Sunday, 31 March 2013

Three days after suffering severe head and lung injuries in a fight outside a Christchurch bar, New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder has been moved out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and has reassured his well-wishers about his well-being, saying, "I'm ok".

Ryder is in a stable condition in a general ward at the Christchurch hospital.
"I just want to let everyone know that I'm ok. I feel heaps better today but still really tired," Ryder stated in a press release by New Zealand Cricket.
"I've been reading your messages that have been sent so thank you to everyone for thinking of me over the last few days. I want to thank everyone who has been caring for me at the hospital - they have been awesome. Thank you to my family and friends who have been here also," he added.
Ryder's manager, Aaron Klee, said that the batsman may not be making any more statements in the near future as he would focus on his recovery.
"Now that Jesse is out of intensive care, we aren't planning on providing further updates in the media, as it is time for Jesse to focus on his recovery and getting back to full health," said Klee.
He also informed that Ryder had not yet been interviewed by police and had no recollection of the attack.
The 28-year-old all-rounder, who was brought to the hospital in a critical condition on Thursday, had come out of his induced coma yesterday and begun talking again and breathing without the assistance of ventilator.
The Police had yesterday arrested two men in connection with the assault, a 20-year-old Christchurch resident and his 37-year-old relative who was visiting the city.
They have been bailed to appear in the Christchurch District Court on April 4.

NEWS AROUND THE World – 31 March, 2013

Two  killed, thirteen  injured as bus falls into ravine in Mexico
Two people died and 13 have been injured in a car crash in Mexico after a microbus lost control and fell into a ravine, Itar-Tass reported. The accident took place in the state of Hidalgo. The injured passengers were taken to hospitals, some of them by helicopter. Several victims are said to be in grave condition, including one child. Mexico has one of the highest road traffic mortality rates. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.
Five dead in helicopter crash in South Africa
Five air force personnel died in a helicopter crash in South Africa’s Kruger National Park during an anti-poaching operation, according to a statement by the South African military. The team was on a regular patrol of the park, and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash. South Africa is struggling to stem the widespread poaching of rhinos, whose horns are sold to buyers in Asia where it is believed to sure diseases. However, no medical evidence supports these claims.
Egyptian satirist faces arrest warrant
Egypt has issued an arrest warrant for a popular Egyptian satirist for allegedly insulting Islam and the country’s president Mohammed Morsi, raising fears of a crackdown on freedom in the region, Media reports . Earlier, Bassem Youssef faced several complaints against his show ‘El Bernameg.’ The arrest warrant comes following the detention of five prominent pro-democracy activists in an apparently widening campaign against dissent. Last summer, Egyptian authorities arrested a minority Coptic Christian teacher for allegedly posting cartoons on Facebook that insulted Islam – charges that are becoming a common theme in a country ruled by an Islamic government.
One dead, one wounded in Toronto mall shooting
One person is dead,another  wounded at a shooting at the Yorkdale Mall parking lot in Toronto. Multiple shots were fired in the parking lot at around 8:00pm local time on Saturday. Wounded victim given medical treatment after being rushed to hospital, and is reportedly in serious but stable condition. Local media alleged that the shooting was part of a confrontation between two groups of people. Police tape cordoned off the parking lot where the incident took place, and a command post was later set up in the southwest corner of the mall.
Two killed, three wounded in Libya army base attack
Two soldiers have been killed and another three wounded in an attack on a military camp in Libya. Assault took place on the Tamahind base, near the desert town of Sabha, some 800 km south of the capital Tripoli. “They came in cars, shooting. Two officers were killed and three others were injured,” Ali al-Sheikhli, spokesman for the army chief of staff, said. Matter is put under  investigation way.
Media agencies
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Saturday, 30 March 2013

Anand Sharma meets Zimbabwean PM
Zimbabwe seeks Indian Investment to Revive its Manufacturing Sector

The Union Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles Shri Anand Sharma yesterday met the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai during his visit to Harare for the India-Zimbabwe Joint Trade Committee (JTC) Meeting. Shri Sharma briefed the Zimbabwean Prime Minister on the fruitful discussions held earlier yesterday between the two sides in the JTC meeting. Shri Sharma informed the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe that India has offered various capacity building programmes, including scholarships and dedicated courses in bamboo craft development and handicrafts, that Lines of Credit (LOC) proposals worth USD 400 million from the Zimbabwean side will be considered and Zimbabwe could also avail the ‘Buyers Credit Scheme’ and the ‘pilot 2 % Interest subvention scheme’ for projects in Zimbabwe. Shri Sharma agreed to the request of Mr. Tsvangirai for providing assistance in revival of its textile industry and in developing its nascent diamond industry.

The India-Zimbabwe Joint Trade Committee (JTC) meeting was co-chaired by Shri Sharma and the Prof. Welshman Ncube, Minister of Industry and Commerce of Zimbabwe. During the JTC meeting, the two sides reviewed the bilateral trade and investment relations and held discussions on the following areas of cooperation: Textiles Sector, Agro/food Processing Sector, Gems and Jewellery, industrial cluster initiatives, Lines of Credit, capacity building programmes, establishing of Commodity Exchange in Zimbabwe. During the meeting, both the Ministers emphasized that the present levels of bilateral trade and investment were much below the potential. In the year 2012, the India-Zimbabwe bilateral trade was USD 166 million, with balance of trade heavily in favour of India. The Zimbabwean Minister sought investments and technical assistance from India to enable Zimbabwe in revival of its manufacturing sector, and to achieve greater value addition and beneficiation of natural resources, which will also enable Zimbabwe to increase the value of its exports. The Zimbabwean side also presented to the Indian side the potential joint venture investment projects from the Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe for consideration of the Indian industry. InvestIndia portal launched during the 2nd India-Africa Forum Summit could play a leading role in identifying the potential investors. It was noted that India has already invested in various sectors in Zimbabwe notably in mining, pharmaceuticals and agro-processing. On being apprised of the difficulties being faced by the Indian businessmen in obtaining Business Visa for Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwean Minister assured that they will be addressing the issue expeditiously.

