Saturday, November 26, 2011

RBSEO recruiting 2012 pass-outs @ Chennai

Location: Chennai
Eligibility Criteria:
  • B.E/B.Tech in CSE,IT and ECE.
  • Final year students only (2012 pass-outs)
To apply send your CV to with Subject "Chennai Office Application"

Openings for (iOS & Andriod Developers) and Part Time job Opportunity for Final Year IT Students!! @ Chennai Inbox

Location: Chennai
Experience: 0-2 years
Job Location: Singapore & Chennai
Eligibility Criteria: BE, B Tech, MCA, M.Sc, B.Sc
To Apply send your resumes on or before to
For More details see the image below


Aricent conducting walk-in for freshers for Network Support @ Gurgaon

Location: Gurgaon
Job Title: Trainee (Network Support)
Job Profile: 
Interacting with customers, understanding their needs and providing technical support to Customer by remotely accessing their networks & troubleshooting the queries working on all CISCO products
Eligibility Criteria:
  1. BE / B.Tech /ME/M.Tech/MCA/BCA/ B.Sc(I.T/ Computer Sc) /M.Sc(I.T/ Computer Sc)
  2. Fairly conversant with Networking Fundamentals viz:
  •    Routing Protocols 
  •    TCP/ IP and IRQs 
  •    Basic operating systems related to Networking
  • Trainees will get a stipend of Rs 12000/- per month for first 6 months and then Rs 16000/- per month from 7th month.
  • Company will provide free pick & drop throughout Delhi-NCR.
  • Company will partially sponsor in CCNA certification and candidate will go through Voice and Accent training and product specific training before they start handling technical cases.
Candidates meeting the above eligibility Criteria can appear for the selection process as per the below mentioned schedule:
Walkin-Date: 26th Nov, 2011, Saturday
Walk-in Time: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Venue Details:

Electronic City,
Plot 16, Sector 18,
Contact Person: Deeksha Gupta

Verizon recruiting freshers @ Hyderabad

Location: Hyderabad
Eligibility Criteria:
  • B.E/B.Tech,M.Tech with 70%
For more details and to apply Click Here


Junior Software Engineer at Drona Systems

PHP developers, with knowledge of Jquery, javascript, css, html. Strong Programming and problem solving skills,communication is not a criteria.
Knowledge in Android is a bonus.
Qualification : Freshers and engineers with less than 2 yrs can apply. BE Computer Science. MCA

Eligibility BE /MCA

Experience 0-2 Years

Location Chennai

Mail ur CV to:

ISRO Recruitment 2012 – Online Apply for 550 Assistants, Jr. Personal Assistants Vacancies:

Indian Space Research Centre (ISRO) has given a recruitment notification for the recruitment of 550 Assistants, Junior Personal Assistants Vacancies. The young, dynamic, and talented persons can apply through online application mode from 21/11/2011 to 14/12/2011. For more details about age limit, no of vacancies, educational qualification, how to apply, and other details of ISARO Recruitment 2011 is mentioned below…
ISRO Vacancy Details:
Total no of Posts: 550 Posts
Name of the Posts:
1. Assistants: 324 Posts
2. Junior Personal Assistants: 226 Posts

Age Limit: Candidates age is 26 years as on 14/12/2011.
Educational Qualification: Graduation in Arts/Commerce/ Management/ Science/ Computer Applications with first class as declared by the University with knowledge in the use of computers.
Application Fee: Candidates pay the application fee Rs-100/- in the form of Challan download from the ISRO website paid at any branch of State Bank of India in current Account No.32034064593 from 21/11/2011 to 14/12/2011. After payment of the application fee candidates has to sent one copy of Challan form to Sr. Administrative Officer (ICRB), ISRO Headquarters, Antariksh Bhavan, New BEL Road, Bangalore -560 231 by post super scribing on the envelope ICRB – Recruitment of Assistants, Junior Personal assistant within 7 days of filling of application and in any case not later than 21/12/2011.
Selection Process: The mode of selection is based on Written Test/Skill Test, Interview.
How to Apply: The eligible candidates can apply through online application mode from ISRO website between 21/11/2011 to 14/12/2011. Before online apply candidates have a valid email id to know the information regarding written test, interview call letters etc. After submission of online application candidates are required to note the system generated Registration number for future reference.
Important Dates:
Opening date for online registration: 21/11/2011
Closing date for online registration: 14/12/2011
Date of Written Examination: 26/02/2012

For more details about age limit, educational qualification, pay scale, experience, how to apply, last date for receipt of application and other details of ISRO Recruitment 2011 is mentioned at given below link…
Click here for ISRO Advt Details
Click here for Challan Form
Click here for Assistant Online Application
Click here for Junior Personal Assistant Online Application


APSRTC – 344 Conductor Posts at Chittoor Region 2011:

Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation – APSRTC has given a recruitment notification for the recruitment of 344 Conductor Posts on Contract Basis at Chittoor Region. The eligible candidates can apply through prescribed application format on or before 02/12/2011. The information regarding age limit, educational qualification, no of vacancies, how to apply, and other details of APSRTC Recruitment is mentioned below…
APSRTC Vacancy Details:
Total no of Posts: 344 Posts
Name of the Posts:
1. Conductors: 344 Posts

Age Limit: Candidates age is 21 to 35 years as on 01/07/2011.
Educational Qualification: Candidates must have passed the SSC or Equivalent Examination.
Application Fee: Candidates pay the application fee Rs-50/- by cash at all Depot Managers Offices in Chittoor Region. No fee for SC, ST, BC, Ex Servicemen Candidates.
How to Apply: The eligible candidates can obtain the application form by paying Rs-25/- at Depot Managers Offices, Chittoor Region from 16/11/2011 to 02/12/2011. Candidates submit the completely filled application along with Necessary certificates and two self addressed Envelopes on or before 02/12/2011.
Last date for Receipt of application form: 02/12/2011
For more details about age limit, educational qualification, pay scale, how to apply, selection process and other details of APSRTC Recruitment is mentioned at given below link…
Click here for APSRTC Chittoor Region Advt Details


Punjab and Sind Bank Recruitment 2012 – Financial Inclusion Coordinator Vacancies:

Punjab and Sind Bank, a leading Public Sector Bank has advertised a recruitment notification for the recruitment of Retired Officers of Nationalized Banks for monitoring the activities of Business Correspondents and to impart training to field functionaries in the area of Financial Inclusion. The suitable and eligible candidates can apply in prescribed application format given in the advertisement on or before 10/12/2011. The information regarding age limit, no of vacancies, application fee, how to apply and other details of Punjab and Sind Bank Recruitment 2011 is mentioned below…
Punjab and Sind Bank Vacancy Details:
Total no of Posts: 03 Posts
Name of the Posts:
1. Financial Inclusion Coordinator (FIC): 03 Posts

Age Limit: Candidates age should be not exceed 65 years.
Application Fee: Candidates pay the application fee Rs-1000/- (Non Refundable) in the form of Demand Draft in favour of Punjab and Sind Bank payable at New Delhi.
Selection Process: The mode of selection is based on Personal Interview.
How to Apply: The eligible and interested candidates can apply through prescribed application format given in the advertisement. The completed application should be sent in an closed envelope super scribing the application for the post of Financial Inclusion Co-Ordinator to The General Manager (PS), Punjab and Sind Bank, 6th Floor, 21 Rajendra Place, New Delhi -110008 on or before 10/12/2011.
Last date for receipt of application : 10-12-2011
For more details regarding age limit, pay scale, how to apply, selection process, application fee, experience, no. of posts, last date for receipt of application and other details of Punjab and Sind Bank Recruitment 2011 is available at given below link…
Click here for Punjab and Sind Bank Advt Details & Application Form

