National News

PM launched ‘Digital India’ project

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Digital India’ project in a glittering event held at Indira Gandhi Stadium.  
The project looks to connect the all gram panchayats by broadband internet, promote e-governance and transform India into a digitally empowered and connected knowledge economy.

Under the project, various online portals and applications have already been launched and more will be launched soon to provide easier access to public services. The government also aims to connect all 2.5 lakh Panchayats with broadband connectivity under the Bharat Net programme, thereby making it the world’s largest rural broadband programme. Some of the services launched under the programme are:

Digital Locker which aims at reducing the use of physical documents. It is dedicated personal storage space for e-documents as well as Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) of the e-documents issued by the government departments. The system will have an e-sign facility, that can be used to sign stored documents and each of locker is linked to the resident’s Aadhar number.

E-sign: This service aims at eradicating fraudulent signature. The e-sign framework would allow citizens to digitally sign a document online using Aadhar authentication.

E-education: The service aims to provide high-tech education using state-of-the-art technology like smartphones, internet and apps to everyone. The service can be used to provide education in far-flung areas.   

E-health: The programme has been designed with an objective of providing timely, effective and economical healthcare services to citizens. It is particularly relevant to those having little access to healthcare services. The programmes aims at helping people maintain health records in a cost-effective manner. This is expected to be linked to the Aadhar number of citizens.

National Scholarship Portal: This is a one-stop solution for end-to-end scholarship process right from submission of student application, verification, sanction and disbursal to end beneficiary for all the scholarships provided by Government of India.

MyGov app: The mobile version of the website was launched with a view to encourage citizen engagement in governance and the app will help doing the same in mobile.

Swachh Bharat Mission app: Government of India has launched the app to strengthen the Swachh Bharat Mission and would be used by people and Government organisations.

Reported By
Utkalsamachar Bureau

Hema Malini injured in road accident, a child killed

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and actress Hema Malini was injured in a car accident at Dausa in Rajasthan. A four-year-old child has died in the accident and two others were severely injured.

Hema Malini was rushed to a hospital in Jaipur after sustaining head injuries. Hema Malini’s driver was detained by Rajasthan police and an FIR was filed against him for rash driving and causing death by negligence. He was granted bail by Dausa Magistrate Court after signing bond papers.

MP Hema Malini was on her way from her constituency in Mathura to Jaipur when her Mercedes collided with an Alto car near Dausa, which is nearly 60 kilometers from Jaipur.

Reported By
Utkalsamachar Bureau

Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram launches e-book highlighting Ministry’s achievements

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Jual Oram launched the e-book of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and highlighting achievements of last one year.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is committed to overall development (including health and education) of the people belonging to Scheduled Tribes and to protect the rights of such people and preserve and promote tribal culture and heritage.

The Ministry takes a gap filling role in the activities of various line ministries insofar as the welfare of the tribal population is concerned and implements a number of schemes through the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations or organizations recommended by the Multi-Disciplinary State Level Committee of the concerned State Government/UT Administration.

The capacity of tribal people to harness the fruits of development and to access various schemes for delivery of public goods and services has remained limited. The Integrated Tribal Development Agencies were the institutions assigned with the role to facilitate such access. But over the years, several scheme-specific bodies at District level became stronger whereas ITDAs/ITDPs have become weak or non-existent in most of the states. Similarly, Tribal Research Institutes have become weak in many states. This has reduced knowledge support to persons in charge of tribal development. Urban areas have seen increasing number of tribal people but there is no agency to look after their special problems. During the current year, the Ministry has taken up the strengthening of these institutions on priority and also to create new ones so that they can deliver goods and services more effectively. Under the existing scheme of SCA to TSP, Grants under Article 275(1) of the Constitution and the scheme of ‘Grant-in-Aid to Tribal Research Institutes’, the guidelines have been revised so that these institutions may be equipped with proper infrastructure, manpower and flexibility.

The book highlighted that Sickle Cell Anemia: A protocol for identification of Sickle Cell Hemoglobin in tribal students through a low cost “Turbidity Test” has been developed by ICMR. Training workshops organized by the Ministry to carry out these tests within this financial year. A card is being issued to each child on sickle cell status which would be used to counsel parents of sickle cell carriers not to marry other sickle cell carrier. The State of Gujarat has already completed more than 80% screening. Training workshops have been held in the states of Odisha, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

The initiatives include reducing the incidences of Malaria amongst the tribal population; a composite fish culture in the ponds has been advocated. Using space technology mapping of existing ponds and potential ponds has been started and training workshops been held in all States/UTs with ST population. This prevents the breeding of mosquitoes.

Other initiatives include bringing all pregnant mothers under immunization programme, a protocol for including Folic Acid, every Monday immediately after the afternoon meal has been put in place, to ensure regular intake of green leafy vegetables, and kitchen gardens are encouraged. Traditional foods like minor millets, etc. are encouraged for cultivation and included as a part of the school meals.

Reported By
Utkalsamachar Bureau

Union PNG Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to address OPEC submit at Austria

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Petroleum and Natural Gas is visiting Vienna, Austria from June 2 – 4, 2015.  During the official visit, he will be addressing the 6th OPEC International Seminar organized by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as a Special Guest. He will also be holding bilateral consultations with Secretary General of OPEC.

On the margins of the Seminar, Pradhan will be meeting with the Oil and Gas Ministers of various countries like Russia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Angola and UAE. 

OPEC is an important source of crude import for India. About 85% of total imports of crude come from the OPEC countries.
Pradhan will be accompanied by senior officials of MEA, MoPNG and CMDs / MDs of ONGC, IOC, GAIL, BPCL and OVL.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Ban on “India’s Daughter” Documentary of BBC till Apr 15

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: “India’s Daughter” a documentary made by BBC on the December 16, 2012, gang rape will continue as the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the central government to place before it an advisory issued by it to ban the documentary.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw posted the two public interest litigations (PILs) for revocation of the ban on the documentary’s telecast for April 15.

“Place before this court the advisory issued on March 3 by the ministry of information and broadcasting,” said the bench.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

“Haider” to be screened at LAFF

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: “Haider” the film of Sahid Kapoor will be nominated to be screened at the London Asian Film Festival (LAFF). It is Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”.

Presented by Tongues on Fire — a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on showcasing great cinema with an Asian flavor from all over the world, the Shahid Kapoor-starrer will be shown at the Harrow Arts Centre on March 20, reports

The movie, which also stars Shraddha Kapoor and Tabu, is set against the backdrop of the Kashmir insurgency in the mid-1990s.

Other events planned as part of the festival include a tribute to late Bollywood star Rajesh Khanna and a choreography master class from “Happy New Year” director Farah Khan.

LAFF completed 17th year & it runs from March 19 to 28.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Polavaram to be completed in 2018

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan said in the state legislator that Andhra Pradesh aims to complete the prestigious Polavaram irrigation project by March 2018.

In the first session of the Budget session he said though allocation of a meager Rs.100 crore for Polavaram in the union budget has put the plans in disarray, the state would make all-out efforts to complete the dream project by Marfujfyrs7wfch 2018.

The governor said the project would be the life-line of Andhra Pradesh and has been declared by the Centre as a national project.

First conceived in the 1940s, the irrigation project across Godavari River is likely to irrigate over seven lakh acres in Andhra Pradesh and produce 960 megawatt (MW) of hydel energy. The project in 2010-11 was estimated to cost Rs.16,500 crore

He told the joint session that the state proposed to add a significant quantum of wind and solar energy during 2015-16. Two ultra mega solar parks of 1,000 MW capacity each are being set up by National Thermal Power Corporation Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Limited in Ananthapuram and Kurnool. The government also proposed to provide 10,000 solar pumpsets to farmers during the current financial year.