In his address during the JTC meeting, Shri Sharma announced that India had approved a Line of Credit (LOC) worth USD 28.6 million for Up-gradation of Deka Pumping Station and the River Water Intake System in Zimbabwe. Further, India is actively considering two more LOC proposals received from Zimbabwe, namely, the Rehabilitation of Small Thermal Power Stations and the Gairezi Hydro Electric Project, and Bulawayo Power Station Upgrade Project. Shri Sharma mentioned that India has been engaged in capacity building and human resource development efforts in Zimbabwe and is setting up a Food Testing Laboratory, a Rural Technology Park and a Vocational Training Centre in Zimbabwe under the India-Africa Forum Summit decisions. India has also set up three computer learning stations in Zimbabwe for children in high density areas. The number of annual scholarships to Zimbabwe under India’s ITEC programme is now more than 250.

Shri Sharma also informed that the National Institute of Design (NID) of India has successfully undertaken the Training Programme on Design Intervention for the Basketry Craft for Improvement of rural Women Artisans in Zimbabwe. The products made by the Zimbabwean crafts women were successfully showcased at an exhibition in New Delhi earlier this month, which evoked a positive response from the buyers. During the JTC meeting, the Indian side agreed to provide assistance to Zimbabwe in the development of the four clusters identified under its Industrial Development Policy namely, diamond cluster, clothing and textiles, leather and footwear, and agro-processing. The Zimbabwe side also acknowledged the role played by India in defending Zimbabwe’s interests in trading in diamonds through the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme. The two countries designated Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe and Hindustan Diamond Company Private Limited from India as the two nodal agencies for greater commercial cooperation between both countries in the diamond sector. The two Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to consolidate the historical relationship between the two countries through partnership across various sectors, focussing on value addition and beneficiation of resources, capacity building, job creation and ensuring food and energy security for its people.
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Top Stories for March 29, 2013
EPA issues vessel general permit regulating discharges from commercial vessels
WASHINGTON — This permit regulates 27 specific discharge categories, and will also provide improvements to the efficiency of the permit process.
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Developer of membrane products receives New Product Innovation Award
CHARLEROI, Pa. — QUA has received the 2013 Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award for Industrial Water & Wastewater Treatment Technology.
Story of the week
Star of hit show Castle donates birthday to Charity Water
NEW YORK — Nathan Fillion, the star character from ABC's hit show Castle, has decided to follow along the footsteps of other stars by donating his birthday to Charity Water.
Council in Minn. agrees upgrades are needed to wastewater treatment plant
KASSON, Minn. — Members of the Kasson City Council in Minnesota agreed that upgrades are needed at its wastewater treatment plant.
Special show coverage
Products on demand at WQA Aquatech USA 2013
This year's WQA Aquatech USA 2013 trade show and event will surely create plenty of buzz and interest in the areas of water treatment equipment, softening, filtration and improving the quality of water. Here are some new products not to miss.
RWL Water Group announces addition of Tipton Environmental's major assets
NEW YORK — Tipton brings 15 years of experience designing and manufacturing activated sludge packaged wastewater treatment plants.

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Friday, 29 March 2013

Myanmar won’t tolerate religious extremists: President


Myanmar President Thein Sein said on Thursday that his reformist government would not tolerate religious extremism, following a wave of deadly Buddhist-Muslim violence in the former army-ruled nation.
At least 40 people have been killed and mosques burned in several towns in central Myanmar since a new eruption of sectarian strife on March 20, prompting the government to impose emergency rule and curfews in some areas.
“I would like to warn all political opportunists and religious extremists who try to exploit the noble teachings of these religions and have tried to plant hatred among people of different faiths for their own self-interest: their efforts will not be tolerated,” Thein Sein said in a national address.
“In general, I do not endorse the use of force to solve problems. However, I will not hesitate to use force as a last resort to protect the lives and safeguard the property of general public,” the former general added.
“All perpetrators of violence will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he said, according to an official translation.
The recent clashes were apparently triggered by an argument in a gold shop that turned into an escalating riot during which mosques were burned, houses razed and charred bodies left lying in the streets.
But witnesses say much of the violence appears to be well organised.
Security forces fired warning shots yesterday to disperse rioters and dozens of people have been detained.
But Muslim leaders have criticised the security forces for failing to stop the attacks.
It is the worst sectarian strife since violence between Buddhists and Muslims in the western state of Rakhine last year left at least 180 people dead and more than 110,000 displaced.
The communal clashes pose a major challenge to Thein Sein, who has won international praise for his reform efforts since taking office two years ago following the end of decades of outright military rule.
“We must expect these conflicts and difficulties to arise during our period of democratic transition,” Thein Sein said.
But “only an inclusive democratic society based on equality for all citizens will ensure peace and stability, especially in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-faith country such as ours”, he added.

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Syria is in a state of crisis. More than 70,000 people have been killed—over 3,700 are children—since the conflict started two years ago.
President Barack Obama made stopping mass atrocities a priority and a "core national security interest.” Yet U.S. efforts to slow or stop the crisis in Syria—diplomacy and sanctions against the regime, primarily—have had little effect. We need a new approach: the United States must cut off the supply chains that provide Assad the resources his regime needs to commit atrocities. This includes weapons, troops, and access to money provided by Iran and Russia, among many other actors.
Urge President Barack Obama to stop the supply chain to Syrian atrocities!
We have been tracking Assad’s supply chains since the conflict spiraled and found that the United States is well positioned to disrupt it. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Iraq recently and  told Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki that Iraq must stop Iran from shipping arms to Syria through Iraqi airspace. This is a good step. But stopping Assad’s enablers of mass atrocities requires a multi-prong approach. The United States can do much more.
Syrian casualties are mounting. Failure to act now to cut off these supplies will lead to even more bloodshed and will send the wrong message to those fueling Assad’s atrocities.
Urge President Barack Obama to stop the supply chain to Syrian atrocities!
Sadia Hammed
Human Rights First

