Friday, February 26, 2010

US Ambassador to India Pledges Support to Bihar

US Ambassador to India Pledges Support to Bihar

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Friday, 05 February 2010 09:52

Patna: America's ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer, during a meeting with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in Patna on Thursday, praised him for his attempt to put Bihar on the national map in terms of developments and offered him US help in keeping the process moving forward.

Roemer, who is on a two-day visit of Bihar with his wife Sally Roemer, said that the US President Barack Obama was very interested in helping states like Bihar where there was no scarcity of talent as proven by successful Biharis all over the world.

When asked by the US Ambassador the secret of Bihar's recent resurgence in economic arena including the recent reporting of 11.03% growth in GDP, the Chief Minister said that there was no secret of his success except his relentless pursuit of development with social justice.

Kumar urged the Ambassador to encourage investment in Bihar by US companies to which Roemer pledged to offer support in the areas of education, agriculture, food processing, energy, and infrastructural development.

Earlier, Roemer and his wife visited the Khuda Baksh Oriental Library where he helped upload a digital album of scientific instruments currently in possession of the Library.

Roemer and his wife were privy to a number of historical documents including rare manuscripts, a 9th century Holy Quran, and other historical documents dating back to the Mughal dynasty in India.

"I was told by President Obama to visit smaller cities in India and look at their education system and if they could avail our help in any area. Since coming to India nearly 7 months ago, Sally and I have been able to visit a number of places and visited many schools to study if there was any area where we could provide help to the local school system," Roemer said adding the US, under President Obama, wished to play a constructive role in the overall development of the nation.

Commonwealth Games 2010 budget

Topics: New Delhi Commonwealth Games budget
NEW DELHI: The October Commonwealth Games got the lion's share in the union budget allocation for sports in 2010-11, though the overall outlay is
down to Rs.3,565 crore from last year's Rs 3,706 crore.

The Commonwealth Games (CWG) Oct 3-14 have been allocated Rs 2,069 crore, earmarking Rs.378 crore for the preparation of teams.

Welcoming the budget proposals of 2010-11, Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister M S Gill said: "I am very happy that the finance minister consistently supported sports and the CWG. I am fully funded."

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) are allocated Rs 1,175.54 crore while Rs.30 crore go for the equipments and furnishings of stadia.

For the high definition coverage of the Games, the government has allocated Rs 82 crore.

The government has also taken a serious note of doping in sports and set aside Rs 11.50 crore for National Dope Test Laboratory, Rs.3 crore for National Anti-Doping Agency, and Rs 50 lakh for World Anti-Doping Agency.

The National Sports Development Fund will have Rs 15 crore.




"We have got lots of action lined up for the World Cup. There will be three matches per day and a ticket entitles a holder to watch all three matches one after the other," said Anupam Gulati, the adviser of Hockey India.

"One match will be in the afternoon and two will be played under lights in the evening. The matches will be played at 4.30pm, 6.30 pm and 8:30 pm, everyday. Every team plays the other team every alternate day," he added.

The 2010 Hockey World Cup will be the twelfth instalment of the Men's Hockey World Cup. It would be held in India, taking place over two weeks from Feb 28 to March 13 at New Delhi's Dhyan Chand National Stadium


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Happiness makes for a happy heart

Happiness makes for a happy heart
People who are usually happy and enthusiastic are less likely to develop heart disease than those who tend to be glum, scientists said on Thursday, and boosting positive emotions could help cut heart health risks.

US researchers said their observational study was the first to show an independent relationship between positive emotions and coronary heart disease, but stressed that more work was needed before any treatment recommendations could be made.

"We desperately need rigorous clinical trials in this area. If the trials support our findings, then these results will be incredibly important in describing specifically what clinicians and/or patients could do to improve health," Karina Davidson of Columbia University Medical Center wrote in the study in the European Heart Journal.

Heart disease is the leading killer of men and women in Europe, the United States and most industrialized countries. Together with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases accounted for 32 per cent of all deaths around the world in 2005, according to the World Health Organization.

Over 10 years, Davidson and her team followed 1,739 men and women who were taking part in a large health survey in Canada.

Trained nurses assessed the participants' heart disease risk and measured negative emotions like depression, hostility and anxiety, as well as positive emotions like joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm and contentment -- collectively known as a "positive affect."

The researchers ranked the "positive affect" across five levels ranging from "none" to "extreme" and found that for each rank the risk of heart disease fell by 22 percent.

Davidson, who led the research, said her findings suggested it might be possible to help prevent heart disease by enhancing people's positive emotions.

"Participants with no positive affect were at a 22 percent higher risk of ... heart attack or angina ... than those with a little positive affect, who were themselves at 22 per cent higher risk than those with moderate positive affect," she wrote.

"We also found that if someone who was usually positive had some depressive symptoms at the time of the survey, this did not affect their overall lower risk of heart disease."

Smoking, being overweight, a history of heart problems in the family and high blood pressure are traditionally seen as major risk factors for heart disease, but studies have also linked such things as intelligence and income levels to heart risks. Research published last week found intelligence is second only to smoking as a predictor of heart disease.

Davidson's team said one possible reason for the link between happiness and heart risk could be that people who are happier tend to have longer periods of rest or relaxation, and may recover more quickly from stressful events and not spend as much time "re-living" them.

Source: Indian Express


Magnificent Millet: why it's good for you
Boredom 'can kill you'
It's official: Beer is good for your bones
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5 ways to cut on flab

5 ways to cut on flab
The only way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise so that you burn more calories than you consume. But this simple arithmetic is very difficult to put into practice. Every day, situations crop up that make it impossible for you to find time for the gym or have a healthy tuna salad for lunch. The challenge lies in finding the perfect diet-activity balance that works for you.

There are hundreds of fad diets and weight-loss programmes that promise quick and easy weight loss, but in most cases, the weight lost comes back. “The basic foundation of every successful weight-loss programme still remains a healthy diet combined with exercise. You have to change your lifestyle to lose weight and then keep it off,” says nutritionist Ishi Khosla.

Some sustainable ways to lose weight and keep it off is eating a wide variety of nutritionally dense foods and following the five basic principles of healthy eating.

1. Know when to stop eating

Inactive men need about 1,800 calories and women up to 1,600 calories a day. Eating 300 to 400 fewer calories a day will help you shed 2 kg in a month, but to ensure you don’t have deficiencies, opt for nutritious foods that are low in calories, such as vegetables and wholegrains and legumes.

2. Get moving now

There is no getting away from it. Do at least 45 minutes of exercise at least five times a week. “It’s a myth that exercise makes you hungry and you end up eating more and putting on weight. In fact, exercise pushes up the basal metabolic rate and makes you burn up more calories through the day, even when you are not exercising,” says Dr Parmeet Kaur, chief of dietetics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

3. Don’t fall for fad diets

Fad diets don’t work for long as they usually exclude certain types of foods, or at times, entire food groups. “Fad diets are not balanced and deprive people of important nutrients, creating a nutritional gap. They are also difficult to follow and cause people to give up and gain weight again,” says Khosla.

4. Cut back on fat and sugar

The best way to keep weight off is to make small dietary changes, such as avoiding — but not totally giving up — fried foods and desserts, that often contain more calories than the rest of the meal without the nutrition. Replace desserts with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and legumes; eat small, single servings of foods high in fat or calories; choose low-fat or double-toned milk products and reduced fat cheeses; ration edible oils and have a mix of them; choose roasting or steam foods as a cooking option; avoid sugary drinks, including sweetened fruit juices; and avoid alcohol. “People end up drinking a lot of calories, so it is important to keep track of what you are drinking too,” says Khosla.

Most packaged food labels list the amount of nutrients and calories the food gives you, so do read up. “But don’t follow labels blindly, as sugar-free may have fructose, which is worse with insulin resistance than glucose,” says Khosla.

5. Avoid diet pills

Diet pills available over the counter do not make a big difference to how much you lose or how long you can keep the weight off. However safe they may claim to be, never have them without prescription. “Diet pills are needed only for the morbidly obese or those who have hormonal imbalances and should never be had without prescription as they can cause side effects, such as high blood pressure, even in healthy people,” warns Khosla.

Also, be careful about taking cough or cold medicines with over-the-counter diet pills as these medicines may contain the same molecule as the one used in diet pills, or a similar drug with the same effects. “If you take more than one medication together, it may interact and cause problems, so don’t look for short-cuts to lose weight,” says Kaur.

Most advertisements that promise quick-fix weight loss solutions using machines and gizmos don’t work.

Finasterid can be obtained through a prescription and it is in the form of a tablet taken daily.

"If the treatment is stopped, the hair loss as a rule will start again," said Garcia Bartels. The price of the drug - about 150 euros ($220) for a three-month supply - is high. Somewhat more economical is Minoxidil, which is a lotion that must be applied to the scalp twice a day. Originally developed as a blood pressure medication, Minoxidil was found to have the side effect of hair growth.

Minoxidil's success rate is however lower: while hair loss is stopped in 80 percent of the people who use finasterid, the rate is 70 percent among people who apply Minoxidil. Additionally, 70 to 80 percent of finasterid users experience hair re-growth. This is true for 50 to 60 percent of Minoxidil users.

Apart from these medicines and the toupee, there is another way of achieving a full head of hair again - hair transplantation. This involves removing pieces of skin with hair follicles from another part of the body, typically the back of the neck, and transplanting them at the bald spots.

"Such measures come into play only if the hair loss has ended," said Garcia Bartels. Otherwise, the remaining original hair will continue to fall out around the newly transplanted hair.

Hair transplantation is a very costly solution of baldness. The cost of refilling in a small spot with hair can run over 1,000 euros.

"The results that I have seen thus far are not especially satisfying," said Hofmann. Apparently, it is better when a man accepts his baldness.

"The problems that men have with hair loss decline anyway as they get older," said Henss. "Perhaps time does not grant a full head of hair, but it does heal all wounds."