Rewa sidhi gramin bank recruitment 2011 – 108 Officer,office Asst vacancies:

Rewa Sidhi Garmin Bank invites applications for the post of officers middle management grade (scale-III) , officers middle management grade (scale-II), officers middle management grade (scale-I), office assistants (multipurpose). The eligible and suitable candidates may apply through online mode on or before 21/12/2011.The information regarding age limit, educational qualification, selection process, how to apply and other details of Rajasthan gramin bank recruitment is mentioned below.
Total no of posts: 108 posts
Name of the posts:

01. Officers middle management grade (scale-III) – 1
02. Officers middle management grade (scale-II) – 14
03. Officers middle management grade (scale-I) – 13
04. Office assistants (multipurpose) – 80
Educational qualifications: Candidates must see the advt details
Application Fee:
For post code 01, 02, 03 for general candidates Rs 450/-, SC/ST candidates Rs 50/-.
For post code 04 for general candidates Rs 350/-, SC/ST candidates Rs 50/-.
Selection Procedure: The mode of selection is based on the written test and interview.
How to apply:
1. All eligible candidates should apply through online through the link provided from the website between 22/11/2011 to 21/12/2011. Before online apply candidates have a valid email id.
2. Candidates should fill up the application available after clicking the link given in the above.
3. Branch code and branch transaction number noted on the challan form should be correctly filled in the application at appropriate place.
4. The candidates should note the registration number and password for future reference and use.
5. After applying online, the candidates should take a printout of the system generated online application form and retain it for future reference. They should not send this printout to the bank, which they will have to submit at the time of interview.
1. A recent passport size photograph should be pasted on the challan(candidates copy) and should be signed across by the candidate. Five copies of the same photograph should be retained for use at the time of written examination and interview.
2. Failure to produce the same photograph at the time of written test and interview may lead disqualification.
3. Only candidate willing to serve anywhere in service area of the bank should apply.
Important Dates:
Submission of online application commencing from: 22/11/2011
Last date for submission of online application: 21/12/2011
Payment of Fee : From 22-11-2011 to 21-12-2011
Dates for downloading Written Test Call Letter :
For Officer Scale I, II & III : From 24-01-2012 to 03-02-2012
For Office Assistant : From 17-01-2012 to 27-01-2012
Date Of Written Exam:
Officer Scale I, II & III : 05-02-2012
Office Assistant : 29-01-2012
For more details about age limit ,no of vacancies, how to apply, educational qualification , selection process, submission of online applications other information click on below links…
Click here for Recruitment Advt
Click here for online application form
Click here for Challan Forms


Rajasthan Gramin Bank Recruitment 2011 – 110 Officer, Office Asst Vacancies:

Rajasthan Garmin Bank has issued a Recruitment of notification for the Recruitment of officers junior management(scale-II) ,officer junior management(scale-I),office assistants (multipurpose). The eligible and suitable candidates may apply through online mode on or before 15/12/2011.The information regarding age limit, educational qualification,selection process, how to apply and other details of Rajasthan gramin bank recruitment is mentioned below.
Rajasthan Gramin Bank Vacancy details:
Total no of posts: 110 posts
Name of the posts:
01. officer middle management :03
02. officer junior management  :41
03. office assistant                        : 66

Age limit: Candidate’s age limit for post code 01 above 21years but below 32years as on 01/10/2011 and for post code 02 @ 03 above 18 years but below 28 years as on 01/10/2011.
Educational qualifications: see the advt details
Application Fee: For general candidates Rs 500/-, SC/ST candidates Rs 100/-.
Selection Procedure: The mode of selection is based on the written test and interview.
How to apply: The eligible candidates apply through online from the website between 16/11/2011 to 15/12/2011.
Instructions for Online Applying:
1. Before online apply candidates have a valid email id.
2. Candidates should download one of the Challan Formats (as applicable to them for the post applied for) from the Bank’s website.
3. After filling up the required information on the form, they should make payment of the fee applicable to them in any branch of either Rajasthan Gramin Bank or Punjab National Bank and should keep the ‘Candidate’s Copy’ of the Challan with receipt of fees duly acknowledged thereon, with them for producing the same at the time of written test alongwith the latest passport size photograph pasted on the – officer, office assistant Challan and signed across by the candidate.
Important Dates:
Submission of online application commencing from: 16/11/2011
Last date for submission of online application: 15/12/2011
Payment of fee: 16-11-2011 to 15-12-2011.
Dates for downloading Written Test Call Letter :
For Officer Scale I & II               : From 10-01-2012  to 20-01-2012
For Office Assistant                   : From 17-01-2012  to 27-01-2012
Written Test Dates:
Officer Middle Management (Scale-II) :  22-01-2012
Officer Junior Management (Scale-I)    : 22-01-2012
Office Assistant (Multipurpose)              :  29-01-2012
For more details about age limit ,no of vacancies, how to apply, educational qualification , selection process, submission of online applications other information is mentioned at given below link.
Click here for Advertisement Details
Challan Form for the post of Officers
- For deposit of fee at PNB branches
- For deposit of fee at Rajasthan Gramin Bank branches
Challan Form for the post of Office Assistant (Multipurpose)
- For deposit of fee at PNB branches
- For deposit of fee at Rajasthan Gramin Bank branches
Click here to Apply online
Click here for other details


SIDBI Recruitment 2011 – Specialist Officers Vacancies:

Small Industries Development Bank of India – SIDBI has given a recruitment notification for the recruitment of Specialist Officer Vacancies. The eligible candidates can apply their application in prescribed application format given in the advertisement on or before 11/12/2011. The information regarding age limit, no of vacancies, educational qualification, how to apply, and other details of SIDBI Recruitment 2011 is mentioned below…
SIDBI Vacancy Details:
Total no of Posts: 12 Posts
Name of the Posts:

1. Chief Economist (In the Rank of CGM): 01 Post
2. Chief General Manager (Capital Advisory Services – SME Exchange): 01 Post
3. Chief General Manager (Marketing of Financial / Loan Products): 01 Post
4. General Manager (Human Resources & Industrial Relation): 01 Post
5. General Manager (Risk Management): 01 Post
6. General Manager (Treasury): 01 Post
7. Deputy General Manager (Taxation): 01 Post
8. Deputy General Manager (Audit & Inspection): 02 Posts
9. Assistant General Manager (Risk Management): 01 Post
10. Assistant General Manager (Treasury): 01 Post
11. Assistant General Manager (Taxation): 01 Post
Age Limit: For the post Chief General Manager is 57 years, General Manager is 57/55 years, for the post Deputy General Manager is 55 years and for the post Assistant General Manager is 45 years.
Educational Qualification: Candidates see the advertisement for more details about educational qualification.
Selection Process: The mode of selection is based on Interview.
How to Apply: The eligible and suitable candidates may apply their application in prescribed format given in the advertisement with a recent passport size photograph pasted thereon, bearing full signature of the candidate across the same with date, should be sent in an closed envelope super scribing application for the post of to the Chief General Manager, Human Resources Development Department (HRDD), Small Industries Development Bank of India, Head Office, SIDBI Tower, (II Floor), 15, Ashok Marg, Lucknow – 226001 on or before 11/12/2011.
Last date for applying: 11/12/2011
For more details about age limit, educational qualification, no of vacancies, how to apply, selection process, pay scale and other details of SIDBI Recruitment 2011 is mentioned at given below link…
Click here for SIDBI Advt details
Click here for Application Form
Click here for Other Details

Warriors to fight Heroes for Nagpur Premier League-II title

NAGPUR: The fact that they did not concede a single goal in this year did augur well for Sunil Hi-tech Warriors before the start of the semifinal game. Talks were in and around their formidable defence line. No one had cracked the code to surpass their defenders.