Thursday, 28 March 2013


March 28, 2013
Photo of US delegation meeting with Narender Modi
Ahmedabad, 28th March 2013 : Senior US Congressman visiting India & State of Gujarat today met Chief Minister Narendra Modi at his residence at Gandhi Nagar . US Congressman Mr Aaron Schock Leader of Delegation from State of Illinois along with Mrs. Cathy McMorris Rodgers from State of Washington and Mrs. Cynthia M. Lumis from the State of Wyoming along with a 7 member US business leaders delegation led by Chicago Punjabi NRI Mr Shalabh Kumar and BJP Overseas Affairs leader Mr Vijay Jolly attended the two and half hours
long meeting.
The US Congressman extended an invitation to Gujarat Chief Minister Mr Narendra Modi to visit United States of America soon. The C.M accepted their invite promptly and smilingly. The issue of visa was never discussed in the meeting. It is important to state that in recent years, this is the highest point of contact between the US elected Officials and the Chief Minister of Gujarat stated OFBJP leader Mr Jolly.
To promote people to people contacts & diplomacy and under Global Community Over reach program, the US based NIAPPI led by its Chairman Mr Shalabh Kumar and India based Delhi Study Group led by BJP Convenor Overseas Affairs Mr Vijay Jolly joined hands to make this program a grand success. People in India and US worked hard for more than 14 to 15 hours a day for this global connectivity to happen and public diplomacy to succeed stated OFBJP leader Mr Vijay Jolly at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
A video presentation on the state of good governance in Gujarat was shown to the US guests. The success story of Gujarat infrastructure development, the state of power surplus in Gujarat, inclusive phenomenal growth rate in Gujarat, 25% contribution of Gujarat in overall exports of India, round the clock electricity supply in rural & urban areas in Gujarat, 100% internet connectivity at primary school level in Gujarat, enactment of SIR Act of 2009, the dedicated 1483 kilometers long freight corridor from Dadri to JNPT, Gujarat ect were showcased to the visiting US political & business leaders. The CM Gujarat Mr Narendra Modi presented bouquets of roses to all the delegates. Tea, coffee, cold drinks, vegetarian sandwiches and cashew nuts were offered to the guests in the meeting.
Gujarat Chief Minister Mr Narendra Modi expressed concern on cross border terrorism emanating from Pakistan and resulting in bomb blasts killing thousands of innocent Indians in various states of India. Issues relating to environment, power generation, identifying alternate sources of energy, strengthening democracy and increased participation of US private sector investments in infrastructure-development sectors were roundly discussed in the meeting stated OFBJP Convener Mr Vijay Jolly.
Latter a Press Conference was addressed at Ahmadabad by Mr Shalabh Kumar, Mr Aaron Schock, Mr Vijay Jolly, Mrs. Cathy M. Rodgers and Mrs Cynthia Lummis where heaps of praise and admiration for Mr Modi and his style of Good Governance were expressed .

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Terra Motors plan to manufacture an electric car for Philippines thus to give firm competition to the Chinese in this segment of auto sector.
A venture firm in Tokyo is eying the emerging economies in Southeast Asia. It has unveiled a new three-wheeled electric vehicle, mainly for use as a taxi in the region.

Terra Motors developed the six seat-rs  vehicle is about three -meters in length . A driver's seat followed by  passenger seats lined on both sides. Company authorities say the vehicle can run fifty kms on a two hour charge with a maximum speed of fifty kilometers per hour.

Company plan to manufacture the vehicles in the Philippines and sell them later this year for about 6,300 dollars.Terra Motors hopes to meet the country's expected demand for three-wheel electric taxis. The Philippine government plans to introduce 100,000 such vehicles by 2016 to help reduce air pollution.

Terra Motors' advance into the market will likely fuel competition with Chinese rivals.

Central Taiwan struck 6.1 magnitude quake

March 27, 2013
Central Taiwan struck 6.1 magnitude quake, at 10:03 am local time (0203 GMT), was centered in Nantou county at a depth of 15.4 kilometres, the Central Weather Bureau said.
An old woman was killed near the epicentre when a temple wall collapsed and crushed her.
Quake injured 19 people, according to the National Fire Agency its worst of the damage was in central Taiwan although the shaking was felt across the island.
Earthquake intensity broke windows, caused cracks to develop in buildings and collapsed ceilings, media reports said.
Stage set for inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in UN list of hazardous substances

Canada removes life support system from its asbestos mining industry, India’s supplier   

Asbestos-related diseases cause of imminent predictable catastrophe of death 

Utkal Asbestos Company’s case against Bihar Govt to be heard on April 4

New Delhi: Banned in over 50 countries, chrysotile asbestos (white asbestos) is all set be included to the UN list of hazardous substances under Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade at the upcoming sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Rotterdam Convention during April 28 -May 10, 2013. The Chemical Review Committee of the Convention had recommended the listing of white asbestos on the grounds of findings of World Health Organisation (WHO) that asbestos was a hazardous substance harmful to human health and environment which cannot be used safely in a controlled manner.

In a significant development, asbestos industry in Canada has been buried with the announcement in last week's Canada's federal budget. In the Canadian budget papers at page 241, headline reads: "Supporting the Economic Transition of Communities Economically Linked to the Chrysotile Asbestos Industry" in the Chapter 3.5 titled: Supporting Families and Communities. By 2010 Canada hardly any customers, its biggest customer is India with $41 million. India being the biggest customer of Canadian asbestos, will have to take steps to look for alternatives of asbestos and have to take steps to support workers, families and communities who have been adversely impacted by asbestos exposure without any legal or medical remedy.

