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What India needs to do to grab a slice of the $200 billion global space market

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PM Modi congratulates ISRO scientists on successful launch of Singapore satellites

PSLV-C29 rocket carrying six Singapore satellites was launched from the spaceport of Sriharikota on Wednesday evening

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)s PSLV C 29 carrying six satellites of Singapore, lifts off from Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota on Wednesday.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday congratulated the ISRO scientists for the successful launch of six satellites of Singapore.”Our scientists at @isro accomplish another momentous feat. Congrats to them on PSLV-C29 successfully launching 6 Singapore satellites,” he tweeted.”The launch, coming at a time when we mark 50 years of India-Singapore ties is significant. India cherishes strong relations with Singapore,” he added in another tweet.PSLV-C29 rocket carrying six Singapore satellites was launched from the spaceport of Sriharikota on Wednesday evening. The satellites were successfully put into orbit after a perfect launch of the polar rocket in the landmark 50th space mission.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The maiden launch from Sriharikota was on August 10, 1979 when the first experimental launch of Satellite Launch Vehicle SLV-3 with Rohini Technology Payload ended in failure as the satellite could not be placed in orbit. Since then, ISRO has undertaken 49 other missions onboard 32 Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV), three Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV), four Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicles (ASLV), nine Geosynchronous Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and one GSLV Mark -III, an ISRO official said.In today’s mission, PSLV in its ‘core-alone’ configuration sans solid strap-on motors, launched Singapore’s first commercial earth observation satellite designed and developed by ST Electronics and five other micro and nano satellites.Talking about the mission, P Kunhikrishnan, Director of SDAC, said in every sense it was a ‘golden launch’.”The launch was tough due to bad weather and rain. This year we have completed 17 launches for other countries. That reaffirms our strong commitment and potential to be a major player in the global space market,” he said.”We are proud to have got the opportunity to be the host of our partner from Singapore and I’m sure we have been able to provide them world class launch service from here.” He said the launch was a tough one owing to bad weather and heavy rainfall over the region recently.”It is the first ever campaign we have taken up in the month of November when the weather vagaries generally set up over here.” PSLV-C29 is a take-off for a sequence of monthly launches from here starting with three remaining missions of IRNSS Navigation satellites, he added.Mission Director B Jayakumar described the launch as ‘grand success and 100 per cent mission accomplishment’.”Vehicle has performed excellently well. The orbit achieved is very precise. Inclination is very close, on dot. We are nearing 100 satellites from PSLV. This is the sixth dedicated mission,” he said.The mission was also used by ISRO for the first time to carry out an experiment to reignite stage four of the rocket for four seconds from 67.25 minutes (after the lift-off).”After injecting all the satellites we are carrying out a major experiment to ignite once again PS4. This aspect is going to be a major mission flexibility for the Cecile to plan different orbital missions in a single launch,” an ISRO spokesperson said.Tang Kum Cheun, President, Communications and Sensor System Group, ST Electronics of Singapore, said, “This is of course a very meaningful launch for us being the 50th year of independence for Singapore and the 50th year of relationship between Singapore and India. So we are very happy.”TeLEOS-1, weighing 400 kg, is an electro-optical satellite for remote sensing applications. It comes with a mission life of five years. Besides, the TeLEOS-1, PSLV-C29 carried two micro and three nano-satellites, developed by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Punish juvenile like an adult in Nirbhaya case, says Hema Malini

Expressing her disappointment over the decision to release the juvenile convict in the brutal Nirbhaya gang-rape case, actor-politician Hema Malini on Wednesday demanded that the former should be tried as an adult as his mind is devilish.

Expressing her disappointment over the decision to release the juvenile convict in the brutal Nirbhaya gang-rape case, actor-politician Hema Malini on Wednesday demanded that the former should be tried as an adult as his mind is devilish.”I have told it earlier also that the juvenile was more involved in the crime than the other convicts, who harmed the girl. He has got a very devilish mind, he is crime minded,” Malini told the media outside the Parliament.”You can treat him as much you want, but he is not going to get treated. He is an adult and he should also be punished like an adult,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Speaking in the Lok Sabha earlier on the Nirbhaya gang-rape case, the BJP MP from Mathura said that the juvenile should be treated as an adult and punished as his mind is devilish.According to the reports, the Delhi Government’s department of Women and Child Development (WCD) is planning to give the juvenile a one-time financial grant of Rs. 10,000 and a sewing machine to enable him to open a tailoring shop.The release of the juvenile has been a matter of debate for sometime now with the government not too keen to set him free.The parents of the victim have expressed grief over the decision of the government.The Centre had earlier asked the Delhi High Court to extend the observation home stay of the convict.The victim was brutally assaulted by six persons, including the juvenile in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. She had later succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital.

Indian rocket to land on moon in 2017; to launch solar mission

The Aditya L1 mission “is aimed at studying the sun from an orbit around the sun-earth lagrangian point (L-1) which is about 1.5 million km from earth. It will carry seven payloads including a coronagraph to observe the outermost layers of the sun, the corona. Aditya L1 will be launched during 2019-20 timeframe,” he said in his written response.

India’s second lunar probe Chandrayaan II will land on moon in 2017 and the country’s first solar mission Aditya L1 is likely to be launched in 2019, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.Chandrayaan II will land on the surface of moon in 2017 and this second lunar mission will help explore the possibilities of signs of extra-terrestrial life, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said during Question Hour responding to supplementaries.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aditya L1 mission “is aimed at studying the sun from an orbit around the sun-earth lagrangian point (L-1) which is about 1.5 million km from earth. It will carry seven payloads including a coronagraph to observe the outermost layers of the sun, the corona. Aditya L1 will be launched during 2019-20 timeframe,” he said in his written response.The “approved cost” of the solar mission is 378.53 crore.Responding to another question, Singh said India has entered the era of “space marketing” and the launch of six Singapore satellites today will earn India 26 million euros.So far, India has earned 15 million USD and 80 million euros by launching satellites of other countries, he said, adding that 5 million USD and 65 million euros are in the “pipeline”, while apparently referring to the launches proposed in the future.The minister said a budget of Rs 1420 crore has been approved by the government for realisation of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite (IRNSS) programme, including satellites and associated ground segment.

ISRO’s PSLV rocket set to launch six satellites into orbit for Singapore

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Floods over, time to listen to currency smugglers’ tales in Chennai

Last week, the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized foreign currency worth Rs 4.5 crore, mostly US dollars, from three airports in India, originating from Chennai.

The deluge in Chennai had an unexpected victim — hawala racketeers and foreign currency smugglers. With flood waters receding and life limping back to normalcy, they are back again.Last week, the Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized foreign currency worth Rs 4.5 crore, mostly US dollars, from three airports in India, originating from Chennai.Sources said that the seizure is just the tip of the iceberg, and the actual amount could well be over Rs 100 crore from South alone. This is based on an over-the-envelope calculation that only a minuscule of the smuggled item/commodities are normally caught by the agency.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior DRI officials told dna that these bundles of greenbacks were stranded for a couple of weeks as the city went under water.DRI sleuths say that these money bags travelled all the way from Chennai by road. These consignments were on the way to Singapore and Dubai, but were seized at the Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru airports.”The smugglers apparently took a forced sabbatical owing to the floods. They became active again, though the consignments seized were small in value terms,” said a DRI official.”We believe organised gangs in southern states are behind this and are using various airports to deliver the consignments to Dubai and Singapore,” he adds.Chennai ranks on top in terms of seizure of gold. As per data available with DRI, 4,400 cases of gold smuggling were registered in the country during 2014-15. About 4,480 kg of the precious metal, worth about Rs 1,120 crore, were seized, of which over 25% were from Chennai alone.”Intelligence inputs suggest an increase in smuggling of foreign currency appears to be intrinsically linked with the funding of smuggling of gold in the country,” sources told dna.In 2014-15, foreign currency worth Rs 25.09 crore was seized in the country against Rs 14.49 crore in 2013-14.So far, DRI has booked four carriers. Two individuals travelling to Singapore, in Jet Airways and Singapore Airlines, were detained in Mumbai for carrying currencies worth over Rs 2 crore in cartons of rice.While one of them was detained in Delhi for carrying Rs 1 crore in US dollar, the other was caught in Bengaluru for carrying undeclared foreign currency worth Rs 1.5 crore.As per norms, a person coming to India from abroad can bring with him/her foreign exchange without any limit. However, if the aggregate value of the foreign exchange, either in currency or bank note, is in excess of $10,000 (or its equivalent) or the value of currency alone exceeds $5,000, it should be declared to customs authorities.Data suggests that the US dollar accounted for 25% of the total currency-wise seizure in 2014-15. Interestingly, Saudi Riyal topped the list with 47% of the foreign currency seizure.

ISRO begins 16 December countdown for launching six Singaporean satellites

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Nirbhaya rape case: Juvenile accused will be a threat to society, says victim’s parents

The convict, then aged under 18, is said to have inflicted maximum injury on the 23-year-old paramedical student, who died 13 days later, triggering a massive public outrage.

Juvenile accused in Nirbhaya rape case will walk out of remand home on December 15.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
With less than two days to go for the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gang rape case, the victim’s parents on Sunday feared that he might be a “threat to society” and demanded that his mental condition be assessed before setting him free.The convict, then aged under 18, is said to have inflicted maximum injury on the 23-year-old paramedical student, who died 13 days later, triggering a massive public outrage.”We demand that he should not be allowed to walk free as he is a threat to the society. There is a need to assess his mental condition before releasing him, so that he does not attack some other girl, like he had killed our daughter,” the father of the victim said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Juvenile Justice Board had on August 31, 2013 sent the juvenile to a remand home for three years. He will walk out of the home on December 15. Amid media reports that the juvenile has written to the Home Ministry that he should not be placed under a watch of an NGO after being released, the girl’s father said, “It will be as good as setting him free. He should not be released at all.If at all released, his face should be shown to the world.” The Aam Aadmi Party leader Kumar Vishwas also expressed concern over the issue saying, “as far as the Nirbhaya case accused is concerned, with just days to go for his release, I can only say that he will pose a danger to the society as he will be living among us.””No one has seen his face and now one doesn’t know who would be his next victim,” he said.The Delhi High Court had on Friday sought the response from the Centre on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s plea that the juvenile convict be not released till it is “demonstrably assured” that he has reformed himself and was not a menace to the society. The high court had issued notice to the Ministry of Law, Ministry of Home Affairs and the juvenile through the JJ Board, and is likely to hear the matter tomorrow.Amid apprehension raised by the victim’s parents, the Home Ministry is contemplating to ask the juvenile convict to sign a legal bond affirming good behaviour after his release. The bond as per Section 107 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) will act as security for keeping the peace after his release from the juvenile remand home, a senior ministry official had said.Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had recently emphasised on the need to keep a “close watch” on him (juvenile) following his impending release. The juvenile, arrested for rape and murder of the victim, was tried under the Juvenile Justice Act.The victim, who was brutally assaulted by six persons, including the juvenile, in a moving bus in south Delhi, had succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital plunging the country into grief.

ISRO to launch six Singaporean satellites on 16 December

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Chennai floods: Passenger flights to operate from Chennai airport today

“Air India has informed us that it will operate a chartered flight to Port Blair and one flight to and fro Chennai today,” sources told PTI this morning.

Chennai airport inundated after floods

The airport authorities here have received requests from national carrier Air India to operate flights today after the AAI announced day-time operations of passenger flights from the airport.”Air India has informed us that it will operate a chartered flight to Port Blair and one flight to and fro Chennai today,” sources told PTI this morning.The Air India chartered flight AI-549 is scheduled to take off at 10 am while the airlines’ flight AI 429 is scheduled for arrival at Chennai Airport at 1.40 pm, they said. The same flight AI 430 (AI 429 on return) will depart for New Delhi at 2.45 pm, they added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A total 34 aircraft of various airlines were stranded at the airport when the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had decided to shut the airport till December 6 in the wake of battering rains that left the facility unusable.The AAI had yesterday declared the runway fit for operating technical ferry and relief flights after an inspection by its staff. A decision regarding full-fledged operations will soon be taken by the aviation regulator DGCA.Four ferry flights that were parked at Chennai Airport departed for Delhi, Mumbai and Port Blair yesterday while one Cargo flight Singcargo B747 departed for Singapore via Bangalore.On an average, Chennai airport handles 320 landings and departures. As many as 20 international airlines operates from the airport apart from most of the domestic carriers.

Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu reviews arrangements for next month’s investment summit

The three-day ‘CII Partnership Summit’ will be held in Visakhapatnam, about 350 km from Hyderabad, from January 10 with ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh’ as its main theme.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday reviewed the arrangements for next month’s CII summit that will see participation of delegates from 19 countries and seek to attract investments in the state. The three-day ‘CII Partnership Summit’ will be held in Visakhapatnam, about 350 km from Hyderabad, from January 10 with ‘Sunrise Andhra Pradesh’ as its main theme.The Information and Public Relations Department, in a release, said delegates from 19 countries, including US, UAE, Japan, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia and New Zeland, besides representatives from various industrial organisations in the country, will take part in the conference. Naidu, at a meeting here, took stock of preparations being made in the port city for the business event with officials concerned.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The focus of the summit will be on attracting investments and promoting industries and tourism in the state, he said. The summit is being organised by CII in association with the Andhra Pradesh government and Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

West Indian spinner Sunil Narine suspended for illegal action | Reuters

The West Indian spinner Sunil Narine, the world’s top-ranked bowler in both forms of limited-overs cricket, has been suspended from bowling in internationals after his action was ruled to be illegal.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said in a statement on Sunday that an independent assessment found his bowling action was illegal because his elbow extended beyond the maximum limit of 15 degrees.

The ICC said the suspension would take place with immediate effect but Narine could reapply for a re-assessment after modifying his action.

The 27-year-old Narine is currently rated as the number one bowler in the ICC’s rankings for 50-over One-Day Internationals and Twenty20s.

His action was reported to the ICC earlier this month during the ODI series against Sri Lanka, a series marking his return to international cricket after more than a year when he was first reported during the 2014 Champions League Twenty20 tournament.

(Reporting by Julian Linden in Singapore. Editing by Patrick Johnston)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Dr Kanav Kahol’s one stop solution for 33 medical tests

Swasthya Slate developed by Dr Kanav Kahol of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) is able to carrying out 33 different tests and give instant results.

Dr Kanav Kahol believes India is the greatest place to be an engineer.

iamin.in
Picture this – you are unwell and your doctor orders you to get a battery of tests done. You spend the next few days going to different labs and then few more days waiting for the results. Once again you are back to the doctor for a diagnosis. Now, here is a kit that lets you do around 33 different kinds of tests at one go, ranging from haemoglobin test to ECG and gives you the result instantly?Delivering healthcare to millionsSwastya Slate is a health device that uses technology to deliver healthcare solution to millions across India. The mobile device that costs Rs. 15,000 at present has empowered thousands of primary healthcare workers to give patients instant results, cutting down on both costs and time taken. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dr Kanav Kahol, 36, of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) who developed the device says, “We wanted to develop a technology that will work in rural areas and provide care that is on par or better than high-quality clinics in places like Mumbai and Paris.” Apart from several Indian states like Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, the kit is also used by healthcare workers in Nigeria, Singapore, Norway, Canada and UK.Involving the largest healthcare providerThe initiative has helped government, private players and several NGOs reach out to a large part of rural India.”Government has a huge role to play as it is the largest healthcare provider. They have done a fabulous job and set up centres in remote places where you think nothing could have been built. But there is a need to empower those running the centres,” says Kahol who feels that one of the ways to meet targets could be to encourage more Public Private Partnership models (PPP). He cautions that quality and regulation must go hand in hand.But what about the danger of equipping a primary healthcare worker with too much responsibility where doctors are short and no monitoring mechanism is in place? Dr Kahol insists that PHFI ensures that those hired are certified and trained but does concede that there are risks and they are trying to deal with them. One of the things he did was to keep ultrasound out of the kit as, in his own words, the results could be “disastrous” in the Indian context.’Need for a dialogue with healthcare workers’The problem with research in healthcare technology is not the lack of desire but with engineers not knowing which problem to solve, and acting like “misguided missiles”, feels Dr Kohol. He adds, “A lot of products coming out of IITs are waste because there are legal issues involved. There is a policy framework in place.” He stresses on the need to understand the ground issues and finding a solution to them for which a continuous dialogue is needed.And what brought the Ph.D. from Arizona State University who was working under a Nobel Prize winner back to India? “Delhi Chaat,” he quips and also because he believes “India is the greatest place to be an engineer.””I was already in a system that seemed like the best. I did not want to focus on just the top 2% of the population,” he signs off.(Dr Kanav Kahol will be speaking at the TEDxGateway, Mumbai, on December 5, 2015 at NCPA)
This article was originally published on iamin.in. For more such hyperlocal stories, visit their website.

Sheena Bora murder case: How Rs 900 crore ended up in her Singapore account

According to the CBI, the nine companies in dispute were co-founded and promoted by Peter and wife Indrani between 2000 and 2007 and around Rs 900 crore was invested in these firms. Peter was interrogated with reference to the investments made in these firms.

For the first time, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has linked the monetary dealings of companies of Peter Mukerjea with the murder of 24-year-old Sheena Bora. The CBI found that around Rs 900 crore was channelled from nine companies floated by Peter and Indrani to 9X company and from there to a Singapore-based bank account, believed to be that of Sheena. Interpol notice has been issued to gather more details of the Singapore account.According to the CBI, the nine companies in dispute were co-founded and promoted by Peter and wife Indrani between 2000 and 2007 and around Rs 900 crore was invested in these firms. Peter was interrogated with reference to the investments made in these firms.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“During the course of custodial interrogation, Peter revealed that Indrani might have opened an account in Sheena’s name in HSBC Bank, Singapore through her friend Gayatri Ahuja, a top-level executive there. We have issued a notice to Interpol asking them to find the account details and money deposited in the said account,” said a CBI official, requesting anonymity.The official, quoting reliable information, said the internal audit of M/s 9X Media Pvt Ltd – being run by Peter and Indrani with share holdings from the nine companies (as on March 31, 2009) – shows “instances of misallocation and siphoning off of substantial amount of funds” by the couple.As per the CBI, the money channelled from the nine firms to the 9X company might have found its way to the Singapore account and various other accounts.“The report of Serious Fraud & Investigation Office of IT department and chartered accountant documents substantiate the facts. We have collected the IT returns of Peter and Indrani. We want to probe the probability of siphoning off of the money and possibility of parking it in benami accounts in India and abroad,” said the official.The CBI sought Peter’s custody in the court on Thursday on the basis of the new revelations. However, Peter’s defence counsel said, “Peter was a successful businessman and has a lot of investments. Documents in this regard are available with the Income Tax and Registrar of Companies for which Peter’s further custody was not required.”After hearing both the sides, the court remanded Peter in CBI custody till November 30.

BJP has made GST Bill a prestige issue: Congress

“They have made it a prestige issue. What is the need to bring GST if you do not fix maximum rate? There should be a mechanism to address the issues between states. These are the points which we have raised,” he added.

Accusing the NDA Government of not incorporating the changes suggested by the opposition in the GST Bill, Congress leader PL. Punia on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made it a prestige issue.”Congress party’s view on this is very clear. UPA government wanted to bring the GST Bill, but they (BJP) opposed it. Now that they have brought it, we welcome it, but there are two to three things in it that needs to be changed. They are not willing to do it,” Punia told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”They have made it a prestige issue. What is the need to bring GST if you do not fix maximum rate? There should be a mechanism to address the issues between states. These are the points which we have raised,” he added.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told the investors in Singapore yesterday that his government is hopeful of rolling out the GST in 2016.The government needs the Congress’s support so that the bill is passed in both houses of Parliament.Speaking at the ASSOCHAM’s 95th annual event on Tuesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the government was reaching out to those suggesting changes on the GST Bill.”We are willing to have discussions with them, and they too need to reconsider some changes they are suggesting,” he added.Earlier on Monday, the Finance Ministry initiated an exercise to effect the changes in the bill that the Congress has been seeking.

Foreign banks buy up bulk of Indian state government debt | Reuters

MUMBAI Three banks snapped up almost 90 percent of bonds sold by Indian states to foreigners, and turned them into derivatives, raising the prospect of more volatility in one of Asia’s best performing debt markets.

Several market participants involved in the sale said offshore units of Nomura, Standard Chartered (STAN.L) and Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAC.N) bought about 30 billion rupees ($451 million) of the 35 billion rupees on offer in October, the first window for foreigners to buy in.

Much of that debt was then sold for a hefty fee as derivatives known as total return swaps to offshore clients keen for the bonds’ higher yields, compared with India’s already popular sovereign debt, and with similar guarantees.

In contrast, traditional buyers of the illiquid bonds are state banks, who hold the debt to maturity.

When contacted by Reuters, the three banks declined to comment.

India has been one of the most resilient emerging markets, with foreign buyers taking up about $9.7 billion of debt this calendar year, nearly exhausting available limits on sovereign debt purchases.

Those purchases have helped domestic debt return 7.8 percent so far this year, the highest in Asia, according to HSBC.

Given that appetite and a need to expand its investor base, India let foreigners buy state bonds and also relaxed the investment ceiling in government bonds by around 56 billion rupees in September: the first step in a gradual opening.

“The main objective of (Reserve Bank of India) in opening these limits is to attract diverse and new sets of investors to the Indian bond market,” said a senior foreign bank treasury official based in Mumbai.

“But if eventually the FII (offshore) units of the foreign banks in India get to corner the limits, elbowing out the long term investors, then that leaves open a big risk of these trades unwinding and disrupting the Indian debt market.”

India’s central bank has sought to discourage “bond tourists”, favouring what it calls “real” investors, who would not flit in and out of the market.

Although currency and market risks have been passed on to other buyers, a sharp sell-off could see these investors re-selling the derivatives back to the banks and forcing them to swap the debt or sell at a discount.

But with foreigners owning only 4 percent of Indian government debt versus 47 percent in Indonesia, for example – the impact of even a significant sell-off would likely be muted.

“We are less concerned as the liquidity in IGBs is one of the highest in the region, and foreign positioning remains a very low component of the outstanding market,” said Rohit Arora, interest rate strategist at Barclays in Singapore, referring to Indian government bonds.

The next window for foreigners to buy state government debt is on Jan. 1.

($1 = 66.450 Indian rupees)

(Writing by Clara Ferreira Marques; Editing by Rafael Nam and Jacqueline Wong)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

India is a great country but it has a lot to learn from Singapore: PM Modi

Singapore: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday sought greater engagement of the diaspora in making the country strong, pointing to the large requirement of foreign direct investment and stating that his only task was development that wipes tears from the eyes of the poor.

Addressing a gathering of the Indian diaspora at the Singapore Expo here, Modi spoke of his government’s goals of providing round-the-clock power by 2022, generating 40 percent energy from non-fossil sources by 2030 and generating 175 GW of renewable energy.

Narendra Modi in a file photo. Naresh Sharma/FirsrpostNarendra Modi in a file photo. Naresh Sharma/Firsrpost

Narendra Modi in a file photo. Naresh Sharma/Firsrpost

The prime minister was greeted by slogans of “Modi, Modi” many times during his speech.

Wearing a kurta, churidar pyjama and a light-blue half jacket, Modi spoke for over one hour in Hindi, drawing on the country’s culture but also emphasising that it was important to script history and not rest on the laurels of the past.

Modi evoked smiles with some of his remarks.

“India is a great country but it has a lot to learn from Singapore. The diversity that is in India, it is in Singapore but everyone is a Singaporean and is working shoulder to shoulder to build the country. We have to learn a lot from Singapore,” he said.

Modi said he had started his journey with one task before him and needed the blessings of Indians in the country and outside.

“I have to accomplish one task and that is development, development, development which wipes the tears of the poor, provides employment to youth, prosperity to farmers and empowerment to women.”

Referring to the positive image of the country in the world, Modi said the reason for it was “not Modi but you, my brothers and sisters living in foreign countries”.

He said Indians assimilated well with the country they went to.

“They live by Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — the whole world is one family,” Modi said.

Indians number about 350,000 in Singapore’s population of about 5.5 million.

The prime minister said FDI has two meanings for him — foreign direct investment and first develop India.

“Today, India needs a large amount of FDI, he said, noting that FDI flows had gone up by 40 percent over the past 18 months.

Modi said his government had allowed upto 100 percent FDI in railways and the same would apply in approved high technology areas in defence.

“For me railway is not transport only. It is engine for India’s transformation,” he said.

