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BRICS is an international political organisation of leading emerging economies, arising out of the inclusion of South Africa into the BRIC group in 2010. As of 2012, its five members are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. With the possible exception of Russia, the BRICS members are all developing or newly industrialised countries, but they are distinguished by their large economies and significant influence on regional and global affairs. As of 2012, the five BRICS countries represent almost half of the world’s population, with a combined nominal GDP of US$13.6 trillion, and an estimated US$4 trillion in combined foreign reserves.
President of the People’s Republic of China Hu Jintao has claimed BRICS countries are defenders and promoters of developing countries and a force for world peace.
The four BRIC countries met in Yekaterinburg for their first official summit on 16 June 2009, with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva,Dmitry Medvedev, Manmohan Singh, and Hu Jintao, the respective leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and China, all attending. The summit’s focus was on means of improving the global economic situation and reforming financial institutions, and discussed how the four countries could better co-operate in the future. There was further discussion of ways that developing countries, such as the BRIC members, could become more involved in global affairs.
In the aftermath of the Yekaterinburg summit, the BRIC nations announced the need for a new global reserve currency, which would have to be ‘diversified, stable and predictable’. Although the statement that was released did not directly criticise the perceived ‘dominance’ of the US dollar – something which Russia had attacked in the past – it did spark a fall in the value of the dollar against other major currencies.
Entry of South Africa
In 2010, South Africa began efforts to join the BRIC grouping, and the process for its formal admission began in August of that year. South Africa officially became a member nation on December 24, 2010, after being formally invited by the BRIC countries to join the group. The group was renamed BRICS – with the “S” standing for South Africa – to reflect the group’s expanded membership. In April 2011, South African President Jacob Zuma attended the 2011 BRICS summit in Sanya, China, as a full member. The BRICS Forum, an independent international organisation encouraging commercial, political and cultural cooperation between the BRICS nations, was formed in 2011.
The following table shows the places where four BRICS Summit were conducted.
June 16, 2009
April 16, 2010
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
April 14, 2011
March 29, 2012
The 2012 BRICS Summit in New Delhi, India
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Chinese President Hu Jintao and South African President Jacob Zuma attended the 4th BRICS Summit in New Delhi on 29.03.2012.
Declaration endorses Kofi Annan solution to Syria crisis
The Delhi Declaration of the fourth summit of BRICS was most explicit on Iran and Palestine, while broadly endorsing the Kofi Annan approach to resolving the year-long conflict in Syria.
The declaration cautioned against delaying a resolution of the Palestine issue under the pretext of Arab Spring, and said direct talks between Ramallah and Tel Aviv would dampen some of the disquiet in the Middle East and North Africa.
In another development, China and Russia, while not endorsing the candidature of the other three BRICS members — Brazil, India and South Africa — to join them as permanent members on the U.N. Security Council, “supported” their desire to play a greater role at the U.N.
A large part of the most exhaustive post-BRICS summit declaration issued so far was devoted to sustainability and developmental issues, and it approvingly noted the initiatives taken by the members to advance dialogue on climate change, poverty eradication and a cleaner energy mix.
An Action Plan, riding on the high implementation rate of previous work plans, has lined up a series of line-Ministry interactions so that some of the intentions expressed in the Declaration edge closer to implementation by the time of the next summit in Russia.
India, China resolve to improve communication
India and China have resolved to improve communication with each other and identified West Asia, Central Asia and Africa as areas where they would hold regular dialogue.
With Russia, India touched on most subjects but refrained from addressing issues relating to Kudankulam III and IV units, although most issues have been sorted out.
This emerged during bilateral meetings Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev which are a staple fare during multilateral conferences such as the BRICS summit that concluded on 29.03.2012.
At a 60-minute meeting with Mr. Hu, Dr. Singh agreed that there must be stronger communication between both countries so as to remove suspicions about each other’s intentions.
In Central Asia, China has been spectacularly successful in its sourcing of hydrocarbons and India is also actively scouting for opportunities.
In Africa too, both countries are looking for opportunities in the minerals and hydrocarbons sectors.
With the dominant western narrative pitching both countries against each other in these regions and this view being taken up by think tanks here, the opening of dialogue to add to the subjects of maritime cooperation and sharing of oceanographic research data agreed upon last month would help provide more realistic inputs to the decision-making apparatus of both nations.
Mr. Hu agreed that trade imbalance must be addressed and promised that China would facilitate more Indian exports to its market.
With Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia holding talks with National Development and Reform Commission Zhang Ping earlier in the day, both leaders were suitably briefed about each other’s economic priorities. Dr. Singh invited Chinese investments in manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, two areas where Beijing is strong but has felt stymied by New Delhi’s rules and procedures.
On the border issue, they agreed that the current mechanism of Special Representative-level talks should continue and meantime, both sides must ensure peace and tranquillity on the border.
With Mr. Medvedev, who like Mr. Hu is on his last visit to India as President, the talks lasted for 45 minutes and began with both appreciating the direction BRICS was taking. In fact the prospects of the five-country organisations dominated the interaction but the two leaders touched on trade, and civil nuclear cooperation. Defence cooperation came at the fag end of the talks.
The Russian President raised the issue of cancellation of 2G telecom licences by the Supreme Court that has also affected Sistema, a company close to the Kremlin and in which Moscow has invested a substantial amount.
Mr. Medvedev and Dr. Singh felt satisfied over the sorting of problems relating to the first two units of Kudankulam civil nuclear plant but did not touch on the next two units due to the Prime Minister’s continuing apprehension over the protests.
China mourns death but blames it on Dalai Lama
Despite Tibetan refugees trying to disrupt the visit of the Chinese President at every possible opportunity, senior officials from Beijing mourned the death of a protester after he immolated himself. At the same time, they regretted that Dalai Lama and his “so-called pro-independence” elements were trying to encourage fanatical behaviour by “glorifying this kind of extreme behaviour.”
At a press conference here, senior Chinese Ministry official Luo Zhaohui said such protests were not in keeping with the atmospherics of a multilateral summit.
While making a strong statement on Iran and adopting a middle-of-the-road resolution on Syria, the fourth summit of BRICS largely eschewed political content and focussed on economic and development issues which included beginning the process for setting up a bank and inking two pacts to ease trade among each other.
The Delhi Declaration issued at the end of the one-day summit hinted at backing an alternative candidate for the World Bank President’s post which has always been appropriated by an American and exhorted the Bank and the International Monetary Fund to quickly realign their priorities and approach to the needs of the developing world. This is an agenda the five countries intend pursuing at the coming G-20 meeting in Mexico as well.
The leaders of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) who held a closed door meeting that overran the allotted time, weighed the consequences of setting up a “BRICS Bank” and opted for a more contemplative approach by asking their Finance Ministers to examine its feasibility and report back at the next summit in Russia. Sources said the leaders agreed that the bank should in no way emerge as a competitor to the World Bank and the IMF but provide funds for projects that do not find favour with these institutions.
In line with their professed commitment to multilateralism in economic and political problem solving, the leaders agreed to invest more in the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) which played a major role in catering to the interests of developing countries in the run-up to the setting up of the World Trade Organisation.
The five-nation grouping’s formulation on Iran came close to condemning the West’s pressure tactics to make other countries obey their latest restrictions on trade ties, especially in the energy sphere. Saying that a conflict would have disastrous consequences, it wanted the two antagonists to resolve suspicions over Iran’s nuclear programme through talks on multilateral fora.
On Afghanistan, BRICS exhorted the international community to stay the course on the development front for 10 years after the West withdraws most of its combat troops by 2014-end and, on Russia’s insistence, made a mention of checking narcotic trafficking.
Supply-side constraints may hit BRICS: PM, India
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh identified supply-side factors such as energy, food, water and capital that could upset the growth story of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) in the medium term. “Our responses to these challenges may be different but there is much common interest that binds us all together.” Though the positive BRICS narrative was based on a model of catch-up growth, the supply side factors could impede the entire story, he cautioned, inaugurating the fourth BRICS Summit here.
The Prime Minister advocated reforms in most global institutions and active sharing of expertise among the five nations to overcome the adverse effects of supply side factors in not just the developing world but Europe as well.
Intra-BRICS complementarities could be leveraged by promoting greater business-to-business interaction, liberal business visas, removing barriers to trade and investment flows and avoiding protectionist measures. “Inevitably, we will handle the problem differently, but it may be useful for us to share experiences in this area,” Dr. Singh said.
But continued prosperity of BRICS was also linked to the geopolitical environment. “In our restricted session, we discussed the ongoing turmoil in West Asia and agreed to work together for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. We must avoid political disruptions that create volatilities in global energy markets and affect trade flows,” he concluded.
China welcomes India’s commitment on two sources of friction
China said it welcomed commitments made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during talks on 29.03.2012 that India would neither participate in any “containment strategy” aimed at China nor allow anti-China activities by exiled Tibetans.
In a reflection of what Beijing views as among the two more delicate issues facing the bilateral relationship with New Delhi – India’s ties with the U.S. and Tibet – the Chinese Foreign Ministry highlighted Dr. Singh’s comments as suggesting an increase in political trust between the neighbours.
The Indian Prime Minister conveyed that “India has no intention and will not participate in any strategy aimed at containing China” in the meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao in New Delhi on the sidelines of the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Summit, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a briefing.
BRICS development bank
Chinese officials and the media welcomed agreements reached at the BRICS summit on financial cooperation.
The deal between banks of five countries to formalise cooperation in local currency lending would “further facilitate trade and investment”, Chen Yuan, chairman of the China Development Bank, was quoted as saying by the State-run Xinhua news agency.
“Using our own currencies to issue loans and settle payments can minimise exposure to exchange rate fluctuations, reduce our reliance on third-party currencies, and facilitate trade and investment,” he said, adding that member banks had “actively implemented” the framework agreement on financial cooperation agreed to at the previous summit in Sanya.
The five countries also agreed to ask their finance ministers to conduct feasibility studies into the setting up of a BRICS development bank and report back by the next summit. The agreement fell short of expectations that the Delhi Summit would yield a more concrete outcome on long-running discussion on the bank.
Indian Prime Minister’s Statement at the Plenary Session of the Fourth BRICS Summit, New Delhi, on March 29, 2012.
Your Excellency President Dilma Rousseff,
Your Excellency President Dmitry Medvedev,
Your Excellency President Hu Jintao,
Your Excellency President Jacob Zuma,
Let me once again welcome all of you to New Delhi. India is privileged to host the fourth BRICS Summit and assume the Chairmanship of the group.
The global situation facing us today presents a mixed picture. On the one hand, emerging market economies are growing at a healthy pace and increasing their share in global trade and output.
On the other hand, many obstacles have to be overcome if we are to sustain rapid growth in the years ahead. We are all affected by the global economic slowdown, the volatility in food and energy prices, the challenge of reconciling growth with environmental objectives, the political uncertainty in West Asia and the rise of terrorism and extremism. Our responses to these challenges may be different, but there is much common interest that binds us together.
I would like to share some thoughts on ten specific issues that I believe concern us all.
First, each of our countries has a unique demographic profile that presents its own challenges. In India, for example, we need to create 8 to 10 million jobs every year over the next decade to absorb the expected growth in the labour force. We are working on ambitious programmes of skill upgradation and education and creation of an environment conducive to an expansion of productive job opportunities. We would like to learn from the experiences of other BRICS countries on how they are dealing with these problems.
Second, the conceptual analysis that produced the positive BRICS narrative was based on a model of catch-up growth in which supply side constraints were not adequately addressed. Today, it is clear that constraints such as the availability of energy and food for countries that account for more than 40% of the world population can impede the entire story. Water is another critical area of scarcity which needs much greater attention than it has received thus far. We have much to learn from each other in how to handle these problems, and there is also room to cooperate internationally.
Third, we are united in our desire to promote sustained and balanced global economic growth. As members of the G-20, we must together ensure that appropriate solutions are found to help Europe help itself and to ensure policy coordination that can revive global growth.
We should also cooperate closely to breathe life into the Doha Round, looking for innovative solutions to overcome barriers that have stalled progress.
Fourth, as large and diverse economies, we should make a special effort to find ways to exploit intra-BRICS complementarities. We should promote greater interaction amongst our business communities. Issues such as easier business visas must be prioritized. As large trading countries, BRICS have a strong interest in removing barriers to trade and investment flows and avoiding protectionist measures.
Fifth, to revive global demand and growth, developing countries need access to capital, particularly for infrastructure development. We must address the important issue of expanding the capital base of the World Bank and other Multilateral Development Banks to enable these institutions to perform their appropriate role in financing infrastructure development.
We have agreed to examine in greater detail a proposal to set up a BRICS-led South-South Development Bank, funded and managed by the BRICS and other developing countries.
Sixth, BRICS countries must also work together to address deficiencies in global governance. Institutions of global political and economic governance created more than six decades ago have not kept pace with the changing world. While some progress has been made in international financial institutions, there is lack of movement on the political side. BRICS should speak with one voice on important issues such as the reform of the UN Security Council.
Seventh, each of our countries is grappling with how to pursue ‘green’ growth without compromising on current needs. At the core of this complex issue is the use of fossil energy and the impact that it has on the environment.
We must reduce energy intensity of GDP by promoting energy efficiency and developing clean energy sources. This calls for greater investments in research and development, sharing of best practices, and encouraging transfer of technology. A dialogue between energy producers and consumers would also help in ensuring stability in energy markets.
Eighth, as our countries experience significant increases in per capita income, we will also face issues related to income inequality within our countries. Inevitably, we will handle the problem differently, but it may be useful for us to share experiences in this area.
Ninth, urbanization presents common challenges for all our countries. We should encourage sharing of experience in areas such as urban water supply and sanitation, waste management, storm water drainage, urban planning, urban transport and energy efficient buildings.
Finally, the continued prosperity of BRICS is linked closely also to the geopolitical environment.
In our restricted session, we discussed the ongoing turmoil in West Asia and agreed to work together for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. We must avoid political disruptions that create volatilities in global energy markets and affect trade flows.
All of us understand the threat that terrorism poses to our societies. We must therefore enhance cooperation against terrorism and other developing threats such as piracy, particularly emanating from Somalia.
We have also agreed on the need to restore stability in Afghanistan, and the importance of sustained international commitment to its future.
Excellencies, we have drawn up an ambitious Action Plan that will be adopted today along with the BRICS Delhi Declaration. I hope that we will be able to collaborate and cooperate with each other to shape global developments and bring tangible benefits to our peoples.
India reaffirms its full commitment to work with BRICS in this endeavour.
The Abel Prize is an international prize presented annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. The Abel Prize, named after great Norwegian mathematical genius Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829), is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to mathematical sciences and has been awarded annually since 2003.
Abel, who died at the age of 26, has often been compared with the Indian mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujan. The Prize was established in 2001 as part of Abel’s 200th birth anniversary. It carries a cash award of 6 million Norwegian Kroner (NOK), equivalent to €750,000 (about U.S$ 1 million), and is comparable in prestige, value and eligibility criterion to the Nobel Prize, which, does not cover mathematics.
It has often been described as the “mathematician’s Nobel prize” and is among the most prestigious awards in mathematics. It comes with a monetary award of six million kroner, (about 750,000 Euro) which is approx. (2012) 1.06 million US dollars.
The winning candidate is selected on the basis of the recommendation of an international committee of outstanding mathematicians chaired by a Norwegian. The current committee is headed by Ragni Piene, Professor at the University of Oslo and includes M.S. Raghunathan, formerly of the Tata Institute of Fundamental research (TIFR) and currently at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), in Mumbai.
The International Mathematical Union and the European Mathematical Society nominate members of the Abel Committee. The amount of money that comes with the prize is usually close to US$ 1 million, similar to the Nobel Prizes, which are awarded in Sweden and Norway and do not have a category for mathematics. Norway gave the prize an initial funding of NOK 200,000,000 (about US$23,000,000) in 2001. The prize is an attempt at creating publicity for mathematics, making the discipline more prestigious, especially for young people.
The prize board has also established an Abel symposium, administered by the Norwegian Mathematical Society.
The award ceremony takes place in the Atrium of the University of Oslo Faculty of Law, where the Nobel Peace Prize was formerly awarded (1947–1989).
2012 Abel Prize
The winner of the prestigious Abel Prize of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters for the year 2012 is 72-year-old Hungarian mathematician Endre Szemerédi of the Alfréd Rényi Institute of Mathematics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, and Department of Computer Science, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in the United States.
Szemerédi’s highly influential work has proved to be a game-changer in many areas of mathematics.
The announcement was made by the President of the Norwegian Academy in Oslo on 20.03.2012 and the award is being given “for his fundamental contributions to discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science, and in recognition of the profound and lasting impact of these contributions on additive number theory and ergodic theory.”
Szemerédi has been described as a mathematician with exceptional research power and his influence in diverse areas of present-day mathematics has been enormous. The festschrift volume, titled An Irregular Mind, published on his 70th birthday, ascribes his unique way of thinking and extraordinary mathematical vision as perhaps due to his brain being wired differently — “an irregular mind” — than most mathematicians.
Discrete mathematics is the study of structures such as graphs, sequences, permutations and geometric configurations and it is the mathematics of such structures that forms the foundation of theoretical computer science and information theory. For example, the tools of graph theory can be used to analyse communication networks such as the Internet. Similarly, the designing of efficient computational algorithms relies crucially on insights from discrete mathematics.
Szemerédi, says the citation, “has revolutionized discrete mathematics by introducing ingenious and novel techniques, and by solving many fundamental problems”. His work has brought combinatorics to the centre-stage of mathematics by bringing to bear its application in many areas of mathematics such as additive number theory, ‘ergodic’ theory, theoretical computer science and ‘incidence’ geometry.
The Abel Committee has noted that Szemerédi’s approach belongs to the strong Hungarian problem-solving tradition exemplified by mathematicians such as George Pólya and yet the theoretical impact of his work has been enormous.
Interestingly, Szemerédi entered mathematics somewhat late. He attended medical school for a year and worked in a factory before switching to mathematics. His extraordinary mathematical talent was discovered when he was a young student in Budapest by his mentor, famous Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdõs. He studied at the Eõtvõs Loránd University in Budapest and obtained his Ph.D. in 1970 under Israel M. Gelfand at Moscow State University.
Szemerédi proved several fundamental theorems of tremendous importance. Many of his results have opened up new avenues in mathematics and form the basis for future research. He first attracted international attention in 1976 with his solution of what is known as the Erdõs-Turan Conjecture. In its proof, Szemerédi had used a masterpiece of combinatorial reasoning, which was immediately recognised to have exceptional depth and power. A key step in the proof, now known as the Szemerédi Regularity Lemma, is used for classification of large graphs.
Many of Szemerédi’s discoveries that have had great impact on discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science carry his name. Examples in discrete mathematics include the Szemerédi-Trotter Theorem, the Ajtai-Komlós-Szemerédi semi-random method, the Erdõs-Szemerédi sum-product theorem, and the Balog-Szemerédi-Gowers Lemma. Examples in theoretical computer science include the Ajtai-Komlós-Szemerédi sorting network, the Fredman-Komlós-Szemerédi hashing scheme and the Paul-Pippenger-Szemerédi-Trotter theorem.
Abel Laureates 2003 – 2012
Collège de France
“for playing a key role in shaping the modern form of many parts of mathematics, including topology, algebraic geometry and number theory”
Michael F. Atiyah
Isadore M. Singer
University of Edinburgh
“for their discovery and proof of the index theorem, bringing together topology, geometry and analysis, and their outstanding role in building new bridges between mathematics and theoretical physics”
Peter D. Lax
Courant Institute, NYU
“for his groundbreaking contributions to the theory and application of partial differential equations and to the computation of their solutions”
Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan
“for his profound and seminal contributions to harmonic analysis and the theory of smooth dynamical systems”
S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan
Courant Institute, NYU
“for his fundamental contributions to probability theory and in particular for creating a unified theory of large deviation”
John G. Thompson
University of Florida
Collège de France
“for their profound achievements in algebra and in particular for shaping modern group theory”
Courant Institute, NYU
“for his revolutionary contributions to geometry”
John T. Tate
“for his vast and lasting impact on the theory of numbers”
Stony Brook University
“for pioneering discoveries in topology, geometry, and algebra”
Alfréd Rényi Institute
and Rutgers University
“for his fundamental contributions to discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science, and in recognition of the profound and lasting impact of these contributions on additive number theory and ergodic theory”
Vodafone India, formerly Vodafone Essar and Hutchison Essar, is the third largest mobile network operator in India after Airtel and Reliance Communications. It is based in Mumbai, Maharashtra and which operates nationally. It has approximately 146.84 million customers as of November 2011.
On July 2011, Vodafone Group agreed terms for the buy-out of its partner Essar from its Indian mobile phone business. The UK firm paid $5.46 billion to its Indian counterpart to take Essar out of its 33% stake in the Indian subsidiary. It will leave Vodafone owning 74% of the Indian business, while the other 26% will be owned by Indian investors, in compliance with Indian law. On 11 February, 2007, Vodafone agreed to acquire the controlling interest of 67% held by Li Ka Shing Holdings in Hutch-Essar for US$11.1 billion, pipping Reliance Communications, Hinduja Group, and Essar Group, which is the owner of the remaining 33%. The whole company was valued at USD 18.8 billion. The transaction closed on 8 May, 2007. It offers both prepaid and postpaid GSM cellular phone coverage throughout India with good presence in the metros.
Vodafone India provides 2.75G services based on 900 MHz and 1800 MHz digital GSM technology. Vodafone India launched 3G services in the country in the January-March quarter of 2011 and plans to spend up to $500 million within two years on its 3G networks
In 1992, Hutchison Whampoa and its Indian business partner – Max Group, established a company that in 1994 was awarded a licence to provide mobile telecommunications services in Bombay (now Mumbai) and launched commercial services as Hutchison Max in November 1995. In Delhi, Uttar Pradesh (East), Rajasthan and Haryana, Essar Group was the major partner. But later Hutch took the majority stake.
By the time of Hutchison Telecom’s Initial Public Offering in 2004, Hutchison Whampoa had acquired interests in six mobile telecommunications operators providing service in 13 of India’s 23 licence areas and following the completion of the acquisition of BPL Mobile that number increased to 16. In 2006, it announced the acquisition of a company (Essar Spacetel — A subsidiary of Essar Group) that held licence applications for the seven remaining licence areas.
Initially, the company grew its business in the largest wireless markets in India — in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. In these densely populated urban areas it was able to establish a robust network, well known brand and large distribution network – all vital to long-term success in India. Then it also targeted business users and high-end post-paid customers which helped Hutchison Essar to consistently generate a higher Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) than its competitors. By adopting this focused growth plan, it was able to establish leading positions in India’s largest markets providing the resources to expand its footprint nationwide.
In February 2007, Hutchison Telecom announced that it had entered into a binding agreement with a subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc to sell its 67% direct and indirect equity and loan interests in Hutchison Essar Limited for a total cash consideration (before costs, expenses and interests) of approximately $11.1 billion.
Hutch was often praised for its award winning advertisements which all follow a clean, minimalist look. A recurrent theme is that its message “Hi” stands out visibly though it uses only white letters on red background. Another successful ad campaign in 2003 featured a pug named Cheeka following a boy around in unlikely places, with the tagline, “Wherever you go, our network follows.” The simple yet powerful advertisement campaigns won it many admirers. Ads featuring the pug were continued by Vodafone even after rebranding. The brand subsequently introduced ZooZoos which gained even higher popularity than was created by the Pug. Vodafone’s creative agency is O&M while Harit Nagpal was the Marketing Director during the various phases of it’s brand evolution.
1992: Hutchison Whampoa and Max Group establish Hutchison Max
2000: Acquisition of Delhi operations and entry into Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Gujarat markets through Essar acquisition
2001: Won auction for licences to operate GSM services in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Chennai.
A ‘You and I’ print advertisement of Hutch featuring Cheeka (dog)
2003: Acquired AirCel Digilink (ADIL — ESSAR Subsidiary) which operated in Rajastan, Uttar Pradesh East and Haryana telecom circles and rebranded it ‘Hutch’.
2004: Launched in three additional telecom circles of India namely Punjab, Uttar Pradesh (West) and West Bengal.
2005: Acquired BPL Mobile operations in 3 circles. This left BPL with operations only in Mumbai, where it still operates under the brand ‘Loop Mobile’.
2007: Vodafone acquires a 67% stake in Hutchison Essar for $10.7 billion. The company is renamed Vodafone Essar. ‘Hutch’ is rebranded to ‘Vodafone’.
2008: Vodafone acquires the licences in remaining 7 circles and has starts its pending operations in Madhya Pradesh circle, as well as in Orissa, Assam, North East and Bihar.
2011: Vodafone Group buys out its partner Essar from its Indian mobile phone business. It paid $5.46 billion to take Essar out of its 33% stake in the Indian subsidiary. It left Vodafone owning 74% of the Indian business.
Vodafone acquires Essar’s Stake
On March 31, 2011, Vodafone Group Plc announced that it would buy an additional 33% stake in its Indian joint venture for $5 billion after partner Essar Group exercised an option to sell the holding in the mobile-phone operator. The deal will raise Vodafone’s stake to 75%. Essar will exit the company after it implemented a put option over 22% of the venture. Vodafone exercised its call option to buy an 11% stake.
