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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reforms in India have been disappointingly slow!Lord Karan Bilimoria, the founder of the famous brand Cobra beer in the UK,complains. Is it?West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today dismissed as a "lie" the opposition claim of 27 farmers' suic

Reforms in India have been disappointingly slow!Lord Karan Bilimoria, the founder of the famous brand Cobra beer in the UK,complains. Is it?West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today dismissed as a "lie" the opposition claim of 27 farmers' suicide in the state and claimed only one has died.Does she speak Truth?Suman mocks at Mamata's visit to Irom Sharmila!

Gandhi family on UP campaign trail from Feb 1

2 more babies die in West Bengal hospital, state seeks report

The CPI(M) today asked theManmohan Singh government whether it had a "dual policy" on FDIin the retail sector.

The rebound in eight core industries' production in November seems a blip in the third quarter of this financial year, as the output of crucial sectors with 38 per cent weight in industrial production, grew just 3.1 per cent, almost half of the earlier growth, both year-on-year and sequentially.

Dassault says India selects Rafale fighter

Taslima Nasrin's autobiography to be released!Congress releases UP manifesto, promises quotas!

PM was not advised properly on 2G, SC pulls up PMO

Global capital flows are a two-way traffic between emerging and advanced economies, but the developing world remains vulnerable to volatility in such flows because there are limitations in borrowing in own currency in global markets, according to the RBI.

Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams, chapter 737

Palash Biswas

  1. Economic liberalisation in India - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


  3. Jump to Later reforms‎: After five years, most of the sanctions have been lifted and theIndian economy is continuing to grow at an acceptably satisfactory ...

  4. Pre-liberalisation policies - Narasimha Rao government (1991 ...

  5. You've visited this page 2 times. Last visit: 17/1/12

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  7. Economic Reforms in India Since 1991: Has Gradualism Worked


  9. File Format: Microsoft Word - Quick View

  10. by MS Ahluwalia - Cited by 340 - Related articles

  11. India was a latecomer to economic reforms, embarking on the process in earnest only in 1991, in the wake of an exceptionally severe balance of payments crisis ...

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  16. by S Ahuja - 2006 - Cited by 2 - Related articles

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  19. India's Economic Reforms - Asian Development Bank


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  23. India's Economic Reforms. What Has Been Accomplished? What Remains to Be Done? Arvind Panagariya. ERD POLICY BRIEF SERIES. Economics and ...

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  28. 10 Nov 2006 – What has been the main objective of the overall economic reformprocess in India, or for that matter, anywhere? The primary objective has to ...

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  30. India's Economic Reforms - Planning Commission


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  37. India Inc s stupendous growth can be attributed to 'India Economic Reform' earnest in July 1991. The balance of payments crisis opened the way for an ...

  38. You've visited this page 2 times. Last visit: 11/8/11

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  43. ECONOMIC REFORMS IN INDIA: A BALANCE SHEET. Narendra Jadhav. 1. Friends,. It is a privilege to be here today at the INTECH Institute of Business ...

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    1. Time to tighten fiscal policy: Kotak

    2. The Hindu‎ - 1 day ago

    3. Urging India to move ahead with economic reforms to benefit from the changing global dynamics, top banker Uday Kotak has said it is time for the country to ...

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  1. Time to tighten fiscal policy: Kotak

  2. The Hindu - 1 day ago
  3. Urging India to move ahead with economic reforms to benefit from the changing global dynamics, top banker Uday Kotak has said it is time for the country to ...
  4. Local acquisitions top priority for Kotak Mahindra BankFirstpost
  5. all 34 news articles »
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  9. - 7 hours ago
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  43. The five-day meeting, which ended on Sunday, saw a number of global economic leaders urge India to go ahead with economic reforms, including FDI in retail.
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  46. India Attracts Record Foreign Investment Despite Slowdown

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  48. Despite a slowdown in its economy, India continues to be an attractive global investment hub. ... "It could have encouraged much more if reforms had come.
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Taslima Nasrin's autobiography to be released!Congress releases UP manifesto, promises quotas!

Playing the quota card in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Congress on Tuesday promised reservation for socially and economically backward minorities and very backward dalits in proportion to their population.

Releasing the party manifesto in the state, where Rahul Gandhi is the star campaigner, the Congress also vowed to ensure that all parties to the Ayodhya dispute stick to the court verdict.

The party promised to work for setting up the second States Reorganisation Commission in the wake of demands for splitting states like UP.

Reiterating its promise of creating more employment opportunities if voted to power, the manifesto promised launching a UP skills and employment mission to provide job related skills and training to 20 lakh youths and placement in jobs through this mission in the next five years.

The manifesto was released here jointly by HRD minister Kapil Sibal, Law minister and chairman of the manifesto committee Salman Khursheed and UPCC president Rita Bahuguna Joshi. It was simultaneously released in nine other cities in the state.

Sam Pitroda, who is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's technology and innovation adviser, was also present at the manifesto launch reflecting Rahul's attempts to lay stress on technology in development of UP.

For the minorities, the manifesto promised timely implementation of the UPA government's policy of 4.5 per cent quota in central government jobs, PSUs and educational institutions besides aim towards a sub quota for them in UP as part of the OBC quota in the state government jobs and educational institutions commensurate to their population.

Vowing to pursue an equitable solution to the Babri Masjid dispute, the manifesto said "All parties must abide by the verdict of the courts. If negotiations are to be held they must be between the parties to the dispute and must have a legal sanction." The Congress stand ran counter to BJP's promise of building a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
The HinduAccording to quick estimates of economic growth released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the agriculture sector growth has been impressive at 7 per cent during the year 2010-11. File photo

Global capital flows are a two-way traffic between emerging and advanced economies, but the developing world remains vulnerable to volatility in such flows because there are limitations in borrowing in own currency in global markets, according to the RBI.

