Arjun Singh takes clubhouse lead on rain-marred opening day

4 02 2015

Panchkula, Haryana, February 3, 2015: Delhi’s Arjun Singh took the clubhouse lead on the rain-marred opening day of the PGTI Players Championship presented by Panchkula Golf Club. Arjun was the only one to break par on Tuesday as he shot a one-under-68.  The seven players tied for second at even-par-69 were the Panchkula-based duo of brothers Ranjit Singh and Randhir Singh Ghotra, Noida-based professionals Amardip Sinh Malik and Rahul Bajaj, Delhi’s Dinesh Kumar and Naman Dawar and Gurgaon-based Arshdeep Tiwana.


There was a two-hour forty-five minute rain-delay on the opening day and play began at 10 am local time. As a result of the delayed start, only 60 out of 120 players could complete round one on Tuesday. The remaining 60 players will complete their first round on Wednesday morning. The second round of the season-opener will commence on Wednesday after the completion of round one.


The overnight rain caused the tees to be pushed forward on the par-4 sixth and par-5 12th holes. Both these holes were played as par-3s in round one. The par for the course was thus reduced from 72 to 69 for the first two rounds.


Arjun Singh, a former winner on the PGTI, dropped a shot early on in his round as he missed an up and down from the bunker on the fourth. The seasoned Arjun, however, came back well with a two-under on the back-nine. The professional from the Delhi Golf Club made a good chip-putt for birdie on the 11th and landed it within six inches from a distance of 40 yards to set up birdie on the 16th.


Arjun said, “I think it’s a great start considering how tough the conditions were today. In windy conditions one needs to take advantage of the holes where the wind is assisting you. I managed to do that today and took one shot at a time. I also focused well on the holes where I was playing into the wind. Some of those holes were playing really long but I drove well and kept the ball on the fairways.”


He added, “I didn’t have a good season last year as I returned to competitive golf after a three-year gap. I didn’t play for three years due to my shoulder surgery and a lack of motivation to get back to the game. So the year 2014 was almost like a rookie season for me. But today’s round has provided me a good start to the season.”


As the strong winds took their toll on the field, brothers Ranjit Singh and Randhir Singh Ghotra shot identical scores of 69 at their home course to lie joint second. While Ranjit made three birdies and three bogeys, his younger brother Randhir shot three birdies, a bogey and a double-bogey on day one. Randhir came close to making a hole-in-one on the sixth as his tee shot stopped inches from the flag.


Dinesh Kumar, who also fired a 69, had the distinction of bagging back-to-back eagles on his first two holes of the tournament, both par-4s. Dinesh holed his second shot from 145 yards on the 10th and followed that up with a chip-in from 15 feet on the 11th. He had two more birdies and six bogeys in his round.


The other four players in tied second were Naman Dawar, who also had an eagle on day one, Amardip Sinh Malik, Arshdeep Tiwana and Rahul Bajaj.


Day 1 leaderboard (only 60 players out of 120 completed round 1):

68: Arjun Singh

69: Amardip Sinh Malik, Arshdeep Tiwana, Dinesh Kumar, Randhir Singh Ghotra, Ranjit Singh, Naman Dawar, Rahul Bajaj

Release of Al-Jazeera journalist in Egypt ‘imminent’ – Canadian FM

4 02 2015

The release of Al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy from a prison in Egypt is “imminent,” AP quoted Canada’s foreign minister as saying. Fahmy, a dual Egyptian-Canadian citizen, has relinquished his Egyptian citizenship as prerequisite to his deportation. Foreign Minister John Baird spoke to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. on Monday, a day after Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste of Australia was released after more than a year in prison. No specific time frame for Fahmy’s release was given. Greste, Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohammed were arrested in December 2013 and later convicted over the coverage of the violent crackdown on Islamist protests.

Taiwanese plane crashes in river

4 02 2015

TransAsia’s French-made ATR 72 a Taiwanese passenger  flight crashed shallow Keelung River just a couple dozen meters (yards) from the shore near the city’s downtown Sungshan airport killing dozen people as per latest reports.

TransAsia Airways flight a  Taiwanese flight with 58 people aboard clipped a bridge shortly after takeoff and careened into a river Wednesday in the island’s capital of Tapei, killing at least two people, officials said.

Parts of the wrecked fuselage of the turboprop ATR 72 jutted out of the shallow Keelung River just a couple dozen meters (yards) from the shore near the city’s downtown Sungshan airport.Rescuers clustered around the plane in rubber boats.