In 2007, Vodafone granted options to Essar that would enable the conglomerate to sell its entire stake for $5bn, or to dispose of part of the 33 per cent shareholding at an independently appraised fair market value. In January 2011, Vodafone objected to Essar’s plans to place part of its 33% stake in India Securities, a small public company. Vodafone feared the move would give an inflated market value to Vodafone Essar. It had approached the market regulator SEBI and also filed a petition in the Madras High Court.
The final shareholding pattern post this deal was not provided by the company as it was not clear whether Vodafone’s stake would exceed the 74 per cent FDI limit. Indian laws don’t allow foreign companies to own more than 74% in a local mobile-phone operator. Vodafone has assured it will comply with local rules. Vodafone will have to sell that 1% to some Indian entity, or they’ll have to consider an initial public offering. Vodafone also said that final settlement is anticipated to be completed by November 2011. The completion of the deal would be subject to meeting certain conditions which include Reserve Bank of India’s permission as well as valuation of the deal.
Vodafone-Hutchison Tax Case
Vodafone was embroiled in a $2.5 billion tax dispute with the Indian Income Tax Department over its purchase of Hutshison Essar Telecom services in April 2007. It was being alleged by the Indian Tax authorities that the transaction involved purchase of assets of an Indian Company, and therefore the transaction, or part thereof was liable to be taxed in India.
Vodafone Group Plc. entered India in 2007 through a subsidiary based in the Netherlands, which acquired Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd’s (HTIL) Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited stake in Hutchison Essar Ltd (HEL)—the joint venture that held and operated telecom licences in India. This Cayman Islands transaction, along with several related agreements, gave Vodafone control over 67% of HEL and extinguished Hong Kong-based Hutchison’s rights of control in India, a deal that cost the world’s largest telco $11.2 billion at the time.
The crux of the dispute had been whether or not the Indian Income Tax Department has jurisdiction over the transaction. Vodafone had maintained from the outset that it is not liable to pay tax in India, and even if tax were somehow payable, then it should be Hutchison to bear the tax liability.
In January 2012, the Indian Supreme Court passed the judgement in favor of Vodafone, saying that the Indian Income tax department had “no jurisdiction” to levy tax on overseas transaction between companies incorporated outside India.
Review petition in Supreme Court
In India, a binding decision of the Supreme Court/High Court can be reviewed in Review Petition. The parties aggrieved on any order of the Supreme Court on any apparent error can file a review petition. Taking into consideration the principle of stare decisis, courts generally do not unsettle a decision, without a strong case. This provision regarding review is an exemption to the legal principle of stare decisis.
Article 137 of the Constitution provides that subject to provisions of any law and rule made under Article 145 the Supreme Court of India has the power to review any judgement pronounced (or order made) by it. Under Supreme Court Rules, 1966 such a petition needs to be filed within 30 days from the date of judgement or order. It is also recommended that the petition should be circulated without oral arguments to the same bench of judges that delivered the judgement (or order) sought to be reviewed.
Furthermore, even after dismissal of a review petition, the SC may consider a curative petition in order to prevent abuse of its process and to cure gross miscarriage of justice.
On 17 February 2012, Govt of India moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its verdict holding that the Indian Income Tax Department does not have jurisdiction to impose Rs.11,000 crore as tax on the overseas deal between Vodafone and Hutchison. On 20 March 2012, SC dismissed the review petition during an in-chamber proceeding saying the petition has no merit
- The Supreme Court dismissed on 20.03.2012 a government bid to review a $2.2 billion tax case won this year by British company Vodafone Group Plc , saying the petition had no merit.
After a five-year legal battle, Vodafone in January, 2012 won a Supreme Court verdict that it was not liable to pay any tax on its $11 billion acquisition of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd’s Indian mobile business, from which the government demanded a tax of $2.2 billion.
The Supreme Court ordered the government in January, 2012 to pay back to Vodafone with a 4-percent interest the money the company had deposited pending a final verdict. Last month the government filed a plea seeking a review of the verdict.
“We find no merit in the review petition. The review petition is, accordingly, dismissed,” a three-judge panel, led by Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, said in a joint order. The same judges had ruled in favour of Vodafone in January, 2012.
However, Vodafone, the world’s biggest mobile phone carrier by revenue, still faces risks over the tax demand as India proposed in its budget retroactive changes in tax rules, prompting speculation the case could be reopened, although the government has denied it is looking to raise any fresh tax demand on Vodafone.
“This matter is closed as far as the current laws are concerned,” said Sudhir Kapadia, national tax leader at Ernst & Young. “But now if the government makes retrospective changes in tax rules through legislative intervention then it would reopen the entire issue.”
Vodafone said in a statement verdict “once again emphasises the legality and bona fides of the transaction”, adding it was looking forward to get back the 25 billion rupees it had deposited, pending a verdict.
Tough Indian Market
Vodafone is the largest overseas corporate investor in India but has come to symbolise the perils foreign firms face doing business in the country.
While its Indian unit became the country’s second-largest mobile carrier by revenue and third-largest by subscribers, Vodafone took an impairment charge of $3.6 billion in 2010 due to cut-throat competition and escalating spectrum costs.
It reached an agreement to buy out partner Essar group from their Indian joint venture, putting an end to their highly fractious relationship that had spilled over to the open.
Vodafone had argued in the tax case that Indian authorities had no right to tax the transaction between two foreign entities. Even if tax was due, the company had argued, it should be paid by the seller and not the buyer.
The Indian authorities had said the deal was liable for tax as most of the assets were in India and as per the local tax law, buyers have to withhold capital gains tax liabilities and pay them to the government.
The country’s federal budget included a proposal that, if passed by parliament, will allow India to retrospectively tax cross-border transactions in which the underlying assets are located in India. Tax professionals have said the potential law is likely to come in for challenge.
“This relief is temporary as the government has proposed retrospective amendment to the income tax law to tax this transaction,” said Hemant Joshi, Partner at Deloitte Haskins & Sells, referring to the Vodafone deal.
Women may be able to stake claim to marital property if an amendment to matrimonial laws is accepted by the Cabinet. Among the amendments proposed by the government are allowing courts to decide on how property acquired during marriage is shared and powers to waive off six-month period of staying together before divorce can be granted in cases where the separation is by mutual consent. Also, adopted kids are likely to get the same rights as natural-born kids. The Marriage Laws (amendment) Bill, which is likely to come up before the Cabinet on 22.03.2012, seeks to amend the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
The amendments are based on the recommendations of the standing committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice. The panel had recommended that the government make provisions to ensure that courts, at the time of divorce, can decide on the share of women in the matrimonial property, to which they have contributed during the marriage.
The committee had rejected the government’s proposal to remove the six-month waiting period before moving a joint motion in case of divorce by mutual consent. But giving in to concerns expressed by women’s rights activists, the government has suggested that the judge will have the power to waive off the waiting period. The amendments are likely to stir a debate, with activists opposed to such powers being left to the court’s discretion. Women’s rights advocate and former Law Commission member Kirti Singh said, “This is less than a half measure and requires widespread discussion with women’s groups.”
Studies have shown that in 80% cases, women have no place to go to after divorce and live with their parents. “Women should get half or more of the share of matrimonial property because they have contributed to it. They have no resources to take care of children and the aged, and that must be kept in consideration,” Singh said.
Women’s activist Kalyani Menon Sen, too, expressed concern over the amendments, “There have been a large number of brilliant judgments, but there is a huge section of judiciary that can be extremely anti-women and patriarchal. We have seen some examples of appalling moral policing and we can’t depend in the judiciary to be even-handed always.”
Union Cabinet approved the amendment to Marriage Laws
The Union Cabinet on 22.03.2012 approved the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 to amend the Hindu Marriage Act The Union Cabinet today approved the introduction of a Bill, namely, the Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010 to further amend the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 and the Special Marriage Act, 1954, to provide therein irretrievable break down of marriage as a ground of divorce.
The Bill would provide safeguards to parties to marriage who file petition for grant of divorce by consent from the harassment in court if any of the party does not come to the court or wilfully avoids the court to keep the divorce proceedings inconslusive.
At present, various grounds for dissolution of marriage by a decree of divorce are laid down in section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. The grounds inter alia include adultery, cruelty, desertion, conversion to another religion, unsoundness of mind, virulent and incurable form of leprosy, venereal disease in a communicable form, renouncement of the world and not heard as being alive for a period of seven years or more. Section 27 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 also lays down similar grounds.
However, section 13-B of the Hindu Marriage Act and Section 28 of the Special Marriage Act provide for divorce by mutual consent as a ground for presenting a petition for dissolution of marriage. The said sections inter alia provide that a petition for dissolution of marriage by mutual consent, if not withdrawn before six months after its presentation or not later than 18 months, then, the court may, on being satisfied after making inquiry, grant decree of divorce by mutual consent. However, it has been observed that the parties who have filed petition for mutual consent suffer in case one of the parties abstains himself or herself from court proceedings and keeps the divorce proceedings inconclusive. This has been causing considerable hardship to the party in dire need of divorce.
Incidentally, it may be pertinent to point out here that such a legal proposition has been recommended by the Law Commission of India in its 217th report on ‘Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage – Another Ground for Divorce’. Further, the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in the case of Ms. Jorden Diengdeh Vs. S.S. Chopra reported in AIR 1985 SC 935 and in the case of Naveen Kohli Vs. Neelu Kohli reported in AIR 2006 SC 1675, has observed and recommended that irretrievable breakdown of marriage should be incorporated as another ground for grant of divorce.
Dream Dare Win
A biological clue to male baldness has been discovered, raising the prospect of a treatment to stop or even reverse thinning hair.
In studies of bald men and laboratory mice, US scientists pinpointed a protein that triggers hair loss. Drugs that target the pathway are already in development, they report in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The research could lead to a cream to treat baldness.
Most men start to go bald in middle age, with about 80% of men having some hair loss by the age of 70.
The male sex hormone testosterone plays a key role, as do genetic factors. They cause the hair follicles to shrink, eventually becoming so small that they are invisible, leading to the appearance of baldness.
Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have analysed which genes are switched on when men start to go bald. They found levels of a key protein called prostaglandin D synthase are elevated in the cells of hair follicles located in bald patches on the scalp, but not in hairy areas.
Mice bred to have high levels of the protein went completely bald, while transplanted human hairs stopped growing when given the protein.
Prof George Cotsarelis, of the department of dermatology, who led the research, said: “Essentially we showed that prostaglandin protein was elevated in the bald scalp of men and that it inhibited hair growth. So we identified a target for treating male-pattern baldness.
“The next step would be to screen for compounds that affect this receptor and to also find out whether blocking that receptor would reverse balding or just prevent balding – a question that would take a while to figure out.”
The inhibition of hair growth is triggered when the protein binds to a receptor on the cells of hair follicles, said Prof Cotsarelis.
Several known drugs that target this pathway have already been identified, he added, including some that are in clinical trials.
The researchers say there is potential for developing a treatment that can be applied to the scalp to prevent baldness and possibly help hair regrow.
In recent years, the controversy over the Mullaperiyar dam has acquired new dimensions. A purely technical matter has turned into an emotional and political issue between Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The entire fight is centred on whether the water level in the Mullaperiyar reservoir should be raised by two meters as demanded by Tamil Nadu, to cater to the needs of additional water for irrigation and power. Kerala opposes this on the ground that the additional water would increase the load on the 116-year-old dam, possibly resulting in a break in the dam, and a disastrous flooding of thickly populated downstream areas in Kerala. Further, the Kerala government fears damage to the dam from seismic tremors. The issue is now being examined by an “empowered committee” of the Supreme Court.
For the best decision, the Mullaperiyar issue needs to be considered from all technical and engineering aspects. It is surprising, therefore, that the silting of the reservoir has not been taken into consideration by any party. Rather, it has been totally neglected. In any dam, silting is a natural hydrological and sedimentological process by which sediments flowing from the upstream catchment area in the river water get deposited in the reservoir.
The process of sedimentation reduces the life of a reservoir. The estimated life of any reservoir is of the order of 120 to 180 years (broadly speaking, not more than couple of centuries). This is the reality. At present most of the Himalayan dams are heavily silted. According to available silt figures, the famous Bhakra dam has lost about 50 per cent of its storing capacity. The Jaldhaka Dam near Siliguri, West Bengal, in the Himalayan range is almost completely silted.
As per available records, the storing capacity of Mullaperiyar Dam has been lost by about 50 per cent during the last 116 years. The rate of silting in peninsular India is less compared to the alluvial rivers of Himalayan region. It may take another 150 to 200 years for the Mullaperiyar dam to get fully silted up — certainly the dam will not last 999 years. Some people argue that some old historical “dams” have stood for the last 1800 years and if these could survive for such a long time, why not the Mullaperiyar dam. But the observation is not based on a scientific understanding of water storage systems.
These ancient “dams” are in reality anicut, or weirs, with a height of about not more than three metres or so. In the engineering lexicon, these are not known as dams. When they overflow during heavy rains, weirs do not get damaged. Further, there is not much silt accumulation in weirs. In an engineered dam, when water flows over the top of the dam, it collapses. With the passage of time, due to siltation, the storing capacity of Mullaperiyar reservoir is bound to decrease steadily, and the availability of water will consequentially continue to decrease. Even if the request of one party to increase the water level is partially or fully granted, it cannot be a final or permanent solution. With the addition of silt every rainy season, the volume of water in the dam would continue to reduce and the demand to raise the water level would crop up again.
It needs to be realised that the silting of a reservoir is a dynamic process that cannot be stopped or terminated. The silting puts a finite time limit on the life of a reservoir, a fact that, at present, the parties involved may find difficult to accept. The best way to overcome the present impasse is to keep a watch on the silting of the reservoir. When it is silted up to 75 per cent of storing capacity, it would be time to put emotions and political differences aside and start preparing to create an alternate source for water. This, of course, is not an engineering rule, but just a suggestion in the present case. The cumulative accumulation of silt in the reservoir is not dangerous to the stability of the dam as it does not exert any dynamic pressure on the body of the dam. The only danger of silt deposition is effective reduction in the storage capacity of the reservoir.
De-silting of dams has been projected as a solution to sedimentation, and has been tried in some recently constructed dams. Aswan Dam in Egypt was President Nasser’s development dream. The Nile is famous for carrying heavy sediments and the dam is heavily silted up. Some experiments were tried to stir the accumulated silt and flush it through an outlet at the bottom of the dam, provided in the design. But the experiment did not produce the desired or expected results. In the case of Mullaperiyar dam such an experiment is not even possible due to its design, type of construction, age of the dam and the building material.
It is hoped that the point of silting in the Mullaperiyar reservoir would be considered by all the parties involved. This would involve studying and making a proper estimation of the accumulated silt, the rate of silting in the foreseeable future, perhaps over a time span of 50 years, and a realistic estimation of the future life of reservoir on account of the siltation. If any decision is taken ignoring the silting of the reservoir, that decision is certainly not going to solve the Mullaperiyar problem.
The faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry Sheri Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology, Kashmir has made a breakthrough by successfully cloning the first pashmina goat using the advanced reproductive techniques under the leadership of Dr Riaz Ahmad Shah, associate professor, Centre of Animal Biotechnology, Kashmir.
“Success was achieved under the World Bank-funded project called the National Agricultural Innovation Project of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and took two years for standardisation of the technique. The healthy female kid was born on March 9, 2012 using a foster mother.
The world’s first pashmina goat clone, produced in Kashmir, has been named Noori, an Arabic word referring to light, in Srinagar by a group of scientists and researchers.
“Noori has gained weight. From 1.3 kg at the time of birth on March 9, 2012, it’s 5 kg. She is healthy and was allowed to be part of more than two dozen pashmina goats assembled at Alastaingh laboratory for the purpose,” said Dr Fazili.
Noori took two years of scientific research. “It took two years for standardisation of the technique,” said Dr Shah.
The clone has come as good news for fine fiber-producing pashmina goats, which are only spotted at an altitude of 14,000 feet in Ladakh, the coldest region of the state. ”With Noori there is hope that pashmina can be yielded in lower altitude like Kashmir valley,” said Dr Fazili.
The valley owes its fame, besides natural beauty, to famed fine wool of pashmina, gathered from mountainous of Ladakh after the goat sheds its wool as a natural process.
The goat survives minus 40 degree Celsius temperature at an altitude of 14,000 feet. In spring, the animal sheds its fiber, called soft pashm, six times finer than human hair. The fiber is used to spun famous kashmiri shawls, scarves, and stoles.
It is hoped that this research will help other labs across the region clone their own goats and even revive endangered species.
Cashmere wool, particularly made into shawls, is a major source of income for Kashmir, generating about $80 million a year for the Indian-controlled portion of the mountain area. A shawl can cost $200 in Kashmir and much more when sold abroad — a boon given the average salary of $800 a year for Kashmir’s 10.2 million people.
Experts say their numbers are dwindling. In recent years, Kashmir has started importing cashmere from neighboring China to keep up with orders for the region’s hand-woven shawls.
‘This is the cheapest, easier and less time-consuming’ method of cloning, compared with conventional methods that use high-tech machinery and sometimes chemicals, Shah said.
Noori is the first cashmere goat cloned by this method, though Shah earlier cloned a buffalo. They plan to spread the goat-cloning knowledge across the Indian Himalayas so others can grow their own goats.
Cloning – the history:
The world first animal clone Dolly, a sheep, was created on 5 July 1996. It survived for seven years.
This is a list of animals that have been cloned in alphabetical order. One significant aspect of this list is documenting the transition from early concerns that animal cloning procedures might be limited to a few species that cloned animals might be physiologically abnormal, or cloning might lack utility for society.
Injaz(Arabic: meaning “achievement”; born April 8, 2009) is a female dromedary camel, credited with being the world’s first cloned camel. Dr. Nisar Ahmad Wani, who headed the research team in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, announced on April 14, 2009, that the cloned camel was born after an “uncomplicated” gestation of 378 days.
Chinese embryologist Tong Dizhou successfully inserted the DNA from a male Asian carp into the egg of a female Asian carp to create the first fish clone in 1963. In 1973 Dizhou inserted Asian carp DNA into a European crucian carp to create the first interspecies clone.
First World cloned calf (Gene) was born on February 7, 1997 on American Breeders Service facilities in Deforest, Wisconsin. Later it was transferred and kept to Minnesota Zoo Education Center.
A Holstein heifer named Amy was cloned by Dr. Xiangzhong (Jerry) Yang using ear skin cells from a high-merit cow named Aspen at the University of Connecticut on June 10, 1999, followed by three additional clones, Betty, Cathy and Daisy by July 7, 1999.
Second Chance, a Brahman bull was cloned from Chance, a beloved celebrity bull. Second Chance was born August 9, 1999 at Texas A&M University.
Texas A&M University cloned a Black Angus bull named 86 Squared in 2000, after cells from his donor, Bull 86, had been frozen for 15 years. Both bulls exhibit a natural resistance to Brucellosis, Tuberculosis and other diseases which can be transferred in meat.
Millie and Emma were two female Jersey cows cloned at the University of Tennessee in 2001. They were the first cows to be produced using standard cell-culturing techniques.
Pampa the first animal cloned in Argentina by Biosidus (2002)
Ten more Jersey cows were cloned at the University of Tennessee. (females, 2002)
Bonyana and Tamina cloned calf in Royan Research Institute,Isfahan, Iran in summer of 2009.
In 2010 the first Spanish Fighting Bull was cloned by Spanish scientists.
Anatolian Grey bull (Efe) was cloned in Turkey in 2009 and cattle from the same breed no(Ece, Ecem, Nilufer, Kiraz) by TUBITAK
GARIMA- I: world’s first buffalo calf through the “Hand guided Cloning Technique” was born on February 6, 2009 at NDRI, Karnal(India).
GARIMA- II: NDRI, Karnal(India).
Cloned male buffalo calf Shresth born on August 26, 2010 at National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, India
Dewey was born on May 23, 2003 at Texas A&M University.
South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-Suk cloned the first dog, an afghan hound named Snuppy. Later in 2005 Hwang Woo-Suk was found to have fabricated evidence in stem cell research projects. This caused some to question the veracity of his other experiments, including Snuppy. In their investigation of Hwang Woo-Suk’s publication, however, a team from SNU confirmed that Snuppy was a true clone of Tei, the DNA donor dog. South Korean scientists recently cloned ’sniffer’ dogs.
BioArts International held a dog cloning contest where people would send in submissions about which dog was the most suited to be cloned. The winner was Trakr, a K-9 police dog who was a 9/11 hero.
In summer 2011, South Korean researchers cloned a beagle dog named Tegon, which glowed in ultraviolet light
Clones Libby and Lilly were produced via nuclear transfer by cell fusion in 2004
In 1958, John Gurdon, then at Oxford University, explained that he had successfully cloned a frog. He did this by using intact nuclei from somatic cells from a Xenopus tadpole. This was an important extension of work of Briggs and King in 1952 on transplanting nuclei from embryonic blastula cells
A species of wild cattle, the first endangered species to be cloned. In 2001 at the Trans Ova Genetics in Sioux Center, Iowa, USA, a cloned Gaur was born from a surrogate domestic cow mother. However, the calf died within 48 hours
Downen TX 63 684 (nicknamed Megan) was cloned from a top producing Boer goat born on March 29, 2001 at Texas A&M University.
The Middle East’s first and the world’s fifth cloned goat, ‘Hanna’, has been successfully born at Royan institute in Isfahan, Iran. The cloned goat was developed in the surrogate uterus of a black Bakhtiari goat for 147 days and was born, Wednesday, at 1:30 a.m. through a cesarean section. She is reported to be in a good health. Hanna, also known as R-CAP-C1, is completely distinguished from other goats because of its white and henna-like color. Iran’s first cloned lamb, Royana, was born September 30, 2006 in Royan institute and was able to survive the post-natal complications common in cloned animals. Iranian researchers are looking to use cloned goats to produce the genetically modified animals required for manufacturing new recombinant medications.(April 2009) Isfahan, Iran
Prometea, female, born May 2003, Italy
Pieraz, male, born February 2005, Italy
Paris-Texas, male, born March 2005, USA
Gemini, male, born September 2008, USA, clone of multiple recipient of “Horse of the Year” award for jumping Gem Twist
Saphir, male, born February 2010, USA, clone of show jumper Sapphire
Possibly the first cloned mammal was a mouse (named “Masha”) in 1986, in the Soviet Union. However, the cloning was done from an embryo cell, while the sheep Dolly in 1996 was cloned from an adult cell.
The first mouse from adult cells, Cumulina, was born in 1997 at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in the laboratory of Ryuzo Yanagimachi using the Honolulu technique.
Over a dozen clones as of 2002.
An endangered species, the Mouflon was the first to live past infancy. Cloned 2001
In 2009, one clone was alive, but died seven minutes later, due to physical defects in the lungs. The Pyrenean Ibex became the first taxon ever to come back from extinction, for a period of seven minutes in January 2009.
In France (March–April, 2003
Ralph (male, 2003)
Tetra (female, January 2000) by embryo splitting.
Cloned embryos (November 2007) by transfer of DNA from adult cells
From early embryonic cells by Steen Willadsen (1986). Megan and Morag cloned from differentiated embryonic cells in June 1995.
Dolly (1996–2003), first cloned mammal from somatic cells.
Polly and Molly (July 1997), first transgenic cloned mammal.
Royanan(2006) cloned in Royan Research institute in Isfahan, Iran.
Oyali and Zarife were cloned in November 2007 in Istanbul University in Istanbul, Turkey.
The world’s first water buffalo was cloned either in Beijing China in 2005 or New Delhi, India in 2009 “Samrupa”, the world’s first cloned buffalo calf, which died a week later from a lung infection.
An endangered species of wolf cloned by Korean scientists including the controversial scientist Hwang Woo-Suk.
There are two cloned wolves in a zoo in Korea for public view, they are called Snuwolf and Snuwolffy which are names taken from the university in Korea, Seoul National University.
A long wait for the coveted landmark came to an end as Sachin Tendulkar scored his 100th century on Friday against Bangladesh at Dhaka.
Iconic Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar on 16.03.2012 scripted history by becoming the first cricketer in the world to score 100 international centuries, a phenomenal feat which may remain unconquered for years to come.
Tendulkar, who already has a pile of runs and records to his credit, achieved the incredible milestone when he turned spinner Shakib—ul Hasan towards fine—leg in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh here.
The star batsman first looked heaven-wards and then acknowledged the cheers of his teammates and the crowd by lifting his bat.
It was the end of a long wait for the 38—year—old veteran, who had gone 33 innings and a year without a century. The right—hander made his 99th international ton in a World Cup match against South Africa in Nagpur on March 12, 2011.
Since then it had been an agonising wait for the maestro, whose every inning was watched with anticipation. He came close on quite a few occassion only to miss the milestone so much so that it became a huge monkey on his back and an unwanted distraction during every series that India played.
He was woefully out of form during India’s Test and ODI whitewash at the hands of England last year and though he recovered quite a bit in the later series, the hundred was still not coming.
He carried the weight of expectation to what turned out to be a horror tour of Australia. Tendulkar seemed to be in good touch during the Tests but his form waned after he missed the 100th hundred despite coming close a few times.