Speaking at the Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT) last week, Reserve Bank Executive Director Deepak Mohanty said even as availability of foreign capital alleviates domestic resource constraints, it could also destabilise the economy.
"Global capital flows now increasingly show a two-way movement between emerging and developing economies (EDEs) and advanced economies. However, EDEs remain vulnerable to volatility and sudden stops in capital flows. This is because EDEs have limitation in borrowing in their own currencies in international capital markets," Mohanty said.
His speech was uploaded on the RBI's website today.
Elaborating further, Mohanty pointed to the global economic crisis of 2008.
"The epicentre of the 2008 crisis was the US, but capital flows to EDEs, including...

The government on Tuesday revised the economic growth rate for 2010-11 financial year slightly down to 8.4 per cent from the earlier estimate of 8.5 per cent.

"The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at factor cost at constant prices in 2010-11 has registered a growth of 8.4 per cent over the previous year," the Quick Estimates of economic growth released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said.
"The major source of growth in the GDP has been from the services sector which has grown at the rate of 9.3 per cent.
The agriculture sector growth has also been impressive at 7 per cent during the year 2010-11," it said.
The growth of secondary sector, which includes manufacturing and construction sector, stood at 7.2 per cent in 2010-11.
In addition, the GDP growth estimate for FY09-10 has been revised upward to 8.4 per cent from the previous estimate of 8 per cent.
Agriculture sector growth recorded 7 per cent growth in 2010-11 as against a mere 1 per cent in 2009-10, the data showed.
Finance, insurance, real estate and business services expanded by 10.4 per cent in 2010-11 against a growth rate of 9.4 per cent in the previous fiscal.
Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank had lowered its GDP growth forecast for the current fiscal to 7 per cent, from the earlier estimate of 7.6, due to global economic slowdown, high domestic interest rates and other factors.
Trade, hotels and restaurants expanded by 9 per cent in 2010-11 against a growth rate of 7.8 per cent in 2009-10, the Quick Estimates released by MOSPI Minister Srikant Jena said.
Construction sector grew by 8 per cent during the year under review against 7 per cent in the previous fiscal.
The mining and quarrying sectors registered 5 per cent growth in FY'11, against 6.3 per cent expansion in the previous fiscal.
Manufacturing grew by 7.6 per cent in 2010-11 compared to a growth of 9.7 per cent in 2009-10.
Furthermore, electricity, gas and water production recorded 3 per cent growth in FY'11, compared to 6.3 per cent expansion in FY'10.
As per the Quick Estimates, the transport, storage and communication sector expanded by 14.7 per cent in 2010-11.
The sector had grown by 14.8 per cent in the previous fiscal.
The GDP at constant prices at market prices during the year 2010-11 has grown at 9.6 per cent, as per the data.

World Economic Forum: Highlights

Jan 28, 2012

The annual summit of business, industrial, academic and State heads is being held from January 24-29, 2012 in Davos, Switzerland, when the world is facing debt crisis, political instability and anti-capitalist movement.



Image: 1 of  13



Participants at a discussion during the first day of the 42nd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The overarching theme of the meeting, which takes place from January 25 to 29, is "The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models". Photo: AP
Just after Salman rushdie and Stanic verses controversy hyped to Irritate Muslim  sentiments and Hinduise the Mulnivasi Bahujan, Taslima Nasrin's autobiography to be released!Taslima Nasrin's autobiography to be released
The seventh part of controversial author Taslima Nasrin's autobiography Nirbasan is set to be released at the Kolkata Book Fair tomorrow, nearly five years after she was bundled out from her 'adopted city' by the authorities following protests.
The latest instalment in the series of her memoirs, 'Nirbasan' (Exile) gives an account of the Bangladeshi author's plight following her expulsion from the city in 2007.
Written in Bengali, the new book traces the circumstances which forced her to leave Kolkata which she often describes as her "adopted home" and the resultant mental trauma and insecurity of not having a sanctuary anywhere in the world.
Exiled from Bangladesh in 1994 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments with her novel 'Lajja' (Shame), the 49-year-old doctor-turned-author took refuge in Kolkata in 2004, after a long stay in Europe.
As the protests snowballed into near riot-like situation in Kolkata in November 2007, the government took her away to an undisclosed location in New Delhi.
Nasrin moved to Sweden in 2008 as the West Bengal government refused to accommodate her, citing law and order problems.
Islamic fundamentalists issued three fatwas in Bangladesh against her while four were issued against her in India.
The All India Minority Forum has also demanded that the author's Indian visa be revoked and she be forced to leave the country for hurting Muslim sentiments.

Radia tapes tampered: Centre tells Supreme Court

The bench went through a few initial pages of the report which stated there was tampering with the conversations which were released by media. »

PM was not advised properly on 2G, SC pulls up PMO
The HinduThe Supreme Court has held that Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy had the locus standi to seek prosecution of then Telecom Minister A. Raja over the 2G spectrum allocation issue. File photo

Indicting the PMO but letting the Prime Minister off lightly on failure to decide on prosecuting the then telecom minister A Raja in the 2G case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday set a limit of four months for deciding the issue of sanction for prosecution of corrupt public servants.

