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Showing posts from May, 2014


QUESTIONS SHATRUGHAN SINHAActor-turned-politician and former Union minister Shatrughan Sinha today disagreed with the cut off age of 75 years for selection of ministers in Narendra Modi cabinet.
"I do not agree with this 75-year age bar for appointment of a person as minister," Sinha, second term BJP Lok Sabha MP from Patna Sahib, told PTI.
67-year-old Sinha, who served as Union minister in the NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, disputed fixing such an age bar.
"Instead of age, the criteria shall be mental alertness and health," he said.
"Even at an age of 86, veteran BJP leader L K Advani has a sharp memory and energy like a 40-year-old man," said Sinha, who has on numerous occasion described Advani as his "political guru".
"Who can question the mental alertness and physical activities of Advani or Murli Manohar Joshi?" he asked, adding that for successfully running the government maturity and rich experien…


After losing elections and power, about 55 former union ministers will have to vacate their official bungalows by June 26 to enable the new ones to move in. Sources said the Directorare of Estates is preparing to send notices to them to vacate their bungalows. There were 70 ministers in UPA out of which some have won while many lost in the recent Lok Sabha elections. Those who have lost will be asked to vacate by June 26, the sources said.
"There are about 55 Type-VI, Type-VII and Type-VIII bungalows to be vacated for the newly-appointed ministers," a source said about the houses located in the prime areas of New Delhi.
In the meantime, Dirctorate of Estates is providing transit accommodation to all new MPs at state bhawans and state-owned Ashoka hotel.
Once the new Lok Sabha Housing committee is formed, it will start allotting houses to MPs.
Urban Development M Venkaiah Naidu today appealed to the former ministers to vacate their official residenc…


RAJNATH TO KCRHome Minister Rajnath Singh has asked Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao to ensure peace during any agitation launched by his party.
During a telephonic conversation yesterday, Singh told Rao that all agitation and demonstration programmes of the TRS should be peaceful, sources said.
The telephone was made after TRS called a bandh today in Telangana region to protest the move to merge villages in seven mandals of Khammam district with the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh for construction of the mega Polavaram project.
The shutdown call was given by TRS chief and Chief Minister-designate K Chandrasekhar Rao condemning what he termed as "injustice" to Telangana.
Rao's party Telangana Rashtra Samiti won 63 out of the 119 assembly seats in Telangana in the recent elections while Naidu's Telugu Desam Party, along with ally BJP, bagged 106 of the 175 assembly seats in Seemandhra.


The search for the missing Malaysian jet suffered yet another blow today after Australia ruled out a large area in the Indian Ocean where four acoustic signals were detected as the final resting place of the plane. The Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, Bluefin-21, completed its last mission searching the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals detected in early April by the Towed Pinger Locator deployed from the Australian ship Ocean Shield. "The data collected on yesterday's mission has been analysed. As a result, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre can advise that no signs of aircraft debris have been found by the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle since it joined the search effort," the Joint Agency Coordination Centre that is leading the search said. "The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has advised that the search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections can now be considered complete and in its professional judgment, the area can now be dis…


Following its mantra of maximum governance and minimum government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi may implement performance-based incentives schemes for central government employees. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is slated to give a detailed presentation on Performance-Related Incentive Scheme (PRIS), which was recommended by Sixth Pay Commission and accepted by the UPA government, to the Prime Minister soon, officials said. PRIS could not be implemented by the UPA government which had given its "in-principle" approval. DoPT is likely to outline the salient features of the scheme aimed at improving governance in its presentation to Modi. "The detailed guidelines will be put in place after Prime Minister gives his go-ahead to it," a senior DoPT official said. As per the draft guidelines framed during UPA's tenure, performance-related incentive will be payable taking into account the performance of the organisation and employees during the period …


In a special gesture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited his predecessor Manmohan Singh to make a courtesy call. Modi, who was sworn-in yesterday and took charge this morning, drove to 3, Motilal Nehru Place, the new abode of Singh, to meet him this evening. He was received by Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur who shifted to the new residence after attending the swearing-in ceremony of Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhawan last evening, vacating 7, Race Course Road, his official residence for 10 years. Sources described Modi's visit to Singh's place as a courtesy call. Modi has not yet moved into the Race Course Road residence and is staying put in Gujarat Bhawan. He is likely to shift a few days later as the new residence is being refurbished, according to sources.


India and Pakistan today decided to explore the way forward in bilateral ties through their Foreign Secretaries after a "constructive" meeting between Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi who voiced concerns over terrorism originating from Pakistan. On his first day in office, Modi held talks with all the eight foreign leaders who attended his swearing-in ceremony yesterday, but his most substantive discussion was with Sharif who then returned home. During the 45-minute meeting, Modi, who has been sharply critical of his predecessor Manmohan Singh's Pakistan policy, expressed the hope that India-Pakistan relations would progress in the economic, cultural and political fields in the same manner that India's relations with her other SAARC neighbours have progressed in recent years. Briefing reporters on Modi's meeting with Sharif and other SAARC leaders, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said Modi remarked tha…


The mercury inched up today in most parts of northern India as the region remained largely dry under the blazing summer sun. The maximum temperature was in the high-30s in Delhi with the MeT office predicting a further rise in the mercury in the national capital. The day temperature was recorded two notches below normal at 38.8 degrees Celsius while the minimum was three points below normal at 24 degrees. Humidity in air fluctuated between 33 and 88 per cent. The maximum yesterday in Delhi was recorded at 36.4 degrees with the minimum having settled at 21.4 degrees. But the weatherman has predicted a rise in temperatures tomorrow with the skies expected to remain clear and the maximum and minimum are tipped to be at 45 and 25 degrees, respectively. The heat continued to trouble people across the states of Punjab and Haryana as the mercury hovered close to the 40- degree mark. Bhiwani in Haryana sizzled at 40.7 degrees, two notches above normal, while Narnaul, too,…


American media today gave wide coverage to the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister and praised his decision to invite leaders of the South Asian nations. "Narendra Modi sworn in as Indian prime minister, heralding change," said the headline of the prestigious 'Los Angeles Times'. "Narendra Modi was sworn in Monday as India's 15th prime minister, offering a new, more conservative government to a country thirsty for economic change," it said. Taking note of the presence of the leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), especially Pakistan Premier, the report said: "The ceremony at the presidential palace in New Delhi was notable for the presence of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who reportedly ignored warnings from his own intelligence agency to attend. "Relations have been tense between the two nuclear-armed rivals," it added. Tracing the humble and ideological li…


Asking people's support to script a glorious future for India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tonight said he would be using social media to communicate with people across the world as he believed in a platform where views are shared. "I am a firm believer in the power of technology and social media to communicate with people across the world. I hope this platform creates opportunities to listen, learn and share one's views," he said in his letter to fellow Indians and citizens of the world. The letter posted on the official website of the Prime Minister said, "Through this website you (people) will also get all the latest information about my speeches, schedules, foreign visits and lot more. "I will also keep informing you about innovative initiatives undertaken by the government of India." He said the May 16 verdict delivered a mandate for development, good governance and stability. "As we devote ourselves to take India's dev…



In yet another setback, deposed Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra was today indicted by an anti- graft body over a controversial rice subsidy scheme and will face impeachment that could dash her hopes of an electoral comeback, a day after a court dismissed her from office. The National Anti-Corruption Commission voted unanimously to indict 46-year-old Yingluck on charges of dereliction of duty in overseeing the controversial rice subsidy programme. Under the rice subsidy scheme, for which Yingluck was indicted today, the government bought rice from Thai farmers at a much higher price than on the global market. However, it resulted in the accumulation of huge stockpiles of rice and hit Thailand's rice exports hard. Yingluck was accused of negligence linked to the rice scheme with her political foes alleging the scheme drained Thai finances, damaged the country's rice producing industry and fostered massive corruption. "The commission considers there is enough evidence to in…


Just 30 minutes of musical training can increase the blood flow in the left hemisphere of our brain which is believed to be responsible for language processing, according to a new study. The research by the University of Liverpool in UK suggests that the areas responsible for music and language share common brain pathways. Researchers from the University's Institute of Psychology, Health and Society carried out two separate studies which looked at brain activity patterns in musicians and non-musicians. The first study looking for patterns of brain activity of 14 musicians and 9 non-musicians whilst they participated in music and word generation tasks. The results showed that patterns in the musician's brains were similar in both tasks but this was not the case for the non-musicians. In the second study, brain activity patterns were measured in a different group of non-musical participants who took part in a word generation task and a music perception task. The measurements wer…