Reiterating the plan to make Andhra Pradesh a logistic hub and gateway to South East Asia, the governor said four new ports would be developed during the current year.

The state also plans to develop one green field international airport at Bhogapuram, near Visakhapatnam besides modernisation of three existing airports at Tirupati, Vijayawada and Rajahmundry to international standards, and development of six no frill airports.

Narasimhan said the first phase of the master plan of the new state capital near Vijayawada would be ready by June this year. Stating that the world-class capital city would be a role model for the entire country, he said nearly 33,000 acres of land has been voluntarily provided by farmers.

He said the US has signed a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with Andhra Pradesh for developing a smart city in Visakhapatnam. Under this MoU, the US government will provide funds and technical inputs for feasibility studies, study tours and workshops to materialise the idea into reality.

The governor said the government was actively engaging with the governments and companies of the countries like Japan, Singapore, the US, Australia and others for inviting investments and technology transfer.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Again Bill Gates world’s richest, Mukesh Ambani’s name in Top 90 Indian Billionaires

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Bill Gates again placed his name in the seat of world’s richest person. In last 21 years this is the 16th time he placed his name in this category. Mukesh Ambani again tops 90 Indian billionaires, 28 of them are newcomers. It is the annual ranking of Forbes.

With a current net worth of $79.2 billion, up from $76 billion in 2014, Gates for the second consecutive year beat out telecom mogul Carlos Slim Helu (No. 2), whose net worth increased to $77.1 billion from $72 billion last year, according the US magazine’s annual ranking of the world’s billionaires released Monday.

Warren Buffett (No. 3) moved up one slot, with a net worth of $72.7 billion, ahead of Spanish clothing retailer Amancio Ortega (No. 4), best known for the Zara fashion chain, who increased his net worth $500 million for a total of $64.5 billion. Oracle’s Larry Ellison (No. 5) remained in the fifth spot; his net worth increased to $54.3 billion.

Thanks to the tech boom and a strong dollar in the currency markets, the US led with the greatest number of billionaires, with 536, followed by China with 213, Germany with 103, California with 131, India with 90 and Russia with 88.

This year, 290 billionaires were new to the list, another record number, beating out a prior high of 268 newcomers in 2014. China had the most newcomers, adding 71 to the list. 57 newcomers were from the US, 28 from India, and 23 from Germany.

Indian billionaires include: 39. Mukesh Ambani ($21 billion); 44. Dilip Shanghvi ($20 billion); 48. Azim Premji ($19.1 billion); 66. Shiv Nadar ($14.8 billion); 69. Hinduja Brothers ($14.5 billion); 82. Lakshmi Mittal ($13.5 billion); 129. Ananda Krishnan ($9.7 billion); 142. Kumar Mangalam Birla ($9 billion); 185. Uday Kotak ($7.2 billion), 208. Gautam Adani ($6.6 billion), 208. Sunil Mittal and family ($6.6 billion), 208. Cyrus Poonawalla ($6.6 billion), 254. Desh Bandhu Gupta ($5.8 billion); 283. Savitri Jindal and family ($5.3 billion).

A record 1,826 billionaires (up from 1,645 in 2014) made the list, with an average net worth of $3.86 billion (down $60 million from $3.92 billion in 2014).
Added together, the total net worth for this year’s billionaires was $7.05 trillion, up from $6.4 trillion last year.

Regionally, Asia-Pacific boasted the most billionaires, with 562 billionaires, followed by the US with 536 and Europe with 482.

Compared to last year’s list, Mark Zuckerberg (No. 16), with a net worth of $33.4 billion, made it into the top 20 for the first time.
The biggest net worth gainer was Warren Buffett (No. 3), whose fortune increased by $14.5 billion for a total net worth of $72.7 billion.
Buffett’s Class A Berkshire Hathaway stock eclipsed $200,000 per share for the first time and continued to climb.

A record number of women made the list this year: 197 versus 172 in 2014, representing an increase of 15 percent. Twenty nine of these women are self-made billionaires.
A notable newcomer included is the world’s youngest billionaire, Evan Spiegel (No. 1250), age 24, of the US, with a net worth of $1.5 billion.
Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Centre sanctions Rs.460 crore to 10 States for Swachh Bharat Mission

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: For Swachh Bharat Mission, the Ministry of Urban Development has sanctioned Rs.459.93 crore to ten states as the first installment. This was stated by the Minister of State for Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Babul Supriyo in the Lok Sabha in a written reply to M. Murali Mohan, Hema Malini and five other members.

The sanctions include Rs.310.10 crore for Construction of household and community toilets (Rs.310.10 cr), Awareness generation activities (Rs.48.00 crore) and Capacity building (Rs.12.00 cr). Babul Supriyo has further informed that under Swachh Bharat Mission in urban areas, 1.04 crore household toilets are targeted to be built by 2018.

State-wide targets in respect of household toilets under the Mission : Tamil Nadu-13.95 lakh, Uttar Pradesh -11.83 lakh, Maharashtra-8.99 lakh, Karnataka-8.88 lakh, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana-7.93 lakh, West Bengal-7.88 lakh, Madhya Pradesh-7.32 lakh, Rajasthan-5.62 lakh, Bihar-5.47 lakh, Gujarat-4.06 lakh, Odisha-4.03 lakhs,Chattisgarh-3.51 lakh, Jharkhand-2.31 lakh, Haryana-2.16 lakh, Punjab-1.96 lakh,  Kerala-1.76, Assam-1.46 lakh and NCT of Delhi-1.25 lakh etc.

The details of the sanctions are: 



Sanctioned amount
    (Rs. in crore)








West Bengal






Andhra Pradesh









Madhya Pradesh








Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

MNP facility for all mobile users from May 3

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: From May 3 all mobile users will be able to retain their numbers anywhere in the country even if they change their service providers as the telecom regulator will facilitate pan-India Mobile Network Portability (MNP).

The sector regulator – Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) – has issued 6th Amendment to the Telecommunication Mobile Number Portability Regulation, 2009.

On November 3, 2014 the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) had issued amendment to the MNP Licence Agreement. “As per the DoT, the full MNP is to be implemented in the country within a period of 6 months from the date of amendment to the licenses, that is, May 3, 2015,” the statement said.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Bengaluru sky dazzle with daring Aerobatics

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: India’s biggest & first air show inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi at Yelahanka base of the Indian Air Force (IAF), Bengaluru. The sky of Yelhanka became colorful & witnessed with a spectacular display of its air prowess and daredevilry aerobatics by its fighters, helicopters and transport aircraft.

The 10th edition of Aero India 2015 will be continue till 22nd Feb. Modi and about 1,000 invitees were treated to thrilling aerial feats by different types of aircraft, including the homegrown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, Sukhoi-30, Mirage-2000, Jaguar and the Advance Jet Trainer (AJT) Hawk.
French aerospace major Dassault Aviation flew its medium multi-role combat aircraft Rafale to demonstrate its awesome strike force, as the IAF has short-listed the MMRCA for induction in its frontline fleet in place of the ageing Russian-made MiG-21.

The IAF pilots also flew the Advance Light Helicopter (ALH) Dhruv as Sarang aerobatics team, heavy-lift transport plane C-17 Globemaster-III of the Boeing and the Russian-made Ilyushin-76 transport aircraft.

Daredevilry feats by Flying Bulls of Czech Republic, AeroSuper Baltics and Aerowind Services from Britain, Scandinavian air show team Wasp and Open Skydiving of the US Special Forces drew cheers from the spectators.