Allowing Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy's petition against the Delhi high court judgement refusing to direct the Prime Minister on his plea for prosecution of Raja, the apex court upheld the right of a private citizen to seek sanction for prosecution of a public servant for corruption.
Rejecting attorney general G E Vahanvati's arguments, a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly held that Swamy had the locus standi to seek sanction.
The apex court blamed the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) for sitting on the plea to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for granting sanction to prosecute Raja.
It said that those who were "duty bound" to apprise the Prime Minister about the "seriousness" of the allegations to enable him to take appropriate decision in the matter "failed" to do so.
"Unfortunately, those who were expected to give proper advice to Prime Minister and place full facts and legal position before him failed to do so.
"We have no doubt that if the Prime Minister had been apprised of the true factual and legal position regarding the representation made by the appellant, he would have surely taken appropriate decision and would not have allowed the matter to linger for a period of more than one year," the bench said.

The Supreme Court's observations with regard to grant of sanction for prosecution of then Telecom Minister A. Raja in the 2G case were on Tuesday welcomed by the Prime Minister's Office which said it was a vindication of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The PMO said the directions of the Supreme Court are being examined.
"We welcome the fact that both the learned judges (of the Supreme Court) have completely vindicated the Prime Minister whilst appreciating the onerous duties of his office," a statement issued by the PMO said.
The statement came after the Supreme Court observed: "We have no doubt that if the Prime Minister had been apprised of the true, factual and legal position regarding the representation made by the appellant, he would have surely taken appropriate decision and would not have allowed the matter to linger for a period of more than one year."
The court, at the same time, blamed the PMO for sitting on the plea to the Prime Minister for granting sanction to prosecute Mr. Raja in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
"Government is examining their (the court's) directions regarding the manner in which applications are to be dealt with," the PMO said.
Earlier in the day, the court held that filing of a complaint under the Prevention of Corruption Act is a Constitutional right of a citizen and the competent authority decide within a time frame on granting sanction of prosecution of a public servant.
Setting aside a Delhi High Court judgement refusing to give direction to the Prime Minister on the request for sanction of prosecution against the then Telecom Minister A. Raja in the 2G scam case, a two-judge bench of the court held that if the sanction is not given within four months then it is deemed to have been granted.
The bench, comprising justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly, held that Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, who had sought sanction for prosecution of Mr. Raja, had the locus standi to seek it.
It said sanction should be granted within a time frame and the competent authority shall take action in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in the Vineet Narain case of 1996.

Dassault says India selects Rafale fighter!

Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) said its Rafale fighter had been selected by the Indian air force and pledged to meet the country's operational needs.

"Following the announcement of the final selection of the Rafale in the frame of the MMRCA program, Dassault Aviation and its partners are honored and grateful to the Indian Government and the people of India to be given the opportunity to extend their long-lasting cooperation," said the company in a statement.
Indian government sources said earlier Dassault had undercut the Eurofighter Typhoon in a competition for 126 aircraft and that India would enter exclusive talks with the French company.
Dassault's statement did not address the process ahead for concluding a final agreement.

Reforms in India have been disappointingly slow!Lord Karan Bilimoria, the founder of the famous brand Cobra beer in the UK,complains. Is it?West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today dismissed as a "lie" the opposition claim of 27 farmers' suicide in the state and claimed only one has died.Does she speak Truth?

The rebound in eight core industries' production in November seems a blip in the third quarter of this financial year, as the output of crucial sectors with 38 per cent weight in industrial production, grew just 3.1 per cent, almost half of the earlier growth, both year-on-year and sequentially.

Analysts say December industrial production figures may not be as high as November, but still the GDP growth for the third quarter would be slightly better than the second quarter numbers.
It was negative growth in natural gas and crude oil in December, which muted the overall numbers against 6.3 per cent in the corresponding period of last year and 6.7 per cent in November. For the first nine months this year, production of eight core industry, which include coal, cement, steel, natural gas, petroleum refinery and fertilisers, grew 4.4 per cent versus 5.7 per cent in the corresponding period of last year.
Anyway, industrial production in December is expected to be muted due to the high base effect and also due to the recent lag of improvement in coal output. However, "We will see industrial production turn around pretty soon, conducive for RBI to go for a rate cut," said Deloitte Haskins & Sells' director, Anis Chakravarty.
Industrial production had contracted in October by 4.7 per cent, but rebounded by a 5.9 per cent growth in November.
Even then, economists expect the economy to do better in the third quarter in terms of overall GDP growth against just 6.9 per cent expansion in the second, a nine-quarter low.
Coal grew positively for the second straight month at a robust 5.6 per cent, pointing at major recovery which may also reflect in mining and manufacturing numbers with some lag. Coal had grown positively by 4.9 per cent in November after negative growth for three months; yet the mining numbers in the Index of Industrial Production was negative.
Along with coal, robust growth in cement and electricity perked the eight core industry numbers. Cement output grew 13.3 per cent versus 16.6 per cent last month and electricity grew eight per cent against 14.4 per cent in November.
Crude oil output growth was negative at 5.6 per cent in December, just as in November. Natural gas production declined 10.8 per cent, down from 10.1 per cent in November. Crude oil production for December dipped 5.6 per cent to 3.17 million tonnes. Natural gas production declined 10.8 per cent for December to 3,915.3 million cubic metres, mainly due to a decline in the Reliance Industries-operated KG-D6 block.
Steel was a dampener, as after recording robust growth for several months, it grew just 2.2 per cent in December, down from the previous month's 5.1 per cent.

The CPI(M) today asked theManmohan Singh government whether it had a "dual policy" on FDIin the retail sector.

"In Parliament the Centre said it would not move forward in FDI till a consensus evolved through discussions. In Davos Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma told a Walmart representative that it had only pressed the pause button. Has the Centre a double policy onFDI in retail?" CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat told a press conference here.

"Has the Centre got a double policy on FDI---one in Parliament and another with Walmart," she asked and warned the Centre going against its statement to Parliament.

