluted and was ranked higher then other fast growing urban centres like Coimbatore, Indore, Kanpur, Surat, Lucknow, Visakhaptnam, Jaipur, Nagpur and Patna, a sub-registrar office in the city pointed out, explaining the reasons for the Real Estate boom in the city.

The heritage city has suddenly become the cynosure of all eyes, with a flurry of activities being witnessed in infrastructure, housing, education and investments in highways and airport projects.

Mysore emerging as a preferred destination was evident from the official statistics pertaining to the number of projects cleared for the region during last two years. Mysore, along with Bangalore urban and rural districts were sanctioned about 65 per cent of the total projects under the state level single window agency. Of the 297 projects cleared, Mysore was sanctioned 56, while Bangalore urban and rural areas were given 82 and 64, respectively.

A similar optimism was evident among the members of the IT professional forum, who told UNI that its business in the city was expected to grow 300 per cent during the next few years and the quality manpower output from the University of Mysore and other Institutions were set to fuel the city's IT ambitions.

During the year 2006-2007, the Mysore city IT exports reached Rs 760 crore with an increase of 94 per cent and stood second in the state. It had even overtaken Mangalore city in this aspect.

The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) sources said they have acquired 505 acres of land in Koorgalli on the outskirts of the city to establish a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) by Gandon Holdings.

The Central government recently accepted the proposals of a Mumbai-based company to establishing its SEZ in the field of Information Technology, for which 36 acres of land was reserved.

Infosys, the major IT giants had announced that IT was here to stay and be a partner in development along with companies like Wipro and Larsen and Toubro(L&T). Infosys, which has established its global education centre in the city, would be the world's biggest corporate training centre with a capacity to train 20,000 thousand professionals simultaneously.

Besides IT companies, automobile giant TVS Motors had helped set the pace for industrial development in Mysore, which was set to alter the landscape and the socio-economic culture of the entire region.

Both CII and the Mysore Chamber of Commerce and other Industrial circles said connectivity holds the key to Mysore's rapid transformation and emergence as a counter magnet to Bangalore.

The doubling of Mysore-Bangalore railway lines and upgradation of Mysore airport, which had already taken up, were a must for Mysore to achive greater heights at the global level.

Mysore was also considered as the best tier-II city in the country and the Union government had sanctioned a project under the 'JNNURM' for next seven years at an estimated cost of Rs 1800 crore for the overall development of the city.

The Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) has planned to distribute sites to the needy, as they had already announced many new layouts around the Mysore city, which is expected to take up the works in many areas. — UNI

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Woman gives birth in water
Tripti Nath
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 1
A 29-year-old woman delivered a healthy baby girl in water in the birthing pool of a South Delhi hospital here on Monday evening.

Prachi Agarwal, a Delhi based invitations designer was inspired by reports about successful water birth deliveries opted by a British and an Italian woman at Phoenix Hospital where she was undergoing pre-natal check up under the guidance of consultant obstetrician Dr Urvashi Sehgal. She got curious and got in touch with the hospital’s child birth educator, Divya Deswal to know if she could opt for water birth for her second child.

Prachi had a normal delivery earlier and has a daughter who is four-and-a-half years old.

Prachi told TNS that she has named her daughter Tavishi which means courage. “The birth was totally natural sans any medical meddling. I think the water just took away my pain. It turned out to be a birthing experience with so much pleasure. It was a very divine and incredible experience. The child came to me the moment she was born. My husband Prashant cut the umbilical cord only later. This is the best part of the process that the father helps in delivery. I would recommend this to any pregnant woman. Five days after the delivery, I’m up and about and am feeling totally well. I can even lift my firstborn who weight 17 kg,” she said.

Dr Sehgal said Prachi delivered the child at 8.11 pm, nearly four hours after she got into the pool.

“What struck me the most about the child was her sharp reflexes. Her response to her mother was indeed overwhelming. She was very alert and just latched on the mother immediately.”