The value of Canada’s raw asbestos exports has dropped 94 per cent between 1990 and 2011. Exports alone were worth $645-million in 1990 and fell to $41-million in 2011. The government’s promised $50-million over seven years represents about 8 per cent of what asbestos exports were in 1990. The relevant text of the Canadian Budget Plan is available at

Canada was one of the key suppliers of chrysotile asbestos which opposed its inclusion in the PIC list of hazardous substances. The purpose of the prior informed consent (PIC) procedure is to allow countries to make their own informed decisions on future imports of hazardous substances. The chemicals listed in Annex III of the Convention include pesticides and industrial chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons by two or more Parties and which the Conference of the Parties has decided to subject to the PIC procedure.

Canada barely uses asbestos in its own country for several years. It has been spending millions to remove asbestos from the Parliament Buildings. Despite knowing the cancer causing nature of asbestos, Canada continues to ship some 150,000 tonnes of it to countries like India each year.

The listing of white asbestos is likely to happen after India announced its position on June 22, 2011 the third day of the 5th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Rotterdam Convention in Geneva amidst standing ovation at the plenary meeting. India was applauded for changing its stance on the issue. Listing of chrysotile asbestos in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention or the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) list will mandate the exporting countries to share information on the hazards of the mineral with the importing countries. It may be noted that India is the chair for a smaller group to discuss and influence the position of Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and other countries opposing the listing. The change in Indian position is attributed to recommendations of WHO, International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) besides the fact that asbestos mining and trade in asbestos waste (dust and fibers) is technically banned in India. 

In November 2011, the last of the asbestos mines in Canada stopped operating. After that the Parti Québécois, the current ruling party won the election in Quebec and Premier Pauline Marois pledged to pull the plug on a proposal by Liberal Premier Jean Charest to loan the asbestos industry $58 million. This guides the way for complete ban asbestos in all its forms.

Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013 further reads: "Due to the decline of the industry, these communities are now exploring ways to diversify their local economies and create new jobs. Confirming the commitment made by the government in September 2012, Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes to provide $50 million over seven years to Canada Economic Development for Quebec regions to support economic diversification efforts in the communities of Thetford Mines and Asbestos." This money was first promised in September 2012. It was announced by Christian Paradis, the country's industry minister, who also represents Thetford Mines and Asbestos in Parliament and was born in Thetford Mines.

In the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment dated January 23, 2012 has constituted a 13 member Advisory Committee to deal with ‘ILO guidelines’ and ‘fresh resolution passed by ILO”. The International Labour Organization (ILO) passed a resolution in June 2006. The Ministry is acting in compliance with the Supreme Court orders dated January 27, 1995 and January  21, 2011 in the Writ Petition (Civil) N. 206 of 1986 and Writ Petition (Civil) No. 260 of 2004. The ILO has also made certain specific directions vide its Resolution of 2006 introducing a ban on all mining, manufacture, recycling and use of all forms of asbestos.

Union Ministry of Labour should have revealed that that the “Government of India is considering the ban on use of chrysotile asbestos in India to protect the workers and the general population against primary and secondary exposure to Chrysotile form of Asbestos" at page no. 28 of its concept paper at the two-day 5th India-EU Joint Seminar on “Occupational Safety and Health” during 19-20 September, 2011.

At the Ninth International Asbestos Disease Awareness (ADAO) Conference during March 22-24, 2013 in Washington, DC, Dr. Arthur L. Frank, chairman of environmental and occupational health at Drexel University in Philadelphia expressed concern India’s current unchecked dependence on chrysotile asbestos reflecting on multiple expert studies projecting a spike in mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases in Asia by 2030. Dr Frank who is a visiting professor at Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi as well said, “What we can expect is very predictable—an absolute catastrophe of death and disease and it is “all preventable.”

It is relevant to recollect a reply dated March 4, 2003 to a query (file: AD 3040-02-95/MD) under Canadian Access to Information Act revealed the correspondence through an email dated May 2, 2002 from Martin Barratt, the third Commercial Secretary at the Canadian High Commission in India, to officials in Canada. The email reads: “I met with Brigadier Sethi of the Asbestos Information Centre (AIC) on May 1, 2002.” The email further reads: “Brigadier Sethi advised me of a much more serious and potentially damaging issue. Some NGOs in West Bengal have filed a claim in the High Court, Kolkata asking the Court to issue an injunction against the use of Asbestos… It is entirely possible that the High Court could issue the injunction and stop the use of asbestos. Eventually the matter would reach the Supreme Court but there is no predicting the outcome….” Martin Barratt, the Canadian official advised Brigadier Sethi saying, “I think that it may be necessary at some point to prepare an advocacy campaign to counter the arguments of the NGOs.” Martin Barratt, Second Secretary (Commercial), Canadian High Commission in India says, “AIC is of the belief that problems with safe use of asbestos will arise in the unorganised sector. These include small manufacturers who cannot afford to either install the equipment necessary to safely use asbestos or invest in the health needs of their workers.” AIC accepts that “unorganised sector does use imported products that they acquire through agents.” He added, “A ruling which states that subjecting a worker to asbestos is a violation of human rights could have far reaching consequences whether or not it is binding.” This information was sent by Jean Bolais, Coordinator, Access to Information and Privacy, Natural Resources Canada to Ken Rubin of Ottawa, Ontario.

It is clear that Canada, one of the supplier largest suppliers of chrysotile asbestos was quite concerned about an order or verdict in India. 