Sharma had on Friday "assured" global Walmart and Metro that the reforms agenda was well on course and the decision to put on hold FDI in multi-brand retail was "just a pause", forced by "compulsions of coalition politics".

Accusing the Congress and the BJP of following wrong policies and trying to give land to big companies, she said "The left will launch agitation against grabbing of land by any government, particularly in Jharkhand, to hand over to big companies."

She also demanded that Jharkhand should empower members of the three-tier panchayat system in the state "instead of keeping powers with officials and legislators at the grassroots."

Mamata is the Face of PORIBORTAN in Bengal which ended Mraxists Rule of Thirty Five years. Mamata is also the Principal ICON of the Manusmriti Rule despite her volatile Matua or Vaishnav Incarnations! She rejects the Agrarian Crisis and the Impact of Free Market Economy!

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today dismissed as a "lie" the opposition claim of 27 farmers' suicide in the state and claimed only one has died. "Other than the death of one farmer, no other farmer has died. The claim that 27 farmers have died is a lie," she said during an interview to three Bengali news channels.

The state government has come under criticism from the CPI(M)-led opposition which claims 27 farmers committed suicide as they were unable to repay their loans in the absence of remunerative prices for their produce.

"What happened is that a number of people have taken loan for their business. It must be remembered that the farmer who produces paddy and the one who does business with it are not the same persons. Does any farmer take a Rs five crore loan? Many have taken loans of lakhs of rupees," she said.

CPIM's former party MP Lakshman Seth in CID chargesheet

Economic Times - ‎1 hour ago‎

KOLKATA: Once the lord of all he surveyed in Haldia, CPIM's former party MP Lakshman Seth, seems to be on the run. The CID in West Bengal filed a chargesheet before Calcutta High Court on Monday, naming Seth among 88 people, wanted in connection with ...



Prime Minister didn't phone me during my hunger strike: Mamata

NDTV - ‎47 minutes ago‎

Kolkata: Mamata Banerjee has hit out at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying that in 2006, when she was on a hunger strike on the Singur issue, he had come to Kolkata but not even telephoned her.

Accusing CPI(M) of killing and evicting farmers at Singur, Nandigarm and Netai, Banerjee said "some CPI(M) leaders are buying paddy at half the minimum support price. In Burdwan, some middlemen are shouting because they are not getting cut money.

" Claiming that no one was more sympathetic to farmers than her, Banerjee said she had instructed the BDOs and DMs to assist farmers in selling paddy.

"The procurement will be done by the Food Department through designated agencies. Those who are not getting the MSP can talk to the BDOs and the DM." Banerjee said her government had introduced the Kisan Credit Card to provide relief to farmers.

Meanwhile,Gandhi family on UP campaign trail from Feb 1 New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) The Gandhi family will hit the campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh from February 1 with Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressing rallies at Deoria and Gonda.

Rahul Gandhi will share the dais with Ajit Singh in Meerut on February 2, the first joint rally of Congress and RLD.

Party sources said Priyanka Gandhi is also likely to also begin the party's election campaign in the family pocket boroughs of Rabebareli and Amethi the same day. There has been a speculation about Priyanka's election campaign going beyond the confines of the two constituencies. However, there has been no official word on the party on it. Priyanka has already had a series of series of interaction with the party workers in the third week of this month. There are 10 assembly constituencies in Raebareli and Amethi of which seven are represented by Congress.

The campaign blitzkrieg by the Gandhi family in Uttar Pradesh starts two after the party is going to release its poll-manifesto for the state tomorrow.

Congress has already unveiled its long term roadmap for the development of the state called "Vision Document 2020". Rahul has already addressed election meetings in about 90 Assembly segments of the state. At an AICC briefing today, Congress leader Mohan Prakash expressed confidence that his party will form government in Uttar Pradesh.

2 more babies die in West Bengal hospital, state seeks report

West Bengal government on Monday sought reports from the state-run BC Roy Memorial Children's Hospital where seven crib deaths took place in last two days, officials said.

In October last year, 36 babies had died at several district hospitals and the referral BC Roy Children's Hospital.
Amid outrage over infant deaths in West Bengal, senior TrinamoolCongress (TMC) leader SudipBandyopadhyay today alleged that there is a conspiracy to blow out of proportion some of these cases in the state.
"Some deliberate campaign is very much being carried out that Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in Bengal is gradually growing high. But the report I have, reflects that all India average of infant mortality is 47, whereas in West Bengal it is 31,"Bandyopadhyay, who is the Minister of State for Health, told reporters here.
On being asked who is behind this "conspiracy", the minister said, "I am not particularly mentioning any name or identity. What I feel is, certainly some conspiracy is being hatched, otherwise why this issue is being projected in a very systematic manner."
TMC-ruled West Bengal recently saw a number of infant deaths in its hospitals. Most of the cases reportedly took place because of poor infrastructure in the hospitals and negligence of staff there.
Blaming the Left Front and CPM which ruled the state for last 34 years behind its crumbling health infrastructure, he said seven months of TMCrule is not enough to improve the situation.
"Since last 34 years when the Left Front and CPM ruled the state, the total infrastructure in the hospitals had collapsed. From top to bottom it was a mess. So six months or seven months time is not enough for a government (to improve the situation)," he said.

The health department asked the authorities of eastern region's largest paediatric referral hospital to send reports about crib deaths.

Hospital sources said that two infants died in last 24 hours and attributed the cause to malnutrition, being critically ill and underweight.

The fresh two deaths took the infant death toll to seven in last two days, with ages ranging from 10 days to one month, the sources said.