Referring to his government’s steps towards making India clean, he said people of the country had made up their mind to bring about change.

“A country is not built by governments but by determination of its people. Today there is an atmosphere that we will take the country forward,” Modi said.

He referred to his humble origins and referred to 40 lakh people giving up subsidy on his call.

Modi said it is understandable that people acted voluntarily on a call by leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi but they had acted on “a call by an ordinary man like me, a tea seller”.

Referring to Swami Vivekananda, Modi said he sees the country reaching its old glory of being “Vishwa Guru” (world guru).

Modi said he had said during pre-election interviews that India will walk as an equal in the international arena.

“I have fulfilled that promise. India is full of self-confidence. The world has begun to recognise power of 125 crore Indians,” he said, adding that the world no longer sees India as a market but is keen to forge partnerships.

“My effort is that India has the best of what world has to offer and it also adds to the best that we have,” he said.

Modi said the esteem for India’s currency should rise in global markets and the decision to float rupee bonds in the London Stock Exchange was a move in that direction.

“This means invest in rupee, get back in rupee. Enter the world market in rupee,” he said.

Modi said the rupee bond was a sign of economic prosperity and should be seen with pride by every Indian.

Noting that 65 percent of the population was below 35, he said India was collaborating with countries like Singapore, the US and Germany for imparting skills.

IANS

PM Modi leaves for India after wrapping up four-day tour

PM Modi ended his two-day Singapore tour after weaving his charm with the Indian Diaspora, which forms approximately nine percent of the city-state’s total population, in Hall Number One and Two of the Singapore Expo venue.

Narendra Modi

Wrapping up his four-day tour to southeast Asia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for India on Tuesday.PM Modi ended his two-day Singapore tour after weaving his charm with the Indian Diaspora, which forms approximately nine percent of the city-state’s total population, in Hall Number One and Two of the Singapore Expo venue. Prime Minister Modi met his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsein Loong and signed the India-Singapore strategic partnership to elevate bilateral relations. Prime Minister Modi also addressed the India-Singapore Economic Convention and interacted with Chief Executive Officers of several companies. Both Prime Ministers also released a joint stamp to mark the 50 years of diplomatic relation of India and Singapore. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

On PM Modi’s visit, India inks 10 pacts with ‘major partner’ Singapore

Singapore: Terming Singapore as “Asia’s economic lion”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that the city-state is a major partner in almost every area of India’s transformation. Speaking at a banquet lunch hosted for him by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Modi said, “The Asiatic Lion can now be found only in Gujarat, but Asia’s economic lion is here in Singapore.”While praising the “energy, sense of purpose and enterprise in the Singapore air”, he said, “Singapore is a major partner in almost every area of India’s transformation.” Modi said in his banquet address: “There can be no place like Singapore — a symbol of aspiration for people and a source of inspiration for nations… Lee Hsien Loong’s leadership has sustained the momentum of Singapore’s success.”

PM Modi in Singapore. APPM Modi in Singapore. AP

PM Modi in Singapore. AP

Later, Modi tweeted that he presented the Singaporean Prime Minister a reproduction of a map of the island of Singapore dating back to 1849. “Measuring 52in x 52in and based on a survey that was done during 1842-45, the map depicts topographical details of parts of Singapore. The map also depicts a description of various points in the vicinity of Singapore town above the level of low water spring tides,” he said. The reproduction was done from the cartographic collection of the National Archives of India, New Delhi. Earlier, India and Singapore signed ten pacts, including a joint declaration on elevating their bilateral ties to a strategic partnership, besides agreements for enhanced defence cooperation and in areas like cyber security, shipping and civil aviation.

PTI

On an ‘impromptu outing’, PM Modi dines with Lee Hsien Loong at Indian restaurant in Singapore

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday was a “happy guest” on his maiden visit to Singapore where he had a vegetarian dinner with his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and his wife at an Indian restaurant in Little India.

PM Modi takes selfie with Lee Hsien Loong | Image Courtesy: MEA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday was a “happy guest” on his maiden visit to Singapore where he had a vegetarian dinner with his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and his wife at an Indian restaurant in Little India.”Diwali lights & delicious Indian food. Thank you @leehsienloong,” PMO India tweeted along with photos showing the two leaders having food together ahead of their bilateral talks tomorrow.”The hospitable host & the happy guest…PM @narendramodi at Little India. Chai Pe Charcha with @leehsienloong,” said another tweet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi, who has a penchant for clicking selfies with leaders on foreign tours, continued the trend on the first day of his maiden visit to Singapore by clicking a selfie with Lee and his wife Ho Ching.Besides Modi, the selfie was also posted by Lee on his Twitter account, saying: “Ho Ching & I took PM @NarendraModi to Little India. Took a #wefie after a delicious vegetarian meal.”Earlier today, Modi delivered a 20-minute ’37th Singapore Lecture – India’s Singapore Story’ – soon after his arrival here during which Lee was also present.The Indian prime minister flew into Singapore from Malaysia in the second and final leg of his four-day visit to southeast Asia.Little India – a precinct of Indian-origin businesses, eateries and pubs where South Asians working in Singapore spend their day off – was the scene of the December 8, 2013 riots, the city-state’s worst outbreak of violence in over 40 years.

PM Modi’s popularity intact despite Bihar defeat: BJP

Narendra Modi

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday continued to maintain their stand that the Bihar debacle in no way had affected the image of Prime Minster Narendra Modi and that he still remained one of the most popular leaders in the world.”The Bihar elections did not go in our favour but that does not affect the Prime Minister. Yes, it was a setback for the BJP but the PM’s popularity remains intact,” BJP general secretary Ram Madhav told ANI in Kuala Lumpur. Talking about the general sense of excitement among the Indians in Kuala Lumpur, he added that the diaspora was waiting eagerly for his address during the glittering gala in the evening.”Leaders from 27 different nations are here, but most of the posters that you can see are all for PM Modi. From the airport to the city you can see hoardings welcoming him. So you can see how excited the Indian community is here,” Madhav said.Prime Minister Modi arrived here on Saturday early morning and addressed the ASEAN-India Summit and East Asia Summit. He will depart for Singapore tonight. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

PM Narendra Modi leaves for Malaysia and Singapore

“Leaving for Malaysia & Singapore. Will attend 2 crucial summits, participate in bilateral meetings & seek greater investment to India,” the Prime Minister said in a tweet before his departure for Kuala Lumpur, on the first leg of his trip.

File Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight left for four-day visit to Malaysia and Singapore, during which the focus would be on building trade ties and attracting investments to India. “Leaving for Malaysia & Singapore. Will attend 2 crucial summits, participate in bilateral meetings & seek greater investment to India,” the Prime Minister said in a tweet before his departure for Kuala Lumpur, on the first leg of his trip. In Malaysia, Modi will be attending the ASEAN-India Summit tomorrow and the 10th East Asia Summit the next day, besides holding talks with Prime Minister Najib Razak and some other world leaders who would be attending the Summits.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He had said the ASEAN-India and East Asia Summits are being held at a critical juncture and “together, we will discuss the pressing security issues. The looming threat of terror and the prevailing situation in West Asia will also be a part of the discussions.” In Singapore, Modi will hold deliberations with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on ways to enhance bilateral ties on the occasion of commemoration of 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties. “My visits to Malaysia and Singapore are aimed at making our economic ties with these nations stronger and to also strengthen the security cooperation between us,” Modi has said in a series of Facebook posts.Talking about Malaysia, the Prime Minister had said it is “at the core of our ‘Act East Policy’.” “India’s partnership with ASEAN nations has gathered immense momentum over the years… We want to further scale up our trade and economic ties. I will expand on the need for closer economic cooperation and investment opportunities in India at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit..,” he said.”The ASEAN nations have welcomed India’s ‘Act East Policy’ and we in India are extremely enthusiastic to have better relations with the ASEAN family in areas such as defence, security and cultural ties.”Robust India-ASEAN ties will give great impetus to our collective dream of making this century an ‘Asian Century’,” Modi had said.With regard to the East Asia Summit, he said India attaches a lot of importance to it.

Karnataka: Will it be veteran Ambarish or actress Ramya for CM Siddaramaiah?

Actress Ramya has the backing of Congress veteran SM Krishna .

Ambarish and Ramya

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has got approval from the Congress high command to add four more ministers to his cabinet to control rebellion within the party. However, all eyes are on him as to whether he will pick actress Ramya over veteran actor and politician HM Ambarish.The chief minister is in a quagmire. On one side, members of his party are rebelling against him and on the other, he feels the opposition is trying to have him removed as CM. Despite the fact that he tried to rejig his cabinet several times earlier, he had not received the go-ahead from the Congress high command. Having received approval now, Siddaramaiah is still in a fix. The Congress wants him to induct actress Ramya, the former MP from Mandya, reports Mail Today, but this means that he won’t be able to give Ambarish a suitable position. Ambarish has been a former Union Minister but his failing health had raised concerns within the party. When he had to be airlifted to Singapore last year for treatment, the government is said to have spent Rs 1.5 core on medical expenses. Thus, the Congress is now looking at appointing a younger person.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Actress Ramya has the backing of Congress veteran SM Krishna but she is not a member of either legislature houses in Karnataka at this point. She is also said to be favoured by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Meanwhile, relations between Ambarish and the CM are reportedly strained.However, actress Ramya has refuted that she is joining the cabinet. To a question posed to her on Twitter on Wednesday, she replied,

Singapore to return ‘stolen’ sculpture

A Singapore museum which bought an 11th Century Indian sculpture for $650,000 (£420,000) is to return it, after an art dealer said it was stolen.

Jagan rejects invite he is yet to get, manages to steal a march over Chandrababu Naidu

Hyderabad: Has YS Jaganmohan Reddy delivered a political masterstroke or has he scored a self-goal by declining to attend the foundation laying ceremony of Amaravathi, the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh, even before an invite is extended to him?

The answer is both yes and no. Yes, because he has managed to hog the limelight when the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) appeared to be running away with all the propaganda points in the run-up to the mega event. No, because he has drawn flak for “dishonouring” the invite that was yet to be extended and “disrespecting” the popular sentiment over the construction of a new capital city for a state that’s struggling hard on many counts.

Y S Jaganmohan Reddy: ReutersY S Jaganmohan Reddy: Reuters

Y S Jaganmohan Reddy: Reuters

But Jagan, as it appears, is ensuring that he is steadily in the news, either for the right or the wrong reasons. He sat on an indefinite fast on 7 October demanding special status for Andhra Pradesh as promised in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

A week later, his strike was medically foiled when he was administered fluids by force and admitted to Government General Hospital in Guntur for a day. The forcible removal of the Leader of the Opposition from the hunger strike camp and the subsequent smear campaign by the pro-Telugu Desam media and opinion leaders only helped him get publicity.

He has stated eight reasons for declining the expected invite. He has gone hammer and tongs against the “coercive methods” used by the state government in the land pooling for the new capital. He says the state had undertaken work by imposing ‘prohibitory orders’ under Section 30 and Section 144 of the CrPC. He has hauled the government over the coals for “ignoring the stay orders issued by the National Green Tribunal”.

He said: “The Centre is generously helping the state and has already given Rs. 1,850 crore for the construction of the capital. It has further promised to help build the capital and release funds upon claiming of bills. Why has the CM roped in private firms of Singapore to build the capital? Structures like assembly, secretariat, high court and other such government offices can be built in the available government land, leaving the private lands for the landlords to decide whether they want to take up real estate or agriculture.”

Jagan has made a serious allegation that the chief minister and his cronies and some family members bought huge tracts of land in the new capital region but none of that was pooled and the land belonging only to the poor is taken by force.

His charge that the government is being extravagant by spending Rs 400 crore for the foundation stone laying has not only embarrassed the government, but also yielded the desired result too. As a knee-jerk reaction to the charge of the YSR Congress and the subsequent “enquiries from the corridors of power in Delhi,” the AP government eased out event management company, Wizcraft, which it had contracted for Rs 9.5 crore from managing the capital event.

The chief minister himself had to hurriedly do the explaining that the government was moderating the expenditure and that it was not indulging in extravagance. However, this is contrary to the news from the government sources that the hospitality should be terrific and the function should remain etched in the minds of the people forever.

Jagan’s act of writing to the chief minister, asking him not to extend the invitation for the foundation stone laying may sound churlish. But it appears to be politically smart.