Aviation authority director Lin Chi-ming told a news conference that two people were killed aboard the TransAsia Airways flight. The country’s Central News Agency later said three people had died, and that they were among passengers taken to a hospital. There was no immediate word given on the fate of the remaining people aboard.

CNA said the flight from Taipei to the outlying island of Kinmen lost contact with flight controllers at 10:55 a.m. and the fuselage landed in the Keelung River near the city’s downtown Sungshan airport.

It was the second of TransAsia’s French-made ATR 72 to crash in the past year. Last July, a flight crashed while attempting to land on the island of Penghu off Taiwan’s coast, killing 48 people and injuring another 10. Stormy weather and low visibility were suspected as factors in that crash. Media agencies

India’s nuclear power sector to be opened to US firms ‘within year’

4 02 2015

A “breakthrough understanding” to open India’s nuclear power sector to US companies could be finalized this year, Reuters said, citing Indian officials. The January 25 announcement by President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi followed six weeks of intensive talks. India wants to nearly treble its installed nuclear capacity, but significant work remains on the deal aimed at unlocking projects worth tens of billions of dollars. The agreement’s framework is based on India’s acceptance of the principle that plant operators should bear primary liability in the event of a nuclear disaster.

Greek defense minister to visit Moscow

4 02 2015

Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said Tuesday he had been invited to Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart, Sergey Shoigu, in the near future, Reuters reported. Kammenos is the leader of the right-wing junior coalition partner in Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ new government. The Greek minister had discussed strategic cooperation with the Russian ambassador and had received an invitation to Moscow. Kammenos had also met the US ambassador to Greece to discuss issues including training and procurement, saying that Greece would continue cooperation within NATO.

Condemn the politics of Fundamentalism and Hate!

4 02 2015


Condemn the politics of Fundamentalism and Hate!

Stop Suppression of Freedom of Speech and Expression!!

3rd February 2015, New Delhi: In the wake of the 2015, India is seeing an upsurge of hate and fundamentalism on one hand and outright suppression of the right to free speech and expression on the other, with vigilante groups and non-state actors imposing censorship through hooliganism and assertive fundamentalist voices, in the name of nationalism with the tacit support of the State.
This republic day, the advertisement by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (DAVP22201/13/0048/1415) portrays an outdated version of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution when the words Socialist and Secular were not inserted by the 42nd Amendment. Some of the fundamentalists have also openly endorsed this error on the part of the Ministry saying that India is not a secular country! On the same day, there was a so called public uproar regarding the issue of Vice President of the Country not saluting in the republic day ceremony when the flag was being hoisted. The public debate and the media attention forced the Vice President to issue an official statement stating that his actions were guided by proper protocol. The irony of situation is that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting have not yet issued any statement with a clarification, at least, or an apology, at best.


People of the country have also witnessed “the death of the ‘author’ Perumal Murugan” this year, when his book Mathorubhagan was opposed for allegedly portraying the Kailasanathar temple in Tiruchengode and women devotees in bad light and demands of his arrest were made. Not just the author was made to delete all controversial portions and submit written apologies, he was also forced to leave his home town and he has now decided to give up writing altogether.

In Kolkata, on the evening of 31st January, 2015, members of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, resorted to hooliganism and agitation against Bangladesh country and eventually forced the shutting down of the stall by the Department of Tourism of Bangladesh at the ongoing Kolkata International Book Fair. The issue was regarding the sale of a tourist map which showed parts of Kashmir within the boarders of Pakistan. While the map may be an issue to raise questions or even democratically agitate, the way the entire Book Fair was hijacked by this hooliganism was undemocratic. Hate mongering through repeated shouting of slogans such as ‘Bangladesh Murdabad’ was clearly an attempt to shame the very notion of democracy.

National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements strongly condemns the actions in all the events highlighted above and other events where the freedom of speech and expression, as envisaged by the Constitution of India, is being trampled through hooliganism and spreading of fundamentalism and hatred. We would like to bring the attention of the State authorities to these important matters and request them to take necessary actions so that the public space is not disturbed by the overtly hate mongering actions of the fundamentalist groups. We also call upon the citizenry to strongly condemn the actions of those in power who are trying to hijack and force public views and discourses and jeopardize the tolerant and understanding fabric of multi-cultural, geo-political land called India.



Medha Patkar – Narmada Bachao Andolan and the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); Prafulla Samantara

Xi Jinping Mon: China-India should push ahead cooperation on railways & industrial parks,

3 02 2015


China-India should push ahead cooperation on railways & industrial parks, said Xi Jinping Mon

Embedded image permalink

New Italian President Sergio Mattarella guarantee

3 02 2015

New Italian President Sergio Mattarella guaranteed the constitutional foundation and rule of law of his country’s legal system as he was sworn in at the lower chamber.