The sources, however, dismissed allegations that the patients' relatives were 'roughed up and misbehaved'.
Infant deaths in the city hospital came on the trail of similar reports from different state-run hospitals in Malda and Berhampore in last couple of days.

As angry family members staged demonstration and blocked roads on Sunday alleging medical negligence, police rushed to pacify the agitators.

Hospital superintendent Dilip Pal pleaded that most of the babies were brought to the hospital in a critical condition. He further claimed that there was "nothing abnormal" in such crib deaths which "is within the normal range."

The superintendent said there was a heavy load of patients in the hospital and a large number of children are being brought daily, "many of whom already brought in critical condition to the hospital".

'Reforms in India have been disappointingly slow'

  • January 29, 2012

  • By P.T. Thufail

  • DC

Business, economy, FDI, India

Karan Bilimoria, beer baron

Lord Karan Bilimoria, the founder of the famous brand Cobra beer in the UK, is a prominent British personality. He has maintained close links with India. In this interview with P.T. Thufail, he speaks of investment prospects for overseas Indians and their strong interest in charity, education and health in India.

This year the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) — created officially to forge links with overseas Indians — was observed recently in New Delhi. Are there tangible benefits from such events?

I have attended the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas since its inception in 2003. I have found it to be a tremendous government initiative which brings together thousands of non-resident Indians (NRIs) and persons of Indian origin (PIOs). It is wonderful to celebrate the success of the over 25 million members of the Indian diaspora across the world. Wherever you look, Indians are now reaching the very top in every field.

The PBD has led to the formation of the ministry of overseas indian affairs. It is at the PBD that I made the suggestion to the Indian government that there should be a Prime Minister's Global Advisory Council, which has just had its third meeting.

This council — of which I am a founding member — has been able to process such issues as voting rights for NRIs and the merging of the PIO card and Overseas Indian Citizenship.

People of Indian background abroad are vastly different from one another in their social and economic makeup. Has the Pravasi arrangement helped to bring them together?

The PBD has been wonderful in bringing together the Indian diaspora, like those in South Africa and the Caribbean. Through the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, the global Indian community has been able to come together to celebrate achievements of prominent NRIs from across the globe. I am very proud to have been awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman by the President of India in 2008.

If Indian people abroad choose to seriously invest in India, what sums can we be looking at? What do we need to do here to facilitate that effort?

India has one of the highest levels of foreign remittances, running into tens of billions of dollars a year. Over and above this, the diaspora is increasingly investing in Indian business. The PBD has actively enabled the various states of the country to promote inward investment.

In my case, in June 2011, Cobra entered into a joint venture with Molson Coors — the last of the global brewing giants to enter India — forming Molson Coors Cobra India. We own the only brewery in the state of Bihar, and have almost completed its expansion and upgrade, doubling its capacity from two million cases to four million.

How effectively has the government helped in promoting investments?

The government is actively supporting NRIs in investing in India. The PBD is about bringing together PIOs, inspiring each other. It is also about connecting Indian residents and NRIs in a kind of global exchange of ideas.

The PBD is also about making the diaspora aware of investment opportunities in India. Without fail, the PBD is graced by the President, the Prime Minister, Union Cabinet ministers and chief ministers.

That said, the reforms in India have been disappointingly slow. Most recently, we were faced with the disappointment of FDI in multi-brand retail being announced and then withdrawn almost straightaway. More broadly, there are still a number of roadblocks to foreign investment by NRIs and others.

The Foreign Universities Bill is still pending; Lloyds of London is barred from trading in India (the only large country that does not allow it in); foreign lawyers cannot practise in India. These reforms will help India get the one trillion dollars of FDI in infrastructure it will require over the next decade.

What investment fields appear most attractive to a high-profile businessman like yourself, given the way things are in India?

I have just given the example of my own business. India is the fastest-growing beer market in the world. Yet, at only 1.5 litres per person per year, it is still one of the smallest markets. China, the world's largest beer market, has a consumption of 30 litres per person per year. Germany consumes 150 litres per person per year. So, there is a great deal of potential in my industry.

There are opportunities in practically every field. The UK-India Business Council, of which I am the president, is promoting a huge range of sector-based investment opportunities in key silos, like advanced engineering, digital innovation, infrastructure, life sciences, healthcare, retail supply chain logistics, skills and education.

Apart from business, in what other ways would overseas Indians like to stay in touch with their mother country? Do they like their children to visit India for short-term study or work?

The PBD has led to several initiatives that have seen young NRIs spending time experiencing India first hand. Personally, I have been very keen that my children, while they live and study in Britain, come to India without fail for at least one month every year. We visit our relatives in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi and Dehradun. Our children have been growing up with close contact to their Indian roots. I'm sure many overseas Indians feel the same way.

Apart from the PBD, which is a government-run affair, have overseas Indians shown an interest in starting social organisations on their own, or with the help of Indians in India, to promote business, religious or cultural ties?

I think this is particularly prevalent in the charity sector. I chair the advisory council of the Loomba Trust, which educates the children of poor widows. The Trust started in India and has members from Indian communities in different countries.

Again, speaking from personal experience, there is Pratham, a wonderful charity which does a lot in the field of education in India; Child in Need India, which is active in the area of public health and raises awareness about malnutrition; and Thare Machi Education, which works to raise awareness on health issues in many developing countries, including India.

From a religious perspective, we can find the Zoroastrian Trust Funds of Europe, of which I am a member. It was the first ever Indian religious organisation in the UK, and is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

Overseas Indians have helped enhance India's soft power. Can they leverage this to bring about durable political links between the countries they live in and India?