PM Modi to meet Netaji’s family members tomorrow

Modi had said in his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme last month that he would be receiving over 50 members of Netaji’s family members at his residence in October.

Last week, I got confirmation that over 50 members of Subhas babu are coming to visit the Prime Minister’s residence.

Family members of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday when they are expected to seek declassification of all the files related to the leader whose mysterious disappearance 70 years ago continues to be a talking point. “The Prime Minister will meet the family members of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose tomorrow – October 14th, 2015,” a PMO statement said. He will receive Netaji’s family members at 7, Race Course Road, the official residence of the Prime Minister, tomorrow evening, the statement added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi had said in his monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio programme last month that he would be receiving over 50 members of Netaji’s family members at his residence in October. “Over 50 members of Subhas babu’s family, from various countries, will be coming… I am happy to welcome them,” Modi had said. Describing it as a momentous occasion for him, he had said that it would perhaps be the first time that the family members of Netaji would be together visiting the Prime Minister’s residence. “But the bigger happiness is for me as nobody in the Prime Minister’s residence would have got such a chance earlier as I will be getting in October,” he said. Recalling his meeting with some members of the family in Kolkata in May, Modi had said, “I got an opportunity to spend some time with them. That day it was decided that the extended family of Subhas babu will visit the Prime Minister’s residence… Last week, I got confirmation that over 50 members of Subhas babu are coming to visit the Prime Minister’s residence.”The family members are expected to seek declassification of Netaji files in possession of the Centre as the West Bengal government has already released 64 such files. Bose’s grand nephew Chandra Bose has said that his family will appeal to Modi to write to countries including Russia, Japan, China, America, UK, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia to declassify all Netaji files lying with them. “Netaji was in touch with people in all these countries.They all have classified files relating to him. We want to take this movement of declassification to the global level to get all the clues,” he had said.”Our main focus, however, would be on declassification of all Netaji files held by the government of India. If we do not have our own files declassified, then how can we ask other nations to do it?” Abhijit Ray, Netaji’s another grand-nephew, had said.

PM Modi lays foundation stone Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone of an ambitious project which will more than double the capacity of the country’s largest container port JNPT in next two years.

Modi laid the foundation stone at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), situated off the financial capital’s eastern seafront, for the Rs 7,900 crore fourth terminal project to be carried out in two phases.

Narendra Modi. ReutersNarendra Modi. Reuters

Narendra Modi. Reuters

He was accompanied by Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, Union Shipping and Ports Minister Nitin Gadkari and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The port aspires to be among the top 15 of the world with the implementation of several infrastructure projects, including the fourth terminal. At present it is ranked 31st.

The terminal will help the exim trade, and comes at a time when the country is aspiring to be a manufacturing powerhouse which is clear through the government’s flagship ‘Make in India’ initiative.

The fourth terminal project is being executed by Bharat Mumbai Container Terminal, a subsidiary of Port of Singapore, on a design, built, fund, operate and transfer basis under which JNPT will get a 35.9 per cent share in revenues.

With the two-phased project, the overall container handling capacity of JNPT will more than double to 10 million standard units from the present 4.5 million, Union Shipping Secretary Rajive Kumar had said yesterday.

Work on the project has been divided into two phases, entailing an investment of Rs 4,719 crore and Rs 3,196 crore, respectively, and work is expected to be complete by the end of 2017.

The project involves construction of two berths of one km in each of the two phases and land acquisition is also minimal as 70 hectares of land will be reclaimed from the sea for each of the berths.

At present, JNPT operates one of the three terminals at the port while the other two are done by DP World and APM Terminals, Kumar had said, adding that addition of the fourth terminal will mean three of the biggest port operators being present at the port.

A corporate film tracing growth of JNPT into the 31st biggest container port globally and projects being undertaken to increase capacity, including a standalone berth and a Special Economic Zone, was shown at the ceremony.

Modi, who is on a day-long visit to the financial capital which includes a public meeting, did not speak at the event.

The event comes amid a growing trend of state-run major ports losing market share to the privately run non-major ports, which has resulted in Gautam Adani-led Mundra Port to emerge as the largest port by cargo handled.

PTI

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s kin want foreign countries to release files too

Family members of Subhas Chandra Bose on Sunday said the Prime Minister must ask governments of other countries to declassify files in their possession about his disappearance, as they feared that some secret documents that could have solved the mystery might have been destroyed.

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose

Family members of Subhas Chandra Bose on Sunday said the Prime Minister must ask governments of other countries to declassify files in their possession about his disappearance, as they feared that some secret documents that could have solved the mystery might have been destroyed.”I am not too sure whether the existing files with the central government can reveal everything about what happened to Netaji after he went missing in 1945. The files may have already been destroyed by the past governments,” Netaji’s grand-nephew Chandra Bose told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said that even the Mukherjee Commission had stated that four files had been destroyed during the time of Indira Gandhi. To connect all the dots relating to his disappearance, he said his family would appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to write to the heads of the countries of Russia, Japan, China, America, UK, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia to declassify all Netaji files lying with them.”Netaji was in touch with people in all these countries. They all have classified files relating to him. We want to take this movement of declassification to the global level to get all the clues,” the Netaji kin said.The family members said that the issue of global declassification of Netaji files would be on the family’s agenda when they meet Modi next month in Delhi.”Our main focus, however, would be on declassification of all Netaji files held by the government of India. If we do not have our own files declassified, then how can we ask other nations to do it?” Abhijit Ray, Netaji’s another grand-nephew, said.In his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi on Sunday said he would host over 50 Bose family members at his residence next month.

Can a piece of jewellery make you safe?

Five 22-year-old Delhi engineering students have developed a pendant that is designed to keep you safe, writes the BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi.

Teachers can stop Nirbhaya-like incidents: Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria

Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria on Saturday said only teachers, not police force, can Nirbhaya-like incidents in the country.

Public protest against the December 16 gang rape

dna Research & Archives
Union Minister Ram Shankar Katheria on Saturday said only teachers, not police force, can Nirbhaya-like incidents in the country.”There was a Nirbhaya incident. To ensure that there is no such incident in the country, then only teachers can stop such incidents. No police force can stop such incidents. Only country’s teachers have that power,” Katheria said during a function here to give national award to teachers for 2014.’Nirbhaya’ is a name given to a 23-year-old paramedical student, who was brutally gang-raped in a moving bus in the national capital in December 2012. She died while battling her injuries during treatment in a Singapore hospital.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Katheria, Minister of State for Human Resources Development, is a Lok Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh’s Agra constituency.”I come from Agra. While coming from there, I see big buildings in Noida, 20- or 30-storied buildings. They are not the parameter of development, but the students. As some learned persons have said, students are the real capital of a nation and teachers need to utilise this capital to make our country more powerful and developed nation,” he said.The minister said there was a need to improve elementary education in the country.A total of 338 teachers from across the country received the honour, which carries a Silver medal, certificate and Rs 50,000 as award money, from President Pranab Mukherjee at a function held at Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi.Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Minister of State for HRD Upendra Kushwaha, among others were present during the event.

VIDEO: Cricket league for Singapore workers

Singapore’s migrant workers from India and Bangladesh launch a cricket league for their precious days off.

December 16 gangrape, murder convicts held guilty in robbery case

Six persons, including a juvenile, had beaten up and robbed a carpenter before raping and brutally assaulting a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012.

Six persons had beaten up and robbed a carpenter before raping and brutally assaulting a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012.

Four death row convicts in the December 16 gangrape and murder case were on Thursday held guilty of kidnapping and dacoity by a Delhi court in a separate robbery case. Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh convicted Akshay Kumar Singh, Mukesh, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma for the offences under various sections of the IPC, including sections 395 (dacoity) and 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine a person). “Vide separate order pronounced today, the accused persons are convicted in all the sections for which charges were framed against them. Put up the matter for arguments on sentence on September 2,” the judge said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All the four convicts were present in the court at the time of pronouncement of judgement. Six persons, including a juvenile, had beaten up and robbed a carpenter before raping and brutally assaulting a 23-year-old girl in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012. The victim had died in a Singapore hospital on December 29, 2012.Mukesh, Vinay, Pawan and Akshay were awarded death penalty by trial court in the gangrape and murder case which was later confirmed by Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Accused Ram Singh had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail on March 11, 2013. The juvenile was facing proceedings in the gangrape and murder case before Juvenile Justice Board which sentenced him to three years detention in reformation home. Proceedings against Ram Singh were abated following his death.The court had on July 15, 2013 framed charges against the four accused after they pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. Apart from dacoity and kidnapping, the court had also framed charges against them for the offences punishable under sections 342 (wrongfully confining any person), 394(person voluntarily causing hurt in committing or attempting to commit robbery), 412 (dishonestly receiving stolen property knowing that it was obtained by dacoity) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.

On PM Modi’s behalf, Indian High Commissioner to Singapore receives ‘Asian of the Year’ award

On behalf of Narendra Modi, a leading Singapore daily The Straits Times has presented India’s High Commissioner to Singapore with an ‘Asian of the Year 2014’ award.

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s behalf, a Singapore daily has presented India’s High Commissioner to Singapore with an award

Getty Images
India’s High Commissioner to Singapore, Vijay Singh Thakur, has received ‘Asian of the Year 2014’ award by leading Singapore daily The Straits Times, on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Singapore.Modi was given the award in December last year for putting focus on India’s development and getting the world “excited” about the prospects of the country again. “In picking Mr Modi, ST editors recognised not only his track record as an administrator who propelled his home state Gujarat to global recognition but also for the promise he holds to re-energise India,” Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi is expected to visit Singapore in November during which he would sign a strategic partnership agreement between the two countries. The award was instituted in 2012 to recognise a person or organisation that has contributed significantly to either his own nation or Asia.The inaugural award went to Myanmar president Thein Sein while Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe share the 2013 award.

Badminton World Championships: Chen overcomes Lee, Marin beats Nehwal | Reuters

JAKARTA China’s Chen Long produced a fitting display for a top seed and defending champion to claim a second straight world title with a pulsating 21-14 21-17 victory against Malaysian nearly-man Lee Chong Wei on Sunday.

Lee has topped the world rankings for a record 298 weeks during a long and illustrious career but once again came up short against a Chinese player at the top of his game in a fourth world championship final defeat in as many matches.

Chen has replaced Lin Dan as the top male player following his breakthrough world title triumph a year ago and the rangy 26-year-old has also replaced his compatriot as Lee’s arch nemesis after repeating last year’s win over the Malaysian.

Lin has beaten Lee in four major finals, including the last two Olympics, but Chen has emerged from the shadow of a player many believe to be the greatest ever with a complete game built on his supreme agility, speed, power and fitness.

At 1.87 metres, Chen also boasts a court-covering reach and used all of his attributes to rein in the fast-starting Lee, realising he was dominating when he attacked and coming off second best in the tactical rallies.

Once he took the lead at 11-10, Chen looked unstoppable and reeled off 16-of-20 points to claim the opening game before storming out of the blocks in the second to forge a six-point lead by the interval.

Lee battled gamely as Chen’s intensity levels dropped but the Malaysian was unable to get any closer than within two points of his opponent in the second game as a packed Istora Senayan roared in approval.

“Lee is a good player but I was better today,” Chen said in a courtside interview. “This is a very special arena, so it feels great to win the world title here.”

MARIN DEFENDS

Carolina Marin also enjoyed a successful title defence, the top-seeded Spaniard beating Saina Nehwal 21-16 21-19 in a high-class encounter to deny India a first world badminton title.

(See pictures from the match here)

The world number one had been under an injury cloud in the build up to the championships but twice relied on her ability to quickly string together points at crucial times to rally from behind in both games and secure victory in 56 minutes.

“I didn’t think I would be here when I was struggling with my injuries but my coaches said I should keep training and try to play at the world championships and just do the best I could in the tournament,” Marin said.

“I knew from the beginning it was going to be a very tough match because Saina is really good but I kept fighting until the end and am very happy with my performance today.”

Earlier, top seeds Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei stormed to a third mixed doubles world title with a comfortable 21-17 21-11 victory over compatriots and former junior world champions Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin.

Zhao returned to the court a few hours later to successfully defend another title when the 28-year-old partnered Tian Qing to a 23-25 21-8 21-15 win over Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl as they retained the women’s doubles crown.

The home fans were then rewarded for their patience as Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan regained the men’s doubles title they won in 2013 with a 21-17 21-14 victory over China’s Liu Xiaolong and Qiu Zihan in the last match of the day.

