Sunday, April 10, 2011

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Everybody dreams about flying through the air like their favourite action hero at some point in their life...and now it's possible with the new Jetlev-Flyer - a futuristic jet pack.

Canadian engineer Raymond Li designed the water-powered machine so that it can hover up to 30 metres in the air and reach speeds of up to 22mph as you make your way across the water.

And now fans of Superman or even James Bond can get their hands on this high-tech device for just £110,000.

The device was being tested out on the beaches of Miami, Florida, and onlookers were able to watch the pilot as he propelled into the air and flew across the water.

The Jetlev-Flyer has a 10 metre hose and an engine which doubles as a flotation device. The hose is essential because water is sucked up and spat out through two nozzles which are mounted on the users back.

It took more than 10 years to perfect the design and if you don't fancy splashing out all that cash to buy one, there is a chance it might be coming to a holiday resort near you.

So you could soon be fulfilling those childhood dreams of flying across the water like Superman or doing stunts in your very own James Bond movie.

China launches satellite

China on early Sunday morning launched its eighth orbiter which will form part of its indigenous satellite-navigation and positioning network.

A Long March-3A carrier rocket carrying the "Beidou" or Compass, navigation satellite took off at 4.47 a.m. Sunday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, news paper reported.

It will join seven other satellites already in the orbit to form a network which will eventually consist of over 30 satellites.

The launching of the satellite marks the establishment of a basic system for the navigation and positioning network, said an unidentified spokesperson for the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre.

China will launch more satellites within the coming two years to finish a regional network to provide navigation services with high precision and credibility for industries and sectors such as mapping, fishery, transportation, meteorology and telecommunication, in the Asia-Pacific regions, the spokesperson said.

The network is scheduled to be able to provide global services by 2020.

ResourceSat-2 launch scheduled for April 20

The launch of remote-sensing satellite the ResourceSat-2 has been tentatively scheduled for 10.12 a.m., April 20, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Saturday.

1,206 kg satellite

The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C16) will launch the 1,206-kg satellite along with two other satellites — YouthSat and X-Sat — from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota.

ResourceSat-2, built by ISRO, is an advanced remote sensing satellite and designed for the study and management of natural resources.

YouthSat, weighing 92 kg, is a joint Indo-Russian satellite for stellar and atmospheric studies. X-Sat is a microsatellite for imaging applications built by the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

All the three satellites have been integrated into the launcher, an ISRO release said. After the final phase of vehicle operations assessment is completed, the pre-launch and launch rehearsal procedures will be carried out.
Board meet on April 16

The Launch Authorisation Board is scheduled to meet on April 16 and will review the readiness of the launch vehicle, satellites and ground stations before authorising the launch of PSLV-C16.

The countdown to the launch is expected to begin in the early hours of April 18.

Google: Inside the world's weirdest company

THE wacky workplace secrets of Google have been exposed in a searching new book.

Boffins at the web giant, worth £118BILLION, enjoy free trapeze lessons, gourmet food, massages, car washes and even chocolate truffle making classes.

So-called 'Googlers' cycle from building to building on company bikes at the sprawling 'Googleplex' HQ campus in Mountain View, California.

Luxury, wi-fi equipped, biodiesel buses take them to and from work. And there are gyms staffed with personal trainers as well as hairdressers and dry cleaners.

They can even exercise at 'swim in place' pools by pushing against a current in a short stretch of water.

The gardens grow edible flowers in case the free gourmet grub does not hit the spot but you might want to think twice about eating them - because staff are also allowed to bring their dogs to work. A new book - called Googled - claims their offices across the world share the zany approach. Staff in Zurich get from floor to floor using a giant metal SLIDE.

In Colorado, they have a climbing wall. And in London the carpets look like grass, recreating a summer day in the park, complete with deckchairs. Every Friday, Googlers around the world gather for a video conference to put questions to co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

The pair foster a cult-like devotion and new employees - known as Nooglers - sit at the front wearing hats in Google's famous colours - red, blue, yellow and green - with PROPELLERS on top.

Page and Brin - worth an estimated £12billion each - based the firm's philosophy on an anarchic 'no rules', 'clothing-optional' desert retreat in Nevada that they attend every year. And their 20,000 staff, who wear Google polo shirts, are given just one corporate instruction: "Don't be evil."

The slogan is written on whiteboards across the firm.

It is a far cry from a graduate project run from a flat shared by the pair in 1996.

They moved into their first proper office, above a bike shop, in 1999 and used a ping-pong table for conferences so it could be folded away for massages. A visiting journalist called it a "graduate student Disneyland" with staff rollerblading around living off coffee, juice and snack bars.

Page and Brin admit the businessmen bankrolling the venture were nervous when they realised their vision of a company atmosphere.