In all, 72 military aircraft are on flying and static display, including P8-A maritime reconnaissance aircraft and KC-135 tanker of Boeing and EMB-145 Embraer fromABrazil.

In addition, 17 types of civil aircraft, including business jets and helicopters are on display for hard selling in the growing Indian aviation market.

The state-run defence exhibition organisation has chosen ‘Make in India’ programme of the government as the event theme to pitch for overseas investments in designing, developing and manufacturing aerospace products and platforms for the global military and civil aviation markets, especially in the Indian sub-continent.

Of the 110 countries participating in the event, the US is representing in a big way with a 64-member delegation, followed by France with 58 delegates, Britain 48, Russia 41 and Israel 25.

About 600 multinational and Indian firms, including state-run enterprises are showcasing their technologies and products at the expo in dozen pavilions spread over 2.5-lakh square metres at the sprawling venue.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Great Telugu Producer D.Ramanaidu no more

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: D. Ramanaidu, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner is no more. He holds the record of producing films in the maximum number of Indian languages. He was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer & died at the age of 79 in a private hospital of Hyderabad.  He also got the Padma Bhushan Award in 2012. In his last time he is survived by his sons Suresh Babu, Venkatesh Daggubati and grandsons Rana and Naga Chaitanya.

Renowned Telugu producer D. Ramanaidu, who holds the record of producing films in the maximum number of Indian languages, breathed his last here Wednesday. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner and Padma Bhushan awardee was 79.

Born June 6, 1936, Ramanaidu’s journey as a co-producer started with 1963 Telugu film “Anuragam”. Next year, he made his solo debut as a producer with N.T. Rama Rao-starrer Telugu drama “Ramudu Bheemudu”. Some of his other popular Telugu films include “Prem Nagar”, “Jeevana Tarangalu”, “Soggadu”, “Kaliyuga Pandavulu”, “Coolie No 1” and “Ganesh” among others.

In 1989, he launched Ramanaidu Studios, followed by Ramanaidu Colour Lab and Cine Village. In a career lasting over five decades, he produced over 130 films in over 20 Indian languages.

In Hindi, he produced films such as “Prem Nagar”, “Dildaar”, “Maqsad”, “Insaaf”, “Tohfa”, “Anari” and “Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain”.
He had also produced films in Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi and English.

Ramanaidu used to produce films under his home banner Suresh Productions, which has now been taken over by his eldest son D. Suresh Babu.
Between 1999 and 2004, he was associated with Telugu Desam Party.

In many of his own productions, he was known for playing cameo roles and mostly frequently appeared in doctor and judge roles.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Childhood dream of Junior Bachhan comes true after Met Magic Johnson

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: When our dream comes true we feel very happy. Abhishek Bachhan, felt very happy when he got a chance to meet legendary basketball player Magic Johnson during NBA All-Star Weekend in New York City. It is his childhood dream which fulfill after a long time.

“Today, a childhood dream of mine came true. I met my idol. @MagicJohnson. Thank you for being such an inspiration,” Abhishek tweeted Monday along with an image in which he’s standing next to the sportsman.

Abhishek previously shared how his most prized possessions are two jerseys signed personally by Johnson.

The actor was announced the Goodwill Ambassador for NBA All-Star Weekend 2015 in Mumbai Feb 7.
Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

HBO to make Documentary on Dutee Chand

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: There will be a documentary to be made by HBO, American TV channel Home Box Office on Dutee Chand. She is the only Odia Sprinter whose documentary made by HBO.

HBO will document her trauma and embarrassment after the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) hyperandogenism ruling. A four-member crew, with the support of local technicians, is in Kerala at the on-going 35th National Games, filming Dutee Chand exploits as an athlete thus presenting the her side of the story to the world. The crew has extensively researched Dutee Chand as a daughter, sister and an athlete. It has also interviewed her personal coach and senior Sports Authority of India coach Nagapuri Ramesh.

She was banned from competing international events for failing a ‘gender’ test. Dutee Chand was born on 3 February 1996 to Chakradhar Chand and Akhuji Chand in Gopalpur, in the Jajpur district. She is one of four daughters born to the poor weaver couple. Her source of inspiration comes from her elder sister Saraswati Chand, who was an athlete herself. In 2013, she enrolled in the KIIT University to pursue law.

Dutee Chand, in 2012 became a national champion in the under-18 category when she clocked 11.8 seconds in the 100 meters event. Clocking 23.811 seconds, Chand won the bronze in the 200 metres event at the Asian Championships in Pune. The year also saw her become the first Indian to reach the final of a global athletics 100 meters final, when she reached the final in the 2013 World Youth Championships. In the same year, she became the national champion in 100 metres and 200 metres when she won the events clocking 11.73 s in the final in 100 metres and a career-best 23.73 s in 200 metres at the National Senior Athletics Championships in Ranchi.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Kejriwal takes oath as CM of Delhi

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Arvind Kejriwal, leader of AAP party sworn as Chief Minister of Delhi. He took oath by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung at the Ramlila Maidan of Delhi along with six ministers.

Many supporters of Aam Aadmi Party had gathered & cheered loudly and waved AAP flags as Kejriwal took the oath of office and secrecy.
Kejriwal’s close aide Manish Sisodia, who will be the deputy chief minister, was also sworn in along with ministers Satyedra Jain, Gopal Rai, Asim Mohammed Khan, Sandeep Kumar and Jitendra Singh Tomar.

Kejriwal, 46, led the AAP to a thumping win in the Delhi assembly election. The party won a staggering 67 of the 70 seats, leaving the BJP with just three seats. The Congress was wiped out.

This is the second time Kejriwal is becoming Delhi’s chief minister. He became chief minister the first time in December 2013 but resigned after just 49 days on this day last year.

Addressing the crowd after the swearing in, Kejriwal said he was overwhelmed by the support he and his party had received from all sections of the society.
“Did not know Delhi loved us so much. But this also means that we must check our ego and arrogance for arrogance will not let us achieve our mission,” said Kejriwal.

Refuting claims that AAP will now go campaigning across India, Kejriwal said“I have heard that we will fight elections in other states. This is not right. For the next five years I will just serve Delhi and within these five years I can say with confidence that I will remove corruption.”

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan emphasizes early finalization of Consortium Leader for expeditious implantation of TAPI natural gas pipeline project

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan attended the 20th Steering Committee meeting of TAPI natural gas pipeline project in Islamabad today.

Minister Pradhan reiterated India's commitment to source natural gas from Turkmenistan through TAPI natural gas pipeline project and made a renewed pitch for the expeditious appointment of a mutually acceptable Consortium Leader, which is a vital step in the implementation of the project, in a time bound manner. He also articulated the need for the project to be a win-win proposition for all participating countries.

The very fact that India has had regular Ministerial representation at the TAPI Steering Committee Meeting bears testimony to the importance which has been attached by the government to this project despite the apprehensions regarding geo-political situation and security scenario involving the project.

Referring to the determination of Government under PM to develop a National Gas Grid, Pradhan said that TAPI project will play an important role in contributing to this gas infrastructure project.

On the margins of the meeting, Pradhan called on Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif along with TAPI Petroleum Ministers. Prime Minister Sharif conveyed his warm regards and best wishes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr. Pradhan also met Minister of Mines & Petroleum of Afghanistan on the sidelines of the TAPI Steering Committee meeting. He was accompanied by a high-level delegation including Secretary, P&NG, High Commissioner of India in Islamabad, Joint Secretary (International Co-operation), P&NG, Ambassador of India in Turkmenistan besides CMDs of GAIL, OVL and other senior officials of MEA and MoPNG.