(Reporting by John O’Brien in Singapore; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Top seeds advance to world finals in Jakarta | Reuters

JAKARTA Chen Long and Carolina Marin enjoyed contrasting semi-final victories on a good day for the top seeds and defending title holders at the badminton world championships on Saturday.

China’s Chen has seized the mantle of the sport’s most dominant player from compatriot Lin Dan since claiming a maiden world crown in Copenhagen a year ago and the 26-year-old appears in no mood to relinquish his title in Jakarta.

The lanky world number one was simply too quick and strong for Japanese fourth seed Kento Momota as he raced through to the final in less than an hour with a dominant 21-9 21-15 triumph.

Former junior world champion Momota was expected to provide the toughest of tests, yet despite claiming the shot of the match with a full-length dive to retrieve a smash in the second game, the 20-year-old was overwhelmed by Chen’s power.

Facing Chen in Sunday’s final will be Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who set up a repeat of last year’s title match with a impressive 21-7 21-19 victory over Danish second seed Jan O. Jorgensen.

Chen beat Lee 21-19 21-19 a year ago but the Malaysian was stripped of his silver medal after he tested positive for a banned steroid and is enjoying a solid return to form since his ban ended in May as he seeks an elusive world title.

Wily veteran Lee has topped the rankings for 298 weeks during his career yet remains without a global or Olympic title and will line up opposite the only man to beat him in singles competition this year in what promises to be a pulsating finale.

MOMENTUM SHIFTS

Marin, meanwhile, came through a war of attrition against Korea’s Sung Ji-hyun to claim a 21-17 15-21 21-16 victory in a marathon encounter that ebbed and flowed through a series of momentum shifts.

The injury-prone Spaniard was a surprise champion as ninth seed a year ago but has since risen to the top of the rankings with a game built on confidence, athleticism and a never-say-die attitude.

Marin took the first game comfortably, stumbled in the second and appeared distracted in the decider as her exhausted opponent somehow forged a 13-8 lead when the Spaniard constantly floundered at the net.

Sensing her grip on the title was weakening, Marin summoned one last push against the flagging Sung and rode a 10-point surge of momentum into the final with a series of smashes and drop shots.

Marin will face Saina Nehwal in Sunday’s final after the second seed survived a valiant effort from local hope Lindaweni Fanetri to secure a 21-17 21-17 victory as she seeks to become the first Indian to claim a world title.

The 29th-ranked Fanetri had beaten three seeds on her way to the last four but her heavily strapped right knee buckled several times during the match and a noisy Istora Senayan crowd was unable to carry her past the ruthlessly efficient Nehwal.

In the mixed doubles, defending champions Zhang Nan and Zhao Yunlei saved two match points before overcoming Indonesia’s Tantowi Ahmad and Lilyana Natsir 20-22 23-21 21-12 to set up an all-Chinese final against Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin.

(Reporting by John O’Brien in Singapore,; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

I-Day Special: 96-years-old Kundan Singh who served as Netaji’s bodyguard wishes country had more leaders like him

At the age of 96, his hearing and vision have got affected but every little memory related to his favourite hero ‘Netaji’ is still crystal clear in his mind even after all these decades.

Netaji’s personal bodyguard Kundan Singh
Maninder Dabas
Image courtesy: Team iamin
Time and again, several conspiracy theories have surfaced about the death of one of the most respected freedom fighters of India – Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Most popular belief about his death is that he was killed in a plane crash in Taipei in 1945. But Kundan Singh, a native of Bahadurgarh, who was appointed as his personal bodyguard in the year 1943 refuses to accept the theory.“He couldn’t have died. Netaji didn’t die. He was the master of disguise and mischief. Don’t you remember his escape from Calcutta as a Pathan in 1940? Habib-ur-Rahman Khan, his fellow commander who flew with him that day later came out with his watch as the evidence of his death, but none of us bought his version,” the old man shouts in excitement.Singh joined the British Indian Army on November 10, 1940 and was straight away sent to to battle frontier in Singapore during World War-II to fight the Japanese.When Kundan got a chance to become Netaji’s bodyguard<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Under Malayan campaign, when Mohan Singh was leading Indian National Army (INA) to fight the British Indian Army in Singapore in September 1942, Kundam also became a victim during the fall of Singapore to Japan. He, along with almost 50,000 soldiers were captured as prisoners of war. Many of them later joined INA and in 1943, Kundan was one of lucky ones who got a chance to become the personal bodyguard of Netaji.“Throughout his life, he never kept bodyguards when he was out. We only remained with him in headquarters, earlier in Singapore and later in Rangoon,” he recalls adding, “Getting a chance to work in INA was a dream come true because there was no discrimination like there was in the British Indian Army.”Kundan says he often faced racial discrimination at the hands of Britishers while working in their army. Even the payscale for same roles was different. “A white soldier with similar rank as mine would get Rs 34 as salary whereas the Indian soldiers used to get just half of it,” he says.Did Bose have a ‘conflict of opinion’ with Congress leaders?General consensus among historians and political analysts suggests that Bose always had conflict of opinion with other senior Congress leaders of the likes of Gandhi and Nehru which prompted him to leave Congress and create Forward Block.But Kundan reveals that Bose had great respect for both Nehru and Gandhi, and had named battalions after them in INA. “Bose had created Gandhi and Nehru battalion in INA and had great respect for the leaders,” he remembers.According to him, it was more about the ‘conflict of Interest’ instead of ‘conflict of opinion’. “And that’s why top Congress leaders fabricated the tale of his death with help of his commanders like Shahnawaz Khan and Habib ur-Rahman to cash on public sympathy. In exchange, they defended their case in the famous Red Fort trials,” accuses Kundan who believes that Bose lived for many years in Dehradun and surrounding areas as Sadhu after the ‘plane crash’. Pertinently, Habib-ur-Rahman later joined the Pakistan Armed forces after partition and played an important role in annexation of half of Kashmir in 1947-48.Kundan also accuses the first government of Independent India of confiscating the gold of reserves of worth seven crores donated by Indian diaspora in Burma and people in India to INA later from Burma.Why Netaji’s followers continued to believe that he was alive…After retirement in 1946, Kundan came back to live in his village but never believed the conspiracy theories of Bose’s death. “Later in 1950s, I along with many of my friends went to different ashrams in Dehradun where we heard of his presence. But we never found him, yet the management of those ashrams was very similar to that of the small compound he used to acquire in INA. And strengthened our belief of Bose being alive,” he recounts adding that Bose was never a stooge of Japanese and was only concerned about the freedom of India.Experts believe that after the fall of Germany, it was evident that Japan will get defeated eventually. So, Bose tried to approach the victorious Soviets to support the INA against the British. But things not progress after reports of his plane crash surfaced.“Bose always knew that INA won’t be able to liberate India own its own; but he believed that with the help of Japan, it can fight against the stronghold of British,” shares Kundan.“I wish this country could have more such leaders, but I know that’s highly unlikely,” the old man concludes.Also Read: Not happy with PM Modi’s assurance on declassification of Netaji secret files, says relatives

Indians among top professional migrants to UAE

The study also shows that the industry sectors are attracting the most talent.

dna Research & Archives
India is the leading source of professional talent coming to the UAE representing 28%, with the UK, Pakistan, the US and Qatar making up the top five in the list, according to a global study by LinkedIn.Other Gulf nations contributed a combined 11% of members who moved to the UAE.By analysing every new position that was added to member profiles between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2014, LinkedIn determined that the UAE attracts the most talent, gaining 1.89% as a percentage of its total workforce.The top sectors for talent moving into the UAE in 2014 were professional services, architectural and engineering, financial services and insurance, technology (software), and retail and consumer products, while the most common occupations were salespeople, marketing specialists, project managers, corporate finance specialists, accountants, consultants, and mechanical engineers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The study also shows that the industry sectors are attracting the most talent.Ali Matar, Head of Talent Solutions, LinkedIn MENA, said this is the second year that the UAE has been mentioned as the most attractive destination for professionals.”LinkedIn has more than 380 million members from around the world, including more than 16 million in the Middle East and North Africa region, and more than two million members in the UAE, which enables us to determine trends amongst the globe’s connected professionals,” he said.”It is especially interesting that the results of this study show that the UAE’s attractiveness as an employment market is no longer limited to the traditional sources of talent, which for years have been India, Pakistan, and other Arab states,” Matar said.The study clearly shows that there is a high international appeal, especially from the United Kingdom and the United States, establishing the UAE as a globally desirable destination for migration. This confirms the country’s status as a strong economy and an appealing working environment that is highly capable of competing on a global scale,” he added.Other countries attracting the most talent according to LinkedIn’s study are Switzerland (0.90%), Saudi Arabia (0.85%), followed by Singapore, Germany, South Africa, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Mexico and Belgium.

India sues Nestle over Maggi noodles

India is suing Nestle for $100m (£64m) over “unfair trade practices” relating to the Maggi noodles health scare, an official confirms to the BBC.

Amid ban on Maggi, US health regulator says lead in instant noodles within acceptable levels

New Delhi: As a ban continues in India on Nestle’s Maggi noodles, the US health regulator USFDA has said its tests have found the lead level in the popular instant food within acceptable levels for US consumers.

A USFDA spokesperson, in an e-mailed statement, said: “Following news reports about alleged lead levels in Maggi noodles made by Nestle and sold in the US, FDA tested a limited number of samples for lead contamination. FDA testing did not find any levels that present a public health concern for US consumers.”

Screengrab.Screengrab.

Screengrab.

Meanwhile, a day after the government filed a class action suit against the company seeking Rs 640 crore in damages for alleged unfair trade practices, false labelling and misleading advertisements, Nestle India denied receiving an official notice.

“We are yet to receive an official notice about the complaint filed before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC). Our current knowledge on this issue is only media reports. We shall be able to provide substantive response after we receive the official papers,” Nestle said in a BSE filing.

On FDA clearance, a Nestle India spokesperson said: “We have learnt from our official importer in the United States, House of Spices, that USFDA has tested several shipments of Maggi noodles from India for lead content. Finding no unsafe lead levels, FDA released the noodles for sale in the United States.”

Similarly, health regulators in the UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia and Vietnam have also cleared India-made Maggi as safe for human consumption. In June, food safety regulator FSSAI had banned Maggi noodles in India, terming it as “unsafe and hazardous” for consumption due to presence of lead beyond permissible limits. Nestle India too withdrew the product from the market.

FSSAI had also said Nestle India had violated labelling regulations on taste enhancer ‘MSG’ and ordered the company to submit a compliance report on the same. The ban on Maggi showed up in Nestle India earnings earlier as it reported a standalone loss of Rs 64.40 crore for the June quarter — its first quarterly loss in over three decades. It had posted a net profit of Rs 287.86 crore in April-June of 2014-15.

PTI

Foreign trips paying off? India receives $19.78 bn FDI from nations visited by PM Modi

New Delhi: India received USD 19.78 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) from 12 countries visited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in financial year 2014-15, Parliament was informed recently.

File photo of PM Modi. PTIFile photo of PM Modi. PTI

File photo of PM Modi. PTI

During the period, Indian companies invested USD 3.42 billion in these countries which include Bhutan, Brazil, Nepal, Japan, the US, Myanmar, Australia, Fiji, Seychelles, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Singapore.

The total outflow and inflow of foreign investment in general for 2014-15 fiscal was USD 6.42 billion and USD 75.71 billion, respectively, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.

In 2014-15, FDI in India increased by 27 per cent to USD 30.93 billion. Replying to a separate question over investigation by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) against senior officials of the ministry over 47 missing files on special economic zones, she said all files except 5 are available in the department of commerce and were made available for the audit.

“The remaining five files relating to setting up of central government SEZs, which are 30-50 years old, are not available,” she added.

She further said that the department has no information if any inquiry has been initiated by CBI in this regard. The Comptroller and Auditor General, in its report for 2012-13 on performance of special economic zones (SEZs), has observed that 47 files were not produced to audit.

PTI

Court reserves order on ED plea for warrant against Lalit Modi

Mumbai: The special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act cases here on Tuesday reserved its order on Enforcement Directorate’s plea seeking a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against former IPL boss Lalit Modi.

ED moved the court last week seeking an NBW after Modi did not respond to the summons sent to him.

