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Thursday, March 31, 2011

India’s population has jumped to 1.21 billion,provisional data of Census 2011 without OBC Headcount!Sensex up 155 points on FII inflows!Govt liberalises FDI policy to boost inflows which ENABLES the Brahmin Market Dominating Community for Ethnic Clea


India's population has jumped to 1.21 billion,provisional data of Census 2011 without OBC Headcount!Sensex up 155 points on FII inflows!Govt liberalises FDI policy to boost inflows which ENABLES the Brahmin Market Dominating Community for Ethnic Cleansing ofMajority Excluded Mulnivasi Bahujan Aboriginal Indigenous communities!Census ensures EXCLUSION once again!India's external debt up 13.9% to USD 297.5 bn at Dec end.


Indian Holocaust My Father`s Life and Time - SIX HUNDRED NINE


Palash Biswas

http://indianholocaustmyfatherslifeandtime.blogspot.com/

http://basantipurtimes.blogspot.com/

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India's population has jumped to 1.21 billion,provisional data of Census 2011 without OBC Headcount!Sensex up 155 points on FII inflows!Govt liberalises FDI policy to boost inflows which ENABLES the Brahmin Market Dominating Community for Ethnic Cleansing ofMajority Excluded Mulnivasi Bahujan Aboriginal Indigenous communities!Census ensures EXCLUSION once again!

India's population grew at its slowest pace since independence in the decade to 2011, the government said on Thursday, a trend welcomed by some since it may lead to higher living standards and sounder public finances in a country with enough young people.

India's population has jumped to 1.21 billion, showing an increase by more than 181 million during the 2001-2011 decade, according to the provisional data of Census 2011 which was released on Thursday.Though the country's population is almost equal to the combined population of the U.S., Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan put together [1214.3 million], the silver lining is that 2001-2011 is the first decade with the exception of 1911-1921 which has actually added lesser population compared to the previous decade.Of the total provisional population of 1210.2 million, the number of males was pegged at 623.7 million and the population of females stood at 586.5 million. The percentage growth in 2001-2011 was 17.64 – males 17.19 and females 18.12. India's population accounts for world's 17.5 per cent population.
India's external debt up 13.9% to USD 297.5 bn at Dec end
India's external debt increased by 13.9 per cent at the end of December to $297.5 billion from March 2010.

The debt, which included commercial borrowings and NRI deposits, was $261.2 billion at the end of March 2010.

"The long-term debt increased by $26.0 billion to $234.9 billion i.e. an increase of 12.5 per cent. The short-term debt showed an increase of $10.3 billion to $62.6 billion," the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

Short-term debt (original maturity) accounted for 21 per cent of India's total external debt while the remaining 79 per cent was long-term debt.

Of the total increase of $36.3 billion in external debt at end-December, the valuation effect arising from depreciation of the US dollar against major international currencies accounted for $5.3 billion (14.6 per cent).

"Excluding the valuation effect, the increase in external debt would have been $31.0 billion," according to the Department of Economic Affairs' quarterly statistics said.

Component-wise, the share of commercial borrowings stood highest at 28.5 per cent, followed by NRI deposits (17.0 per cent) and multilateral debt (16.0 per cent).

The government (Sovereign) external debt stood at $74.5 billion (25.0 per cent of total external debt) at end-December 2010, as against $67.1 billion (25.7 per cent) at end-March 2010.

The share of US dollar denominated debt was the highest in external debt stock at 53.7 per cent at end-December 2010, followed by the Indian rupee (19.0 per cent), Japanese Yen (12.0 per cent), SDR (9.7 per cent) and Euro (3.5 per cent).

India's external debt to GDP ratio and debt service ratios stood at 16.9 per cent and 3.9 per cent, respectively, at end-December 2010.

The ratio of short-term external debt to foreign exchange reserves was 21.1 per cent at end-December 2010 compared to 18.8 per cent at end-March 2010.
World Cup 2011: Countdown to Final
Can Sachin add missing medal on mantelpiece?
While India will be swept over by the tide of euphoria, it's worth remembering that their current form would make them underdogs against the rampant Sri Lankans.

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http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/census-of-india-2011-slower-indian-population-growth-may-benefit-economy/articleshow/7835008.cms

The provisional data of Census 2011 without OBC Headcount was released by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India C. Chandramouli in the presence of Union Home Secretary G. K. Pillai.

The BSE Sensex moved up for the eighth straight session on Thursday- the longest stretch of upward march since last April - adding 155 points to close above 19,445 on steady FII inflows and easing inflation amid firm global trends.

In a major policy reform, the government on Thursday announced flexibility for Indian companies to raise overseas capital but plugged the loopholes for back door FDI entry breaching sectoral caps.

Under the new norms, Indian companies have been allowed to issue equity against import of capital goods and liberalise conditions for seeking foreign investment for production and development of seeds.

The facility of conversion of capital goods import into equity was earlier available for companies raising external commercial borrowings (ECBs).

The government, as per the third consolidated FDI policy circular -- a ready reckoner on foreign investment-related regulations -- also removed the restrictive condition of obtaining prior approval of Indian companies for making investments in the 'same field'.

"It is expected that this measure will promote the competitiveness of India as an investment destination and be instrumental in attracting higher levels of FDI and technology inflows into the country," it said.

In a major initiative to plug loopholes, the government has classified companies into two categories -- 'companies owned or controlled by foreign investors' and 'companies owned and controlled by Indian investors'.

The government has done away with the earlier categorisation of 'investing companies', 'operating companies' and 'investing-cum-operating companies'.

The decision would have a bearing on the companies with majority foreign equity as they would now be classified as foreign companies.

The policy guidelines are revised every six months. It further said that the companies would be free to prescribe a formula for transforming convertible instruments (like debentures, partly paid shares, preferential shares etc) into equity in accordance with the guidelines of FEMA and SEBI.

Earlier, they were required to specify upfront the price of convertible instruments.

The decision "would help the recipient companies in obtaining a better valuation based upon their performance," it added.

These steps would help the country to attract more and more FDI. During the 11-month April-February period this fiscal, FDI inflows into India declined by 25 per cent to USD 18.3 billion.

Open The Door
Jan 13, 2011, 12.00am IST

Keep waiting. That seems the message of an inter-ministerial group to industry bodies and overseas businesses keen on seeing FDI in multibrand retail. Set up to study the proposal and provide inputs for decision-making, the panel reportedly advocates wider debate with "more stakeholders". That's effectively asking for the matter to be shelved. Sure, this is better than a parliamentary standing committee's demand for a ban on retail FDI sometime ago. But the effect may be similar if, as recommended, the Centre shackles policy making to seeking consensus with state governments. As we know, political parties often brandish populist justifications for opposing retail liberalisation. Surely an economic rationale - based on objective analysis of retail reform's multiple gains - should guide us instead.

Constituting merely 5% of India's total retail market valued at about $435 billion, organised retail is mainly concentrated in the major metropolises. So, smaller cities, towns and villages largely get denied the commercial and job opportunities it affords. This, despite the fact that fears about big capital steamrolling small retailers are unfounded. Foreign participation in specialty retail didn't pummel Indian business but made it more competitive. Nor did domestic retail giants finish off kirana shops. No matter who enters the field, mom & pop stores will go on offering personalised service, since they build ties with specific localities and clientele in a way that supermarkets can't.