This is happening in a very significant way in the UK, where we now have several Indians in Parliament, both in the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Indian issues are playing an ever-larger role in British politics. One of the strongest examples of this was that Prime Minister David Cameron announced at the beginning of his term that he wanted to enhance Britain's relationship with India. His first overseas visit, in July 2010, was to India and I was honoured to be able to accompany him.

The world has truly woken up to India. As India's high commissioner to the UK said, "Our growth is your opportunity."
Suman mocks at Mamata's visit to Irom Sharmila
Last Updated: Saturday, January 28, 2012, 13:49

Tags: Kabir Sumon, Manipur polls, TMC
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman has mocked at his party chief Mamata Banerjee for promising voters in Manipur that the Trinamool will ensure withdrawal of the army's special powers if voted to power. The well-known singer-turned-politician has asked why has the West Bengal chief minister failed to keep her pledge to withdraw forces from Maoist-hit Junglemahal.

"The supreme leader of Trinamool and the chief minister of West Bengal in her visit to Manipur for canvassing has said that she supports the struggle of Irom Sharmila. She has even said that just like Irom Sharmila, the West Bengal government had tried to forcefully feed her during her days of hunger strike in December 2006," said Suman.

Suman was referring to December 2006 when Banerjee as opposition leader had observed a 26-day hunger strike to protest forceful land acquisition in Singur.

"But the fact is the state government neither forced her to break her strike nor arrested her. On the other hand, Irom Sharmila was arrested by the army in the beginning and then she was forced to eat by using tubes," said Suman.

Banerjee Wednesday visited Manipur to canvas for her party candidates contesting the assembly polls in the state. She even visited Irom Sharmila - currently in judicial custody and on a 12-year-old fast to demand withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that gives legal immunity to security forces for actions undertaken while fighting militants.

Suman ridiculed Banerjee for opposing the AFSPA in Manipur and asked why were the joint forces still stationed in the Maoist-affected districts of West Bengal.

"I want to ask her (Banerjee) how many times in the past has she uttered the name of Irom Sharmila in her speeches or opposed the AFSPA? I want to ask her whether she would have taken the pain to visit Manipur if her party was not contesting the assembly polls in the state," Suman wrote in a blog.

"During her visit to Manipur, she has said that deployment of armed forces cannot be a solution. If she really preaches what she says, then I want to ask her the legitimacy of joint forces in Junglemahal," wrote Suman.

"When I had opposed the implementation of the anti-Maoist Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Operation Green Hunt, then why did she oppose my views," said Suman.

Suman is having a strained relationship with the Trinamool leadership after he raised his voice against alleged corruption among a section of party leaders and openly condemned the joint forces operation in the Maoist-hit districts of the state.

Of late, the balladeer has attacked the state government on issues like farmers' suicides, deaths caused in police firing, and has penned a song eulogising slain Maoist leader Koteshwar Rao alias Kishanjee.

  1. "If the Congress feels they can go with CPI-M, they can do it. Door is open. We can go alone,"
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  6. Not Chetan Bhagat or Vikram Seth, but West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Sales figures at the annual book fair, deemed one of the largest in the ...
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  14. Daily Mail

  15. Mamata's Sunderbans visit stumps tourist plans

  16. Times of India - 15 hours ago
  17. KOLKATA: Utter confusion prevailed in the Sunderbans just a day before chief minister Mamata Banerjee's visit to the mangrove islands.
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  19. Times of India - 1 day ago
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  22. - 1 hour ago
  23. ... on the lines of "African safari" for the Sunderbans which was "neglected in the erstwhile Left Front rule", Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said today.
  24. Security goes into a tizzy as Didi hits the roads

  25. Times of India - 16 hours ago
  26. KOLKATA: Ever since Mamata Banerjee became the chief minister of the state, her guards have had a tough time in keeping the security cordon in tact with the ...
  27. Satraps eye easy pickings in Goa

  28. Times of India - 15 hours ago
  29. ... Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TC) and the Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDI) backed by the ...
  30. *
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  44. Kolkata: Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman has mocked at his party chiefMamata Banerjee for promising voters in Manipur that the Trinamool will ensure ...
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  50. Mamata Banerjee a dictator, says angry Congress minister

  51. Times of India - 17 Jan 2012
  52. And if performance is the criterion, the fact is people are raising questions aboutMamata Banerjee's performance," said Chakraborty.
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  63. IMPHAL: West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday met Manipur's 'Iron lady' Irom Sharmila Chanu and promised her ...
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China to lead world economy by 2025: Prakash Karat

AGARTALA: China will dominate the world economy and the US will come down to second position by 2025, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat said here on Monday.

Addressing the internal session of the CPI-M's four-day Tripura state conference, Karat said: "By 2025, China would become number one nation in the world economy and the US would drop to the second position from the present number one position."

"Realising its future economic fate, the US has been trying to grab oil and natural gas resources of West Asia, Arab countries and others," said Karat in his speech, a copy of which was given to the media.

Criticising both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Karat said the CPI-M "has to be make stronger all across the country not only in Tripura, West Bengal and Kerala". "CPI-M should be turned into such a position so that the party can give a leadership of all the like minded parties."

The CPI-M general secretary claimed that the Marxist party's strength has been increased in the trade union bodies. "With our initiative all the central trade unions become united."

"CPI-M has initiated a massive rectification move and taking lessons from the set back of West Bengal poll defeat. Gap between the party and the people in that state had widened," Karat said adding that despite massive attacks from the ruling parties, the party cadres did not leave the organisation.

Besides Karat, CPI-M politburo members Sitaram Yechury, Manik Sarkar and Brinda Karat were among the top leaders who addressed the internal sessions of the conference which aims to make the party more pro-people and strong, and to train the party cadres in ideological skills.

For the first time, all the top CPI-M leaders have remained present in all the four days in the 20th Tripura state conference of the party.

CPI-M spokesman Gautam Das told reporters that the conference has also finalised strategies to install the seventh Left Front government in Tripura in the next year's assembly elections.

Imran blacked out at Kolkata Book Fair
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times

January 31, 2012First Published: January 31, 2012

Last Updated: 2012-01-31 13:39:01 email print
Bookmark & Share|Imran blacked out at Kolkata Book Fair
The city, and perhaps the entire nation, was put to shame when the organisers of Kolkata Book Fair deliberately switched off power connection during an interaction with the media by former Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan, considered by many a future head of state, and above all, a guest at the Kolkata Literary Meet, to force him out of the session as he was overstepping his time limit.
Power connection at the UBI (United Bank of India) auditorium was switched off sharp at six in the evening when Imran Khan was fielding questions of journalists after a 50-minute lecture on captaining a nation.
The black out lasted for less than a minute – around 55 seconds according to the organizers – and was restored only after the stupefied cricketer quit the stage and auditorium.
"The lights had to be put off as there were no other means to bring the programme to an end. The actual session had ended and Khan was just fielding questions from journalists. We were already running late by 15 minutes and other speakers such as film director Mrinal Sen and actor Madhabi Mukherjee were waiting outside," Tridib Chatterjee, secretary, Publishers' and Booksellers' Guild, the organizers of the Kolkata Book Fair, told HT.
Significantly, when HT contacted Sen for his comments, he denied having gone to the fair on Monday at all. "I am ill and did not visit the fair grounds. Moreover, I did not have any session today," said Sen.
While that leaves room for doubting the reason that prompted Chatterjee and his colleagues to switch off power, he was in no mood to apologise. Rather, he justified his action and even claimed that he rescued a tired Khan from eternally curious journalists.
"He had already attended a programme earlier, and was reluctant to take questions. He agreed for a five-minute question–answer session on our request. But the session exceeded by 10 more minutes and showed no signs of ending. Imran, too, was looking tired. So, we disconnected the power supply," argued Chatterjee.
Interestingly, Imran Khan, now in his mid-fifties, was speaking to the audience standing all the time and was in no mood to tire out.
The organisers did not send any request to him to end the session in the form of a slip, or a whispering messenger, as is the globally accepted norm.
Khan said he was coming from the World Economic Summit from Davos, and hence was late by about 15 minutes. Accordingly, the session started at 4:40 pm instead of the scheduled 4:15 pm.
Power cuts during soccer and cricket matches at Salt Lake stadium and Eden Gardens have become a custom in the city. But they have all been blamed on technical snags.
What Chatterjee and his colleagues did at the Kolkata Book Fair went far beyond – it hurt the self esteem of the city, and lowered the prestige of the nation.

14 countries to join India in naval exercise

Aiming to strengthen cooperation among the navies in the region, Indian Navy will host 14 of its counterparts from South East Asia, Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region ( IOR) for the eighthedition of the Milan exercise in Andaman and Nicobar Islands starting Wednesday.

The five-day exercise will see the participation of Seychelles and Mauritius for the first time in the event where nine countries, including India, will field their warships, Navy officials said here.

During the exercise, the Navies will aim to enhance their inter-operability and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in case there is a need to operate together in the event of a natural disaster or a tsunami-like situation, they said.

14 countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Brunei, Malaysia, Maldives, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore along with the two newcomers will take part in this exercise, they said.

Of the 13 participants who came last year, only Vietnam would be missing this year.

A seminar with the theme 'Capacity-building through mutual cooperation' would also be held during the five-day event.

From the Indian side, the Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) will be the host for the event and will field its various warships, including INS Kesari fleet tanker.

The first Milan exercise was held in 1995 and since then has been held after every two years except 2011 and 2005

India | Updated Jan 31, 2012 at 07:15pm IST

Rafale wins IAF's $ 10.4 billion deal to supply 126 jets




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New Delhi: French company Dassault Aviation's Rafale has won the $10.4 billion deal to supply 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) to the Indian Air Force (IAF).
According to sources, Rafale won the multi-billion dollar deal as it was found to be similar to the French Mirage 2000 fighter jet, which is already being operated by the IAF.
Rafale beat the Eurofighter Typhoon to bag the deal. Rafale was preferred as its commercial bid was lower than Eurofighter Typhoon. The Eurofighter bid was backed by four partner nations - Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom.
According to the Request for Proposal (RFP) the IAF will buy the first 18 aircraft off the shelf in the next 36 months while the other 118 will be manufactured at HAL facilities in Bangalore.
The Rafale fighter entered service with the French Air Force in 2004. It is twin-engine jet, configured for multi-role operations including air defence, ground attack and reconnaissance. The plane can can deliver nine tonnes of bombs and also fire a range of missiles including anti-ship, air to air, air to ground.
The naval variant of the fighter is also serving with the French Navy.
The IAF had invited bids from military aviation majors to supply 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraf for which six contenders - Russia's MIG- 35, USA's F-16 Falcon (Lockheed Martin), F-18 Hornet (Boeing), Swedish Saab Gripen, European EADS EuroFighter Typhoon and Rafale.
Following lengthy field trials across the globe the Typhoon and Rafale were shortlisted while the rest were rejected as they failed to meet the technical qualifications specified by the IAF.
The process to acquire 126 fighter jests started with the issuing of a global tender in 2007.
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#Indian Air Force #Dassault Aviation #Rafale #IAF #MMRCA

Didi goes for PM's jugular: In rare direct attack Mamata blames Singh for not honouring promises