Mattarella, a former constitutional judge, in his inaugural address defined the role of head of state as a “referee” who has to make the law punctually applied.”The referee must be and will be impartial,” the 73-year-old president stressed.”And players must help him with their honesty,” he added.

Mattarella highlighted the difficult times Italians are facing because of the economic crisis, which caused rampant unemployment especially among young generations.

“The urgency of institutional and economic reforms derives from the duty to give effective answers to the country,” he said.

“Citizens are asking for transparency and coherence in (political) decisions,” Mattarella went on saying, calling on politics to be a “common good” for everyone.

Mattarella, who entered politics in the 1980s after his brother was killed by the Sicilian mafia, particularly stressed the need of “national unity” in combating the organized crime.

Right to education and work, technological advancement, safeguard of cultural heritage, justice rapid response, pluralism of mass media, right to health care and individual freedoms, fight against tax evasion and corruption were among the main topics cited in his inaugural address.

Mattarella also mentioned Italy’s full support to the international community in the fight against global menaces, including terrorism.

He said the European Union (EU) represents a “frontier of hope” and the “perspective of a true political union must be relaunched without hesitation.”

The swearing-in ceremony took place in front of the 1,009 lawmakers and regional representatives who elected Italy’s 12th head of state with 665 votes on Saturday.

Mattarella then saluted the military forces and laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Rome’s Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) monument.

He later went to the Quirinal Palace, the presidential residence, for his installation ceremony in the presence of Italian authorities.

Senate speaker Pietro Grasso, who had the temporary presidency after last month’s resignation of Giorgio Napolitano, formally transferred powers to Mattarella for his seven-year mandate.


ICJ rejects claims of genocide Serbia, Croatia

3 02 2015

THE HAGUE, Feb. 3 : It took  20 years after the end of the war in former Yugoslavia, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Tuesday dismissed the claims of genocide committed by both parties.

The ICJ, the highest United Nations court, ruled that indeed crimes have been committed during the war and these crimes had the characteristics of a genocide, but the evidence is lacking that the perpetrators also had a preconceived plan to exterminate a population.

The genocide, a deliberate attempt to destroy a group based on nationality, race, religion or ethnicity, was allegedly committed in the war in former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1995, but hard to prove.

Croatia was the first to file a case at the top UN court in 1999 against Serbia, which was still a part of Yugoslavia at that time.

The alleged Serbian “ethnic cleansing” against Croatian citizens was committed during the siege of the Croatian border town of Vukovar, which was ruined entirely by Yugoslav and Serb fighters in 1991. According to the claim, Croats and other non-Serbs were “displaced, killed, tortured, or illegally detained”.

Serbia responded in 2010 with its own claim over alleged genocide against Serb citizens during the Croatian Operation Storm. In August 1995, when the Croatian army hit down the revolt of the Serb minority in the country, hundreds of Serbs were reportedly killed and persecuted from their homes resulting in a migration wave out of more than 200,000 Croatian Serbs from Serbia.

The ICJ is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague. Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York.

RBI : Constant Repo: CUT SLR

3 02 2015

The Reserve Bank of India today kept the key rates unchanged. Thus the repo rate stands at 7.75 percent. This stance follows rate cut by RBI on 15th of last month to tackle disinflationary pressure.Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) has been slashed by 50 basis points to 21.5 per cent. The cash reserve ratio stands at 4 percent. The apex bank which issued its sixth bi-monthly monetary policy statement in Mumbai today, has estimated the Current Account Deficit (CAD) for 2014-15 at 1.3 percent of the GDP, a figure much lesser then the earlier projection.

The apex bank has fore-cast inflation to be around the target level of 6 per cent by January 2016. Growth outlook for the real GDP in 2015-16 has been retained to be 6.5 per cent. RBI Governor Raghu Rajan said that given that there have been no substantial new developments on the disinflationary process or on the fiscal outlook since 15 January, it was appropriate for the Reserve Bank to await them and maintain the current interest rate stance. Despite fiscal deficit touching 99 per cent by November, the Governor said he was confident that the government will not miss the budgeted 4.1 per cent target.

As regards the agricultural growth, the RBI Governor said that it is likely to pick in the fourth quarter with late improvement in the northeast monsoon and Rabi sowing. The RBI noted that there is improvement in business confidence as visible from pick up in new investment intentions, especially in transportation power and manufacturing. The first bi-monthly monetary policy statement for fiscal year 2015-16 is scheduled on 7th April, 2015.

