Archive | August, 2010

Rooftop travel goes unchecked in city

Rooftop travel goes unchecked in city

Posted on 31 August 2010 by GGS News

Ludhiana,  (C.R Amritpal singh ) 30 Aug ::
The sight of intrepid travellers perched on top of overcrowded buses has become a common sight in the city.

Everyday, passengers can be seen risking their lives, perched atop buses bursting at their seams.

Interestingly, the sight, particularly peculiar to buses owned by private operators, is not a rarity when it comes to those of the state transport authority.

Commuters can often be spotted atop buses, sitting cross-legged and sitting some distance away from electric wires. Many of them avoid buying tickets, which costs only a few rupees. Others are desperate to reach their destination as early as possible without wasting time, on the lookout for another public transport vehicle.

Such passengers are not only making themselves vulnerable to fatal falls, electrocution, getting hurt by trackside poles, but also risk the lives of the “super-dense crushload” crammed into the bus.

However, major responsibility of such acts falls on the shoulders of the vehicle driver and conductor, who allow it, with a view to minting extra bucks, ignoring the safety of the passengers and co-motorists on the road.

The unfortunate scenario also raises a question mark on the authorities’ seriousness towards their responsibility.

Unfortunately, the authorities, including the Ludhiana traffic police, District Transport Office and state roadways, have consistently failed in ending such death-defying commutes by being mute spectators to the spectacle.

What surprises even more is the fact that the blatant violation of multiple-traffic rules by such bus drivers, more often than not, goes unnoticed by the authorities, who prefer to turn a blind eye to the defiance.

The inaction of the authorities concerned has evoked sharp criticism from all quarters.

“The fact that the drivers of the public transport lack any sense is not a surprise but at least some authoritative figure or body who has even the slightest concern of such precious lives at risk can take action,” fumes a social worker.

“The authorities should tighten the noose around private bus operators who allow rooftop travel to mint extra bucks. No bus should be allowed to operate even with a single person atop its roof. Strict action should be taken against violators by issuing challans, impounding the vehicle and confiscation of documents,” remarks a retired traffic cop.

Another city resident adds, “It is obvious that the passengers do not fully comprehend that when they hang on to their lives clinging to a handle on the side or enjoy the fresh air on top, their chances of injury or even death are raised 10 fold.”

He adds that the authorities should immediately take strict action to curb the growing menace. “What are they waiting for? A serious tragedy?” he questions.

The authorities, on the other hand, plead helplessness. “Many violations go unrecorded,” says a senior traffic police official, hinting at a strong nexus between police officials and transport operators. “Many a time, the officials on duty let the violators off after making them pay Rs 50 or 100,” he said, pointing at the major problem of corruption ailing the system.

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Cattle semen bank in a shambles

Cattle semen bank in a shambles

Posted on 31 August 2010 by GGS News

Ropar, (GGS NEWS)  31 Aug :
The ISO 9001:2000 certified Semen Bank, situated on Bela road here, is in a shambles. With rain and sewerwater accumulated on the premises of this hi-tech bank, the very tag “bio-secure area” stands mocking in the building.

Catering to dairy farmers of seven districts, including Ropar, Mohali, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Fatehgarh Sahib, Jalandhar and Gurdaspur, the bank is a major source of improvised semen for these districts.

From April 1 to July 31, 16,803 straws of semen have been given to Ropar, 6,318 straws to Mohali, 59,652 straws to Hoshiarpur, 20,815 straws to Nawanshahr, 11,127 to Fatehgarh Sahib, 56,205 to Jalandhar, 69,137 to Gurdaspur and 82,820 straws of special semen have been given to Patiala. A straw of semen is a quantity of semen injected to the artificially inseminated cows.

The major cause of water accumulation on its premises is the absence of stormwater pipe in the area. A nullah running through the area, near Beant Singh Aman Nagar, empties itself on the premises of this semen bank. Even the boundary walls and gates have been damaged. Both these structures are at a much lower level than the roads that pass by.

Inaugurated in January 2006 by then Animal Husbandry Minister Jagmohan Singh Kang, the bank was tagged a boon for dairy farmers of the nearby districts.

Besides providing semen for cows, it also provides semen for impregnating buffaloes. The semen for buffaloes is taken from Nabha Semen Bank that is also an ISO-certified set up. The in charge of the bank, Sohan Lal Bhattal, said the animal husbandry director had directed panchayati raj to pass ` 36 lakh budget for carrying out repairs of the building.

“We have floated tenders of ` 32 lakh for gates and boundary wall that has damaged. New water feeders will be laid and provisions are being made to make semen collection centre cemented,” he added.