File picture of Lalit Modi. GettyFile picture of Lalit Modi. Getty

File picture of Lalit Modi. Getty

Special judge P R Bhavake on Tuesday sought to know why the agency was not arresting him and had sought NBW and whether a warrant can be issued during the investigation.

ED’s lawyer Hiten Venegoankar said Lali Modi was not available in India, hence an NBW should be issued. Modi had not complied with the summonses issued to him since 2009, he claimed.

The judge asked if Modi was an accused before the court as ED had not filed a charge sheet against him. For issuance of NBW, the person should be an accused before the court, judge Bhavake remarked.

The ED lawyer said the case was at the stage of pre-investigation and the Supreme Court had said in a previous ruling that NBW can be issued during the investigation.

Last month, the court had issued letters rogatory (LR) to Singapore and Mauritius, seeking assistance from authorities there in the case.

BCCI registered an FIR in Chennai against Modi in 2010. In 2008, the cricket body had awarded 10-year media rights to WSG for USD 918 million. WSG then entered into a deal with MSM to make Sony the official broadcaster. The contract was replaced later with a nine-year deal where MSM paid WSG USD 1.63 billion.

In 2009, ED started a probe under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to investigate the allegation that payment of Rs 425 crore facilitation fee by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius had been made in an unauthorised manner.

PTI

Foreign investors not liable to pay MAT, says AP Shah panel

The ministry sources say the revenue department did a faux pas by excluding foreign companies while preparing terms of references for the Shah committee.

The recommendations of Justice AP Shah-led three-member committee on minimum alternative tax (MAT) has come in for big relief to foreign investors. The 64-page report, exclusively accessed by dna, says a foreign investor is not liable to pay MAT prior to April 1, 2015.The report, however, is silent on role of foreign companies because the terms of references as framed by the finance ministry did not mandate the committee to review issue of foreign companies’ MAT. A majority of the MAT dispute cases are related to foreign companies, not Foreign Institutional Investor (FII) or Foreign Portfolio Investor (FPI).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ministry sources say the revenue department did a faux pas by excluding foreign companies while preparing terms of references for the Shah committee.The ministry had plans to produce the committee’s report in the Supreme Court hearing of Castleton Investment Ltd case on MAT issue on Tuesday. But the ministry rather sought more time, till September 29, to reply in this case, as the ministry is in dilemma over Shah committee’s report, which is limited to FPI/FII only. Mauritius-based Castleton Investment Ltd had filed special leave petition (SLP) against advance authority of ruling (AAR) in the Supreme Court about two years ago.The Shah committee report, submitted on July 24 this year, has yet not been made public. The report accessed by dna took cognizance that the terms of reference has not mandated the committee to look into MAT issue of foreign companies. Thus the committee gave final recommendations that let income-tax department issue a circular to give relief over the MAT issue. Or the ministry may opt for the amendment route to give MAT relief with retrospective effect.Ministry sources said CBDT is not agreeing to a circular and is insisting that the ministry seek an amendment to give MAT relief with retrospective effect.The income tax department is seeking MAT at 18.5% on capital gains which arise from share transfers by foreign investors. Foreign investors argue they are not liable to pay this MAT due to special treatment under double taxation avoidance agreement in case of Mauritius.Though the Budget 2015 has exempted them to pay MAT on capital gain from April 1, 2015, foreign investors want this exemption from retrospective date.FPI dominant sensitive Indian stock markets are already under pressure. Government became defensive on the edge of ‘make in India’ campaign and constituted the committee to review the matter as early as possible.Castleton Investment had become the test case for the Indian tax system. Castleton Investment, incorporated in 1993 and owned by UK-based Welcome Ltd, has shares in GSK India. The Indian unit of Glaxo is listed on both BSE and NSE. Castleton had acquired 60,000 shares of GSK India in 1993 and 16,80,170 shares of Burrogh Welcome India in 1996. Later, Burrogh Welcome India merged with GSK and Castleton Investment’s shareholding swelled to 3,192,238.Castleton Investment, which was owner of 3.77% of GSK India, has transferred these shares to Singapore GSK Pte, which is also part of GSK group but incorporated in Singapore.These share transfers have become a test case for Indian tax system. According to the tax authorities, institutions like Castleton Investment have to pay at least MAT. The department and Castleton Investment locked horns and approached the AAR, which said that Castleton is exempted from capital gains under article 13 (4) of India-Mauritius tax treaty but has to pay MAT on these transfer gains. On the basis of AAR ruling, the tax department has sent out tax notices to FPIs like Castleton Investment.

IAAF denies accusations of widespread doping | Reuters

LONDON The world governing body for athletics (IAAF) on Tuesday dismissed media reports of widespread doping in the sport.

The IAAF said the reports by Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper and Germany’s ARD/WDR broadcaster offered no new evidence that any athlete had failed a drugs test and wrongly implied that the governing body had failed to look into the results when they first came out.

“The IAAF takes the allegations published by The Sunday Times and ARD very seriously and has investigated them thoroughly,” the IAAF said in a nine-page statement.

“The published allegations were sensationalist and confusing: the results referred to were not positive tests. In fact, ARD and The Sunday Times both admit that their evaluation of the data did not prove doping.”

The statement included a background summary on how blood testing is carried out and specific responses to some of the accusations,

Tthe IAAF condemned the publication of what it said was private and confidential data obtained without their consent.

“There is no space for shortcuts, simplistic approaches or sensationalism when athletes’ careers and reputations are at stake,” said Professor Giuseppe d’Onofrio, described as one of the world’s leading haematologists working as an expert in the field of the Athlete Biological Passport.

The sport of track and field, which has plagued by some spectacular doping cases over the past three decades, was thrown into crisis on Sunday after reports a whistleblower had released secret data indicating suspected widespread blood doping in athletics between 2001 and 2012.

The tests were analysed by two Australian scientists who later told Reuters that while more than 800 athletes had recorded one or more “abnormal” results, which is not proof of doping but still suspicious.

In addressing some of the accusations, the IAAF said the results were not secret and had been published by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) four years ago.

The IAAF also said it investigated all of the results and at least six athletes who were found to have cheated, were suspended.

A large proportion of these blood samples were collected before the implementation of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) and could not be used as proof of doping, the IAAF said.

“The IAAF quite rightly operates within an anti-doping framework, provided by WADA, where suspicion alone does not equal proof of doping.

(Writing by Julian Linden in Singapore; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

ED seeks non-bailable warrant against Lalit Modi after summons gets no response

The Enforcement Directorate on Monday moved a special court in Mumbai seeking issuance of a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against former IPL chief Lalit Modi in a case of alleged money laundering registered against him.

Lalit Modi

Getty Images
The Enforcement Directorate on Monday moved a special court in Mumbai seeking issuance of a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against former IPL chief Lalit Modi in a case of alleged money laundering registered against him.The central agency approached the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) Court after Modi, who has made London his home, did not respond to summons.”We have moved the Court seeking issuance of an NBW as he has not responded to the summons sent by us earlier this month,” said an ED official. ED had first issued summons to the controversial former cricket administrator through his India-based lawyer. However, his counsel returned the document to the agency, saying he was not authorised to receive it. Later the officials e-mailed the summons to Modi, who left India in 2010.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have received no communication from Modi or his lawyer after the summons was issued. Hence, we have moved the Court (for NBW),” the ED official said. Last week, the court had issued letters rogatory (LR) to Singapore and Mauritius governments in the same case.A letter rogatory is a formal request from a court in one country to a foreign court for judicial assistance in a case.BCCI had registered an FIR in Chennai in 2010 against Modi and others under various provisions of IPC, while two years later ED filed a case under PMLA, in connection with a multi- crore rupees television rights deal of Indian Premier League (IPL).The deal dates to 2008 when BCCI awarded the 10-year media rights for broadcasting IPL matches to World Sports Group (WSG) on payment of USD 918 million. The same year, WSG also entered into a deal with Multi Screen Media (MSM) to make Sony the official broadcaster of IPL matches. The contract was replaced a year later with a nine-year deal where MSM paid USD 1.63 billion.ED stepped into this case in 2009 and began a probe under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) into allegations that a payment of Rs 425 crore was made as facilitation fees by MSM Singapore to WSG Mauritius in an alleged unauthorised manner. The central anti-money laundering agency detected that payments were made to “unauthorised beneficiaries”.In February this year, ED slapped a Rs 425-crore show cause notice against BCCI, IPL, their officials and private multimedia firms for alleged contravention of forex laws in awarding cricketing media rights contract in 2009 (when Modi was IPL chief)The notices were issued to close to 10 individuals and entities which included former BCCI President N Srinivasan, Modi, IPL Chief Operating Officer Sunder Raman, and officials of WSG and MSM for allegedly “manipulating” the contract and making illegal payments.

PM greets President Mukherjee on completion of three years in office

“My congratulations to Rashtrapati ji as he completes 3 years in office. India has greatly benefited from his rich experience & wisdom,” he tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday greeted President Pranab Mukherjee on completion of three years in office and said the country has greatly benefited from his experience and wisdom.”My congratulations to Rashtrapati ji as he completes 3 years in office. India has greatly benefited from his rich experience & wisdom,” he tweeted. Mukherjee today completes three years in office during which he undertook 105 domestic visits. He also visited foreign countries like Vietnam, Bhutan, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Belarus.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The highlight of the year was the visit to India by US President Barack Obama as the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade. During the course of the third year, the President also received President Xi Jinping of China, President Tony Tan Kengyam of Singapore and President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan, among others.

India ranks 8th in Australia’s tourist inflow till May

Reuters
India has jumped to the eighth position for tourist arrivals in Australia till May this year, with over 27.5% more Indians choosing the country as their travel destination.According to latest official data released by Tourism Australia (TA), India was ranked Australia’s tenth largest inbound market for visitor arrivals in 2014 but figures during the five months this year has moved India to eighth position.During January-May this year, a total of 105,000 Indian tourists have arrived in Australia as compared to over 82,000 tourists for the same period last year, recording an increase of more than 27.5%.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Australia ranked third for the Indian traveller in terms of aspiration and intention to visit, just behind Mauritius and Switzerland.When it came to converting into actual trips undertaken for Indian tourists, Australia fell to ninth place, behind competitors such as the US, the UK and France, TA cited in its latest market profile for India.It quoted a consumer research which found over one-third of Indian leisure tourists cited safety and security as their main motivation when selecting a travel destination while other important factors included world class beauty, value for money and family friendliness.Australia performs strongly in terms of its safety and security, world class beauty and interesting attractions among Indian leisure travellers. There is room for improvement with respect to Australia’s associations with value for money, romance and good food and wine.”Australia’s coastline, wildlife and island experiences generate the greatest appeal for Indian travellers in terms of attractions, with aquatic wildlife rating as the preferred Australian experience for just under half of Indian respondents,” TA said in its market profile for India.It was further found that in 2014, 29% of Indian visitors to Australia travelled on Singapore Airlines and 27% on Malaysia Airlines.”Last year, Air India has grown to 11% market share, and close to Qantas’ share at 12%,” it said, adding that the Thai Airways share continued to decline which was currently at 6%. Direct capacity from India to Australia rose by 187% following Air India launching Australian (Sydney/ Melbourne) services in August 2013 during 2014.As of this year, there were over 2,000 qualified Australian specialists in India who were trained as frontline travel sellers to sell Australia as tourist destination.There were 196,600 visitors from India for calendar year 2014, an increase of 16.6 % compared to 2013.Visitors from India generated US $0.8 billion in total expenditure last year.The Tourism 2020 strategy has earlier estimated that India has the potential to grow to between US $1.9 billion and US $2.3 billion in total expenditure by 2020.

Andhra Pradesh: Phase 1 of capital city Amaravati to come up by 2019

On the completion of its development it will have the capacity to serve a population of 40 lakhs.

Amaravati city

Google Maps
According to a report in the Hindu Business Line, the Core Capital Region of Andhra Pradesh’s new capital city Amaravati will come up on the Krishma riverfront and will be of 16.9sq km area. It will be developed in Andhra’s Guntur district.S Iswaram, Singapore Trade and Commerce Minister and the visiting delegation showed the (seed) capital plan to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu at Rajahmundry on Monday.The report says that the capital city’s phase one will done by by 2019. On the completion of its development it will have the capacity to serve a population of 40 lakh. It will be based on the smart city frame work and the planning will be as per Vaastu.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The core capital will host the State Secretariat, Legislative Assembly, Raj Bhavan, and will have key infrastructure for the capital city.The capital will have a metro rail of network of 135 km which will pass through with transit-oriented development along its network and core areas. Phase one for the project is currently being finalised. There will buildings on the waterfront.The Singapore Government has presented the seed capital plan before giving the capital region plan and capital master plan.Andhra government has started land pooling and hopes to have a pooled base of 33,000 acres of land for the capital city development. The Capital Area Region Development Authority has been mandated to pool land for the capital city.