Further to adjusting macro economics-:

Reserve Bank of India today said it has received 72 applications for small finance banks and 41 applications for payment banks. Top corporate houses such as Reliance Industries Limited, Aditya Birla Group, Airtel, Vodafone and Future Group have approached the RBI to seek licences to set up small finance banks. Speaking in Mumbai at the bi-monthly monetary policy review, RBI Governor Dr. Raghuram Rajan today said that the RBI has formed two external committees to evaluate the applications received to set up these banks.

Payment banks would be allowed payments and remittance services through various channels. However, such lenders cannot issue credit cards, or undertake lending activities. Small Finance Banks will mainly undertake basic banking activities like acceptance of deposits and lending to unserved and under-served sections. These sections will include small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries and unorganised sector entities.

Regarding Micro context,the text of Reserve Bank of India today warned that seasonal spurt in vegetable prices in March could partly reverse the benefits of low global oil prices reducing inflation and increasing disposable incomes. In it’s sixth monetary policy document, the apex bank said that the sharp reduction in oil prices as well as in inflation is likely to increase personal disposable incomes and improve domestic demand conditions in the year ahead.

Inflation, excluding food and fuel, declined for the second consecutive month in December. This was largely on account of the declining prices of transport and communication since August, reflecting the impact of plummeting global crude oil prices, and softer commodity prices more generally. However, RBI said that the seasonal increases in vegetable prices, which typically set in around March, have to be monitored carefully.

The Central Bank said that the upside risks to inflation stem from the unlikely possibility of significant fiscal slippage, uncertainty on the spatial and temporal distribution of the monsoon as also the low probability but highly influential risks of reversal of crude prices due to geo-political events.

Petrol price cut by Rs 2.42 per litre; Diesel by Rs 2.25 per litre

3 02 2015

Oil marketing companies have slashed petrol price price by Rs 2.42 paise per litre and diesel by Rs 2.25 paise per litre. The new rates will come into effect from midnight tonight.

‘The Social Transformation of Ornithology

3 02 2015

 Nehru Memorial Museum and Library

cordially invites you to a Seminar

at 3.00 pm on Thursday, 5th February, 2015

in the Seminar Room, First Floor, Library Building


The Social Transformation of Ornithology in

Sri Lanka from colonial times to the Present’


Prof. Arjun Guneratne,

Macalester College,

Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA.


This talk examines the shift in the techniques of ornithology from a field science based on collecting specimens, in which the chief tools were rifles, shotguns and other kinds of collecting equipment and modern birdwatching, which relies on fieldguides and optical equipment.  While this shift has been noted by many and generally attributed to the shift in sensibilities and the development of a conservationist ethic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that was less tolerant of broad-scale collecting of specimens, there has been no detailed study of the particular social and political forces that impacted this transformation in particular contexts.  The speaker examines this shift in ornithological techniques in its Sri Lankan context and relates it to the rise of a native Sri Lankan elite that took to birdwatching during the 20th century but which did not share the values and interests of the British expatriates who had established ornithology in Sri Lanka. Because ornithology is a science that, to a far greater extent than other sciences is dependent on the contributions of amateurs, the speaker argues that the cultural and social dispositions of the wider society in which it is embedded must shape the way it is practiced and account for its transformation.


Prof. Arjun Guneratne is Professor of Anthropology at Macalester College in the USA. He is interested in environmental issues and the history of biological science, and is currently writing a book on the social history of ornithology in Sri Lanka. His earlier research has been on issues of ethnicity and state formation in Nepal.


3 02 2015






AAP Office Geeta Colony , Krishna Nagar / 4th February 2015


The AAP KI SHAKTI mega-rally at Krishnagar on 4th February 2015 at 11 am is a celebration of the women of substance, the Aam Aurat – our candidates, leaders, volunteers and supporters, who are an integral part of the AAP movement.


The BJP is hoodwinking the public in presenting a woman leader as their CM candidate. This is an attempt to dupe the people of Delhi. They talk about “women safety” and schemes for the girl child, but in reality their cabinet ministers and chief ministers make comments saying “women should produce 4 children, not wear jeans, not carry mobiles. Some ministers even have cases of rape against them!


We would like to “expose” the true face of the BJP. It is unimaginable to think that the Prime Minister has never condemned such comments. Does that not amount to “silent approval “? You don’t need a 56 inch chest to provide opportunity & security to women. You need real leaders.


It is just not enough for the BJP to para-drop a woman CM candidate to prop-up their campaign when they have not shown any sustained committed to women empowerment.