The following chemicals are to be considered by the Conference of the Parties at its sixth meeting (COP-6) for listing in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention: Azinphos-methyl; Chrysotile asbestos; Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, perfluorooctanesulfonates, perfluorooctanesulfonamides and perfluorooctanesulfonyls; Pentabromodiphenyl ether (CAS No. 32534-81-9) and pentabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures; Octabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures; liquid formulations (emulsifiable concentrate and soluble concentrate) containing paraquat dichloride at or above 276 g/L, corresponding to paraquat ion at or above 200 g/L.
In a related development a case filed by Utkal Asbestos Company on March 4, 2013 in the Patna High Court complaining that local people of Vaishali have ransacked the premises of the proposed asbestos factory wherein first information reports (FIRs) have been instituted, but no action is being taken by the authorities in respect of incidents and against the accused named therein. Justice Jayanandan Singh passed an order on March 22, 2013. The March 22 order reads: “This Court considers it appropriate to hear the District Magistrate, Vaishali, at Hajipur and Superintendent of Police, Vaishali at Hajipur personally before proceeding further in the matter. Let the District Magistrate, Vaishali and the Superintendent of Police, Vaishali at Hajipur be personally present in Court on 4th of April, 2013” for orders. 
There are a total of 43 chemicals listed in Annex III, 32 are pesticides (including 4 severely hazardous pesticide formulations) and 11 industrial chemicals. They are: Alachlor, Aldicarb, Aldrin, Binapacryl, Captafol, Chlordane, Chlordimeform, Chlorobenzilate, DDT, Dieldrin, Dinitro-ortho-cresol (DNOC) and its salts (such as ammonium salt, potassium salt and sodium salt), Dinoseb and its salts and esters, EDB (1,2-dibromoethane), Endosulfan, Ethylene dichloride, Ethylene oxide,  Fluoroacetamide, HCH (mixed isomers), Heptachlor,  Hexachlorobenzene, Lindane (gamma-HCH), Mercury compounds, including inorganic mercury compounds, alkyl mercury compounds and alkyloxyalkyl and aryl mercury compounds,
Monocrotophos, Parathion, Pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters, Toxaphene  (Camphechlor), Tributyl tin compounds, Dustable powder formulations containing a combination of benomyl at or above 7%, carbofuran at or above 10% and thiram at or above 15%,        Methamidophos (Soluble liquid formulations of the substance that exceed 600 g active ingredient/l), Methyl-parathion (Emulsifiable concentrates (EC) at or above 19.5% active ingredient and dusts at or above 1.5% active ingredient), Phosphamidon (Soluble liquid formulations of the substance that exceed 1000 g active ingredient/l), Actinolite asbestos, Anthophyllite, Amosite asbestos, Crocidolite, Tremolite, Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBBs), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), Polychlorinated Terphenyls (PCTs), Tetraethyl lead, Tetramethyl lead and  Tris (2,3 dibromopropyl) phosphate.

It is noteworthy that all forms asbestos except chrysotile asbestos is already in the UN list. It is hoped that the listing of chrysotile asbestos will pave the way for its eventual ban as per the recommendations of WHO and ILO.  

For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 9818089660 (Delhi)
Ajit Kr Singh, Convener, Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jan Sangharsh Committee (KBJBJC), Vaishali, Mb: 09931669311,
Ravindra Prasad Singh, Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jan Sangharsh Committee (KBJBJC), Vaishali, Mb: 8986980751  

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

BSP leader among two dead in twin shooting incident in Delhi

Two firing incident in the Delhi national capital took place on Tuesday.
Early morning, BSP leader,businessman Deepak Bharadwaj was shot dead by two men in his farmhouse in south Delhi on Tuesday, police said.The incident took place in the farmhouse 'Nitish Kunj' located in Vasant Kunj area at around 9:15 AM.Two men came in a car and had a chat with 62-year-old Bharadwaj and after sometime they opened fire at him, a senior police official said.He was rushed to Army's Research and Referral Hospital where he succumbed to injuries. The post-mortem will be carried out in AIIMS, the official said.Bharadwaj was into real estate business and had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections on a BSP ticket.
In another shooting spree, in after noon ,25 year old woman was shot dead and her father injured allegedly by the woman’s husband in a Metro station in east Delhi, police said.The incident took place on the escalator of the Karkardooma Metro Station at 12:10 PM. The deceased has been identified as Deepti. Pawan, the accused, fled the scene after leaving the 12 bore double barrel gun at the spot.
Deepti and her father Bisham Das were entering the Metro through an escalator when Pawan allegedly opened fire.Five empty cartridges were recovered from the spot.

Sudipto congratulates Naveen Soorinje after his release. If you cannot see this image click display images
Sudipto congratulates Naveen Soorinje after his release.
Start your petition
"I had complete faith in the judiciary and it has delivered justice today. I thank all those who stood by me..." - Naveen Soorinje, after his release
Dear Naresh,
Last week, user, Sudipto Mondal, achieved a big milestone on his campaign. Sudipto had started a petition to get the Karnataka government to drop charges against journalist, Naveen Soorinje, who was allegedly wrongly arrested.
Soorinje was the reporter who exposed an attack on youngsters by a fundamentalist group in Mangalore. But, he was arrested under the same charges as the attackers.
On Saturday, Soorinje was released on bail after a victim confessed how Naveen was not involved in the attack and had tried to help the victims. Sudipto feels that Soorinje’s release is a first step to get Naveen acquitted of the allegedly false charges.
Naveen’s arrest had created an outrage - over 5000 signed Sudipto’s petition and hundreds protested on the streets. Public pressure forced the cabinet to drop all charges against Soorinje. However, the decision still awaits the CM’s approval. Share Sudipto’s petition to help him gather more support.
Naresh, you too can make a difference like Sudipto. Start a petition, share it with your friends, mobilise public support and get decision-makers to bring about positive change.
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Tamseel and the team

Asbestos Company sues Nitish Kumar led Government for supporting Vaishali villagers

Amidst bitter resistance of Vaishali villagers to stop cancer causing asbestos factory, Utkal Asbestos company has been filing fake cases to implicate villagers and Bihar Govt