The rural sector's need to realise its potential further strengthens the case for a go-ahead. It seems lost on a government feebly struggling to beat food inflation that criminal waste of food occurs in India thanks to lack of integrated storage. As prices hugely jump from farm gate to retail outlet, consumers reel even as farmers get just a third of the final price of their produce. We urgently need modern retail infrastructure, supported by marketing rules allowing big organised retailers and food processing businesses to source farmers directly as suppliers. Funds inflow is surely key to improving supply chain and distribution logistics.

Surveys on emerging markets say that domestic demand-driven India is viewed as a good destination to invest in retail. That's been corroborated by enthusiastic investor response to reform allowing 51% FDI in single-brand retail and 100% FDI in cash-and-carry wholesale trade. But given the sector remains highly underdeveloped, we must further liberalise single-brand retail and open doors to the multibrand arena. India's retail space is ample enough and consumer profiles, needs and budgets varied enough for big and small players to share the market. For proof there's China, which opened up fully in 2004. If deep-pocketed big retail chains and corner shops can coexist and prosper there as elsewhere in the world, they'll do so here as well.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Open-The-Door/articleshow/7270088.cms
India's population grew at its slowest pace since independence in the decade to 2011, the government said on Thursday, a trend welcomed by some since it may lead to higher living standards and sounder public finances in a country with enough young people.

Unlike the advanced countries of the West or even Russia and China , where ageing or shrinking populations have sparked worries about the impact on economic growth, India has long sought to bring down population growth to a level it can handle.

Its population, pegged by the Census of India at 1.21 billion at the beginning of 2011, has been a drag on economic growth, with successive governments unable to find the schools, jobs or food productivity to match the demographic bulge.

The growth of 17.6 percent from 2001, the last time Indians were counted, compared with 21.5 percent in the previous decade, the preliminary census report said.

"Reducing the growth rate is our objective. What we already have is a large youth population without enough schools or jobs for them," said Abusaleh Shariff, chief economist at the National Council for Applied Economic Research .

"It (the decline) reflects the desire of even poor people to educate their children and for a better life. They know that having too many children will be counter-productive," he said.

India stands in contrast to neighbouring China, which faces the prospect of not having enough young people to support a fast-ageing population.

Beijing's strict one-child policy has brought down annual population growth to under 1 percent and the rate is projected to turn negative in another three decades.

India's population is projected to overtake China's by 2025 and its large youth population means it can look forward to a demographic dividend that includes ample supply of labour, rising productivity and plenty of younger workers to fund the pensions of those who have retired.

A decline in population growth means India's national income may break out of the trend of increasing just ahead of population growth, potentially freeing millions of dollars the government now spends on welfare schemes.

The census report showed literacy had improved during the decade by 9.2 percentage points to 74 percent.

But the number of females per 1,000 males in the 0-6 age group fell to 914 from 927 during the past decade, pointing to the continued practice of selective abortions.

The census data will be used by governments to design welfare schemes and calculate what funds should be set aside for food and fuel subsidies.

India will also use the census to issue a unique identification number to all its citizens and to target beneficiaries for welfare schemes, which it hopes will provide better access to such schemes and help it trim its subsidy bill. 

31/03/2011

Cheque payments costlier from April 1

New Delhi: Making payments through cheques may become a costlier affair from tomorrow, as RBI has allowed banks to levy higher service charges for their clearing, especially of high-value and outstation cheques.

Cheque payments costlier from April 1

As per a RBI circular coming into effect from April 1, 2011, banks would be free to fix service charges on speed clearing of cheques of value above Rs 1 lakh.

At present, RBI does not allow banks to charge more than Rs 150 per cheque for speed clearing of cheques worth over Rs 1 lakh, while there are no charges for value up to Rs 1 lakh.

However, speed clearing of cheques with value up to Rs 1 lakh would continue to remain exempt of any service charges.

Speed clearing refers to processing of outstation cheques electronically and without movement of cheques from the presentation centre (city where the cheque is presented) to drawee centre (city where the cheque is payable).

For normal local clearing also, drawee bank can charge up to Rs 1.50 per cheque from tomorrow, as against Re 1 at present. For local clearing through cheque truncation system, which works electronically by processing the scanned image of the cheque, drawee bank can levy a service charge of Re 1 from tomorrow, up from 50 paise at present.

Cheque payments costlier from April 1

Besides, RBI has also given a free hand to the banks to decide on the service charge on outstation cheques of over Rs one lakh, as against a maximum limit of Rs 150 per cheque allowed currently.

However, RBI has decided to lower the service charge for outstation cheques up to Rs 5,000, by allowing a levy of Rs 25, as against Rs 50 currently.

The outstation cheques between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 would continue to attract a fee of Rs 50, while those between Rs 10,000 and Rs 1 lakh would also continue to be levied a charge of Rs 100.

While fixing service charges not mandated herein, banks have been told to get approval from their boards for service charge structure.

"Charges fixed should be reasonable and computed on a cost-plus-basis and not as an arbitrary percentage of the value of the instrument. The service charges-structure should not be open ended and should clearly specify the maximum charges that would be levied on customers including charges if any, payable to other banks," RBI has told the banks.

The service charges by banks should be inclusive of all charges (postal, courier, handling, etc.) other than service tax, RBI said.

Source: PTI

2011 census of India

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 15th Indian National census began on May 1, 2010. Census has been conducted in India since 1872 and this is the first time biometric information will be collected. The census is conducted in two phases. Housing and Houselisting census ended on June 15, 2010. The second phase will begin on February 9 to collect information for National Population Register following which all Indians will be provided with identification card containing all vital information.[1]

Contents

 [hide]

Scope and process

The census covers all 1.1 billion Indians, involve 25 lakh (2.5 million) officials. It is estimated to cost Indian Rupee symbol.svg 2,209 crore (1.3 billion US dollars).

Inclusion of caste

Information on castes initially not intended to be collected was later included after demand from almost all opposition parties. Opposition to not including the caste was spearheaded by Lalu Prasad YadavSharad Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav and supported by opposition parties Bharatiya Janata PartyAkali DalShiv Sena and Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.[2] Information on caste was last collected duringBritish Raj in 1931. During the early census, people often exaggerated their caste status to garner social status and it is expected that people downgrade it now in the expectation of gaining government benefits.[3]

There is only one instance of a caste-count in post-Independent India. It was conducted in Kerala in 1968 by the Communist government under E. M. S. Namboodiripad to assess the social and economic backwardness of various lower castes. The census was termed Socio-Economic Survey of 1968 and the results were published in the Gazetteer of Kerala, 1971.[4]

Census

The census will involve three questionnaires, Houselisting, National Population Register and Household.

