Tatra deal case: Court summons Tejinder Singh

News4u-News Desk-Taking cognisance of CBI’s charge sheet, a special court on Thursday summoned Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh on September 1 for allegedly offering Rs 14 crore bribe to then Army Chief Gen V K Singh for clearing file pertaining to procurement of 1,676 heavy mobility Tatra vehicles.

Special CBI judge Madhu Jain took cognisance of the charge sheet and relied upon statements of former Defence Minister A K Antony, V K Singh and other witnesses whose testimonies were recorded by the agency during the probe.

“I have gone through charge sheet and statements of Gen (retd) V K Singh, Major Gen J P Singh the then military assistant of the COAS, A K Antony the then Defence Minister and other witnesses, published Rajya Sabha debate dated March 27, 2012 in which Antony has stated in the upper house that Gen V K Singh had informed him about the bribe offered by Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh and other relevant documents.

“On the basis of material on record, there is sufficient ground to take cognisance of offence under section 12 (abetment of offence) of Prevention of Corruption Act… though offence under section 7 (public servant taking gratification other than legal remuneration in respect of an official act) of PC Act was not committed in consequence of the said abetment and I accordingly take cognisance under section 12 of PC Act,” the judge said, while summoning Tejinder Singh as an accused on September 1.

During the arguments on consideration of the charge sheet, senior public prosecutor V K Sharma had told the court that there was sufficient evidence to take cognisance and summoned the accused.

The CBI in its charge sheet had alleged that in the month of August-September 2010, the file pertaining to procurement of 1,676 Tatra vehicles was pending before V K Singh, who is now a Minister of State of External Affairs and Minister of State in-charge of Department of Northeast Region.


Tatra deal case: Court summons Tejinder Singh

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Sharif to face murder case; Imran insists on PM’s resignation

News4u-News Desk-Political crisis in Pakistan took a new turn on Thursday with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif agreeing to face a murder case relating to the killing of 14 followers of cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, as Imran Khan kept up pressure insisting on the embattled premier’s resignation.

For the second time in three days, Pakistan’s powerful Army Chief Raheel Sharif today met the Prime Minister to discuss the over two weeks-long political turmoil.

The Prime Minister and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) discussed security matters and uncertainty created by the ongoing protests in the country, sources said.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Qadri have snapped communications with the official negotiators after the fifth round of talks failed to produce any result last night.

Softening its stand under pressure, the government today accepted a key demand of Qadri by agreeing to register a murder case against 21 people, including Prime Minister Sharif, for their alleged role in the clashes that killed 14 supporters of the cleric.

After the government’s go-ahead, finally acting acting on a court order, police today registered a murder case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shahbaz Sharif, key Cabinet ministers and senior officials.

“The FIR has been registered on the order of the Lahore High Court (LHC),” Punjab police spokesperson Nabila Ghazanfar told PTI. She said the FIR had been registered on PAT’s application.

Earlier, while addressing his supporters, camped outside the Parliament, Qadri said, “Till I don’t see a checked copy of an FIR, such news should not be believed.” After talks with the government failed late last night, Qadri said, “I announce with regret that out talks with the government have failed. We will now shut the door on any further talks.” Qadri had termed today as a ‘Day of Revolution’.

Khan continued to demand Sharif’s resignation, saying “I will not leave here. I will not accept this monarchy. I want real democracy.” “It has been decided that an FIR will be registered against Shahbaz Sharif, but he has decided that he will not resign,” he said.

Amid mounting pressure from the protesters, Sharif chaired a high-level meeting in the capital to discuss the current political crisis, media reports said.

It was decided in the meeting that neither the premier nor Chief Minister Punjab province Shahbaz will step down and the federal and provincial assemblies will also not be dissolved, Dawn News reported.

During the meeting, Sharif also said he along with other ministers named in the FIR, will extend full cooperation in investigations into the Model Town incident.


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

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Erdogan to be sworn in as Turkey’s new president

News4u-News Desk-Turkey’s outgoing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to be sworn in as president on Thursday to extend his more than decade-long domination of the country.

Erdogan was due to take his oath of office at 1100 GMT (1630 IST) in Ankara and usher in a new era for Turkey, where he is expected to push for a new constitution and seek to further transform the country with development projects.

Taking over Erdogan’s post of prime minister is Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, a long standing ally who is expected to do little to challenge the Turkish number one.

Heads of state from a dozen nations in Eastern Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East will attend the ceremony, including Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, the Anatolia news agency reported.

But leaders of top Western states will be conspicuous by their absence in a possible sign of suspicion towards Erdogan, who has been accused of authoritarian tendencies.

The United States is only sending its charge d’affaires in Ankara.