On the Internet there are numerous advertisements offering lotions and similar remedies for hair loss. Hofmann said these are best avoided.

Source: DPA

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Boredom 'can kill you’

Boredom 'can kill you’
Boredom can actually kill you, a new study has revealed.

To reach the conclusion, researchers at University College London looked at data from 7524 civil servants, aged between 35 and 55, interviewed between 1985 and 1988 about their levels of boredom.

They then found out whether they had died by April last year.

Those who reported feeling a great deal of boredom were 37 per cent more likely to have died by the end of the study, the researchers found.

Scientists said that this could be a result of those unhappy with their lives turning to such unhealthy habits as smoking or drinking, which would cut their life expectancy.

"The findings on heart disease show there was sufficient evidence to say there is a link with boredom," the Courier Mail quoted researcher Martin Shipley, who co-wrote the report, as saying.

The study is to be published in the International Journal of Epidemiology this week.

Source: Indian Express

Midday napping can make you smarter

Midday napping can make you smarter
Taking a midday nap can dramatically boost brain’s learning capacity power, according to a new study.

The new research suggests that a biphasic sleep schedule not only refreshes the mind, but can also make you smarter.

On the other hand, the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become, according to the findings.

The new findings support previous data from the same research team that pulling an all-nighter - a common practice at college during midterms and finals -- decreases the ability to cram in new facts by nearly 40 percent, due to a shutdown of brain regions during sleep deprivation.

"Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before you took a nap," said Matthew Walker, an assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley and the lead investigator of these studies.

In the recent UC Berkeley sleep study, 39 healthy young adults were divided into two groups - nap and no-nap.

At noon, all the participants were subjected to a rigorous learning task intended to tax the hippocampus, a region of the brain that helps store fact-based memories. Both groups performed at comparable levels.

At 2 p.m., the nap group took a 90-minute siesta while the no-nap group stayed awake. Later that day, at 6 p.m., participants performed a new round of learning exercises.

The researchers found that those who remained awake throughout the day became worse at learning but those who napped did markedly better and actually improved in their capacity to learn.

These findings reinforce the researchers'' hypothesis that sleep is needed to clear the brain's short-term memory storage and make room for new information, said Walker.

Source: Indian Express

Boredom 'can kill you'
Happiness makes for a happy heart
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Obesity as injurious to health as smoking/New discovery may help reduce obesity complications

Obesity as injurious to health as smoking
Obesity is no less injurious to health than smoking, says a recent study. Researchers from Columbia University and The City College of New York calculate that the Quality-Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) lost due to obesity is now equal to, if not greater than, those lost due to smoking, both modifiable risk factors.

QALYs use preference-based measurements of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL), which allow a person to state a relative preference for a given health outcome.

Since one person may value a particular outcome differently than another, these measures capture how each respondent views his or her own quality of life.

The 1993-2008 Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the largest ongoing state-based health survey of US adults, has conducted interviews of more than 3.5 million individuals.

This survey, conducted by Haomiao Jia and Erica I. Lubetkin, includes a set of questions that measures HRQOL, asking about recent poor health days and tracking overall physical and mental health of the population.

The authors analysed these data and converted the measures to QALYs lost due to smoking and obesity, said a Columbia release. From 1993 to 2008, when the proportion of smokers among US adults declined 18.5 percent, the proportion of obese people increased 85 percent. Smoking had a bigger impact on deaths while obesity had a bigger impact on illness. These findings are slated for publication in the February issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Source: IANS

New discovery may help reduce obesity complications
A research team led by an Indian-origin scientist has identified a potential target that may reduce complications of obesity.

According to Dr Suneil Koliwad, Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, when individuals become obese from overeating, cells called adipocytes located in the fat tissue fill up with dietary fats and begin to die. Immune cells called macrophages move out of the blood stream and into this tissue, where they accumulate around dying adipocytes.

As the macrophages work to clear away the dead cells, they are exposed to large amounts of dietary fat that can result in unwanted consequences.

Exposure to saturated fats, in particular, causes the macrophages to enter an inflammatory state. In this state, the macrophages secrete cytokines, such as tumour necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, that encourage the development of insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease.

They hope that enhancing the capacity of macrophages to store dietary fats might alter this process.

The researchers focused their study on an enzyme called DGAT1, which makes triglycerides from dietary fats for storage as cellular energy reserves.

They examined a transgenic strain of mice (aP2-Dgat1) that make large amounts of DGAT1 in both adipocytes and macrophages.

On a high-fat diet, these mice became obese, but the macrophages in their fat tissue did not undergo inflammatory activation, and the mice were protected from developing systemic inflammation, insulin resistance, and fatty livers, all problems that were profound in the control mice.

"We found in experimental mice that a single enzyme, DGAT1, in macrophages is involved in many of the problems associated with obesity," said Koliwad.

"This is exciting because humans have this enzyme as well, providing the potential for a therapeutic target to examine," he added.

Source: Indian Express

Are non-smokers smarter than smokers?

Are non-smokers smarter than smokers?
Cigarette smokers have lower IQs than non-smokers, and the more a person smokes, the lower their IQ, according to a study of over 20,000 Israeli military recruits.

Dr. Mark Weiser and colleagues from Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer found that young men who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day or more had IQ scores 7.5 points lower than non-smokers.

"Adolescents with poorer IQ scores might be targeted for programs designed to prevent smoking," they conclude in the journal Addiction.

While there is evidence for a link between smoking and lower IQ, many studies have relied on intelligence tests given in childhood, and have also included people with mental and behavioral problems, who are both more likely to smoke and more likely to have low IQs, Weiser and his team noted.

To better understand the smoking-IQ relationship, the researchers looked at 20,211 18-year-old men recruited into the Israeli military.

The group did not include anyone with major mental health problems, because these individuals are disqualified from military service.

According to the researchers, 28 percent of the study participants smoked at least one cigarette a day, around 3 percent said they were ex-smokers, and 68 percent had never smoked.

The smokers had significantly lower intelligence test scores than non-smokers, and this remained true even after the researchers accounted for socioeconomic status measured by how many years of formal education a recruit's father had completed.

The average IQ for non-smokers was about 101, while it was 94 for men who had started smoking before entering the military.

IQ steadily dropped as the number of cigarettes smoked increased, from 98 for people who smoked one to five cigarettes daily to 90 for those who smoked more than a pack a day.

IQ scores from 84 to 116 are considered to indicate average intelligence.

Recruits aren't allowed to smoke while intelligence tests are administered, the researchers said, so it is possible that withdrawal symptoms might affect smokers' scores.

To address this issue, they also looked at IQ scores for men who were non-smokers when they were 18 but started smoking during their military service.

These men also scored lower than never-smokers, 97 points, on average) "indicating that nicotine withdrawal was probably not the cause of the difference," the researchers said.

The researchers also compared IQs for 70 pairs of brothers in the group in which one brother smoked and the other did not. Again, average IQs for the non-smoking sibling were higher than for the smokers.

The findings suggest that lower IQ individuals are more likely to choose to smoke, rather than that smoking makes people less intelligent, Weiser and his team conclude.

Source: Reuters

Obesity as injurious to health as smoking
Crushing virtual ciggies can reduce tobacco addiction
Wishing you a colourful and happy Holi

Healthy Food Substitutes

Healthy Food Substitutes
Whether you’re health conscious or a little overweight or blessed with a speedy metabolic rate, keeping an eye on your diet is always recommended. Cutting down your food intake isn’t always the answer. All it takes is a sensible substitute. Here are a few suggestions for healthy substitutions:

Gelatine desserts vs. cakes and brownies
We all know just how rich cakes and brownies can be and that these rich delicacies leave us poorer in health. Gelatine desserts can be a delicious and healthy alternative. They not only leave you with stronger and shinier hair and nails, but are said to help with metabolism and muscle growth. The collagen that gelatine contains in said to be excellent for joint movement as well as moisturizing skin, keeping it smooth and firm.

Yogurt vs. cream
Yogurt contains bacteria which helps in digestion. This bacteria also boosts the immune system and prevents the growth of a lot of harmful bacteria. Yogurt also feels a lot lighter than cream.

Brown bread vs. White bread
White bread is white because it lacks the bran and germ that is present in brown bread. With the absence of the bran and germ, the nutritional value goes down leaving white bread with fewer amounts of zinc, fiber, thiamin, niacin, trace elements and good fats and oils.

Red sauces vs. white sauces
Apart from the obvious reason that creamy white sauces are more likely to add on the kilos than the tangy red ones, the cooked tomatoes that make up the red sauce are said to contain the antioxidant lycopene which is good at preventing cancer and heart diseases.

Granola bar vs. candy bar
Granola bars usually contain oats, nuts, honey, grains and dried fruits and is a rich source of vitamins and fibre. Candy bars are usually loaded with fat, sugar and artificial colour. Granola bars are the clear winners.

White meat vs. red meat
Red meat as we know contains a lot of harmful fats that lead to heart diseases. White meat on the other hand has no such issues and is also a good source of proteins.

Brown rice vs. white rice
As in the case of white bread and brown bread, white rice lacks the vitamins, minerals and fibre present in the brown rice.

Frozen yogurt vs. ice cream
Frozen yogurt and ice cream aren't very different. They both contain similar sweeteners and about the same calories. They are both sources of calcium and protein. The difference lies in the cultures present in the yogurt. As mentioned above, these cultures assist in many digestive functions. Although frozen yogurt is a narrowly healthier choice when compared to ice cream, it should be kept in mind that this type of food is as fattening as ice cream.

Olive oil vs. margarine
Olive oil like margarine is fattening. The difference lies in olive oil's antioxidant properties. These properties reduce the risk of heart diseases by lowering LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL cholesterol levels. Margarine on the other hand increases HDL levels thereby increasing the risk of heart disease.

