News and events accross and related to India , March 2010

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Pintu, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    The thread is dedicated to news and events across India and related to our country in March, 2010
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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...allies-on-fuel-prices/articleshow/5634993.cms

    Pressure to heed allies on fuel prices
    TNN, Mar 3, 2010, 12.31am IST

    NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh may be reluctant to consider the demand from DMK and Trinamool for a rollback of the increase in fuel prices but Congress doesn't seem keen to offend the allies by rejecting their demand rightaway.

    A day after the PM appeared to have turned down the demand, Congress sought to soothe allies by calling them "trusted and dependable". Party spokesperson Shakil Ahmed also said "hopefully things will be sorted out within the government", in remarks aimed at repairing the impression that Congress has brushed aside the demand.

    Congress, bolstered by its numbers in Lok Sabha, is not ready to be pushed over and has calculated that neither Trinamool nor DMK is in a position to upset the UPA applecart. Party managers, however, feel that they will be required to calibrate their response to the pressure from allies.

    The compulsions working on the government are clear as it hopes to raise an estimated Rs 40,000 crore through oil-related duties and this will be important in meeting the Rs 26,000 crore "positive" figure projected on the government's balance sheet. But with allies raising the issue in terms of the hikes adding to inflation, there is a view that a partial rollback cannot be ruled out though no decision has been arrived at.

    Given that rate hikes never go down well with voters, Congress will not like to be seen as solely responsible for the unpopular measure or being insensitive to the protests. The matter was discussed in detail by the party's core committee and the idea of how it was going to respond can be had from finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's comment that he would discuss the issues with Congress's allies.

    If the PM's statement marked a rejection of the opposition demand, Congress is aware of the importance of closely considering the demands of Mamata Banerjee and M Karunanidhi.

    Both West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are going to elections in about a year's time. Though there is no possibility of a complete rollback, under pressure from the two regional allies, the government may marginally lower the diesel price.
     
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  3. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g1iWVwIHv97Ey-Ieg5u8LergHzOQD9E6IPO81

    Fossils of snake eating dino eggs found in India

    By MICHAEL CASEY (AP) – 6 hours ago

    BANGKOK — The fossilized remains of a 67 million-year-old snake found coiled around a dinosaur egg offer rare insight into the ancient reptile's dining habits and evolution, scientists said Tuesday.

    The findings, which appeared in Tuesday's issue of the PLoS Biology journal, provide the first evidence that the 11.5-foot- (3.5-meter-) long snake fed on eggs and hatchlings of saurapod dinosaurs, meaning it was one of the few predators to prey on the long-necked herbivores.

    They also suggest that, as early as 100 million years ago, snakes were developing mobile jaws similar to those of today's large-mouthed snakes, including vipers and boas.

    "This is an early, well preserved snake, and it is doing something. We are capturing it's behavior," said University of Michigan paleontologist Jeff Wilson, who is credited with recognizing the snake bones amid the crushed dinosaur eggs and bones of hatchlings.

    "We have information about what this early snake did for living," he said. "It also helps us understand the early evolution of snakes both anatomically and ecologically."

    Dhananjay Mohabey of India's Geological Survey discovered the fossilized remains in 1987, but he was only able to make out the dinosaur eggshells and limb bones. Wilson examined the fossils in 2001 and was "astonished" to find a predator in the midst of the sauropod's nest.

    "I saw the characteristic vertebral locking mechanism of snakes alongside dinosaur eggshell and larger bones, and I knew it was an extraordinary specimen," Wilson said.

    Mohabey theorized that the snake — dubbed Sanajeh indicus, which means "ancient gaped one" in Sanskrit — had just arrived at the nest and was in the process of gobbling a hatchling emerging from its egg. But the entire scene was "frozen in time" when it was hit by a storm or some other disaster and buried under layers of sediment.

    "We think the hatchlings had just exited its egg, and the activity attracted the snake," Mohabey said, adding that the site in Western state of Gujarat has revealed about 30 sauropod nests and at least two other snake specimens.

    Michael Benton of the University of Bristol, also writing in the PLoS Biology, said it can be difficult to determine the behavior of ancient organisms. But he said that it was "most likely, as the authors argue, that this snake was waiting and snatching juveniles as they hatched."

    "Of course, we cannot be entirely sure unless further specimens come to light showing the bones of juvenile dinosaurs in the stomach region of the snake," Benton said.

    Ashok Sahni, a senior scientist at the Indian National Science Academy who was also not involved in the dig, described the find as "truly remarkable" because it is rare for fossil bones to be preserved at the site of fossilized eggs.

    "The scientific significance of the find is that it actually demonstrates behavior in early evolved snakes and the size of chosen prey," he said in an e-mail.