The obstetrician said the cost of delivering a child in a water birthing pool is five per cent more than that of normal delivery as the latter demands a stronger support system. “In this case, we used 600 litres of Bisleri water for use in the birthing pool. In water-birth, it is important to ensure steady supply of water besides proper temperature.” Enumerating the advantages of water birth, Dr Sehgal explained that labour is more gentle and relaxed. “Water birth means gentler transition for the baby into the new world.”

Divya who has observed several water births in the United States besides two at Phoenix Hospital said, “Water birth is completely non-medicated. The contact between the mother and the child is instant. It enhances bonding.”

The hospital has been receiving outstation and local inquiries on child birth. The obstetrician confirmed that another Indian woman has evinced interest in opting for water birth.

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Fake encounter case: ATS cop surrenders

Ahmedabad, July 1
A police inspector, wanted by the Gujarat CID in connection with the killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a fake encounter, today surrendered to the agency.

Balkrishna Chaube, an inspector with the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), was arrested after he surrendered in Gandhinagar, officials said.

According to the CID, Chaube was posted at the Arham bungalow farm house on the outskirts of Gandhinagar where Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi were kept by a joint team of policemen from Gujarat ATS and Rajasthan’s Special Task Force (STF) that conducted the fake encounter in November 2005.

Chaube could be a key witness to Sheikh’s stay in the farm house and the disappearance of Kausar Bi, who was killed after her husband’s death, CID sources said.

He will be produced in court tomorrow to seek his remand, they said.

With Chaube’s arrest, the Gujarat CID has arrested nine policemen of the state ATS and Rajasthan’s STF, including D.G. Vanzara, a senior IPS officer who headed the entire operation and is the main accused in the case.

While Vanzara and two other IPS officers were arrested immediately, the others were arrested subsequently or surrendered. Only one official Dy SP N K Amin, who works with the CID but is accused in the case as he was named by one of the arrested policemen, was let out on bail as he had procured an anticipatory bail.

Though Amin was not part of the fake encoutner team, he is accused of helping out Vanzara, his former boss. — PTI

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CM, others fail to file assets list
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, July 1
Karnataka Lok Ayukta N Santosh Hedge’s pro-active move recommending the sacking of two cabinet ministers who failed to file the annual statement of their assets and liabilities to the Governor last year has apparently not had the desired effect. Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and 26 legislators besides 10 members of legislative council failed to file their statements yesterday, the last day for doing so.

The Lok Ayukta, who functions as an anti-corruption body in the state, will now submit a list of defaulting legislators to Governor T N Chaturvedi on Monday.

Last year also the Lok Ayukta had followed the same process and submitted a list of defaulters who had failed to file their statements before June 30 as stipulated under the Karnataka Lok Ayukta Act to the Governor. The Governor had asked the Lok Ayukta as to what action should be taken against them following which the Lok Ayukta said there was no need to take action at this stage and given them more time to file their statements. However, after two cabinet ministers did not file their returns even during this period, the Lok Ayukta had recommended their sacking from the ministry. This recommendation is still pending.

Hegde disclosed here that more than 200 of the 270 legislators had filed their statements till now. When asked about the Chief Minister’s case, he said Kumaraswamy’s office had asked for an extension of ten days to file his statement.

According to the Chief Minister’s office, Kumarawamy’s statement could not be filed in time because the chartered accountant responsible for the same was unwell. The CM’s office said Kumarswamy, who was in Hyderabad, had written to the Lok Ayukta requesting he be given an extension to file his statement.

The Lok Ayukta has been pushing for punishment for legislators who do not file their statements. Last year, he had recommended that the salaries and perks of legislators who did not file their statements be withheld. The government, however, did not comply with the recommendations. Following this he had announced that he would recommend registration of criminal cases against five legislators who did not file their statements despite repeated reminders.

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Brother-in-law of Lalu holds up Rajdhani
Tribune News Service

Patna, July 1
The Delhi-bound Rajdhani express from Patna, reportedly, left 15 minutes behind its scheduled departure time yesterday allegedly because of the uproarious protest by Railways minister Lalu Prasad’s brother-in-law and MP Subhas Yadav against the non-confirmation of his tickets in the first class AC coach of the train.