UK Food Standards Agency finds made in India Maggi safe for consumption

London, Jul 1 (PTI) UK’s food regulator Food Standards Agency (FSA) on Wednesday gave a clean chit to Nestle for Maggi manufactured in India saying levels of lead in the product are well within the EU permissible levels.

“The FSA can confirm that results from testing samples of Maggi Noodles in the UK have all found that levels of lead in the product is well within EU permissible levels and would not be a concern to consumers,” FSA said in statement.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

It further said: “Following an incident in India, where a sample of Maggi Noodles was reported to contain high levels of lead, the Food Standards Agency made the decision to test a selection of Maggi Noodles as a precaution. In India, this incident has resulted in a large scale withdrawal of the product.”

Nestle informed FSA that the only variety of Maggi Noodles they import into the UK from India is the ‘masala flavour’.

“The FSA has now tested this flavour and others from the Maggi noodles range, as a precaution. As well as tests carried out by local authorities, the FSA has also asked Nestle to provide it with test results from its own samples. All showed levels of lead to be well within EU permissible levels,” it said.

The total number of samples taken from Nestle, local authorities and port authorities were around 900 in total, FSA added.

Similarly, food regulators of other countries such the Vietnam Food Administration (VFA), National Measurement Institute in Australia and Singapore’s Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) have given clean chit to the company and said Maggi noodles imported from India are “completely safe to eat”.

Nestle India currently exports Maggi noodles to Canada, UK, Singapore and Kenya and to third parties in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

Maggi noodles were banned in India by food safety regulator FSSAI over presence of lead beyond permissible limits and taste enhancer monosodium glutamate.

Nestle India had recalled the instant noodles from the Indian market and destroyed Maggi worth Rs 320 crore.

PTI

Free wi-fi in Delhi colleges, villages by year end

All government websites can be accessed anytime through this service.

Reuters
In some good news for the Internet-savvy, the city’s colleges, including ones under Delhi University, and villages will avail free wi-fi facility by the end of this year.In its maiden budget, the AAP government has set aside Rs 50 crore for the free wi-fi project to be executed in colleges and around 300 villages of the national capital in the first phase.”As per plan, we will complete the first phase of free public wi-fi by the end of this year but I expect to complete it much before the schedule. Government websites will be free and limited access of other contents will be provided,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All government websites can be accessed anytime through this service.”We are trying to set a limit for browsing for personal and entertainment content,” Sisodia also said.The Information Technology department of the AAP government is in the process of setting up hotspots in the first phase of implementation.Officials said they have also studied the existing system in cities like Stockholm, Barcelona, Shanghai and Singapore, adding that the AAP government intends to set up 50,000 to 80,000 hotspots across the capital to complete the project.”There are various revenue models in the project and the government is contemplating on these. Government is committed to provide best wi-fi service to the people of Delhi,” Sisodia, who is also the Finance Minister, said.In the run-up to the Delhi Assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party had promised to make wi-fi freely available in public spaces across Delhi.

56 passengers caught with gold at Visakhapatnam airport

All 56 passengers were subjected to detailed examination under terms of legal provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 for having indulged in smuggling activity for “monetary consideration”.

As many as 56 passengers were caught while allegedly attempting to smuggle 63 kgs of gold worth Rs 16.83 crore at Visakhapatnam airport in a single day, with the DRI officials today saying that legal action under Customs Act has been initiated against them.On the night of June 21, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence officials seized 63 kg of gold which passengers who arrived by three flights from Singapore and Malaysia had attempted to smuggle in the country.”The total quantity of such gold smuggled by this modus operandi amounted to 63 kg and its value is about Rs 16.85 crore. The entire quantity of smuggled gold was seized, as it was brought in an illegal manner in violation of provisions of Customs Act, 1962 and Baggage Rules, 1998,” a DRI release said here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All 56 passengers were subjected to detailed examination under terms of legal provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 for having indulged in smuggling activity for “monetary consideration”.”Necessary legal action under Customs Act, 1962 for offences committed in smuggling of gold has been contemplated and further investigation is on”, it said.DRI had formed special teams consisting DRI, Chennai, DRI Vishakapatnam and from Customs Commissionerate of Vishakapatnam for the seizure.Gold of various shapes resembling magnets in amplifiers, stand of speakers, central pulley of washing machine, have been used to conceal the smuggled gold, the release said.

Strong inland waterways will be built to transform Andhra’s connectivity: Chandrababu Naidu

Given that Andhra Pradesh has a long coastline, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday stressed on building a strong inland waterway system linking the ports to national highways and develop the state as a logistics hub for Southeast Asia.

Given that Andhra Pradesh has a long coastline, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday stressed on building a strong inland waterway system linking the ports to national highways and develop the state as a logistics hub for Southeast Asia.Following up a meeting on Energy, Investments and Infrastructure on Monday, the Chief Minister held a review meeting on Maritime Concept Master Plan at his residence on Tuesday.”Link the inland waterway system of Kakinada-Pondicherry and Kakinada-Bhadrachalam to the nearby ports,” he was quoted as saying in an official release.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”In addition, Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Machilipatnam and Krishnapatnam ports should be developed as coastal cities,” he said referring to an example of improving inland waterways on the lines of China’s ‘One Belt, One Road model’.To become a leading state in cargo traffic in India, the Chief Minister set a 10 per cent growth rate target for the next 10 years.In this regard, Naidu directed officials to give prominence to the development of coastal parks based on maritime concept master plan.He asked the officials to identify growth parameters for the development of Mega Interchange Hub near Amaravati (proposed state capital), Pharmaceutical Logistics Park in Visakhapatnam, Food and Electronics Logistics Park in Machilipatnam, Automobiles Logistics Park and Truck Terminals in Nellore.Further, he proposed setting up skill development centres for youth in works related to cargo handling, container segregation and others.”Approach Singapore Maritime University, Korea Research Institute and other international institutions to enhance the potential of the sector,” the Chief Minister said.Drawing a comparison with Singapore that achieved considerable growth with its only Port of Singapore, (maritime industry contributes about 7% to Singapore’s GDP), Naidu stressed that Andhra Pradesh could achieve more, with a long coastline and 14 ports.Urban Development Minister P Narayana, Secretary (Energy & Infrastructure) Ajay Jain, Principal Secretary to CM Satish Chandra were among other officials present, the release added.

Maggi row: No relief for Nestle as Bombay HC refuses to stay ban

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday declined to grant relief to Nestle India by rejecting its plea for stay on orders of food regulators banning nine variants of Maggi noodles from the Indian market as they were harmful to public health.

Hearing a plea of the Indian arm of the Swiss multinational, Justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawala were of the view that due to the impunged orders, Maggi products had already been withdrawn from the shops and hence there was no need to grant a stay on the ban.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The company had moved the High Court challenging the ban imposed by a June 5 order by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banning nine variants of the popular instant snack.

It had also questioned a similar order by the Maharashtra Government prohibiting the sale of the same products on the ground they were unsafe and harmful to the health of people.

The bench said the authorities were entitled to prosecute the company in case of procedural lapses and if they were not satisfied with the reply of Nestle to the food authorities.

However, in case if Nestle was to be prosecuted, the Judges asked the authorities to give 72 hours notice to the company which had filed an appeal against the impugned orders.

The bench also directed FSSAI and Commissioner of Food Safety, Government of Maharashtra, to file their affidavits in reply to the company’s appeal within two weeks justifying the reasons on the basis of which the ban had been imposed.

The matter has been posted for hearing on 30 June.

Nestle has sought quashing of the 5 June order of Delhi-based Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and its Chief Executive Officer asking the company to withdraw and recall all its nine variants of Maggi from the market as they were unsafe and harmful for human consumption.

The impugned orders also asked the company to stop production, processing, import, distribution and sale of their products with immediate effect, said Nestle. Nestle also sought setting aside the order of Maharashtra Commissioner of Food Safety, banning the production and sale of ‘Maggi’ products in the State.

The company said the impugned orders do not comply with the mandatory provisions of section 34 of Food Safety and Standards Authority Act which deals with Emergency prohibition notices and orders. It said the orders were passed without any authority and without following due process of law.

The company also said the orders were illegal, arbitrary and violative of the principles of Natural Justice as well as the Constitution of India.

Nestle’s counsel Iqbal Chhagla argued that the company was exporting ‘Maggi’ products to foreign countries such as Canada, Australia, England and Singapore and no ban had been imposed in these countries. He said a test conducted in Singapore showed that all the ‘Maggi’ products were safe and healthy for the consumers.

According to the tests done by the authorities in India, there was alleged violation in three variants of ‘Maggi’ but ban had been imposed on all the nine variants, the Counsel argued.

Chhagla further said that the jurisdiction of the Chief Executive Officer of FSSAI was limited. The Food Authority, he said, was empowered to ban the product only if it was unsafe and that too in emergency situations. He said FSSAI cannot go into the aspect of a sub-standard product.

“Maggi was neither sub-standard nor unsafe” as had been made out by the food authorities, he argued.

Nestle’s Counsel further said food authorities had objected to the words “No added MSG (monosodium glutamate)” scribbled on the label of the product. They were of the view if there was no MSG in ‘Maggi’ then why should the company say that on the label. He said the company had offered to withdraw these words from the label.

He said that procedure was not followed under the Act by the authorities while banning ‘Maggi’ as notice was not served to the company. He said Nestle had not compromised with the quality of its products and the company had built up its reputation over the years because of the quality of products.

Moreover, section 34 of Food Safety and Standards Act, which was invoked in this case to ban the product, can be used only in case of emergency. However, there was no situation prevailing for them to invoke this provision of law, the lawyer said.

FSSAI Counsel Mahmood Pracha argued that the company had spent a staggering amount of Rs 445 crores on advertising its products last year. If this money was used in making and not branding products, it would not have given rise to such a situation. He said all procedures had been duly followed in issuing the impugned orders.

Anil Singh, acting Advocate General of Maharashtra, said the food authorities had powers to ban products if they were unsafe and hazardous to health. He too argued that all the procedures had been followed in every respect.

Nestle argued that the application of standards or tolerance limit by the authorities in the tests conducted by them for the presence of lead in its products was “incorrect and against the law.”

The finding of impugned orders that the cake and tastemaker should be tested separately are “erroneous and liable to be set aside,” it said. The company also denied misbranding or violation of packaging and labelling regulations as alleged by the impugned orders.

The directions in impugned orders to withdraw and recall its product “Maggi Masala Oats” was arbitrary and devoid of merits. Nestle denied that its products posed a health risk as alleged by the impugned orders.

The company denied allegations of food authorities in India of the presence of lead in excess of permissible levels of 2.5 parts per million (ppm) and refuted charges that the information given on labels and package of its products were “misleading”.

Nestle further said that the allegation of lead presence in its products was “non-specific and vague” as it did not say how the product was misbranded.

PTI

After Maggi ban, Nestle might face legal action by Modi govt on behalf of consumers

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FSSAI bans all Maggi variants; Singapore, Nepal ban imports from India

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Singapore temporarily suspends sale of Maggi noodles imported from India

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Need serious operation to combat ‘black money cancer’: SIT

New Delhi: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money on Friday said a “serious operation” of strictly enacting and enforcing anti-tax evasion laws is the only solution for combating and winning over the “cancerous” menace of illegal funds stashed abroad and within the country.

AFPAFP

AFP

SIT Chairman Justice (retd) MB Shah, while launching a book on the subject, said a combination of “strong enactment and enforcement” of laws is the most necessary requirement if the country wants to check black money and “bring out” the offenders and various instances of black economy perpetration.

“It (combating black money) may require serious operation. Unless there is serious operation by enactment and enforcement of laws you will not be able to get black money, or to say, bring it out. Mere making a statement will not do anything. This cancerous growth is required to be controlled. Corruption at all levels is the main cause of the generation of black money,” he said.

Justice Shah exhorted that the “wrong” has to be punished as he hailed the recent anti-black money law passed by the government in Parliament.