    ___

    On The Net:

    PLoS Biology: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000322
     
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    http://www.ptinews.com/news/543065_Hindustan-belongs-to-all--says-Asha-Bhosale

    Hindustan belongs to all, says Asha Bhosale

    STAFF WRITER 11:37 HRS IST

    Pune, Mar 2 (PTI) Noted singer Asha Bhosale has distanced herself from parochial sentiments involving Mumbai and Maharashtra saying "Hindustan belongs to all."

    Speaking at a cultural evening organised by a Marathi television channel here, Asha responded to a question by interviewer and compere Sudhir Gadgil who asked her whether Mumbai was turning ugly with exodus from outside. Among the audience was MNS president Raj Thackeray.

    "People are bound to flock to Mumbai as Hindustan belongs to all. Those who work hard here become prosperous. I also worked in my field with determination to earn success. I have sung in all Indian languages but I am a proud Maharashtrian," she said.
     
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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...making-potboilers-Dev/articleshow/5633043.cms

    I wouldn’t be good at making potboilers: Dev
    PIALI DASGUPTA , TNN, Mar 3, 2010, 12.00am IST

    Dev Benegal’s Road, Movie is the first Hindi film releasing worldwide, beyond the NRI market, and Dev, who returns to direction after 10 years (his last directorial was Split Wide Open) is understandably thrilled.

    The film has already done the rounds of international fests. How does he explain his loyalty to international films fests, given he went on record saying the Indian audience is what matters to him the most? “The film was screened at the Toronto Film fest and the Asian premiere at Japan. India’s film fests don’t shape public opinion. They’re not places you can launch movies. Unlike overseas, the trade doesn’t come to watch them. There are many Indian buyers abroad and you get to show it to your peers, too. I prefer to open films directly to people in India,” explains Dev.

    This is his third film in 15 years. Doesn’t he want to be more prolific? “I’m not in the numbers game. I make a movie when I have something to say or to express myself,” states Dev.
    Road, Movie, which he’s also written, was conceived at such a point. “The movie, in many ways, continues the themes of Split Wide Open and English August. These films are about my generation, it’s also about discovering India. It’s about how little we know about our country and the other side of life. It’s a significant journey with different moments in our lives,” he says. Is it mildly autobiographical? “I won’t use such heavy words. When you are writing, you look at the world around. The film came out of my love for cinema, the open road and the Indian countryside,” replies Dev.

    His films are tailor-made for the multiplex audience, which refuses to leave its brains in the freezer. But will he ever make a Bollywood potboiler? “Why would I? I wouldn’t be good at it. I want to do what makes me feel good. It requires extraordinary talent to make potboilers. Every time I watch these films, I’m struck by the way they’re made,” he says. Would he call his brand of films commercial? “Film-making is a commercial venture. All my films have made money. I’m lucky that they’ve done well,” he says.

    Despite growing up on a staple diet of American films, he wants to work in India. “I make films about modern India. India is the most exciting place to be as a film-maker and storyteller. Why would I go elsewhere?” he asks.
     
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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...et-to-pass-on-March-8/articleshow/5644601.cms

    Women's quota bill set to pass on March 8
    TNN, Mar 5, 2010, 12.39am IST

    NEW DELHI: If all goes as per pronouncements, the centenary of International Women's Day would be a red-letter day for women's empowerment in India. The government seems prepared to get the bill to reserve 33% seats for women passed on March 8 to mark International Women's Day and, more importantly, the numbers are already in place.

    The Mandal outfits -- SP, JD(U) and RJD -- along with BSP remain determined to oppose the bill on the ground that it does not provide for reservation within the larger women's quota for OBCs.

    But with the Congress, BJP and Left having resolved not to let OBC resistance come in the way of the landmark legislation yet again, and with support pouring in from several quarters, the Constitutional Amendment Bill may be passed on March 8 itself.

    UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi certainly wants her government to accomplish the task on Monday. "I personally attach the highest importance to the women's bill. So many years have passed since Rajivji first unveiled his vision of empowering us women. It is a matter of pride that even though it has taken so long, it is our government that has cleared the legislation in Cabinet. This year, on March 8, is centenary of International Women's Day. What a gift to the women of India if on this important day this historic legislation is introduced and passed," she told members of Congress Parliamentary Party.

    BJP also favours swift passage of the bill, while CPM in the Rajya Sabha business advisory committee argued the bill be put to vote straightaway since it had been discussed ad nauseum over 15 years.

    Sonia's address to Congress MPs acted as a spur for government managers to get cracking to mobilize numbers which has to be cleared by a two-thirds majority by both Houses. Dinners are being scheduled as part of the mobilization exercise, while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to invite SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav for last-minute talks.