Following this, he made himself available for the ODI tri—series against Sri Lanka and Australia but there too, the milestone proved elusive.
But the wait finally ended in familiar sub—continental environs.
With an over two decade long career, records are fairly routine for Tendulkar but for the cricketing fraternity every run he scores just adds to the legend that the diminutive right—hander has become.
The champion batsman has perhaps every batting record that is there to be taken under his belt and adding to the countless tally is the historic hundred he scored against England in the post—lunch session.
Much before his debut on November 15, 1989, Tendulkar’s precocious talent was there to be seen when he shared an unbeaten 664—run stand with buddy Vinod Kambli in the Lord Harris Shield Inter—School Game in 1988.
The 1989 international debut was far less spectacular, in fact forgettable. A Waqar Younis bouncer left him with a bleeding nose but Tendulkar did not wince and the next two decades saw him punishing bowlers all over the world on all kind of surfaces.
His first Test century came in England next year at Old Trafford and the Mumbaikar rose in stature after the 1991—92 tour of Australia, hitting sublime centuries on a Sydney turner and a Perth minefield.
The rest is history. No existing batting record seemed safe. Other than Brian Lara’s Test match highest of 400 not out and first class highest score of 501 not out, every batting record became Tendulkar’s.
A staggering 15470 runs scored in 188 Tests at a robust average of 55.44 confirmed Tendulkar’s greatness in the longer version of the game.
And in the 462 ODIs he played, a whopping 18,260 (before the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh) were added to his mountain of runs at an average of 44.64.
Tendulkar is also the only batsman in the world who has scored a double ton in ODIs, a feat he achieved in Gwalior against South Africa in February. This feat was included in ’Times’ magazine’s top 10 sports moments of the year.
A perfect teamman, Tendulkar has limited his Twenty20 ambition to the Indian Premier League where he leads Mumbai Indians, ruling himself out of national reckoning lest it upsets the existing equilibrium of the side.
The biggest compliment to his batting came from Sir Donald Bradman himself in 1999 when he said that Tendulkar’s style of playing resembled his style. “That touch I used to feel when I batted,” he had said.
Tendulkar’s colossal batting exploits have completely overshadowed his utility as a part—time bowler who reveled in breakthroughs.
He was a complete enigma with the ball, sending down military medium pace, orthodox leg—break and off—spin with the guiles that often caught batsmen off their guard.
His 45 Test wickets and 154 scalps in ODIs underline the fact that Tendulkar could have also staked claim to be that elusive all—rounder that India has been desperately looking for since the legendary Kapil Dev. But shoulder problems have not allowed him to bowl as much as he and the team would have liked.
In the field, he is among the safest pair of hands in the slip and his flat throw releasing strong arm saw him manning the deep with equal aplomb. He has taken 113 catches in Test cricket and 140 in the ODIs.
The aura only grew in strength because of his impeccable demeanour, on and off the field.
His father’s death had a deep impact on him and Tendulkar still looks heavenwards whenever he crosses a milestone to seek his blessing.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday announced marginal tax reliefs for individual tax payers. Presenting Union Budget 2012-13 in Lok Sabha, Mukherjee said income upto Rs 2 lakh would be tax free; income from Rs 2 to 5 lakh would be taxed at 10%; from Rs 5 to 10 lakh at 20%; and income above Rs 10 lakh would attract tax of 30%.
In other tax measures, Mukherjee announced that interest from savings account up to Rs 10,000 would be tax free. Also, apart from medical insurance, an additional Rs 5,000 would be exempted for preventive health check-ups.
Senior Citizens have been exempted from filing advance tax.
Meanwhile, Service Tax has been hiked from 10% to 12%. Also, its net has been widened and all services barring 17 would now be taxed. Corporate Tax structure has been left unchanged.
Mukherjee earlier said India continues to remain among front-runners in economic growth. Mukherjee however said the economic growth is estimated at 6.9 percent during the current fiscal year which was “disappointing”. The Finance Minister also exuded confidence that headline inflation would moderate in the next few months and remain stable.
Tax collection up 15%Income Tax proposals:
Personal Income Tax slabs for individuals relaxed
Exemption limit enhanced from Rs 1.8 lakh to Rs 2 lakh
Upper limit of 20% tax raised from Rs 8 lakh to Rs 10 lakh
New Slabs as follows:
Upto Rs 2 lakh – Nil
Rs 2-5 lakh – 10%
Rs 5–10 lakh – 20%
Above Rs 10 lakh – 30%
Interest from savings account up to Rs 10,000 to be exempt from tax
In addition to medical insurance, an additional Rs 5000 to be exempted for preventive health check-ups
Senior Citizens exempted from filing advance tax
Compulsory reporting of assets sold abroadCorporate Tax
Corporate Tax structure left unchanged
Withholding tax on certain overseas borrowings reduced to 5% from 20%
Securities Transaction Tax cut by 20% for stock market ordersService Tax
Service Tax rate up from 10% to 12%
Higher Service Tax to add Rs 186.6 bn in revenue
Duty-free baggage allowance for Indians increased to Rs 35,000
Duty-free baggage allowance for children increased to Rs 15,000Proposal to tax all services except negative list
Exempted services include:
Pre-school, school education, recognised education at higher levels and approved vocational education
Renting of residential dwellings, entertainment and amusement services to be exempt
Public transportation to be exempt from service tax
Agricultural activities and animal husbandry to be exempt from service tax
Charities, religious persons
Performing artists in folk and classical arts
Individual advocates providing services to non-business entities
Services related with animal care and car parking
Services of business facilitators and correspondents to banks and insurance companies
Construction services relating to specified infrastructure, canals, irrigation works, post-harvest infrastructure, residential dwelling, and low-cost mass housing up to an area of 60 sq. mtr.
Exemption for the monthly charges payable by a member to a housing society up from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000
Industry related with cinematographic films
To set up a Study Team to examine the possibility of a common tax code for service tax and central excise
New scheme to simplify refundsIndirect Taxes
Other Indirect Taxes
Standard Excise duty raised from 10% to 12 %
Merit Excise duty raised from 5% to 6 %
Lower merit rate raised from 1% to 2 %
Lower merit rate for coal, fertilisers, mobile phones and precious metal jewellery retained at 1%
Excise duty on large cars up from 22% to 24%
Customs duty cut to 2.5% on sugarcane planter, root or tuber crop harvesting machine and rotary tiller and weeder
Customs duty cut to 5% on specified coffee plantation and processing machinery
To extend project import benefit to green house and protected cultivation for horticulture and floriculture
Customs duty cut to 5 % on some water soluble fertilisers and liquid fertilisers
Customs duty cut to 2.5 % on urea
To extend concessional import duty for Mechanised Handling Systems and Pallet Racking Systems in mandis or warehouses for horticultural produce
Imports of equipment for initial setting up or expansion of fertiliser projects fully exempt for three years
Steam coal fully exempt, concessional CVD of 1% for two years
Natural Gas and Liquified Natural Gas exempt
Uranium concentrate, Sintered Uranium Dioxide in natural and pellet form exempt
Customs Duty on Mining machinery cut to 2.5%
Customs Duty on Railways safety equipment cut to 7.5%
Import Duty on road, tunnel boring equipment fully exempt
Parts of aircraft, testing equipment and tyres exempt
Customs Duty on coating material for manufacture of electrical steel cut to 5 %
Nickel ore and concentrate and nickel oxide/ hydroxide fully exempt
Customs Duty on non-alloy, flat-rolled up at 7.5%
Automatic shuttle-less looms fully exempt
Automatic silk reeling and processing machinery fully exempt
Second-hand textile machinery to attract basic duty of 7.5 %
Duty on wool waste and wool tops cut to 5%
Duty on Titanium dioxide cut to 7.5%
Aramid yarn and fabric used for the manufacture of bullet proof helmets fully exempt
Duty on branded ready-made garments with up at 12 %
Waste Paper fully exempt
LCD and LED TV panels fully exempt
Memory card for mobile phones fully exempt
Duty on Adult diapers cut to 5%
Duty on bicycles increased to 30%
Duty on bicycle parts increased to 20%
Excise Duty on hand-made matches cut to 6%
Six specified life-saving drugs/ vaccines for HIV-AIDS, renal cancer etc fully exempt
Customs Duty on Soya protein concentrate and isolated soya protein cut to 15% and 10% respectively
Iodised salt to have concessional basic customs duty of 2.5%
Customs Duty on Probiotics cut to 5%
Solar energy equipment to be fully exempt
Excise duty on LED lamps cut to 6 %
Hybrid vehicle batteries to be fully exempt
Customs duty on gold bars, gold coins increased to 4%
Customs duty on non-standard gold increased to 10%
Customs duty on platinum increased to 4%
Basic duty on gold ore, concentrate and dore bars increased to 2%
Excise duty on refined gold increased to 3 %
Polished, coloured gem stones to attract 2% duty
Excise duty on cigarettes to attract ad valorem component of 10% on existing rates
Excise duty on hand-rolled bidis increased to 10 per thousand
Excise duty on machine-rolled bidis increased to `21 per thousand
Duty increased on pan masala, gutkha, chewing tobacco, unmanufactured tobacco and zarda scented tobacco in pouches
Cess on Crude petroleum oil increased to `4,500 per metric tonne
Customs Duty on large cars/ MUVs/ SUVs with value exceeding USD 40,000 enhanced from 60 per cent to 75 per cent ad valorem
Packaged cement to have unified rate of 12 % + `120 PMT for non-mini cement plants and 6 % + `120 PMT for mini-cement plants
Non-branded jewellery to attract excise duty of 1%
Branded silver jewellery fully exempt
Building of commercial vehicle bodies to attract an ad valorem rate of 3%Tax Reforms
Advanced pricing agreement in DTC to be in Financial Bill
New tax exemption on individual share invest with lock-in
GST network to get operational from Aug
GST under progress, talks on with states for drafting law
To examine parliamentary panel report on Direct Tax Code
Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving Scheme launched
Rajiv plan equity invest lock-in period to be 3 years
Rs 50000 tax exempt for share invest in new Rajiv plan
Tax exemption on individual share invest below a million rupees
Tax free infra bonds Rs 600 bn to be issues FY 13
To allow Rs 100 bn NHAI tax free bonds FY 13
To allow Rs 100 bn IRFC tax free bonds in FY 13
To allow Rs 50 bn HUDCO tax free bonds FY 13
To allow Rs 50 bn SIDBI tax free bonds FY 13
To allow Rs 100 bn power sector tax free bonds FY 13
To okay Rs 50 bn National Housing Bank tax free bonds
1% loan sop plan for home loans up to Rs 2.5 mn
Interest subvention on low cost homes extended by a yearGrowth & Divestment
Past year was supposed to be year of recovery
This year’s performance turned out to be disappointing
We were facing several challenges; global situation a dampener
GDP estimated to grow 6.9% in 2011-12
FY 13 GDP seen 7.6%, plus or minus 0.25%
Proposes Mid-term fiscal goals
Aim to raise Rs 300 bn through sales of stakes in state run companies next fiscal
Aim to raise Rs 140 bn through sales of stakes in state companies this fiscal
Agri, Services performing well
Industry pulled down growth in past two years
Industry now showing signs of recovery
FY 12 Services growth at 9.4%
FY 12 Industry growth at 3.9%
FY 12 Agri growth at 2.5%
Need to improve supply side of economy
India still front runner in world; share of trade has increased
Crude oil prices to cross USD 115/barrel Five main objectives:
Focus on domestic demand driven growth recovery
Create conditions for rapid revival of high growth in private investment
Address supply bottlenecks in agriculture, energy and transport sectors, particularly in coal, power, national highways, railways and civil aviation
Intervene decisively to address the problem of malnutrition especially in the 200 high-burden districts
Expedite coordinated implementation of decisions being taken to improve delivery systems, governance, and transparency; and address the problem of black money and corruption in public lifeFiscal Health & Estimates
Aim to trim fiscal deficit
To make amendments to Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act (FRBM Act)
Current account deficit 3.6%
Fiscal deficit 5.9% of GDP this FY
Expect fiscal deficit 5.1% of GDP next FY
Concept of effective revenue deficit to be fiscal parameter
Expect gross tax receipts at Rs 10.78 tn next FY, up 15.6%
As a percentage of GDP, gross taxes to be 10.6 % in FY 13
Total spending Rs 14.49 tn next FY
Non-Plan spending Rs 9.69 tn next FY, 8.7% higher than revised estimates
Net tax to Centre in FY 13 at Rs 7.71 tn
Expect non-tax revenue at Rs 1.64 tn next FY
Non-debt Capital Receipts at Rs 416.50 bn
Plan expenditure at Rs 5.21 tn, 18% higher than estimates
Direct tax collection fell short by Rs 320 bn
Total Debt stock at 45.5 % of GDP
Effective Revenue Deficit at Rs 1.85 tn or 1.8% of GDPFarm & Food
Agri to be on govt priority list
To increases outlay for agriculture by 18% to RS 202.08 bn
India to be self sufficient in urea manufacturing in 5 years
Announces 2 new handloom mega clusters
To set up 3 technical assistance centres for textiles
Allot Rs 700 mn for Maharashtra power loom cluster
East Indian states produced 7 mn tones more of paddy
Rs 5 bn pilot plan in 12th plan for geo textiles in NE
Allocated Rs 3 bn for FY 13 irrigation plans
Allot Rs 10 bn to up kharif output in NE FY 13
Allot Rs 4 bn to up kharif output in NE FY 12
Allot 5 bn for aquaculture FY 13
NABARD to give rural banks Rs 100 bn for short term loans
To move bill for NABARD Act amendment
3% rate subvention for farmers repaying loans on time
Rs 5.75 tn farm credit target in FY 13
Rs 2 bn for R&D of seeds and farm research
Allocation to farm development plan RKVY hiked to Rs 92.17 bn
To set up govt owned irrigation promotion company
To add 5 mn tones grain storage capacity in FY 13
To start national food processing mission in FY 13
Micro-irrigation allotment up 13% to Rs 142.42 bnInflation
Headline inflation was major cause of concern
Inflation likely to moderate in FY 13
Inflation largely structural in nature
Headline inflation is beginning to stabalize
Prolonged period of high inflation tends to get generalized
Inflation driven by farm supply constraintsFinancial Sector & Banks
India Opportunity Venture Fund via SIDBI of Rs 50 bn
To issue revised norms for banks priority sector lending
To set up financial holding company for recapitalization of banks
To move National Housing Bank Amendment Bill
To move Regional Rural Bank Amendment Bill
Rs 158.88 bn for capitalization of PSU banks in FY 13
Propose electronic voting to up shareholder involvement
IPOs of over Rs 100 mn to be in electronic formInfrastructure
12th plan invest for infra at Rs 50 tn
ECBs allowed to part finance rupee debt of power projects
Coal India told to to sign coal supply pacts with power companies
Inter ministerial panel to monitor allocated coal mines
Targetting 8800 km projects under NHDP FY 13
Irrigation including damns under viability gap funding FY 13
Irrigation, fertilizer, terminal market under viability gap funding
Viability gap funding for oil, gas pipelines, storage
Telecom towers to get viability gap funding in FY 13
Inadequate infra strain on growth
Extend plan to capitalize regional rural banks by 2 years
To give Rs 40 bn FY 13 for rural housing V Rs 30 bn in FY 12
Realtors can borrow overseas for low cost home projects
To move bill for Public Debt Management
To allow external commercial loans for affordable homes
Foreign airline investment of 49% under consideration
Budget approves overseas borrowing of upto USD 1 bln for airlines’ working capital needs
Budget OKs overseas borrowing for low-cost housing projects
To allow 1 year ECBs of USD 1 bn for airline companies
Allowed direct import of ATF by airlines
Foreign borrow for capex maintain, operate toll roads
Up NHDP allocation 14% to Rs 253.6 bn in FY 13Subsidy
To keep Subsidies under 2% of GDP over next 3 Years
Subsidy for food security to be fully provide for
Some subsidies inevitable
Fiscal policy had to absorb subsidy payments
Aim to directly transfer kerosene subsidy to individuals
Testing kerosene subsidy transfer in Rajasthan
Direct transfer subsidy pilot for 50 districts
Aim to directly transfer subsidy on LPG to consumers
Direct transfer of fertilizer subsidy to retailer, farmers soon
Direct transfer subsidy to be rolled out graduallyChildren and Education
Allocated Rs 255.55 bn under Right to Education
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme to be re-structured
Allocated Rs 158.50 bn for child development in FY 13
Allocated Rs 119.37 bn for mid-day meal plan FY 13
Allocated Rs 7.5 bn for empowerment of adolescent girls
Credit guarantee fund proposed for poor students
Allocated Rs 31.24 bn for secondary education
Rs 250 mn for the Institute of Rural Management, Anand
Rs 500 mn to establish a world-class centre for water quality with focus on `arsenic contamination in Kolkata
Rs 1 bn for Kerala Agricultural University
Rs 500 mn for University of Agricultural Sciences Dharwad, Karnataka
As he presents his first rail budget, Dinesh Trivedi has his task cut out. His focus, he says, is three-pronged: “Safety, safety, safety.” Following very closely behind are consolidation, decongestion and modernisation.
So aided by poetry, quotable quotes and many mentions of his party chief and predecessor Mamata Banerjee, the railway minister today proposed the highest ever annual plan outlay for the railways at Rs. 60,100 crore, of which Rs. 50,000 crore he said, would be from market borrowing. Mr Trivedi’s big emphasis is on safety. This would include setting up an independent Railway safety authority and phasing out level crossings in five years among other initiatives. Here are the Major highlights of the budget.
Express train fare up by 5 paise per km, 10 paise per km for AC chair car, 10 paise per km for AC 3-tier, 15 p per km for AC 2-tier, 30 paise per km for AC First class.
No steep increase in passenger fares; 2 paisa per km for suburban trains; 3 paisa per km for mail and express trains.
Independent tariff authority suggested; needs serious debate; experts panel established; decision after debate in parliament.
GRP/RPF personnel deployed on 3,500 trains.
Free travel by Rajdhani express for Arjuna awardees.
Targeting freight carriage of 1,025 million tonnes to bring in Rs.89,339 crore; passenger earnings estimated at Rs.36,073 crore; gross receipts estimated at Rs.1.32 lakh crore.
Excess of Rs.1,492 crore after meeting expenses/dividend payments not adequate for meeting costs of several projects.
Dedicated railway design wing at National Institute of Design with a contribution of Rs.10 crore.
New passenger services: 820 new items; 75 new express trains; 21 new passenger trains; 75 new services in Mumbai suburban system.
Guru Parikrama trains to be run to Amritsar, Patna and Nanded.
Passenger fare for sub-urban trains hiked by 2 paise per km, mail trains by 3 paise per km.
Platform tickets to cost Rs. five.
50 per cent concession in fare in AC classes to anaemia and sickle cell disease patients.
Body of experts to examine setting up of an independent Railway Tariff Regulatory Authority
No steep increase in passenger fares: Railway Minister.
Finance Ministry agrees to loan Rs. 3,000 crore to Railways at 8.55 per cent interest: Trivedi
Gross rail traffic targeted to increase by Rs. 28,635 crore to Rs. 1,32,552 crore in 2012-13.
Passenger earnings to increase to Rs. 36,200 crore. Gross traffic receipts Rs. 1,32,552 crore.
Railways to carry 55 million tons more freight at 1025 million tonnes in 2012-13.
Surplus with railways at Rs. 1,492 crore in current year as against targeted Rs. 5,258 crore.
Expansion of suburban rail networks and addition of more services in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
Guru Parikarma special trains to cover Sikh pilgrimage centres of Amritsar, Patna and Nanded.
75 new express passenger trains to be introduced.
Railway Board to be restructured, two more members to be included.
Railways to recruit more than one lakh persons in 2012-13.
Railways to replace open discharge toilets with green toilets. 2,500 coaches will be equipped with bio-toilets next year.
All Garib Rath trains to have one special AC coach for differently abled persons.
All out efforts to improve hygiene in trains and stations in next six months.
Special housekeeping body to be set up to maintain stations and trains.
Improvement of passenger amenities at a cost of Rs.1,112 crore; regional cuisines to be introduced.
World Bank funding of R.6,500 crore firmed up for dedicated freight corridors; land acquired for 3,300 km; first contracts to be handed out during 2012-13
Standard of hygiene needs to be improved substantially; all out efforts will be made on this in the next six months; duty bound to provide high standard of services; special housekeeping body to be set up for stations and trains.
Corrosion from night soil being discharged from toilets on tracks costs Rs.350 crore annually; green toilets to be installed in 2,500 coaches in the next one year.
Two thousand one hundred specially designed coaches manufactured to meet needs of the differently abled; aim to provide one such coach in each express train.
Electrification to be undertaken over 6,500 km at an allocation of Rs.8,000 crore during 12th Plan.
Conversion from DC to AC power supply completed in Western Railway corridor of Mumbai suburban rail system; conversion of Central Railway corridor to be completed in 2012-13.
Elevated corridor from Churchgate to Virar in Mumbai being firmed up.
Government should consider dividend payback to railways.
Thirty-one projects over 5,000 km being implemented with state governments sharing costs.
Capacity augmentation to get Rs.4,410 crore during 2012-13.
Eighty-five new line projects to be taken up during 2012-13.
One hundred and fourteen new line surveys to be undertaken during 2012-13.
New line projects to get Rs.6,870 crore in 2012-13.
Gauge conversion to be undertaken over 800 km with an allocation of Rs.1,950 crore.
Focus during next five years on five areas: tracks, bridges, signalling, rolling stock and stations.
Signalling to be improved over 19,000 km.
Investment of Rs.1.70 lakh crore on rolling stock in next five years.
Attempt to increase train speeds to 160 kmph; journey time from New Delhi to Kolkata can be brought down to 14 hours from 17 hours.
Improvements to railway stations can provide employment to 50,000 people.
Outlay of Rs.60,100 crore during 2012-13, the highest ever.
Railways will require Rs.14 lakh crore in the next 10 years for modernisation.
Aim to bring down operating ratio from 90 percent to 84.9 percent in 2012-13 and to 72 percent by 2016-17.
Time has come for formulating national policy for railways on the lines of that for defence and external affairs.
Railways should grow at 10 percent annually for sustained GDP growth.
Railways to invest Rs.7.35 lakh crore during 12th Five Year Plan period (2012-17), a quantum jump from the Rs.1.92 lakh crore invested in previous plan period.
Railways must attract 10 percent of the Rs.20 lakh crore government expects to spend on infrastructure during 12th Plan.
Railways expect gross budgetary support of Rs.2.5 lakh crore during 12th Plan.
Collective challenge to formulate viable funding mechanism for modernisation.
Railways should contribute 2 percent of GDP from the present 1 percent.
Stress on strengthening safety. Has to be be benchmarked with the best in the world.
Target of reducing accidents from 0.55 to 0.17 has been met.
Special purpose vehicle to be set up on safety protocols.
Independent railway safety authority to be set up as statutory safety body.
Investment of Rs.5.60 lakh crore required for modernisation.
F. Sherwood Rowland, the Nobel prize-winning chemist who sounded the alarm on the thinning of the Earth’s ozone layer, has died. He was 84.
Rowland died 10.03.2012 at his home of complications from Parkinson’s disease, the dean of the University of California, Irvine’s physical sciences department said on 11.03.2012. “We have lost our finest friend and mentor,” Kenneth C. Janda said in a statement. “He saved the world from a major catastrophe – never wavering in his commitment to science, truth and humanity and did so with integrity and grace.”
Rowland was among three scientists awarded the 1995 Nobel Prize for chemistry for explaining how the ozone layer is formed and decomposed through chemical processes in the atmosphere.
The prize was awarded more than two decades after Rowland and post-doctoral student Mario Molina calculated that if human use of chlorofluorocarbons, a by-product of aerosol sprays, deodorants and other household products, were to continue at an unchanged rate, the ozone layer would be depleted after several decades. Their work built upon findings by atmospheric scientist Paul Crutzen.
Their prediction caught enormous attention and was strongly challenged partly because the non-toxic properties of CFCs were thought to be environmentally safe. Their work gained widespread recognition more than a decade later with the discovery of the ozone hole over the Earth’s polar regions.
“It was to turn out that they had even underestimated the risk,” a Nobel committee said in its award citation for Rowland, Molina and Crutzen.
Mr. Molina said his former mentor never shied from defending his work or advocating a ban on CFCs. “He showed me that if we believe in the science … we should speak out when we feel it’s important for society to change,” Mr. Molina told.
Rowland was survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Joan, a son and a daughter.
Frank Sherwood Rowland – the biography
Rowland, Frank Sherwood (1927-) is an American chemist. He shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his pioneering contributions explaining how the earth’s protective layer of ozone (a form of oxygen most often found in the upper atmosphere) is formed and broken down through chemical processes in the atmosphere.
Rowland shared the prize with his research partner, the Mexican-born American chemist Mario Jose Molina, and with the Dutch chemist Paul Josef Crutzen, who worked independendy on related research. Rowland’s work led to worldwide restrictions on the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s), industrially produced chemical compounds that were breaking down the protective ozone layer.
