December, 2009


Indonesia Bids Tearful Farewell to Former President Wahid

Befitting Tribute: Thousands of mourners gathered to pay their last respects to former Indonesia President Abdurrahman Wahid (69), as the moderate Muslim cleric and statesman was bid a tearful farewell in his East Java hometown of Jombang on Thursday. Affectionately referred to by his nickname, Gus Dur, Wahid surprised many when he beat Megawati Sukarnoputri in the presidential race in 1999, his term in office, however, came to an abrupt end in 2001 after he was sacked by the country’s national assembly amid allegations of corruption and impropriety. The partiallyRead More

Chidambaram Says Two-Month Visa Restriction Will Stay

Amid protests by some countries over tightened visa rules, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that tourists will not be entitled to get another visa within 60 days of their visit to India, adding that the rules can be relaxed in special cases. “If the itinerary shows that the visit includes other neighbouring countries then the 60-day rule can be relaxed,” the Minister clarified. He said that only a small number of tourists use India as a base to visit other South Asian countries. The minister said that theRead More

Telangana Ministers Withdraw Resignations

All the 13 Congress ministers from Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh who had stepped down on separate statehood demand have withdrawn their resignation after central government announced to hold discussions with political parties in the state. The ministers, who tendered resignations to the party president Sonia Gandhi a week ago demanding a time-bound plan for Telangana, said that they withdrew resignations on a request by AICC General Secretary Veerappa Moily and state Congress president D Srinivas. “We hope that the decision to invite eight political parties for talks on JanuaryRead More

BARC Fire Not Merely Accidental: Ex-Director

Former Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) has said that the fire at the centre was not a mere accident and could be ‘some one’s’ way of checking preparedness of the nuclear centre in the backdrop of intelligence reports of a possible terror attack. “It could be that someone is testing us (BARC) to know our preparedness and response to such incidents. We have been told by intelligence that BARC is one of targets for terror attacks,” AN Prasad, former Director, BARC, was quoted as saying by PTI.Read More

Railways Turns Heritage Site into Dump Yard: Reports

The country’s oldest Mughal monument Nila Gumbad has turned into a dumping yard of Railways, said reports. Grieved with the Railways for its apathy to the 16th century monument, which is part of the original complex of Humayun’s tomb, Union Sports Minister wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to step in to conserve the heritage site. “This material belongs to the railways. It has been lying here for the past year, year and a half,” Railways gangman Narayan Meena was quoted as saying by IBNlive. Indian Railways hasRead More

Young Girl Dies of Drug Overdose at Goa Fest

A young girl died of drug overdose on Wednesday at the Sunburn Music Festival in Goa. Meha Bahuguna, 23, who had come from Bangalore to attend the festival, was rushed to a private hospital in Panaji after she collapsed at the party being held at the Candolim beach in north Goa. Meha, who hails from Delhi, worked in Bangalore. She had flown in to Goa with her friends for New Year celebrations. She had won a VIP pass for the festival through a contest. Reports alleged drug peddling at theRead More

Four Countries Issue Travel Advisory against India

Ahead of New Year, four major industrialized countries – the US, the UK, Australia and Canada – have issued a travel advisory against India asking their citizens not to travel there, the reason being that they believe India is high on the hit-list of terror groups. The US advisory says that terror outfits may be plotting strikes on targets frequented by foreign tourists in India. “We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in India at this time because of the high risk of terrorist activity by militantRead More

Maoists Blast School Buildings in Bihar

Armed Maoist rebels blasted two school buildings early on Thursday in the Naxal-hit Aurangabad district in Bihar. District SP NK Tiwari said that more than 200 ultra laid siege to a state-run school at Chandaur and blew up the buildings with dynamites in the wee hours. No casualty in the incidence has been reported so far. In a separate incidence, another school building at Belowa was blown up by Naxalites. A combing operation has been launched in the area to nab the rebels.

Govt to Clean Ganga by 2020

The government has said that the polluted river Ganga will be cleaned by 2020 and Rs 15,000 crore will be spent for the purpose. “The Union Government is confident to clean the holy Ganga river by 2020 and Rs 15,000 crore will be spent for this purpose under the river development fund,” Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said in Varanasi. Speaking to reports on Wednesday, he said that the central government planned to conserve the river by making it ‘nirmal’ (clean) and ‘aviral’ (free flowing). “We will not only ensure ‘aviralRead More

Climate Accord Is Partial Success, Has ‘Inbuilt Hazards’: Ramesh

Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has described the Copenhagen accord on climate change as a partial success for India, saying that it has certain ‘inbuilt hazards’ of which developing countries should be wary. “The accord has certain inbuilt hazards and the developing world, especially India, has to be wary on those accounts. “The foremost risk is that the developed world could demand an end to the Kyoto Protocol (based on the principle of equity),” Ramesh, who was here yesterday to review the progress of the Ganga river cleanliness programme, toldRead More