Soya-based products vs. meat
It sure looks like it! Soya products match meat when it comes to protein content. Soya also contains fibre which helps with digestion. They also contain lesser calories than meat products and make a wiser option for the weight-conscious.

Fresh fruits vs. canned fruits
Instead of picking up that can with fruits swimming, no wait, drowning in syrup, just pick up some fresh fruits which retain the enzymes and vitamins which are otherwise lost during the canning process, as well as keep your weight down.

Honey vs. sugar
Have you ever heard the phrase, 'sugar is a polluted sweetner'? It is in a way. In the production of sugar, a lot vitamins and minerals are lost. Honey has no such problem.

Hummus vs. mayonnaise
Hummus contains less fat and more sodium when compared to mayonnaise. Mayonnaise as we know can contribute to our bad cholesterol levels in a harmful way, so hummus makes a good substitute.

Dark chocolate vs. regular chocolate
Dark chocolate has better antioxidant properties when compared to milk chocolate. This benefits the heart as well blood flow and not to mention gives you that additional mood-boost. Dark chocolate also contains less sugar and is a much better option for figure-conscious chocoholics.

Source: India Syndicate

Star Spouses

Star Spouses


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The phrase “behind every successful man is a woman” works the other way around as well. Many spouses of stars don’t often get their share of the limelight. But they must be pretty special for a lot of reasons – it can't be easy dealing with the good and the bad that comes with the high profile lives of their significant others! This is why we decided to put together a gallery in tribute to the not-so-well-known ‘pillars of strength’ to our stars

Natasha Madhvani & Fardeen Khan

Natasha Madhvani is the daughter of the beloved Bollywood star Mumtaz and millionaire Mayur Madhvani. It probably came as no surprise that she married into Bollywood then. Fardeen and Natasha were childhood friends. She was brought up with strict Indian values according to her mother who confided that she never let her sleep over at friends' places. Her mother-in-law is also very fond of her as she admitted, "I was overjoyed when I heard it was my favourite baby girl," on hearing of her son's commitment.

Image Credit:

Weight loss tips: Get fit before the festive season

Weight loss tips: Get fit before the festive season

Want to sport a svelte figure for that New Year's Eve party you're going to? The bad news is that you have just a month left to shed those extra pounds and look your best. But don't worry, there's good news too. One month is enough time if you are determined and ready to go the extra mile to sport a healthy, lean and slim figure! Here, we offer you simple tips for a slimmer body in one month.

Eat smart:

Do not starve yourself or fall into the trap of varied fad diets that do more harm than good in the long run. Instead, eat a healthy and well balanced meal.

Include lots of fibres like vegetables, fruits and whole grains in your diet so that you feel full but eat less. If you are a non-vegetarian you can incorporate lean protein such as chicken in your diet.

Eat a healthy and well balanced meal at regular intervals. Do not skip meals.

Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index (GI) is an index of foods that show how they interact with your blood sugar level after being absorbed by your digestive system. The higher the GI, the faster they release calories into your blood and the more fattening they are. Foods like white bread, corn flakes have a high GI and should be avoided.

Keep a food diary

Studies show that people who record everything they eat are far more successful and consistent in their weight loss efforts than those that don't. Note down everything you eat and in what quantities.

Image credit: AP

Try a Detox Plan

Long revered by celebrities, a detox plan is a way of cleansing your system of all impurities and toxins. It usually includes consuming large quantities of raw food, water and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, salt and sugar. Many celebrities swear this helps them get rid of extra pounds and also rewards them with a glowing complexion. Most scientists deem detox to be fairly harmless but are vary of its effectiveness. It's best to consult a dietician before embarking on such a plan.

Water, water, water

Say no to alcohol and sugary drinks during the weight loss period and drink plenty of water. You can have it warm (like Shilpa Shetty), cold, with lemon, as herbal tea or in any shape and form you like. Just make sure you have lots of it.


Your weight loss program will be far more effective if it's backed by exercise. Work out at least four to five times a week for about 45 to 60 minutes a day. Cardiovascular exercises such as running, brisk walking or biking can help you burn calories, along with improving strength and flexibility.

Build muscle:

Many people (especially women) shy away from muscle building and concentrate only on cardio vascular exercises. Building muscles is important because they help increase your metabolism and burn fat. You don't have to bulk up, just tone up.

Engage in circuit training to exercise different parts of the body, or focus on one problem area.

Sleep well:

No matter what you do or how busy your schedule is, you must have at least six to seven hours of sleep for your body to function properly.

Keep your eye on the goal:

Stay focussed about your weight loss goal and you'll be able to achieve it. Of course it's important not to set an unrealistic goal for yourself because that will discourage you. Have fun and remember, it's as important to be healthy as it is to look good.

Source: India Syndicate

Get active in your daily life: Burn calories without going to the gym

Get active in your daily life: Burn calories without going to the gym
The importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise cannot be overstated. Along with these essentials it also helps to lead an active lifestyle that helps keep your metabolism high and calories burning. Here are some tips you can incorporate in your daily life:

Take the stairs

Avoid the temptation to always take the lift. Taking the stairs instead will help keep you active and feeling energetic all day.

Walk to your colleague

Most communication in offices nowdays is done over some type of Messenger service. Instead of always "pinging" your co-worker, why not walk over and talk to him in person? Your legs will thank you for the break.

Don't lust after the closest parking spot

Parking is usually a major source of stress in modern cities. Avoid the heartache that comes with trying to find the closest parking spot to your destination. Park where you get a spot easily and walk those extra few steps. It's good for your body and your mind.

Walk to the kirana store

Most big cities come equipped with neighbourhood grocery stores that are happy to send their boy for everything - from your monthly groceries to one urgent loaf of bread. How about actually walkingh down to the store yourself for a change?

Get a dog

A dog at home will keep you active, even if you don't want it! Dogs need to be walked twice a day and they can really make you run around. It's a big commitment but the love, joy and exercise you get in return is a worthwhile pay off.

Give your domestic help a day off

Experience the joy of cleaning your own dishes and sweeping and swabbing the floor! Well, at least for one day every week! Swabbing is a particularly good exercise for your buns and thighs and you can finally clean those hard-to-reach spots you've been nagging your maid about.

Walk while you talk

Like a recent mobile phone company advised, it's a great idea to walk while you're on the phone. You stay active and also don't disturb your colleagues or family with your phone chatter.

Step out of the house at least once a day

If you're a home maker or work from home, you'll find that the whole day can go by without a trip outside. Make it a point to step out at least once - maybe for a walk in the park, a shopping jaunt or a quick coffee.

Use public transport

Some cities in India now have excellent public transport. Taking the metro or the bus is not only good for the environment, but also helps take the pressure off vehicular traffic and keeps you active and calm (you don't have to worry about making that next green light!)

Remind yourself to get more active

Do your own chores, fetch your own water, stretch from time to time, dance while getting ready for work and walk even when you can avoid it. If you make your lifestyle more active, you'll find that you're more energetic and fitter in general.

Source: India Syndicate

Dance your way to slimness
Child fitness: Sneaky strategies aim to get kids moving
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Benefits of WalkingThe Health

By Vinamra Santhosh, India Syndicate, 23/02/2010
Benefits of WalkingThe Health
If you think about it, for a majority of us land dwellers, walking is the most natural way of getting about. It's no surprise then, that it comes packed with benefits. Let's take a look at some of them.

Weight management is a major reason why people take to walking these days. Walking paired with healthy eating habits is the best long-term solution to weight control. Keeping those kilos down also prevents the onset of a lot of harmful diseases.

Controlling blood pressure is another benefit that comes with walking. Physical activities in general strengthen the heart enabling it to pump in more blood with less effort and pressure on the arteries. So walk to keep you blood pressure at bay!

Cutting your chances of a stroke! According to a study this is possible by walking briskly for an hour a day for five days in a week.

Reducing the risk of a heart attack is another health benefit of walking. Walking for an hour a day helps do just this according to a study.

Walking also boosts good cholesterol. Physical activity helps lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood which causes plaque buildup along the artery walls and results in a heart attack.

Preventing need for gallstone surgery is another benefit realised by walking. According to a study published by Harvard, the need for surgery is reduced by 20-30%.

Walking is good for mental health. It is a good mood booster and helps reduce anxiety and depression.

Reducing the risk of breast cancer is possible by going for regular walks according to a study.

Another study claims that walking reduces chances of type 2 diabetes when coupled with a lower fatty food intake.

Walking regularly also strengthens hips thereby helping to protect against hip fracture.

Walking barefoot on grass is also said to do a world of good. It strengthens the toes and feet and for people with flat feet, this is said to be an effective remedy.

For those of you who believe that running is a better option than walking for losing the calories - News Flash! Running is a faster way to burn calories, but if you're willing to spend the extra time walking the same amount of miles as you run, you should lose the same amount of weight. Walking is also a better option for those with weak joints as running is hard on the knees and ankles.

Apart from these benefits, walking also helps to relieve pains for arthritis patients and is good to keep away back pains. It also helps improve the quality of sleep. It helps against osteoporosis and colon cancer. Walking is also said to cure constipation and impotence. All these health benefits lead to longevity. So make good use of those legs of yours' and get into shape soon. Your days and nights are bound to get better. Have a good day!

Source: India Syndicate


India could be the fastest growing economy, says Eco Survey

India could be the fastest growing economy, says Eco Survey
New Delhi: Enthused by reforms and the strong fundamentals, the Economic Survey on Thursday predicted that India would bounce back to a high nine per cent growth in 2011-12 on the way to becoming world's fastest growing economy in four years.

The document, which assesses the state of the economy, warned that high food prices would rise further over next few months and criticised the food management policies that have led to "unacceptably" high prices of items like sugar.

Inflation a concern

Food inflation is at present hovering close to 18 per cent. The pre-budget Survey (2009-10), presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament, also recommended a "gradual rollback" of stimulus measures after assessing the impact on each sector.