Last updated at 9:33 AM on 31st January 2012
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who has often got into adversarial situations with the Congress, unleashed what was perhaps her most vitriolic attack on the alliance partner on Monday.
Directly targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Trinamool Congress leader blamed the Union government for reneging on the promise of providing financial assistance to the state.
'The Centre has done nothing to help West Bengal financially in the last eight months. They had made tall promises before the assembly polls (in 2011), but those words never translated into action,' Banerjee said in an interview to Bengali TV channels here.
Frustrated: Mamata has lashed out at the PM
And she laid the blame on the doorstep of the PM as well as Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. 'You all know that the PM came here and made promises to help the people of this state financially, if we could win the elections. Pranabda held five meetings with us on the issue and those became headlines in both the print and electronic media. But nothing has been done yet,' she observed.
The fuming chief minister emphasised that her government would never go to the Centre with a begging bowl for funds to bail out the debt-ridden state she had inherited from the erstwhile Left Front government, which she had dethroned in Bengal after 34 years of uninterrupted rule. 'I am clearly against begging and believe in being upright. I still hope they (Centre) will do something. Otherwise, the people of Bengal will do something,' she remarked, striking a combative note.
Listing out more grouses, Banerjee pointed out: 'We sought a tax holiday because 94 per cent of the state's earnings are spent paying salaries, interest to the Centre and pensions. With the remaining 6 per cent, it is very difficult to run the state. But the Centre has not agreed on this point.'
Recalling her fight against the CPM on the anti-land acquisition issue, she questioned the role of the Congress at that time. 'Where were they when I was fasting at Singur? I fasted for 26 days and the PM came to Kolkata during that period. But he didn't even call me because he never wanted to disturb the (Congress's) relations with the CPM (a major constituent in UPA-I).'


  • Under Mamata's direction, Trinamool MPs moved amendments to the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha
  • Mamata's resistance scuppered FDI in retail. She embarrassed the Centre further when she went ahead and announced that the FDI had been put on hold before any minister could issue a statement
  • Mamata raised objections about the Pension Bill and forced the Centre to put it in cold storage
  • She threatened the Centre following the hike in petrol price Raised her voice against the Teesta water sharing deal between India and Bangladesh

Banerjee justified her outburst, contending: 'Our party is committed to the masses. We have to speak out when the common man is suffering.' The West Bengal CM then switched back into aggressive mode: 'The CPM had threatened to kill me in Nandigram also. Where were all the Congress leaders that time?' The CM added that she had even called up a senior Congress minister seeking help, but he disconnected the phone saying the CPM would be annoyed.
'The people of Bengal know who contributed how much in changing the political fortunes of the state. It was the Trinamool Congress that had battled the CPM even after facing opposition from all political parties. If I had not formed the Trinamool Congress in 1998, the state would never have witnessed a change under the leadership of the Congress,' Banerjee told the television channel scribes during the interaction.
After going hammer and tongs at her party's ally at the Centre and in the state, she wound up thus: 'I don't want to say much as the people of Bengal already know about it.' The immediate provocation for her media briefing was believed to be a statement by Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh last week when he said that the credit for bringing a 'revolutionary change' in the state went to the Congress as much as its ally Trinamool.
The coalition dynamics between the two key UPA allies hit a new low recently when state Congress leaders condemned the role of the Trinamool Congress in various matters, ranging from farmer suicides and infant deaths to poor paddy procurement policies of the incumbent government.
Earlier, the Trinamool Congress chief has locked horns with the Congress time and again. Her party, with 20 MPs in the Lok Sabha and six in the Upper House, took the Congress by surprise in December last year when its MPs toed the Opposition's line and moved amendments to the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha. This despite the fact that the Trinamool Congress had let the Bill pass in the Lok Sabha and did not object to it even during the Cabinet meeting.
After the Lokpal fiasco, the Trinamool Congress chief vetoed the Pension Bill, another piece on the UPA's reform agenda. In the beginning of December 2011, Banerjee's stiff resistance to FDI in the retail sector forced the UPA to put the proposal in cold storage.
In September last year, she stayed out of the crucial Teesta water-sharing agreement with Bangladesh arguing that it would impact the interests of the people of north Bengal. She also refused to visit the neighbouring nation with Singh.
Furthermore, she has threatened the UPA whenever oil companies have hiked fuel prices, the latest instance being in November.

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Mamata Banerjee a best-selling author at Kolkata Book Fair

January 30, 2012First Published: January 30, 2012

Last Updated: 2012-01-31 13:39:01 email print
Bookmark & Share|Mamata Banerjee a best-selling author at Kolkata Book Fair
Guess who is the hottest-selling author at the ongoing Kolkata Book Fair? Not Chetan Bhagat or Vikram Seth, but West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Sales figures at the annual book fair, deemed one of the largest in the world, demonstrate that Mamata has emerged quite a literary sensation.
"The response has been overwhelming for us. We are already running out of stock," Sudhangshu Dey of Deys' Publishing told PTI.
Publishing her books since 1995, he said that thousands of copies of her books have been sold since the last five days.
Last year, books worth Rs 10 lakh authored by Banerjee were sold ,earning her a cool Rs one lakh in royalty.
"The sales of her books had equalled popular Bengali authors like Mani Shankar Mukherjee and Buddhadeb Guha last year. The sales are even better this time with the rise in her popularity graph," the publisher said.
A regular writer and a poet besides being a feisty politician, Banerjee has so far written around 33 books, three of which were released last week during the inauguration of the fair.
Bibliophiles have queued up at many stalls including her party Trinamool Congress' stall 'Jago Bangla' to read her works.
In spite of her very busy work schedule, Banerjee has made it a point to release her books at every edition of the book fair for the last few years.

Palash Biswas
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