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YASHWANT SINHA, BADAL IRON OUT WRINKLES IN ALLIANCE

YASHWANT SINHA, BADAL IRON OUT WRINKLES IN ALLIANCE

Posted on 31 August 2010 by GGS News

Chandigarh,  (GGS NEWS) 30 Aug :
The ongoing tussle within the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party alliance seems to have been resolved much to the satisfaction of the BJP.Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has assured the BJP high command of releasing adequate funds for development of urban constituencies with BJP political interests. BJP’s Punjab in charge Yashwant Sinha, who met Badal over dinner last night, announced, “The issue has been resolved to the satisfaction of the BJP.

” The CM has assured release of Rs 800 crore over two years, but said that the grant would be part of a development package for the state being prepared by the government.

Sinha’s visit to the state became imperative after the BJP state leadership voiced its disillusionment with its alliance partner and accused it of “ignoring the BJP vote bank and diverting all developmental funds to rural areas”. The BJP had termed the lopsided distribution of developmental funds as “betrayal of trust” and accused the SAD of not fulfilling its “coalition dharma”.

Party insiders, however, say that Badal was initially reluctant to accede to the BJP’s demand but relented on Sinha’s persuasion. Sinha while commenting on what transpired between him and Badal said, “The SAD has fulfilled its coalition dharma and we are satisfied with it. The finer details about grants are being worked out and will be known over the next few days.”

Sinha, however, hinted that the BJP would accept the development package for the whole state as a solution since “the BJP was for development of the entire states and it had an obligation for all people of Punjab, irrespective of urban or rural habitation”. The bureaucrat-turned-politician wriggled out of the situation saying he was yet to go into details of issues since he was made BJP’s Punjab in-charge only recently.

Sensing the mood of the SAD leadership, Sinha said that the SAD had agreed to their demand but desisted from making an immediate announcement. “The SAD-BJP alliance is a durable alliance. We value this alliance that extends to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the national level. Both parties understand each other’s importance and are working to further strengthen it (the alliance). The situation should not be taken as a defeat or victory for any side as in an alliance both win or both lose.”

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Youth killed in Anantnag, 5 hurt in Srinagar firing

Posted on 31 August 2010 by GGS News

Budgam,(GGS NEWS)  30 Aug :
A youth was killed and at least 22 persons were injured in clashes between protesters and the police in different parts of the Kashmir valley following a shutdown in response to a call given by separatists today.

One person was injured when the police opened fire to quell the demonstrators in Anantnag town this afternoon. The police here said a policeman was injured when an agitated mob pelted stones at a police post at Sherbagh in Anantnag town, prompting the police to fire tear-gas shells. However, they did not relent and the police used rubber pallets in self defence. A youth, Irshad Ahmad Parray, was injured and shifted to the SMHS hospital here, where he was declared brought dead.

Five youths were injured when the police opened fire on a group of demonstrators in the Maisuma locality in the Lal Chowk area here this afternoon.

The trouble started when some miscreants violated the curfew , which was followed by stone throwing on police and CRPF personnel. The security forces opened fire, injuring five persons. Those injured in the firing have been identified as Yasir Rafiq Sheikh, Sajad Ahmad, Ishfaq Majeed, Aqib Majeed and Feroz Ahmad Dar, all residents of Maisuma. Yasir Rafeeq, a cousin of JKLF chief Yasin Malik, was operated upon. Two constables, Mukhtar Ahmad and Abdul Waheed, were also injured in the clashes, the police said.

An enquiry has been ordered into the firing incident at Maisuma here, the police said. A constable has been suspended,a police spokesman added.

Meanwhile, the curfew was imposed in the areas falling under seven police stations in Srinagar city, mainly the downtown areas, to prevent any untoward incident and clashes between protesters and the police. Restrictions were also imposed in Kupwara.

At least 15 others were injured in the clashes in Kulgam and Bandipore, where the police used tear-gas shells and resorted to a lathi-charge to disperse the demonstrators.

Though normal life was paralysed in response to the bandh call by the separatists across the Valley, shops were opened around 5 pm again.Private vehicles were also seen moving on the roads in the afternoon. Educational institutions and banks, however, remained closed for the day.

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Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada

Posted on 31 August 2010 by GGS News

Ottawa, Ontario(PMO) 30 Aug :

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today on the death of a Canadian soldier:

“It is with utmost sorrow that I extend the condolences of all Canadians to the family and friends of Corporal Brian Pinksen, a brave soldier who died due to injuries sustained in Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you at this time of loss.

“Canadians are grateful for his service and are proud of the contributions of all the men and women in uniform.

“Our Government is showing leadership, alongside our international partners, in this ongoing effort to help the Afghan people achieve peace and stability. This UN-mandated, NATO-led mission is helping rebuild their country and its institutions.