Yet, what panned out at the Yeshwant Stadium on Friday was an exceptional effort from their elusive forward line which displayed a complete demolition job.

Courtesy terrific work from the trio of Prakash Thorat, Rabindra Ghosh and Badrv Ibrahim Martins, Warriors crushed Gupta Tigers 3-0 to enter the final of Lokmat-organized Nagpur Premier League-II.

Though it took their forwards to warm up a bit, once they broke the deadlock, Warriors kept drawing blood with their lethal attempts. The new entrants rode high on Ibrahim's smart work to open their account just before the lemon break.

Ibrahim reaped the benefits of a superb cross from Ghosh which spilled from the hands of Tigers' custodian Amit Chourasiya in the 44th minute.

Hardly had Tigers gathered themselves from the opening salvo, than a Thorat special from just outside the box left them awestruck in the 47th minute. Thorat's brilliant ball kissed the cross bar on its way to bulge the net. The knock out punch was delivered again by Ibrahim in the 57th minute through an acute angle goal.

The other semifinal saw Baidyanath Heroes beat Raisoni Achievers 2-1 to enter their second consecutive final of the tournament. Heroes got going in the very third minute when Vijit Shetty stunned Raisoni defenders to net the opening goal.

Though Raisoni netted the equalizer via their foreign striker Tanko Abubakri's excellent effort, they couldn't hung on to it as just five minutes after the breather, Baidyanath's Michael Nwokure regained the lead with his solo effort from centre line on the pass of Shahnawaz Pathan.

Heroes will now lock horns with Warriors in the summit clash on what is expected to be an eventful Sunday evening. The hardliner between Raisoni and Tigers will be held on Saturday.


Moenchengladbach top Bundesliga with win at Cologne

BERLIN: Surprise package Borussia Moenchengladbach climbed to the top of the Bundesliga with a 3-0 win at Cologne on Friday as they continued their spectacular run this season.

Two goals from Mike Hanke and one from Juan Arango secured a fourth straight league win that saw them move on to 29 points, one ahead of Bayern Munich who travel to Mainz 05 on Sunday.

"This was a deserved win," Gladbach coach Lucien Favre told reporters after his team stormed into a 2-0 lead at the break before adding a third just after the interval. "We could have gone into the second half with an even bigger lead."

"We wanted to pressure them from the start and my players did it well. We could have won by four or five goals today," said the Swiss, who took charge midway through last season to keep them in the Bundesliga.

Champions Borussia Dortmund, in third place on 26 points, can themselves claim top spot on Saturday with a home win over bitter rivals Schalke 04 who are a point behind them in fourth.

Gladbach, who last season needed a relegation playoff to stay up, sent in front when forward Hanke fired in a low drive from 14 metres in the 20th minute.

Venezuela international Arango doubled the lead on the half hour, curling a 23-metre freekick over the wall past goalkeeper Michael Rensing as Gladbach found little resistance in the regional derby that saw crowd trouble before the start.

Hanke dashed any Cologne hopes of a second-half comeback by slotting the ball home in the 47th after Rensing had palmed away a Patrick Herrmann shot.

AC Milan's Nesta out for four weeks

ROME: AC Milan centre-back Alessandro Nesta will be out for a month after sustaining an injured thigh in his club's midweek Champions League match against Barcelona.

"Nesta has a muscle tear in his right thigh," the Italian club said, adding that such an injury normally takes one month to rehabilitate without complications.

Goa XI look to surprise Zambia in friendly

PANAJI: True to his style of functioning, Goa XI coach Armando Colaco reels off the names of his starting eleven without even bothering to check if that might cause some consternation within his own camp, or provide the opposition with a desired clue.

His strategy, though, remains closely guarded. Press him for a clue and he mumbles in local lingo, obvious to the presence of Zambia coach Renard Herve after the pre-match briefing.

In reality, Zambia may not even need any such clues about what the first of their two rivals - Goa XI - are planning as the gulf in class between the two teams when they meet at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Saturday.

Goa XI, a combination of locals and handpicked foreigners, will play Zambia in a friendly to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of the state and also the Goa Football Association.

"I have to make do with whatever I have at the moment. Zambia, nobody needs any reminding, are vastly superior but with the kind of squad that we have managed to put up, Goa might be able to measure up to the challenge," Colaco told TOI.

The Goa squad assembled only on Friday morning and trained for approximately 80 minutes. But with a majority of the players from Colaco's own Dempo Sports Club, lack of understanding might not be a deterrent. With at least six Dempo players certain to be included in the starting eleven, there will be a semblance of order to the game as well.

Felix D'Souza has emerged as the number one choice to guard the goal while the likes of Valerian Rebello, Rowilson Rodrigues, Cressan Antao (all Dempo) and Churchill's Australian defender Antun Kovacic have been shortlisted to man the defence.

Denzil Franco, normally a smart right-back for Churchill Brothers, will be moved on to the right of midfield while Peter Carvalho will scheme from the left.

Godwin Franco and Lenny Rodrigues are the prefered choices in central midfield while the strike pair of Ranty Martins (Dempo) and James Moga (Sporting Clube) - who have collectively scored 17 goals between them in the I-League and are two of the leading goalscorers - were the unanimous choice upfront.

Zambia coach Renard Herve put his team through three rigorous training sessions in the two days since they arrived in Goa.

Siddhesh Lad's 127 gives Indian Oil lead in Times Shield

MUMBAI: A timely century by middle order batsman Siddhesh Lad and his two useful partnerships helped Indian Oil to a vital first innings lead over Bharat Petroleum on the third and last day of the Times Shield 'A' Division Cricket Shield tournament's last league match at the MIG Ground, Bandra on Friday.

Chasing Bharat Petroleum's total of 374 for a first innings lead, Indian Oil were 112 for 4 at one stage. However, the fifth wicket pair of Wasim Jaffer and young Lad batted with their heads down to add 119 invaluable runs in 163 balls.

Jaffer made 76. Lad got an able partner in Abbas Ali. The pair put in another 120 runs for the sixth wicket before Lad was out for a well made 127 in 196 balls. Abbas Ali contributed 51 off 71 balls with seven fours.

Brief scores:

Bharat Petroleum 374 drew with Indian Oil 375 for 7 (Paresh Patel 32, Wasim Jaffer 76, Siddhesh Lad 127, Abbas Ali 51).

Air-India 327 drew with DY Patil Group 'A' 456 for 7 (Shoaib Shaikh 38, Sreedeep Mangella 73, Anand Singh 69, Yogesh Takawale 57,Siddharth Chitnis 38, Iqbal Abdulla 59 n.o; Harshal Soni 3-93).

