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Archive | December, 2013

India, Pakistan DGMOs decide to maintain LoC ceasefire

Posted on 24 December 2013 by admin

Wagah (Pak), Dec 24 (UNI) India and Pakistan today decided to strengthen existing mechanisms to maintain the truce along the LoC, months after bilateral ties nosedived over the killing of five Indian soldiers and flare-ups between the two sides on the ceasefire line.

The agreement came at a meeting of the Directors General of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two sides, who held face-to-face talks for the first time in 14 years at the Wagah border.

“We had a cordial, constructive and fruitful meeting. We discussed the ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) and the existing mechanisms,” DGMO Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia said after the two-hour-long talks with his Pakistani counterpart Maj Gen Aamer Riaz.

“We both decided to ensure ceasefire and strengthen the existing mechanisms.”

The meeting was an outcome of talks between Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif in New York in September at the height of tensions triggered by the LoC flare-ups.

The premiers had decided the DGMOs should hold talks to reduce tensions but the meeting could not be scheduled till now, over which Singh had even expressed disappointment with Sharif.

Besides the DGMOs, a brigadier and three lieutenant colonels from both sides took part in the talks.

The Pakistani military released photos of Riaz receiving Bhatia at the border and a picture of the meeting.

A Pakistani military statement issued earlier said the decision to hold the meeting of the DGMOs was made at the political level.

Besides tensions on the Line of Control (LoC), the DGMOs were expected to discuss matters related to the international boundary with a focus on maintaining the 2003 ceasefire and ensuring normalcy, the statement said.

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Will act against ”corrupt” ex-Cong ministers: Kejriwal

Posted on 24 December 2013 by admin

New Delhi, Dec 24 (UNI) All set to form the government in Delhi with the outside support from Congress, AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal today said his government will take action against any “corrupt” minister of the previous Congress regime.

In a two-minute video, he justified taking support from Congress and how despite that it was determined to follow its own agenda and fulfil the promises made to the people of Delhi.

The video begins with Kejriwal saying (after poll results were out) they had got two kinds of views, one asking them to “keep away from both Congress and BJP” while the other said “form the government and prove that we can deliver” when Congress was extending support and prove that it can run a government fulfilling its promises.

AAP clarified that no ministry would be given to any Congress candidate in the government and they “will take action against any previous corrupt minister of Congress and BJP”.

Kejriwal says people were passionate about their views. So the party had again to go to people to get a referendum on the issue.

The video shows that in the public meetings, people in “overwhelming” majority said “Yes” to AAP forming the government. It also claimed that opinion of over 26 lakh people were taken before the party decided to stake its claim.

“Yes, we are forming the minority government with outside support” says the message and then explains what is a minority government.

It says “no ministry will be given to Congress, which will not be part of the government”.

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Intern hints at police plaint against Justice Ganguly

Posted on 24 December 2013 by admin

New Delhi/Kolkata, Dec 24 (UNI)A former law intern, who accused ex-Supreme Court judge A K Ganguly of sexual harassment, has hit back at him for denying the charges and hinted that she may file a police complaint. Continue Reading

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JK govt sets up panel for adopting semester system

Posted on 12 December 2013 by admin

Jammu, Dec 12 (uni) Jammu and Kashmir government has set up a 12-member panel of experts in order to work out the modalities for adopting ‘Semester System’ and ‘Choice Based Credit System’ in colleges of the state.

“In order to work out the modalities for adopting Semester System and Choice Based Credit System in Colleges, State government has constituted a 12 member Committee of officials”, an official spokesman said today.

The panel has senior officials of education department and administrative staff of universities, colleges and schools.

Several professional and technical institutions in the country have already adopted semester system which is working satisfactorily, he said.

The Kashmir and Jammu Universities have also adopted semester system at the post-graduate level, spokesman said adding most of the institutions of Higher education in Western Europe and North America also follow a semester based system.

It has been felt that examination conducted at the end of the year has limitations in assessing the capacity of students. There is a tendency among the students to skip major portion of the syllabi and course and concentrate on only certain topics to pass the examination, he said.

The spokesman said that often the annual examination leads to insensitive cramming up of superficial information and examination only at the end of academic session or year, more often than not, insulates students from the quest of knowledge, the excitement of discovery and the joy of learning.

In order to disseminate the knowledge and involve students in the overall learning process, it is felt necessary to shift the traditional conduct of examination to ‘Choice Based Credit System’.

This system is divided into three segments, lectures in the classes, tutorials and laboratory work. In case of subjects not involving practical’s, the dissertation or project work is prescribed, he said.

It is right time that semester system is made mandatory for all the institutions. As such, to begin with, it is proposed to introduce semester system at the undergraduate level at the degree colleges.

Meanwhile, all stakeholders and general public may give feedback and suggestions on this subject to the committee set up for this purpose. The suggestions shall be considered by the committee before making recommendations, he said.

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IATA paints a robust picture for global aviation industry

Posted on 12 December 2013 by admin

Geneva, Dec 12 (uni) Apex global aviation body IATA today raised the sector’s profit forecast for this year to USD 12.9 billion and to USD 19.7 billion for 2014, citing falling oil prices, rising travel demand coupled with alliances and mergers.