“I join with all Canadians who stand behind our men and women of the Canadian Forces as they courageously risk their lives every day to bring positive change to the people of Afghanistan and to save lives.

“Corporal Pinksen served Canada valiantly, and deserves the gratitude and respect of his nation.”

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OECD/CELE conference: “IMAGINE! Exploring radical visions for tomorrow’s schools… and how to make them work”

Posted on 31 August 2010 by GGS News

Register now!
Over the past 50 years, in an effort to better prepare society for the challenges to come, educators have been been crafting visions that challenge traditional models of learning and the physical space that supports them. But visions are not enough.
From 20-22 September 2010, Vienna will host an international conference IMAGINE! Exploring radical visions for tomorrow’s schools … and how to make them work. It is being organised by the OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE), in co-operation with the Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture, Austria and the Vienna University of Technology, and with the participation of the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI). The conference will explore how innovative design solutions and financing and procurement strategies can address current and future challenges in educational policy and practice. It will also be informed by reflection on different major trends influencing education and scenarios for the future.
The conference will feature keynote speakers and panel discussions involving visionaries, change agents, policy makers, architects and planners; hands-on creative workshops; visits to educational facilities in the Vienna area; and a poster exhibition on “Visions for tomorrow’s schools

for Registration: please contack to memer of OECD : Mr Amar Singh: info@ggsnews.com

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REGISTRATION – Europe INNOVA Conference 2010, 27 – 29 October 2010, Liege, Belgium

Posted on 31 August 2010 by GGS News

Athens, Greece (GGS News) 31 Aug 2010 Dear Europe INNOVA members and stakeholders,

We would like to remind you that the official registration for the Europe INNOVA Conference 2010, organised by the Belgian Presidency of the EU and hosted by the Region of Wallonia in close collaboration with the European Commission’s DG Enterprise and Industry has been launched. The conference will take place in Liège, Belgium, on October 27 – 29, 2010.

For further information, please visit the Europe INNOVA Conference 2010 website: www.europe-innova.eu/liege2010

Click here to start your registration!
After the registration please do not forget to book your hotel!

PS: In case you have already registered for the conference or received this message please ignore this email!

On behalf of the Europe INNOVA Conference Organising Committee
The Europe INNOVA Communications Team

Agis Evrigenis
Project Manager
Logotech S.A.
Kifisias 220, 15231 Athens, Greece
Tel: +30 210 6777805
Skype: agis.evrigenis
Fax: +30 210 6777231
e-mail: evrigenis@logotech.gr

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India to verify China’s presence in Gilgit: MEA

Posted on 31 August 2010 by GGS News

New Delhi: (PTI) 31 Aug :India is making “independent verification” of the reports of presence of Chinese troops in Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, saying it would be a matter of “serious concern” if it turns out to be true.

“We have seen media reports…and are seeking an independent verification of these reports. If true, it would be a matter of serious concern and we would do all that is necessary to ensure safety and security of the nation,” official spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs Vishnu Prakash told reporters today.

He was asked about the reports in New York Times about the influx of an estimated 7,000 to 11,000 soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region in the PoK, which is closed to the world.

According to the US newspaper, “China wants a grip on the strategic area to assure unfettered road and rail access to the Gulf through Pakistan,” and for this purpose is building high-speed rail and road link.

The link up would enable Beijing to transport cargo and oil tankers from eastern China to the new Chinese-built Pakistani Naval base at Gawadar, Pasni and Ormara in Balochistan, just east of the Gulf in 48 hours.

“Many of the PLA soldiers entering Gilgit-Baltistan are expected to work on the railroad. Some are extending the Karakoram Highway, built to link China’s Xinjiang province with Pakistan. Others are working on dams, expressways and other project,” the paper said

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PCB under pressure from betting mafia: Reports

Posted on 31 August 2010 by GGS News

New Delhi: (GGS NEWS) 31 Aug :World cricket is in shock after the sensational revelations of match fixing. However, what has been revealed so far may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Although there have been talks of the Pakistan Cricket Board officials considering stringent action against its players who are found guilty of spot fixing, sources have revealed that the board itself is under pressure from the betting mafia that operates from Karachi.

Talking to a leading Indian newspaper, a source in the Pakistan Cricket Board said there is filth all around and that nothing will come out even after investigations.

The PCB is under huge pressure and that stems from its own backyard. There is so much filth. Let me assure you, even if they (PCB) call for an investigation, nothing will come out. From start to finish, don`t expect anything to be transparent. Things are way beyond their control,” the source said.

Once you`ve done something illegal, then you are automatically under pressure to do it repeatedly. That is the state of Pakistan cricket. Instant money and the opportunities to womanize is what lures young cricketers,” the source added.