    But with support coming on its own, backers of the bill seem to be sitting pretty. Parties which are not part of either UPA or NDA but have pledged their support to the legislation include the BJD, AIADMK, TDP and AGP.
    Together, they can help the bill go over the hump with ease even in the upper House where the bill is to be introduced but where the combined support of Congress, BJP and the Left falls short of the required number.

    Plus, since the regime of the day invariably mops up support of the odd lots -- represented by smaller parties, Independents and unattached (like SP rebels Amar Singh and Jaya Prada) -- women's quota may be on the cusp of becoming a reality.

    Going by their track record, Mandal outfits can use obstructionist tactics to stop the legislation from being passed. RJD boss Lalu Prasad said that a women's quota bill without an OBC sub-quota was not acceptable. His position was endorsed by SP's Ramgopal Yadav. JD(U)'s Sharad Yadav also stressed that the bill, like 107 others brought earlier to amend the Constitution, must be backed by an all-party consensus.

    However, unlike in the past, the belligerence may not succeed this time. First, the strength of RJD whose stormtroopers, working along with their SP counterparts, were crucial to the earlier bids to block the bill, has dwindled to just four. None of them is suspected of having the energy and vigour their younger colleagues showed in the previous instances. JD(U), which has gained at their expense but is opposed to the bill just as its rival, may not go to the same length constrained by the fact that its leader Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was the first to introduce 50% gender quota for panchayats.

    BSP is yet to announce its final stand, but its member Akhilesh Das advocated sub-quota in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

    But whether Mayawati abstains or opposes will be just of academic value, With backers of the bill comfortably placed in the numbers game, they can prevail even in the event of disruption. There is likely to be a strong discussion on the issue.

    Some of the opponents hope that by staying put in the `well' they can stop the passage of the bill. The assumption there is that the House is not supposed to be in order so long as members have not taken their seats. But expert Subhash Kashyap pooh-poohed such interpretation. "Presence in the well is not recorded in voting," he said in jest, saying that House can vote even then.

    It will be taken up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The Business Advisory Committee has granted four hours for discussion which means it will be debated through.

    Biju Janata Dal which has 14 MPs in LS and three in RS came out in support. Bhartuhari Mahtab said, "We will support the bill as it is part of our manifesto." Ditto V Maitreyan who said AIADMK was the first party to reserve seats for women in organization. It has nine MPs in LS and seven in RS. TDP, with six MPs in LS and two in RS, have come out it its favour. Asom Gana Parishad's Kumar Deepak Das said the party's lone MP in LS and two in
    RS will back the bill. Industrialist Rahul Bajaj seems to be backing it in line with NCP.

    The UPA lacks simple majority in the Upper House and has to coordinate outside the ruling benches to mop up numbers to pass legislations. The leaders feel that SP and RJD chiefs should be won over than be embittered by being shown as helpless. To this effect, the senior leadership is in touch with them.
     
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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...stampede-in-UP-ashram/articleshow/5644587.cms

    26 children, 37 women killed as 15,000 stampede in UP ashram
    Kapil Dixit & Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui, TNN, Mar 5, 2010, 12.36am IST

    KUNDA (Pratapgarh): In one of the worst stampedes in Uttar Pradesh, 63 people -- 26 children and 37 women -- were killed and more than 300 injured when volunteers at godman Kripaluji Maharaj's ashram in Kunda used lathis to beat back the unmanageable crowds on Thursday afternoon.

    According to police, around 15,000 people had gathered at the Ram Janki Mandir compound at the ashram -- also known as Bhakti Dham -- for a bhandara (religious feast) when the organizers started distributing free utensils and clothes. The ashram volunteers, in order to control the surging crowds, tried to push them back just when the steel gate leading to the temple collapsed, leading to a mad scramble. There was deafening commotion, and, as it usually happens in such tragedies, women and children were the worst victims.

    Thursday's event at the Ram Janki Mandir coincided with the `shraadh' ceremony of Kripaluji's wife. Not learning from the past instance when free distribution of sarees by BJP MP Lalji Tandon in April 2004 led to a stampede in which 23 women died, the event organizers started distributing clothing and utensils to a roughly 6,000-strong crowd.

    As news of the freebies spread, people rushed towards the courtyard. The organizers, sensing trouble, locked the three gates to restrict further crowding. By this time, another 5,000-plus crowd had gathered at the three gates -- including those who came for the feast.

    "Within an hour, at least 10,000-odd people had gathered at the gates," said Dr D P Singh, incharge of the Kripaluji Maharaj Trust Hospital situated within the ashram compound. "I have been here for several years and this is an annual affair. But never in my life have I seen even half the gathering seen today."