In AAP women are “equal partners”.  We are bringing more and more women into active mainstream politics.  Every ward, assembly, district Committee across Delhi and India will have at least one “Convenor” as a woman through our Mission Vistaar effort.


Women’s safety is a major concern in Delhi – now unfortunately better known as the Rape capital of the world. On average, 40 cases of crimes against women are registered daily by Delhi police, including at least four cases of rape.


Through the Delhi Dialogue, AAP engaged with women across the city, to understand their fears and to table concrete and practical solutions to ensure women’s safety. These solutions are enshrined in our Manifesto. We will prioritise the implementation of all our commitments once we form Government.


But our vision for Women is broader than just security – we wish to ensure that every woman across Delhi is empowered to realize her potential, to fulfill her dreams and to become a woman of substance. AAP proposes Shakti , Suraksha and Samman is AAP’s promise to the Women of Delhi


AAP is backed by thousands of empowered women. Thus for us the word – ‘’top leadership’’ is clichéd. We don’t believe in hero worship or selective leadership.


Our movement in Delhi and across India is propelled by strong women and they are all HERE in Delhi and will be at Krishna Nagar on the 4th of February 2015 to celebrate the dawn of a new day for women of Delhi.


AAP has fielded empowered women of substance for the Delhi election including; Bandana Kumari from Shalimar Bagh, Rakhi Birla from Mangolpuri, Sarita Singh from Rohtash Nagar, Alka Lamba from Chandini Chowk, Pramila Tokas from R.K.Puram and Bhavana Gaur from Palam.


Our Delhi campaign is being supported by AAP Women leaders from across the country; to mention just a few:


Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya:  First woman Director General of Police in India and the second woman IPS officer in the country. She fights for women’s rights across the country.  She was the AAP lok sabha candidate from Dehradun.


Anjali Damania:  who took on the might of Nitin Gadkari, Ajit Pawar & Chhagan Bhubal as an anti corruption crusader and withstood severe intimidation to pursue her fight for transparency. She was the AAP lok sabha candidate against Gadkari from Nagpur.


Meera Sanyal: Corporate leader and Banker who left a career as India’s most promising banker and CEO of RBS, entrepreneur and mentor for thousands of women. She was the AAP lok sabha candidate from South Mumbai.


Gul Panang, model, actress and activist and face to hundreds of films and serials. Mentor and role model to millions of young women. She was the AAP lok sabha candidate from Chandigarh.


Shefali Misra a civil servant with the United Nations left her career to take on the might of the Samajwadi party in UP. She leads campaigns against women’s atrocities and recently challenged anomalies in the Badaun twin murders. She was the AAP lok sabha candidate from Sitapur.


Lubna Sarwath a leading well-being economist, eminent academician and thought leader of Muslim women. She was the AAP lok sabha candidate from Hyderabad.


Saraswati Namba an educationalist cum social worker and passionate defender of farm and tribal rights. She was the AAP lok sabha candidate from Bolangir.


We are also proud to have the support of women of substance such as Entrepreneur Preeti Sharma Menon who runs a women’s taxi service, Doctors Dr Mala Sibal leading fetal medicine specialist and gynecologist from Bangalore, Prathima Radhakrishan India’s first fetal surgeon, teacher and eminent doctor from Bangalore. Archana Agnihotri, software engineer specializing in financial services industry, Krishna Guha entrepreneur and Industrist from Sambhalpur and Madhur Panjwani corporate lawyer from Delhi.


These are just a few of thousands of AAP’s women of substance – the AAM AURAT who hold up the sky. We celebrate AAP Shakti and the women and girls of Delhi at the mega-rally on the 4th of February at 11 am at Krishna Nagar.  JAI HIND !!

(Pls find attached Hindi Press Release also)


AAP Media Cell

“Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a very special film” : Kareena Kapoor Khan !

3 02 2015

Bollywood diva, Kareena Kapoor Khan’s fans are in for a treat as the actress who will next be seen in Kabir Khan’;s Bajrangi Bhaijaan alongside Salman Khan gears up for her career’s most sensitive performance.Bollywood Sources reveal that not only does Kareena have an outstanding role in the film, but was also touched by the script when she was approached for the movie.

Kareena who has made no qualms in admitting that she is keen on doing selective films that interest her and fully exploit her versatility as an actress , immediately gave her nod to Bajrangi Bhaijaan ,given the warm equation she shares with co-star Salman Khan and the fact that she loved the script and her role in the film.
Eloquently Kareena said , ” Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a very special film and a beautiful human story “.

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