Patna/New Delhi: In response to Bihar Chief Minister’s promise of ‘puncturing’ hazardous asbestos factories in the fertile State in the meeting with the leaders of Vaishali’s Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jan Sangharsh Committee (KBJBJC) and the leaders of left parties on February 13, 2013, Utkal Asbestos Limited (UAL) Industries Ltd has filed a case against the State Government. The case was filed on March 4, 2013 in the Patna High Court. The case is scheduled for hearing on April 4, 2013 before Mr. Justice J.N.Singh. 
The promise of the Chief Minister followed declaration of Shri Awadhesh Narain Singh, Chairman, Bihar Legislative Council saying ‘buying asbestos is akin to buying cancer’ at a conference on environmental and occupational health on December 24, 2012, in his address to the health experts, scientists, trade union leaders, academicians, civil society leaders and villagers. The conference also adopted a Patna Declaration urging State of Bihar to ban Asbestos Product Use and to ban Asbestos Product Use. Speech of Chairman, Bihar Legislative Council is available at
It may be recalled that Justice (Retd) Rekha Kumari, Patna High Court has contended that companies which willfully expose human beings to cancer causing fibers of asbestos must be made criminally liable because right to health is part of right to life in a public lecture on December 24, 2012 at A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna. Her hand written legal opinion is available with the ToxicsWatch Alliance, which has been campaigning for national ban on lung cancer causing on asbestos products following its ban in over 50 countries.    
It is noteworthy that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met the leaders of ban asbestos movement met the leaders at his residence at 1, Anne Marg in Patna in the evening hours of on February 13, 2013. The Chief Minister expressed outrage at the granting of ‘No Objection Certificate’ by Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) to hazardous asbestos based factories in fertile agricultural lands. In a remarkable move Bihar Chief Minister phoned Chairman, BSPCB and fixed an appointment for the villagers of Vaishali for February 14, 2013 and expressed his disapproval for asbestos based factories to him in front of the leaders of the left parties and the villagers’ committee.  
Following the meeting with the villagers and Chief Minister’s directions, BSPCB officials visited the factory site on March 4, 2013 as part of the process to cancel the approval given to the asbestos company’s plant.   
Struggle of villagers of Vaishali’s Chaksultan Rampur Rajdhari near Panapur in Kanhauli Dhanraj Panchayat in Goraul block against asbestos based factory has reached a decisive phase. Villagers have been protesting against this lung cancer causing hazardous plant under the banner of KBJBJC for more than 2 years.
After the villagers Mahadharna of June 14, 2012, the district administration had put a stay on the construction of the factory. When the construction started again on December 16, 2012, the villagers blocked the Mahua-Samastipur road for 9 hours to express their protest against the proposed white asbestos plant of UAL company in their village on June 14. Cancer causing white asbestos also called chrysotile asbestos is banned in 55 countries.
It is noteworthy that "The Government of India is considering the ban on use of chrysotile asbestos in India to protect the workers and the general population against primary and secondary exposure to Chrysotile form of Asbestos." This has been revealed in a concept paper by Union Ministry of Labour revealed during 19-20th September, 2011. The resolutions of WHO and ILO in 2005 and 2006 have called for the elimination of asbestos.
In India, mining of asbestos is technically banned but its import from other countries is yet to be banned. Trade in asbestos (dust & fibers) is also banned.  
The dubious designs of the UAL company against the villagers and protesters to protect its hazardous plant at the cost of villagers’ health was condemned by the speakers who spoke at the demonstration. In a dubious move, the UAL has filed case no. 252/2012, 509/2012 and 510/2012 to silence the voice of public interest persons. This appears to be done to trap villagers into concocted cases as part of company’s design to malign the movement of the KBJBJC. The memorandum sought the withdrawal of three fake cases lodged in Mahua Thana, Vaihsali.

Asbestos Virodhi Nagrik Manch, Patna and left and socialist parties participated in the demonstration on January 16, 2012 to express solidarity with the villagers struggle against the asbestos based factory of Utkal Asbestos Limited.
Now that the construction of asbestos based factory in Vaishali is all set to be permanently stopped, the issue of three asbestos plants in Bhojpur’s Giddha and Bihiya has come to the forefront where protest has been going on for more than 2 years. Notably, the Giddha plant is situated behind a B Ed College. The villagers are protesting against this plant. In Bihiya, Tamil Nadu based Ramco Industries is operating two asbestos plants amidst protests from villagers although it has permission for only one. Memorandum has been submitted to the District administration and BSPCB in this regard.
The memorandum to the Chief Minister demanded white asbestos based plants should be closed in public interest keeping public health in mind and dismissal of fake case registered by Utkal Management.
ToxicsWatch Alliance demands that following Chief Minister’s intervention Bihar’s State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB) and the State Cabinet must disapprove asbestos based industrial projects and rescind earlier approvals.
For Details: Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Mb: 9818089660 (Delhi),
Ajit Kr Singh, Convener, Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jan Sangharsh Committee (KBJBJC), Vaishali, Mb: 09931669311,
Ravindra Prasad Singh, Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jan Sangharsh Committee (KBJBJC), Vaishali, Mb: 8986980751 

Monday, 25 March 2013

Former judge of the Rajasthan High Court Justice Sajjan Singh Kothari was sworn in as Lokayukta on Monday, Governor Margaret Alva administered him oath of office in the presence of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.
Chief Justice Amitava Roy, members of council of ministers, BJP State President Vasundhara Raje and senior officers were present during the ceremony at Raj Bhawan in Jaipur on Monday.
The post had been lying vacant since May last year after the retirement of G L Gupta.
Kothari’s selection was made by a panel that included the Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition and the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court.