    "Everyone tried to escape to a more open space and, in the process, trampled on women and children," said DIG, Allahabad, Chandra Prakash.

    "By the time the mob cleared, scores of women and children were seen lying on the ground," said Dilip Kumar, a transporter from Pratapgarh, who was at the ashram to seek Kripaluji's blessings. "Not one patch of ground could be seen. It was covered with women and children -- some of them dead, some writhing in pain," Dilip told TOI.

    UP cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told reporters the government had ordered an inquiry by Allahabad divisional commissioner Ajay Upadhyay. An interim report on the basis of the findings would be submitted within the next 24 hours. Later, chief minister Mayawati rushed two cabinet ministers to the site of the tragedy and said that FIRs should be lodged immediately against the culprits.

    Talking to TOI on phone from Pratapgarh, Kripaluji said he was deeply hurt by the mishap. "The turnout has never been so huge. This time, it was unexpectedly high," he said, adding that the incident had actually taken place outside the ashram compound and not within. "I have promised an ex-gratia relief of Rs 50,000 to the kin of each of the deceased and Rs 10,000 to the injured," he said.

    Rescue operations took off quickly and the injured were rushed to the trust hospital in the vicinity. The district administration, too, made quick arrangements for the injured to be rushed to the primary health centre -- the closest being 25km away. Ambulances and vans were roped in to rush the critically injured to hospitals and some private nursing homes in Pratapgarh township and Allahabad as well.

    Initial reports suggest that the organizers had not sought any permission from the district administration to hold the event nor even sought help to manage the crowd.
     
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    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100305/jsp/nation/story_12180563.jsp

    Court martial for lady major

    Chandigarh, March 4 (PTI): A retired woman army major has been sentenced to a year’s rigorous imprisonment for accepting a bribe, the first time that a lady officer has been court-martialled.

    Retired Major Dimple Singla, 37, who has also been cashiered from service, was convicted of accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 from a defence counsel to influence a court martial.

    Cashiering is an elaborate punishment intended to humiliate the guilty and deny privileges of rank and benefit.

    Singla was facing trial for demanding and accepting the bribe from an accused armyman, Havildar Chandran, to influence court martial proceedings in his favour at Dehra Dun in 2006.

    Terming Singla’s act as being “prejudicial to good order and military discipline”, a general court martial (GCM) last night held her guilty under Section 52 of the army act for “wrongful gains”.

    The GCM was presided over by Col Sanjeev Jose of the army’s Western Command. Singla had been accused of suggesting the name of a defence lawyer to Chandran.

    She had asked Captain Kamud Maini, a defence officer in Chandran’s case, not to divulge any information about the accused havildar’s court martial proceedings to the media.

    The court martial against Singla had begun in 2007 and had witnessed a series of lengthy adjournments as the matter had reached the Supreme Court.

    Singla, who had retired from the army on completion of 10 years’ service in 2007, had been arrested on February 1 by army authorities for skipping GCM proceedings. She had been released later.
     
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    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1100305/jsp/nation/story_12180593.jsp

    Barc officer from Calcutta kills herself
    OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

    Mumbai, March 4: A young scientific officer from Calcutta working with the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre killed herself in her room last night, hours after she had returned from her home city “happy” and “looking forward to marriage”.

    Colleagues of Titas Pal, who celebrated her birthday last week and was also looking ahead to a transfer to Calcutta, broke open the door to find the 27-year-old hanging by the windowsill of her 14th-floor flat in the Barc staff quarters at Anushakti Nagar.

    Titas’s death was the second of a Barc employee in 10 days after a 47-year-old mechanical engineer was on February 22 found dead in his flat. Initially believed to be a suicide, police had later registered a murder case.

    S.K. Malhotra, spokesperson for the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), said Titas was a scientific officer with the Isotope division of the Radio Chemistry department.

    “She had returned from Calcutta on Wednesday morning and was at her office the whole day. Her friends and colleagues in the department said she was a cheerful, bubbly girl who was looking forward to her transfer to Calcutta and wanted to marry and settle down,” Malhotra said.

    A senior police officer in Trombay said the cops “recorded the statement” of Titas’s father Subrato Pal after he reached Mumbai. “He said his daughter celebrated her birthday on February 28 and had left Calcutta in a happy frame of mind. He told us she was engaged to a doctor living close to their house in Shyambazar,” assistant commissioner Jalinder Khandagale said.

    The police have not found any suicide note in the flat but Khandagale said the post-mortem report had confirmed death by hanging. “However, we will investigate why she took this step of killing herself. We will investigate all angles and also check her mobile phone records to see if she spoke to anybody before her death.”

    Colleagues said Titas told them she was feeling tired after the long flight from Calcutta and left office earlier than usual. She was last seen around 4.30pm.