Houselisting schedule

Houselisting Schedule contains 35 questions.[5]

Building number
Census house number
Predominant material of floor, wall and roof of the census house
Ascertain use of actual house
Condition of the census house
Household number
Total number of persons in the household
Name of the head of the household
Sex of the head
Caste status (SC or ST or others)
Ownership status of the house
Number of dwelling rooms
Number of married couple the household
Main source of drinking water
Availability of drinking water source
Main source of lighting
Latrine within the premises
Type of latrine facility
Waste water outlet connection
Bathing facility within the premises
Availability of kitchen
Fuel used for cooking
Radio/Transistor
Television
Computer/Laptop
Telephone/Mobile phone
Bicycle
Scooter/Motor cycle/Moped
Car/Jeep/Van
Availing Banking services

Household Schedule

Household schedule contains 29 questions.[6][7]

Name of the person
Relationship to head
Sex
Date of birth and age
Current marital status
Age at marriage
Religion
Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe
Disability
Mother tongue
Other languages known
Literacy status
Status of attendance (Education)
Highest educational level attained
Working any time during last year
Category of economic activity
Occupation Nature of industry
Trade or service
Class of worker
Non economic activity
Seeking or available for work
Tavel to place of work
Birth place
Place of last residence
Reason for migration
Duration of stay in in the place of migration
Children surviving
Children ever born
Number of children born alive during last one year

National population register

National Population Register Household schedule contains 9 questions.[8]

Name of the person and resident status
Name of the person as should appear in the population register
Relationship to head
Sex
Date of birth
Marital status
Educational qualification
Occupation/Activity
Names of father, mother and spouse

Once the information will be collected and digitalised, fingerprints and photos will be collected. Unique Identification Authority of India will issue a 12-digit identification number to all individuals and the first ID is expected to be issued in 2011.[9][10][11]

References

  1. ^ "Second phase of census in India to begun from Februray 9: RGCCI". Zee News. 8 January 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  2. ^ Demand for caste census rocks Lok Sabha
  3. ^ India to conduct first record of nation's caste system since days of the Raj
  4. ^ G.O.K 1971: Appendix XVIII
  5. ^ "Census of India 2011; Houselisting and Housing Census Schedule". Government of India. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  6. ^ "Census of India 2011; Household Schedule-Side A". Government of India. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  7. ^ "Census of India 2011; Household Schedule-Side B". Government of India. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  8. ^ "National population register; Household Schedule". Government of India. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
  9. ^ Biggest "Census operation in history kicks off". The Hindu. April 1, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  10. ^ "India launches new biometric census". Yahoo news. April 1, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2010.[dead link]
  11. ^ "India launches biometric census". BBC. April 1, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2010.

External links

"In the long term, in terms of social-sector schemes, the burden on the government will be less. That is the straightforward conclusion," said NR Bhanumurthy, an economist at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, referring to the slowing population growth.

In a highly volatile trade, the gauge shuttled between 19,575.16 and 19,284.35 as the recent rally led investors to off-load pending positions on the last day of the month's settlement in the derivative segment.

The Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index Sensex gained 155.04 points to close at 19,445.22 in continuation to a gain of 1,446 points in the last seven sessions -- the longest stretch of gains since April 15, 2009.

The Sensex jumped 5.2 per cent last week and has rallied 8.8 per cent in March, poised for its biggest monthly advance since September.

Similarly, the broad-based National Stock Exchange index Nifty rose by 46.10 points to 5,833.75, after touching the day's high of 5,872.

FIIs bought USD 1.3 billion worth of Indian equities in March, after selling USD 2.2 billion in January and February.

Brokers said investors bought equities on easing food inflation, which fell back in the single digit, and hopes of better fourth quarter earnings to be announced -- starting in a couple of weeks.

Food inflation fell to 9.5 per cent for week ended March 19, down from 10.05 per cent in the previous week.

Asian trend firmed and Europe opened higher on US jobs report that increased confidence in the growth of the world's largest economy.

IT sector led the rally by adding 1.92 per cent to reach 6,548.10 on hopes that upbeat results and outlook last week from global tech majors indicated resurgence in tech spending.

The Indian IT sector index has jumped nearly 8 per cent since results from the two US-based giants.

The second most heaviest on the Sensex - Infosys Technologies spurted by Rs 66.60 to Rs 3,236.75. Tata Consultancy Services rose by Rs 31.15 to Rs 1,182.50 and Wipro by Rs 5.45 to Rs 478.30.

The stocks of FMCG, oil and gas, teck, metal, realty and power sector also remained in the fore-front of buying.

The population of the country as per the provisional figures of Census 2011 is 1210.19 million of which 623.7 million (51.54%) are males and 586.46 million (48.46%) are females. The provisional figures of Census 2011 were released in New Delhi on Thursday by Union home secretary Shri G.K.Pillai and RGI Shri C Chandramouli.

The major highlights of the Census 2011 (Provisional figures) are as under:

*The population of India has increased by more than 181 million during the decade 2001-2011.

*Percentage growth in 2001-2011 is 17.64; males 17.19 and females 18.12.

*2001-2011 is the first decade (with the exception of 1911-1921) which has actually added lesser population compared to the previous decade.

*Uttar Pradesh (199.5 million) is the most populous State in the country followed by Maharashtra with 112 million.

*The percentage decadal growth rates of the six most populous States have declined during 2001-2011 compared to 1991-2001:

-Uttar Pradesh (25.85% to 20.09%)
-Maharashtra (22.73% to 15.99%)
-Bihar (28.62% to 25.07%)
-West Bengal (17.77 % to 13.93%)
-Andhra Pradesh (14.59% to 11.10%)
-Madhya Pradesh (24.26% to 20.30%)

*During 2001-2011, as many as 25 States/UTs with a share of about 85% of the country's population registered an annual growth rate of less than 2% as compared to, 15 States/UTs with a share of about 42% during the period 1991-2001.

*15 States/UTs have grown by less than 1.5 per cent per annum during 2001-2011, while the number of such States/UTs was only 4 during the previous decade.

*The total number of children in the age-group 0-6 is 158.8 million (-5 million since 2001)

*Twenty States and Union Territories now have over one million children in the age group 0-6 years. On the other extreme, there are five States and Union Territories in the country that are yet to reach the one hundred thousand mark.

*Uttar Pradesh (29.7 million), Bihar (18.6 million), Maharashtra (12.8 million), Madhya Pradesh (10.5 million) and Rajasthan (10.5 million) constitute 52% children in the age group of 0-6 years.

*Population (0-6 years) 2001-2011 registered minus (-)3.08 percent growth with minus (-)2.42 for males and -3.80 for females.

*The proportion of Child Population in the age group of 0-6 years to total population is 13.1 percent while the corresponding figure in 2001 was 15.9 percent. The decline has been to the extent of 2.8 points.

*Overall sex ratio at the national level has increased by 7 points to reach 940 at Census 2011 as against 933 in Census 2001. This is the highest sex ratio recorded since Census 1971 and a shade lower than 1961. Increase in sex ratio is observed in 29 States/UTs.

*Three major States (J&K, Bihar & Gujarat) have shown decline in sex ratio as compared to Census 2001.

*Kerala with 1084 has the highest sex ratio followed by Puducherry with 1038, Daman & Diu has the lowest sex ratio of 618.

*Child sex ratio (0-6 years) is 914. Increasing trend in the child sex ratio (0-6) seen in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and A&N Islands. In all remaining 27 States/UTs, the child sex ratio show decline over Census 2001.
*Mizoram has the highest child sex ratio (0-6 years) of 971 followed by Meghalaya with 970. Haryana is at the bottom with ratio of 830 followed by Punjab with 846.