‘It’s back to school’ time for 13,500 CBSE school principals

New Delhi March 25, 2013

Come April 1, 2013, Principals of over 13500 schools in over 30 states across the country following the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) curriculum would spend at least a week in the coming year to train themselves in effective leadership and school management.
In what is seen as one of the biggest initiatives mandated by CBSE to take Principals, Vice Principals and Head Mistresses (and of course, Head Masters) back to school, they have been mandated to compulsorily spend at least 7 days learning a range of skills oriented and behavioural programs.
The flagship 5-day behavioural program on Leadership and School management would be offered in both residential and a non-residential format.
This program is divided into two parts of behavioral learning on leadership that would include among others unraveling leadership styles, goal setting, collaboration and team building, vision building, time management, conflict resolution.
The technical learning would bring school heads up to speed on many reforms and policies of CBSE and Government like Right to Education, students not being marked only on their final examination marks but through Comprehensive and Continuous Evaluation (CCE), using technology for both school administration and enhancing learning and financial management. 
On being assigned to offer this program, Santhosh Babu, founding Managing Director, Organisation Development Alternatives said, “We are delighted to partner this breakthrough initiative of CBSE that will empower Principals to act as chief executives of their respective schools and strengthen their leadership capabilities”
According to CBSE official spokesperson, “In keeping with the changing times we believe the School Principals too need to expand their leadership capability to manage the entire education process.
“The leadership and school management program will empower them to play a bigger role in leading their schools and to improve the overall education process,” the spokesperson added.
Terming it as a as a big opportunity to equip and hone leadership capabilities of School Principals, Santhosh Babu said, “This 5-day two-part program has the potential to impact the vision and values of their teachers and to manage the education process in nurseries (schools) that prepare future generations of rising India.
“Specialist teams from ODA shall bring in vast knowledge, skills and experience of developing leadership in the corporate sector to help Principals to open their minds to new ways of leading and managing schools of the 21st century.” Santhosh added.
Additional notes to the Editors:
In addition to this programs the heads of schools will be able to choose one day Capacity building programmes on a range subjects like mathematics, physical education, life and speaking and listening skills.
In addition, one day programs on health, wellbeing and reading will also be available. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) will offer a one day program on The Enviromnent related issues.
About Organisation Development Alternatives (ODA)
OD Alternatives (ODA) is a specialist consulting firm that helps organizations and leaders shift limiting beliefs and bring about lasting positive change. ODA’s team of OD experts, led by founding managing director Santhosh Babu, coaches company CEOs and celebrities to help them realize their true potential.
ODA has invested tens of thousands of person hours into learning to use development tools and methodologies to create sustainable and fundamental shifts in mind-sets and breakthrough in performance.
ODA consultants use high energy, interactive and creative facilitation style to connect with individuals in a non-judgmental attitude that appeals to people across cultures and industries.
ODA’s consulting areas can be categorised in three broad areas:
Coaching and Mentoring Senior Leaders on their transformation journey
ODA consultants have taken several senior leaders around the world. through a proprietary “Brand You” workshop to help identify their values and ‘brand’ themselves.  The workshop first held in 2000 has evolved with each subsequent session. A book by Santhosh Babu on ‘The Art of Developing Leaders’ (Wiley, 2012) delves into the coaching methodology and tools that help organizational leaders and professional coaches.
Developing leadership capabilities in senior managers, high potential leaders
Using an integrated Leadership Development process, ODA has worked with organisations like Airtel, Engineers India, MSD, NIIT, Novartis, Steria and Vodafone to foster holistic and authentic leaders.
Transformation and Culture change interventions
ODA’s interventions focus on transformation and culture change within
organizations. Some of ODA’s recent assignments include Abbott Vascular Asia-Pacific, Bausch and Lomb, Baxter, Godfrey Philips, Intel, Merck Sharp and Dohme, Nestle, Pepsico, and TVS and Sons.
For more details please
Write: OD Alternatives Consultancy, E-13, East of Kailash, N Delhi 110 065
Call: Tel: 011-41323810/11/12
Sanjiv Kataria, Strategic Communications and PR Counsel
+91 98100 48095 sanjiv dot kataria at gmail dot com