Rowland was born on June 28, 1927, in Delaware, Ohio. His father, Sidney Rowland, was a professor and chair of the mathematics department at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware. His mother, Margaret (Drake) Rowland, taught Latin at a local school. He had two brothers.
As a child, Rowland attended public schools in Delaware. An excellent student, he skipped fourth grade. Rowland was especially good at mathematics. In high school, he studied mathematics, science, history, English, and Latin in preparation for college. For several summers during the early 1940’s, Rowland worked at the local volunteer weather station collecting data on daily high and low temperatures and levels of precipitation.
In 1943, Rowland graduated from high school a few weeks before his 16th birthday. Most of the young men in his class joined the military to fight in World War II (1939-1945), but Rowland was too young to enlist. He instead entered Ohio Wesleyan University, where he took science courses and played on the university basketball and baseball teams. After he turned 18 in 1945, Rowland joined the U.S. Navy and began training to become a radar operator. World War II ended later that year, and Rowland was discharged in 1946 after 14 months of service. He returned to his studies at Ohio Wesleyan. In 1948, he received a B.A. degree with majors in chemistry, mathematics, and physics.
Rowland went to Illinois in the fall of 1948 to attend the University of Chicago, the school where both of his parents had earned their Ph.D. degrees. He studied the chemistry of radioactive atoms with his faculty adviser, the American chemist Willard Frank Libby. In 1947, Libby had discovered radiocarbon, or carbon 14, and found a way to use it to determine the age of prehistoric plant and animal remains—a discovery for which he would receive the 1960 Nobel Prize in chemistry. The path of radiocarbon atoms could be traced through a chemical reaction in an organism, thus enabling scientists to better understand that reaction. Rowland wrote his doctoral thesis on the chemical state of radioactive bromine atoms produced through a cyclotron, a device that spins tiny bits of matter in a circular path at high speed. He received a Ph.D. degree in chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1952.
In September 1952, Rowland became an instructor in the chemistry department at Princeton University in New Jersey. During the summers from 1953 to 1955, he conducted research in tracer chemistry at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island in New York.
Rowland became assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Kansas in 1956. From 1956 to 1970, his research was supported by the U.S. government’s Atomic Energy Commission. At Kansas, Rowland led a group of radiochemists (scientists who study radioactive elements) researching the chemical reactions of tritium atoms. He rose through the academic ranks to become a full professor in 1963.
In August 1964, Rowland became professor of chemistry and chairman of the chemistry department at the new Irvine campus of the University of California. He retired as department chairman in 1970 but retained his position as professor.
In 1972, Rowland heard a lecture by the British scientist James Lovelock that mentioned the movement of CFC’s in the atmosphere. CFC’s do not readily undergo chemical reactions. Scientists at that time therefore believed that CFC’s caused no harmful effects. After CFC’s are released into the atmosphere, they rise slowly. Lovelock suggested tracking the CFC’s to learn more about the atmosphere. He had developed a scientific instrument to measure CFC levels. Rowland knew that when CFC’s reached the upper atmosphere, the sun’s ultraviolet radiation would break them apart. He decided to study them to determine what would eventually happen to them in the atmosphere.
Rowland began to study CFC’s in 1973. Mario Molina, who had just completed his Ph.D. work as a laser chemist, joined Rowland in this research. Within three months, they realized that some of the molecular fragments resulting from the breakdown of CFC’s reacted with ozone, decreasing the amount of it. The ozone layer in the upper atmosphere shields the earth from 95 to 99 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Over-exposure to these rays is a cause of skin cancer. Thus, a decrease in the amount of ozone poses a danger to human life.
Rowland and Molina calculated that if CFC production were to continue at the same levels, the ozone layer would be depleted (decreased) by 7 to 13 percent. In June 1974, Rowland and Molina published their findings in the journal Nature. Later that year, they began to discuss their research at scientific meetings and recommend that production of CFC’s be stopped. At that time, CFC’s were widely used as propellants in aerosol spray cans, as coolants in refrigerators and air conditioners, and in insulation. In 1978, the U.S. government banned the use of CFC’s in aerosol cans. However, the ban did not affect the use of CFC’s as refrigerants or in insulation.
Since the late 1970’s, scientists have observed a seasonal depletion (thinning) of ozone over Antarctica. They found that in the spring the amount of ozone decreases by up to 50 percent for about two months, creating an ozone hole. Satellite surveys by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1985 confirmed the existence of a continent-sized hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica. In 1992, another potential ozone hole was discovered, this one over the Arctic. Scientists have attributed the extreme depletion of the ozone layer over the poles to weather patterns and season sun that promote an unusually rapid cycle of chlorine-ozone chain reactions.
In a treaty called the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, which took effect in 1989, the major CFC-producing nations agreed to gradually stop producing the chemicals. By 1996, most industrialized countries, including the United States, had ended production of CFC’s. Rowland’s efforts in alerting the scientific community of the threat that CFC’s posed to the ozone layer were rewarded with the Nobel Prize in 1995.
Rowland has received many other awards and honors throughout his career. The American Chemical Society gave him the Tolman Medal in 1976 and the Peter Debye Award in 1983. Rowland received the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Health in 1987, the Japan Prize in Environmental Science and Technology in 1989, the Tyler Prize in Ecology and Energy (now called the Tyler World Prize in Environmental Achievement) in 1993, and the Roger Revelle Medal of the American Geophysical Union in 1994. Rowland became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1977, the National Academy of Science in 1978, and the National Philosophical Society in 1995. He has published more than 300 articles in scientific journals.
Nomophobia is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. The term, an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia”, was coined during a study by the UK Post Office who commissioned YouGov, a UK-based research organisation to look at anxieties suffered by mobile phone users. The study found that nearly 53% of mobile phone users in Britain tend to be anxious when they “lose their mobile phone, run out of battery or credit, or have no network coverage”. The study found that about 58% of men and 48% of women suffer from the phobia, and an additional 9% feel stressed when their mobile phones are off. The study sampled 2,163 people. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed cited keeping in touch with friends or family as the main reason that they got anxious when they could not use their mobile phones. The study compared stress levels induced by the average case of nomophobia to be on-par with those of “wedding day jitters” and trips to the dentists. Ten percent of those questioned said they needed to be contactable at all times because of work. It is, however, arguable that the word ‘phobia’ is misused and that in the majority of cases it is only a normal anxiety.
More than one in two nomophobes never switch off their mobile phones. The study and subsequent coverage of the phobia resulted in two editorial columns authored by those who minimize their mobile phone use or choose not to own one at all, treating the condition with light undertones or outright disbelief and amusement
No doubt, cell phones have become a necessity in today’s world. But, a large number of Britons are now suffering from ‘nomophobia’ – the fear of being separated from their mobile, says a new study.
Researchers have found that two in three mobile users are terrified of being without their phone and the number has actually risen from 53% to 66% in the past four years, the Daily Mail reported . Young adults suffer the most, according to the study based on a survey of 1,000 employees.
Among those aged 18 to 24, 77% were nomophobic. By comparison, 62% of those aged 55 and over fear losing their phones, while 59% of 35 to 44-year-olds were found to be nomophobic.
The study, commissioned by SecurEnvoy, revealed that women worried about losing their phones more than men – 70% of the women surveyed were nomophobic, compared with 61% of men. And 41% of those polled had two phones or more in an effort to stay connected.
When asked if they’d be upset if a partner looked at the messages and texts on their phone, almost half said that they would.
Andy Kemshall of SecurEnvoy said, “The first study into nomophobia, conducted four years ago, revealed that 53% of people suffered from the condition and our study reveals this has now risen to 66% in the UK and shows no sign of abating.”
A Report on the research conducted
According to recent research sponsored by SecurEnvoy, an internet security firm, more people feel anxious and tense when they are out of reach of their phone — and the younger they are, the more likely the stress.
Known as “nomophobia,” or “no mobile-phone phobia,” a recent online survey of 1,000 people in the UK found that almost two thirds (66%) of respondents were afflicted, a rise of 11% when compared to a similar study four years ago.
“Some people get panic attacks when they are not with their phones,” said Michael Carr-Gregg, an adolescent psychologist working in Melbourne.
“Others become very anxious and make all endeavors to locate the mobile phone. I have clients who abstain from school or their part-time jobs to look for their phones when they cannot find them in the morning.”
According to the survey, the younger you are, the more prone you are to nomophobia. The youngest age group (18 -24) tops the nomophobic list at 77%, which is 11% more than that of the next group — those aged 25-34.
“This is the most tribal generation of young people,” said Carr-Gregg. “Adolescents want to be with their friends on a 24-hour basis.”
Women are also more likely to be unnerved by cell phone separation, with 70% of respondents reporting the malady compared to 61% of men. Andy Kemshall, the CTO and co founder of secure Envoy, believes that may be because men are more likely to have two phones and are less likely to misplace both — 47% of men carry two phones, compared to only 33% of women.
Major drivers of nomophobia include boredom, loneliness, and insecurity, said Carr-Gregg, while some young nomophobes cannot bear solitude. “Many of my clients go to bed with their mobile phones while sleeping just like how one will have the teddy bear in the old days,” he said.
Adolescents want to be with their friends on a 24-hour basis
Michael Carr-Gregg, adolescent psychologist
“While teddy doesn’t communicate, the phone does,” said Carr-Gregg, adding insomnia to the list of potential problems.
“This reduced the amount of time to reflect,” he said. “Some kids cannot entertain themselves. The phone has become our digital security blanket.”
As smartphone penetration spreads across the globe, so does nomophobia. On a visit to Singapore in February this year, Carr-Gregg spoke to students from a peer support group at the United World College and identified similar problems.
“There is no doubt that nomophobia is international,” he said. “[But] without phones, there will not be nomophobia.”
Meanwhile, Indian researchers have also evaluated mobile phone dependence among students at M.G.M. Medical College and the associated hospital of central India. India, after China, is the second largest mobile phone market in the world. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) reported that there were 884.37 million mobile connections in India as of November 2011, while China had 963.68 million.
The cross-sectional study, published by the Indian Journal of Community Medicine three years ago, recruited 200 medical students and scholars. About one in five students were nomophobic, results showed. The study claimed that the mobile phone has become “a necessity because of the countless perks that a mobile phone provides like personal diary, email dispatcher, calculator, video game player, camera and music player.”
“There is an increase in the nomophobic population in India because the number of mobile phone users has increased,” said Dr. Sanjay Dixit, one the researchers and the head of the Indian Journal of Community Medicine. “We are currently doing another research on mobile phone dependency, it’s not published yet, but analysis shows that about 45% of the Indian population, not just medical students, is nomophobic.”
With the augmented ownership and usage of smartphones among adolescents, Dixit says the young population is more at risk, partly because they can access the Internet through phones more easily, increasing the time spent on phones.
“We found out that people who use mobile phones for more than three hours a day have a higher chance of getting nomophobia,” he said, warning this can pose potential dangers.
Accidents lurk while nomophobes fix their attention on phones. According to Dixit, up to 25% nomophobes reported accidents while messaging or talking on the phone, which includes minor road accidents, falling while going upstairs or downstairs and stumbling while walking. More than 20% also reported pain in the thumbs due to excessive texting.
People who use mobile phones for more than three hours a day have a higher chance of getting nomophobia says Sanjay Dixit, researcher
“One could look at this as a form of addiction to the phone,” said Eric Yu Hai Chen, a psychiatrist and professor at The University of Hong Kong. “The fear is part of the addiction. The use of hand phone has some features that predispose this activity to addiction, similar to video games, naming, easy access.”
To tackle anxiety and accidents induced by phones, Dixit suggests switching off the phone, especially while driving. “People can also carry a charger all the time,” he said. “Our study shows that the no-battery-situation upsets nomophobes the most.
“People can also prepay phone cards for emergency calls and credit balance in phones to ensure a constant and functioning network,” he said. Other solutions include supplying friends with an alternate contact number and storing important phone numbers somewhere else as backups.
“Enforcing a period when handset is turned off can help loosen its hold over everyday life,” said Dixit. Sometimes, the problem can even be the cure.
“One of my clients actually makes use mobile phone apps to deal with anxiety,” said Carr-Gregg. “It’s called iCounselor Anxiety.”
The launch of the app presents users with a scale to rate their anxiety levels from 1 to 10, where 10 is “panicked.” After choosing the level, ten recommendations of calming activities will be suggested, followed by instructions to change the user’s thoughts, so to change subsequent feelings.
“It is almost like having a psychologist in your phone,” said Carr-Gregg.
Prevalent it may be, nomophobia, however, is not yet a qualified phobia.
“Nomophobia is not included in the DSM [Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders] yet,” said Dixit. “But it is an up coming problem. For the first time on this continent [India], we are trying to make it more scientific,” he added, referring to his undergoing research on nomophobic India.
Christy Ruth Walton (born 1955) is the widow of John T. Walton, who was a son of Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. After John’s death in June 2005, she inherited his fortune of $15.7 billion.
As of 2011, she is the 4th richest person in the United States according to Forbes Magazine and the 10th richest person in the world, as well as the richest woman in the world. As of March 2011, she had an estimated net worth of US$26.5 billion, the bulk of which comes from her shares in Wal-Mart, but also from First Solar, in which her late husband invested. She currently resides in Jackson, Wyoming and has one son, Lukas.
Facesofphilanthropy.com references Conde Nast Portfolio magazine as ranking her the highest female philanthropist, according to the amount she gives as a percentage of her wealth. Between 2002 and 2006, she contributed billions from her then $16.3 billion net worth towards philanthropic efforts.
Non-profit organizations in which Walton is actively serving include the national association of trustees and staff, corporate giving officers, and individual donors – The Philanthropy Roundtable. The San Diego Natural History Museum where she is a board member, as well as the San Diego Zoological Society and the Mingei International Museum are also institutions in which she makes donations towards. In 2006, Walton also donated her own old Victorian home to the International Community Foundation – Center for Cross-Border Philanthropy, which was built in 1896 for former National City postmaster Oliver Noyes and is of historical significance. Since her donation, she has endowed $4 million towards the edifice’s preservation.
Additionally, she supports her family’s own charitable foundation, the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, which prioritizes education and benefits colleges such as the University of Arkansas, the College of Business Administration of the University of Arkansas, and several other colleges, community trusts, universities and foundations. In 2007, her family’s foundation donated as much as $1.6 billion.
Mukesh Ambani – 9th place
Mukesh Ambani (born on 19 April 1957) is an Indian business magnate. He is the chairman and managing director of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries, the largest private sector enterprise in India listed in Fortune 500 magazine. His personal stake in Reliance Industries is 48%. On the 29th of August 2011, Reliance Industries regained its status as the most valued firm in India, after a heady contest with ONGC and Coal India Ltd., both public sector units as well as energy giants.
In 2010, he was named among the most powerful people in the world by Forbes in its list of “68 people who matter most” As of 2011, he is the second richest man in Asia and the ninth richest man in the world with a personal wealth of US$27 billion. In 2007, a strong rally in the Indian stock market and the appreciation of the Indian rupee boosted the market capitalisation of Reliance group companies, briefly making him the world’s richest man.
He is a member of the board of directors of Bank of America Corporation and a present member of the international advisory board of the Council on Foreign Relations.
He joined Reliance Industries in 1981. He initiated Reliance’s backward integration journey from textiles into polyester fibres and further into petrochemicals, petroleum refining and going up-stream into oil and gas exploration and production.
Mukesh Ambani set up one of the largest and most complex information and communications technology initiatives in the world in the form of Reliance Infocomm Limited (now Reliance Communications Limited).
Mukesh Ambani directed and led the creation of the worlds largest grassroots petroleum refinery at Jamnagar, India, with a current capacity of 660,000 barrels per day (33 million tonnes per year) integrated with petrochemicals, power generation, port and related infrastructure.
Eike Batista – 8th place
Eike Batista (born November 3, 1956), is a Brazilian entrepreneur and president of the EBX Group , which includes five companies that trade on the BOVESPA’s Novo Mercado, a special segment of the Sao Paulo stock market where enterprises with the highest standards of corporate governance are listed. The EBX companies listed on the BOVESPA are: OGX (oil and gas), MPX (energy), LLX (logistics), MMX (mining) and OSX (offshore services and equipment).
In 2011, Eike Batista was listed by Forbes magazine as the 8th richest person in the world and the richest in South America. His wealth is estimated at US$ 30 billion .Eike Batista was also featured in Bloomberg Markets magazine as the only Brazilian on the list of the 50 most influential people in global finance, published for the first time in September of 2011. The magazine focused on people “whose comments move markets; whose deals set the value of companies or securities; whose ideas and policies shape corporations, governments and economies”.
At the end of 2010, the magazine ranked Batista as the 58th most powerful person in the world, placing him as Brazil’s most powerful person after the current president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff. The newspaper Folha de S. Paulo describes Batista as an example of a “self-made man”, an entrepreneur with a fortune acquired through his own efforts (and not through inheritance).
The top-ranked Brazilian in March of 2008, on the Forbes magazine list, was Antonio Ermirio de Moraes, in 77th place with a family estate of US$ 10 billion. Another 17 Brazilians were on the list, including Batista (who in 2008 said his goal was to become the richest man in the world in five years). In 2008 Batista’s fortune was estimated at US$ 6.6 billion and he was ranked at the 142nd place on the list of the richest men in the world. In 2009, he moved up to the 61st position and was considered the richest man in Brazil.
According to the Brazilian weekly magazine Epoca, Eike Batista is one of the 100 most influential men in Brazil of 2010. IstoE magazine has also listed Batista as one of the 100 most influential people in 2010. In 2011, Eike Batista was included in the 1,000 CEOs ranking by Dinheiro magazine.
Eike Batista has benefited from three decades of experience in international business and has an ability to “generate wealth from scratch”. Since the 1980s, Batista created and put into operation eight gold mines in Brazil and Canada (Amapari, Casa Berardi, Crixs, Musselwhite, New Britania, Novo Astro, Novo Planeta and Paracatu), a silver mine in Chile (La Coipa), and three iron ore mines in Brazil (Mina 63, Tico-Tico and Ipe).
From 2004 to 2010 Eike Batista created and put into operation five companies: MMX (mining), MPX (energy), OGX (petroleum), LLX (logistics) and OSX (offshore industry).
Amancio Ortega – 7th place
Amancio Ortega (born March 28, 1936) is a Spanish fashion entrepreneur. He is the founder, along with his then-wife Rosalia Mera, and chairman of the Inditex Group. He is ranked by Forbes as Spain’s richest man; Europe’s second richest man; and the seventh richest man in the world in 2011 . He currently lives with his second wife in a discreet apartment building in the centre of A Coruna.
Amancio Ortega arrived at La Coruna, Spain, at the age of 14, due to the job of his father, a railway worker. Starting as a gofer in various shirt stores in La Coruna, Galicia, in 1972 he founded Confecciones Goa (his initials in reverse), which made bathrobes. In 1975 he opened the first store in what would grow into the enormously popular chain of fashion stores called Zara. He owns 59.29% of the Inditex group (Industrias de Diseno Textil Sociedad Anonima) which includes the brands Zara, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Zara Home, Kiddy’s Class, Tempe, Stradivarius, Pull and Bear/Often and Bershka and has more than 92,000 employees.
Amancio Ortega keeps a very low profile and there are practically no photographs of him (except from one photo published at the Inditex website). He refuses to wear a tie, and likes to dress in blue jeans and T-shirts. He is said to take a very active part in the production and design process in the company.
When he made a public appearance in 2000 – as part of the warm-up prior to floating his company on the stock market in 2001 – it made headlines in the Spanish financial press. However, he has never given an interview, and his secrecy has led to the publication of books such as Amancio Ortega: DE CERO A ZARA (From Zero to Zara).
Amancio Ortega, announced his imminent retirement from the fast-fashion giant Inditex, parent company of the Zara chain, stating that he will ask Inditex vice-president and CEO Pablo Isla to take his place at the helm of the textile empire.
Lakshmi Mittal – 6th place
Lakshmi Mittal (born 15 June 1950) is an Indian steel magnate. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of ArcelorMittal, the worlds largest steelmaking company.
Lakshmi Mittal is the richest man in India, Asia and the United Kingdom, and second in Europe and is presently the sixth richest individual in the world with a personal wealth of US$31.1 billion. He is the 44th “most powerful person” of the 68 individuals named in Forbes’s Most Powerful People list. His daughter Vanisha Mittal’s wedding was the most expensive in the recorded history of the world.
Lakshmi Mittal is an independent director of Goldman Sachs, member of Board of Directors to Goldman Sachs Media/Film IP Group, member of the Board of Directors of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, World Steel Association, Foreign Investment Council in Kazakhstan, the International Investment Council in South Africa, the Investors’ Council to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the World Economic Forums International Business Council, the World Steel Association’s Executive Committee, the Presidential International Advisory Board of Mozambique and the International Iron and Steel Institutes Executive Committee.
In 2006, Financial Times named him “Person of the Year”. In 2007, Time magazine included him in their “100 most influential persons in the world”.
Larry Ellison – 5th place
Lawrence Joseph “Larry” Ellison (born August 17, 1944) is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Oracle Corporation, one of the world’s leading enterprise software companies. As of 2011, he is the third wealthiest American citizen, with an estimated worth of $33 billion.
In 2005, Oracle paid Larry Ellison a $975,000 salary, a $6,500,000 bonus, and other compensation of $955,100. In 2007, Larry Ellison earned a total compensation of $61,180,524, which included a base salary of $1,000,000, a cash bonus of $8,369,000, and options granted of $50,087,100. In 2008, he earned a total compensation of $84,598,700, which included a base salary of $1,000,000, a cash bonus of $10,779,000, no stocks granted, and options granted of $71,372,700. In the year ending May 31, 2009 he made $56.8 million.
For a short period in 2000, Larry Ellison was the richest man in the world.
In 2006, Forbes ranked him as the richest Californian.
On July 2, 2009, for the fourth year in a row, Oracle’s Board awarded Larry Ellison another 7 million stock options.
On August 22, 2009, it was reported that Larry Ellison would be paid only $1 for his base salary for the fiscal year of 2010, down from the $1,000,000 he was paid in fiscal 2009.
As of March 10, 2010, Larry Ellison was listed on the Forbes list of billionaires as the sixth richest person in the world.Larry Ellison is the third richest American, with an estimated net worth of US $28 billion.
On July 27, 2010, The Wall Street Journal reported that Larry Ellison was the best-paid executive in the last decade, collecting a total compensation of US $1.84 billion.
Bernard Arnault – 4th place
Bernard Arnault(born 5 March 1949) is a French business magnate who is best known as the chairman and CEO of the French conglomerate LVMH. According to Forbes Magazine, Arnault is the world’s 4th and Europe’s richest person, with a 2011 net worth of US$41 billion.
In 1987, shortly after the creation of LVMH, Mr Arnault exploited a growing conflict between Alain Chevalier, Moet Hennessy’s CEO, and Henri Racamier, president of Louis Vuitton. The new group held property rights to Dior perfumes, which Arnault craved to incorporate into Dior Couture. He created a holding company of which he owned 60% and Guinness, who had a distribution agreement with Moet-Hennessy, owned 40%. Following the October 1987 stock market crash, he capitalized on the lower quoted price and soon owned 43% of LVMH. He then consolidated his position by purging executives from both companies including appointing his father Jean Leon Arnault Chairman of the Supervisory board before officially taking over as Chairman & CEO in 1989.
In 2007, he acquired 10.69% of France’s largest supermarket retailer and the world’s second largest food distributor, Carrefour through his Blue Capital, which is jointly owned by California property firm Colony Capital.
He has since then led the company through an ambitious development plan, turning it into one of the largest luxury groups in the world, alongside Swiss luxury giant Richemont and French based PPR Group.
Among other companies, Arnault also owned the art auction house Phillips de Pury & Company from 1999 to 2003.
Warren Buffett – 3rd place
Warren Edward Buffett (born August 30, 1930) is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is widely regarded as one of the most successful investors in the world. Often introduced as “legendary investor, Warren Buffett”, he is the primary shareholder, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people. He was ranked as the world’s wealthiest person in 2008 and is the third wealthiest person in the world as of 2011.
Buffett is called the “Wizard of Omaha”, “Oracle of Omaha” or the “Sage of Omaha” and is noted for his adherence to the value investing philosophy and for his personal frugality despite his immense wealth. Buffett is also a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the Bill Gates Foundation. He also serves as a member of the board of trustees at Grinnell College.
In 2008, Buffett became the richest man in the world dethroning Bill Gates, worth $62 billion according to Forbes, and $58 billion according to Yahoo. Bill Gates had been number one on the Forbes list for 13 consecutive years. In 2009, Bill Gates regained number one of the list according to Forbes magazine, with Buffett second. Their values have dropped to $40 billion and $37 billion respectively, Buffett having (according to Forbes) lost $25 billion in 12 months during 2008/2009.
In 2008 he was ranked by Forbes as the richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of approximately US$62 billion. In 2009, after donating billions of dollars to charity, Buffett was ranked as the second richest man in the United States with a net worth of US$37 billion with only Bill Gates ranked higher than Buffett. His net worth is up to $47 billion in the past 12 months.