    Police sources said Titas used to call her family in Calcutta as soon as she returned to her quarters around 5.30-6 in the evening. Mobile phones are not allowed in the high-security Barc core area, so employees take or make calls once out of their workplace.

    But when no call came from Titas, her father, who works as chief chemist for CESC, tried her number.

    “Her father telephoned one of her friends saying she was not answering her mobile or landline and asked the friend to leave a message to call him back. The friend went to her flat, but finding no sign of Titas, left a hand-written note by the door asking her to call her father. Around dinner time, she went again to the flat and found the note still by the door,” DAE spokesperson Malhotra said.

    “Perplexed, she called her friends and neighbours. They broke open the door to find her hanging by the windowsill.”

    “She had requested a transfer to the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, a DAE division in Calcutta, and she would have got the transfer soon,” Malhotra said.

    Titas was rushed to the Barc hospital at Anushakti Nagar but doctors declared her dead. Radio Chemistry and Isotope Group director V. Venugopal said Titas was an “enthusiastic scientist”.

    On February 22, mechanical engineer Mahadevan Iyer was found dead in his first-floor flat near Breach Candy hospital in south Mumbai. Initially believed to be a suicide, the police registered a murder case when the post-mortem revealed that he had suffered internal bleeding after being hit with a blunt object.

    Police sources said they suspected a homosexual liaison might have led to the murder.

    Break-in bid

    Trombay police have arrested a 40-year-old man for trying to break into the project office of the Board of Radiation and Isotope technology yesterday night. Barc authorities said the building housed marketing and finance departments and the incident posed no threat to the high-security zone where atomic reactors are located.
     
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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...baram-tells-officials/articleshow/5642569.cms

    Be careful while preparing population register: Chidambaram tells officials
    TNN, Mar 5, 2010, 01.30am IST

    NEW DELHI: With the gigantic Census exercise set to begin on April 1, the government on Thursday asked bordering districts (mainly along the Indo-Bangla border) to guard against people from across the border who may try to enroll their names in the National Population Register (NPR) -- a first ever attempt to create a comprehensive identity database in the country.

    Home minister P Chidambaram said there have been some instances where people from across the border have tried to get themselves enrolled in the NPR.

    "There is a danger, mostly in Indo-Bangla border, of people crossing over and getting enumerated in the NPR," he said addressing a conference on "Census of India 2011 & NPR".

    Chidambaram's warning assumes significance in view of concerns expressed in certain quarters over large scale infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals into India. Though the government has deported a few thousand of them in the past six-seven years, the exercise posed difficulties as lakhs of Bangladeshi nationals have reportedly procured one proof or the other -- ration card, driving licence, etc -- to claim that they are Indians.

    Chidambaram said there were 3,331 border towns and villages where the problem may arise. "Obviously, any inflated enumeration will take place only in land border. We are not talking about east or west coast. We are talking about the Indo-Myanmar border and Indo-Bangla border," he said.

    Chidambaram said the other side of the Indo-Myanmar border was very thinly populated. "So, the real danger is in the Indo-Bangla border. We are cautioning our field officers to be careful while enumerating in Indo-Bangla border," he said.

    He, however, said there was not much problem along the border with Pakistan as it was mostly fenced. "There is a not a great danger along the border with Pakistan. Indo-Nepal border is a porous border. There is some danger there too. We have to be cautious there too," he said.

    Speaking on the occasion, minister of state for home Ajay Maken said: "The implementation of the NPR project would not only help the country become more secure, but also bring about a paradigm shift in the basic governance, service delivery mechanism to the poor and monitoring of welfare schemes."

    Under the NPR, government will have comprehensive data of all residents aged 15 years and above. There will be no caste-based enumeration in the Census. It will only have data on religion and SCs/STs.

    The data including biometric details (fingerprints and photograph) -- collected in NPR -- will eventually be vetted by the Unique Idetification Authority of India (UIDAI). The Authority will, thereafter, provide unique number to the citizens after conducting de-duplication exercise.

    The government has so far not decided when it will start giving identity cards to citizens across the country in view of the huge cost involved. But officials hinted that the exercise will begin in due course beginning with the coastal and border areas.
     
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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...-man-Mumbai-NY-flight/articleshow/5652869.cms

    In a first, an all-woman team to man Mumbai-NY flight
    TNN, Mar 7, 2010, 02.29am IST

    MUMBAI: It's an annual affair at the national carrier, to operate an all-woman flight to mark International Women's Day.

    This year though the celebrations are set to scale unprecedented heights as an all-woman crew will operate the ultra-long-haul Mumbai-New York flight. It will perhaps be the first time in the global aviation history that a 14-16 hour non-stop flight that cuts across ten time zones will be "manned" only by women.