Western Railway 'B' 170 and 344 for 8 (A.Malik 64, Parag Madgaikar 125, S.Khan 51) drew with DY Patil Group 'B' 315. C
Central Railway 153 and 332 for 6 (Nishan Shivalkar 105, A.Pawanikar 49, S.Faizal 53, drew with Tata Sports Club 351.

Kishanji killing: Intelligence agencies' informers helped nail Naxal leader Kishanji

Huge setback to Maoists, top leader Kishanji shot dead
Huge setback to Maoists, top leader Kishanji shot dead
NEW DELHI: Security forces zeroed in on the location of top Maoist leader Kishanji with the help from their informants within close quarters of the operational commander in what marks a success of intelligence agencies in penetrating the close-knit extremist outfit and suggests that other top-notch extremists could also be in the crosshairs.

Senior official sources attribute the elimination of Kishanji to 'HumInt' ( human intelligence) network, painstakingly nurtured during the truce they had to observe at West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's behest.

A note circulated on Tuesday by Intelligence Bureau suggests that the inputs gathered through HumInt (human intelligence) may have helped the officials to map the co-ordinates of several members of the politburo and central committee of the CPI(Maoist). The note mentions the location of Prashanta Bose, the second-in-command of Red ultras, Pulluri Pasada Rao, Ramchandra Reddy, Malla Raji Reddy, Dev Kumar Singh, Akkiraju Hargopal and M Venugopal. Curiously, the paper did not mention the possible whereabouts of Maoist chief Ganapathi and Kishanji.

The note says that the success of counter-insurgency forces, including CRPF, has forced the Maoist leaders to raise their guard. "Efforts to apprehend these leaders have not borne fruit till now since they are changing their locations almost every other day. From their movement, it appears that they are not fully trusting their own cadres. A close watch is being kept".

Intelligence agencies started focusing on developing HumInt after the Maoists, stung by the arrests of their front-ranking leaders like Kobad Ghandy, Pramod Mishra, Naryayan Sanyal and Amitabh Bagchi, stopped using cellphones and began relying only on human couriers.

The IB note says the top Maoist leaders had completely stopped using communication through technical channels (mobile\internet) following arrest of their leaders in the past, and "reverted to depending on traditional channels of human couriers (only party cadres who are most reliable)".

The lull in hostilities, until killing of her cadres jolted Mamata Banerjee out of her belief that Maoists were merely misguided youth who could be brought back to the mainstream, was utilized by the security forces to build up a network of informants among communities who would host the rebels.

The attempt to infiltrate the ranks of Maoists and their sympathizers was helped by the resentment among cadre against the pays and perks of leaders, as well as the sexual exploitation of women extremists by their male comrades.

The note mentions of "serious disquiet among lower cadres of People Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) - Maoists' armed unit - against senior leadership in Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and West Bengal" - that may help in winning a few to the side of security forces in the past couple of years. It also says how sexual exploitation led many women fighters to surrender and become " informers" in exchange of cash incentives.

The Maoists had sensed this by October and retaliated by killing locals, including some Trinamool workers whom they suspected to be collaborating with security forces. " But, it was too late by then. We could get what we wanted for finally on Thursday", said the official.

Officials here said that the Maoists have suffered serious casualties in the past few years, and are having to do without eight of the 14 original members of their politburo. Besides Kishanji and Azad, who was eliminated by security forces, six politburo members, including Kobad Gandhy, Akhilesh Yadav and Pramod Mishra, are languishing in jail. The strength of the central committee of the CPI( Maoist) has also come down from 38 to 22.

They said the replacement of Kishanji and others who were killed or are in jail was likely to be made by ultras (as per Maoists' tradition) only during their next Congress which is to be held in January-February, 2012. Since all the PB\CC members had been appointed for five years in the last Congress, the outfit may not change the hierarchy except some minor changes for 'operational' reason

26/11 Mumbai terror strike: Three years on, sacked politicians back in corridors of power

26/11 Mumbai terror strike: Three years on, sacked politicians back in corridors of power
Shivraj Patil (seen in this picture with President Pratibha Patil) who was sacked as Union home minister after 26/11, was reinstated as Governor a year after the terror attacks.
MUMBAI: Three years on, while victims of the worst-ever terrorist strike on Indian soil still await benefits of a rehabilitation package to reach them, the heads that had rolled in the wake of the 26/11 attack are back in the corridors of power - with full honours.

A week after the attack that left 166 innocent persons dead, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was quick to sack then Union home minister Shivraj Patil. Subsequently, NCP boss and Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar dismissed Maharashtra deputy chief minister R R Patil, who also held the home portfolio. Following Pawar's bold political move, Sonia was forced to ask chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh to step down.

A year later, Shivraj Patil was appointed governor of Punjab while Deshmukh was inducted into the Union cabinet as minister for rural development. Now Deshmukh is minister for earth science.

Even more surprising is the fact that Pawar not only reinducted R R Patil into the cabinet, but entrusted him with the the home portfolio again.

A former chief secretary pointed out that even in the case of high-ranking bureaucrats and police officials, no action was taken despite adverse observations made by the Ram Pradhan Committee. For example, the panel had passed strictures against then Mumbai police commissioner Hasan Gafoor for his failure to provide leadership in the hour of crisis, but no action was taken against him.

In fact, the home department rejected the committee's observations and promoted Gafoor to the director-general rank. Subsequently, Gafoor retired as DG (anti-corruption), without any blot.

Same is the case with home department babus found guilty of dereliction of duty. "Most of these babus have retired and have been given plum assignments after retirement,'' the former chief secretary remarked

Liberal visa regime for India, Pakistan business travel soon

Liberal visa regime for India, Pakistan business travel soon
India and Pakistan are expected to liberalise visa rules for business travel soon and a “ broad agreement” has been reached between the two countries.
NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan are expected to liberalise visa rules for business travel soon and a " broad agreement" has been reached between the two countries, a senior government official said on Friday.

The move is aimed at normalising business tied between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. Earlier this month, Pakistan's cabinet unanimously agreed to grant India Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status, a long pending move which is expected to strengthen trade and bilateral relations between the two countries. The move has faced stiff opposition from some industry groups in Pakistan but both sides have reiterated their commitment to normalise trade relations.

To begin with, the two sides will issue multiple-entry visas valid for one year to prominent businessmen, Arvind Mehta, joint secretary, commerce and industry ministry, was quoted as saying at a function organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci). Pakistan's high commissioner to India Shahid Malik also confirmed the move.

"The one-year multiple-entry visa will allow business persons to visit up to 10 cities with no requirement of a police report and no restriction on places of entry and exit," Mehta was quoted as saying.

He said the Union Cabinet was expected to take up the issue soon. Mehta said the perception of some businessmen that open trade would swamp Pakistan with Indian goods was misplaced. "Do not be fearful of the future because things are changing," he said. The South Asian Free Trade Agreement (Safta) has several safeguards to give comfort to domestic industry as these safeguards would allow imports to be stopped if there is any disruption of domestic industry," he added.

Mehta also sought to allay apprehension that India had imposed non-tariff barriers on imports from Pakistan. Citing the case of cement import, he said there was zero customs duty on cement import, a policy signal that New Delhi welcomed cement from its neighbour.

Pakistani high commissioner Malik said there was genuine apprehension among Pakistani businessmen about the existence of non-tariff barriers. "These barriers do exist and there is no point in brushing this aside," he said and expressed confidence that the commerce secretaries of the two countries would take steps to dismantle these barriers.