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, whose country has no diplomatic ties with its giant neighbour, is expected to attend the ceremony.

Erdogan Political Journey and Future Prospects

Erdogan, who became prime minister in 2003, won presidential elections on August 10 against a weak opposition, which accuses him of Islamising tendencies but remains in disarray.

A man clearly with his eye on history, Erdogan during his five-year presidential term will have ruled Turkey longer than its modern founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who established the republic out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.

He can serve two mandates and so could stay in power until 2024, which would allow him to see in the 100th anniversary of modern Turkey in 2023 and portray himself as a historic figure rivaling Ataturk.

Davutoglu was confirmed as party leader at a vast meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at which both men vowed there would be no change in policy, despite the changeover.

“Names have no importance. Names change today but our essence, our mission, our spirits, our goals and ideals remain in place,” Erdogan told the meeting.

Erdogan, who has two sons and two daughters, described the party he helped found as his “fifth child”, but said the “farewell time” had come.

Under Turkish law, the president should sever all ties with political parties — but Erdogan said the party was not just about one person.

“The AKP will never be a one-man party. It is a party of principles,” he said.


Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

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Prime Minister launches ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’

News4u-News Desk-The ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’, an ambitious financial inclusion scheme under which the government intends to provide every household with a bank account and insurance cover, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

The scheme, about which Modi made the announcement in his Independence Day speech, was launched across the country simultaneously amid his emphasis that it lies at the core of “our development philosophy of ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’”.

As a first step, under the scheme, every account holder will get a ‘RuPay’ debit card with Rs 30,000 life insurance besides accidental insurance of up to Rs 1 lakh.

Speaking at the launch, Modi said, “This is a record breaking occasion for both insurance companies and banks, to have got 1.5 crore accounts in a single day.” “This is also a big boost for those who worked for this scheme, that the government can implement what it promises,” Modi said.

Modi went on to say that a bank account for every household will help boost growth and fight poverty effectively. “This will financially empower the women,” he added.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked us to ensure that 7.5 crore bank accounts are set up till January 26, 2015.” “Around 10 crore people are not covered by the banking system. Many people in rural areas have no access to bank loans,” Jaitley said. “Government wants to ensure that no one is left out of the banking system,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion Commerce Minister Jan Dhan Yojana Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Jan Dhan Yojana will ensure basic savings account and will cover each and every household.” “The scheme will provide overdraft, debt card facility,” she said. “Jan Dhan Yojana will provide accidental insurance cover,” she added.

Earlier, Modi, who has sent an email to all bank officers, said bank account for each household is a “national priority” and they should try their best to ensure that no one is left without a bank account. Describing the task as “gigantic,” he said, “We need to enroll over 7 crore households and open their accounts. This is a national priority and we must rise to meet this challenge. There is an urgency to this exercise as all other development activities are hindered by this single disability. I am sure we will overcome this situation collectively.”

PMJDY LAUNCHED IN ANDHRA PRADESH, TELANGANA

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan YojanaA (PMJDY), the financial inclusion scheme of the Narendra Modi government, was Thursday launched in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh by Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu respectively.

Chandrababu Naidu was the first to formally inaugurate the scheme at Rajahmundry in East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh.

“It is a major step towards poverty eradication,” said Naidu, whose Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is a partner in National Democratic Alliance (NDA) central government.

Speaking on the occasion, the TDP chief said the state and central governments could now directly transfer pension and monetary benefits under various schemes to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

The chief minister said the scheme would also help in checking corruption in implementation of welfare schemes.

C. V. R. Rajendran, chairman and managing director, Andhra Bank and president of State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) of Andhra Pradesh was also present.

Three mega camps were also held at Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and Anantapur for people to open bank accounts.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju launched the camp at Visakhapatnam, while Heavy Industries Minister Anant Geete inaugurated the camp at Tirupati.

Venkaiah Naidu launched PMJDY in Hyderabad. Telangana Finance Minister E. Rajender also attended the programme organized by State Bank of Hyderabad as SLBC of Telangana.


Prime Minister launches ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana’

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PM Modi tweets in Japanese ahead of his visit to Japan

News4u-News Desk- Ahead of his visit to Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday tweeted in Japanese to strike a chord with the Japanese people whose “scale of innovation” he admired.

In a series of tweets in Japanese, Modi talked about his forthcoming visit and said he looks forward to visiting Japan and recalled his warm memories of visiting the country as Chief Minister of Gujarat.

Modi said he would be visiting Tokyo and Kyoto and will interact with all sections of Japanese society.

“Scale of innovation and level of precision among the people of Japan is admirable,” he said in one of his tweets at ‘PMO India’.