Numerous books have been written about Warren Buffett and his investment strategies. In October 2008, USA Today reported that there were at least 47 books in print with Buffett’s name in the title. The article quoted the CEO of Borders Books, George Jones, as saying that the only other living persons named in as many book titles were U.S. presidents, major world political figures, and the Dalai Lama. Buffett said that his own personal favorite is a collection of his essays called The Essays of Warren Buffett, which he described as “a coherent rearrangement of ideas from my annual report letters” as edited by Larry Cunningham.
Bill Gates – 2nd place
William Henry “Bill” Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author. Gates is the former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen. He is consistently ranked among the world’s wealthiest people and was the wealthiest overall from 1995 to 2009, excluding 2008, when he was ranked third. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of CEO and chief software architect, and remains the largest individual shareholder, with 6.4 percent of the common stock. He has also authored or co-authored several books.
Bill Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution.Bill Gates has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion which has in some cases been upheld by the courts. In the later stages of his career, Gates has pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000.
Bill Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January 2000. He remained as chairman and created the position of chief software architect. In June 2006, Bill Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work, and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He gradually transferred his duties to Ray Ozzie, chief software architect, and Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer. Gates’ last full-time day at Microsoft was June 27, 2008. He remains at Microsoft as non-executive chairman.
Bill Gates was number one on the Forbes 400 list from 1993 through to 2007 and number one on Forbes list of The World’s Richest People from 1995 to 2007 and 2009. In 1999, Gates’s wealth briefly surpassed $101 billion, causing the media to call him a “centibillionaire”. Since 2000, the nominal value of his Microsoft holdings has declined due to a fall in Microsoft’s stock price after the dot-com bubble burst and the multi-billion dollar donations he has made to his charitable foundations. In a May 2006 interview, Gates commented that he wished that he were not the richest man in the world because he disliked the attention it brought. Gates has several investments outside Microsoft, which in 2006 paid him a salary of $616,667 and $350,000 bonus totalling $966,667. He founded Corbis, a digital imaging company, in 1989. In 2004 he became a director of Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company headed by long-time friend Warren Buffett. In March 2010 Bill Gates was bumped down to the second wealthiest man behind Carlos Slim Helu.
Carlos Slim Helu – 1st place
Carlos Slim Helu (born January 28, 1940) is a Mexican business magnate and philanthropist who as of 2011 is the richest man in the world, for the second year in a row. He is the chairman and chief executive of telecommunications companies Telmex and America Movil and has extensive holdings in other Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso SAB, as well as business interests elsewhere in the world.
America Movil, which in 2010 was Latin America’s largest mobile-phone carrier, accounted for around US$49 billion of Slim’s wealth by the end of 2010. His corporate holdings as of March 2011 have been estimated at US$74 billion.
On March 29, 2007, Slim surpassed Warren Buffett as the world’s second richest person with an estimated net worth of $53.1 billion compared to Buffet’s $52.4 billion.
On August 4, 2007, The Wall Street Journal ran a cover story profiling Slim. The article said, “While the market value of his stake in publicly traded companies could decline at any time, at the moment he is probably wealthier than Bill Gates”. According to The Wall Street Journal, Slim credits part of his ability to “discover investment opportunities” early to the writings of his friend, futurist author Alvin Toffler.
On August 8, 2007, Fortune reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as the world’s richest man. Slim’s estimated fortune soared to $59 billion, based on the value of his public holdings at the end of July. Bill Gates net worth was estimated to be at least $58 billion.
On March 5, 2008, Forbes ranked Slim as the world’s second-richest person, behind Warren Buffett and ahead of Bill Gates.
On March 11, 2009, Forbes ranked Slim as the world’s third-richest person, behind Gates and Buffett and ahead of Larry Ellison.
On March 10, 2010, Forbes once again reported that Slim had overtaken Gates as the world’s richest man, with a net worth of $53.5 billion. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett now have a net worth of $53 billion and $47 billion respectively. He was the first Mexican to top the list. It was the first time in 16 years that the person on top of the list was not from the United States. It was also the first time the person at the top of the list was from an “emerging economy.”
In March 2011, Forbes stated that Slim had maintained his position as the wealthiest person in the world, with his fortune estimated at $74 billion.
The Indian Aviation Industry is going through very bad phase. Most of the airlines are in red including State owned Air India and private airlines with the exception of Indigo Airlines.
Experienced pilots hired in the last three years in India to work new international routes describe “Air India” an airline with problems.
Passengers have abandoned Air India in droves, shunning the airline because of its reputation for poor customer service and late flights. Formerly this nation’s monopoly carrier, Air India has been surpassed commercial Indian airlines — Jet Airways, Kingfisher and IndiGo — among those that have sprung up since India deregulated the domestic industry nearly two decades ago. Air India now has less than 15 per cent of India’s domestic air travel market, with many empty seats on the flights that do take off.
As a result, Air India lost more than $1 billion in taxpayer money in the fiscal year (2010-2011). And now there is a growing public clamour for the government to go out of the airline business.
Spokesmen for Air India defend the airline as safe and say it is working to correct its problems. And the nation’s new civil aviation minister, Vayalar Ravi has stated that there is no question of Air India being shut or privatised and government will not give up the airline.
The airline had been mismanaged in the past .Nothing came positive of the merger in 2007 of India’s domestic and international state-run airlines. Air India bought too many planes.
Air India’s image was not helped recent10-day pilots’ strike over salaries. It ended with a government pledge to raise pay — but not before the work stoppage had caused cancellation of nearly 1,500 flights and added almost $50 million to Air India’s mounting losses.
Hoping to win back customers, Air India is slashing fares and planning to expand, even though it loses money on 95 per cent of its flights. Analysts say the prospect of a fare war threatens to destabilise the entire Indian Airline industry and to erase the previous predictions carriers of profits this year.
For many of those who joined Air India, the culture clash has been severe. Dozens left before their three-year contracts expired. Of the 186 foreign pilots hired since April 2007, Air India has just 36 left, the company said.
Air India, with its subsidiary, Air India Express, has about 1,600 pilots and a fleet of more than 120 aircraft making more than 300 flights a day. But pilots’ schedules are still made in a giant ledger.
Air India was free of major accidents for a decade — until a May 2010 crash in Mangalore that killed 158 people. The captain, a Serbian, came into the landing too high and did not abort it when he should have.
As Kingfisher Airlines careens toward collapse, the Indian government finds itself between a rock and a hard place.
The government will face political heat if it tries to rescue a money-losing private carrier especially one owned by a flamboyant liquor baron.
If it lets Vijay Mallya’s airline fail, however, the government will hurt state-run banks, which own about a fifth of Kingfisher’s shares and three-quarters of its $1.3 billion debt.
Kingfisher is struggling with fewer flights and pilots, staff demoralised by unpaid salaries, and outstanding dues to aircraft lessors, oil companies, airports and tax authorities.
It needs at least $400 million quickly to keep flying, figures Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), a consultancy firm. Mallya’s plans to raise funds through a share sale have been stalled and he has been lobbying the government to get state-run banks to lend more.
The fast clip at which the government has moved to change regulations in the past two months – airlines can now directly import fuel, lowering their costs, and private carriers can fly overseas more – has lifted expectations that Mallya may eventually win the help he needs from the government.
A government bailout for a private carrier would not go down well with the public in India, where airlines are still not the common man’s preferred mode of travel. Conscious of that, the government insists it is not looking to bail Kingfisher out.
Saving a private airline would be risky for government, which has faced pressure from allies, political opponents and civil activists for more than a year over graft.
Mallya, whose liquor business clout helped win him a seat in the upper house of parliament two years ago, could use his political ties to save the carrier he started in 2005.
Allowing foreign carriers to buy a stake in Indian carriers is probably the key policy step Kingfisher desperately wants the government to take. Unlike in 2007, when ailing airlines were bought over by Kingfisher and Jet Airways ,there are no domestic carriers circling to buy up rivals today.
Foreign carriers have shown little interest so far in investing in the Indian airline sector, which has grown by 17 percent in 2011 but intense competition has driven five out of six local carriers to massive losses.
As per estimates , Indian carriers are on course to post cumulative losses of up to $3 billion for financial 2011/12.
FDI is not the answer to all the problems. Indian carriers need to resolve the fundamental issues of excess capacity, high cost structures and unviable pricing strategies.
Dreams Turn Sour
After India embraced economic reforms two decades ago, a slew of private carriers rose in the Indian skies and then ran into the ground.
Modiluft, East West, NEPC Airlines and several others shut down operations within a few years of their launch for reasons ranging from inability to manage cost to funding concerns.
Mallya, who had so far run a very successful liquor empire – turning it into the world’s second-largest by volume through acquisitions – probably chose to ignore past lessons.
He took pride in getting a five-star rating for his airline, making it the first Indian carrier to provide passengers with a personal video screen, offered a superior level of service and even hand-picked air hostesses himself.
For Mallya, who owns several yachts as well as cricket and Formula One teams, an airline was an extension of his persona.
In a rush to expand, Mallya acquired Air Deccan in 2007 for $220 million, a deal that saved the tottering low-cost carrier but over-leveraged Kingfisher.
Soon after, a global downturn hit Indian carriers hard, choking access to the equity market. Most airlines survived the crisis, but a debt mountain built up at Kingfisher and the top carrier, Jet Airways. Equity markets recovered, but Kingfisher failed to raise fresh funds.
This, along with operational losses partly due to high fuel costs – Kingfisher has never reported a profit – were crippling.
Questions have also been raised about its business model.
“India is a very price-sensitive market. In transportation, it is a volumes game; many of the frills do not matter in a short two-hour flight,” as per global consultancy firm KPMG.
What passengers really want is on-time performance (OTP), clean and safe aircraft, efficient service and low fares.”
Kingfisher now flies only 175 daily flights from a peak of 400 six months ago, with only 28 of its fleet of 64 operational. Lessors have started cancelling leases for planes, and the aircraft Kingfisher owns are mostly pledged with lenders.
An uncertain future and delayed salaries have driven away about 300 pilots and a few hundred other staff to rivals.
The carrier is also losing prime slots at key airports, which, along with a staff crunch, may prevent a quick return to normal operations even if it does survive this debt tsunami.
The company is now seeking to restructure its $1.3 billion debt, which may force lenders to take a writedown, extend fresh loans and make Mallya plough in fresh equity.
This has been in the works for six months, however, and it is unlikely an agreement can be reached in a hurry.
Kingfisher’s end, if it happens, would be the biggest failure in Indian aviation history and would impact the sector in the short term.
“If you see such a substantial number of seats being removed from the market suddenly, it will have a very adverse impact on the fares,” as per chief of India’s aviation regulator.
A collapse could also lead to thousands of job cuts and the withdrawal of flights on some loss-making routes that Kingfisher flies exclusively or shares with state-run Air India.
Kingfisher’s market share in domestic skies, which has halved to about one-tenth in recent months, will get divided among rivals, with the low-cost carriers benefitting most.
Ever since Air India and Kingfisher flew into turbulence, budget carriers’ market shares have increased dramatically.
If he falters and the government withdraws the life support, Kingfisher could run into the ground quickly. The failure would also dent Mallya’s image, crafted through the years with massive display of wealth, wine and women.
But business cycles can be cruel and those traditional values of caution and prudence take precedence over unfettered ambition.
The story of an Indian couple’s children being taken away by Norwegian social services on objections of them being fed by hand and sleeping in their parents’ bed has attracted worldwide attention and the intervention of the Indian government.
In May, 2011, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya’s children three-year-old Abhigyan and one-year-old Aishwarya were taken under protective care by Norwegian Child Welfare Services and they have been in foster care since. Norwegian authorities equate being fed by hand as force feeding and deem it inappropriate for parents to sleep with their children.
However, the parents say this is a purely cultural issue. We never leave the children in another room and say goodnight to them,” the father was quoted as saying.
The parents, who are not residents of Norway but on a visa which is due to expire in March 2012, lost the case in the Scandinavian country’s lower court which ruled the children would stay in foster care until they turned 18 and could only be visited once or twice a year.
The father, Anurup Bhattacharya, is working as a geo-physicist for Halliburton in the city of Stavanger.
Norway’s Child Protective Service is reportedly a powerful organization which has been charged with being overzealous in its efforts to protect the rights of children. “There has been a report in U.N. in 2005 which criticized Norway for taking too many children in public care. The number was 12,500 children and Norway is a small country.
Indian authorities have been in touch with their Norwegian counterparts in a bid to reunite the family and the case has attracted much media attention in India.
The Indian embassy in Oslo issued a press release in early January 2012 strongly condemning the removal of the children. The children’s grandparents met with Indian President Pratibha Patel who assured them that all efforts are being made to solve the issue.
Indian authorities are trying to persuade the Norwegians to hand over the children to the maternal grandparents after signing an undertaking in which they will state taking full responsibility of the young children.
Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna met Norwegian officials in Delhi reportedly to discuss this option. After the meeting Krishna was quoted as saying he was confident that “a reasonable assessment of the situation” can be worked out “at the earliest.”
The parents are anxious as the date for their visa expiration nears.
“We’ve appealed to the government that we’ll leave everything and go back to India. This is a nightmare in our lives. We want to bring back our kids. We were normal parents. There could be several upbringing issues because the culture is different,” the father quoted.
The head of Child Welfare Services in Stavanger denies that cultural differences may be at the heart of the matter.
“It is not true that the basis of the case is how the children were fed or were they sleep. Child Welfare Services rejects that cultural difference is the reason for the children being removed from their parents.
Negotiations are taking place to ensure the children will be able to return to India with their parents in March 2012.
“If we don’t find a solution, Child Welfare Services may seek residency for the children on a humanitarian basis. If the Stavanger Child Welfare Services chose to do so, it would be considered as a great insult to India.
According to a 2011 report by the Norwegian Statistic Central Bureau, children from immigrant parents have a three-time greater likelihood of being removed from their homes than other children.
The report showed 19 of every 1000 children born to immigrant parents was taken away from their family homes between 2004 and 2010.
The Child Welfare Service of Norway is responsible for protecting the rights and interests of children with a difficult family situation. The service seeks to ensure that children receive adequate care and to prevent them from being subjected to extreme physical and psychological stress.
The underlying principle governing all child welfare efforts is devotion to the child’s best interests. As a general rule, it is assumed that children will grow up with their biological parents. This biological criterion forms the foundation for Norwegian legislation regulating the relationship between children and parents. A child’s affiliation with its parents is considered to be a resource in and of itself.
The Child Welfare Service works to ensure that families have the best possible conditions for taking care of their children. Activities are preventative. Efforts are aimed at ensuring that children and young people are not excluded from community life within their neighbourhood environments.
Support and assistance
The Child Welfare Service is responsible for implementing measures for children and their families in situations where there are special needs in relation to the home environment. Assistance may be provided as counselling, advisory services, and aid measures, including external support contacts, relief measures in the home and access to day care.
Children are entitled to participate in decisions involving their personal welfare, and have the right to state their views in accordance with their age and level of maturity. This applies especially in cases where there are administrative and legal proceedings that will strongly affect the children’s day-to-day lives.
The child welfare services are required to take action if measures implemented in the home environment are not sufficient to safeguard the child’s needs. In such cases, the Child Welfare Service in consultation with the parents may place children under foster care, in a child welfare institution, or introduce specific parent-child measures. Removing a child from the home without parental consent requires a decision from the County Committee for Social Affairs on the basis of a recommendation submitted by the municipal authorities. The county committee is a government body with an autonomous position in relation to the ministry and the Office of the County Governor. Decisions taken by the county committee may only be overturned by the courts. The county committees are administered under the auspices of the Ministry of Children and Equality.
The municipal child welfare services are charged with monitoring the development of children who have been placed in care outside their homes as well as their parents.
Child welfare service employees are privy to a large amount of personal client information, and must comply with strict rules of confidentiality. However, information may be provided to other administrative agencies when this is necessary to carrying out child welfare service tasks.
The responsibilities and tasks of the child welfare authorities are stipulated in the Act relating to child welfare services. The overall responsibility for child welfare lies with the state through the Ministry of Children and Equality, while the administration of child welfare services is primarily carried out at the municipal level and through the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs.
The Service has been severely criticized by the Government of India for taking away two children of an Indian couple who are working in Norway.
Berit Aarset, who heads Human Rights Alert, Norway, has called the incident “state kidnapping.” She said, “This is not the first time such a thing is happening in Norway …the legal system favours the Child Welfare Services and they do what they want all the time….quite often when a Norwegian is married to a non-Norwegian they also do the same thing; they also do this to asylum seekers and in almost every case they say one of the parents have a mental problem just to make their case strong …that is what has happened in the Bhattacharya case too.”
Many times in past Child Welfare Services have been accused on violation of human rights for taking away children from their parents.
The main dilemma is how to provide for and protect children without intruding on the parent’s rights of privacy and their right to a family life of their own choosing
Every Indian wishes that the children be united with their parents at the earliest.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO, also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, and the organization constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. The alliance includes 28 members in North America and Europe, with the most recent being Albania and Croatia who joined in April 2009. An additional 22 countries participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace, with 15 other countries involved in institutionalized dialogue programs. The combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the world’s defence spending.
For its first few years, NATO was not much more than a political association. However, the Korean War galvanized the member states, and an integrated military structure was built up under the direction of two U.S. supreme commanders. The course of the Cold War lead to a rivalry with nations of the Warsaw Pact, formed in 1955. The first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay, stated in 1949 that the organization’s goal was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” Doubts over the strength of the relationship between the European states and the United States ebbed and flowed, along with doubts over the credibility of the NATO defence against a prospective Soviet invasion—doubts that led to the development of the independent French nuclear deterrent and the withdrawal of the French from NATO’s military structure in 1966.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the organization became drawn into the Breakup of Yugoslavia, and conducted their first military interventions in Bosnia from 1991 to 1995 and later Yugoslavia in 1999. Politically, the organization sought better relations with former Cold War rivals, which culminated with several former Warsaw Pact states joining the alliance in 1999 and 2004. The September 2001 attacks signalled the only occasion in NATO’s history that Article 5 of the North Atlantic treaty has been invoked as an attack on all NATO members. After the attack, troops were deployed to Afghanistan under the NATO-led ISAF, and the organization continues to operate in a range of roles, including sending trainers to Iraq, assisting in counter-piracy operations and most recently in 2011 enforced a no-fly zone over Libya in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1973.
Origins of the NATO
The Treaty of Brussels, signed on 17 March 1948 by Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and the United Kingdom, is considered the precursor to the NATO agreement. The treaty and the Soviet Berlin Blockade led to the creation of the Western European Union’s Defence Organization in September 1948. However, participation of the United States was thought necessary to counter the military power of the USSR, and talks for a new military alliance began almost immediately resulting in the North Atlantic Treaty, which was signed in Washington, D.C. on 4 April 1949. It included the five Treaty of Brussels states plus the United States, Canada, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Popular support for the Treaty was not unanimous, and some Icelanders commenced a pro-neutrality, anti-membership riot in March 1949.
The members agreed that an armed attack against any one of them in Europe or North America would be considered an attack against them all. Consequently they agreed that, if an armed attack occurred, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence, would assist the member being attacked, taking such action as it deemed necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. The treaty does not require members to respond militarily action against aggressor. Although obliged to respond, they maintain the freedom to choose the method. This differs from Article IV of the Treaty of Brussels, which clearly states that the response will be military in nature. It is nonetheless assumed that NATO members will aid the attacked member militarily. The treaty was later clarified to include both the member’s territory and their “vessels, forces or aircraft” above the Tropic of Cancer, including some Overseas departments of France.
The creation of NATO brought about some standardization of allied military terminology, procedures, and technology, which in many cases meant European countries adopting U.S. practices. The roughly 1300 Standardization Agreements codified many of the common practices that NATO has achieved. Hence, the 7.62×51 NATO rifle cartridge was introduced in the 1950s as a standard firearm cartridge among many NATO countries. Fabrique Nationale de Herstal’s FAL became the most popular 7.62 NATO rifle in Europe and served into the early 1990s.Also, aircraft marshalling signals were standardized, so that any NATO aircraft could land at any NATO base. Other standards such as the NATO phonetic alphabet have made their way beyond NATO into civilian use.
The outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 was crucial for NATO as it raised the apparent threat of all Communist countries working together, and forced the alliance to develop concrete military plans. The 1952 Lisbon conference, seeking to provide the forces necessary for NATO’s Long-Term Defence Plan, called for an expansion to ninety-six divisions. However this requirement was dropped the following year to roughly thirty-five divisions with heavier use to be made of nuclear weapons. At this time, NATO could call on about fifteen ready divisions in Central Europe, and another ten in Italy and Scandinavia. Also at Lisbon, the post of Secretary General of NATO as the organization’s chief civilian was created, and Baron Hastings Ismay eventually appointed to the post.
The German Bundeswehr provided the largest element of the allied land forces guarding the frontier in Central Europe; 12 of 26 divisions in 1985.
In September 1952, the first major NATO maritime exercises began; Operation Mainbrace brought together 200 ships and over 50,000 personnel to practice the defence of Denmark and Norway. Other major exercises that followed included Operation Grand Slam, NATO’s first naval exercise in the Mediterranean Sea, ‘Mariner,’ which involved convoy protection, naval control of shipping, and striking fleet operations in the North Atlantic, Italic Weld, a combined air-naval-ground exercise in northern Italy, Grand Repulse, involving the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR), the Netherlands Corps and Allied Air Forces Central Europe (AAFCE), Monte Carlo a simulated atomic air-ground exercise involving the Central Army Group, and Weldfast, a combined amphibious landing exercise in the Mediterranean Sea involving British, Greek, Italian, Turkish, and U.S. naval forces.
Greece and Turkey also joined the alliance in 1952, forcing a series of controversial negotiations, in which the United States and Britain were the primary disputants, over how to bring the two countries into the military command structure. While this overt military preparation was going on, covert stay-behind arrangements initially made by the Western European Union to continue resistance after a successful Soviet invasion, including Operation Gladio, were transferred to NATO control. Ultimately unofficial bonds began to grow between NATO’s armed forces, such as the NATO Tiger Association and competitions such as the Canadian Army Trophy for tank gunnery.
In 1954, the Soviet Union suggested that it should join NATO to preserve peace in Europe. The NATO countries, fearing that the Soviet Union’s motive was to weaken the alliance, ultimately rejected this proposal. The incorporation of West Germany into the organization on 9 May 1955 was described as “a decisive turning point in the history of our continent” by Halvard Lange, Foreign Affairs Minister of Norway at the time. A major reason for Germany’s entry into the alliance was that without German manpower, it would have been impossible to field enough conventional forces to resist a Soviet invasion. One of its immediate results was the creation of the Warsaw Pact, which was signed on 14 May 1955 by the Soviet Union, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, and East Germany, as a formal response to this event, thereby delineating the two opposing sides of the Cold War.
Three major exercises were held concurrently in the northern autumn of 1957. Operation Counter Punch, Operation Strike back, and Operation Deep Water were the most ambitious military undertaking for the alliance to date, involving more than 250,000 men, 300 ships, and 1,500 aircraft operating from Norway to Turkey.
After the Cold War
The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991 removed the de facto main adversary of NATO. This caused a strategic re-evaluation of NATO’s purpose, nature and tasks. In practice this ended up entailing a gradual expansion of NATO to Eastern Europe, as well as the extension of its activities to areas that had not formerly been NATO concerns.
Reforms made under Mikhail Gorbachev led to the end of the Warsaw Pact.
The first post–Cold War expansion of NATO came with German reunification on 3 October 1990, when the former East Germany became part of the Federal Republic of Germany and the alliance. This had been agreed in the Two Plus Four Treaty earlier in the year. To secure Soviet approval of a united Germany remaining in NATO, it was agreed that foreign troops and nuclear weapons would not be stationed in the east. The scholar Stephen F. Cohen argued in 2005 that a commitment was given that NATO would never expand further east, but according to Robert Zoellick, then a State Department official involved in the Two Plus Four negotiating process, this appears to be a misperception; no formal commitment of the sort was made. In May 2008, Gorbachev repeated his view that such a commitment had been made, and that “the Americans promised that NATO wouldn’t move beyond the boundaries of Germany after the Cold War”.
As part of post–Cold War restructuring, NATO’s military structure was cut back and reorganized, with new forces such as the Headquarters Allied Command Europe Rapid Reaction Corps established. The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe agreed between NATO and the Warsaw Pact and signed in Paris in 1990, mandated specific reductions. The changes brought about by the collapse of the Soviet Union on the military balance in Europe were recognized in the Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, which was signed in 1999. The policies of French President Nicolas Sarkozy have resulted in a major reform of France’s military position, culminating with the return to full membership on 4 April 2009, which also included France rejoining the integrated military command of NATO, while maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent.
NATO has added 12 new members since German Reunification and the end of the Cold War.
New NATO structures were also formed while old ones were abolished: The NATO Response Force (NRF) was launched at the 2002 Prague summit on 21 November, the first summit in a former Comecon country. On 19 June 2003, a major restructuring of the NATO military commands began as the Headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic were abolished and a new command, Allied Command Transformation (ACT), was established in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) became the Headquarters of Allied Command Operations (ACO). ACT is responsible for driving transformation (future capabilities) in NATO, whilst ACO is responsible for current operations.