*Literacy rate has gone up from 64.83 per cent in 2001 to 74.04 per cent in 2011 showing an increase of 9.21 percentage points.

*Percentage growth in literacy during 2001-2011 is 38.82; males : 31.98% & females : 49.10%.

*Literates constitute 74 per cent of the total population aged seven and above and illiterates form 26 per cent.

``Provisional population is arrived at by adding the population as reported by each enumerator and the final population data is likely to be released next year,'' Dr. Chandramouli told reporters here.

Uttar Pradesh most populous state

Among the States and Union Territories, Uttar Pradesh is the most populous State with 199 million people followed by Maharashtra at 112 million people and Lakshadweep is the least populated at 64,429 persons. The combined population of U.P. and Maharashtra is greater than that of the U.S.

The percentage decadal growth rates of the six most populous States have declined during 2001-2011 as compared to 1991-2001. The graph of population growth in U.P. shows a decline from 25.85 per cent to 20.09 per cent, in Maharashtra from 22.73 per cent to 15.99 per cent, Bihar from 28.62 per cent to 25.07 per cent, West Bengal from 17.77 per cent to 13.93 per cent, Andhra Pradesh from 14.59 per cent to 11.10 per cent and Madhya Pradesh from 24.26 per cent to 20.30 per cent. ``This shows that we have added population but the growth has been less,'' Dr. Chandramouli said.

Sex-ratio at national level increases

Overall sex ratio at the national level has increased by seven points to reach 940 as provisional data for Census 2011 showed as against 933 in Census 2001. Increase in sex ratio was observed in 29 States/Union Territories.

Kerala with 1084 has the highest sex ratio followed by Puducherry with 1038. Daman and Diu has the lowest sex ratio of 618. ``This is the highest sex ratio at the national level since Census 1971 and a shade lower than 1961. Three major States – Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar and Gujarat – have shown a decline in sex ratio as compared to Census 2001,'' Dr. Chandramouli said. India's skewed sex ratio due to female foeticide and the practice of selective sex determination has been a cause for concern. Sex ratio is the number of females per 1000 males.

Child sex ratio a concern

However, the areas of grave concern, Dr. Chanramouli said, remains the lowest ever child sex ratio of 914. The provisional data showed that the child sex ratio [0 to 6 years] came down to 914 females per 1000 males as against 927 in the Census 2001. It showed a continuing preference for male children over females in the last decade. Increasing trend in the child sex ratio was seen in Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mizoram and Andaman and Nicobar Island but in all the remaining 27 States / Union Territories, the child sex ratio showed decline over Census 2001. Whereas overall sex ratio has shown improvement since 1991, decline in child sex ratio has been unabated since 1961 Census. The total number of children in 0 to 6 year age group is now 158.8 million, less by five million since 2001.

Literacy rate has gone up from 64.83 per cent in 2001 to 74.04 per cent, showing an increase of 9.21 percentage points.


The Brahamin Jati Party as known Bharatiya Janata Party today described the Census 2011 figures as "an eye—opener and shocking" and insisted that more efforts are needed to control the population failing which there may not be enough resources left for survival of the burgeoning numbers.

"The Census figures are shocking. Specially the increasing gap in the ratio of male and female population in the country. This is an eye-opener and a matter of concern," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

The Census 2011 states that the child sex ratio today is 914 females for every 1000 males in the country. This is the lowest since independence.

"If immediate steps are not taken there will be problems. There is already shortage of water and other resources. Land is becoming barren in some parts of the country. Government should worry about the growing population," Mr. Hussain said.

He said that the erstwhile BJP-led NDA government had made efforts in this direction but these may not have been sufficient.

"Several efforts were made during the NDA. We also tried (to check population explosion). If sincere efforts had been made this would not have happened," Mr. Hussain said.

He praised the Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan (universal primary education programme) started by the NDA and said this had led to an impressive improvement in literacy today.

"We started the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and the UPA government continued with it. It has brought an improvement in the literacy rate," he said.

The Census 2011 figures show that literacy in India stands at 74 per cent.

Mr. Hussain said no party which has ruled should be blamed for the rising population and the issue should not be politicised.

India among the most corrupt nations surveyed by PERC
SINGAPORE: India finds itself bracketed with countries like Philippines and Cambodia, rated as the fourth most corrupt nation among 16 countries of the Asia Pacific region surveyed by leading Hong Kong-based business consultancy firm PERC.

The Political & Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd (PERC) rated India at 8.67 on a scale of zero to 10 with the high end being the worst case of corruption scenario and ahead of the Philippines (8.9 points), Indonesia (9.25 points) and Cambodia (9.27 points).

Among the 16 countries reviewed in its latest report, Thailand was rated at 11 with a scale of 7.55, followed by China (7.93) and Vietnam (8.3).

Comparatively, Singapore was given a clean sheet with a score of 0.37, followed by Hong Kong (1.10), Australia (1.39), Japan (1.90) and USA (2.39), putting them in the top five.

In India, according to the report, civil and other local-level political leaders were found more corrupt than the national-level political leaders, with the former given a score of 9.25 and the latter slightly better at 8.97.

Indian civil servants at the city level too were rated at 8.18, worst than the civil servants at the national level (7.76).

"The issue of corruption has grown and overshadowed the second term in office of the Congress-led coalition headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ," said PERC in its Asian Intelligence report on Asian business and politics.

The government has been wracked by a series of scandals involving the sale of telecom licenses, preparations for the Commonwealth Games , a land scam involving high level military officers, and improper property loans made by state-owned financial institutions, it pointed out.

Though investigations were underway to be followed by court trials, Indians were still questioning whether or not the prime minister has the political muscle to fight graft and whether the actions now being taken were more for show than proof that the government was really cracking down on business practices that were common but corrupt, it said.

Prime Minister Singh has been put in such a defensive position that most of his recent statements have been to stress how he has not personally been involved with corruption, even though it appears that almost everyone around him was, observed PERC.

"This point is underscored by a recent WikiLeaks report that the ruling Congress Party paid off parliamentarians back in 2008 to pass the US-India civil nuclear deal," it said.
31 MAR, 2011, 08.08AM IST, ABHEEK BARMAN,ET BUREAU

Cricket Diplomacy: India, Pakistan make significant gains at Mohali


Read more on »pakistan|nawaz sharif|mohali|manmohan singh|george w bush|benazir bhutto|atal bihari vajpayee

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Pakistani counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani before the start of the World Cup cricket semi-final match in Mohali on Wednesday.

NEW DELHI: India has beaten Pakistan in cricket, but in another field - cricket diplomacy- both India and Pakistan are winners.


Prime minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Gilani got to talk to each other for an uninterrupted eight hours, over cricket and dinner. Which diplomatic forum could have given them such a chance to get to know each other better? After all, it was one look into Singh's eyes that allegedly convinced George W Bush that India would be a reliable nuclear partner.


