Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Talks with Gorkhaland leaders on June 6: Mamata

Kolkata, May 31 (ANI): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said a meeting of political leaders concerned with Darjeeling Hills would be held on June 6 to resolve the demand for creation of separate hill state.

"A meeting will be held on June 6 between the government officials and concerned political leaders. Once that meeting is held, we will decide when the political process could be started," said Mamata Banerjee.

Meanwhile, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) President Bimal Gurung said that the decision taken in favour of Gorkha people augurs well for the Darjeeling Hills.

"This is a good news for all of us. The hard work, which we have done, has been recognised finally. We have shared our feelings with madam (Mamata Banerjee). So the decision will be taken only after this official meeting, which is going to take place on June 6," said Gurung.
"I hope everything will go well in near future. We will wait for the decision," he added.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is estimated to be around a million. Reportedly, the demand for Gorkhaland had been made prior to the India''s independence in 1947.

A renewed demand for a separate Gorkhaland region, which would include Darjeeling and some contiguous areas of Jalpaiguri District, has created fresh turmoil over the past few months.

At the fifth round of tripartite talks in New Delhi, the GJM had agreed to the constitution of an interim council by 2011 prior to the creation of a separate state.

The Gorkha population in West Bengal is estimated to be around a million. (ANI)

No recognition to pvt schools where govt schools exist

Jammu, May 31 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir government will not give recognition to any private educational institution in areas where government schools are already functioning.

"The state government will strictly adhere to the policy of not recognising any private educational institution in areas where government schools are already functioning in the state," Education Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed said here today.

He was addressing a meeting of education department officers to discuss the targets set for the current financial year.

Sayeed said the literacy rate in the Jammu region has increased from 55.5 per cent in 2001 to 68.74 in 2011 with female literacy registering 15 per cent increase - from 43 per cent to 58.1 per cent.

Similarly, the male literacy rate has increased from 66.6 per cent to 78

362 cadets pass out of National Defence Academy in Pune

Khadakvasala (Pune, Maharashtra), May 31 (ANI): The Passing Out Parade (POP) of the 120th course of the National Defence Academy (NDA) took place at Khadakvasla, on the outskirts of Pune, on Tuesday.

Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chief of Naval Staff, took the salute and reviewed the parade that was watched the parents and guardians of the cadets as well as top brass of the defence units based in and around Pune and other civil dignitaries.

A total of 362 cadets, including 21 from friendly foreign countries, passed out in the 120th course.

A breathtaking fly past by the Jaguar and Sukhoi-30 aircraft of Indian Air Force lent added thrill and zest to the POP. Helicopters of the Saras aerobatic squadron of the Indian Air Force were also on show.

The NDA trains teenaged youngsters who have passed the Higher Secondary examination, who in fact are chosen after a strenuous test of both the brawn and brain.

These cadets undergo three-years training at NDA and during the final phase, they opt for the particular wing of the defence services - Army, Navy or Air Force for further training at the respective academies where they are attested as commissioned officers.

Nikhil Prabhune, a topper of 120th course was awarded the President''s gold medal and in an informal chat with the mediapersons, he related candidly about his aspirations to become an aviator in the Indian Navy.

He was all praise for the syllabus prescribed for the ab-initio trainee cadets that moulds them from raw civilian youngsters into tough individuals in body and spirit, a must for every combatant personnel of the defence forces.

"We are also trained to be officers in the Indian Navy. Extensive training in sports, co-curricular activities, adventure sports activities and public speaking is also imparted to us at the academy," said Cadet Nikhil Jayant Prabhune, winner of the President''s gold medal.

He also credited all this to his earlier alma mater, the Rashtriya Indian Military College (RIMC), a public school in Dehradun in India''s northern state of Uttarakhand, reckoned to be the perfect grooming institution for the NDA aspirants.

Cadets Shashank Singh and Kishore Kunal were presented the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Among the 21 cadets from foreign countries, one was from Bhutan, three were from Kazakhstan, four each were from Afghanistan and Maldives and nine were from Tajikistan.

The NDA has a proud record of a large number of officers and also has the distinction of training gentlemen cadets from many friendly foreign countries.