Membership went on expanding with the accession of seven more Northern and Eastern European countries to NATO: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania. They were first invited to start talks of membership during the 2002 Prague Summit, and joined NATO on 29 March 2004, shortly before the 2004 Istanbul summit. The same month, NATO’s Baltic Air Policing began, which supported the sovereignty of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia by providing fighters to react to any unwanted aerial intrusions. Four fighters are based in Lithuania, provided in rotation by virtually all the NATO states. Operation Peaceful Summit temporarily enhanced this patrolling during the 2006 Riga summit.
The 2006 Riga summit was held in Riga, Latvia, which had joined the Atlantic Alliance two years earlier. It is the first NATO summit to be held in a country that was part of the Soviet Union. Energy Security was one of the main themes of the Riga Summit. At the April 2008 summit in Bucharest, Romania, NATO agreed to the accession of Croatia and Albania and invited them to join. Both countries joined NATO in April 2009. Ukraine and Georgia were also told that they will eventually become members.
Like any alliance, NATO is ultimately governed by its 28 member states. However, the North Atlantic Treaty, and other agreements, outline how decisions are to be made within NATO. Each of the 28 members sends a delegation or mission to NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. The senior permanent member of each delegation is known as the Permanent Representative and is generally a senior civil servant or an experienced ambassador (and holding that diplomatic rank). Several countries have diplomatic missions to NATO through embassies in Belgium.
Together, the Permanent Members form the North Atlantic Council (NAC), a body which meets together at least once a week and has effective governance authority and powers of decision in NATO. From time to time the Council also meets at higher level meetings involving foreign ministers, defence ministers or heads of state or government (HOSG) and it is at these meetings that major decisions regarding NATO’s policies are generally taken. However, it is worth noting that the Council has the same authority and powers of decision-making, and its decisions have the same status and validity, at whatever level it meets. NATO summits also form a further venue for decisions on complex issues, such as enlargement.
The meetings of the North Atlantic Council are chaired by the Secretary General of NATO and, when decisions have to be made, action is agreed upon on the basis of unanimity and common accord. There is no voting or decision by majority. Each nation represented at the Council table or on any of its subordinate committees retains complete sovereignty and responsibility for its own decisions.
List of Secretaries General
General Lord Ismay
4 April 1952 – 16 May 1957
16 May 1957 – 21 April 1961
21 April 1961 – 1 August 1964
1 August 1964 – 1 October 1971
1 October 1971 – 25 June 1984
25 June 1984 – 1 July 1988
1 July 1988 – 13 August 1994
Sergio Balanzino (acting)
13 August 1994 – 17 October 1994
17 October 1994 – 20 October 1995
Sergio Balanzino (acting)
20 October 1995 – 5 December 1995
5 December 1995 – 6 October 1999
14 October 1999 – 17 December 2003
Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo (acting)
17 December 2003 – 1 January 2004
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
1 January 2004 – 1 August 2009
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
1 August 2009–present
NATO Parliamentary Assembly
NATO Ministers of Defense and of Foreign Affairs meet at NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The body that sets broad strategic goals for NATO is the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO-PA) which meets at the Annual Session, and one other during the year, and is the organ that directly interacts with the parliamentary structures of the national governments of the member states which appoint Permanent Members, or ambassadors to NATO. The NATO Parliamentary Assembly is made up of legislators from the member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance as well as thirteen associate members. Karl A. Lamers, German Deputy Chairman of the Defence Committee of the Bundestag and a member of the Christian Democratic Union, became president of the assembly in 2010. It is however officially a different structure from NATO, and has as aim to join together deputies of NATO countries in order to discuss security policies on the NATO Council.
The Assembly is the political integration body of NATO that generates political policy agenda setting for the NATO Council via reports of its five committees:
Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security
Defence and Security Committee
Economics and Security Committee
Science and Technology Committee
These reports provide impetus and direction as agreed upon by the national governments of the member states through their own national political processes and influencers to the NATO administrative and executive organizational entities.
An Israeli diplomat Tal Yehoshua (40), wife of a Israeli Defence Attache, who herself is a diplomat and working in the mission, was critically injured in the explosion and underwent surgeries to remove splinters from her spine and in New Delhi on 13th February 2012.
She sustained multiple shrapnel injuries. Because of the explosion, sharp metal objects were found in her liver, lungs and spinal cord. Bystanders dragged the Israeli diplomat and her Indian driver from their burning car, after a hitman on a motorbike fixed a suspected magnet bomb to the silver Toyota as it slowed for a junction.
The blast came the same day when a bomb was discovered on an Israeli diplomat’s car in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.
On 14th February 2012 three Iranians accidentally blew up their house in Thailand.
Israeli authorities said the similarity between their explosives and the two earlier bombs linked Iran to all three incidents.
Israel has accused Iran of being the world’s “biggest exporter of terror.”
The bomb plots in New Delhi and Tbilisi also fell between anniversaries of the deaths of two top militants from Hezbollah, the militant group which has close ties to Iran. The anniversary sparks annual travel warnings from Israel.
There had been a number of attempts to harm Israelis and Jews in recent months in places such as Thailand and Azerbaijan, in a series of plots coordinated by Iran and Hezbollah.
Israelis both at home and abroad are “a target for terrorists”
India, which is no stranger to militant attacks, ordered security to be tightened at diplomatic missions. Indian authorities strongly condemned the incident and the terrorist attack to be fully investigated and the culprits will be brought to justice.
The last militant strike in New Delhi was in September 2011, when a bomb outside the High Court killed 14 people — one of a series of blasts that has shaken public confidence in the government’s counter-terror capabilities.
The hostility between Iran and Israel, and between Iran and most Western nations generally, dates from the revolution that brought in the present Islamic republic more than three decades ago.
In 1979 The Islamic revolution led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini send the Shah into exile and lead to the creation of an Islamic republic. Diplomatic relations with Israel and the United States were severed.
Although informal trade relations continue, the Islamic regime considers Israel an illegal occupier of Jerusalem, a city that is holy for Muslims, Jews and Christians alike and describes it as the “enemy.”
The advent of the new Iranian regime gives a boost to groups hostile to Israel, including the Islamic Jihad, which is to become influential among Palestinians and also in Lebanon.
Many but not all of Iran’s Jewish citizens-the largest such population in the region outside Israel-leave after the Islamic revolution.
In 1980-88 Iran embroiled in a war with Iraq, then under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein.
Although the Western powers generally tilt towards the Iraqis, it is later revealed that the United States has secretly supplied Iran with arms and used the money to fund counter-revolutionaries in Nicaragua.
As part of the deal, which becomes known as the “Iran-Contra scandal,” Israel provides some 1,500 missiles to Iran.
In 1982 at the height of the Lebanese civil war Israel invaded Lebanon, citing the need to halt Palestinian attacks on its territory from there.
The Israeli occupation heightens Iran’s involvement in Lebanon. Iran’s Guardians of the Revolution pay a key role in setting up the Lebanese Hezbollah organisation, which in 2000 will secure the departure of the last Israeli troops from the border zone.
Between 1992 and 1994 Israel blamed Iran for deadly bombings aimed at Jewish targets in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires. Investigations into the attacks are still ongoing.
In 2000 along with major Western countries, Israel says it suspects Iran of using a civilian nuclear programme to secretly develop atomic weapons. Israel itself is widely believed to possess such weapons.
In 2005 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president of Iran. He quickly got into the habit of making hostile statements about Israel. One comment is widely translated into English as meaning that the Jewish state should be “wiped off the map.”
In 2010 Western powers increasingly hint that military means could be used against Iran’s nuclear programme, most of which is housed in deep underground bunkers. Israel is widely reported to be preparing such an attack.
Over the same period several leading Iranian nuclear scientists are murdered inside the country.
Five Indian States- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand and Manipur went for assembly elections in Feb 2012 and the results were declared on 6th March 2012.
Samajwadi Party (SP) put up its best-ever performance with a stunning majority routing Mayawati-led BSP, the third time a party captured power on its own in the state in two decades.
SP, which was ousted from power in 2007 on law and order issues, avenged its defeat at the hands of BSP which was reduced to 80 seats from 206 five years ago.
The Mulayam Singh Yadav-led party has captured 224 seats in the 403-member assembly.
BJP was placed in third spot with 47 seats while Congress was relegated to fourth place with a tally of 28 seats.
While BJP this time lost four seats from its 2007 tally, Congress improved its position marginally from what it was five years ago.
SP’s previous best performance was winning 143 seats in 2002 elections in a triangular contest with BSP and BJP.
The party’s impressive performance could be gauged from the fact that it not only snatched seats from BSP but also made inroads into the stronghold of BJP like Lucknow.
However, the biggest upset has been the dismal performance of Congress, especially in Uttar Pradesh. Gandhi family scion Rahul Gandhi had personally micro-managed the poll campaign and had staked his prestige to see his party emerge from its 22-year hibernation in the politically crucial state.
Though the party’s tally has improved slightly as compared to 2007 when it had won 22 seats, several of its stalwarts lost this time.
The party performed poorly even in the bastion of Nehru-Gandhi family–Rae Bareli and Amethi Lok Sabha constituencies represented by Sonia Gandhi and Rahul respectively.
While the party lost all the five seats in Rae Bareli, Lok Sabha constituency, it was defeated in three out of the five constituencies in Amethi.
BSP, whose rule was marred by allegations of corruption and scam, failed to make much of an impact on the electorate despite operation clean-up by party supremo and CM Mayawati.
The results were encouraging for Peace Party of India, whose three candidates state president Ayub, Akhilesh Singh and Yusuf Mullick emerged victorious.
The elections, which have taken place in the middle of the last Lok Sabha election in 2009 and the next in 2014, are being considered some sort of “semi-final” for the UPA and NDA.
People in Uttar Pradesh once again proved that they prefer their “own people” rather any “charismatic” “unknown” leader and the people also showed that they are no more ready to be surrounded with Maya-jal. Samajwadi Party swiped out Congress and BSP completely in the state.
2012 UP Assembly Election Results
Total Number of seats: 403
BSP : 80
SP : 224
Cong : 28
BJP : 47
Others : 24
Results in the previous Elections 2007
Total Number of seats: 402
BSP : 206
SP : 97
BJP+ : 51
Cong+ : 22
RLD : 10
Others : 16
For the first time in the last forty years, Punjab has given a second consecutive term to a party in power. The alliance of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP will return to office with 68 of the 117 seats. The Congress, which had hoped that the anti-incumbency habit in the state would push it into government, was left with 46 seats.
Parkash Singh Badal who is 84 who will continue as Chief Minister, will begin his fifth term as head of the Punjab government.
He said he owes today to his 50-year-old son, Sukhbir, who was made party president in 2008 and deputy chief minister in 2009. That appointment left the Badals wide open to allegations of nepotism. It wasn’t just outsiders who took aim. The chief minister’s nephew, Manpreet, who was Finance Minister, gathered his supporters and quit the Akali Dal. He set up the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP); the party today failed to win a single seat, and Manpreet lost both the constituencies he contested, one of which he has won four times in the past. “Manpreet has committed a Himalayan blunder and political suicide,” said his estranged uncle today. Manpreet’s father, Gurudas, lost his deposit in his election.
The Akalis’ victory is being attributed to the party’s focus on development. The BJP has done worse in these elections than last time – it has got 12 seats. But the Akalis say this does not make their partner a liability. “Last time, they won 19 of the 23 seats they were assigned,” said Naresh Gujral, Rajya Sabha MP. “They could not have repeated that performance.”
The Badals’ appeal was also undented by the influential religious sect Dera Sacha Sauda lending its support to the Congress.
The Congress candidate for chief minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, had this morning predicted his party would defeat the Akalis. He won his seat, but his son, Raninder Singh, lost his constituency.
2012 Punjab Assembly Election Results
Total Number of seats: 117
Akali Dal : 56
Congress : 46
BJP : 12
Others : 3
Results in the previous Elections 2007
Total Number of seats: 116
Akali Dal : 67
Cong : 44
Others : 5 Manipur The Congress in Manipur braved all odds to make it to a third consecutive term by winning 42 of the 60 seats.
The Trinamool Congress won seven seats followed by the Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF) with four seats. The Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP) had won four seats, while the Nationalist Congress Party managed just a solitary seat.
There was jubilation in Congress camps across the state after Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh retained his Thoubal seat, defeating his rival from the BJP Indira Oinam by a huge margin of over 15,000 votes.
Following suit, Ibobi Singh’s wife Landhoni Devi also won the Khangabok seat by defeating rival Jatra Singh of Manipur People’s Party (MPP) by a huge margin of over 9,000 votes. Khangabok was the constituency of the Chief Minister earlier.
Opposition parties received a severe setback after three leaders, Radhabinod Koijam of the NCP, O Joy Singh and Th Chaoba Singh of MPP, lost to their rivals. Koijam, who is the leader of the Opposition in the outgoing Manipur assembly, is a former chief minister. Koijam was instrumental for bringing the 11 non-congress parties under one anti-Congress alliance – Peoples’ Democratic Alliance (PDA).
Okram Ibobi Singh will be the second Chief Minister in the northeast to make it to the top seat for the third consecutive time in recent times after Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
While the Gogoi brought the party to power in Assam in 2001, 2006 and 2011, Ibobi Singh had single-handedly brought the Congress to power in Manipur in 2002 and in 2007.
In Manipur, the Congress had a tough battle this time as at least 11 non-Congress parties have formed an alliance to stop the Congress from coming to power. The non-Congress parties included the NCP, Manipur People’s Party (MPP), CPI, CPI-M, JD-U, National People’s Party (NPP), Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP), Trinamool Congress, Lok Jana Shakti Party, BJP and the Naga People’s Front (NPF).
What had made it worse for the Congress is the fact that at least seven militant outfits had imposed a ban on the party. The militants also attacked several Congress candidates and supporters ahead of the Jan 28 polls.
2012 Manipur Assembly Election Results
Total Number of seats: 60
Congress : 42
Trinamool Congress : 7
Nationalist Congress party : 1
Others : 10
Results in the previous Elections 2007
Total Number of seats: 60
Congress : 30
MPP : 5
Ind : 10
Others : 15 Goa
The BJP has swept the Congress out of power in Goa, crossing the majority and notching 23 seats and leading in one. Chief Minister Digamber Kamat has, meanwhile, submitted his resignation. Goa BJP leader Manohar Parrikar declared that he will most likely be the next chief minister of the state.
He said, “The Congress has been punished in Goa. I am proud of the fact that I got support from Hindus, Muslims and Christians alike. They have voted to save Goa.”
The Congress has so far won 9 seats.
The United Goan Democratic Party (UGDP), meanwhile, has won 2 seats, and the Independents have bagged 5 seats.
BJP President Nitin Gadkari said at a press conference in Delhi that “even minorities” had voted in favour of the party.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that the “illegal mining factor” seemed to have turned the tide in the BJP’s favour.
Eight of the 11 Cabinet ministers who contested the Assembly elections have had to bite the dust after a massive anti-incumbency wave knocked out the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance, results of the vote-count showed Tuesday.
Among the key candidates to lose the polls are home minister Ravi Naik (Ponda), public works department minister Churchill Alemao (Navelim), power minister Aleixo Sequeira (Nuvem), urban development minister Joaquim Alemao (Cuncolim), forest minister Filipe Neri (Velim) and Babu Azgaonkar (Pernem), all from the Congress.
The two nationalist Congress party (NCP) ministers, Jose Philip D’Souza (Vasco) and Nilkanth Halarnkar (Thivim) have lost the polls. The NCP, which fielded seven candidates, is yet to open its account in the elections.
The only cabinet ministers to have won the elections are chief minister Digambar Kamat, health minister Vishwajit Rane and education minister Atanasio Monserrate.
The only other minister in the Kamat-led 12-member cabinet was transport minister Sudin Dhavalikar, a member of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, which aligned with the BJP in a pre-poll alliance.
‘Family raj’, a major issue in the Goa polls, worked against the Congress as three of the candidates from Alemao family – Churchil Aleamo (Navelim), his bother Joaquim (Cuncolim) and daughter Valanka suffered defeat in Benaulim.
Similarly, Congress MLA Pandurang Madkaikar’s brother Daku Madkaikar contesting from Priol also suffered defeat at the hands of MGP.
BJP leaders who won included Ganesh Gaonkar from Sanvordem, Mahadev Naik from Siroda, Kiran Kandolkar from Tivim and Anant Shet from Maem. Ramesh Tawadkar and Nilesh Cabral are other party leaders leading from their respective constituencies.
BJP has managed to gain seats in most of the Congress dominated constituencies like Aldona, Calangute, Sanvordem, Tivim, Vasco, Cotalim, Curchorem and others.
MGP President Dipak Dhavalikar said the combination will stake claim to form the government. “We will form the government in the next two days,” he said, adding BJP’s Manohar Parrikar is the preferred chief ministerial candidate.
2012 Goa Assembly Election Results
Total Number of seats: 40
BJP : 21
Congress : 9
MGP : 3
Others : 7
Results in the previous Elections 2007
Total Number of seats: 40
Cong : 16
BJP : 14
NCP : 3
MG : 2
SGF : 2
UGDP : 1
Uttarakhand proved to be a of a contest with the Congress emerging as the single largest party winning 32 seats, securing a wafer-thin lead over ruling BJP’s 31 in the 70-member Assembly. As the counting progressed during the day, the state witnessed a see-saw battle in which the leads shifted continuously. BSP won three seats and three independents emerged successful, thus positioning themselves as possible kingmakers. Uttarakhand Kranti Dal-Panwar (UKD-P) won one seat.
One of the highlights of the election in the state was, obviously, Chief Minister BC Khanduri’s defeat from Kotdwar. Soon after after his loss, Khanduri said, “I am not in the race for CM.” BJP’s efforts to neutralise anti-incumbency in Uttarakhand by reinstalling Khanduri as the chief minister six months ahead of state elections did not pay off. Khanduri, who led the “Khanduri hain zaroori (Khanduri’s win is a must)” campaign of the BJP, lost to SS Negi of the Congress from Kotdwar seat by a margin of 4,632.
After winning the Blackberry case (as the company has setup its servers in India), the Indian government has now gone a step further by setting up an internet scanning agency which will seek to monitor all web traffic passing through internet service providers in the country.
The scanning agency to be called National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC), will issue ‘actionable alerts’ to government departments in cases of perceived security threats.
The government is planning to invest about INR 800 crore in the setup and wants to ensure that all tweets, Facebook status updates, emails are scanned by the agency.
A small view on the Blackberry case
INDIA–Experts say the recent controversy involving India and Canada-based Research In Motion’s (RIM) Blackberry services signals the need to evolve an international agreement on data security.
Citing security concerns over the use of BlackBerry by militants, as e-mail messages sent using the mobile device cannot be traced or intercepted, the Indian government has been putting pressure on RIM to provide security agencies with a way around its encryption.
Local government officials had asked RIM to either share the data encryption code used in BlackBerry devices, or set up servers in India so that the systems can be monitored by Indian security agencies.
After months of high-level meeting between RIM executives and India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Ministry of Home Affairs on the issue, the government this week said BlackBerry devices do not pose any security threat.
The controversy, however, has raised concerns over data security
Indian Government is planning to establish National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) for assessing cyber security threat on a real time basis. The main aim of setting up NCCC is to to fight against cyber crime while monitoring of internet traffic. Recently a high-level meeting was called at the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) during which establishment of NCCC was deliberated upon. Officers from the IB, RAW, DRDO, Home Ministry and Army attend the meeting, was given a presentation of the proposal for NCCC and other cyber security related issues.
“Establishment of a multi-agency NCCC for real time assessment of cyber security threat in the country and generation of an actionable report or alerts for proactive actions…,” was the purpose according to minutes of the meeting. “The NCCC would scan traffic within the country, flowing at the point of entry and exit, including international gateway,” the meeting was informed. The proposed NCCC would be the first layer for threat monitoring and all communication with government and private service providers would be through this body only. “NCCC would be in virtual contact with the Control room of Internet service providers,”
The National Cyber Coordination Centre (NCCC) will be set up to implement ‘internet security’ by scanning tweets, Facebook updates and other units of social media. This entire arduous exercise comes at the cost of a whopping Rs. 800 crore (~$163 million). This news comes on the heels of the fact that under the pretense of e-Governance.
The Convention on Cybercrime, also known as the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime or just the Budapest Convention, is the first international treaty seeking to address Computer crime and Internet crimes by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques and increasing cooperation among nations. It was drawn up by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg with the active participation of the Council of Europe’s observer states Canada, Japan and China.
The Convention and its Explanatory Report was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe at its 109th Session on 8 November 2001. It was opened for signature in Budapest, on 23 November 2001 and it entered into force on 1 July 2004. As of 28 October 2010, 30 states had signed, ratified and acceded to the convention, while a further 16 states had signed the convention but not ratified it.
On 1 March 2006 the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime came into force. Those States that have ratified the additional protocol are requited to criminalize the dissemination of racist and xenophobic material through computer systems, as well as of racist and xenophobic-motivated threats and insults.
The Convention is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography, hate crimes and violations of network security. It also contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and Lawful interception.
Its main objective, set out in the preamble, is to pursue a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against cybercrime, especially by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international co-operation.
The Convention aims principally at:
harmonising the domestic criminal substantive law elements of offences and connected provisions in the area of cyber-crime
providing for domestic criminal procedural law powers necessary for the investigation and prosecution of such offences as well as other offences committed by means of a computer system or evidence in relation to which is in electronic form
setting up a fast and effective regime of international co-operation.
The following offences are defined by the Convention: illegal access, illegal interception, data interference, system interference, misuse of devices, computer-related forgery, computer-related fraud, offences related to child pornography and offences related to copyright and neighbouring rights.
It also sets out such procedural law issues as expedited preservation of stored data, expedited preservation and partial disclosure of traffic data, production order, search and seizure of computer data, real-time collection of traffic data, and interception of content data. In addition, the Convention contains a provision on a specific type of transborder access to stored computer data which does not require mutual assistance (with consent or where publicly available) and provides for the setting up of a 24/7 network for ensuring speedy assistance among the Signatory Parties.
The Convention is the product of four years of work by European and international experts. It has been supplemented by an Additional Protocol making any publication of racist and xenophobic propaganda via computer networks a criminal offence. Currently, cyber terrorism is also studied in the framework of the Convention.
Accession by the USA
Its ratification by the United States Senate in August 2006 was both praised and condemned. The U.S. became the 16th nation to ratify the convention. Forty-three nations have signed the treaty. The Convention entered into force in the USA on January 1, 2007.
“While balancing civil liberty and privacy concerns, this treaty encourages the sharing of critical electronic evidence among foreign countries so that law enforcement can more effectively investigate and combat these crimes,” said Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist.
“The Convention includes a list of crimes that each signatory state must transpose into their own law. It requires the criminalization of such activities as hacking (including the production, sale, or distribution of hacking tools) and offenses relating to child pornography, and expands criminal liability for intellectual property violations. It also requires each signatory state to implement certain procedural mechanisms within their laws. For example, law enforcement authorities must be granted the power to compel an Internet Service Provider to monitor a person’s activities online in real time. Finally, the Convention requires signatory states to provide international cooperation to the widest extent possible for investigations and proceedings concerning criminal offenses related to computer systems and data, or for the collection of evidence in electronic form of a criminal offense. Law enforcement agencies will have to assist police from other participating countries to cooperate with their mutual assistance requests.”
Although a common legal framework would eliminate jurisdictional hurdles to facilitate the law enforcement of borderless cyber crimes, a complete realization of a common legal framework may not be possible. Transposing Convention provisions into domestic law is difficult especially if it requires the incorporation of substantive expansions that run counter to constitutional principles. For instance, the U.S. may not be able to criminalize all the offenses relating to child pornography that are stated in the Convention, specifically the ban on virtual child pornography, because of its First Amendment free speech principles. Under Article 9(2)(c) of the Convention, a ban on child pornography includes any “realistic images representing a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.” According to the Convention, the U.S. would have to adopt this ban on virtual child pornography as well, however, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, struck down as unconstitutional a provision of the CPPA that prohibited “any visual depiction” that “is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” In response to the rejection, the U.S. Congress enacted the PROTECT Act to amend the provision, limiting the ban to any visual depiction “that is, or is indistinguishable from, that of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” 18 U.S.C
The United States will not become a Party to the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime.
Ten Years On: The Budapest Convention – A Common Force against Cybercrime
The 10th anniversary of the Budapest Convention received special attention last week at the Octopus Conference (21 – 23 November), part of the Council of Europe’s Global Project on Cybercrime.
After ten years the Budapest Convention remains the only accepted international text on how to “protect against and control online crime while at the same time respecting human rights”, the Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland emphasized in his concluding speech at the close of the Strasbourg held three-day Octopus Conference.
The overall consensus of the conference was that despite some criticism of the Convention it provides the only effective and practical tool to fight global on-line crime.