    Flight AI-141 will have two sets of women pilots as is the norm with these flights. It is scheduled to take off at 0130 hours on Monday. Apart from this, the airline will be operating three domestic all women's flight.

    These include one each on the Mumbai-Bangalore-Mumbai, Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Mumbai and Mumbai-Nagpur-Mumbai sectors. "All activities connected with these four flight operations will also be handled by women employees," said an airline spokesperson. Madhavan Nambiar, secretary, ministry of civil aviation will flag off the first ultra long haul all women crew flight. The three domestic flights are scheduled to leave Mumbai in the early hours of Monday.
     
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    http://www.ptinews.com/news/551077_Sonia-promises-all-help-for-the-Mizoram-development

    Sonia promises all help for the Mizoram development

    STAFF WRITER 17:11 HRS IST

    Aizawl, Mar 6 (PTI) Extending her support to the establishment of medical and engineering colleges in Mizoram, Congress President Sonia Gandhi today promised all help for the development of the state.

    "Let there be no doubt that we will fulfil our promises to undertake different developmental programmes so that the state would become more productive in all spheres," Gandhi told a huge gathering after laying the foundation of the Rajiv Gandhi Sports Stadium.

    The Congress president said Mizoram was one of the most peaceful states in the country due to the dedication of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi during whose tenure the historic Mizo Peace Accord was signed in 1986 and the sacrifices made by Lal Thanhawla.

    "The signing of the Mizo Accord shows that given the will, all problems can be resolved," she said, adding the power of the people in maintaining peace was most laudable.
     
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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/5655811.cms

    Women's Day: 33% quota set to become reality after 14-yr labour
    Himanshi Dhawan, TNN, Mar 8, 2010, 12.34am IST

    NEW DELHI: History is set to be created in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. By the time the House votes on the women's reservation bill, the sense of anticipation would have reached fever pitch. A revolution 14 years in the making is now waiting to burst through the hallowed portals of Parliament.

    The bill will be introduced around noon and the debate will begin minutes later. As is now being anticipated, despite likely disruptions, the House is expected to discuss the bill. In that case, Rajya Sabha will cast
    a historic vote around 5pm and set in motion the process of women's quota being turned into law.

    The vote is the first step in making the 33% quota for women in Parliament and assemblies a reality. The battle in Lok Sabha remains, but the scales will tilt irretrievably. A "yes" vote means West Bengal and Tamil Nadu assemblies, where elections are due in 2011, could have no less than 98 and 78 women MLAs. The next LS will have at least 181 women, up from 59 in the present House.

    Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Bansal pointed out that the bill's outright opponents numbered less than 30. "We have to see how the House looks in the morning. But we might have a debate though some situations cannot be fully anticipated," he said. The government has time to bring the bill to Lok Sabha till early next week.

    In the final countdown, numbers are solidly stacked up for the Constitution (108th) amendment, better known as "Women's Bill". Congress managers are talking of 180 votes with 155 needed for a two-thirds majority. They see JD(U) chief and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar's sudden support for the bill as having hit the OBC-led opposition squarely in the midriff.

    It is not a bitter debate that concerns the government. As a minister put it, the question is "how aggressive" the bill's opponents would be. But with absenteeism ruled out, it may not be possible for the SP-RJD-BSP combine to derail proceedings. The treasury benches are even ready for a division.

    The bill now enjoys overwhelming support of not just the ruling coalition but has the backing of both BJP and the Left as well as a number of smaller parties. Parties like TDP, DMK, AIADMK, SAD and National Conference lend critical mass. JD(U) has not issued a whip, but most of its MPs will support the bill.

    With 33 crore registered women voters in India, a party can ill-afford to be "anti-women", in the centenary year of International Women's Day. In a House with 233 MPs at present, the match is looking one-sided. Till Congress chief Sonia Gandhi gave it a hard push, the situation seemed different. Ever since the H D Deve Gowda government first introduced it in September 1996, the Bill has been frozen with innumerable "formulae" failing to break the jinx.

    In Rajya Sabha, Congress has 71 members, BJP 45, CPM 15, AIADMK 7, NCP 6, CPI 5, DMK 4, BJD 4, Telugu Desam, Trinamool Congress and AGP 2 each and Forward Bloc and RSP 1 each. These parties support the Bill and account for 165. SAD has 3 MPs and at least five of JD(U)'s seven will back the Bill. The Women's Reservation Bill has seen several twists and turns but usually ended in a blind alley. In case of Deve Gowda and then I K Gujral, the governments fell. In 1998, the same story repeated itself. In 1999, there were furious scenes in Lok Sabha with SP's S P Singh snatching the papers from the hands of then law minister Ram Jethmalani.