India could be the fastest growing economy

Projecting the economic growth to touch up to 8.75 per cent in 2010-11 and nine per cent in the next year, the Survey said: "It is entirely possible for India to move into the rarefied domain of double digit growth and even attempt to don the mantle" of the fastest growing economy in the world within the next four years.

It, however, expressed concern over rising prices, saying that a major concern during 2009-10 was the emergence of high double digit food inflation.

Full recovery

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said that projections indicate a full recovery from the impact of the global economic slowdown.

However, the Survey pointed out that the early signs of pick-up are due to low base and the export value is even lower than the absolute value of the pre-crisis period.

It also expressed concerns over the leading economies like the US resorting to protectionist measures.

"The high employment rates in some developed countries forcing even world leaders like the US to resort to protectionist measures, as in the case of the recent tax breaks for companies giving jobs in the US, could give wrong signal," it said.

The Survey further said that the extraordinary financial stimulus given by different countries, including India, have contributed to the recovery.

Export to China, Japan growing

Imports growth of some of India's trading partner like China, Hong Kong and Japan were encouraging in December 2009.

While China's imports from India grew by 71 per cent in December 2009, Japan imports went up by 3 per cent. Growth in Hong Kong imports from India turned highly positive at 58.5 per cent.

"Even in case of the US, which is still registering negative import growth, the extent of negative growth has become less, with imports from India growing at (-) 10 per cent in November 2009," it said.

Other highlights of Economic Survey 2009-10:

* Economy likely to grow by up to 8.75 per cent in 2010-11

* Full recovery; return to 9 per cent growth in 2011-12

* Broad recovery gives scope for gradual stimulus roll back

* High double-digit food inflation in 2009-10 major concern

* Signs of food inflation spreading to other sectors

* Farm & allied sector production falls 0.2% in 2009-10

* Need serious policy initiatives for 4% agriculture growth

* Moots direct food subsidy via food coupons to households

* Favours making available food in open mkt

* Favours monthly ration coupons usable anywhere for poor

* Gross fiscal deficit pegged at 6.5 pc of GDP in 2009-10

* India 10th largest gold holding nation at 557.7 tonnes

* Exports in April-December 2009 down 20.3 per cent

* Imports in April-December 2009 down 23.6 per cent

* Trade gap narrowed to USD 76.24 bn in April-December.

* 32.5% savings & 34.9% investment (of GDP in 2008-09) put India in league of world's fastest growing nations.

* Govt initiates steps to boost private investment in agri * Wants credit available at reasonable rates on time for private sector to invest in agriculture

* Slowdown in infrastructure that began in 2007, arrested

* Domestic oil production to rise 11 per cent in 2009-10

* Gas output up 52.8 per cent to 50.2 billion cubic meters with RIL starting production

* India world's 2nd largest wireless network with 525.1 million mobile users

* Virtually every second Indian has access to phone

* Auction for 3G spectrum to provide existing and foreign players to bring in new technology and innovations.

Source: PTI


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Now, Sibal bats for digitising books

Now, Sibal bats for digitising books
New Delhi: HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Wednesday stressed on digitalisation of books to help the reader access the material in a convenient manner and asked experts to evolve a policy to address the issues of copyright and creation of infrastructure for the purpose.

Inaugurating a three-day conference on 'Digital Libraries', he said that digitalisation of books will help a sizable section of readers get access to material.

However, there is need for a policy to address the issue of standardisation and copyright, he said.

There should be a software to help the reader to access specific material in the digital world, Sibal said.

According to him, the nature of libraries and librarians will have to change to cope with the changes. Sibal said choice of material is important during digitalisation.

Minister of State for HRD D Purandeswari harped on more research for preservation of material in the digital space.

Prof N Balakrishnan of Indian Institute of Sciences said there is need for a law for digitised copyright. He said there are nearly four million books which need digitalisation.

The conference is being organised by The Energy and Resource Institute and IGNOU.

Source: Business Standard

More on news

"Sense of humour must for cartoonist’s job"...a tip for YUVA BY A YUVA GURU.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Course chat
"Sense of humour must for cartoonist’s job"
Vibha Sharma

Sudhir Tailang

YOU can count the number of political cartoonists in India on your fingertips. In fact, in the words of well-known cartoonist Sudhir Tailang, "Cartoonists, like tigers, are an endangered species in the country. But we are not as ferocious."

Tailang, who made his first cartoon in 1970, when he was just 10 years’ old, started his career with the ‘Illustrated Weekly of India’, Mumbai, in 1982. In 1983, he joined ‘Navbharat Times’ in Delhi. And for a major part of his career, nearly 17 years, he was with the ‘Hindustan Times’. In between, he did a couple of short stints with the ‘Indian Express’ and the ‘Times of India’. His present assignment is with the ‘Asian Age’.

When asked what advice he would give to those wanting to become professional cartoonists, he says in a lighter vein, "Why would anyone want to commit harakiri?"

But on a serious note, Tailang describes his job thus: "Remember the story of the emperor and his new clothes. A political cartoonist is like the child in the story who told the emperor that he was wearing no clothes."

"A cartoon is a political comment. A political cartoonist draws a visual editorial, and also manages to make fun of people and situations that some editorial writers may not have the liberty to do," he adds.

Anyone aspiring to become a political cartoonist, must possess a journalistic worldview and analytical abilities in addition to the basic ability to draw, he feels.

"This is not a run-of-the-mill profession and I have been quite fortunate to land myself good jobs. But I have never been through an arts college. In fact, I am a science graduate and postgraduate in English literature."

"One cannot train to become a cartoonist and most of us are self-taught. But what you do require is a sense of humour, a sense of mischief, a crazy sort of personality and a passion for doing something different," he adds.

"If you are an IT professional, you will have hundreds of work options. But opportunities in this profession are limited.`A0 You have to go a long way before making a mark, which requires a lot of patience and persistence."

However, he opines, times are changing and there is now some scope for cartoonists in the electronic media and animation. But in the print media, it is still tough to carve a niche for oneself. For beginners, he has this suggestion, "Go and meet editors, show them your work, and get it published. Freelancing is another option, but it is tough going. Money wise too, this field is not too lucrative in the beginning." Twentyeight years into cartooning, E.P. Unny is now a veteran in the field. He started his career with ‘The Hindu’, where he worked for almost 12 years.

Later, he moved to Delhi and joined ‘The Economic Times’. At present with the ‘Indian Express’, his political comments in "Business as usual" are well known. Simply passionate about his work, Unny says one cannot plan to become a cartoonist.

"I started by sending a couple of cartoons to ‘The Hindu’, the then Editor liked my work and asked me to join the newspaper."

"One essential quality for becoming a cartoonist is the ability to draw with a comic twist, it’s not about faithfully reproducing pictures."

"Cartooning is not a structured career like engineering, medicine or law. The bottom line is — it is not a routine career," he points out.

"One way to begin is to try and get your work published. There is no such thing as professional training, one just learns on the job,"

Unny opines.




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Country India
State Rajasthan
District(s) Bikaner
• Density 723,982 (2008[update])
• 1,960 /km2 (5,076 /sq mi)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
• Elevation 270 km2 (104 sq mi)
• 242 m (794 ft)
• Pincode • 3340XX
• Telephone • ++91 151
• Vehicle • RJ-07

Bikaner is a District in the northwest of the state of Rajasthan in northern India. The city is the administrative headquarters of Bikaner District and Bikaner division. It was formerly the capital of the princely state of Bikaner. The city was founded by Rao Bika in 1486 and from its small origins it has developed into the fourth largest city in Rajasthan. Just like Jaipur, Bikaner is called the [[Camel City/Land of Camels)]. The Ganga Canal completed in 1928 and the [[Indira Gandhi Canal - One of The largest canal Project of the world)] completed in 1987 have allowed the farming of crops such as mustard, cotton, Groundnut, wheat and vegitables. Other industries include wool production and the mining of Gypsum, plaster of Paris and bentonite.

Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Geography
3 Transport
4 Climate
5 Art & Culture
5.1 Usta Art
6 Fairs and festivals
7 Attractions in Bikaner and nearby
7.1 Junagarh Fort
7.2 Laxmi Niwas Palace
7.3 Lalgarh Palace
7.4 Moolnayakji
7.5 Laxmi Nath Temple
7.6 Bhandasar Jain Temple
7.7 Other famous Jain Temples
7.8 Kolayat
7.9 Karni Mata Temple
7.10 Shiv Bari Temple
7.11 Other attractions
8 Demographics
9 Education in Bikaner
10 Connectivity
11 See also
12 References
13 External links

[edit] History
Further information: History of Bikaner

Genealogy of Bikaner Royal Family from its establishment by Rao Bika in 1472Till the 11th century, the area now known as Bikaner, was under the Gurjara - Pratihara clan and was ruled by a powerful Bargujar King. It was then known as Jangladesh and Churu was the centre of Bargujar power. It was only in 1472, that Rao Bika established the city of Bikaner. Rao Bika was the second son of Maharaja Rao Jodha of the Rathor clan, the founder of Jodhpur city. He conquered the large arid lands to the northern region of Rajasthan to set up his domain. As the second son of Joda he had no chance of inheriting his father’s territory of Jodhpur or to the title of Maharaja. He, therefore, reconciled and decided to build his own kingdom at Bikaner at the place then called "Jungladesh". Bikaner, though a desert land of the Thar Desert, was considered an oasis on the trade route between Central Asia and the Gujarat coast since it had adequate spring water sources. Bika’s name was thus tagged to the Bikaner city as well as to the then state of Bikaner (“the settlement of Bika”) that he established. He built a fort in 1478, which is now ruins and 100 years later a new fort was built about 1.5 km from the city centre known as the Junagarh Fort. History of Bikaner and the fort within it thus start with Bika.[1][2][3]

It was only about 100 years after Bika that Bikaner’s fortunes flourished under Raja Rai Singhji, the sixth ruler of Bikaner, who ruled from 1571 to 1611. During the Mughal Empire’s rule in the country, he accepted the suzerainty of the Mughals and held a high position of an army general in the court of Emperor Akbar and his son Emperor Jahangir. His successful war exploits by way of winning half of Mewar kingdom won him accolades and rewards from the Mughal emperors. He was gifted the jagirs (lands) of Gujarat and Burhanpur. With the large revenue earned from these jagirs, he built the Junagarh fort on a plain land, which has an average elevation of 760 feet (230 m). He was an expert in arts and architecture and the knowledge that he acquired during his several sojourns to several countries are amply reflected in the numerous monuments he built in the Junagarh fort.[1][4][3]

Karan Singh who ruled from 1631 to 1639, under the suzerainty of the Mughals, built the Karan Mahal palace. Later rulers added more floors and decorations to this Mahal. Anup Singh, who ruled from 1669-98, made substantial additions to the fort complex, with new palaces and the Zenana quarter (royal dwelling for females). He refurbished the Karan Mahal with a Diwan-i-Am (public audience hall) and called it the Anup Mahal. Gaj Singh who ruled from 1746 to 1787 refurbished the Chandra Mahal (the Moon palace). Following him, Surat Singh ruled from 1787 to 1828 and he lavishly decorated the audience hall (see picture in info box) with glass and lively paintwork. Dungar Singh who reigned from 1872 to 1887 built the Badal Mahal (the weather palace) named so in view of a painting of falling rain and clouds (a rare event in arid Bikaner). Ganga Singh who ruled from 1887 to 1943 built the Ganga Niwas Palace, which has towers at the entrance patio. This palace was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob.[5] Ganga Singh’s son Sadul Singh succeeded his father in 1943 but acceded to the Union of India in 1949. He died in 1950.[2]

Bikaner came under the suzerainty of the British Raj under a treaty of paramountcy signed in 1818, where after the Maharajas of Bikaner invested heavily on refurbishing their Junagarh fort.[6] However, during the 18th century, before this treaty was signed, there was internecine war between rulers of Bikaner and Jodhpur and also amongst other thakurs, which was put down by the British troops.[3]

Left: Lalgarh palace built (Indo-Saracenic style) by Ganga Singh in the name of his father, presently a heritage hotel and also residence of the Royal family. Right: Ganga Singh as member of the Imperial War Cabinet
Ganga Singh was the best-known king among the Rajasthan princes and he was a favourite of the British Raj and he earned the title of Knight Commander of the Star of India. He served as a member of the Imperial War Cabinet, represented the country at the Imperial (First World War Conferences) and the British Empire at the Versailles Peace Conference and was aware of the shift of fortunes in the World War II but died in 1943, before the war was won by the allies. His contribution to the building activity in Junagarh involved separate halls for public and private audience in the Ganga Mahal and a durbar hall for formal functions. The hall where he held his Golden Jubilee as a ruler of Bikaner is now a museum. He also got a new palace -north of Junagarh fort - designed and built by Swinton, the third of the new palaces built in Bikaner and named it Lalgarh Palace in the name of his father and shifted his residence from Junagarh fort to this palace in 1902. The royal family still lives in a special suite in the Lalbagh palace, which they have converted in to a heritage hotel.[6][3]

[edit] Geography
Bikaner is located at 28°01′N 73°11′E / 28.01°N 73.19°E / 28.01; 73.19[7]. It has an average elevation of 243 metres (797 feet

[edit] Transport
The internal transport system in Bikaner consists of autorickshaws and city buses. Bikaner is connected to some of major Indian cities via broad gauge railway. The city has direct rail connections to Delhi, Mumbai, Kanpur, Agra, Jalandhar, Baroda, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Guwahati, Jaipur, Surat, Jalandhar, Thiruvananthapuram, Chandigarh, Jammu, and Ahmedabad. However, there is no rail connectivity for other major Indian cities like Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Gorakhpur and Puri. Bikaner is well served with roads and is linked directly to Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Ludhiana, Bhatinda, Ambala, Ahmedabad, Haridwar, Jodhpur, Indore and many other cities. National highways 11, 15, and 89 meet at Bikaner. Bikaner has a well equipped military airport at Nal and hopes to have a passenger airport in the near future.

[edit] Climate
Bikaner is situated in the middle of the Thar desert with very little rainfall and extreme temperatures. In summer, temperatures exceed 50 °C and during the winter it dips to freezing point.

The climate in Bikaner is characterised by extreme variations in temperature. In the summer season it is very hot when the temperatures lie in the range of 28–41.8 °C (82–107 °F). In the winter, it is fairly cold with temperatures lying in the range of 5–23.2 °C (41–74 °F).[8] Annual Rainfall is in the range of 260–440 millimetres (10–17 in).[8][9]

[edit] Art & Culture

Princely flag of BikanerBikaner is famous for -:

1) Its camel research farm (NRCC). 2) Its "Bikaneri Bhujia. 3) Its wool production. 4) Its milk production-maximum in India(according to city production). 5) Its sweets.

Bikaneri Bhujia is a spicy snack made from moth dal, spices and edible oil. Bikaner is also known for its handicrafts and leather articles, for its palaces and for having Asia's biggest camel farm.
The city is also known for its intricately carved Jharokas. These red sandstone stone jalis (screens) are found on the windows of the Junagarh fort, temples and havelis (mansions of Northern India). Jalis would be used for ventilation and for women to watch the world while remaining hidden.

The red sandstone for these stone window screens was supplied by the nearby village of Dulmera.

[edit] Usta Art
Bikaner was and is the centre for Usta Art, a generic term for the Manoti-Naqqashi (embossed and unembossed floral and geometric patterned objects layered with gold) media produced by Usta family master artistans of Bikaner. The Usta artists and artisans also controlled all production of the Bikaner School "miniature" paintings using translucent and opaque vegetable and mineral watercolours from the late-16th to late-19th Century. Famous painters of the Bikaner School were Hamid Rukn-ud-din, Ahmad, Nathu ji, Nure, Rahim, Isa, Iso, Sahab-ud-din, Rehim ji and Murad.

[edit] Fairs and festivals
Karni Mata fair
Kapil Muni fair
Camel festival: each January the state government organises a camel festival with camel races, various cultural events and a fire dance performed by the Sidh people.
Aksaye Tritya or "AKKHA TEEJ": the foundation day of Bikaner. This was the day when Rao Bika laid the foundation of the new empire. Every year on this day people from across the social spectrum enjoy themselves by flying kites or "CHANDA". They also enjoy a special meal, such as "Khichra and Imlani".
[edit] Attractions in Bikaner and nearby

Junagarh Fort, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India[edit] Junagarh Fort
The fort was built by Raja Rai Singh, the sixth ruler of Bikaner who reigned from 1571 to 1612. Rai Singh had conquered part of Marwar and had been granted territory in Gujurat and Burhanpur by the Mughal emperor Akbar as a reward for his services as military commander. This, as well as funding from Jodhpur, enabled him to build the fort. Rai Singh held high rank in the imperial courts of both Akbar and his successor, Jehangir. During his imperial service he travelled extensively, giving him an appreciation of art and architecture. These ideas have been incorporated meticulously into the architectural style of Junagarh Fort.

[edit] Laxmi Niwas Palace

Laxmi Niwas PalaceThe Laxmi Niwas Palace is a former residential palace of the king of the former Bikaner state, Maharajah Ganga Singh in Bikaner in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was designed by the British architect, Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob in the year 1902. The style of architecture is Indo-Saracenic. It is now a luxury hotel owned by Golden Triangle Fort & Palace P. Ltd. The magnificent structure in red sandstone is one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Bikaner.[10]

[edit] Lalgarh Palace

Lalgarh PalaceLalgarh Palace was built between 1902 and 1926 according to Rajput, Mughal and European architectural styles. The building was commissioned by Maharaja Ganga Singh (1889 - 1925) in memory of his father Maharaja Lall Singh and was designed by the British architect, Sir Swinton Jacob. It is coated in red sandstone and has several grand halls, lounges, cupolas and pavilions. The building features magnificent pillars, elaborate fireplaces, Italian colonnades and intricate latticework and filigree work. The palace houses the Shri Sadul Museum as well as the fourth largest library in the world. Though the Bikaner Royal Family still live in the palace, part of the building has been converted into a Heritage hotel operated by the Royal faimly of Bikaner.[citation needed]

[edit] Moolnayakji
Constructed in 1486, Moolnayakji was the first Vaishnav Temple built in Bikaner. It was the principal seat of the Vaishanv sect. The first of the Bhagavad Katha Vachaks of the Rattani Vyas clan of Bikaner Shri Rattoji Vyas gave the Bhagavad Updesh to the king, Rao Bika and his aide Salloji Rathi. This practice is carried on till date. The presiding deity is Lord Moolnayak Krishna.

Bhandasar Jain Temple[edit] Laxmi Nath Temple
Laxmi Nath Temple is one of the oldest temples in Bikaner. The foundation of the city was laid here in 1488 by Rao Bikaji. The temple was erected during the reign of Rao Lunkaran and was added to by Maharaja Ganga Singh.

[edit] Bhandasar Jain Temple
Out of the 27 beautiful Jain Temples adorning the landscape of Bikaner city, this temple dedicated to 5th Tirthankar Lord Sumatinath is considered to be the most beautiful and also the highest. This temple was buit by a Jain merchant Bhanda Shah. The foundation of this temple was filled by pure ghee and dry coconuts.

This temple is mainly famous for wall paintings and usta art. The temple is built of red sandstone and is divided in three floors. One can see the skyline of Bikaner by climbing to the topmost floor of this temple.

[edit] Other famous Jain Temples
There are total 27 Jain temples in Bikaner. Following is the list of most revered and some of the oldest Jain temples of the city.

1. Sri Adishwar Ji- dedicated to 1st Tirthankar Lord Rishabhdev

2. Sri Chintamani Ji- dedicated to 1st Tirthankar Lord Rishabhdev. Boasts of more than 1500 sacred jina idols which Maharaja of Bikaner secured from the hands of insane Muslim chiefs.

3. Sri Baido ka Mahavir Ji- dedicated to 24th and last Tirthankar Lord Mahavira

4. Sri Naminath Ji- dedicated to 21st Tirthankar Lord Naminath. It is situated inside the campus of Laxminath temple. Thus it a testimony to the cordial relations between the two main communities of Bikaner -Jains & Hindus. Consists of good wall paintings.

[edit] Kolayat
Kolayat is a famous pilgrimage spot with a temple dedicated to Kapila who, according to his devotees, sat in meditation near the lake. One week before Pushkar Festival and till one week later this lake is more interesting if you like to see Sadhus. Pushkar will have some Sadhus but Kolayat will have many hundreds.

[edit] Karni Mata Temple
The world famous shrine of Karni Mata can be found in the town of Deshnoke 30 km south from Bikaner on the road to Jodhpur. Karni Mata is worshiped as an incarnation of Goddess Durga.

This temple is famous for rats which can be seen everywhere in the temple.

[edit] Shiv Bari Temple
Built from red sandstone by Dungar Singh in the late 19th century, the temple is surrounded by a wall with battlements. It has a four faced black marble statue of Shiva and a bronze Nandi facing the Shiva Lingam. There are also two large reservoirs of water known as bawaris. The temple attracts thousands of visitors during Shravan (August) especially on Mondays.

[edit] Other attractions
Camel Farm
Sur Sagar
Public Park and Zoo
Raj Ratan Bihariand Rasik Siromani Temple
Lakshminath Temple
Bhandasar Jain Temple
Vaidehi Global Trust
Vaishno Dham
Ganga Golden Jubilee Museum
Rajasthan State Archives
Rampuria Havelis
Ratan Bihari Temple
Historical Gopi Nath Temple, Opp. Government Press
Devi Kund Sagar.
Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary.
Deshnok Goddess Karni Temple.
[edit] Demographics
According to the 2001 India census [11], Bikaner had a population of 529,007. Males constituted 53% of the population and females 47%. Bikaner has an average literacy rate of 66%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 74% and female literacy of 57%. 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.

[edit] Education in Bikaner
For notable Universities and colleges see List of universities and colleges in Bikaner: Maharaja Ganga Singh University, Jaisalmer Road, Bikaner Swami Keshvanand rajasthan agricultute University, ganganagar Road, Bikaner Government Dunger College, jaipur Road, Bikaner M.S. College for Women, Jaisalmer Road, Bikaner Rampuria College, Joshiwara, inside kote gate, Bikaner.

For notable schools see List of schools in Bikaner, Rajasthan. K.A.M. Children Secondary School, Neel kanth Colony, In frount of Cine Magic Cinema, Rani Bazar Industrial Area, Bikaner Government Fort Sr. Sec. School, Station Road, Bikaner Govt. Sadul Sr. Sec. School, Inside Kote Gate, Bikaner Major Thomus Govt. City Sr. Sec. School, Morden Market School, Bikaner

[edit] Connectivity
Bikaner is well connected by road, rail and air links to the rest of the country.

Bikaner has an airport named Nal Airport(FOR DEFENCE), which is 17 kilometres (11 mi) away from the city centre and is still not fully functional. However, airports at Jodhpur (254 kilometres (158 mi)) and Sanganer Airport at Jaipur (352 kilometres (219 mi)) within Rajasthan provide the link.

Bikaner is served by two railway stations namely Bikaner Junction (BKN)[13] and Lalgarh Railway Station (LGH)[14]. These two stations connect Bikaner with other cities and towns in Rajasthan and with the major cities in North India(FOR LAST 5 YRS THERE IS NO DIRECT TRAIN FROM AND TO DELHI-BIKANER).

There is very good network of city roads also where all modes of vehicular transport communications operate.....DHORON KE RASTE BUS AUR GADDI MEIN AANA TO AACCHA HI LAGTA HAI!!!

What you eat is going to pinch your purse

What you eat is going to pinch your purse

New Delhi - The country's food inflation picked up for the fourth straight week in early February, heightening worries it was driving headline inflation past official forecasts and increasing the chance of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) pushing up rates.

No takers: A vegetable vendor waits for customers following the spiralling increase in food prices

Food prices rose 17.97 percent in the 12 months to February 6, after an annual rise of 17.94 percent in the previous week, data released on February 18 showed.

The fuel price index rose an annual 9.89 percent in the same week, down from a rise of 10.4 percent on year the previous week.

Rising prices are a huge headache for the Congress-led government, particularly high food prices that may overshadow government efforts to cut spending and the fiscal deficit in a February 26 budget.

An activist from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), wearing a headgear and garland made of vegetables, shouts slogans during a protest in New Delhi. Thousands of BJP activists on February 17 staged a protest against the price hike of essential food items.

Climbing food and fuel costs along with a pick up in manufacturing prices are expected to push headline wholesale price inflation (WPI) from 8.56 percent in January to 10 percent by March, according to some analysts and chief statistician Pronab Sen.

Government bonds showed little reaction to the data given that markets have already priced in a rise in the headline inflation to double digits and a 25 to 50 basis point rise in policy rates in April.

In early trade, yield on the 10-year benchmark bond was at 7.89 percent, unchanged from its Wednesday close.

"Going forward, food prices will moderate and non-food prices will start putting more pressure on the WPI," said Atsi Sheth, economist with Macro-Sutra.

"The RBI has already anticipated a fairly high headline number mainly on a low base. They will look at month-on-month increase in manufacturing prices and credit growth figure before taking any monetary action."

CPI activists protest against price hike of essential commodities in Mumbai on February 17.


The central bank is widely expected to raise borrowing rates after it surprised markets last month with a bigger-than-expected rise in banks' cash reserve requirements and given that inflation has already topped its revised end-March forecast of 8.5 percent.

Inflation in manufacturing picked up to 6.55 percent from about 5 percent in December, a sign that inflationary pressures were spreading to other sectors of the economy.

"I do not expect headline inflation to come down near term," said Kevin Grice, an economist with Capital Economics in London.

Devil's in the roadmap

Devil's in the roadmap

Budget 2010 is an opportunity to present India's vision for this decade.

Budget 2010 will be the first budget of a new decade. In the last decade India grew fast, much faster than we expected. But it globalised even faster. A rapidly growing and globalising economy faces many new challenges. Many of these have unfolded over the last decade. There is an overwhelming sense, both in India and abroad, that the next decade will bring even higher growth and a more radical transformation of India.

The budget speech for 2010 is an opportunity to present the government's vision of India in the next decade, and along with it,the fiscal,financial and monetary policy reforms that are required to meet the unique challenges of this decade.

This should include specific actions on fiscal consolidation, achieving a mature financial system, creating an independent and accountable monetary authority, and a framework for maintaining financial stability. The budget speech should outline a road map for the implementation of the Direct Tax Code and the goods and services tax. Finally, it should embark on radical reform of government expenditure, moving away from the existing strategy of spending more on government programmes that do not work, to one focused on outcomes, impact, accountability and bang-for-the-buck.

India has moved much faster on trade liberalisation than on capital account liberalisation. The story of the capital account is a more tortuous one as rules continue to be highly restrictive. The Chinn-Ito database, which gives us across-country and across-time measurement of capital account restrictions, shows India has not moved forward since the 1970s, while all our peers have moved strongly towards openness.

While the rules have "dejure" restrictions, circumstances have changed greatly. India has taken a path where many capital account transactions are feasible, but only after complying with complicated rules and procedures. Increasing trade, growth of Indian companies, the slow but steady opening up of various avenues for movement of capital from abroad have meant that,on the ground, there has been a consider able opening up of the capital account. It is now time for the rules to catch up with reality: to create an environment where households and firms are able to frictionlessly do the things that are presently done in tortuous ways. A strategy of further changes in laws and regulations needs to be drawn up to reflect the higher globalisation of India in the coming decades.

More capital account openness is inevitable but we need to make sure that increased globalisation does not make our economy vulnerable. For this reason there is a need to create a resilient policy framework so as to cope with shocks. This requires creating appropriate policy frameworks for fiscal, financial and monetary policy.

On the fiscal front a number of steps would need to be taken. The roadmap for fiscal consolidation, the creation of a modern well-functioning market for government bonds, the setting up of a debt management office, moving away from financial repression (such as the SLR requirements of 25 per cent through which the government pre-empts the savings of the household sector) should be elements on this roadmap.

There is a strong consensus surrounding the path for financial sector reforms as sketched by key committee reports. The task of the finance minister is to overcome the bureaucratic politics that has bedeviled financial reform, and to translate these reports from recommendation to action.

On the monetary front, the RBI is saddled with multiple objectives such as controlling inflation, managing the exchange rate, regulating banks and managing the government's debt. These objectives involve conflicts of interest. Most advanced countries have separated the functions of the central bank such that the central bank is able to focus on controlling inflation. Over the next decade, the government will need to modify the role and function of the RBI, to get away from the combination of functions in its 1934 legislation.

The monetary policy framework that was acceptable when India was a stagnant, closed, small economy is out of touch with the needs of India as a fast-growing, big and open economy. In the past, government could get by with small changes to capital controls to manage the exchange rate or control money flowing into India. But in India's future, there is no escape from facing up to the impossible trinity. The sooner we accept this reality and draw up a framework to work towards it, the more resilient the economy will become.

All advanced economies, other than the US, have a GST. The case for a GST has already been made and today there is agreement on the idea. The government has repeatedly made announcements of a start date, but has failed to back these announcements with either the requisite political consensus or the project management capability. The problem of administration is going to be a big challenge when the GST is implemented. The GST is not like business as usual in traditional tax administration. It has to be a sophisticated tax system. The only way to implement it is to view it as a time-bound project with a dedicated team that is focussed on getting the GST up and running.

Finally, the finance minister should turn to expenditure. The core functions of government are law and order and local public goods such as roads, water and sanitation. The prime focus of expenditure should be on these core functions: the police, the judiciary, drinking water, sanitation and population-wide health programmes. The government needs to shift resources -- both money and the time of civil servants and politicians -- away from extraneous activities towards these core functions of government.

Once resources are being devoted to core public goods, the question becomes one of redesigning government structures and programmes so as to achieve accountability and bang-for-the-buck. The UPA has unfortunately had a long tradition of focussing on expenditures and not results. This has simultaneously given fiscal excess and failed to deliver local public goods. It is time to reject these traditional approaches and bring a new approach to getting outcomes on local public goods, at the lowest possible cost, through agencies, which would be held accountable for delivering measurable results. We need to see a blue-print for such reform.

The writer is a professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi.

Source: The Indian Express
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बदलती परिस्थितियां(why we need women perspective??))

बदलती परिस्थितियां ...mein 'day' celebrate karne mein yakeen nahin karti, parivartan ek satat parkriya hai...haan ek din saal bhar ke karyon ka lekha-jokha bataya ja sakta hai bagair kafi aadamber kiye.

प्रस्तुतकर्ता Aditi Foundation पर ९:५२:०० AM इस संदेश के लिए लिंक

परिवार और समाज में नारियों का स्थान और उनके अन्तरंग और बहिर्रंग व्यक्तित्व की दृष्टी से यदि हम विश्व का इतिहास देखें, तो विभिन् कालों में नारियों की बदलती स्थितियों का हमें सहज ही पता चल जाएगा। हमें ऐसा सुनने को मिलता है की बहुत प्राचीन काल में नारी प्रधान परिवार हुआ करते थे। ऐसे परिवारों से यूक्त समाज मात्र सत्तात्मक समाज कहलाता था। आज भी केरल में और पूर्वोतर राज्यों में ऐसे परिवार मिल जाते हैं। फिर क्रमश: ऐसा युग आया जब परिवार में कार्य शेत्र का स्पष्ट: बंटवारा हो गया। नारियों को घर के समस्त कार्य सौँप दिए गए और पुरूष ने अपना कार्य-शेत्र बाहर चुन लिया। परिणाम यह हुआ की धीरे-धीरे पुरुषों का महत्त्व बढ़ने लगा और स्त्रियाँ सिर्फ़ घर की शोभा मात्र रह गयी। आधिकारों की दृष्टि से नारियों के पिचाद
जाने का प्रधान कारन शायद यही रहा होगा। आज भी हम पाते हैं की जिन् स्त्रियों का कार्य शेत्र सिर्फ़ घर तक सीमित है, वे अपेक्षाकृत परतंत्र है, और जो स्त्रियाँ किसी न किसी रूप में घर से बाहर अपना कार्य शेत्र ढूँढ लेती है, वे कहीं अधिक स्वतंत्र हो जाती हैं अथवा होने की शमता पैदा कर लेती हैं। नारीओं की स्थिति में हेरफेर का यह कारन इसलिए भी उपयुक्त प्रतीत होता है, क्योंकि कोई दूसरा कारन इतना महत्वपूर्ण नज़र नहीं आता। सालों से महिलाओं की बिगड़ती स्थिति और अन्याय से बचाव के लिए तमाम महिला संस्थ्यें सामने आयी हैं पर वे पुरा कार्य नहीं कर पायीं हैं। स्त्री का शारीरिक, मानसिक, और मनोवैज्ञानिक शोषण से बचाव हो, इसके लिए ज़रूरी है की पूरा परिवार अपनी सोच में परिवर्तन करे, या परोख्स रूप से कहें, तो समाज की सोच में ही परिवार्त्न हो। आंकडों के मुताबिक, उत्तेर्प्रदेश महिलाओं के उत्पीडन में सबसे आगे है। नेशनल फॅमिली हैल्थ के हाल के आंकड़े बताते हैं की तकरीबन पचास प्रतिशत पुरूष महिलाओं को उत्पीडित करते है। दहीज के लिए टांग करना, मरना, लिंग भेध्भाव भी वहां ज़्यादा है, पर यह सामान्तया पुरे उत्तर भारत में है। शैक्षिक, आर्थिक, व् सामाजिक विकास में भी उनके साथ भेदभाव ज़ाहिर तौर पर है। प्रतिदिन के उत्पीडन से महिलायें एकदम से नहीं मरती, तिल-तिल कर मरती है, और हर तरह से पंगु बन जाती हैं।

आख़िर इस समस्या का कोई निदान है क्या ? क्या महिला सस्थाएं न्यायालयों में महिलाओं को न्याय दिला कर इन समस्याओं का निदान कर सकती है ?

मैंने अपने कुछ मित्रों से कुछ सवाल पूछे.उनके जवाब का लब्बो -लुबाव था "इस्त्रियों का आत्मनिर्भेर होना मुख्य वजह है पारिवारिक कलह की । जो दायीत्व समाज ने स्त्री और पुरूष के लिए बाँट दिए गए हैं , उसका निर्वहन न कर के पुरूष और स्त्री दोनों पुरूषओचित हो रहे हैं । वैसे भी , पुरूष का स्त्रियन होना सम्भव नहीं ।"

मुझे लगा जब तक पुरूष अहंकार बीच में आता रहेगा , परिवारों में बिखराव आता रहेगा एक और महिला मनोव्य्ज्ञानिक रूप से पंगु होती रहेगी ।

आज ज़रूरत है ऐसी संस्थाओं की जो स्त्री ही नही , पुरुषों के मन की व्यथा भी सुनें और उन्हें परामर्श दे की किस तरह घर में महिला को स्नेह व् इज्ज़त देते हुए मददगार पति , भाई , पिता की भूमिका निभाएं । साथ ही , इस पीढी की परवरिश ऐसे ढंग से हो जहाँ बेटे -बेटियों में भेदभाव न हो और दोनों में समान मानसिकता डालते हुए घर -बाहर के कार्य सिखाये जायें । संभवत: तभी स्थितियों में बदलाव होगा और देश का भविष्य उज्जवल होगा , और यही हमारा समाज के लिए योगदान होगा ।

विभा तैलंग ९.१०.2008

Budget Wishlist: Healthcare

Budget Wishlist: Healthcare

New Delhi: The headlthcare fraternity submit their wishlist for Budget 2010-2011 with hope of continiuation of tax sops and goodies that aim at helping the sector to scale up production and growth.

CEO-SPEAK: Shivinder M Singh

Managing director, Fortis Healthcare Ltd

Boost medical infrastucture

The Budget should incentivise public-private partnership projects in healthcare.

New healthcare infrastructure needs to be promoted in Tier-II and -III towns by extending the tax holiday announced in the previous Budget from five years to 15. Easy availability of funding needs to be ensured for this sector, which has a long gestation, by granting it 'Priority Sector' status. Healthcare education should be opened up to generate more talent and to meet the huge shortage of doctors, nurses and trained paramedical staff. Organised sector employers should be mandated to provide group health insurance for all their employees and families to help affordability and rapidly enhance health insurance penetration.


The Finance Act 2008 provided a five-year tax holiday for hospitals located outside the urban agglomerations, especially in Tier-II and -III towns, provided the hospital is constructed and starts functioning during the period from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2013.

There is a need to extend this benefit to all hospitals located across India, so as to attract investment in development of healthcare facilities across the country and boost growth of infrastructure for the healthcare industry.


Debasish Mishra Executive director PricewaterhouseCoopers

The government must continue to increase the allocation of funds to the health sector to reach at least 3 per cent of GDP as public spending. But it will be more important to introduce bold reform measures such as a regulatory mechanism in public and private sector to improve access, quality and delivery of care including standardisation of health infrastructure.

Source: Business Standard

Be the change she wants to bring

Task before Ms Banerjee:

Be the change she wants to bring

New Delhi: Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has perhaps unwittingly raised the bar for herself for the coming Budget by unveiling a vision for the railways for the next 10 years which borders on the grandiose. If the railways' share of GDP is to rise from the present 1.18 per cent to 3 per cent, then the extra effort has to begin now. Ms Banerjee, as is her wont, has asked for a massive rise in budgetary support for the railway plan, by as much as five times the annual average of what was offered in the last five years, to fulfil the vision of rapid growth. But the Union finance minister has lost no time in bringing her down to earth, clearly indicating that the sharp rise in investments will have to be substantially funded by the railways themselves. Thus, the pressure will be on the railway minister to show that for its part the organisation has put in an extra effort to generate a higher surplus, thus creating the moral ground for demanding more form the general pool of resources. The benchmarks for this are clear. The operating ratio for the railways has sharply deteriorated from the last boom year, 2007-08, going up (expenses eating up more of revenue) from 75.9 per cent that year to 92.5 per cent in the budget estimates for the current year. Now that the slowdown is over and the economy is clearly returning to the earlier trend growth path of 8 per cent, the onus will be on the railways and its minister to slowly return to the earlier ratios. In fact, "better than the best" should be the motto but since the wages of a new Pay Commission will have to be borne, achieving the earlier ratios will be creditable enough.

To get there, the minister should unambiguously raise passenger fares, which have stagnated for years and so added to the deficit that the rest of the organisation has had to bear. But since there is no signal so far that this will be done, the burden will have to be carried by freight earnings. The marketing people in the organisation will have to continue with what they have been successfully doing in recent years, incentivising higher freight offerings through attractive discounts and flexible tariffs. Ms Banerjee should focus on ensuring zero accidents and create a road map for it. Ms Banerjee has invested time and energy in creating a vision for the railways and in improving management systems. She has some good ideas that deserve implementation. Reports from West Bengal indicate that she is changing her old agitational ways and officials in Rail Bhavan are happy that she listens to them quite a bit. She should use her prime time Parliament speech to reveal to the nation a bit more of her rational self which she has so far chosen to hide from the public.