“We are raising our global profit outlook for this year to USD 12.9 billion. And we see this increasing to USD 19.7 billion next year,” International Air Transport Association (IATA) chief Tony Tyler said here.

“That is USD 1.2 billion better for 2013 than we expected in September. And it is USD 3.3 billion better for 2014,” he added.

If the 2014 forecast turned out to be accurate, it would be the sector’s highest-ever profit figure, he said.

“This is being led primarily by a slight fall in the high price of oil and the positive impact that mergers and joint ventures are having, generating better connectivity for passenger and driving efficiency,” Tyler said.

The average margin of the airline industry are also expected to see the highest absolute profit ever at 2.6 per cent in 2014, Tyler said.

“Many other will under-perform. It is average projection.

But it tells is is that we are not rewarding our shareholders in line with the risk, complexity and value that are inherent in the airline industry,” he added.

“Over all, the industry?s fortunes are moving in the right direction. Jet fuel prices remain high but below their 2012 peak. Passenger demand is expanding in the 5-6 per cent range, in line with the historical trend,” Tyler said.

Tyler said that the passenger traffic for 2013 also looks impressive as the global carriers are expected to carry a record 3 billion passengers for the first time.

“This will (likely) increase to 3.3 billion in 2014. So we are approaching a point where the industry will soon move half the world’s population from one place to another,” he said.

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Homosexuality ruling: Govt promises urgent steps

Posted on 12 December 2013 by admin

New Delhi, Dec 12 (uni) Government today promised urgent steps to overturn the Supreme Court ruling declaring homosexuality as illegal amid indications that it could file a curative petition in the apex court. Continue Reading

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Winter Session: Protests wash out first working day

Posted on 09 December 2013 by admin

New Delhi, Dec 9 (UNI) The Winter Session of Parliament had a stormy start with first working today being washed out due to protests over controversial 2G report of the JPC, death of children in Muzaffarnagar relief camps, price rise and Telangana. Continue Reading

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PAC slams Defence Ministry, Maharashtra govt for Adarsh scam

Posted on 09 December 2013 by admin

New Delhi, Dec 9 (UNI) A Parliamentary panel today rapped the Defence Ministry and the Maharashtra government on the Adarsh Housing Society scam, saying there was “monumental failure” at all levels of governance with certain officials abusing their position.

In its report tabled in Lok Sabha, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Adarsh scam said a group of select officials holding key posts subverted rules and regulations as also facts and took the ruse of welfare of servicemen, war widows and children.

“The Committee’s scrutiny corroborated the irregularities in the entire process right from the allocation of land to the society, obtaining ‘no objection certificate’ (NoC) from the Army, extension of various concessions by the Government of Maharashtra, getting NoC from BEST for transfer of developmental rights of adjoining land, obtaining clearances for residential development in Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) by certain officials who abused their official position for personnel gain,” the report says.

It says when the Defence Ministry was asked how NoC was given to the society, it was informed that it was issued by the defence authorities “because of mismanagement of Defence land, poor record keeping and lack of mutation of land already in possession of the Armed Forces.”

Regarding security concerns, the PAC has found that these were ignored while constructing the 31-storey building in Colaba area.

While asking the government to ensure that such incidents are not repeated, the PAC refrained from making “further comments as the matter is still subjudice with respect to the title of the land and other concerned issues.” .

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US tech giants launch campaign for NSA reforms

Posted on 09 December 2013 by admin

Washington, Dec 9 (UNI) Setting aside their differences, top American technology companies including AOL, Apple, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn,?Twitter and Microsoft, have joined hands to press the Obama Administration and the Congress to reform the secretive National Security Agency.

The agency is in controversy following the leak of classified documents that it was indulged in massive telephone and internet surveillance both inside and outside the US, at time sneaking into the private communications on people, compromising the security settings of these technology giants.

“This summer’s revelations highlighted the urgent need to reform government surveillance practices worldwide,” these firms wrote in an open letter to the US President and Members of the Congress in national print advertisements today.

“The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favour of the state and away from the rights of the individual ? rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish. It’s time for a change,” the letter said.

As such, technology giants urged the US to take the lead and make reforms that ensure that government surveillance efforts are clearly restricted by law, proportionate to the risks, transparent and subject to independent oversight.

“We are focused on keeping user’s data secure ? deploying the latest encryption technology to prevent unauthorized surveillance on our networks and by pushing back on government requests to ensure that they are legal and reasonable in scope,” the letter said.

It said US surveillance programs shouldn’t keep American tech companies from operating internationally, including in countries that oppose US access to their citizens’ data.

“Protecting the privacy of our users is incredibly important to Yahoo. Recent revelations about government surveillance activities have shaken the trust of our users, and it is time for the United States government to act to restore the confidence of citizens around the world,” said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

“The security of users’ data is critical, which is why we’ve invested so much in encryption and fight for transparency around government requests for information,” said Google CEO Larry Page.

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PM stresses on manufacturing base development;M&A rules soon

Posted on 05 December 2013 by admin

New Delhi, Dec 5 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said a strong domestic manufacturing base in electronics and telecommunications will mitigate burden of growing imports for the sector. Continue Reading

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