    The Bill was introduced in RS in 2008. The panel, reconstituted in May 2009 under Congress MP Jayanthi Natarajan, submitted its report in Dec 2009. The Bill was cleared by the Union Cabinet on Feb 25 this year. The legislation has Sonia's backing with the Congress chief seeing it as part of her late husband Rajiv Gandhi's unfulfilled dream.
     
  14. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    http://www.ptinews.com/news/567815_Cop-among-two-killed-in-militant-attack-in-Sopore

    Cop among two killed in militant attack in Sopore

    STAFF WRITER 19:13 HRS IST

    Srinagar, Mar 16 (PTI) Two persons including a policeman were killed and four others injured when militants opened fire on a police party at the crowded Sopore bus stand in Baramulla district of North Kashmir this evening, police said.

    Unidentified militants opened fire on a police party at the main bus stand in Sopore district town, 55 kms from here, around 5.55 PM, and in the ensuing exchange of fire, six persons including two policemen were injured, the police said.

    The firing lasted for a brief period and the injured were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital where a Special Police Officer (SPO) and an unidentified civilian were declared brought dead.

    Rest of the injured - three civilians and a policeman - were admitted to the hospital for treatment, the police said.
     
  15. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    http://www.ptinews.com/news/569525_Dharmendra-hospitalised--discharged

    Dharmendra hospitalised, discharged

    STAFF WRITER 19:26 HRS IST

    Chandigarh, Mar 17 (PTI) Actor-politician Dharmendra was admitted to PGIMER here after he complained of uneasiness and chest discomfort but was discharged this afternoon.

    Dharmendra, 74, was hospitalised last night following "uneasiness and chest discomfort", a spokeswoman of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research said.

    Dharmendra, a former Member of Parliament, was kept under observation and was examined by a team of doctors, she said.

    He was discharged this afternoon after his condition turned stable, she said.

    His actor-son Sunny Deol was with him when the popular screen star left the hospital.

    Dharmendra has numerous hit Hindi films to his credit including blockbuster Sholay.

    He is currently in Punjab shooting Hindi flick "Yamla Pagla Deewana" featuring his sons Sunny and Bobby Deol.
     
  16. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    http://www.ptinews.com/news/569877_Main-runway-of-IGI-airport-to-be-closed-from-April-2

    Main runway of IGI airport to be closed from April 2

    STAFF WRITER 21:46 HRS IST

    New Delhi, Mar 17 (PTI) Government today gave the go-ahead for closure of IGI airport's main runway for maintenance and repair work set to begin from April 2.

    The government's nod came after Civil Aviation Secretary M Madhavan Nambair reviewed the preparedness of DIAL to handle traffic during the period when the repair work is undertaken.

    "The civil aviation secretary reviewed preparedness of the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to handle traffic at IGI Airport during the closure of main runway (10/28) from April 2 onwards for maintenance and repair," a Civil Aviation Ministry spokesperson said.

    He said the review was carried out to ensure minimum disruption of air traffic, inconvenience to the travelling passengers and to minimise operational difficulties to airlines.

    DIAL said it would begin the work on the runway on April 2 and make it fully operational by September 28.
     
  17. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...runway-delays-flights/articleshow/5695986.cms

    Dog on the runway delays flights
    Chinmayi Shalya, TNN, Mar 18, 2010, 02.19am IST

    MUMBAI: Dog intrusion on the runway at Mumbai airport brought flight operations to a halt on Tuesday morning.

    While the airport officials were busy clearing flights before the main runway had to shut for repairs, a dog — which had sneaked its way to the runway — brought everything to a standstill. Flights were delayed for around 20 minutes.

    The canine was spotted by a Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL) vehicle doing rounds of the area. Flights operations had to be stopped for around 10 minutes. Officials said that delays escalated and tension built up because a long queue of flights were lined for departure prior to the runway closure. The runway is shut at 12 noon every Tuesday and after a preparation of almost an hour, a shortened runway, on which only small aircraft can operate, is opened up till 5.30 pm.

    The officials spotted the dog on the runway around 10 am. “A 10-minute closure doesn’t impact operations hugely. However, it being a Tuesday, the departing traffic was more than on other days,’’ an airport official said. “Both arriving and departing traffic had to be cleared. It was fortunate that no flight was landing or taking off that time,’’ he added.

    A MIAL spokesperson said one flight had to go around and come back as the runway was not available for a few minutes. “There was no impact on flight operations. The runway had to be shut for an inspection after the dog was spotted,’’ the spokesperson said.

    “Dog hits can be dangerous. International airports need to have a full-proof remedy to tackle such situations,’’ said a senior Air India pilot.
     