On his personal Twitter handle ‘@narendramodi’, the Prime Minister said friends from Japan had asked him to talk to the people of Japan “directly” in Japanese.

“I also thank them for helping with the translation,” he said.

In a statement earlier this week, Modi had said that he was keenly looking forward to the trip beginning August 30 to take the “time-tested” bilateral ties to a new level and increase cooperation in various fields.

Modi, who will be embarking on his first bilateral visit outside the subcontinent since becoming the Prime Minister in May, had said that he was “excited” to meet his counterpart Shinzo Abe whose leadership he deeply respects.

“On 30th August, I will begin my visit to Japan. I am keenly looking forward to the visit which will boost relations between our two nations,” he had said in the statement.

“I see the Japan visit as an opportunity to take our ties with Japan to a new level and increase cooperation in various fields,” Modi had said.

Underlining that Japan’s friendship with India is “time-tested”, he had said, “We are two vibrant democracies committed to advancing peace and prosperity in the world.”

He noted that he was to visit Japan in early July but could not due to Parliament session.


PM Modi tweets in Japanese

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CAUTION…! Some skin creams may contain toxic mercury

News4u-Features Desk- Some people slather and even inject creams containing mercury onto or under their skin to lighten it, putting themselves and others at risk for serious health problems, scientists say.

Researchers say they can now identify these creams and intervene much faster than before. “In the US, the limit on mercury in products is 1 part per million,” said Gordon Vrdoljak, of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

“In some of these creams, we’ve been finding levels as high as 210,000 parts per million - really substantial amounts of mercury.

If people are using the product quite regularly, their hands will exude it, it will get in their food, on their counter-tops, on the sheets their kids sleep on,” said Vrdoljak.

Identifying the toxic products has been a slow process, however. So, Vrdoljak turned to an instrument that uses a technique called total reflection x-ray fluorescence. He found that the machine can screen product samples for mercury content far more efficiently, and just as accurately, as its well-established but time-consuming counterpart.

That means the team can identify the sources of mercury poisoning and help those affected much faster than before. “Testing one product using the old technique could take days,” Vrdoljak said.

“Using the new instrument, I can run through 20 or 30 samples in a day quite easily. By identifying those products that contain mercury, we can direct people to remove them and clean up their households,” he said.

Although the metal does lighten skin, dark spots and even acne, research has shown that the silvery liquid can cause a number of health problems, including lower cognitive functioning, kidney damage, headaches, fatigue, hand tremors, depression and other symptoms.

As a result, the US and many other countries have set low limits on or have banned mercury in consumer products. But demand is high among certain populations for these skin-lightening products, researchers said.

The work has led to two product recalls earlier this year, but often, they find the cosmetics are homemade and come in unmarked containers, researchers said.

The research was presented at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Francisco.


CAUTION…! Some skin creams may contain toxic mercury

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PMO, Rajnath reject reports about HM’s son

News4u-News Desk- The Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday rubbished media reports about “alleged misconduct” of Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh, dubbing these as “plain lies, motivated and malicious attempt” to tarnish the image of the government.

“This has reference to reports appearing in a section of the media over the past several weeks, mentioning the Prime Minister, and referring to the conduct of some Union Ministers, and alleged misconduct of the Home Minister’s son,” the PMO said in a statement.

“The reports are plain lies, motivated and constitute a malicious attempt at character assassination and tarnishing the image of the Government,” it said.

The statement came in the wake of a media report that Rajnath Singh was unhappy over rumours being spread by “a ministerial colleague” and “party rival” about his son being pulled up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi over some alleged misconduct.

“Those indulging in such rumour-mongering are damaging the interest of the nation. These reports are strongly denied,” the PMO said.

I will quit politics if misconduct by my family proved: Rajnath

Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh scotched “rumours” of misconduct on his or his family’s part as he said he would quit politics and sit at home if such charges are even prima facie proved.

He said rumours about alleged wrong doings by his family members have been floating around for the last fortnight.

“In the last 15-20 days, there have been continuous rumours in the air about me and my family. I thought rumours have no basis and these will end in some days.” “But I am seeing that these rumours are gaining momentum day-by-day. I want to assure the nation that the day allegations, even prima facie or even small, are proven against me or my family, I will quit politics and public life and sit at home,” he said in a hurriedly called interaction with journalists outside his office in North Block.

The Home Minister said he has conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah and both of them have expressed surprise over the issue and termed the rumours as completely baseless.

“I have told this to the Prime Minister and party President Amit Shah when we were sitting together. They have expressed surprise over this and termed it as completely baseless,” Singh said.