Subhas claimed that despite his requisition to the Parliament house railway booking counter way back on Tuesday to book two tickets for him for his onward journey to Delhi from Patna yesterday, he found his seats unconfirmed in the AC first class category upon reaching the station. “I was given AC second class ticket,” he said.

This resulted in an altercation between him and railway officials at Patna junction while someone pulled the chain to stop the train which initially had left Patna junction on time.

Later, railway officials, reportedly, accommodated Subhas in a AC first class coach.

Subhas Yadav threatened to take action against the concerned railway booking staff.

This was, however, not the first time when Lalu Yadav’s in-laws took Indian Railways for a ride. In the recent past, his father-in-law and mother-in law were fined for travelling without ticket.

His brother-in-laws in the past were also charged with forcing the Rajdhani express to change its regular arrival platform in Patna for their convenience.

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India to host World Toilet Summit

New Delhi, July 1
New Delhi will host the World Toilet Summit 2007, a four-day international event on sanitation in October 2007.

The summit with the theme ‘Toilet for all’ will start on October 31. It is expected to attract experts from across the globe.

The main aim of the summit would be to develop strategies to widen sanitation coverage all over the world.

The summit is being jointly organised by social service organisation Sulabh International and the World Toilet Organisation, Singapore, a press release said.

“The summit will be an excellent meeting opportunity for the exchange of information, ideas and know-how with international experts on toilet-related topics,” said Dr Bindeshwar Pathak, the founder of Sulabh International.

“A large number of delegates representing different countries, UN agencies, NGOs, local bodies, town planners and policy makers are likely to take part to discuss the issue of sanitation and sustainable development during the summit,” he said. — IANS

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Urban share of population to soar: UN report
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 30
Six months from now, the world will reach an invisible but momentous milestone. For the first time in history, more than half of the human population of the world, 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas, according to projections made by the UNFPA report on the State of World Population 2007.

By 2030, the number will touch five billion.

The report released here by urban development minister Jaipal Reddy says that many of the new urbanites will be poor.

The report warns that the history of attempts to control rural-urban migratory flows is couched in frustration.

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Mar Ivanios to be declared ‘Servant of God’

Thiruvananthapuram, July 1
Late Geevarghese Mar Ivanios, the first Metropolitan of Syro Malankara Church (SMC), is to be declared as ‘Servant of God’, marking the first step in the process of conferring sainthood by the Vatican. Major Archbishop of SMC, Baselios Mar Cleemis, would make an announcement regarding this during the holy mass at St Mary’s Cathedral here on July 14, church sources said. Mar Ivanios was the prime-mover behind the “re-union movement” in Kerala’s church history in 1930s when a section from other Syrian Christian denominations like the Malankara Othodox Church joined the Catholic fold under the Pope.

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Monkeys take up rooms in varsity hostel

Patna, July 1
Creating all sorts of nuisance, some 16 monkeys have made the life of the inmates of the Patna university girls hostel “unbearable” as all attempts by the authorities to drive them away failed.

According to a hostel warden, the monkeys have happily occupied some of the rooms taking advantage of the university authorities' plan to renovate the building after vacating the rooms. Though most of the inmates vacated their rooms and left for their homes, a few others who were yet to leave, were now facing the brunt of the monkey business like being chased.

The university authorities have sought the cooperation from the forest department and requested them to drive the monkeys away. — UNI

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Plane skids off runway, 5 hurt

Indore, July 1
Jet Airways Delhi-Indore flight with 49 passengers and crew on board here today had a narrow escape as the flight skidded-off the runway while landing during rains at the Indore’s Devi Ahilyabai Holkar airport with five passenger suffering minor injuries.

The mishap occurred when the Delhi-Indore flight was landing at the airport and skidded-off soon after it touched down, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) deputy commandant Nirvikar told PTI.

The city had been receiving incessant rains since yesterday.

The wheels of the plane broke-off while landing at the runway and it slipped away to the ground, he said. — PTI

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