Singh, who was born in what is now Pakistan, has always pushed for better relations between India and Pakistan. In 2005, one year after he became prime minister, Pakistan's so-called CEO General Pervez Musharraf wanted to watch a game of cricket in India. From Parliament Singh invited him to an India-Pakistan encounter at Delhi's Ferozshah Kotla.


This was Singh's first attempt to reach out to Pakistan. It would not be his last. One year after the Pakistan-sponsored attack on Mumbai in November 2009, Singh called for "engagement and dialogue" with our western neighbour. He's been firm in his belief that a stable and prosperous Pakistan would be infinitely preferable than a crumbling state brought to its knees politically and economically by terrorism. Singh is not alone. Every Indian prime minister since Rajiv Gandhi has tried for better relations with Pakistan, despite many failures. Indeed the peace with Pakistan bug - call it aman ka nasha - is remarkably persistent trait with those who've occupied the corner office in South Block.

World Cup 2011: Business of Cricket
Fastfood Chains cash in on Indo-Pak match frenzy
Sales of pizzas, burgers & other snacks jumped by 50% for semifinal clash.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/cricket-diplomacy-india-pakistan-make-significant-gains-at-mohali/articleshow/7831148.cms

31 MAR, 2011, 11.19AM IST,ET NOW

Incremental inflow of FII money causing market rally: Emkay Global Financial Services

In a chat with ET Now, Sandeep Singhal , Co-Head Inst. Eq. Derivatives, Emkay Global Financial Services , shares his views on the outlook of the Nifty .


What is driving liquidity to India?


When we started this year, there was a 'sell emerging markets, buy developed markets' consensus, and since then developed markets have been performing and we saw a consistent outflow of funds from India. And, conventionally for the last 11 years, we have never seen an outflow in March, and somewhere that is a trigger that after such an outflow that money has started coming back in the absence of DII being sellers, we are seeing this rally. So, I would say incremental inflow of FII money is a factor that is causing this particular rally.

31/03/2011

India's population at 1.2 Billion

New Delhi: India's population has risen to 1.21 billion - an increase of over 181 million in the last decade - but the gender imbalance is the worst since independence, indicating a persisting preference for male children, according to the latest census data released Thursday.

India's population at 1.2 Billion

China is the world's most populous country with 1.341 billion people. Even as India's population continues to witness a double digit jump, the growth rate has actually slowed down, census officials said.

The 17.6-percent increase is down from 21.5 in the 2001 headcount, Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner C. Chandramouli told reporters here, releasing the figures collected during a year-long exercise done after every 10 years.

"The percentage decadal growth during 2001-2011 has registered the sharpest decline since independence - a decrease of 3.90 percentage points," Chandramouli said.

In 1981-91, the population growth rate was 23.87 percent. These, however, are only preliminary figures and the final population count will be released next year. According to the figures inCensus of India 2011, there has been a decline in the number of children under the age of 6, down five million since 2001 to 158.8 million.

Chandramouli said the child sex ratio in 2001 was 927 females per 1,000 males born, which has declined to 914 females per 1,000 males.

This indicates a continued trend of preference for male children over females. India is a country where female infanticide is still common and the government has banned doctors from revealing the sex of the unborn child.

"This is a matter of grave concern," Chandramouli said. The gender imbalance is there despite a ban on sex determination tests based on ultrasound scans and sex selective abortion.

Girl child campaigners say the imbalance is there because parents continue to view daughters as financial liabilities and male children as wage earners. "It (the census figures) was expected but it is a warning signal for the nation to wake up," equality campaigner Ranjana Kumari, director of Centre for Social Research, told IANS.

She said the law banning sex based abortion "is not stringently implemented". "The caution should be taken seriously. We are leading to a crisis situation," she said.

Chandramouli also said the declining child sex ratio was "a matter of grave concern".
Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, who was present when the data was released, said the government's policies to curb the declining child sex ratio needed a "complete review".

"Whatever measures that have been put in over the last 40 years have not had any impact on the child sex ratio." However, the overall sex ratio showed a marginal improvement, with 940 women counted for every 1,000 men compared to 933 in the 2001 census.

The census 2011 was done in in two phases -- house-listing and housing census and then population enumeration. An estimated 2.7 million officials had fanned out across the country to undertake the mammoth exercise that cost the government Rs.22,000 million.

The decadal exercise -- the 15th headcount of India's population since 1872 -- is undertaken to create a database on demography, economic activity, literacy and education, housing and household amenities, urbanisation, fertility and mortality, social structure, language, religion and migration.

Some 8,000 million tonnes of paper have been used for the exercise. The census is the only source of credible data base in India that the government uses to formulate its policies.

Some of the highlights of the census data are:

* India's population is now bigger than the combined population of the US, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

* Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state with more people than Brazil -- the country with the fifth largest population in the world.

* The female population has risen by 18.12 percent to reach 586.5 million (58 crore).

* The literacy rate has gone up to 74 percent nationwide for people aged 7 and older, from about 65 percent in the last census. Kerala has the highest literacy rate of 93.91 and Bihar the lowest at 63.82.

* Population density has increased by 17.5 percent, touching 382 people per sq km from 325 in the 2001 census.

Source: IANS

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    The first cut results of Census 2011 confirm what most demographers and economists had expected—India is in the midst of a demographic transition.

    There are now 1.2 billion Indians, or around 181 million more than there were in 2001. It means we have added one Brazil to our numbers over the past 10 years. The good news is that the past decade has been the first since 1911-21 when the absolute addition in population has been lower than what it was in the previous decade. The decadal rate of population growth is not only dropping, but it is dropping faster than before. Even Uttar Pradesh has seen a drop of 5 percentage points in its rate of population growth. The past decade has seen the sharpest decline in the rate of Indian population growth since independence.

    There are now 50 million fewer Indians below six years of age, a sign of declining number of children per woman. The problem here is that the proportion of girls in that age group is falling, either because little girls are being killed in the womb or are not given nutrition on a par with what boys get. It's a national shame. But there is a silver lining. Female literacy is growing faster than male literacy. Overall, the scourge of illiteracy is receding.

    These initial numbers show that India is changing. We are moving into a demographic sweet spot, with a huge bulge in the working-age population. This transition comes at a time when China is showing signs of ageing and its wage levels are rising. India needs extensive policy reforms to latch on to the opportunity and also to ensure that the rising numbers of working-age people are not forced into unemployment. The line dividing the democratic dividend and a ticking demographic time bomb is a thin one.

    The other opportunity-cum-challenge is education. School attendance has been soaring, partly because poor Indians have realized that the returns on skills can be very high in a booming economy and partly because successful government programmes such as the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan have improved access to schools. At current rates, India will be a fully literate country in less than two decades. Even now, most illiterates must be concentrated in the older age groups. The challenge now is to improve the quality of school education. Surveys by education activist group Pratham have shown that too many kids have inadequate language and math skills.

    India needs to build on these advances—and take tough action against further retreat in the gender ratio of children below six—through public policies that can tap the potential and meet the aspirations of a new India.

    Can India play the numbers to its advantage? Tell us at views@livemint.com

http://www.livemint.com/2011/03/31224237/A-new-India-in-census-data.html?h=B

Population growth slows down

Hindu Business Line - ‎15 minutes ago‎
The provisional report has pegged India's population at 1210.2 million (male - 623.7 million and female - 586.5 million). File photo shows people at a wholesale market in New Delhi. There is finally some encouraging news on the population front. ...