The Home Minister’s reaction came in the wake of media reports that he was unhappy over rumours being spread by “a ministerial colleague” and “party rival” about his son Pankaj Singh being pulled up by the Prime Minister over some alleged misconduct. Asked who could be behind the floating of the rumours, he said that was something for the investigative journalists to find out. On the possibility of a political rival spreading these rumours, the Home Minister parried a direct reply, saying, “I have nothing to say on this.”

The Home Minister denied that he has complained to the RSS about these rumours.

“I have not talked to the Sangh on this,” he said.


Rajnath Singh

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Instagram launches time-lapse video app for iPhone

News4u-Business Desk-Facebook-owned photo-sharing service Instagram on Wednesday launched an application for capturing time-lapse videos using Apple mobile devices.

The Hyperlapse “app” was designed to let people easily make high-quality time-lapse videos even while moving around with a smartphone, according to Instagram. Hyperlapse videos can be saved on mobile devices and shared on Instagram.

“From documenting your whole commute in seconds or the preparation of your dinner from start to finish to capturing an entire sunset as it unfolds, we’re thrilled about the creative possibilities Hyperlapse unlocks,” Instagram said in a blog post.

Hyperlapse applications were made available only for mobile devices powered by Apple software. Market research firm eMarketer said in a report in March that nearly 35 million people in America accessed Instagram at least once each month as of the end of 2013, a jump of more than 30 percent from a year earlier.

And the report said nearly 25 per cent of smartphone users in the United States will use Instagram at least once a month by the end of this year — bringing the total user base to more than 40 million.


Instagram

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Robotics becoming essential part of healthcare sector

News4u-Features Desk- Robotics technology has become an essential part of the healthcare sector, with the global market rising from USD 1.8 billion in 2013 to an estimated USD 3.75 billion by 2018, a study has said.

According to organisers of Robot Technology Exhibition (RTEX), healthcare has seen a rise in demand for procedures involving advanced robotics and is expected to see further growth as public and private healthcare spending and patient awareness increases.

RTEX, the The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s first robotic and automation exhibition, will feature experts and live demonstrations illustrating the advancements made in consumer and healthcare including robotic bipeds, neuro-prosthetics and managing pathological tremor with robotic support.

The exhibition will also feature a series of seminars to be held alongside the exhibition covering town automation (smart city concept), logistics and unmanned systems and vehicles. Discussions and demonstrations include service robots for surveillance, surface-aerial marsupial robots for riverine environmental monitoring, computational intelligence for aero-space applications and autonomous mobile robots.

According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the global demand for industrial robots reached an all-time-high of about 168,000 units in 2013.

By 2015, the IFR estimates the worldwide robot sales to increase by five percent on an average as a result of the opening up of huge consumer markets in the BRIC, South East Asia and the Middle East region.

“We anticipate a substantial increase in the demand for industrial and service sector robots within the next ten years. Our aim is to build on these opportunities and bring together the experts and the decision makers to address demand and challenges through robotics,” said Jalal Jassbi, Managing Director of RTEX.

“Its an exciting time for the robotics sector in the region and through the seminars we hope to raise awareness and highlight the commercial as well as the practical benefits this sector has to offer,” he added.


Robotics becoming essential part of healthcare sector

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SC directs DLF to pay Rs 630 cr fine imposed by CCI

News4u-Business Desk- Real estate major DLF was on Wednesday directed by the Supreme Court to deposit Rs 630 crore fine slapped on it by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for allegedly resorting to unfair business practices.

The apex court said the total ammount will be deposited within three months with its Registry pending the outcome of the appeal filed by DLF against May 19 order of Competition Appellate Tribunal’s upholding the penalty of Rs 630 crore imposed by the CCI.

“We direct the appellant (DLF) to deposit the amount of Rs 630 crore in this court,” a bench comprising justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and N V Ramana said in its interim order.

The bench said so far as the interest on the amount was concerned it has to be determined as per the November 9, 2011 order of the CCI that was fixed at 9 per cent.

It also directed DLF to file a fresh undertaking that in the event of dismissal of the appeal it will pay such amount as directed by the court.

DLF pleaded that it should be granted at least six months time to deposit the amount.

However, the bench said it was inclined to grant three months time only.

Further, the bench directed that out of Rs 630 crore, the real estate major has to deposit Rs 50 crore in three weeks and the Registry will be at liberty to invest it in any of the nationalised banks.

The apex court adjourned the hearing by admitting DLF’s appeal in which Haryana government, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) are parties along with the residents’ association on whose plea the competition watchdog had imposed the penalty on the company.

The CCI in 2011 had found DLF violating fair trade norms and imposed a fine of Rs 630 crore on it following a complaint by Belaire Owners’ Association in Gurgaon.

It was in May 2010 that the buyer’s association had complained against DLF.


DLF-SC

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