The match-fixing scandal that has rocked Pakistan cricket got murkier with reports of more games being rigged as a rattled ICC promised “appropriate” action against players found guilty after investigations.

The sting operation carried out by a British tabloid, which implicated seven Pakistani players including captain Salman Butt, has opened a Pandora’s box with fresh reports suggesting that the opening Test between England and Pakistan and the January Sydney Test between Pakistan and Australia could have been fixed.

The ICC top brass had a teleconference to discuss the issue after which it was made clear that Pakistan’s T20 and ODI series against England will continue as scheduled.

“It is the desire of the ICC, England and Pakistan that the game is continued,” ICC President Sharad Pawar said after talking over phone with top ICC officials, PCB Chairman Ejaz Butt and ECB chairman Giles Clarke.

Pakistan and England square off in two Twenty20 Internationals (September 5 and 7) before playing five ODIs from September 10-22.

But as the Pakistan team quietly boarded the bus for going to Taunton, angry fans shouted “chor, chor” and other abuses.

Pawar said besides the London police, Anti-Corruption Unit of the ICC is also preparing a report. The world body will take action after studying both the investigations and a report from the PCB.

I had a detailed discussion with Giles Clarke, Ejaz Butt, ICC vice-president Alan Issac, CEO Haroon Lorgat, anti-corruption wing in-charge Ravi Sawani and a few officials of ICC. We discussed in depth the Pakistani players’ issue. One thing is that the British Police have not completed their investigation. Neither any player has been interrogated,” he said.

“Until and unless the British authorities complete investigation, which we hope will be done in two-three days, and establish there is prima facie case it is difficult for the PCB to take appropriate action,” he said.

“ICC is waiting for the British police to complete investigation. ACSU is also looking into the details. It is also preparing a report in 2-3 days. The report by British Police and ACSU will give us a proper picture. This information we hope will lead us to take appropriate action if required,” he added.

The furore follows allegations that a bookie, Mazhar Majeed, arrested and later released on bail, bribed Pakistani pacers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamir for ‘spot-fixing’ to bowl no balls during the Lord’s Test against England, which the visitors lost by an innings and 225 runs.

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GG’s visit encourages marginalized voices

Posted on 31 August 2010 by GGS News

Saskatoon (GGS NEWS) 31 Aug : Governor General Michaëlle Jean arrived for her first visit to Saskatoon Aug. 23 with only days left in her term as the Queen’s representative in Canada.

During her two-day visit, Jean facilitated a youth dialogue at Egadz, the 1st street youth centre, attended a gala in honour of her visit to Saskatchewan, toured the Canadian Light Source and spoke about the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Bill of Rights.

The governor general invited members of the Saskatoon community to Egadz to share their perspectives on local issues.

The afternoon was emceed by Peter Flegel, Special Advisor for Youth for the Governor General, who presented a short film on the results of a similar arts-based dialogue in North Point Douglas, Man., which led the community to take back its streets from crack dealers.

Senator Nora Cummings attended and led opening prayers for the assembled. Bill Thibodeau welcomed Jean to the community centre.

In keeping with the Governor General’s focus on youth and arts, local artists Pricely$ and Tru Luv Struggla performed a song of victory over pain in welcome.

Jean encouraged the assembled youth to share their tribulations and ideas, as she pointed out the mayor’s voluntary attendance.

“Now is a time to be daring in your ideas and audacious in your suggestions.”

The forum revealed universal demands for more, better and affordable education, as well as an emphasis on treaty frustrations. Class disparity, drug abuse, lack of housing and education along with the foster system were cited as causes for both ignorance of treaty rights and the continuing cycle of racism.

Youth centres decried the lack of funding that forced them to compete among themselves, while other members of the community vowed to work with centres to deal with funding shortfalls.

This meeting was followed by a formal gala and reception for local artists and public figures.

The following day, Jean visited the Canadian Lights Source on campus, as a showcase of science on campus.

Jean finished her time in Saskatoon by attending the University’s discussion titled “Women’s Rights are Human Rights,” and a short reception outside the Administration Building.

Peter MacKinnon welcomed Jean to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Bill of Rights, which was launched by the discussion at hand.

Walter and Marie Linklater, local First Nations elders, presented Jean with a blessed blanket and an honorary Cree title, which translates to “Great Woman Who Leads.”

Jean described her history of working for women’s rights before opening the floor to the acting Dean of Law, Beth Bilson, professors Pamela Jordan and Pamela Downe, and president of the Graduate Student Association, Omeasoo Butt.

The women provided historical and local perspectives to the concept of feminism and human rights. Throughout, there was an emphasis on equality, not domination. The panel agreed that any group becoming marginalized hurts the entire society.

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