“It is difficult to say it (the new black money law) is harsh… it’s an elaborate Act. We are happy that some suggestions (made by SIT) have been accepted by the government,” he said.

Agreeing with his senior on the high-powered panel, SIT Vice Chairman Justice (retd) Arijit Pasayat said the often mentioned question of how black money will be brought back is a “misnomer”.

“Rather, what we need to do is to tax the due, prosecute and put penalties on the said overseas black money amount and that way you will have your pound of flesh,” Pasayat said.

“The approach of policy makers and tax officials should be to legitimately get back what (tax) is due to the country. They should attach the corresponding value assets of the accused present in the country,” he added.

Pasayat said rather than looking at suspected tax havens abroad, such instances within India should be looked into.

“There are concerns how would you get back black money. I would say don’t look at Singapore or Virgin Islands…look inside India. Practically, most of it is generated here. If we act tough at this stage when it begins inside country, then we will have success,” he said.

Pasayat said tax havens should not be called by the said name as “heaven” is a place of “safety” and rather they should become “hell” for tax evaders and illegal funds operators.

He voiced Justice Shah’s concerns saying there should be a “zero tolerance” on corruption.

Justice Shah also lamented on the slow pace of filing of FIRs, investigation and court trials in black money cases.

“If the Acts are not implemented properly, their deterrent effect is lost,” the SIT Chairman said.

He underlined that over-invoicing and under-invoicing of traded goods was one of the big methods to generate tainted funds and enforcement agencies have to be very active to check this.

The book — It’s Raining Black! — launched by the two veteran judges is authored by Shailendra Kumar.

PTI

Serious operation needed to combat ‘black money cancer’: SIT

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money said on Friday a “serious operation” of strictly enacting and enforcing anti-tax evasion laws is the only solution for combating and winning over the “cancerous” menace of illegal funds stashed abroad and within the country.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money said on Friday a “serious operation” of strictly enacting and enforcing anti-tax evasion laws is the only solution for combating and winning over the “cancerous” menace of illegal funds stashed abroad and within the country.SIT Chairman Justice (retd) MB Shah, while launching a book on the subject, said a combination of “strong enactment and enforcement” of laws is the most necessary requirement if the country wants to check black money and “bring out” the offenders and various instances of black economy perpetration.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It (combating black money) may require serious operation. Unless there is serious operation by enactment and enforcement of laws you will not be able to get black money, or to say, bring it out. Mere making a statement will not do anything. This cancerous growth is required to be controlled.Corruption at all levels is the main cause of the generation of black money,” he said. Justice Shah exhorted that the “wrong” has to be punished as he hailed the recent anti-black money law passed by the government in Parliament.”It is difficult to say it (the new black money law) is harsh…it’s an elaborate Act. We are happy that some suggestions (made by SIT) have been accepted by the government,” he said.Agreeing with his senior on the high-powered panel, SIT Vice Chairman Justice (retd) Arijit Pasayat said the often mentioned question of how black money will be brought back is a “misnomer”.”Rather, what we need to do is to tax the due, prosecute and put penalties on the said overseas black money amount and that way you will have your pound of flesh,” Pasayat said.”The approach of policy makers and tax officials should be to legitimately get back what (tax) is due to the country. They should attach the corresponding value assets of the accused present in the country,” he added.Pasayat said rather than looking at suspected tax havens abroad, such instances within India should be looked into.”There are concerns how would you get back black money. I would say don’t look at Singapore or Virgin Islands…look inside India. Practically, most of it is generated here. If we act tough at this stage when it begins inside country, then we will have success,” he said.Pasayat said tax havens should not be called by the said name as “heaven” is a place of “safety” and rather they should become “hell” for tax evaders and illegal funds operators. He voiced Justice Shah’s concerns saying there should be a “zero tolerance” on corruption.Justice Shah also lamented on the slow pace of filing of FIRs, investigation and court trials in black money cases.”If the Acts are not implemented properly, their deterrent effect is lost,” the SIT Chairman said.He underlined that over-invoicing and under-invoicing of traded goods was one of the big methods to generate tainted funds and enforcement agencies have to be very active to check this. The book — It’s Raining Black! — launched by the two veteran judges is authored by Shailendra Kumar.

We got a country, but lost our homeland

A new book on India’s freedom-fighters in Southeast Asia reveals how a nation they helped gain freedom turned a blind eye on them

Instead of recognising their contribution, a number of freedom fighters who fought along Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose are living in exile, as stateless citizens. All the past governments have ignored them, and refused to acknowledge their efforts.A forthcoming book reveals how after nearly 70 years of independence, India’s freedom fighters and their families living in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Burma, remain stateless and forgotten. Written by journalist-filmmaker Sagari Chhabra, ‘In Search of Freedom: Journeys Through India and South-East Asia’ looks at the lives of the valiant soldiers of Netaji’s Indian National Army (INA).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The INA was backed by the Japanese Army during the World War, due to which they have been seen as collaborators by native countries like Malaysia, Burma, Singapore and to some extent, Thailand. As India was then under British rule, Indian soldiers fought in the war as part of the Allied Forces. Several of those interviewed reveal they rarely spoke about their past, either to keep jobs, to stay safe, or keep alive a marriage. Almost all of them wished they were at least recognised as freedom fighters.Most importantly, the book talks about the plight of the stateless. There’s Lieutenant Perumal, who spent a month in Rangoon jail as part of the INA. He stayed back in Burma after the World War-II and yet remains stateless. “The Indian government did not help us in any capacity as INA personnel or as freedom fighters. We do not get even a paisa as pension from the Indian government, nor do we have citizenship from the Burmese government,” Lt Perumal is quoted as saying. He has applied for citizenship in India in 1951 and 1996, and now needs to renew the Foreigners Registration Certificate (FRC) every year.Similar to Lt Perumal is Rajan, who spent five months in jail because of his association with INA. He too is stateless and reapplies for an FRC year after year.”No pension, no money from the government and no record either that I fought for India’s freedom,” he is quoted as saying.”Most of these ordinary people with extraordinary history were never given their due. Some of the INA volunteers fought valiantly abroad, but the state has no mention or cognition of their work. Many are stateless, many never got an ex-gratia honorarium,” says Chhabra. Work on the book took place between 1997 and 2008, and she travelled to all the mentioned countries.The book also contains the stories of many women, who were part of the Rani Jhansi Regiment, the female wing of the INA, that mostly took care of the wounded despite their military training. Prominent among them is Janaky Thevar, second-in-command of Lakshmi Sahgal of the Rani Jhansi Regiment, who spent a month on foot alongside Netaji, while making her way from rangoon to Malaysia to escape the British forces. “I don’t think the Indian government gave due recognition to the INA. I don’t know why; it is because of Netaji that not only India but the whole of South-east Asia got freedom,” Thevar is quoted as saying.In Singapore, Bhagyalakshmi Davies, who served as a nurse in Burma, says she had to hide her identity to keep her job. “I was never honoured or recognised by the high commission or anyone. In a way, we suffered … no one ever appreciated that we were from outside the country, fighting,” she says.There are many such ‘forgotten soldiers’ within India, too. There’s Savitri Ramakishan, born in 1920 in Lyallpur (now in Pakistan), who courted arrest in the Lahore Jail when she was five months pregnant, and was released 20 days before she delivered her son. Along with other prisoners, she raised the tricolour in the prison on the intervening night of August 8, 1942.Then there’s Chinnaya, a freedom fighter from Rangoon, who is blind, stateless and lives in penury with his wife, who is also stateless. Hailing from Tamil Nadu, he joined the freedom struggle and moved to Burma; his job was to ferry the wounded. The author found him in “a hovel, a sort of thatched roof put together with broken tin cans and discarded things like rubber tyres”. He depends on his son, a schoolteacher, and has an FRC, which he renews every year. As a parting message to the author, despite his penury, he has no regrets. “I feel happy I could do something for my motherland,” he says, before singing the INA anthem. “Sukh chain kee barkha barse … (May peace and contentment be showered on my motherland).”Vijay Chauhan, who was one of the women who raised the tricolour inside the Lahore jail, sums it up succinctly: “We got a country, but lost our homeland.”

From 1 May, Canada, France and 29 additional countries to get visa on arrival

New Delhi: India will provide e-Tourist Visa to 31 more countries, including France and Canada, enabling citizens of these countries easy entry to the country.

The e-Tourist Visa facility is being extended to 31 more countries from 1 May, a Home Ministry statement said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The new countries included Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Canada, Cayman Island, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominic an Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Georgia, Grenada, Haiti, HolySee (Vatican), Honduras, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Paraguay, St Kitts & Nevis and Seychelles.

India had launched e-Tourist Visa on 27 November for 45 countries from nine designated Indian airports.

With the latest addition, the total number of countries under the scheme will go upto 76.

“The scheme will be extended to more countries in a phased manner. The Government is committed to extend the scheme to 150 countries by the end of this financial year,” the statement said.

The eTV enabled by Electronic Travel Authorisation would enable the prospective visitor to apply for an Indian visa from his or her home country online without visiting the Indian Mission and also pay the visa fee online.

Once approved, the applicant will receive an email authorising him or her to travel to India and he or she can travel with a print out of this authorisation.

On arrival, the visitor has to present the authorisation to the immigration authorities who would then stamp the entry into the country.

Since the launch of the scheme, a total of 1,10,000 visas have been issued by the government under it.

During December last, a total of 14,083 tourist visa-on-arrival (TVoA) were issued as compared to 2,700 during December 2013, registering a growth of 421.6 per cent.

The percentage share of top 10 source countries for TVoA in India during December last included US (24.26 percent), Russian Federation (15.06 percent), Republic of Korea (11.01 percent), Ukraine (8.16 percent), Australia (7.98 percent), New Zealand (5.08 percent), Japan (4.30 percent), Singapore (4.27 percent), Germany (4.05 percent) and the Philippines (3.10 percent).

PTI

India plans preferential treatment for the Chinese regarding visa

Indian ambassador to China had met home ministry officials in January for extending the e-visa facility to Chinese

Despite Intelligence Bureau’s caution not to provide e-visa (visa on arrival) facility to China and still keep it on the watch list, Modi government is planning to move ahead and give Chinese the preferred treatment. Sources said that Prime Minister’s Office and ministry of external affairs want arrangements to be put in place so that the prime minister can declare it on his visit to China in May.The matter was discussed threadbare at a recent high-level meeting, chaired by union home secretary LC Goyal, during which the IB expressed strong reservations and suggested cautious approach before taking a final decision. Interestingly, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), India’s external espionage agency, did not have similar apprehensions.Government sources said the intelligence agency red flagged e-tourist visa facility to Chinese nationals on various counts that included frequent issuance of stapled visa by China to people from Arunachal Pradesh.”This objection is expected to be overruled at the highest level as this does not infringe in any way on electronic visa system that follows all safety procedures electronically,” said an official.Last year, India had launched the e-tourist visa facility (which was earlier called ‘tourist visa on arrival enabled by electronic travel authorisation’) for more than 40 countries, including the US, but did not include China in the list.Indian ambassador to China Ashok K Kantha had met top home ministry officials in January for extending the facility to Chinese tourists. He had also asked for an easier visa regime for other kinds of visas like conference and business as well as discussed prospects of more Chinese investment in India in various sectors.Tourism ministry was pitching for offering the facility to China as during December 2014, a total of 14,083 e-tourist visas were issued as compared to 2,700 during December 2013, registering a growth of 421.6 per cent.Since launch of the scheme on November 27, 2014, a total of 1,10,000 visas have been issued by the government under the scheme. During December 2014, a total of 14,083 tourist visas were issued as compared to 2,700 during December 2013, registering a growth of 421.6 per cent.The percentage share of top 10 source countries for e-tourist visa in India during December 2014 included US (24.26 per cent), Russian Federation (15.06), Republic of Korea (11.01), Ukraine (8.16), Australia (7.98), New Zealand (5.08), Japan (4.30), Singapore (4.27), Germany (4.05) and the Philippines (3.10 per cent).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>
Box: Process of e-visaThe e-tourist visa enabled by electronic travel authorisation allows prospective visitor to apply for an Indian visa from his or her home country online without requiring a visit to the Indian mission. The fee can also be paid online.Once approved, the applicant receives an email authorising travel to India and applicant can travel with a print out of this authorisation.On arrival, the visitor presents the authorisation to the immigration authorities who stamp the entry into the country.

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