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Arvind Kejriwal to take oath as Delhi CM

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Arvind Kejriwal, the chief of AAP is going to take oath as a Chief Minister of Delhi on Saturday. His party wins about 57 seats out of 70 seats in Delhi Assembly.

All the elected legislators of the victorious Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will meet at 5 p.m. at the Constitution Club of Delhi to formally choose the legislative party leader.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Yash Bharti Award given to Teri Diwani Singer and Nawazuddin Siddiqui

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Yash Bharti Award received by actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and singer Kailash Kher. Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Utter Pradesh gives this prize to them. This award given by Uttar Pradesh government for excellence in literature, fine arts, folk music, classical music, cinema and sports.  

Kher, whose musical notes echo originality and calmness, took to micro-blogging site Twitter to share the news and thanked the state government for the recognition.

“@achlendra: CM @yadavakhilesh honours singer @Kailashkher #YashBhartiAward function in Lucknow on Monday. Thank u,” he wrote.

Nawazuddin, who has garnered appreciation from all quarters with his critical performances in “The Lunchbox”, “Miss Lovely”, “Kahaani” and “Gangs of Wasseypur”, was also lauded for his contribution to Indian cinema.

“Today we received #YashBharti Award by UP CM @yadavakhilesh. My old friend @Nawazuddin_S also got one. Thank u all,” Kher tweeted.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Indian collaborated Album won Grammy Award

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: “Winds of Samsara”, collaborated album of Ricky Kej won the Best New Age Album trophy at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards. This album symbolizes peace & harmony which he teamed up with South African musician Wouter Kellerman.

The website of the album describes the project as a “truly global effort”, which draws inspiration from two cultures. The music of the album blends in the creative influences of the cultures to generate a sound of calmness and positivity.

Other albums nominated in the category were “Bhakti” by Paul Avgerinos, “Ritual” by Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai, “Symphony Live In Istanbul” by Kitaro and “In Love And Longing” by Silvia Nakkach and David Darling.

Another Indian artist to make it big at the awards this year was Neela Vaswani. She won the trophy in the Best Children’s Album category for “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education and Changed the World (Malala Yousafzai)”. Vaswani narrated the audio version of the book.

However, sitarist and daughter of late sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, Anoushka, who was nominated for her album “Traces of You” in the Best World Music Album category lost out to Angelique Kidjo’s album “Eve”.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Petrol, diesel price reduced

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: For third time from 2015 beginning, the prices of petrol and diesel have been slashed by Rs 2.42 & Rs 2.25 per liter respectively. It has been reduced with the global crude prices and the exchange rate of the rupee v/s the dollar As a result of the latest price revision, consumers would have to shell out Rs.56.49 per litre for petrol and Rs.46.01 per liter for diesel at the fuel stations in the national capital (subject to state levies). Currently, petrol is priced at Rs.58.91 per litre and diesel cost per litre is pegged at Rs.48.26.

According to IOC, “The combined impact of both rupees & dollar factors warrant a decrease in retail selling prices of both petrol and diesel,”.
On January 16, the three state-run OMCs had cut petrol price by Rs.2.42 a litre and that of diesel by Rs.2.25 per litre.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

India and US have great potential to expand cooperation in energy sector: Dharmendra Pradhan

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Visit of US President Barack Obama in a three day long official tour to India not only will go a long way in strengthening bilateral relations between two powerful democracies of world but would pave ways for economic more cooperation.  

India and US have great potential to expand cooperation in energy sector including in oil & Gas. Visit of President Obama with a contingent of important leaders from the U.S. Business and government provided a good opportunity to discuss various avenues of possible cooperation.
India is already scheduled to buy LNG from the U.S. From 2017

Though officially, Obama attended  India’s Republic Day celebrations as the guest of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the presence of top American CEO’s speak of the emerging importance of India as an investment destination.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

US President attends republic Day celebrations in New Delhi

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India and Barack Obama, the President of US both greeted India for Republic Day at Rajpath.

PM Modi drove to India Gate to lay a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti memorial to the Unknown Soldier and greeted the crowd.

Obama arrived after him, with wife Michelle Obama, in his official car and was received by Modi. As the two moved towards the glass enclosure erected for the VVIPs, Obama also cheered the crowd.

Performances of Paramilitary soldiers on bikes and other colourful presentations mesmerized audiences. Adequate security arrangements were made to ensure incident-free Republic Day celebrations.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Sri Sri Ravishankar also refuses to receive Padma Award

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: After Baba Ramdev refused to be conferred with Padma award, Sri Sri Ravishankar has also declined to take this prestigious award. In a telephonic conversation with Home Minister, he denied to take the second highest award of country & also thankful to government for choosing him for this award. He also said that there are many others who deserving this.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Obama welcomed by Modi in Delhi Airport

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Barakh Obama, the President of US, arrived India today with his wife Michelle Obama. It is his 2nd visit to India during Presidentship. This time, he will be the chief gust at the Republic Day Parade. He was received by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India at the VVIP terminal of Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Reported By
Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

High alert issued for 4 States following terrorist threat

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: After receiving the Intelligence Bureau (IB) inputs that the terrorists operating from Pakistan are planning for an attack in the month of January, four States including Odisha, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been put on high alert.

Pakistan sponsored jihadi elements Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen, have already dispatched four action groups to India to carry out attacks at crowded places.

Following the terrorist threat, security has been tightened at airports, sea lanes and border areas. The country has already been put on high alert of US President Barack Obama’s three-day visit.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Producer Pahlaj Nihalani appointed Censor Board Chief

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Producer Pahlaj Nihalani has been appointed Censor Board Chief replacing Leela Samson who resigned last week after the board gave clearance to Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s film Messenger of God.

“Central Government is pleased to appoint Nihalani as the Chairperson of Central Board of Film Certification in a honourary capacity from January 19, 2015 for a period of three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier”, read a statement. 

Pahlaj Nihalani has produced several blockbusters like Aankhen, Shola Aur Sabnam and Andaz.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Planning Commission renamed as NITI Ayog

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: The name of planning commission has been changed to ‘NITI Ayog’. The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) will be more of a think tank or forum, distinctly different from the bureaucratic, socialist leaning, soviet-styled commission. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his message on Twitter said that Nidi Ayog will emerge as an active and important institution that will play a pivotal role in India’s development journey in the years to come.  
The Planning Commission was established in the year 1950.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

30 bodies recovered from Java Sea during search operations for AirAsia flight

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: 30 bodies were recovered from Java Sea by the rescue officials on the sixth day of search operations for Indonesian AirAsia flight 8501, which has gone missing from December 27.

The officials found several people were still strapped in their seats. Many people believed to be still trapped inside the fuselage of the plane.
It has been decided to send tug boats for transferring the bodies easily, the officials said.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Mobile based application ‘Himmat’ launched for women’s safety

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh launched a mobile based application “Himmat” for the safety of women.

Inaugurating the application, Rajnath Singh said that more than 15,000 women of all ages have already been imparted self defence training. This emergency application developed by Delhi Police will strengthen women safety, he added.

According to Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi, “Whosoever will download the application can alert the police in the hour of need by either shaking the phone or pressing the power button twice”.

Himmat is India’s first integrated mobile application for women’s safety. The application allows women to send a distress call to the Police Control Room (PCR) and their relatives in case of any emergency. It also provides for an immediate call back from the PCR after the distress call.

Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung was also present in the launching ceremony.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Union Government to remove section 309, decriminalize suicide attempts

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar:The Union Government has decided to remove section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) from the statue book and to decriminalize suicide attempts. This was informed by the Home Ministry to Parliament on Wednesday.

18 States and 4 union territories have welcomed the move, which was recommended by the Law Commission.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Atal Bhari Vajpayee, Madan Mohan Malviya to get Bharat Ratna

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar:Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and freedom fighter Madan Mohan Malviya will be awarded Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of India.

The announcement came ahead of Vajpayee’s 90th birthday and 153rd birth anniversary of Malviya on December 25.

“The President has been pleased to award Bharat Ratna to Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya (posthumously) and to Atal Bihari Vajpayee”, a press communiqué from Rashtrapati Bhawan said.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

PM releases Pt. Prabodh Kumar Mishra’s book "Vande Bharatam"

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the book "Vande Bharatam" at New Delhi on December 23, 2014. The book is written by renowned Odia Writer Pt. Prabodh Kumar Mishra.

Union Petroleum & Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, MP Bhartruhari Mahtab and MP Rabindra Kumar Jena were also present in the book release ceremony.  

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Nobel Peace Prize 2014 awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar:Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel laureate were honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize awards on December 10, 2014.

Satyarthi and Yousafzai received the awards from the Chairman of Norwegian Nobel Committee, in the presence of King Harald V of Norway for their outstanding efforts towards promotion of child rights in the subcontinent.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Union Government to remove section 309, decriminalize suicide attempts

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar:The Union Government has decided to remove section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) from the statue book and to decriminalize suicide attempts. This was informed by the Home Ministry to Parliament on Wednesday.

18 States and 4 union territories have welcomed the move, which was recommended by the Law Commission.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

MOU inked between India and Mozambique on cooperation in field of Oil, Gas

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan received His Excellency Mr. Oldemiro Julio Marques Baloi, Minister of Foreign Affairs in New Delhi today. The two sides discussed various areas of mutual cooperation in the energy sector. Pradhan said that both the countries have traditional links which have grown from strength to strength over the years. He added that Indian public sector companies have participating interest in Mozambique's Gas fields and sought cooperation from the Government of Mozambique in this regard.

During the meeting, a MOU was signed between India and Mozambique on cooperation in the field of Oil and Gas for five years. The objective of the MOU is to enhance bilateral cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. 

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Jual Oram inaugurates Tribal Art and Crafts Mela Aadishilp

New Delhi: Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram inaugurated National Tribal Crafts Mela Aadishilp here today. Speaking on the occasion the Minister said “Our tribal artisans make very valuable artefacts. This kind of exhibitions provides them an important platform to showcase their products” Oram said Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Ltd. (TRIFED) through its 45 sales counter all over the country is providing much needed marketing system for these artisans. These counters achieved a turnover of Rs. 20 crore last year. He said that it is our endeavour to provide more and more such platforms for tribal artisans so that they can their sell their products directly to the consumer without middlemen. I am glad to inform you that tribal handicraft has become very popular amongst urban youth during the past few years and I am hopeful that people’s interest in these artefacts will increase more and more.

More than 100 tribal artisans from all over the country are showcasing the unique and exquisite tribal artefacts in 113 stalls in the Exhibition. Hand crafted items, handloom products, dry flowers, cane and bamboo products, tribal jewellery, Dhokra craft, tribal weaves and embroidery, tribal paintings and lot more are being presented by these artisans in the exhibition. The exhibition which is on at INA Dilli Haat will conclude on 30th of this month.

The main objective of organising Aadishilp is to give tribal artisans an opportunity to showcase and sell their traditional art and craft works directly to the customers and get their feedback which would help them in having valuable inputs. Aadishilp provides them a platform for direct interface with art and craft lovers, share their talent with the urban elite and know the customers taste and preferences for adapting their product designs and creations accordingly.

TRIFED has been taking a number of promotional initiatives for marketing tribal products. From a single sales outlet set up in 1999 at New Delhi, today it has 36 outlets of its own and nine consignment outlets across the country. TRIFED has also initiated the concept of sourcing tribal products by way of organizing Tribal Artisan Melas (TAMs) to identify new artisans and products from different regions where tribal artisans are invited to display their products for selection and inclusion in the range of products marketed by TRIFED. Design and quality inputs are given to the artisans wherever required for overall improvement and better marketing prospects of their products. 

TRIFED, under Ministry of Tribal Affairs, is the only apex body of Govt. of India which is engaged in the development and marketing of traditional tribal products including Metal craft, Paintings, Textiles, Jewellery, Natural/ Organic/ Herbal products etc. TRIFEDs main objective is to improve the livelihood of the tribal communities by creating a sustainable market and create business opportunities for them based on their cultural knowledge and traditional skills whilst ensuring fair and equitable remuneration for their products by organizing Tribal Crafts Mela. TRIFED also focuses on trainings for skill up gradation and capacity building of tribal artisans and Minor Forest Produce gatherers. 

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan leaves for Turkmenistan to attend the 19th Steering Committee meeting of TAPI

India : Minister of State (independent charge) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan left today for Turkmenistan to attend the 19th Steering Committee meeting of TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) natural gas pipeline project. Besides attending the TAPI meeting Shri Pradhan is scheduled to discuss bilateral oil and gas cooperation issues with the Government of Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan possesses World's 4th largest proven reserve of natural gas. The TAPI pipeline which will supply 15 billion cubic meter of gas to India will play an important role in contributing towards India's energy security. There has been considerers’ progress on the pipeline project in recent months.


Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Consultation Meeting of State Ministers of Tribal Welfare organized

India : A one-day consultation meeting with the Ministers of Tribal Welfare Departments of States/UTs was organized by Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs on Tuesday at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

The consultation was aimed to provide a platform for the states to initiate a meaningful dialogue for better planning, coordination and implementation of the programmes to ensure comprehensive, all-encompassing strategy for welfare of tribal.

Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, chaired the deliberations of the Consultation attended by the Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Chairman Parliamentary Committee on SC/ST Welfare, State Tribal Ministers, Union Secretary Tribal Affairs, Principal Secretaries/Secretaries, Commissioners from states and Senior officers from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

 Dr. Hrusikesh Panda, the Union Secretary, Tribal Affairs, welcomed the delegates. He highlighted the importance of consultation and stressed the need for institutional strengthening of ITDAs/ITDPs, TRIs and the importance for carrying out research activities. He hoped that the deliberations will definitely help in overall development of tribal in the country.

While speaking on the occasion the Hon’ble Union Minister of State, Tribal Affairs, MansukhbhaiDhanjibhaiVasava stated that the Government of India is committed for ensuring wellbeing of the Scheduled Tribes across the country. In this endeavor, for sustainable tribal development, the Minister of State highlighted the importance of Education, Irrigation, Animal Husbandry, Agriculture and stressed the critical role of teacher in the quality education of the Tribal children.

In his inaugural address, Union Minister informed that the consultation has been organized to deliberate upon the tribal development strategy to work out the modalities for triggering the pace of development initiatives for tribals across the country. He emphasized to adopt a focused approach to realize the objective of overall tribal development in true spirit.  With a view to extend the successful implementation of the Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana in Gujarat, the scheme was announced in this year’s Budget Speech. The Union Minister informed that this Scheme mainly focuses on bridging infrastructural gaps and gap in Human Development Indices (HDI) between STs and other social groups. VKY also envisages greater focus on convergence of different schemes of development of Central Ministries/Departments and State Governments with outcome oriented approach. He requested the participating States to extend full support to the Scheme.

The Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojana (VKY) was formally launched by the Union Minister, Tribal Affairs.

Shri Ashok,  Joint Secretary gave a detailed  presentation on the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) which was followed by  the comments from the Ministers  of Tribal Welfare of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Mandhya Pradesh, Odisha, Meghalaya, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Rajasthan, Manipur and Tripura.

Shri Faggan Singh Kulaste, the Chairman Parliamentary Committee on SC/ST Welfare addressed the delegates.

The Minister of Tribal Welfare, Andhra Pradesh highlighted the State’s enactment of SC/ST TSP Act of 2013 by which legal support is mandated for implementation and monitoring of TSP funds.

The Minister of Tribal Development Arunachal Pradesh stressed for need based funding instead of entitlements, based on the population and literacy of the state, keeping in view the peculiar problems of North East in general and Arunachal Pradesh in particular.  

The Minister of Tribal Development, Madhya Pradesh requested that the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Bhopal, a National Tribal Museum and an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture may be brought under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

The Ministers from all the States thanked the Ministry of Tribal Affairs for providing the platform for highlighting the problems of States in implementing various programmes of the Ministry in their respective States. States further gave suggestions and feedback in improving the overall development of tribal in the country, keeping in view the backwardness of the areas. The Ministers during their address brought out the achievements and shortcomings in the areas of tribal development in their respective states.

In the concluding remarks the Union Minister requested the States to ensure that the meeting of Tribal Advisory Committee is held regularly.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

BJP wins 47 seats in Haryana, achieves clear majority of its own

Maharastra : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has created a history in Haryana by achieving a clear majority of its own. For the first time, the party won 47 seats in the 90-member assembly with a vote share of 33.2 percent. Out of 288 seats in Maharashtra, BJP won 122 seats. Shiv Sena secured the second position with 63, Congress 42, NCP 41, MNS and others got 19 seats.

While INLD got 20 seats, Congress got 15 seats and 53,613 voters exercised None Of The Above (NOTA) in Haryana Assembly elections.
After achievement of such glorious victory of BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the party workers and supporters for reposing faith on the party.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Cabinet approves much delayed Chandikhol-Dubari-Talcher NH into 4 and 2 laning works

New Delhi : The Cabinet on October 18, 2014 approved a much delayed infrastructure project in Odisha. It approved construction of four laning and two laning of Chandikhol-Dubari-Talcher section of National Highway-200 and National Highway-23. Total cost of the project will be approximately Rs. 1400 crores.
Even though the projects were approved in 2005 but it was getting delayed for one reason or other. It was virtually looking non-implementable.

The Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has priority for development of infrastructure in the country. This road in the mines and industrial belt of Odisha will help development of industry and economy of Odisha and will bring prosperity for the common and poor people of this region.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was part of the Cabinet meeting which took this decision, stated that Odisha will receive its due attention in all sectors from the Central Government.

Reported By
Utkal Samachar Bureau

Panneerselvam Tamil Nadu’s new CM

Tamil Nadu : O. Panneerselvam, Finance minister of Tamil Nadu became the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. He elected leader of the AIADMK legislature party, succeeds J. Jayalalithaa, who was sentenced to four years in prison for indulging in corruption. A farmer from Theni district, Panneerselvam, or OPS as he is known in the party, is a staunch loyalist of Jayalalithaa.

He entered politics in 1996 and became the head of a local body. In 2001, he was elected to the assembly from Periakulam and became the minister for public works department.

He becomes the chief minister of Tamil Nadu in 2001 in similar circumstances. He was also leader of the opposition when the AIADMK was voted out in 2006.
Panneerselvam and a few other AIADMK leaders met Jayalalithaa in the Bangalore Central Jail earlier Sunday.

A special court in Bangalore Saturday sentenced Jayalalithaa to four years in prison and fined her Rs.100 crore for amassing wealth illegally when she was the chief minister in 1991-96.

Reported by

Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Maiden budget of Modi Government to break 10 year cynicism, says Dharmendra Pradhan

New Delhi : The maiden budget of Narendra Modi Government presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely will end 10 long years cynicism and would generate hope in the country, the Minister of State (I/C) for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said in his reaction. Mr Pradhan said the budget has put prime focus on the poorer sections of the country and has adequately addressed concerns of the farming community. The primary and higher education and augmentation of rural infrastructure will help county’s economy to grow.

The budget will create more scope for employment and income generation activities in the country, Mr Pradhan said.

Production and exploitation of coal bed methane reserves will be accelerated as per the proposal by Finance Minister. The possibility of using modern technology to revive old or closed wells will also be explored to maximize production from such fields, the Minister said. The usage of piped Natural gas will be rapidly scaled up in a mission mode as it is clean and efficient to deliver.

Saying that non Congress Governments at centre have only taken care of Odisha’s interests, Mr Pradhan said provision to set up one of the five IIM in Odisha, plan to make PMGSY reach every left out village will help Odisha economy to grow.

Mr Pradhan said upward revision of mineral royalty too would strengthen Odisha’s financial condition.

Reported by

Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Government committed to all round development of tribal: Jual Oram

Bhubaneswar : The government of India is committed to the all round development of tribal while preserving their unique identities and culture, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram said here on Friday.

In his inaugural address at the two-day long Regional Consultation with the States/UTs of Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Daman & Diu on Tribal affairs in Goa, Oram said the union government is committed to ensure welfare and well-being of the tribal and provide sustainable development. The Government of India is committed to make a comprehensive, all encompassing strategy to empower tribals to ensure their welfare and wellbeing and provide sustainable development while preserving their unique identities and culture, the minister said.

The consultation was jointly organized by Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Department for International Development (DFID) with the technical assistance provided by IPE Global. It was attended by the minister of state for tribal affairs, state tribal affairs ministers, Union Secretary for Tribal Affairs, principal secretaries, secretaries, commissioners, directors of Tribal affairs departments, directors of Tribal Research Institutes of the states and senior officers from the union Ministry of Tribal Affairs.

During the two-day dialogue with the stakeholders it is expected that we would achieve tangible outcomes in the all-round welfare of Tribal community, the minister said.

Low learning outcomes, attendance and retention of tribal children remain issues of major concern from the very early years particularly at upper primary and secondary level, he said.

The educational status of tribal children as compared to children of other social groups continues to remain loud. States need to take suitable remedial measures to overcome these short comings, he added.

Later, round of discussion was held among the participants which brought out several insights for all round development of Tribal community and improving the education of tribal children.

Reported by

Abhishek Mohanty
Special Correspondent

‘Mehrangir’ bungalow sold for Rs. 372 Crore

Bhubaneswar : A bungalow was sold for Rs. 372 crore in Mumbai. The owner of the bungalow was Homi Jehangir Bhabha, who was the father of India’s atomic energy

‘Mehrangir’ bungalow which is the sprawling 15,000 sq. feet on a 1,593 sq. meter plot at Malabar Hill was bought by an unidentified bidder, said the property’s custodian National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA).

Given its prime location in the posh south Mumbai, with a commanding view of the Arabian Sea, the three-strayed bungalow and property fetched Rs.107 crore higher than the original reserve price of Rs.265 crore.

Till his death Bhabha lived there. In an air crash in the French Alps in January 1966, he died then his brother Jamshed J. Bhabha became the custodian of the property.

A patron of fine arts and culture, Jamshed J. Bhabha looked after the property till his death in 2007, after which it was transferred to the NCPA, the institution dear to his heart.

Some employees of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre had demanded that the sale be scrapped and the property should be converted into an atomic energy museum in Homi Bhabha’s memory.

They approached the Bombay High Court, which declined to block the auction but kept the matter for hearing June 23, saying if necessary, the auction – the proceeds of which would go towards developing the NCPA – could be revoked.

Even Prithviraj Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharashtra had said he would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting the centre to acquire the property and convert it into an atomic museum.

Commenting on the sale, real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield’s executive managing director for South Asia Sanjay Dutt said significantly, the bungalow did not attract developers in the bidding process.

Reported by

Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Pakistani troops attacked India again

Bhubaneswar : At the Samba boarder of Jammu Kashmir Pakistani troopers resorted to unprovoked firing at the Indian positions. It is the 2nd time attack in last 2 days. This attack happened after a flag meeting between the two sides during the day.

The Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing at the Indian positions on the international border in the district in Jammu region.

“Pakistan Rangers violated the ceasefire agreement firing at Indian positions in Samba sector today evening. Pakistan firing started at 9.15 p.m. and is still going on. Border Security Force (BSF) personnel manning the Indian positions have retaliated the Pakistan firing. Exchange of fire was continuing in the area as of 10 p.m. The Pakistanis used automatics and light weapons and also Indians troops responded with equal caliber weapons.
Ceasefire was violated by Pakistan troopers in the same district Tuesday as well, and was returned by the Indian border guards.

To ensure visibility during patrolling on the international border, a flag meeting was held Wednesday between BSF officials and the Rangers on zero line at border out post (BOP) Ballar Forward in Ramnagar sector of Samba.

The Indian side was represented by Deputy Commandant R.K. Triparthi with126 battalion along with four other officers, while Pakistanis represented by Lt. Colonel Javed. The main objective of the flag meeting was to remove the wild bushes throughout the zero line and the adjoining areas to improve visibility during patrolling.

During the flag meeting, BSF officials also raised the issue of Tuesday’s firing by Pakistan rangers at Indian positions, but they denied having violated the ceasefire agreement.

Reported by

Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Modi creates history by speaking Hindi in his Foreign Trip

Bhubaneswar : Generally leaders start their conversation with Foreign Dignitaries & also address functions in English. But Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India has not done this. He addressed in Bhutan in our national language Hindi. And also Bhutanese heard these through interpreters and they also well received.

In his first foreign trip after becoming PM he spoke in Hindi. Modi gave two public speeches during his two-day official visit to this nation that takes a lot of pride in its culture, language and way of life.

Yesterday, he spoke at the banquet hosted by Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and addressed the joint session of Parliament today.

In fact, veering away from their age-old custom of not clapping in congratulatory gestures, the gathering at the National Assembly – the lower house of parliament which was the stage for Modi’s address – broke into spontaneous applause after the Indian prime minister’s rousing speech.

Reported by

Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Molestation charge against SCB Pathology Professor

Bhubaneswar : PG students of SCB Medical College move SCW Odisha against Head of Pathology Department at SCB Medical College and Hospital, Dr Sitaram Mohapatra has been accused of molestation. So that 3 students of this college move SCW.  Dr Prakash Mohapatra, the Director of the SCB Medical College has ordered an inquiry into the allegations and has asked the panel to submit its report in three days.

The panel, led by Dr Biswanarayan Mohanty, head of Experimental Surgery department also constitutes Dr Anoj Kumar Baliarsinha, Prof Dr Arun Choudhury, Prof Dr Indrani Rath, Prof Dr Jyoti Patnaik and Prof Dr Maya Padhee.

Dr Sitaram Mohapatra of Pathology department has been accused of displaying ‘perverted body language’ and taking action against students driven by vengeance. Some female PG students have also alleged that the professor often resorted to using indecent and obscene language. Besides, the professor has been accused of often staying absent in the department and abusing resident doctors and even the assistant professors.

Meanwhile, Professor Mohapatra has pleaded innocent and cries conspiracy to ouster him.


Reported by

Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Mumbai Metro faces technical problem on first day

Bhubaneswar : Finally Mumbai has started its much awaited first Metro Rail. The first day of the Mumbai Metro will become a bittersweet memory for both the Maharashtra Government and the citizens of city as the services ran into a technical problem. The metro train flagged off by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was stalled for about 30 minutes at the Jagriti Nagar station due to a technical problem.

Earlier today, Chavan inaugurated the Metro services from the Versova station. He was accompanied by Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) chairman Anil Ambani.

The Metro will link Andheri station on the Western Railway line to Ghatkopar on Central Railway line.
The metro service comes four months after the city got the country's first monorail between suburban Chembur and Wadala on February 1 earlier this year.


Reported by

Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resigns

Bhubaneswar :Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resigns from his post on Saturday. He met President Pranab Mukharjee to submit his resignation. Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister chaired the last Cabinet meeting as the Prime Minister where a resolution was passed for the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha. He also gave a farewell speech to the nation where he thanked the people of the country for their support over the years. "Whatever I have got, I have got from this nation, a nation that instated a child born out of Partition to the highest position," he said.

During his speech, he also exuded confidence that better times await the country. "As I leave office my abiding memory is the love and kindness I have received from you. This country empowered me to rise to high office. This is a debt I will always bear with pride. The emergence of India as a major powerhouse is an idea whose time has come. India will show the world the way," he said.

He wished the new government luck for the future and also said that he respected the verdict of the country. "Before the judgment of the Almighty there is the judgment in the court of the people that all public servants have to submit to. In a final attempt to list out the achievements of his government, the outgoing PM said that the country had grown in the past 10 years.


Reported by

Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Pakistan troops again open fire across LOC in Jammu

Bhubaneswar : Monday, Pakistani army in Bimar Ghali area of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu’s Poonch district opened fire violating ceasefire agreement again.

“Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing at our positions in Bimar Ghali area on the LoC Monday morning,” defence spokesman Lt. Col. Manish Mehta told IANS.

“Firing started at 5.15 a.m. Their soldiers used small arms and automatics to target our positions. We have responded with similar calibre weapons,” Mehta said.

“Intermittent firing exchanges are still going on there. No damage or casualty has been reported on our side,” the defence spokesman said.
The Pakistani troops have resorted to such firing at Indian positions in the same sector April 25.

Pakistan has offered a flag meeting at the local commanders level to defuse the tension and ensure that violations of the bilateral ceasefire agreement be stopped after last week’s incident on the LoC.


Reported by

Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Supreme Court reserved Odisha Mining case verdict

Bhubaneswar :Today Supreme Court reserved the verdict after hearing arguments on the PIL filed by NGO ‘‘Common cause’’ on the illegal function of mining in Odisha. From society point of view the court is expected to pass a short term order, whether the situation demands a temporary ban or not on mining in the state.

Reported by

Pragnya Priyadarshini Saraf
Group Editor

Odisha Tourism bagged award in Best Stall Decoration from TTF Mumbai

 Mumbai:Odisha Tourism participated in TTF & OTM Mumbai, Indian’s Biggest Travel & Tourism Fair held from February 7 to 9, 2014, the delegation led by Mr. M. R. Patnaik, Director, Odisha Tourism with other officials. 18 Tour Operators/ Hoteliers/ Travel Agents from Odisha participated in the event. The main objective of the participation was to promote Odisha as a preferred tourist destination in India and abroad.

Pre fixed Business-to-Business meet was organized with International and National Tour Operators/ Travel Agents/ Travel Writer to attract more tourists to the State. On the interaction many Tour Operators and Travel Agents have evinced great interest to visit Odisha and to promote Odisha. In the inaugural ceremony His Excellency, the Ambassador of Greece; Consulate General of Thailand; Mr. Vipul Mitra, Principal Secretary, Gujarat Tourism; Mr. Subhas Goyal, President, IATO; Mr. Sanjib Agarwal from TTF and other dignitaries are present and they also visited Odisha Tourism stall.