Tariq Sayeed, leader of the Pakistani delegation and past president of Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that the potential of trade between the two countries was estimated at $12 billion in 2010, against actual trade of $2.3 billion.

"This means that both countries could tap only 27% of the available potential. The share of bilateral trade in total trade of our two countries remains less than 1% of or total trade with the rest of the world. This is perhaps the lowest ever trade proportion between any two countries of the world, a point that all of us should ponder over," he said

Major fire in Mumbai's Crawford market

MUMBAI: A major fire broke out in Mumbai's Crawford market during the wee hours of Saturday, resulting in scores of shops burnt and massive loss of property.

According to Times Now, Manish market and Sahara Shopping Complex have been completely gutted in the fire.

However, there are no reports of any casualities yet.

The fire broke out at around 3am and is still raging on.

As many as 24 fire tenders have been rushed to the spot to bring the flames under control.

IIM placements are like cattle fairs, says Tata Sons HR chief Satish Pradhan

AHMEDABAD: Campus placements at top business schools are like cattle fairs held at Pushkar every year, said Tata Sons chief (Group HR) Satish Pradhan while addressing the annual national business summit, Confluence-2011, at IIM-Ahmedabad on Friday.

Pradhan said the campus placements in institutes like IIMs are like auctioning of cattle at Pushkar mela, where cattle are groomed and painted so that they fetch the best price at the auction.

"Just like cattle is paraded and traded at the fair, the highest tag goes to the student with the best performance during the two years (of their programme)," he said.

Pradhan said first everybody competes hard to get into the top rung institutes like IIM-A and then they compete harder to get better packages, neglecting other options like becoming entrepreneurs, business leaders and agents of change.

"Is that the way to go? Will you be happy selling derivatives, living in a penthouse and driving expensive cars while the rest of the world goes to the dogs?" he asked. He urged the students to find ways to improve the quality of their competitiveness.

"One of the things that cannot be taught is working with the people. Events like Confluence are an opportunity to learn and relish such things," Pradhan said, adding that students should not only focus on learning to upgrade their portfolio but learn intangible lessons from life around them.

During a recent visit to IIT Gandhinagar (IIT-GN), Murthy had said very few world-class researches came out of IITs and IIMs in the last decade.

US tries to curb headphone menace, India gets wake-up call

US tries to curb headphone menace, India gets wake-up call
A file photo of participants in a Mumbai marathon using earphones and headphones during the run.
NEW DELHI: The death of 21-year-old Priya Jain, hit by a bike and then a bus while crossing the busy Vikas Marg road on Wednesday, is a wake-up call to the dangers of 'iPod oblivion' - walking on the road with earphones, listening to music or simply talking.
Priya, police said, had ear-plugs on while crossing the road on her way to work. That may well have been the crucial difference between life and death in her case. Experts say walking with earphones causes 'cognitive overload' which shuts out the world around the wearer and makes the person blind to danger.

With hand-held devices becoming more and more common around the world, this is being recognized as a major threat on the roads in the US, Australia and other countries, perhaps second only to using the cellphone while driving.

Closer home, Priya's is not an isolated case. A few months back in the capital, a man returning from a night shift early in the morning with headphones on, stepped right in the way of a car and lost his life. While the incident was reported, the fact that the man's headphones could have caused the accident, was not.

Walking on the road with earphones, listening to music or simply talking can be dangerous. There are countless close calls every day but the issue hasn't drawn the attention it deserves.

That's not the case in the US, where for some time now, legislators have unsuccessfully attempted to introduce laws banning use of headphones while walking, with evidence growing that many accidents can be avoided if pedestrians stop using earphones.

Dr M C Misra
, chief of AIIMS Trauma Centre, points out that 50% of road accident deaths in the city are that of pedestrians and use of hand-held devices while crossing the road or walking in the carriageway was definitely a contributing factor.

"Listening to music or talking on the phone while crossing the road is dangerous. It diverts attention and causes a hearing deficit. The pedestrian is often not able to comprehend warning signals like honking or someone simply crying out," he says. He adds that in the capital where pavements are encroached upon or are simply not there, people are forced to walk on the road and distraction for even a second can put one's life at risk.

"The Motor Vehicle Act does not have any provision to prosecute the pedestrian,'' says Rohit Baluja, president, Institute of Road Traffic Education. "There are no statistics that tell you when a pedestrian is at fault and most often the vehicle owner is booked. But no one can deny that the increased use of cellphones to call up, text or mail while crossing the road is one of the causes of these accidents. Dr J D Mukherjee, neurologist at Max Hospital, Saket, says people who are talking on the phone while walking or listening to music are not able to respond to an emergency situation appropriately.

A study published in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of Safety Research in the US on the use of cellphone by pedestrians highlighted the problem. It showed that people busy on the phone did look both ways before crossing but didn't seem to be any safer. Compared with people who crossed without any distraction, people on the phone were delayed and incurred risks. In a simulation, some even got hit by a virtual car. Adults were as much to blame as teenagers, some other studies showed.

But Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of traffic police, says prosecution is not the way out. "The number of pedestrians is huge. It's not practical to catch every violator and prosecute. In my view, awareness campaigns to promote judicious use of cellphones and other devices is needed. The traffic police is working on these lines," he claims.

Despite the danger, youngsters are not about to give up. "While listening to music like this, one feels cut off from the bustle. It's relaxing and soothing," says Fatima Akram, a BA Psychology (Hons) student at Jamia Milia Islamia University. Akhil Kumar, who studies at Amity University, says he listens to music while walking on the road but keeps the volume low. "Twice I landed right in front of heavy vehicles. Since then, I have become more alert," he added

Hindus upset over Ganesha T-shirts in US

CHICAGO: Hindu community in the US has asked a local online company to immediately remove Lord Ganesha T-shirt designs displayed on its website, calling them absurd.

Threadless Tess, a community-centered online apparel company of skinnyCorp, has been asked to remove four of the designs from its website.

Hindu activist Rajan Zed said, "Such absurd depiction of Lord Ganesha with no scriptural backing was hurtful to the devotees."

He said that such trivialisation of Lord Ganesha was disturbing and offensive to the one billion Hindus world over.

However, Threadless Tees denied having printed or sold the T-shirts with the offensive Lord Ganesha designs.

"The Ganesha design on our site, was submitted by an artist, but never printed or available for purchase. At this time, we have no further comments on this design," Bethany Allen, a PR spokeswoman for Threadless Tee said.

Kolaveri crosses 4m mark on YouTube

Kolaveri crosses 4m mark on YouTube
Danush in the making of Kolaveri Di
"Kolaveri Di", already a rage, seems on a record breaking spree. In less than a day, the song has got more than a million hits on YouTube and so far has registered 4,052,189 hits.
The promo of the song was released on YouTube Nov 16 and spread like a viral, thanks to its funny, nonsense Tanglish (Tamil-English). On Thursday evening, the song notched up to 3,020,014 hits on YouTube, and suprisingly the count spiralled to 4,052,189 by Friday noon.
Amitabh Bachchan is going gaga over the foot-tapping music and says he just can't get enough of the song sung by Tamil star Dhanush for his film "3", which is being directed by his wife Aishwarya, the daughter of Tamil superstar Rajinikanth. The song has been composed by 18-year-old Anirudh Ravichander.
"'Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di' .. Ahh...just not leaving the lips and the mind and the system...such an endearing experience. Brings a smile and laughter and rhythm instantly to the face... get to YouTube, type Dhanush and Kolaveri Di... its his latest song that has become a rage all over," Amitabh posted on his blog
"Dhanush, son-in-law of Rajinikanth, a young brigade superstar in Tamil Cinema married to Aishwarya, Rajini's daughter...its lovely. 'Kolaveri...' Tamil for rejected lovers rage, in a sweet getting used as verbiage in almost any walk of life, social, political...every where!! tremendous," he posted.
The Bollywood megastar is so impressed by the song that he even posted a few lines praising the song on his Twitter.
"This 'Kolaveri' is veri veri endearing .. just not leaving the sound waves in the mind-u... what-a what-a what-a do-u," tweeted Amitabh.