Rationalisation of Foreign Investment in Government Securities

Rationalisation of Foreign Investment in Government Securities

Rationalisation of Foreign Investment in Government Securities and Corporate Bonds to be Operational by April 1, 2013: FM:
The Union Finance Minister (FM), Shri P. Chidambaram, said that India with its focus on inclusive development and timely interventions has been able to weather the global crisis better than most other countries. He said that with liberalization of FDI in certain areas and slew of other steps, we have travelled a considerable distance on the road of economic reforms. Shri Chidambaram said that the need of the hour is to ensure that these reforms are implemented efficiently so that the anticipated upturn in GDP growth is achieved in as short a time as is practicably possible. Shri Finance Minister, Shri Chidambaram was speaking after inaugurating the National Editors’ Conference here today. The two day Conference is being organized by Press Information Bureau (PIB), Delhi. The Conference was attended among others by about 50 representatives of regional and vernacular media from different parts of the country alongwith local media persons. The Inaugural Session of the Conference was also attended by Shri R.S. Gujaral, Finance Secretary, Shri Uday Kumar Verma, Secretary, Ministry of I&B, and Ms. Neelam Kapur, Principal Director General, PIB alongwith senior officers of Ministries of Finance and Information and Broadcasting.The Finance Minister, Shri Chidamabram said that the reforms are on-going process and far reaching changes have been made in the macro-economic and sectoral policies since 1991. He said that the Government has introduced a series of reforms to improve and sustain the investment climate in the country as well as to make growth more inclusive. These include liberalisation of FDI in multi brand retail, civil aviation and broadcasting, rationalization of diesel and other petroleum prices including capping subsidized LPG cylinders to consumers. With introduction of direct benefit transfer (DBT) through Aadhar, introducing Competition Commission of India (Amendment) Bill, 2012 in Parliament; reducing the rate of withholding tax to enable low cost foreign borrowing by Indian companies; legislative measures in the banking sector paving the way for granting new bank licenses by the RBI, setting up of Cabinet Committee on Investment for fast tracking mega projects of over Rs. 1000 crores and approving the scheme for financial restructuring of State Distribution Companies (DISCOMs) by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). Besides this, other reforms are also being considered. The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC), which was examining the laws governing the financial sector, has submitted its report yesterday and the report will be put in public domain in the next few days, said the Finance Minister.
The FM said that several fiscal and administrative measures to rein in inflation and steps to reduce the fiscal and current account deficits are also being taken. He said that current account deficient and fiscal deficit are distinct in the sense that both are financed through different sources. He said that while current account deficit is financed by foreign exchange while fiscal deficit can be financed through domestic savings and earnings. The Finance Minister, Shri Chidambaram announced certain measures for ratioinalisation of foreign investments in Government Securities and Corporate Bonds. In order to encourage greater foreign investment in INR denominated debt instrument and to help develop rupee debt markets, Shri Chidambaram said that the Government will simplify the framework of FII debt limits, the allocation mechanisms of these debt limits and also lay down a plan for enhancement of these debt limits.
The Finance Minister said that the existing debt limits will be merged into following two broad categories:
i) Government securities of US$ 25 billion (by merging Government Securities old and Government Securities long term) and,
ii) Corporate bonds of US $ 51 billion dollars (by merging US $ one billion for QFIs, US 25 billion dollars for FIIs and US $ 25 billion for FIIs in long term infra bonds).
The Finance Minister said that because of the room created by unifying categories, the current SEBI auction mechanism allocating debt limits for corporate bonds will be replaced by the ‘on tap system’ currently in place for infrastructure bonds. He said that in order to allow large investors to plan their investments, the Government will review the foreign investor limit in corporate bonds when 80% of the current limit is taken up. He said that it will also enhance the limit on government bonds as and when needed, based on utlilisation levels, demand from foreign investors, our macro-economic requirements and a prudent off shore:on shore balance. To provide a guide to investors, the FM said that the annual enhancement of the Government bond limit will remain within 5% of the gross annual borrowing of the Central Government excluding buy backs. The Finance Minister Shri Chidambaram said that these changes will be made operational by April 1, 2013.
The Finance Minister said the budget proposals of 2013-14 have a number of incentives for Government which include tax deduction of investment allowance for companies making an investment of over Rs. 100 crores in plant and machinery, zero custom duty for plant and machinery for manufacturing electronic semi-conductor wafer fabs and availability of non-tax benefits to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) for three years even after they graduate to higher category.
The Finance Minister further said that in an emerging economy like India, rapid economic growth is one of the most important economic objectives. He said that economic growth though important can not be only an end but is also a means to an end. He said that it allows to generate the resources to achieve more equitable development and a wider distribution of the opportunities, development offers so as to attain higher standards of living for the masses. Equally important is the need for effective bridging of regional, social and economic disparities and empowerment of the poor and marginalized, specially women to make the entire development process more inclusive. The Finance Minister said that the 12th Five Year Plans sub-title “Faster, More Inclusive and Sustainable Growth” puts the growth debate in the right perspective. The Government’s targeted policies for the poor with fewer leakages can help in translating higher outlays into better outcomes especially after implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer System.
The Finance Minister, Shri Chidambaram said that India has the opportunity to grow at a brisk rate for many more decades. He said that it is on the brink of a demographic transition with the proportion of working age population between 15 and 59 years likely to add approximately 63.5 million new entrants to the working age group between 2011 and 2016, the bulk of whom will be in the relatively younger and productive age group of 20-35 years. He said that given that India is one of the youngest large country in the world, human development assumes great economic significance for it as demographic dividend can be reaped only if this young population is healthy, educated and skilled. He said that by giving our people the right skills, tools and the right jobs, we can increase the value that they add for many years to come. He said that by moving excess people out of agriculture to higher productivity sectors such as services and industry, we can have a growth machine that can produce brisk growth for many years, creating higher incomes and improved livelihoods. The FM said that to make all this happen, we need to create more high productivity jobs as well as opportunities in organised manufacturing and in services sectors even while improving productivity in agriculture. No country has become middle income or developed country without a strong manufacturing base, the FM added.
The FM said that despite the limitations in fiscal space, the programmes aimed at human development have never been allowed to suffer on account of paucity of funds. He said that this is also evident from the fact that as a proportion of the GDP, expenditure on social services increased from 5.91% in 2007-08 to 6.79% in 2010-11 and further to 7.09% in 2012-13 (BE). He said that while expenditure on education as a proportion of GDP has increased from 2.59% into 2007-08 to 3.31% in 2012-13 (BE); while on health it has increased from 1.27% in 2007-08 to 1.36% in 2012-13 (BE). The FM said that the central outlay for health in 12th Five Year Plan has been increased by 200 per cent to Rs. 3,000,18 crore compared to the actual outlay of Rs. 99,491 crore in the 11th Five Year Plan. In line with the Government’s commitment to “faster, more inclusive and sustainable growth”, the Union Budget 2013-14 has earmarked enhanced resources for all major social schemes. The FM said that adequate funds have been provided in the budget to every Ministry/Department including for Bharat Nirman programmes. He said that National Food Security Bill is a promise of the UPA Government. He hoped it will be passed soon by the Parliament. An amount of Rs. 10,000 crores has been set apart, over and above the normal provision for food subsidy, towards the incremental cost that is likely under the act, he added.
The FM said that we have a collective responsibility to ensure the dignity and safety of women. He said that Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill, 2012 has already been passed by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Shri Chidambaram said that a fund called as ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ is also set up with the Government contribution of Rs. 1000 crores for providing instant relief to the women victims of atrocities.
The FM said that a number of legislative steps have also been taken by our Government to guarantee rights to people like the Right to Information, Right to Work through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), the Forest Rights Act and Right to Education among others. He said that, however, there are also pressing issues like leakages and funds not reaching the targeted beneficiaries. The FM said that we have recently launched Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) system with the unique ID system Aadhar can help in plugging many of these leakages and ensure that money from Government schemes reaches the right beneficiaries on time and in the full amount through their bank accounts. He said that it will help translate outlays into better outcomes by improving service delivery, accountability and transparency in the governance of various schemes and also accelerate financial inclusion. He said that we have already made a start in 43 districts in Phase-I and committed to the time bound implementation of the DBT system across the country.
The FM said we have reached a decisive phase of economic rebuilding and today, we as a nation are more confident in dealing with the global challenges posed from time to time. He said that a resurgent India, having earned its place among major economic powers of the world, confidently looks forward to a brighter future. He said that we are steadily but surely working on the next generation of reforms. The FM said that the immediate challenge, however, is to consolidate the economy to return to path of higher growth rate while ensuring that gains of growth reach more and more people.