Source: Business Standard

Terror and beyond: Are we expecting peace amidst turmoil?


Terror and beyond: Are we expecting peace amidst turmoil?

Violence, both externally driven and internal, has become a way of life in India. So much so, that each morning our eyes scan the newspaper for acts of terror. We let out an involuntary sigh of relief if the papers are bereft of pictures of shattered skulls, broken limbs and blood-stained roads.

Rescue workers carry the body of a policeman at a police camp attacked by Maoist rebels in Silda village, Midnapore district of West Bengal. On Monday, about 24 jawans were killed in the biggest-ever Maoist assault when the rebels caught the troops unaware. Photo Courtesy: Reuters

But such days are getting as rare as snow in the desert for Indians. The violent terror attacks in Mumbai on 26/11 2008 had barely receded into the recesses of our collective minds when the bakery blast at Pune returned to remind us of the external threats. And just as we were reeling from that blow to the solar plexus came the upper-cut straight to the jaw in the form of a daring Naxal attack on a police camp in Sildah, West Bengal.

And our country continues to bleed from a thousand cuts inflicted on us by envious neighbors and militant desperados.

In fact, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh surprised many by his recent statement that naxalism and not terrorism was the bigger threat to India's internal security. He sought to know the reasons for this sense of alienation amongst people in central India and suggested that the new age policeman must train to be more professional, motivated, empowered and above all trained to use technology for investigation.

Be that as it may, the question that springs to mind is the ease with which terror actors get access to weapons of war and funds in the region. While external help is easy to understand, where do the Maoists find the money and the guns to raise a stink?

The answer is not too difficult to fathom. Fly three hours in any direction from New Delhi and what do you get...? A conflict zone or one where a conflict has recently resolved. There is Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal - each a hotbed of conflict and each providing a haven for desperados with a veritable departmental store for arms purchase.

In effect, we are expecting a peaceful home in a noisy neighborhood!

File photo of police inspecting German Bakery blast site in Pune. A powerful blast rocked the bakery on February 13, leaving about 10 dead. Co-founder of the bakery Klaus Gutzeit, could not bear to visit the site to see the destruction. "I just passed by the bakery in a rickshaw. I couldn't bring myself to stop crying," he said. Photo Courtesy: AP

Defense experts argue that India's problems emanate from the fact that almost all of its neighbors can broadly be termed as "failed states". If the Maoists find support in Nepal and the ULFA in Bangladesh, the Islamic terrorist boast of a twin haven in Pakistan and Afghanistan while Myanmar and Sri Lanka have failed to curb the menace of drug trafficking and smuggling.

It is a scenario where the lines between an external and internal threat has blurred substantially. Most of the internal security threats to India have been externally sponsored and tolerated. This is no surprise, given that barring China none of the other regional neighbors can consider an armed conflict with India's forces.

Each of India's neighbors have at some time or the other supported and often turned a blind eye to anti-India acts that have been inspired, supported or guided by individuals or groups based out of their territory. Take a look at the none-too-distant history of our neighbors...

The body of a suspected militant lies amongst rubble after a gun battle with the Indian army in Kachwa Mqam, 55 km (34 miles), north of Srinagar. Two separatist militants were killed and one residential house destroyed in an encounter between Indian security forces and separatist militants in the village of Kachwa Mqam, police said.


In the 1980s, the Pak administration began lending tacit support to the Khalistan movement across the then porous borders in Punjab. By the early 1990s, Kashmir began to boil and the support from state and non-state actors across the border became obvious.

And post-1992, it was proxy war at its best as Islamabad supported both Kashmiri militants while also shielding proclaimed international offenders like Dawood Ibrahim on its turf. The military regime that governed the country for most of this period had an obvious axe to grind. If you cannot win on a battlefield, weaken the enemy from within became the motto.

Armed soldiers from the Taliban Islamic militia race towards the hijacked Indian Airlines plane at Kandahar airport in southern Afghanistan.


The infamous IC-814 hijacking proved beyond doubt that a militant Afghanistan was no friend of India. And a porous Afghan-Pakistan border ensured safe passage to Kashmiri ultras besides becoming the lifeline for a flourishing narcotics trade and arms supply.

Though the current regime in Kabul has made the right overtures to India over terrorism, precious little has come out of it. India's open support to the Hamid Karzai regime and the American attempt to flush out terror hideouts means that there could be a long wait before New Delhi can expect any change in the situation. The only silver lining is that Pakistan has been forced to tighten security on its border with Afghanistan.

Paramilitary policemen practise during a daily training session at the Forbidden City in Beijing February 1, 2010.


From a purely defense perspective, China has to be the biggest external threat to India, if not for anything else but Beijing's sheer military superiority. The recent incursions on the Arunachal border and Beijing's continued tacit support to Pakistan as a nuclear ally make China a major headache for India's foreign and defense policy planners.

The Chinese, who have already fought a war over territory in 1962, have made the right noises on economic ties in the past but India's consistent stance on Tibet and its support to the Dalai Lama has always rankled Beijing. Over the past few years, Indian IT companies have entered China but New Delhi continues to be wary of cheap imports from across the border which makes Beijing see red.

The file image shows the body of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran on a stretcher at Nanthikadal lagoon, near the town of Mullaittivu in northern Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka
Political historians believe Rajiv Gandhi's decision to send the IPKF in the mid-1980s was a historical blunder that pulled bilateral relations beyond reprieve. Though the Island republic has hopefully seen the last of the Tamil Tigers in its territory, the two-decade long civil war made Sri Lanka a conduit for arms and narcotics trade.

The narcotics trade was a major revenue earner for the LTTE over the past two decades. Though the Tigers have been tamed, there is all likelihood that the illegal trade routes continue to flourish. The increasing tourist traffic to the island nation is also an indicator of Sri Lanka failing to control the arms and drug trade. Add to that the lax security along the Pak Straits means that India is unwittingly becoming a part of this drug mafia.

Arabinda Rajkhowa (C with spectacles), chief of the banned United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), is taken to court in Guwahati. The top rebel leader from Assam surrendered, police said.


The recent arrest of Arabinda Rajkhowa, the outlawed ULFA chief and deputy commander Raju Baruah in Bangladesh shows what an India-friendly regime can do in our neighboring countries. Premier Sheikh Hasina not only accepted the ULFA leader's presence in her country but also went one step ahead by nabbing and handing him over to India. Rajkhowa, who had operated from Bangladesh for several years, and masterminded terror strikes, is indeed a prize catch for India.

In fact, the Awami League that came to power in 2008 has been out to wipe away the fundamentalist tag that their country got painted with over the past decade. The country executed five ex-army officers convicted of the 1975 assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. One of the officers Lt. Col Syed Faruque Rahman had returned to form the Islamic Freedom Party, which reportedly has links with the Harkat-ul-Jihad and even the ISI.

Bodies of suspected separatist militants and confiscated weapons are displayed after a gun battle at Loktak Lake in Manipur.


India has had an up-and-down relationship with Myanmar, often seen as an easy border for militants and smugglers in the northeastern region. The two countries are trying to forge economic links where Indian energy companies are keen to invest in Myanmar, but it is the 1,643-km shared border that is a cause for worry in New Delhi.

Towards this end, India recently initiated talks to start joint operations for eliminating insurgent camps across the border. Although China ended its assistance to the northeast militant groups nearly three decades ago, by 2005 there were still reported to be at least 27 full-time camps in western Myanmar. Despite this large number of armed insurgents on its western border, Myanmar's military has paid much less attention to this area compared to its eastern and northern borders with Thailand and China.

Source: India Syndicate

23 February 2010 22:31:59
There is only one way to buy peace (for India)----- Bomb out and annihilate Pakistan... don't bother about Human rights and all those farce.

In case our Govt. lacks the guts to do so another alternative I can suggest that hire Mossad and get those B*****ds like Hafiz sayeed, Mullah Omar, dawood ibrahim, Salauddin, lakhvi, Massod azhar and rest of the notorious agents of terrorism as in the list killed. By doing so, we can buy peace atleast for couple of years .... may be 5 yrs.

Even in case Indian Govt fails to do so, then they must send Shah Rukh Khan to the "beautiful neighbor called Pakistan" ( as per SRK) to do the negotiation with the lawless Pak Govt and the terror outfits in that country.

Rest ... waste of time....

Jai Hind!!!!

23 February 2010 21:30:09

I fully agree with BCV Raju.Corruption is the biggest bane in our Country.Terrorists can sneak in by bribing our security.The Coffins of martyrs are also not spared of bribery and corruption.Eggs for Military personell working at higher altitudes are also not spared and substandard products are provided.This is done by the higher ranks and the people in power.Getting thru into or out of Indian borders is easy.The most corrupt politicos are at the highest position and abusing it for more money and power.Things are worsening day by day.God save our country.

Gaurang Mody#3

23 February 2010 17:33:24

The day is not far when our country will disintegrate by both internal and external forces. Internal meaning - corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and police.

External meaning - Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Nepal




23 February 2010 17:23:01

Naxalism or terrorism are the fruits of paralised juditiary and un profesional home.The feudalistic administrative augmented common man to take up arms.The criminalisation and corruption in politics has brought undisciplined society with in.The communist clout bringing economic slow down , the BJp on ther hand bringing fundmentalists to utter dismay has this country to utter shambles.The day when politicians do not take bribes, the day when administration serve the needy, the day when juditiary see rich and poor equally, the day when the home understands profesionalism ,the day when the quality education is given to all irrespective of poor or rich , things will be normal.The unfortuante is yet to come , the tolrant society often keeps silant a draw back to this nation andthe results will be utter disintigration in the days ahead.