Why India needs democracy

What is our national aim? To my mind, our national aim must be to make India a highly prosperous country for its citizens, and for that it is necessary to have a high degree of industrialization.

Even setting up and running a single primary school requires a lot of money, e.g. for buying land, erecting the school building and providing for the recurrent expenditure for salaries of teachers, staff, etc. We have to set up in our country not just one primary school, but hundreds of thousands of primary schools, tens of thousands of high schools and colleges and engineering colleges, technical institutes, medical colleges, scientific research centres, hospitals, libraries etc.

Where is the money for all these to come from? Money does not fall from the sky. It can only come from a highly developed industry, and it is industrialization alone which can generate the wealth we need for the welfare of our people.

Today India is a poor country. Nobody respects the poor. It is for this reason that we do not have much respect in the world community (whatever we may think of ourselves). One proof of this is that we are not given a permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council, although we have a population of 1200 million, whereas Britain and France with populations of 60 million each have permanent seats.

It is industrialization alone which can abolish poverty and unemployment, which are the main causes of crime and terrorism, and get us respect in the world community. Also, when there is rapid industrialization, which should be our national target, millions of jobs will be created which will solve the problem of unemployment.

For industrialization, development of science is absolutely necessary, and for that freedom is also absolutely necessary, freedom to think, freedom to write, freedom to discuss with others, freedom to explain, freedom to criticize and freedom to dissent.

The growth of science requires certain supportive values, particularly liberty. This is because the thought process cannot develop without freedom. The values of a scientific community viz., pluralism, tolerance, individual freedom and free flow of information are very similar to the values of a democratic society (see 'Science and the Making of the Modern World' by John Marks).

A democratic society permits freedom of speech and expression, freedom to practice one's own religion, which is based on tolerance, and freedom to dissent and criticize. These are precisely the values of a scientific community. In other words, in scientific matters authoritarianism and dogmatism are wholly out of place. Scientists must be largely left free to govern themselves, and have large amount of freedom which is necessary for innovation and creativity. Hence, democracy and liberty go hand in hand with the growth of science because both are based on tolerance, individual freedom and free flow of ideas. In democracy, as in a scientific community, there is freedom to speak, freedom to discuss, freedom to criticize and freedom to dissent.

Justice Louis D. Brandeis, of the U.S. Supreme Court in Whitney vs. California 274 U.S. 357, writing in 1927 observed:

"Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the State was to make men free to develop their faculties; and that in its government the deliberative forces should prevail over the arbitrary. They valued liberty both as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly discussion would be futile; that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. They recognized the risks to which all human institutions are subject. But they knew that order cannot be secured merely through fear of punishment for its infraction; that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope and imagination; that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government; that the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies; and that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones. Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, they eschewed silence coerced by law - the argument of force in its worst form. Recognizing the occasional tyrannies of governing majorities, they amended the Constitution so that free speech and assembly should be guaranteed".

Similarly, Justice William O. Douglas in Terminiello vs. Chicago 337 US 1 (1949) observed: "....[A] function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea. That is why freedom of speech, though not absolute, is nevertheless protected against censorship or punishment, unless shown likely to produce a clear and present danger of a serious substantive evil that rises far above public inconvenience, annoyance or unrest... There is no room under our Constitution for a more restrictive view. For the alternative would lead to standardization of ideas either by legislatures, courts, or dominant political or community groups".

In our own country, in ancient times the method of Shastrarthas had been developed. These were debates in which the thinkers of those times had full freedom to speak and to criticize their opponents in the opponent's presence, and also in the presence of a large assembly of people. There are hundreds of references to such Shastrarthas in our epics and other literature. It was this freedom to freely discuss and criticize in ancient India which resulted in tremendous growth of knowledge even in such ancient times, including not only in philosophy, grammar law, etc. but also scientific knowledge, e.g. mathematics, astronomy, medicines, etc. The names of Aryabhatt, Brahmagupta, Bhaskar, Sushrut and Charak are known to all. With the aid of science we had built mighty civilizations e.g. the Indus Valley Civilization when people in Europe were living in forests.

In this connection, we may also mention about modern European history. England was the first country in the world to industrialize and modernize. This economic process was accompanied with the political struggle for liberty and democracy in the 17th and 18th centuries, which was particularly a struggle between the King and Parliament. As we all know, Parliament won, and this laid the foundation of freedom and civil liberties in England, which was necessary to create the atmosphere which science requires to prosper.

Similarly, in France, before the French Revolution of 1789, the thinkers of the Enlightenment --- Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Holbach, etc. who attacked feudalism and religious dogmatism paved the way for the Revolution of 1789 which destroyed feudalism, and led to scientific progress. On the other hand, in Italy, Spain and some other countries the Inquisition stifled free thinking and thereby scientific growth. All scientific ideas which were not consistent with the Bible were regarded as crimes e.g. the theory of Copernicus which stated that the earth moved around the sun and not the sun around the earth. As a result, these countries were left far behind England and France, and remained in the feudal dark ages for centuries.

The struggle to establish the scientific outlook was not an easy one. Scientific ideas initially were condemned because they were regarded as opposed to religious dogma. Voltaire and Rousseau had to fly for their lives to other countries. The Church persecuted the greatest scientists with blind cruelty, burning them at the stake (e.g. Bruno), torturing them (e.g. Galileo), and forbidding or destroying their works. As recently as in 1925 the teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution was forbidden in the state of Tennessee in U.S.A., and a teacher John Scopes was tried in the famous 'Monkey Trial' for teaching that theory. For centuries the Church in Europe played an extremely reactionary role and fought pitilessly against the scientific conception of the world, and against the democratic movements. In India, if we are to progress and rise as a world power, we have to spread the scientific outlook to every nook and corner in our country, and destroy superstitions, e.g. the belief in astrology and palmistry, and the feudal ideas of casteism and communalism.

Science is that knowledge by which we can understand nature (and human society) and use this knowledge for our benefit. For doing so, the scientists rely on reason, observation and experiment. This obviously cannot be done on the dictates of anyone (though the government can certainly create the atmosphere where these can flourish). Science and democratic values go hand in hand.

In science, there is no final word, unlike in religion. Science questions everything and does not take anything for granted. Obviously, this approach is not permitted in an undemocratic society, e.g. feudal society (which is governed by religion) or fascist society (in which there is a dictator). Thus, Hitler, with his Nazi racial philosophy, caused an enormous setback to science in Germany by persecuting Jewish scientists and banning their works (e.g. Einstein).

Indeed, in India, after the Constitution was adopted in 1950, there was an atmosphere of liberal freedom in view of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution e.g. the right to free speech (Article 19), liberty (Article 21), equality (Articles 14 to 17), religious freedom (Article 25), etc. This helped growth of science and technology in our country, because it created an atmosphere of freedom where people including the scientists, could freely discuss and dissent. If we compare our country with the neighbouring countries, there were no such freedoms in those countries and hence those countries lagged far behind in economic growth.

Apart from the above, the advanced sections of society who want to take the country forward, and have the knowledge to do so, must have a lot of freedom to discuss, debate and criticize each other. They are the pioneers and are often entering into a new field, much of which is unknown. Hence, they must have freedom to think, discuss and criticize.

As pointed out by John Stuart Mill in his celebrated essay 'On Liberty', all progress, advancement of knowledge and progressive change and improvement of old ways of thinking, and the consequent old behaviour-patterns, habits, customs and traditions can come about only from free individual dissents and dissentions, innovations, etc. which are at first usually resisted by inert or conservative people (who are usually the vast majority), and by a free competition between the old and new ideas. As pointed out by Mill, in any society ordinarily the majority shares old thoughts and traditions, and there is a strong tendency to insist on conformity and collective unity or solidarity, to repress dissents and innovations, and to tolerate only what the majority agree with. This inevitably works to prevent any progress and to thwart the creative impulses of the more creative and original minds. Extensive freedom to dissent and innovate, in all spheres of life, activity, culture and thought in all directions, including expressing ideas initially thought strange and often disliked by the conservative tradition-bound majority are indispensable for progress. The intellectually advanced and creative individuals are often in the minority, and are regarded as non-conforming eccentrics and deviants, and there is often a tendency to suppress them. This is why liberal democracy, i.e. majority rule but qualified and limited by firm protection of minorities, and individual rights and liberties, even as against the governing majority, is essential for progress. The majority often consists of mediocre persons who wish to continue in the old ways of thinking and practices. Hence the liberties and rights have to be guaranteed to the often powerless tiny minorities and lone individuals so that scientific progress can take place.

As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes of the U.S. Supreme Court in his dissenting judgment in Abrams vs. United States, (1919) observed : "...The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market..."

The importance of the judiciary in India in this connection must also be highlighted in this country. In this connection reference may be made to two decisions of the Supreme Court delivered by me viz., Govt of A.P. and others vs. P. Laxmi Devi [2008 (4) SCC 720, JT 2008 (2) 639 and Deepak Bajaj vs. State of Maharashtra and others [JT 2008 (11) SC 609]. In these cases, I emphasized the importance of liberty for progress, and have observed that the judiciary must act as guardians of the liberties of the people, protecting them against executive, or even legislative arbitrariness or despotism. I have also in my judgments spoken out against honour killing, fake encounters, dowry deaths, etc. India needs democracy and scientific knowledge, and that means patiently spreading scientific ideas amongst the vast masses, raising their cultural level and involving them actively in the task of nation building.

To my mind, harsh and draconian laws will curb liberty, and that will not only violate the right to liberty granted by Article 21 of the Constitution, but will also lead to great evils e.g. increase in corruption in the police and other law enforcing agencies, which will have much more opportunities to extort money from the citizens, apart from impeding scientific and economic growth, which is vital for our country.

I have gone into some detail on this subject because I wished to clarify that I am a strong votary for liberty and have been misunderstood. However, liberty cannot be equated with licence to do anything one wishes. Should one be given the liberty to spread superstitions, to fan caste/or communal hatred, or put over emphasis on film stars, pop music, fashion parades and cricket in a poor country like ours? I think not. All freedoms are coupled with responsibilities, and no freedom is absolute. It is for this reason that I believe that while ordinarily issues relating to the media should be resolved by the democratic method of discussion and dialogue, in rare and exceptional cases (which may not be more than 5 per cent) harsh measures may be required, but that too not by the government but by any independent statutory authority e.g. the Lokpal.


India abruptly puts off border talks with China

India abruptly puts off border talks with China
A file photo of Manmohan Singh with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao. For the first time in these years, India has taken the unusual step of postponing border talks with China.
NEW DELHI: India took the unusual step of postponing boundary talks with China scheduled for next week. Though no reasons were given, sources hinted the decision was taken at the highest levels of the government. This is the first time in all these years that the boundary talks have been postponed.

In a cryptic statement, MEA spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said, "We are looking forward to the 15th round of Special Representative talks in the near future and the two sides remain in touch to find convenient dates for the meeting." China's envoy Dai Bingguo was scheduled to be in India for the 15th round of special representatives' talks with Shivshankar Menon, national security adviser, starting November 28. While some sources said it was a scheduling problem, the fact that India called off the talks just two days before the dialogue indicated the issue was more serious.

The last-minute postponement raised eyebrows here. The SRs were scheduled to discuss and set in place a mechanism to maintain peace and tranquility on the border pending a settlement. During the recent meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, the boundary issue had come up for discussion, where the two leaders were reportedly looking forward to establish the new initiative.

However, Indian government sources had indicated that China's position on Jammu & Kashmir was a point of growing concern for New Delhi. The dissonance between the two sides happened after the East Asia Summit in Bali. Sources said the Chinese side had raised some demands that India found unacceptable. But both sides were keeping mum on the issue.

In Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson too was vague. Responding to a journalist's question on the upcoming border talks, he said, "Currently, the two sides are still in touch on the specific arrangements including the date of the meeting and I do not have information at this stage."

The SRs are working on developing a framework for the settlement of the boundary dispute. It will be on the basis of this framework that the actual border contours will be drawn.

Navy gets ready to add more muscle

NEW DELHI: India is all set to formally launch the hunt for over 75 heavy-duty "stealthy'' naval helicopters with potent anti-submarine and anti-warship warfare capabilities, as also customized for amphibious assaults and commando operations against conventional, terror, piracy and other threats.

The Defence Acquisitions Council, chaired by defence minister A K Antony, on Friday discussed the mega naval multi-role helicopter (NMRH) project, which is likely to cost well over $2 billion.

"The global tender for NMRH will be issued soon. The project is likely to get even bigger at a later stage, with more such helicopters being ordered after the first 75. An initial lot will be obtained off-the-shelf from abroad, while the rest will be manufactured in India with the foreign collaborator's help,'' an MoD source said.

The NMRH acquisition will be in addition to the ongoing Rs 2,000 crore procurement of 16 multi-role helicopters, wherein the field trial evaluation report of European NH-90 and American Sikorsky-70B is now being examined by MoD to select the final winner.

Navy is also going in for new carrier-borne fighter jets, maritime patrol aircraft and drones, which together will cost around Rs 85,000 crore. These include 45 Russian MiG-29Ks for $2 billion and 12 American P-8I long-range reconnaissance aircraft for over $3 billion.

With China looming large on the radar screen, India wants to build a powerful three-dimensional Navy to protect its geostrategic interests stretching from Hormuz Strait to Malacca Strait. As part of the over Rs 300,000 crore long-term naval plans, 48 warships are already on order, as first reported by TOI.

"The NMRH, weighing 9-12.5 tonne each, will operate from the flight decks of frigates, destroyers and aircraft carriers. Five global aviation majors indicated their interest to our initial queries,'' said a source.

The new helicopters, with an operational life of over 30 years, will replace the older Sea King helicopters and meet requirements of the expanding Navy. Their "primary roles'' will include anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, special and commando operations, and amphibious assault and troop carriage.

The "secondary roles'', in turn, will include electronic intelligence and anti-piracy, search and rescue, casualty evacuation and external cargo carrying. Navy wants the helicopters to be equipped with advanced avionics and weapons suites - including state-of-the-art-radars, light-weight torpedoes, depth charges, 70mm rockets and 20mm guns -- to "detect, identify, classify and destroy'' aerial, surface and sub-surface threats.

Incidentally, the Indian armed forces are planning the induction of over 900 helicopters over the next 15 years. They include 384 light-utility and observation, 139 medium-lift, 114 light combat, 22 heavy-duty attack, 15 heavy-lift, 12 VVIP, five maritime early-warning and, of course, 186 Dhruv advanced light helicopters.

Govt dumps plan to limit cheap LPG cylinders

NEW DELHI: The oil ministry has decided to shelve plans to cap the number of subsidised cooking gas cylinders for each household at four, a move that would have pushed up the annual kitchen bill by at least Rs 1,100-Rs 1,300 at current market rates - assuming a consumption pattern of 8-9 refills a year.

State-run gas suppliers sell a refill for approximately Rs 400 in Delhi. This is Rs 260 short of the current market price and is partly subsidised by the government and its oil producers. According to the proposal, consumers would have had to pay market price -- which rises with crude or the rupee-dollar exchange rate just like petrol -- for extra cylinders.

As first reported by TOI on July 9, the ministry had drawn up the proposal with a view to pruning the subsidy burden and ensuring government dole reached only the deserving. It was estimated that the cap on cheaper cylinders would have saved at least Rs 12,000 crore, or the size of mop-up expected from the deferred follow-on public offer in flagship explorer ONGC.

Official sources said the plan had been shelved for now. The decision indicates the government's aversion to opening a new front over fuel pricing reforms, given that it is hemmed in by criticism from within the ruling coalition and the opposition alike on the issue of foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

It is also an indicator to the government's strategy of not antagonising alliance partner Mamata Banerjee further when it needs her support on the issue of FDI in retail, being touted as a key to cranking up the economy.

The West Bengal chief minister had threatened to pull out of the UPA alliance when state-run oil marketers on November 3 raised the price of petrol, even though the government does not control the fuel. While the government stuck to its guns, it had to promise that fuel prices would henceforth be left untouched.

The government's desire to avoid a political showdown over fuels was also evident from finance minister Pranab Mukherjee seeking Parliament's approval to pay Rs 30,000 crore in fuel subsidy for the first half of the fiscal to state-run oil marketers.

He placed supplementary demands, the second this year, for grants of Rs 56,848 crore, more than half of which was for compensating oil marketers for selling diesel, cooking gas and kerosene at artificially low prices set by the government.

The three state-marketers lost Rs 64,900 crore in the April-September period. The government will make up less than half of this through cash subsidy after Parliament approves the supplementary demands for grants. Oil producers have already paid Rs 21,633 crore to make up for one-third of the fuel marketing revenue loss. The remaining Rs 13,267 crore would have to be absorbed by the three retailers.

The ministry had proposed to limit the number of subsidized cylinders for even BPL (below poverty line) families at four cylinders a year. But the government would have given them a one-time assistance of Rs 1,400 for getting a connection.

Anyone who owned a car, two-wheeler and house or figured in the income tax list would have had to pay full price for a refill. The subsidy to BPL cardholders would have been delivered through the unique identification number, Aadhar, as it is commonly known.

The plan was being rationalised on the ground that the present system did not differentiate between the needy and those who could afford to pay market price. It said even billionaires got their fuel at subsidized rates in the present system.

The ministry reckoned four cylinders would be enough to take care of the cooking needs of a BPL family. The ministry's view was based on studies which indicated that most of the kerosene consumed by BPL families was used for lighting purposes and wood or cow dung cakes remained the choice of fuel for cooking.

The Centre at present supplies 9-10 million tonnes of subsidized kerosene a year for selling to poor through ration shops controlled by state governments. Several government and independent studies have said nearly 40% of the fuel is diverted for adulteration of motor fuels, giving rise to a black market worth over Rs 16,000 crore at today's market price.

PIL on Rajiv Gandhi’s alleged Swiss account frivolous and slanderous: SC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday said it was "frivolous and slanderous" on a PIL petitioner's part to cite a 20-year-old report in a little known foreign magazine to allege that 2.5 million francs were lying in a Swiss bank account, allegedly in the name of former PM Rajiv Gandhi.

Petitioner and advocate M L Sharma narrated how he made personal efforts in Switzerland, Germany and London but failed to get any information from the authorities there and said as Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was the legal heir of the deceased, she alone would know of the account details. He sought a direction to the Centre to take steps to bring the amount lying in the foreign bank to India.

A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and S S Nijjar heaped scorn on the petition and said the assertions were vague and baseless. Attorney general G E Vahanvati pitched in to point out that the petitioner was alleging it on the basis of an unauthenticated 1991 media report.

Sharma had annexed a scanned copy of the report published in 1991 in a Swiss magazine 'SI 46/1991 - Fluchtgelder - Seiten 40/41', which detailed the amount allegedly lying in the name of world leaders, including Rajiv.

When he drew the court's attention to the magazine report, the bench said, "Tomorrow anyone can publish a magazine and publish a photograph with baseless insinuation. Should that become a basis for a PIL?" It dismissed the petition saying it lacked in factual basis and contained vague assertions.

Rahul Gandhi says land bill will be passed despite opposition conspiracy

NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi said the opposition conspiracy to stall land acquisition amendment bill would not succeed and the Centre would promulgate the law, setting a stiff target for the government which has all but given up on the issue in the winter session of Parliament.

The Congress heir-apparent, on his tour of Balrampur and Siddharthnagar, promised action on the land bill fashioned to secure better compensation for farmers whose land is acquired. He had earlier told the Phulpur rally which launched the party campaign that Centre would bring the legislation in the winter session while accusing "some political parties" of working behind the curtains to block it.

The promise has triggered urgency and helplessness among government managers who feel it is unlikely in the ongoing session despite the bill's strategic importance for Congress in UP polls.

Rahul waded into acquisition-related unrest in the state to position himself as pro-farmer and promised early action on the legislation pending for over five years.

The repeated word to voters has raised hopes among farmers and land owners who are at the whims of state governments on land acquisition. The bill aims to cut government's discretion in acquiring land by narrowing the ambit of "public purpose".

According to sources, the standing committee on rural development headed by BJP MP Sumitra Mahajan will hold many discussions to clear the complicated legislation. A minister said government was nudging the committee members for early clearance but it appeared difficult. Compounding the issue is the indifference of key Congress ministers who feel the bill would sound the death knell for industrialization.

A failure to deliver on land bill ahead of polls could provide a handle to opposition to slam Congress. For BSP, which has been at the receiving end of farmers' protest as well as of Congress campaign, it may prove a godsend to get back at the rival. On the other hand, SP would relish the opportunity to slam both BSP and Congress. It would be difficult for the government to push through the bill in the budget session close to polls.

The possibility has drawn Congress leaders to the strategy behind Rahul accusing invisible rival hand at blocking the bill. With the lead campaigner having championed its cause, even persuading reluctant allies like Trinamool to come around, a success on this front could win Congress crucial support base at the cost of rivals. It makes the charge of "opposition sabotage" plausible.