In its new role as Chair of the Council of Europe, the UK representative, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Crime and Security, James Brokenshire, took the opportunity to outline the continued support that the UK intends to give to the Budapest Convention as “the most important international agreement on cyber crime.” UK support is evidenced in the UK Cyber Security Strategy, released on Friday, where it commits to using its chairmanship to encourage a wider adoption of the Budapest Convention. A key element of the UK plan will be to enable ‘compatible frameworks of law and effective cross-border law enforcement to deny safe havens to cybercriminals.’ The UK plans to achieve this by: promoting greater levels of international cooperation; by sharing understanding on cyber crime as begun ‘by the London Conference on Cyberspace’; by promoting the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cyber crime (the Budapest Convention); and by building on the new EU Directive on attacks on information systems. There is also a further commitment to contributing to the review of security provisions of the EU Data Protection Directive and the proposed EU Strategy on Information Security.
At the close of the Conference, Mr Brokenshire admitted that the London conference had raised questions about some parts of the Convention’s articles, although he repeated the view of William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary, that there was ‘no appetite’ for an alternative Convention. Brokenshire paid tribute to the Convention’s “great achievement” and to those who developed it. As well he emphasized the effectiveness of the Convention during an era of great technical change and of the need to ensure that it stays relevant which will require all parties to “develop additional protocols and other changes as the need arises.”
Ahead of Australia joining the other 32 parties of the Convention, Australian Attorney General, Robert McClelland, spoke of the ‘duality of modernity’ that Internet connectivity has brought where the positives are tempered by the darker side of the human condition, as evidenced in crimes and exploitation. Major cyber intrusions, McClelland said, is costing Australian organizations “an average of $2 million per incident” and more than a billion dollars a year to the Australian economy. This requires a global response, McCelland emphasized.
The Attorney General praised too the drafters of the Convention and their ‘remarkable’ foresight adding that any suggestion that it (the Convention) is ‘out of date’ was unfounded. McClelland gave examples of the practical approach offered by the Convention and the reason why it remains the world’s leading international legal tool in combating cybercrime. For example; Article 24 requires parties to provide real time assistance to one another; Article 35 requires that assistance be made available on a 24 hour 7 day a week basis facilitated through a central contact point; that parties ensure that their law enforcement responders are properly trained and equipped and that parties have an obligation to provide appropriate technical assistance to others.
McCelland noted that a further two dozen countries will soon be joining the Convention and called for all to “rise to the challenge to ensure that Governments, businesses and individuals realize the full benefits of cyberspace” whilst also ensuring that current and emerging risks are managed.
The Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, acknowledged that there were challenges ahead for all members, although there was reason for optimism, and summed up the magic formula in one word: CO-OPERATE. Challenges include the need for:
More engagement from political decision-makers in the co-operation against cybercrime.
More co-operation with and between countries from all regions of the world.
A stronger public-private co-operation against cybercrime.
A stronger co-operation between international organizations.
More technical co-operation to assist countries worldwide in the implementation of the Budapest Convention and related tools and good practices.
Ms de Boer-Buquicchio further emphasized that the Budapest Convention is not a static treaty and allows for an effective response to new challenges, for example, the problems of jurisdiction and law enforcement as posed by cloud computing. One thing is certain, The Deputy Secretary General stated, the Budapest Convention is the “best tool that exists to effectively fight crime on-line.”
In summing up Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, used recent events in his home country, Norway, to highlight the threat that online criminality poses. Norwegian key defense and energy companies have found themselves the target of recent and ongoing attacks illustrating that the need for global cooperation has never been greater. The Secretary General iterated the commitment of the Council of Europe to enhancing cooperation and in furthering the Budapest Convention as a “treaty with global impact.”
“Together, we can take pride in the results,” Jagland said:
“The convention has proven to work. Thanks to it, there has been a broad harmonization of cybercrime legislation. Not only in Europe but worldwide. In addition, offences such as illegal access to computer data or illegal interception of computer data or computer-related forgery or fraud, have been criminalized.”
By way of caution, Jagland reminded delagates that technology and, with it, the techniques used by cybercriminals evolve much faster than legal responses and although the Budapest Convention is certainly not a static treaty no one can claim to have “all the answers to all the emerging challenges.” The multistakeholder approach has its part to play as does the need to look for “complementarity rather than duplication.”
Jagland concluded, “The Budapest Convention is the international community’s most forceful and agreed upon response. It serves as a common ground for international co-operation and partnerships and has the interest of you and me in mind: to protect our rights in cyberspace!”
The Indian National Film Awards, which were started as an annual incentive by the Government of India , for the making of artistic, competent and meaningful films have come a long way, to cover the entire national spectrum of Indian Cinema, to judge merit by the highest possible yardstick and to become the most coveted and prestigious award in the country.
Actress Vidya Balan won her first national award on Wednesday in a rare triumph for Bollywood as regional cinema prevailed in key categories at the 59th National Film Awards.
Here is a list of the winners for the year 2011 (announced in 2012):
Best Feature Film: Shared by Deool (Marathi) and Byari (Byari)
Producer: Abhijeet Gholap
Director : Umesh VinayakKulkarni
Producer: T.H. AlthafHussain
Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director: Aaranyakandam (Tamil)
Director :Kumararaja Thiagarajan
Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment: AzhagarsamiyinKuthirai (Tamil)
Producer: P. Madan
Best Children’s Film: Chillar Party(Hindi)
Producer: UTV Software Communications Ltd
Director : VikasBahl & Nitesh Tiwari
Best Direction: GurvinderSingh for Anhe Ghorey Da Daan (Punjabi)
SwarnaKamal: Rs. 2,50,000/-
Best Actor: Girish Kulkarni for Deool (Marathi)
Rajat Kamal: Rs. 50,000/-
Best Actress: Vidya Balan for The Dirty Picture (Hindi)
Rajat Kamal: Rs. 50,000/-
Best Supporting Actress: Leishangthem Tonthoingambi Devi for Phijigee Mani(Manipuri)
Rajat Kamal: Rs.50,000/-
Best Child Artist (Shared): Partho Gupte for Stanley ka Dabba (Hindi)
Irrfan Khan, Sanath Menon, Rohan Grover, Naman Jain, Aarav Khanna, Vishesh Tiwari, ChinmaiChandranshuh, Vedant Desai, Divij Handa and Shriya Sharma for Chillar Party(Hindi)
Rajat Kamal: Rs.50,000/-
Best Male Playback Singer: Anand Bhate for Balgandharva(Marathi)
Rajat Kamal: Rs.50,000/-
Best Female Playback Singer: RoopaGanguly for Abosheyshey (Bengali)
Illegal mining in India is widespread in various ore-rich states of India, and has generated controversy, which spans encroachment of forest areas, underpayment of government royalties, conflict with tribals regarding land-rights. The spill-over of the effects of legal mining into problems such as Naxalism and the distortion of Indian democracy by mixed political and mining interests, has gained international attention.
Rising global iron-ore prices driven by Chinese demand brought focus to the iron ore rich Bellary region of Karnataka. This iron ore is alleged to have been illegally mined after paying a minuscule royalty to the government. The major regularities involve mines in Bellary, including those of Obulapuram Mining Company owned by G. Karunakara Reddy and G. Janardhana Reddy who are ministers in the Government of Karnataka.
Income Tax Department’s investigation on Reddy Brothers
In one of the largest single-day operations in Karnataka, the officials of the Income Tax Department raided the residential premises belonging to Health Minister B. Sriramulu in Bangalore, and offices and residences of two BJP legislators, who are involved in mining business. The premises belonging to BJP MLA from Koodligi B. Nagendra and BJP MLA from Kampli T.H. Suresh Babu, both considered close to the Reddy ministers, were raided in Bangalore as well as in their home towns . Searches were also conducted in the rooms allotted to Mr. Suresh Babu and Mr. B. Nagendra in the Legislators Home in Bangalore. According to the sources in the IT Department, a large number of documents have been seized, and their bank accounts have been frozen. The raids were said to be conducted at over 50 premises. The raids assume importance in the background of allegations from opposition parties that the ruling BJP is paying off MLAs from other parties to resign from their post. An important aspect of the operation is that it appears to be targeted against close confidants of the Reddy brothers. A large number houses, offices, business establishments, mining and construction firms have been raided by the IT Department. Sources in the Income Tax Department have also indicated that the residences and offices of one of Mr. Reddy’s personal assistants, Ali Khan, and a legal advisor, Raghavacharlu, were also searched by the officials at Bellary, Hospet and Bangalore. The raids were launched simultaneously at many cities including Bangalore, Hospet, Bellary, Hubli, Belgaum by officials of the Karnataka and Goa region.
Income tax sleuths unearthed under-invoicing and tax evasion of around Rs 86 crore by the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), run by Karnataka’s Reddy brothers and also their trusted confidante and state health minister B Sriramulu.
The scam, that can embarrass Karnataka’s BJP government further, is said to have alarmed the top guns in the state. The CBI is investigating illegal mining transactions in Andhra Pradesh. Ministers G Janardhana Reddy, G Karunakar Reddy and Sriramulu have mining business in AP.. The company had evaded Rs 86,42,88,802 during 2007-08.
Official sources said after getting clues to tax evasion by OMC B N Mohan, Sibichen Mathew and G M Belagali of Bangalore (Commissionerate) Central circle were assigned to work on the case. They found that the OMC had entered into a MoU with a one-dollar company of Singapore to camouflage the company’s income suppression.This report was recorded in the book Let us Share by the Finance Ministry.
Officials found that the one-dollar company, GLA Trading International (GLATI), was established on November 30, 2007, with Janardhana Reddy as one of its directors. GLA, presumed to be named after Janardhana Reddy’s wife Gali Laxmi Aruna, has offices in Singapore, Dubai and the British Virgin Islands, which is a `tax haven’.
“OMC’s transactions through the MoU with GLATI are convoluted and devised to evade tax payment in India,” assessing officers said in the report.
A comparative study of shipping bills for export with other companies, which are exporting the same grade material, confirmed the malpractice by OMC. According to the report, OMC signed the MoU with GLATI to sell iron ore only to evade tax payment in India.
For the similar grade of iron ore or ferrous content (FE), OMC had under-invoiced. The per tonne rate of iron ore exported to GLATI ranged between $76.14 and $98.24 as compared to per tonne rate of $144 to $165.22 of other export sales of ore.
When I-T officials sought explanation from OMC, the Reddys claimed it suppressed sales for developing stronger relationship worldwide with global buyers through GLATI for financial stability against price fluctuations.
Violating IPC Act, Forest Act, Mines and Mineral Development Act, Corruption Act, criminal conspiracy, cheating, theft, stealing property, mischief, criminal trespass, illegal mining and criminal misconduct
* Reddy’s Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) accused of encroaching 40 hectares forest land in Bellary-Andhra Pradesh reserve forest area for illegal mining, damaging state border demarcation area, blasting Sugulamma Devi temple on border
* FIR by I-T officials from May 1998 to Dec 2009 relates to boundary disputes and illegal mining activities in Bellary reserve forest of Anantapur district, AP
* In its lease area of 68.50 hectares in Antharagangamma Konda, OMC shifted boundary pillar by 40 metres, constructed a permanent pillar there to encroach unallotted area for illegal mining. OMC stole minerals in the area, booked for criminal conspiracy, cheating, theft, trespass, violation of Indian Forest Act 1927 and Mines and Minerals Act 1957
* OMC dispatched 29.32 lakh tonne of iron ore to China between 2003-05, but mined pits and surface area removed were shown in records as less than 40%, indicating illegal export of iron ore
The Commissioner of Income Tax’s report throws light on OMC’s illegal mining in Karnataka, exporting ore via Andhra ports along east coast like Vishakhapatnam, Kakinada, even after ban on export of ore was imposed by Karnataka government in 2010-11
Chapter titled Under Invoicing, Evasion of Taxes and Duties by OMC highlights how Reddy brothers stashed away Rs 215,12,50,357 outside country
Man-Go Pub Pvt Limited, owned by Reddy, registered in 2004 at Singapore. Purpose of this company was to provide entertainment, food and beverages. In 2007, a special resolution was passed in which company’s principal activities were proposed to be changed from restaurant, bars and canteen to general wholesale trade, including general imports and exports
GJR Holdings International registered in British Virgin Islands and Isle of Man, internationally known tax havens. When Lokayukta initiated inquiry into illegal exports, Janardhana Reddy resigned and ceased to be director of the company with effect from December 30, 2009
GLA Pet Limited, named after Reddy’s wife Gali Lakshmi Aruna, imported iron ore to the tune of 8,52,033 tonne from OMC, Bellary — the origin of the ore is shown as ports from Karnataka. Report pertaining to Krishnapatnam, Vishakapatnam ports also indicates such exports. OMC exported 8,09,299 MTs (excluding exports from Mangalore) to GLA in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Total underinvoicing in US dollars and INR comes to $52,341,292, corresponding to Rs 215,12,50,387.
* Reddy ran well-oiled, sophisticated risk-protection system on returns for illegal miners, and provided lucrative returns for transporters and politicians. Risk protection was primarily provided by Reddy’s confidantes Swastik Nagaraj (K V Nagaraj) and Karapudi Mahesh through their firms Safia Minerals and Sri Manjunatheshwara Minerals respectively
This explanation was considered inept by the investigating agency. According to investigators, it’s difficult to believe a business house like the Reddys would enter into such an MoU with an offshore company to secure financial stability against price fluctuations from a one dollar company of Singapore and that too without any knowledge of its business, its board of directors and its standing in the line of business. The OMC has taken the issue to an appellate authority.
A report published by the LokAyukta uncovered major violations and systemic corruption in mining in Bellary, including in the allowed geography, encroachment of forest land, massive underpayment of state mining royalties relative to the market price of iron ore and systematic starvation of government mining entities. Justice N. Santosh Hegde resigned from the Lokayukta position on 23 June 2010 citing inability to be effective in his anti-corruption mandate owing to a non-cooperative Government of Karnataka In January 2010 Mr Kharge questioned the governoment about transfer of Dileepkumar PCCF who refused to sign the report but Government brought S Nagaraja as PCCF who signed the report.
Collusion of officials and politicians in permitting illegal mining
The guidelines under the Central and the state enactments, call for a sketch of the mining area when a mining lease is applied for. It was found by the Lokayukta that sometimes the actual mining areas are not related to the sketch given with the applications without officials crosschecking them. Further mining applicants falsely claim a prohibited forest area as a revenue area. Finally the actual area of the mine is much bigger than the claimed area. The Indian Bureau of Mines rules which control the type of mining, allow a maximum mining depth six metres to prevent environmental degradation. But miners have flouted this rule to over-extract iron-ore. For example, if they are allowed to take 100 metric tones, mines take 1,000 metric tonnes. Officials at road check posts reportedly collude in a massive under-counting of lorries and trucks transporting the iron-ore from the Bellary mines to the ports. News reports suggest that only 200 trucks are reported as against 4000 plying everyday.
Underpayment of royalties to state
There is a huge difference in the market price of the ore and the royalty specified by the government as well as faulty measurement mechanisms of amount of ore extracted. It was found that 35 lakh (3.5 Million) tonnes of ore were illegally exported without paying a rupee of royalty to the exchequer, resulting in a loss of about Rs 16085 crores. With ore prices of USD 100-120 per ton, 3.5 Million tonnes adds up to about 350-4000 Million USD. There are proposals to link the royalties to the market price of iron-ore. There is also a proposal by the ministry of Environment and Forests to levy a tax.
Lokayukta Report of July 2011
The Lokayukta Report on illegal mining in Karnataka details the methods in which miners, government officials and ministers colluded to defraud the government of mining revenues. The report details the complete breakdown of democratic governance in the bellary area and uncovers the “zero risk system”, a protection and extortion racket, masterminded by G. Janardhana Reddy. The report describes the illegal money transfers to foreign companies and tax shelters by mining entities such as Obulapuram Mining Company, Associated Mining Company, GLA Trading and GJR Holdings owned by the Reddy Brothers. The report tells about illegal mining, bureaucrats-politicians-businessman nexus. Even banks and public sector companies also participated in the loot. There are more than 100 names involved in illegal operation. NDMC, Adani enterprise, JSW Steel are some major name in fraud list. Charges against these companies are illegal movement of iron ore from mining yard without permits and without paying royalties, forest encroachment, mining lease violations, overloading of trucks and sandry violation etc. The iron ore was illegally exported to china through ports of southern India and payment is made through more than 4000 banks account. Damage to environment can not be calculated.This report was prepared mainly from the Income Tax Commissionerate of Central Circle.
Union government commission to probe illegal mining
The mining ministry of the union government has announced a special commission to investigate the various cases of illegal mining in India. The union mining minister, B. K. Handique, announced that the investigation spanning Karnataka, Orissa and Jharkhand.
The decision seems to be a fallout of the cases involving the controversial Reddy brothers in Karnataka and some multinational companies. Highly placed sources said the decision was taken by a Cabinet meeting on Monday, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The inquiry will cover the most affected States of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Orissa. The Commission has been asked to submit its report in 18 months. But it will also submit interim reports to the Cabinet.
“The Commission will initially have the mandate for investigating cases of illegal mining of iron ore and manganese, and later its mandate could be extended for covering cases of illegal coal extraction too,” a senior official said. The sources said the Commission could be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court or High Court. The Prime Minister will take a decision soon.
The decision on a probe follows the recent controversies surrounding the Reddy brothers in Karnataka who have been accused of massive illegal mining of iron ore. It is also aimed at a number of companies and heavy weights in Andhra Pradesh allegedly close to a Congress Member of Parliament and having a nexus with the Reddy brothers.
In telecommunications, 4G is the fourth generation of cellular wireless standards. It is a successor of the 3G and 2G families of standards. In 2009, the ITU-R organization specified the IMT-Advanced (International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced) requirements for 4G standards, setting peak speed requirements for 4G service at 100 Mbit/s for high mobility communication (such as from trains and cars) and 1 Gbit/s for low mobility communication (such as pedestrians and stationary users).
The world’s first publicly available LTE service was opened in the two Scandinavian capitals Stockholm (Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks systems) and Oslo (a Huawei system) on 14 December 2009.
One of the key technologies for 4G and beyond is called Open Wireless Architecture (OWA), supporting multiple wireless air interfaces in an open architecture platform.
A 4G system is expected to provide a comprehensive and secure all-internet protocol (IP) based mobile broadband solution to laptop computer wireless modems, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Facilities such as ultra-broadband Internet access, IP telephony, gaming services, and streamed multimedia may be provided to users.
IMT-Advanced compliant versions of LTE and WiMAX are under development and called “LTE Advanced” and “WirelessMAN-Advanced” respectively. ITU has decided that LTE Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced should be accorded the official designation of IMT-Advanced. On December 6, 2010, ITU recognized that current versions of LTE, WiMax and other evolved 3G technologies that do not fulfill “IMT-Advanced” requirements could nevertheless be considered “4G”, provided they represent forerunners to IMT-Advanced and “a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed.”
As seen below, in all suggestions for 4G, the CDMA spread spectrum radio technology used in 3G systems and IS-95 is abandoned and replaced by OFDMA and other frequency-domain equalization schemes. This is combined with multiple in multiple out (MIMO), e.g., multiple antennas, dynamic channel allocation and channel-dependent scheduling.
The nomenclature of the generations generally refers to a change in the fundamental nature of the service, non-backwards-compatible transmission technology, higher spectral bandwidth and new frequency bands. New generations have appeared about every ten years since the first move from 1981 analog (1G) to digital (2G) transmission in 1992. This was followed, in 2001, by 3G multi-media support, spread spectrum transmission and at least 200 kbit/s, in 2011 expected to be followed by 4G, which refers to all-Internet Protocol (IP) packet-switched networks, mobile ultra-broadband (gigabit speed) access and multi-carrier transmission.
The fastest 3G-based standard in the WCDMA family is the HSPA+ standard, which was commercially available in 2009 and offers 28 Mbit/s downstreams (22 Mbit/s upstreams) without MIMO, i.e. only with one antenna, and in 2011 accelerated up to 42 Mbit/s peak bit rate downstreams using 2×2 MIMO. The fastest 3G-based standard in the CDMA2000 family is the EV-DO Rev. B, which was available in 2010 and offers 15.67 Mbit/s downstreams.
In mid 1990s, the ITU-R organization released the IMT-2000 specifications for what standards should be considered 3G systems. However, the cell phone market considers only some of the IMT-2000 standards as 3G (e.g., WCDMA and CDMA2000). (3GPP EDGE, DECT and mobile-WiMAX fulfill all IMT-2000 requirements and are formally accepted as 3G standards, but are typically not branded as 3G). In 2008, ITU-R specified the IMT-Advanced (International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced) requirements for 4G systems.
This article uses 4G to refer to IMT-Advanced (International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced), as defined by ITU-R. An IMT-Advanced cellular system must fulfill the following requirements:
Based on an all-IP packet switched network.
Peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbit/s for high mobility such as mobile access and up to approximately 1 Gbit/s for low mobility such as nomadic/local wireless access.
Dynamically share and use the network resources to support more simultaneous users per cell.
Scalable channel bandwidth 5–20 MHz, optionally up to 40 MHz.
Peak link spectral efficiency of 15 bit/s/Hz in the downlink, and 6.75 bit/s/Hz in the uplink (meaning that 1 Gbit/s in the downlink should be possible over less than 67 MHz bandwidth).
System spectral efficiency of up to 3 bit/s/Hz/cell in the downlink and 2.25 bit/s/Hz/cell for indoor usage.
Smooth handovers across heterogeneous networks.
Ability to offer high quality of service for next generation multimedia support.
In September 2009, the technology proposals were submitted to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as 4G candidates. Basically all proposals are based on two technologies:
LTE Advanced standardized by the 3GPP
802.16m standardized by the IEEE (i.e. WiMAX)
Present implementations of WiMAX and LTE are largely considered a stopgap solution that will offer a considerable boost until WiMAX 2 (based on the 802.16m spec) and LTE Advanced are finalized. Both technologies aim to reach the objectives given by the ITU, but are still far from being implemented.
The first set of 3GPP requirements on LTE Advanced was approved in June 2008. LTE Advanced was to be standardized in 2010 as part of Release 10 of the 3GPP specification. LTE Advanced will be based on the existing LTE specification Release 10 and will not be defined as a new specification series. A summary of the technologies that have been studied as the basis for LTE Advanced is included in a technical report.
Current LTE and WiMAX implementations are considered pre-4G, as they do not fully comply with the planned requirements of 1 Gbit/s for stationary reception and 100 Mbit/s for mobile.
Confusion has been caused by some mobile carriers who have launched products advertised as 4G but which are actually current technologies, commonly referred to as ‘3.9G’, which do not follow the ITU-R defined principles for 4G standards. A common argument for branding 3.9G systems as new-generation is that they use different frequency bands from 3G technologies; that they are based on a new radio-interface paradigm; and that the standards are not backwards compatible with 3G, whilst some of the standards are expected to be forwards compatible with “real” 4G technologies.
While the ITU has adopted recommendations for technologies that would be used for future global communications, they do not actually perform the standardization or development work themselves, instead relying on the work of other standards bodies such as IEEE, The WiMAX Forum and 3GPP. Recently, ITU-R Working Party 5D approved two industry-developed technologies (LTE Advanced and WirelessMAN-Advanced) for inclusion in the ITU’s International Mobile Telecommunications Advanced (IMT-Advanced program), which is focused on global communication systems that would be available several years from now
Objectives of 4G
4G is being developed to accommodate the quality of service (QoS) and rate requirements set by further development of existing 3G applications like mobile broadband access, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), video chat, mobile TV, but also new services like HDTV. 4G may allow roaming with wireless local area networks, and may interact with digital video broadcasting systems.
In the literature, the assumed or expected 4G requirements have changed during the years before IMT-Advanced was specified by the ITU-R. These are examples of objectives stated in various sources:
A nominal data rate of 100 Mbit/s while the client physically moves at high speeds relative to the station, and 1 Gbit/s while client and station are in relatively fixed positions as defined by the ITU-R
A data rate of at least 100 Mbit/s between any two points in the world
Smooth handoff across heterogeneous networks
Seamless connectivity and global roaming across multiple networks
High quality of service for next generation multimedia support (real time audio, high speed data, HDTV video content, mobile TV, etc.)
Interoperability with existing wireless standards
An all IP, packet switched network
IP-based femtocells (home nodes connected to fixed Internet broadband infrastructure)
Physical layer transmission techniques are as follows:
MIMO: To attain ultra high spectral efficiency by means of spatial processing including multi-antenna and multi-user MIMO
Frequency-domain-equalization, for example multi-carrier modulation (OFDM) in the downlink or single-carrier frequency-domain-equalization (SC-FDE) in the uplink: To exploit the frequency selective channel property without complex equalization
Frequency-domain statistical multiplexing, for example (OFDMA) or (single-carrier FDMA) (SC-FDMA, a.k.a. linearly precoded OFDMA, LP-OFDMA) in the uplink: Variable bit rate by assigning different sub-channels to different users based on the channel conditions
Turbo principle error-correcting codes: To minimize the required SNR at the reception side
Channel-dependent scheduling: To use the time-varying channel
Link adaptation: Adaptive modulation and error-correcting codes
Relaying, including fixed relay networks (FRNs), and the cooperative relaying concept, known as multi-mode protocol
4G features assumed in early literature
The 4G system was originally envisioned by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The DARPA selected the distributed architecture and end-to-end Internet protocol (IP), and believed at an early stage in peer-to-peer networking in which every mobile device would be both a transceiver and a router for other devices in the network, eliminating the spoke-and-hub weakness of 2G and 3G cellular systems. Since the 2.5G GPRS system, cellular systems have provided dual infrastructures: packet switched nodes for data services, and circuit switched nodes for voice calls. In 4G systems, the circuit-switched infrastructure is abandoned and only a packet-switched network is provided, while 2.5G and 3G systems require both packet-switched and circuit-switched network nodes, i.e. two infrastructures in parallel. This means that in 4G, traditional voice calls are replaced by IP telephony.