A new India in census data

Livemint - ‎19 minutes ago‎
The first cut results of Census 2011 confirm what most demographers and economists had expected—India is in the midst of a demographic transition. There are now 1.2 billion Indians, or around 181 million more than there were in 2001. ...

Census: India's population growth finally drops

Moneycontrol.com - ‎38 minutes ago‎
India's population has been pegged at 1210.2 million, according to the provisional 2011 Census report released on Thursday in New Delhi. Out of 1210.2 million people in India there are 623.7 million males and 586.5 million females. ...

The Mint Report for 31 March 2011

Livemint - ‎1 hour ago‎
Provisional census data is out. And the numbers reveal a slowdown in India's population growth. The country now has an estimated 1.21 billion people, which works out to an increase of 17.64%. In contrast, the 2001 census estimated a population growth ...

India's population now stands at 1.21 billion

NewsX - ‎1 hour ago‎
India's population has touched a whopping 1.21 billion people. This is an increase of 181 million people since the last census in 2001. Of the total population, 623.7 million are men and 586.5 million are women.

What the census means for the country

IBNLive.com - ‎2 hours ago‎
New Delhi: Counting over a billion people is no easy task. But the Census 2011 has done just that, giving India its newest headcount. At 121 crore population, it's the combined population of USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan. ...

Significant boost in literacy: 2011 census

The Hindu - Aarti Dhar - ‎3 hours ago‎
The provisional data of the 2011 census released here on Thursday gave the country some good tidings on the literacy front, as the literacy level has increased by 9.21 percentage points in the past decade to touch 74.04 per cent. ...

Indian girls fall further into minority in latest census

Telegraph.co.uk - Dean Nelson - ‎3 hours ago‎
India's population has grown more than 180 million in the last ten years to 1.2 billion, but its proportion of girls has fallen to its lowest rate since independence, according to the latest census. By Dean Nelson, New Delhi 3:59PM BST 31 Mar 2011 ...

Census of India 2011: Slower Indian population growth may benefit economy

Economic Times - ‎4 hours ago‎
NEW DELHI: India's population grew at its slowest pace since independence in the decade to 2011, the government said on Thursday, a trend welcomed by some since it may lead to higher living standards and sounder public finances in a country with enough ...

India's census: The good and bad news

BBC News (blog) - ‎6 hours ago‎
The country has added 181 million new people over the last decade, the equivalent of the population of Brazil, which is the fifth largest country in the world. With 1.21 billion people, India now accounts for 17% of the world's population. ...

Timeline of articles

Timeline of articles
Number of sources covering this story
Census: India's population now 1.21 billion
‎1 hour ago‎ - Express Buzz
India adds 181 million people in a decade
‎10 hours ago‎ - Washington Post
Census 2011: population pegged at 1210.2 million
‎12 hours ago‎ - The Hindu

Images

Hindu Business ...
Moneycontrol.co...
BBC News (blog)
AFP
NDTV.com
GlobalPost
Rhino Car Hire
RTT News
Boston Globe

Census: India's population now 1.21 billion

Express Buzz - ‎57 minutes ago‎
NEW DELHI: India's population has risen to 1.21 billion - an increase of over 181 million in the last decade - but the gender imbalance is the worst since independence, indicating a persisting preference for male children, according to the latest ...

Census: India's population growth finally drops

Moneycontrol.com - ‎35 minutes ago‎
India's population has been pegged at 1210.2 million, according to the provisional 2011 Census report released on Thursday in New Delhi. Out of 1210.2 million people in India there are 623.7 million males and 586.5 million females. ...

Significant boost in literacy: 2011 census

The Hindu - Aarti Dhar - ‎3 hours ago‎
The provisional data of the 2011 census released here on Thursday gave the country some good tidings on the literacy front, as the literacy level has increased by 9.21 percentage points in the past decade to touch 74.04 per cent. ...

Census of India 2011: Slower Indian population growth may benefit economy

Economic Times - ‎4 hours ago‎
NEW DELHI: India's population grew at its slowest pace since independence in the decade to 2011, the government said on Thursday, a trend welcomed by some since it may lead to higher living standards and sounder public finances in a country with enough ...

Indian girls fall further into minority in latest census

Telegraph.co.uk - Dean Nelson - ‎3 hours ago‎
India's population has grown more than 180 million in the last ten years to 1.2 billion, but its proportion of girls has fallen to its lowest rate since independence, according to the latest census. By Dean Nelson, New Delhi 3:59PM BST 31 Mar 2011 ...

Major highlights of the Census 2011

Times of India - ‎7 hours ago‎
NEW DELHI: The population of the country as per the provisional figures of Census 2011 is 1210.19 million of which 623.7 million (51.54%) are males and 586.46 million (48.46%) are females. The provisional figures of Census 2011 were released in New ...

The Mint Report for 31 March 2011

Livemint - ‎1 hour ago‎
Provisional census data is out. And the numbers reveal a slowdown in India's population growth. The country now has an estimated 1.21 billion people, which works out to an increase of 17.64%. In contrast, the 2001 census estimated a population growth ...

What the census means for the country

IBNLive.com - ‎1 hour ago‎
New Delhi: Counting over a billion people is no easy task. But the Census 2011 has done just that, giving India its newest headcount. At 121 crore population, it's the combined population of USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan. ...

India adds 181 million people in a decade

Washington Post - Rama Lakshmi - ‎10 hours ago‎
Channi Anand/ AP - Newly-born babies sleep at a hospital in Jammu, India. India is now home to 17 percent of all people in the world as its population climbed to 1.21 billion in 2011, though growth actually slowed for the first time in 90 years. ...

India's literacy level is 74%: census

Hindustan Times - ‎7 hours ago‎
PTI India's literacy level has increased by 9.21% in the past 10 years to reach 74.04%, according to provisional data of the 2011 census released in New Delhi on Thursday. According to the data, literates constitute 74% of the total population aged ...

Timeline of articles

Timeline of articles
Number of sources covering this story
Census: India's population now 1.21 billion
‎57 minutes ago‎ - Express Buzz
Census of India 2011: Literacy rises by 9.2 per cent, now 74.04 per cent
‎9 hours ago‎ - Economic Times
Census 2011: population pegged at 1210.2 million
‎12 hours ago‎ - The Hindu

Images

Moneycontrol.co...
BBC News (blog)
AFP
NDTV.com
GlobalPost
Rhino Car Hire
RTT News
Boston Globe
Newsday (subscr...

31/03/2011

Anti-aircraft guns, NSG to secure WC final

New Delhi/Mumbai: While anti-aircraft guns and NSG commandos will take care of the security of the World Cup final in Mumbai what with the arrival of Sri Lankan President and other celebrities, the ICC landed itself a special bonanza of a whopping Rs 45 crore. Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government has declared a holiday for Mumbai on Saturday.

Anti-aircraft guns, NSG to secure WC final

Anti-aircraft guns, NSG to secure WC final

Anti-aircraft guns will be strategically put in place and teams of the elite National Security Guards will join thousands of security personnel to provide security at the cricket World Cup final on April 2 at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.