After West Point in the USA, the NDA is the second largest military training complex in the world. (ANI)

Congress distances itself from Maran over telecom scam

New Delhi, May 31 (ANI): Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari on Tuesday sought to distance the party from Union Textile Minister Dayanidhi Maran''s alleged involvement in the multi-billion dollar 2G spectrum scam.

Refusing to respond to the tehelka magazine''s charge that in 2006, Maran had distributed 2G spectrum licenses to operators in a selective manner as telecom minister, Tiwari said that it was Maran''s responsibility to provide an explanation.

"If there are certain questions which have been asked of the textiles minister, Mr Dayanidhi Maran, obviously he would be in the best position to explain them. However, I think it would be appropriate to point out, that there is a joint parliamentary committee, which has been constituted specifically to go into issues connected to the telecom sector from 1998 to 2009," said Tiwari.

Maran has filed a suit against Tehelka in which he says that the magazine''s report is fictitious and ablatant lie that can only be settled in court.

Tehelka has said that it is yet to receive Maran''s legal notice, and charged the minister with launching a vindictive campaign against the magazine.

The telecom corruption scandal, which may have cost the Indian exchequer around 39.57 billion dollars in potential revenue, is the biggest of the several graft cases to emerge in the second term of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

According to probe officials, millions of dollars were paid in bribes to ensure favors for certain firms in 2007/08, when India issued 122 new licenses to offer mobile phone services in the world''s fastest growing telecoms market.

Meanwhile, Tiwari also asserted that the Congress did not wish to speculate on the anti-corruption agitation call given by India''s Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev.

"The Congress has nothing to say on Baba Ramdev," said Tiwari.

Ramdev would go on a fast against corruption from June 04 in New Delhi despite the Centre''s efforts to pacify him over his demand for action on black money.

Demanding the declaration of black money as national treasure, Ramdev has insisted on confirmation of United Nations Convention Against Corruption treaty in the Parliament, which would pave the way to bring back the Rs 400 crore or 4 billion of black money to India.

Ramdev claims that more than 10 million supporters will participate in the movement across the country. (ANI)


A wooden bridge in dilapidated condition finally proved to be sole reason for the death of nearly 30 people. A bus carrying a marriage party fell off the bridge near Hajo in Kamrup district of Assam, leading to the tragedy. The death of the groom has left the bride dumb founded with her dream of a conjugal life in a shambles. A dilapidated wooden bridge linking Hajo with Nalbari has sounded the death knell for marriage party that was traveling in a ill-fated bus to the bride’s residence on Monday night. The tragedy has confirmed the worst fears of the local people who have for long been demanding replacement of the old wooden bridge with a RCC one. The thirty odd passengers who died in the accident also includes the groom. The locals have raised a finger at the PWD for turning a blind eye on the dilapidated wooden bridge along the busy Hajo-Nalbari road. For long years the people have been demanding that an RCC bridge be constructed and also the Hajo Nalbari road be widened. However, the highups in the PWD continued to turn a deaf ear to all the prayers made by the locals, who allege that the road has become a gold mine for a section of PWD officials and contractors. The writing was loud and clear on the wall for long that a tragedy of this nature might occur. Unfortunately, the PWD did not bother.Here are rows of dead bodies of innocent people who lost their lives in the tragic mishap. Will the PWD own the responsibility for their death? Can the PWD bring back to life the groom who dreamt of a colourful married life? Will the government make any one answerable for the tragic event?

PM appeals to Ramdev to call off his fast

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has appealed to yoga guru Baba Ramdev to call off his proposed indefinite fast against corruption, which will start on Saturday.
"We hope Baba Ramdev will not take recourse to agitation. We will make another effort to persuade him not to undertake it," Singh said.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has also been trying to convince Ramdev to abandon the fast, briefing him on steps being taken to recover black money stashed abroad.

The yoga guru, meanwhile, has said that he wants the Prime Minister and higher judiciary to be kept out of the Lokpal purview, taking a line contradictory to Anna Hazare's group
"All people holding constitutional posts should come under the Lokpal. The inclusion of the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India is a tricky question. If questions are raised on the integrity of a person sitting at the head of a democracy, then how will democracy survive. And if you doubt the head of the judicial system, then how can you assume that the Lokayukta will be more honest," Ramdev said.