Cellular systems such as 4G allow seamless mobility; thus a file transfer is not interrupted in case a terminal moves from one cell (one base station coverage area) to another, but handover is carried out. The terminal also keeps the same IP address while moving, meaning that a mobile server is reachable as long as it is within the coverage area of any server. In 4G systems this mobility is provided by the mobile IP protocol, part of IP version 6, while in earlier cellular generations it was provided only by physical-layer and datalink-layer protocols. In addition to seamless mobility, 4G provides flexible interoperability of the various kinds of existing wireless networks, such as satellite, cellular wireless, WLAN, PAN and systems for accessing fixed wireless networks.
While maintaining seamless mobility, 4G will offer very high data rates with expectations of 100 Mbit/s wireless service. The increased bandwidth and higher data transmission rates will allow 4G users the ability to use high-definition video and the videoconferencing features of mobile devices attached to a 4G network. The 4G wireless system is expected to provide a comprehensive IP solution where multimedia applications and services can be delivered to the user on an ‘anytime, anywhere’ basis with a satisfactory high data rate, premium quality and high security.
4G is described as MAGIC: mobile multimedia, anytime anywhere, global mobility support, integrated wireless solution, and customized personal service. Some key features (primarily from users’ points of view) of 4G mobile networks are:
High usability: anytime, anywhere, and with any technology
Support for multimedia services at low transmission cost
History of 4G and pre-4G technologies
As of December 2011, there are no 4G networks that fulfil the International Telecommunication Union’s criteria of being able to achieve 1Gbit/s while stationary.
However in December 2010, the ITU recognized that current versions of LTE, WiMax and other evolved 3G technologies that do not fulfill “IMT-Advanced” requirements could nevertheless be considered “4G”, provided they represent forerunners to IMT-Advanced and “a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed.”
In 2002, the strategic vision for 4G—which ITU designated as IMT-Advanced—was laid out.
In 2005, OFDMA transmission technology is chosen as candidate for the HSOPA downlink, later renamed 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) air interface E-UTRA.
In November 2005, KT demonstrated mobile WiMAX service in Busan, South Korea.
In April 2006, KT started the world’s first commercial mobile WiMAX service in Seoul, South Korea.
In mid-2006, Sprint Nextel announced that it would invest about US$5 billion in a WiMAX technology buildout over the next few years ($5.76 billion in real terms). Since that time Sprint has faced many setbacks, that have resulted in steep quarterly losses. On May 7, 2008, Sprint, Imagine, Google, Intel, Comcast, Bright House, and Time Warner announced a pooling of an average of 120 MHz of spectrum; Sprint merged its Xohm WiMAX division with Clearwire to form a company which will take the name “Clear”.
In February 2007, the Japanese company NTT DoCoMo tested a 4G communication system prototype with 4×4 MIMO called VSF-OFCDM at 100 Mbit/s while moving, and 1 Gbit/s while stationary. NTT DoCoMo completed a trial in which they reached a maximum packet transmission rate of approximately 5 Gbit/s in the downlink with 12×12 MIMO using a 100 MHz frequency bandwidth while moving at 10 km/h, and is planning on releasing the first commercial network in 2010.
In September 2007, NTT Docomo demonstrated e-UTRA data rates of 200 Mbit/s with power consumption below 100 mW during the test.
In January 2008, a U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spectrum auction for the 700 MHz former analog TV frequencies began. As a result, the biggest share of the spectrum went to Verizon Wireless and the next biggest to AT&T. Both of these companies have stated their intention of supporting LTE.
In January 2008, EU commissioner Viviane Reding suggested re-allocation of 500–800 MHz spectrum for wireless communication, including WiMAX.
On 15 February 2008 – Skyworks Solutions released a front-end module for e-UTRAN.
In 2008, ITU-R established the detailed performance requirements of IMT-Advanced, by issuing a Circular Letter calling for candidate Radio Access Technologies (RATs) for IMT-Advanced.
In April 2008, just after receiving the circular letter, the 3GPP organized a workshop on IMT-Advanced where it was decided that LTE Advanced, an evolution of current LTE standard, will meet or even exceed IMT-Advanced requirements following the ITU-R agenda.
In April 2008, LG and Nortel demonstrated e-UTRA data rates of 50 Mbit/s while travelling at 110 km/h.
On 12 November 2008, HTC announced the first WiMAX-enabled mobile phone, the Max 4G
In December 2008, San Miguel Corporation, southeast Asia’s largest food and beverage conglomerate, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar Telecom QSC (Qtel) to build wireless broadband and mobile communications projects in the Philippines. The joint-venture formed wi-tribe Philippines, which offers 4G in the country. Around the same time Globe Telecom rolled out the first WiMAX service in the Philippines.
On 3 March 2009, Lithuania’s LRTC announcing the first operational “4G” mobile WiMAX network in Baltic states.
In December 2009, Sprint began advertising “4G” service in selected cities in the United States, despite average download speeds of only 3–6 Mbit/s with peak speeds of 10 Mbit/s (not available in all markets).
On 14 December 2009, the first commercial LTE deployment was in the Scandinavian capitals Stockholm and Oslo by the Swedish-Finnish network operator TeliaSonera and its Norwegian brandname NetCom (Norway). TeliaSonera branded the network “4G”. The modem devices on offer were manufactured by Samsung (dongle GT-B3710), and the network infrastructure created by Huawei (in Oslo) and Ericsson (in Stockholm). TeliaSonera plans to roll out nationwide LTE across Sweden, Norway and Finland. TeliaSonera used spectral bandwidth of 10 MHz, and single-in-single-out, which should provide physical layer net bitrates of up to 50 Mbit/s downlink and 25 Mbit/s in the uplink. Introductory tests showed a TCP throughput of 42.8 Mbit/s downlink and 5.3 Mbit/s uplink in Stockholm.
On 25 February 2010, Estonia’s EMT opened LTE “4G” network working in test regime.
On 4 June 2010, Sprint Nextel released the first WiMAX smartphone in the US, the HTC Evo 4G.
In July 2010, Uzbekistan’s MTS deployed LTE in Tashkent.
On 25 August 2010, Latvia’s LMT opened LTE “4G” network working in test regime 50% of territory.
On 6 December 2010, at the ITU World Radiocommunication Seminar 2010, the ITU stated that LTE, WiMax and similar “evolved 3G technologies” could be considered “4G”.
On 12 December 2010, VivaCell-MTS launches in Armenia 4G/LTE commercial test network with a live demo conducted in Yerevan.
On 28 April 2011, Lithuania’s Omnitel opened LTE “4G” network working in 5 biggest cities.
In September 2011, All three Saudi telecom giants STC, Mobily and Zain announced that they will offer 4G LTE for high speed USB sticks for mobile computers, with further development for telephones by 2013.
In 2011, Argentina´s Claro launch 4G HSPA+ network in the country.
In 2011, Thailand’s Truemove-H launch 4G HSPA+ network with nation-wide availability.
On 31 January 2012, Thailand’s AIS and its subsidiaries DPC under co-operative with CAT Telecom for 1800 MHz frequency band and TOT for 2300 MHz frequency band launch the first field trial LTE in Thailand by authorization from NBTC
In May 2005, Digiweb, an Irish fixed and wireless broadband company based in Ireland, announced that they had received a mobile communications license from the Irish Telecoms regulator, ComReg. This service will be issued the mobile code 088 in Ireland and will be used for the provision of 4G Mobile communications. Digiweb launched a mobile broadband network using FLASH-OFDM technology at 872 MHz.
On September 20, 2007, Verizon Wireless announced plans for a joint effort with the Vodafone Group to transition its networks to the 4G standard LTE. On December 9, 2008, Verizon Wireless announced their intentions to build and begin to roll out an LTE network by the end of 2009. Since then, Verizon Wireless has said that they will start their rollout by the end of 2010.
On July 7, 2008, South Korea announced plans to spend 60 billion won, or US$58,000,000, on developing 4G and even 5G technologies, with the goal of having the highest mobile phone market share by 2012, and the hope of an international standard.
Telus and Bell Canada, the major Canadian cdmaOne and EV-DO carriers, have announced that they will be cooperating towards building a fourth generation (4G) LTE wireless broadband network in Canada. As a transitional measure, they are implementing 3G UMTS that went live in November 2009.
Sprint Nextel offers a 3G/4G connection plan, currently available in select cities in the United States. It delivers rates up to 10 Mbit/s. Sprint has announced that they will launch a LTE network in early 2012.
In the United Kingdom and in Ireland, O2 UK and O2 (Ireland) (part of Telefónica O2) are to use Slough as a guinea pig in testing the 4G network and has called upon Huawei to install LTE technology in six masts across the town to allow people to talk to each other via HD video conferencing and play PlayStation games while on the move.
Verizon Wireless has announced that it plans to augment its CDMA2000-based EV-DO 3G network in the United States with LTE, and is supposed to complete a rollout of 175 cities by the end of 2011, two thirds of the US population by mid-2012, and cover the existing 3G network by the end of 2013. AT&T, along with Verizon Wireless, has chosen to migrate toward LTE from 2G/GSM and 3G/HSPA by 2011.
Sprint Nextel has deployed WiMAX technology which it has labeled 4G as of October 2008. It is currently deploying to additional markets and is the first US carrier to offer a WiMAX phone.
The U.S. FCC is exploring the possibility of deployment and operation of a nationwide 4G public safety network which would allow first responders to seamlessly communicate between agencies and across geographies, regardless of devices. In June 2010 the FCC released a comprehensive white paper which indicates that the 10 MHz of dedicated spectrum currently allocated from the 1700 MHz spectrum for public safety will provide adequate capacity and performance necessary for normal communications as well as serious emergency situations.
TeliaSonera started deploying LTE (branded “4G”) in Stockholm and Oslo November 2009 (as seen above), and in several Swedish, Norwegian, and Finnish cities during 2010. In June 2010, Swedish television companies used 4G to broadcast live television from the Swedish Crown Princess’ Royal Wedding.
Safaricom, a telecommunication company in East& Central Africa, began its setup of a 4G network in October 2010 after the now retired& Kenya Tourist Board Chairman, Michael Joseph, regarded their 3G network as a white elephant i.e. it failed to perform to expectations. Huawei was given the contract the network is set to go fully commercial by the end of Q1 of 2011
Telstra announced on 15 February 2011, that it intends to upgrade its current Next G network to 4G with Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in the central business districts of all Australian capital cities and selected regional centers by the end of 2011.
Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel and Dialog Axiata announced that first time in South Asia Sri Lanka have successfully tested and demonstrated 4G technology on 6 May 2011(Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel) and 7 May 2011(Dialog Axiata) and began the setup of their 4G Networks in Sri Lanka.
On May 2011, Brazil’s Communication Ministry announced that the 12 host cities for the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held there will be the first to have their networks upgraded to 4G. Mobitel was able to reach 96Mbit/s of speed while Dialog Axiata reached 128Mbit/s on their demonstration.
In mid September 2011,
Mobily of Saudi Arabia, announced their 4G LTE networks to be ready after months of testing and evaluations.
On September 2011, UAE’s Etisalat announced commercial launch of 4G LTE services covering over 70% of country’s urban areas.
India is expected to see launch of 4G services using TD-LTE technology in January 2012. The services will be launched by Augere, a UK based company, in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh under the Zoosh brand name.
A Guinness World Records team measured Chandra Bahadur Dangi at 54.60 centimeters (21.5 inches), declaring the 72-year-old even shorter the previous title holder, Junrey Balawing, from the Philippines, who stood at 23.5 inches at the age of 18, in 2011.
“The good news is that Chandra Bahadur Dangi is the world’s shortest living man,” Guiness Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday told reporters after measurements were taken.
“If he is really 72 years old he is the oldest person to be awarded the shortest-man record,” Glenday said, adding Dangi was also the shortest person ever measured by the Guinness World Records.
From a poor and uneducated family in a remote part of Nepal, Dangi said he had never heard of Mount Everest and was unaware of the world record title before a timber merchant visited his remote village last month and decided to measure him.
His diminutive size has since made him a celebrity in the impoverished nation of 26.6 million people and he took a plane for the first time last week to travel from his village, Rimkholi, 267 km (167 miles) west of Kathmandu, to meet the Guiness World Records officials in the capital.
“I am good. I feel happy,” Dangi said holding two framed certificates. “I want to travel around the world and spread the name of my country.”
Dangi, whose parents died when he was still in his teens, lives with his brother with, he said, no desire to marry.
His family has no idea when he stopped growing as many Nepali villages still lack basic health care. Dangi has never seen a doctor in his life. Five of his brothers and two sisters are of normal size.
Dangi mostly stays at home, needing assistance to move around, preparing head straps used by villagers to carry loads.
Chandra claims to be 72 years of age and weighs 14.5kg. He has spent his entire life in the remote Nepalese mountain village of Rhimkholi, about 250 miles west of Kathmandu. He lives there with his five brothers (all of an average height) and makes his living weaving traditional Nepalese garments. Chandra’s home is so remote that it wasn’t until recently that he gained attention; a forest contractor cutting timber in the village met him and informed local media.
Before Balawing, who was declared the shortest man in the world in June last year, another Nepali man, Khagnedra Thapa Magar, who stood 26.4 inches tall, held the title.
World’s Shortest Men
Chandra Bahadur Dangi
Mr. Chandra was declared the shortest human adult ever documented and verified, measuring 21.5 in (54.6 cm) Height confirmed by Guinness World Records.
Shortest man ever verified up to 2012 when he lost the title to Chandra Bahadur Dangi, measuring 22 in (57 cm), according to Guinness World Records.
Former shortest living man in the world, measuring 23.59 in (59.93 cm), verified by Guinness World Records on June 12, 2011.
Shortest man claimant, was said to be 26 in (65 cm). Verification by Guinness World Records needs to be checked. István died in May 2011 at the age of 48.
Khagendrav Thapa Magar
Former shortest man in the world until 2011, measuring 26.4 in (67 cm), according to Guinness World Records.
Former shortest man in the world until 2009.
Edward Niño Hernández
Named the shortest man after He Pingping died in March 2010, at 27.64 in (70.21 cm), but lost the title in October 2010 to Magar.
Once officially verified as shortest living man (mobile) at 29 in (74 cm), until death in March 2010.
World’s Shortest Men
Shortest Man 2012
Chandra Bahadur Dangi
Mr. Chandra was declared the shortest human adult ever documented and verified, measuring 21.5 in (54.6 cm) Height confirmed by Guinness World Records.
Shortest man ever verified up to 2012 when he lost the title to Chandra Bahadur Dangi, measuring 22 in (57 cm), according to Guinness World Records.
Former shortest living man in the world, measuring 23.59 in (59.93 cm), verified by Guinness World Records on June 12, 2011.
Shortest man claimant, was said to be 26 in (65 cm). Verification by Guinness World Records needs to be checked. István died in May 2011 at the age of 48.
Khagendra Thapa Magar
Former shortest man in the world until 2011, measuring 26.4 in (67 cm), according to Guinness World Records.
Former shortest man in the world until 2009.
Edward Niño Hernández
Named the shortest man after He Pingping died in March 2010, at 27.64 in (70.21 cm), but lost the title in October 2010 to Magar.
Once officially verified as shortest living man (mobile) at 29 in (74 cm), until death in March 2010.
World’s Shortest women
Shortest Woman, 2012
At 23 in (58 cm) tall, recognised by the Guinness World Records as the shortest woman ever recorded
At 62.8 cm currently recognized by the Guinness World Records as the World’s shortest woman
65 cm in 1998.
Smallest woman claimant and the earliest studied example of microcephalic osteodysplastic primordial dwarfism type II. Still under review.
Former smallest living woman acccording to Guinness World Records and one of the shortest living siblings according to Guinness World Records.
Former smallest living woman according to Guinness World Records.
Academy Award is, in full Academy Award of Merit, by name Oscar, any of a number of awards presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, located in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., to recognize achievement in the film industry. The award, a gold-plated statuette, is bestowed upon winners in the following 24 categories: best picture, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, directing, original screenplay, adapted screenplay, cinematography, art direction, editing, original score, original song, costume design, makeup, sound mixing, sound editing, visual effects, foreign-language film, animated feature film, animated short, live-action short, documentary feature, and documentary short. The academy also presents scientific and technical awards, special achievement awards, honorary awards, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award (for excellence in producing), and the Gordon E. Sawyer Award (for technological contributions), although these are not necessarily awarded annually.
To be eligible for an award in a given year, a film must be publicly exhibited for paid admission for at least one week at a commercial theatre in the Los Angeles area between January 1 and midnight of December 31 of that year. Exceptions to this rule include foreign-language films, which are submitted by their country of origin and need not have been shown in the United States. Documentaries and short films have different eligibility requirements and are officially submitted by their producers, whereas music awards require the musical artist to file a submission form.
Only members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may nominate and vote for candidates for the Oscars. The academy is divided into various branches of film production, and the nominees in each award category are chosen by the members of the corresponding branch; thus, writers nominate writers, directors nominate directors, and so forth. The entire academy membership nominates the candidates for best picture and votes to determine the winners in most of the categories.
Aside from bestowing international recognition and prestige, an Academy Award can play a crucial role in the success of the major winners. The best picture award, for example, can significantly increase the box office earnings of the winning film. For actors and directors, the award often quickly results in higher salaries and increased media attention. A long-term advantage is that award winners tend to be offered better pictures and thus receive more acclaim for that work.
When the academy was founded in 1927, the awards committee was only one of several that had been formed by the new organization. The idea of presenting awards was considered but not immediately pursued, because the academy was preoccupied with its role in labour problems, its efforts to improve the tarnished image of the film industry, and its function as a clearinghouse for the exchange of ideas about production procedures and new technologies. It was not until May 1928 that the academy approved the committee’s suggestions to present Academy Awards of Merit in 12 categories—most outstanding production, most artistic or unique production, and achievement by an actor, by an actress, in dramatic directing, in comedy directing, in cinematography, in art directing, in engineering effects, in original story writing, in adaptation writing, and in title writing.
The first awards covered films that had been released between August 1, 1927, and July 31, 1928. The awards were presented on May 16, 1929, in a ceremony at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The entire membership of the academy had nominated candidates in all categories. Five boards of judges (one from each of the academy’s original branches—actors, writers, directors, producers, and technicians) then determined the 10 candidates with the most votes in each category and narrowed those 10 down to 3 recommendations. A central board of judges, which consisted of one member from each branch, selected the final winners.
By the time of the second annual awards ceremony, on April 3, 1930 (honouring films from the second half of 1928 and from 1929), the number of categories was reduced to seven, and the two major film awards were collapsed into one, called best picture. The academy has since continued to make frequent alterations in rules, procedures, and categories. Indeed, so many changes have been made through the years that the only constant seems to be the academy’s desire to remain flexible and to keep abreast of the industry’s evolution. Among the most significant changes have been the decision in 1933 to alter the eligibility period for award consideration to the calendar year and the addition of the supporting actor and actress categories in 1936.
Originally the names of the award winners had been given to the press in advance with the stipulation that the information not be revealed until after the awards presentation. However, the Los Angeles Times printed the names of the 1939 winners in an early evening edition before the ceremony, draining the event of all its suspense during one of the industry’s biggest years. Thus, since then, the winners’ names have been a closely guarded secret until the official announcement at the awards ceremony.
The design for the award statuette—a knight standing on a reel of film and holding a sword—is credited to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) art director Cedric Gibbons. Sculptor George Stanley was commissioned to create the original statuette based on Gibbons’s design. For many years the statuettes were cast in bronze, with 24-karat gold plating. During World War II the statuettes were made of plaster because of metal shortages. They are now made of gold-plated britannium. The design, however, has remained unchanged, with the exception of the pedestal base, the height of which was increased in 1945. The statuette stands 13.5 inches (34.3 cm) tall and weighs 8.5 pounds (3.8 kg).
The origins of the statuette’s nickname, Oscar, have been traced to three sources. Actress Bette Davis claimed that the name derived from her observation that the backside of the statuette looked like that of her husband Harmon Oscar Nelson. Columnist Sidney Skolsky maintained that he gave the award its nickname to negate pretension. The name has also been attributed to academy librarian Margaret Herrick, who declared that the statuette looked like her Uncle Oscar. The true origin of the nickname has never been determined.
The Oscar Award from 2006
Best Picture: The Departed
Best Director: Martin Scorsese for The Departed
Best Actor: Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland
Best Actress: Helen Mirren for The Queen
Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin for Little Miss Sunshine
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson forDreamgirls
Best Foreign-Language Film: The Lives of Others
Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt for Little Miss Sunshine
Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan for The Departed
Cinematography: Guillermo Navarro for Pan’s Labyrinth
Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero (art direction) and Pilar Revuelta (set decoration) for Pan’s Labyrinth
Original Score: Gustavo Santaolalla for Babel
Original Song: “I Need to Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth; music and lyrics by Melissa Etheridge
Animated Feature Film: Happy Feet, directed by George Miller
Honorary Award: Ennio Morricone
Best Picture: No Country for Old Men
Best Director: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen for No Country for Old Men
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose
Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men
Best Supporting Actress: Tilda Swinton for Michael Clayton
Best Foreign-Language Film: The Counterfeiters
Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody for Juno
Adapted Screenplay: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men
Cinematography: Robert Elswit for There Will Be Blood
Art Direction: Dante Ferretti (art direction) and Francesca Lo Schiavo (set direction) for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Original Score: Dario Marianelli for Atonement
Original Song: Falling Slowly from Once; music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
Animated Feature Film: Ratatouille, directed by Brad Bird
Honorary Award: Robert Boyle
Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director: Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire
Best Actor: Sean Penn for Milk
Best Actress: Kate Winslet for The Reader
Best Supporting Actor: Health Leader for The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Foreign-Language Film: Departures
Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black for Milk
Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy for Slumdog Millionaire
Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle for Slumdog Millionaire
Art Direction: Donald Graham Burt (art direction) and Victor J. Zolfo (set decoration) for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Original Score: A.R. Rahman for Slumdog Millionaire
Original Song: Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire; music by A.R. Rahman and lyrics by Gulzar
Animated Feature Film: Wall-E, directed by Andrew Stanton
Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz forInglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Best Foreign-Language Film: The Secret in Their Eyes
Original Screenplay: Mark Boal for The Hurt Locker
Adapted Screenplay: Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Cinematography: Mauro Fiore for Avatar
Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg (production design) and Kim Sinclair (set decoration) for Avatar
Original Score: Michael Giacchino for Up
Original Song: The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart) from Crazy Heart; music and lyrics by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett
Animated Feature Film: Up, directed by Pete Docter and Bob Peterson
Honorary Award: Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman, Gordon Willis
Best Picture: The King’s Speech
Best Director: Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech
Best Actor: Colin Firth for The King’s Speech
Best Actress: Natalie Portman for Black Swan
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale for The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo for The Fighter
Best Foreign-Language Film: In a Better World
Original Screenplay: David Seidler for The King’s Speech
Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network
Cinematography: Wally Pfister for Inception
Art Direction: Robert Stromberg (production design) and Karen O’Hara (set decoration) for Alice in Wonderland
Original Score: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network
Original Song: We Belong Together from Toy Story 3; music and lyrics by Randy Newman
Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3, directed by Lee Unkrich
Honorary Award: Kevin Brownlow, Jean-Luc Godard, Eli Wallach
2012 Oscar Winners (Announced in 2012 but intended for 2011)
The Artist’ sweeps 5 Oscars at the 84th Academy Awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Score and Best Costume Design. Hugo was not far behind and also managed to bag 5 Oscars.
Best picture: The Artist.
Best director: Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist.
Best leading actor: Jean Dujardin in The Artist.
Best leading actress: Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady
Best supporting actor: Christopher Plummer in Beginners.
Best supporting actress: Octavia Spencer in The Help.
Best foreign language film: A Separation (Iran).
Best animated feature: Rango.
Best original screenplay: Midnight in Paris.
Best adapted screenplay: The Descendants.
Best original score: The Artist.
Best original song: Man or Muppet from The Muppets.
Best art direction: Hugo.
Best cinematography: Hugo.
Best costume design: The Artist.
Best documentary feature: Undefeated.
Best documentary short: Saving Face.
Best film editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Best makeup: The Iron Lady.
Best short animated film: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore.
Best short live action film: The Shore.
Best sound editing: Hugo.
Best sound mixing: Hugo.
Best visual effects: Hugo.
Most Oscars won
The Artist – 5
Hugo – 5
The Iron Lady – 2
Beginners – 1
The Help – 1
Midnight in Paris – 1
The Descendants – 1
A Separation – 1
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – 1
Undefeated – 1
The following nominated films failed to win any awards: