Thursday, January 27, 2011

Nepalese President on 10-day visit to India

New Delhi, Jan 27 (PTI) Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav will arrive in Kolkata today on a 10-day private-cum- official visit to India to strengthen bilateral ties.During his visit, which comes a week after the trip of Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao's to that country, the Nepalese President will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and discuss a host of issues of mutual concern."The visit will provide an opportunity to exchange views and hold discussions on issues of mutual interest and concern in keeping with the tradition of regular high-level exchange of visits between the two countries," an External Affairs Ministry statement said here.Yadav is scheduled to be the chief guest at the 177th anniversary of Kolkata Medical University. He had obtained his MBBS degree from there.After Kolkata, he is due to offer prayers at the famous Lord Balaji Temple in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh.

Supreme Court asks Govt. to disclose real faces behind black money

New Delhi, Jan 27 (ANI): Talking tough on the black money issue, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Government of India what action it had taken against individuals and firms having foreign accounts. The apex court also issued notice to the Central Government, Home Ministry, Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and demanded the Government to file an additional affidavit over the issue. Hearing a plea against black money being stashed away in foreign banks, the apex court expressing dissatisfaction demanded answers from the Government. "What is that you have done to know once you came to know about the source of money... is it from the arms dealing, drug peddling... these are very serious issues," the apex court asked. "We are not talking about unknown names, these names are known to you now, so what have you done with that, we want to know what action is being taken... these people are in the country and amenable to our law. We want to know what action is being taken," the court added. The Supreme Court had earlier on January 19 pulled up the government for its handling of black money planted by industrialists and others in foreign bank accounts. "It is a pure and simple theft of the national money. We are talking about mind-boggling crime. We are not on the niceties of various treaties," an apex-court bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar had said. (ANI)

Govt won't read your office mail on BlackBerry


New Delhi: BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) on Thursday said providing solution to access its enterprise mail service is "not possible" and asserted that the issue was not unique to them and has to be dealt at an industry level.
"There is no possibility of us providing any kind of a solution. There is no solution, there are no keys to be handed... It's not possible to do so because the keys of the service are in possession of the corporate enterprises," RIM
Vice-President (Industry, Government and University Relations) Robert E Crow told reporters here.
Indian security agencies have been demanding access to all BlackBerry services as part of efforts to fight militancy and security threats over the internet and through telephone communications.
"Certainly my perception is that there is a broader recognition and appreciation that this is not an issue unique to BlackBerry. BlackBerry represents a very small fraction of the total population of VPN (virtual private networks) in India. There may be more than a million VPNs in India with
high security architecture," he said.
RIM encrypts emails as they travel between a BlackBerry device and its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).
The Canadian firm has maintained that since RIM does not have any "master key", and therefore cannot provide access to information encrypted through BES.
Earlier this week, RIM had said that it has delivered the technology to monitor contents on its messenger service (BBM) and had asked the government to issue a directive to the operators to connect to its new automated service.
This new service, to be made available before January 31, will automatically render lawfully intercepted BlackBerry Messenger messages in a format readable by Indian agencies.
"We are confident that it (the new service) meets the requirements," Crow said.
BlackBerry has over a million subscribers in India, which is one of the fastest growing markets globally in terms of new subscriber additions.
Crow, who has been leading RIM's discussions with the Indian government, said he will meet officials again over the course of his current visit.
"Apart from the current issue, we would also talk about supporting the developer community in India and Canada, apart from deployment of a new standard -- evolved EDGE," Crow said.
Evolved EDGE is an extension of the existing GSM mobile telephony standard, which theoretically offers speeds of up to one Mbps with small upgrades to existing 2G infrastructure.
"Operators can use evolved EDGE to offer broadband speeds of upto 1 Mbps with slight tweaking of their existing 2G infrastructure. Telcos globally and in India are trialing this new standard," Crow but declined to comment on the Indian operators testing the new technology.

Arunachal in China on ministry site


Google maps showing Arunachal Pradesh in China were used in an environment impact assessment (EIA) report an Indian PSU produced for a mega private sector dam. The report - including the map - was hosted on the official website of the Union environment ministry and stayed there for more than a month until an NGO in Arunachal filed a police complaint on December 5. The ministry has not approved the project yet.
The blunder, allegedly in a hurry to clear a contentious 2,700-megawatt dam awarded to Jaypee Arunachal Power Limited (JAPL), surfaced around the time New Delhi and Beijing were at odds over Beijing issuing stapled visas to J&K residents and claiming Arunachal as its territory.
JAPL, a subsidiary of the Jaypee Group, last year entrusted the downstream impact assessment study for its Lower Siang Hydro Electric Project to Water and Power Consultant Services (Wapcos), a PSU under the Union water resources ministry.
The Wapcos report was put on the website to elicit public response, as is the practice.
"The environment ministry subsequently trashed the EIA, but New Delhi has to treat the Google map issue as more than a fiasco. It is treason of the highest order, besides being an insult to the people of our state," said Vijay Taram, spokesperson for the NGO Forum for Siang Dialogue (FSD) that filed the police complaint.
An environment ministry official, who did not want to be named, said such errors by consultants have become frequent and corrective measures are being taken.
"We have asked consultants to take accreditation from a government body," the official said.
The FSD has shot off letters to the President, Prime Minister and relevant Union ministries apart from local authorities seeking punitive action against those responsible.
Locals have also sought scrapping of the dam, which is expected to displace at least 5,000 tribals.
"We are looking into the pros and cons of the issue," said East Siang deputy commissioner Onit Panyang