Though there is no specific threat to the much-awaited game where India will clash with Sri Lanka, the Centre is not taking any chances as President Pratibha Patil and her Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa are set to watch the encounter, sources said.

A sizable number of NSG commandos and around 400 central paramilitary personnel will assist Mumbai Police to ensure foolproof security.

All air bases near Mumbai, Indian Navy and Coast Guard have been put on high alert to ensure security in the air and sea during the Saturday's match which is also expected to be watched by a host of Union ministers, chief minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan and other leaders.

Quick Reaction Teams and women personnel of CRPF would be stationed at vital locations in and around the stadium to respond to any exigency. Home ministry officials are in constant touch with Mumbai Police and the Maharashtra government to ensure security.

"There is no concern for security. We will ensure that everything goes off well in Mumbai," a home ministry official said.

Cricket World Cup gets Rs.45 crore tax relief

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has landed a Rs.45 crore ($10 million) bonanza with the Indian cabinet Thursday exempting the income earned during the World Cup from tax.

At a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the cabinet approved the finance ministry's proposal to exempt the 2011 World Cup from income tax.

"The financial implication will be nearly Rs.45 crore," the finance ministry said in a statement.

The cabinet had approved a proposal in 2005 to amend the Income Tax Act, 1961, to exempt the income of both residents and non-residents arising from an international sporting event conducted in India.

Do you think the Indian government was wrong in giving the ICC a Rs 45-crore tax bonanza?

Mumbai to have special holiday for World Cup final

Special Holiday for Mumbai

The Maharashtra government has declared a special public holiday for Mumbai Saturday when India and Sri Lanka play the cricket World Cup final at Wankhede Stadium here.

"A special public holiday has been declared for Mumbai city on April 2 (Saturday) under the Negotiable Instruments Act," an official said. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had earlier mulled the idea of declaring it a special public holiday.

The idea was to reduce the tension on the day of the match, Chavan had told reporters.

The Indian Navy and Coast Guard have stepped up security in the sea off Maharashtra and Gujarat ahead of the India-Sri Lanka World Cup final Saturday, an official said Thursday.

Ships, fast attack crafts, patrol vessels and fast interceptor crafts have been deployed to check terrorists who may try to sneak into Mumbai from the Arabian Sea, the official said.

Marine Commandos who fought Pakistani terrorists in November 2008 have been equipped with helicopters to attend to any eventuality at the sea or on shore. Security has been tightened on the shore with additional checkpoints at boat landing areas and small jetties.

The Indian Navy has also enhanced surveillance and patrolling in and around the Offshore Development Area. The World Cup final will take place at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.

Patil, Rajapaksa to watch World Cup final in Mumbai

Patil, Rajapaksa to watch World Cup final in Mumbai

New Delhi: After the high octane India-Pakistan match in Mohali, the World Cup cricket final in Mumbai on April 2 is also going to be a high-profile event with President Pratibha Patil and her Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa set to watch the encounter.

Patil will be flying to Mumbai for the keenly awaited match after India entered the final by thrashing Pakistan at Mohali on Wednesday, Rashtrapati Bhawan sources said.
The President has been following the game and had watched the India-Pakistan semi-final match.

The Mohali encounter provided the "setting" for a "re-engagement" between India and Pakistan with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani mixing cricket with diplomacy.

Reports from Colombo said that Rajapaksa will fly to Mumbai for the India-Sri Lanka final. "The President wants us (Sri Lanka) to win the World Cup as a tribute to Muttiah Muralitharan who retires from international cricket after this World Cup," Rajapaksa's spokesman Bandula Jayasekera told reporters.

The Sri Lankan President and his three sons were keen spectators on Tuesday night when Sri Lanka beat New Zealand to reach the final to meet India.

Source: PTI & IANS

31/03/2011

No relief from apex court to Hasan Ali

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday declined to hear the plea of Hasan Ali, the country's top-most tax evader under investigation for stashing away huge amounts of money abroad, challenging his "illegal" custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for three more days.

No relief from apex court to Hasan Ali

A bench of Justice B.Sudarshan Reddy and Justice S.S.Nijjar declined to entertain Hasan Ali's plea on the ground that there was no application or petition before it challenging the Mumbai special court's order giving his three-day custody to the ED.

The court told Hasan Ali's counsel Santosh Paul that it would not entertain any oral submissions.

Counsel for the ED told the court that it had sought Hasan Ali's custody in the wake of the apex court order directing video and audio recording of his interrogation. The court was told that Hasan Ali is in the ED's office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Paul told the apex court that the special court granted Hasan Ali's custody to the ED without waiting for the apex court order of Tuesday wherein it had permitted both the ED and Hasan Ali to plead their cases before the special court.

The apex court had said that if the ED wanted to undertake further custodial interrogation of Hasan Ali, it could move the special court which would give its ruling without being influenced by its earlier adverse observations against ED.

No relief from apex court to Hasan Ali

In the same order, the apex court had permitted Hasan Ali to move the special court afresh for bail.

Paul said the special court was told to wait for the apex court's order before passing any order on the ED's plea. "There cannot be police custody after 15 days of arrest. He (Hasan Ali) can only be sent to judicial custody," Paul told the court.

Arguing his client was "in an illegal custody with no remedy", Paul sought that Hasan Ali should be allowed to avail the liberty given by apex court.

The court was not moved.

"If the magistrate has passed a wrong and erroneous order, then you can seek remedy by taking the legal recourse and moving the high court," the court said.

When Paul told the court that he was making a mentioning, the court asked him to file an application or petition and then it would hear it.

Source: PTI

Hasan Ali, time to quit horsing around

31/03/2011

Gandhi book ban 'shameful', says author

Pulitzer prize-winning author Joseph Lelyveld has opposed a ban on his controversial book on Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi book ban 'shameful', says author

London: Pulitzer prize-winning author Joseph Lelyveld has opposed a ban on his controversial book on Mahatma Gandhi, describing the move as "shameful".

"In a country (India) that calls itself a democracy, it is shameful to ban a book that no one has read, including the people who are doing the banning," Lelyveld said.

He was reacting to the ban imposed by Gujarat government on his book, which reportedly talks about the sexual preferences of Mahatma Gandhi. Maharashtra government is also mulling a proposal to ban the book in the state.

"They should at least make an effort to see the pages that they think offend them before they take such an extreme step. I find it very discouraging to think that India would so limit discussion," he told CNN-IBN news channel.

The author of the book titled 'Great Soul; Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India' has triggered a controversy with Gandhi's kin and historians saying it was an attempt to "sensationalise" the life of the icon of non-violence and showed the "negative" mindset of the author.

Gandhi book ban 'shameful', says author

Defending his work, Lelyveld said: "It is a responsible book, it is a sensitive book, it is a book that is admiring of Gandhi and his struggle for social justice in India and it's been turned into as if it is some kind of sensationalist pot boiler. It is not."

He dismissed reports that his work include offensive languages against Mahatma, saying the book does not talk about the sexual preferences of the Indian leader.

"It does not say Gandhi was bisexual. It does not say that he was homosexual," Lelyveld.