Odisha Tourism has bagged the award in Best Stall Decoration category in a colourful ceremony organized by the organizer.

Reported by
Abhishek Mohanty
Special Correspondent

Modi flags off ‘Run for Unity’ marathon on Sardar Patel’s death anniversary

 New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Mr. Narendra Modi flagged off the ‘Run for Unity' marathon in Vadodara. The Run coincided the 63rd death anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

“Iron man Sardar Patel had saved our country from getting disintegrated. The run is being organized with a broad view to unite the people, the villages and the nation”, said Modi.

The event is an effort to collect scrap iron to build India’s first Home Minister Sardar Patel's 182-metre statue in the middle of Narmada River, which is scheduled to be completed before January 26, 2014.

This statue is being constructed at a cost of Rs. 2,074 crore which will be twice the size of the Statue of Liberty.                                        

Reported by
Sindhuja Chaudhary
Group Editor

New Company Law give more powers to Company Secretaries: Pilot

 Company Secretaries will get more power when the New Companies Act comes fully into effect. Company Secretaries play a larger role in the form of a Chief Governance Officer and are the compliance officers in a corporate set up, said Minister for Corporate Affairs Sachin Pilot at the inauguration of 41st National Conference organized by Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI).

In his inaugural address, Pilot said “The governance has assumed centre-stage not only in India but across the globe and sooner the members of Company Secretaries will be elevated as Chief Governance Officers and Governance Professionals”. After passing of the Companies Act Company Secretaries will get more powers. With great Power comes greater responsibility and need of the hour is to be unbiased and fair in giving   your views you are doing justice to your profession. Company secretaries have to ensure the interest of stakeholders, shareholders employees, creditors of the company. Company Secretaries as a community is an effective tool to implement the new Company Law”. Good corporate governance requires efficient regulatory support and effective implementation tools, he added.

The need to continually redeem pledge and commitment to the trust and confidence placed on the Company Secretaries, by the Society and regulators is important and critical to the sustenance and growth of the profession. The real testimony to this is the Companies Act, 2013 which makes Company Secretaries Key Managerial Personnel and makes Secretarial Audit mandatory for certain class of companies. This provision in the Act showcases strategic importance of the Company Secretary in governance architecture of any company, he added further.

Additional Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs M. J. Joseph stated that the 41st National Convention of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India is being held at an historic time, with the enactment of the new Companies Act, 2013. The new law has substantially strengthened the role and position of Company Secretaries. In particular, the new law considers a Company Secretary as a Key Managerial Personnel (KMP); as a member of senior management in managing the affairs of a company in ensuring good corporate governance and enforcing regulation. For the first time, the functions of the Company Secretary have been specified under Section 205 of the Act.

Former Judge of Supreme Court of India and Chairman of FSLRC Justice B. N. Srikrishna said “While transitioning in to Governance Professional, Company Secretaries have to uphold the morals and ethics and act as the Conscience Keepers of their companies.”
President Council of the ICSI CS S. N. Ananthasubramanian dwelt upon the various initiatives made during the year; from introduction of Online Services Delivery to successful foray into OMR Mode in Foundation Examination to introduction of new Syllabi for Executive and Professional Examination; from introduction of placement portal and e-library to release of videos on Companies Act; from collaborations with National Institute of Securities Markets, Indian Institute of Banking Finance and Insurance Institute of India for widening avenues for our members  and to introduction of Corporate Compliance Executive Scheme for our members-to-be; from adoption of Strategic Action Plan to induct Institute Governance to conducting a Strategy Meet leading to far-reaching takeaways for future positioning of ICSI.

The Convention has been devised as “Transitioning from Company Secretary to Governance Professional”.

Reported by
Abhishek Mohanty
Special Correspondent

Grand Finale of Mr. & Ms. India held in New Delhi.

 At a grand and glittering show Ms. Deepshikha Verma from Dehradun and Mr. Amit Singh from New Delhi were crowned as Ms. India & Mr. India 2013 this evening at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi.

Mr. Sagar Shah from Vadodara & Ms. Shikha Sharma from Chandigarh were declared as the first runner up and Mr. Manish Mehta from Delhi & Ms. Esha Tewari Pandey from Noida were declared as the second runner up.

Eminent jury and brand ambassadors for the beauty pageant included Mr. Shakti Anand, a famous TV actor who has worked in famous TV serials, Sudeepa Singh an Indian model and actress, Actress Nisha Kothari, TV Anchor Yogita Singh, TV and Bollywood Actor Amar Upadhyay, Akhil Kumar-Indian Boxer and Arjuna Awardee, Fashion Designer- Shravan Kumar Ramaswamy.

The grand finale was choreographed by Fashion Choreographer Shie Lobo.

The contest consisted of six stages. The first three stages consisted of objective type questionnaires on topics like Current Affairs, Hollywood & Indian Film industry, IQ assessment. The contestants answered these questionnaires on website.

In the fourth stage, participants submitted their two minute videos where they said something about themselves. On basis of that, 50 contestants were shortlisted from all over the Country. They were moved on to the penultimate 5th stage which consisted of a subjective type questionnaire where 5 questions on different topics were put to the contestants and contestants were required to provide answers in 500 words. In the last screening stage, 10 candidates for Ms. India title and 10 candidates for Mr. India title were shortlisted basing on the points that each candidate scored. Ten candidates for Ms. India title and ten candidates for Mr. India title were shortlisted for the main grand finale from all over the country.

Mr. Manoranjan Mohanty, CMD of said, “It is our sincere endeavor to create a platform for the youth and we expect all our participants and finalists to spread our CSR activities like Save the Girl Child, Save Electricity, Go Green (Save Plants, Save Earth) & Save Water.”

Mr. Shakti Anand added, “It’s been a tough job to select the winners from such a talented group of contestants .In today’s world one can succeed in life only if he/she has strong and powerful personality physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. This contest was an attempt to find a male and a female with such a wholesome personality.” 

The event was followed up by various fillers including stand-up comedy from famous comedian Mr. Sunil Sawara, dance performance by famous dance troop Doon Fashion Zone and singing performance from Asees Kaur, Runner up of Indian Idol 6.

The 20 stars of the night who were shortlisted for the mega contest –‘ Ms. India and Mr. India 2013’ were Ms. Asha Fred (Bhopal), Ms. Deepshika Verma (Dehradun), Ms. Esha Tiwari Pandey (Noida, U.P), Ms. Payal Singh(Pune, Maharashtra), Ms. Savita Singh (Lucknow, U.P), Ms. Shikha Sharma (Chandigarh,Punjab), Ms. Shweta Pal (Agra, U.P), Ms. Radha Bhatt (Sahibaba, New Delhi), Ms. Sonali Verma (Dehradun), Ms. Vidhi Sachdev (Dwarka, Delhi), Dr. Kuldeep Sharma (Sdabad, U.P), Mr. Amit Singh (Vasant Kunj Enclave), Mr. Ankit Verma (Dehradun), Mr. Manish Dadheech (Kanpur, U.P), Mr. Manish Mehta (Pehladpur, Delhi), Mr. Manjunatha Reddy G (Banglore), Mr. Parvez Magray (Jammu, J&K), Mr. Rajat Pal (Agra), Mr. Sagar Shah (Vadodara, Gujarat) & Mr. Vishwas Sharma (Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh).

Reported by
Abhishek Mohanty
Special Correspondent