  18. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...-up-duo-for-theft-bid/articleshow/5692101.cms

    Mob beats up duo for theft bid
    V Narayan , TNN, Mar 17, 2010, 01.54am IST

    MUMBAI: Two Bangladeshi nationals were attacked by a furious mob at a small-scale firm at the Coal Depot in Sewri for allegedly trying to steal iron rods early on Sunday.

    The Sewri police rescued the two accused, Barkat Shaikh (26) and his accomplice, Pagla Akhtar (28). While Shaikh was rushed to KEM hospital with injuries, Akhtar suffered only minor bruises. The two were trying to enter the premises of the Manish Fabrication Unit when the labourers sleeping nearby woke up and nabbed them.

    The two accused are history sheeters, the police said, adding that the duo has been booked under sections of the IPC for 34 (common intention), 382 (theft) and 457 (house-breaking).
     
  19. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...d-for-molesting-minor/articleshow/5695992.cms

    SSC student arrested for molesting minor
    V Narayan, TNN, Mar 18, 2010, 02.23am IST

    MUMBAI: The Dharavi police recently arrested a 15-year-old boy for allegedly molesting his neighbour’s minor daughter. Considering that the victim was appearing for his SSC exams, the men in khaki waited for six days before arresting him. The cops delayed the arrest as they didn’t want to ruin the minor offender’s career.

    According to the police, the accused was arrested on March 17 as soon as he came out of the examination centre in Dharavi after appearing for his final paper. The accused and the victim reside in the same building on Bandra-Sion Link Road in Dharavi. The boy, who hails from a middle-class family, has been sent to Dongri remand home.

    The matter came to light when the victim’s parents found her crying on ground floor of the building. The victim’s father, in his complaint, said, “She told us that the boy took her to a small gap beneath the staircase and molested her.”

    “Soon after the complaint was lodged, we went to the boy’s house to nab him, but decided to wait for a week so that he could appear for his exams,” said senior inspector Hemant Patil. The boy has reportedly confessed to his crime.
     
  20. Pintu

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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...-Bank-jobs-for-locals/articleshow/5691058.cms

    Shiv Sena wants 80% Canara Bank jobs for locals
    PTI, Mar 16, 2010, 07.37pm IST

    MUMBAI: Pressing its demand for employment to 'sons of soil', Shiv Sena has asked Canara Bank to recruit at least 80% locals during its drive to fill up 1500 clerical posts.

    "We are keeping a minute watch on the candidates' selection process and have asked the Bank to keep aside 80% posts for locals," Sena leader Anil Desai said.

    Desai, along with senior Sena leader Gajanan Kirtikar, met the Bank General Manager. Kirtikar heads the Sthaniya Lokadhikar Samiti Mahasangh, an outfit of Shiv Sena working for the local people's plights in jobs.

    "The Bank management has said priority will be given to Marathi candidates and Marathi will be used in bank transactions," Desai said.
     
  21. Pintu

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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...et-filed-against-wife/articleshow/5695991.cms

    Man's suicide: Charge sheet filed against wife
    Nitasha Natu, TNN, Mar 18, 2010, 02.21am IST

    MUMBAI: The Malad police recently filed a 100-page charge sheet before the Dindoshi sessions court in the Ankit Sharma suicide case, where his wife, Abhilasha, had been booked on abetment charges.

    The charge sheet relies heavily on statements of Ankit’s parents in Delhi, relatives and neighbours in Mumbai. An HR trainer with a Juhu hotel, Ankit was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his flat on December 12, 2009. Ankit’s father, Umakant, later wrote to the city police chief that the circumstances surrounding his son’s death appeared suspicious.

    On January 13, 2010, Abhilasha was arrested on the basis of inconsistencies in her statement and those of witnesses who brought down Ankit’s body. The police subsequently moved the Borivli metropolitan court, seeking permission to conduct a narco-analysis test on Abhilasha. The court turned down the plea, stating that there was no statutory provision for permitting a narco-analysis test on any person, either a witness or an accused. Abhilasha is currently in judicial custody.

    The charge sheet includes three text messages that Ankit had sent to his father in a span of two hours on April 16, 2009. Ankit’s messages stated that Abhilasha had promised to work towards making things better between the two families.

    In the FIR, the police had also applied the charge of ‘common intention’ on Abhilasha, suggesting the involvement of more persons in the offence. This charge has been dropped as no accomplices could be traced. Abhilasha’s cellphone records were examined by the police. “The police have been asking for time to collect Ankit’s chemical analysis report from the state forensic science lab. But three months after his death, the final report is still awaited,’’ Abhilasha’s counsel Kshtij Mehta said. An analysis of Ankit’s blood samples at the lab has ruled out poisoning.

    Abhilasha’s bail hearing is on March 19.
     

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