"It does not say that he was a racist. The word bisexual never appears in the book and the word racist only appears once in a very limited context; relating to a single phrase and not to Gandhi's whole set attitudes or history in South Africa," he clarified, adding "I didn't say these things, So I can hardly defend them."

Source: PTI

31/03/2011

Raja to stay in custody till April 2

New Delhi: The judicial custody of former Telecom Minister A. Raja and three others, arrested for their alleged role in the 2G spectrum scam, was on Thursday extended by a Delhi court till April 2, when the agency plans to file its first charge sheet in the case.

Raja to stay in custody till April 2

The order extending their remand was passed by Special CBI Judge O. P. Saini after the accused were produced before the court through video conferencing. "All the accused are remanded to judicial custody till April 2," the court said, extending their judicial remand.

The CBI, which was to file the charge sheet in the case on March 31, had earlier sought a two -- day extension from the Supreme Court for finishing the task. The apex court had allowed the CBI plea.

It had sought extension of the deadline for filing the charge sheet saying that a detailed document running into over 80,000 pages along with various annexures was being prepared by the agency.

The three others whose judicial custody was also extended were former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's former personal secretary R. K. Chandolia and Swan telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa. The four are lodged in Tihar Jail here.

Raja was arrested by the CBI along with Behura and Chandolia on February 2, while Balwa was arrested from Pune on February 8.

Source: PTI

31/03/2011

Silver prices surge to all-time high of Rs 56,600/kg

Mumbai: Surpassing all previous records, silver soared to an all-time high of Rs 56,600 per kg in the national capital today on heavy buying by stockists and industrial units, sparked by a rising global trend.

Silver prices surge to all-time high of Rs 56,600kg

While silver spurted by Rs 600 to all-time high of Rs 56,600 per kg, its more expensive counterpart, gold, climbed by Rs 70 to Rs 21,090 per 10 grams on scattered buying.

The trading sentiment at home turned bullish as precious metals gained ground in global markets amid fighting in Libya and concerns about European debt spurring demand for a safe investment haven.

In global markets, gold rose by $4.73 to $1,427.75 an ounce and silver by 0.7% to $37.72 an ounce.

On the domestic front, silver ready surged by Rs 600 to Rs 56,600 per kg and weekly-based delivery by Rs 535 to Rs 56,100 per kg. Silver coins held steady at Rs 61,500 for buying and Rs 62,000 for selling of 100 pieces.

Similarly, gold of 99.9 and 99.5% purity rose by Rs 70 each to Rs 21,090 and Rs 20,970 per ten grams, respectively. However, sovereigns held steady at Rs 17,500 per piece of eight grams.

Source: PTI

31/03/2011

Essar exits Vodafone-Essar JV for $5 billion

New Delhi: Putting an end to the corporate battle, UK-based Vodafone today announced it would exercise the option to acquire its Indian partner Essar''s 33 per cent stake which will result in payment of $5 billion.

Essar exits Vodafone-Essar JV for $5 billion

With this, Vodafone may have to look for another domestic partner to remain compliant with the FDI norms in the telecom sector of a maximum stake of 74 per cent.

"Vodafone Group announces that the Essar Group has exercised its underwritten put option over 22 per cent of Vodafone Essar Limited (VEL).

"Following the exercise by the Essar Group of its put option, Vodafone has exercised its call option over the remaining 11 per cent of VEL owned by the Essar Group, resulting in a total cash payment of $5 billion," Vodafone said in a statement.

Call Option allows an investor the right but not the obligation to buy a stock, bond, commodity or other instrument at a specified price within a specific time period.
On the other hand, Put Option is an option contract giving the owner the right but not the obligation to sell a specified amount of an underlying security at a specified price within a specified time.

With this, Essar will exit completely from the joint venture, which is offering nationwide mobile services in India. Vodafone has over 130 million subscribers and is the third largest operator in India.

Essar exits Vodafone-Essar JV for $5 billion

Vodafone also said that final settlement is anticipated to be completed by November, 2011. Sources in the know said that the completion of deal would be subject to meeting certain conditions which include Reserve Bank of India''s permission as well as valuation of the deal.

The final shareholding pattern post this deal was not provided by the company as it was not clear whether Vodafone's stake would exceed the 74 per cent FDI limit.

Vodafone had entered Indian market in 2007 when it bought Hutchison''s stake in the joint venture for over $11 billion and after that it had entered into an agreement with Essar for a call and put option for its stake.

The two firms were locked in battle over Essar''s plan to list a firm that had part stake in the joint venture to find out market value of its 33 per cent stake. The move was opposed by Vodafone saying this may not give true value of Vodafone''s stake. It had approached the market regulator SEBI and also filed a petition in the Madras High Court.

Source: PTI

31/03/2011

e-Indica to hit UK streets soon

Mumbai: Tata Morors to target business, fleet users with most popular hatchback; no plans for India launch.

e-Indica to hit UK streets soon

Tata Motors, India's biggest automotive company, is readying the launch of an electric version of Indica Vista, its most popular hatchback, in the United Kingdom.

The company has established an electric vehicle manufacturing center in Coventry, capable of building 1,500 units every year. The car will go on sale this summer, beginning with fleet customers.

The Vista electric was developed by engineers at Tata Motors UK subsidiary, Tata Motors European Technical Center Plc (TMETC). The body shells, however, are exported from India. The end cost of the car could stand at £20,000 (Rs 14.33 lakh), including the £5,000 (Rs 3.5 lakh) subsidy provided by the government on electric cars. The company is yet to make an official announcement of the price range.

According to the Birmingham Mail, Tata Motors has built 40 units of the Indica Vista EV in the first phase, of which 25 units have been delivered. The car can deliver 100 miles (160 km) to a full charge, which would cost Rs 107.

"By using the Vista we have a car which is a four-seater with good luggage space, unlike a lot of electric cars which have limited space inside and are not really practical," Steve Ocock, head of manufacturing, told the Birmingham Mail.

"With a top speed of 114 km per hour, lively acceleration and a range of 160 km, this four-seater family hatchback, with ample luggage space, is a testament to the efficiency of the EV drive-train packaging. The lithium-ion batteries in the car are produced by Miljobil Innovasion, a subsidiary of TMETC based in Norway," said a statement by Tata Motors.

The car will be on sale in the UK from the early summer this year and will be targeted primarily at business and fleet users. The company's aim is to develop a robust customer base and after-sales programme, and not to chase volumes.

"In line with that objective, we will consciously restrict volumes, in the first two to three years. However, keeping long-term objectives in mind, a plant has been set up at Coventry, UK, with a capacity to produce up to 1,500 cars a year," the statement added. Due to inadequate development of infrastructure in India, the company has no plans of launching the car here.

Source: Business Standard

Census 2011: Girl child at risk as sex ratio declines

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Census of India 2011: Child sex ratio drops to lowest since Independence

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NEW DELHI: Indicating a continuing preference for boys in society, the child sex ratio in India has dropped to 914 females against 1000 males - the lowest since Independence - in the provisional 2011 Census report released today. ...

Haryana sex ratio second lowest in India

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Child sex ratio a major cause for concern

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Declining child sex ratio matter of concern: Tirath

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Child sex ratio worst since Independence: Census 2011

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