Brin said: "They were a little bit perturbed to see front page stories that we were hiring a chef and a masseuse."

In an early public announcement, the pair said: "Google isn't a conventional company.

"We don't intend to become one."

It's Time to Play-Hands on With the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play

I’ve been a fan of the PSP for a long time and although I’ve been following the latest developments in that arena - considering the NGP - I’ve been looking forward to the PSP phone aka the Xperia Play a lot more. I’ve been covering this device since it was but a rumour so naturally, I just had to be there when Sony Ericsson launched both the Xperia Play and the Arc into the Indian market. Since I had already reviewed the Xperia Arc I was eager to see just what the Xperia Play had to offer. Grabbing the opportunity to ‘play’ around with the device here’s what I thought.

Form Factor
It’s a bit of a bulky handset which is in stark contrast to the Arc that I had been using for the last week. It’s bulkier and heavier, obviously, considering it’s pretty much a PSP Go with a phone thrown in. The Play has taken on the more traditional Human Curvature form that Sony Ericsson concocted last year. Irrespective of the size or the weight, the handset felt very comfortable to use both as a phone and as a gaming device.

The gaming keypad slid out smoothly and the buttons are well spaced to make for comfortable gameplay even at long intervals. The gaming keys at the top, however, accessible from behind the display (when opened) will take a little getting used to for access. Those with slim or long fingers won’t have an issue. But after about 10 minutes of thrashing around with the device it was quite evident that this was designed to be exactly what one would look for if they wanted a slightly better mobile phone gaming experience.

I’m certainly glad Sony Ericsson decided to retain the large high resolution display but was a little disappointed with the lack of an HDMI port. Imagine being able to hook up the handset to an HDTV (like the Arc) and playing games on a large screen. Then again Sony’s own NGP doesn’t seem to feature HDMI out support either.

On the whole, I believe the Xperia Play to be a rather robust handset that’s quite well designed for comfortable use on both of its major USPs.

Loaded up with a Qualcomm Scorpion processor of the 1Ghz variety, the Play is designed to offer quite a bit of functionality and power management to users. With the added support of Google’s Gingerbread version of the Android OS, things have the potential to be quite fluid and controlled. The test units that were available at the launch proved to be quite smooth with virtually no lag whatsoever while scrolling through menus, accessing apps or any other functions. I doubt there’ll be an issue with speed when the handset finally makes it to my review lab. Here’s hoping.

Scientists settle centuries-old debate on perception

Imagine, William Molyneux wrote to the great British thinker, that a man blind from birth who has learned to identify objects -- a sphere and a cube, for example -- only through his sense of touch is suddenly able to see.

The puzzle, he continued, is "Whether he Could, by his Sight, and before he touch them, know which is the Globe and which the Cube?"

For philosophers of the time, answering "Molyneux's question," as it was known ever after, would resolve a fundamental uncertainty about the human mind.

Empiricists believed that we are born blank slates, and become the sum total of our accumulated experience.

So-called "nativists" countered that our minds are, from the outset, pre-stocked with ideas waiting to be activated by sight, sound and touch.

If a blind man who miraculously recovered his sight could instantly distinguish the cube from the globe it would mean the knowledge was somehow innate, they argued.

More recently, this "nurture vs. nature" debate has found its counterpart in modern neuroscience.

"The beauty of Molyneux's question is that it also relates to how representations are formed in the brain," said Pawan Sinha, a professor at MIT in Boston and the main architect of the study.

"Do the different modalities, or senses, build up a common representation, or are these independent representations that one cannot access even though the other modality has built it?" he asked in a phone interview.

Recent studies have suggested that the mental images we accumulate through sight and touch do, in fact, form a common pool of impressions that can be triggered and retrieved by one sense or the other.

But until now, no one has been able to design a definitive experiment.

The problem was finding subjects. They would have to have been blind at birth and then have had their sight restored, but not until they were old enough to reliably participate in tests.

Most forms of curable congenital blindness, however, are detected and cured in infancy, so such individuals are extremely rare.

More precisely, they are rare in rich countries. So in 2003, Sinha set up a program in India in cooperation with the Shroff Charity Eye Hospital in New Delhi.

Among the many patients he treated, he found five -- four boys and one girl, aged eight to 17 -- who met the criteria for surgery that would almost instantly take them from total blindness to fully seeing.

Once bandages were removed, researchers had to first be sure that the volunteers could see well.

Using objects that looked like Lego building blocks, they tested the ability to discriminate visually between similar shapes. The subjects scored nearly 100 percent.

They scored nearly as well when it came to telling the difference by touch alone, according to the study, published in Nature Neuroscience.

For the critical test, however, in which the children first felt an object and then tried to distinguish visually between that same object and a similar one, the results were barely better than if they had guessed.

"They couldn't form the connection," said Yuri Ostrovsky, also a researcher at MIT and a co-author of the study.

"The conclusion is that there does not seem to be any cross-modal" -- that is, from one sense to the other -- "representation available to perform the task," he said by phone.

The answer to Molyneux's question, then, appears to be "no": the data blind people gather tactically that allows them to identify a cup and a vase, and to tell them apart, is not accessible through vision.

At least not at first.

"From a neuro-scientific point of view, the most interesting finding is the rapidity with which this inability was compensated," said Richard Held, an emeritus professor at MIT and lead author of the study.

"Within about a week, it's done -- and that is very fast. We were surprised," he said by phone.

The overall results suggest that the human brain is more "plastic," or malleable, longer into childhood that previously thought, the researchers said.

"This challenges the dogma of 'critical periods,' the idea that if a child has been deprived of vision for the first three or four years of life, he or she will be unable to acquire any visual proficiency," Sinha said.

Madhya Pradesh govt pays Rs 1,000 cr to wheat growers

The Madhya Pradesh government has claimed to have parked an amount of Rs 1,000 crore to state wheat growers’ accounts against payments for wheat procurement and additional bonus.

State government sources said this ahead of the Union government’s Budget announcement for making minimum support price and bonus or subsidy payments through bank accounts. The state has also announced a bonus of Rs 100 per quintal for wheat.

“This year, we have adopted a system to protect farmers from any delay in payment or middlemen. The money against bonus and procurement has been transferred directly to their accounts,” said a senior government official.

The state government had last week requested bankers to make the process easier for farmers. “The state government had last year paid Rs 4,200 crore for 3.8 million metric tonnes of wheat procurement of which Rs 350 crore were paid to the farmers as bonus,” said the official. “Central government had made an announcement to adopt this system from next year but we are the first state to implement this system from current rabi season,” the official added.

Against the target of 3.5 million tonnes of wheat procurement, so far 850,000 tonnes have been procured. The procurement process will last till May 31 this year. Madhya Pradesh grows some of the finest varieties like Sharbati, Durum and Lok-1 which are high in protein content.

Malwa and Mahakaushal belts are the main region that grows wheat. This year, the wheat production is likely to touch 9.5 million metric tonnes.

Mawana Sugars eyes 80% growth

MUMBAI: Mawana Sugars is eyeing about 80% growth in revenue by FY 13 at around Rs.1,800cr following its foray into the branded sweetener segment.

"We are targeting a revenue growth of 70-80% at Rs.1,700-1,800cr in FY 13 by focusing more in our branded segment and strengthening our product portfolio," Mawana Sugars managing director Sunil Kakria said.

Mawana Sugars' revenue for 2009-10 stood at over Rs.1,000cr. The company, which has a crushing capacity of 29,000tn per day, is planning to focus on increasing its specialised sugar segment, which is used in making baby food, food, beverage and pharmaceutical.

"We are producing 300,000tn sugar pa, of which about 1,00,000tn is specialised sugar," he said. Out of the 1,00,000tn specialised sugar produced, it supplies 20,000-25,000tn to pharmaceutical companies, 50,000-60,000tn to food and beverage companies and 15,000tn for branded sugar.

India's insurance industry to touch $400 bn by 2020: Study

New Delhi: India's insurance industry is expected to touch the USD 400 billion mark by 2020, with scope for further penetration, but the sector players need to adopt a customer centric operating model

a study has said. At present, the insurance industry comprising 23 life and 24 non-life companies, is valued at over USD 66 billion. "The insurance industry will be USD 350?400 billion (about Rs 18 lakh crore) in premium income by 2020, making India a top 3 life insurance market and a top 15 non-life insurance market by 2020," according to a study jointly done by Ficci and the Boston Consulting Group. Besides, there has been a massive increase in the number of people cov

a top 15 non-life insurance market by 2020," according to a study jointly done by Ficci and the Boston Consulting Group. Besides, there has been a massive increase in the number of people covered. In life insurance, the number of policies in force has increased from about 20 million in 2001 to about 230 million in 2010, a nearly 12-fold increase, the study said. The other big increase in coverage is in the health insurance space. The number of lives covered through health insurance has increased from just 2 million in 2001 to nearly 55 million in 2010, a nearly 25?fold increase, it added. "This progress has been aided by the dramatic shift in the availability of products including better term, ULIPs, whole life, maximum NAV (net asset value) guarantee, auto assista

to about 230 million in 2010, a nearly 12-fold increase, the study said. The other big increase in coverage is in the health insurance space. The number of lives covered through health insurance has increased from just 2 million in 2001 to nearly 55 million in 2010, a nearly 25?fold increase, it added. "This progress has been aided by the dramatic shift in the availability of products including better term, ULIPs, whole life, maximum NAV (net asset value) guarantee, auto assistance and disease management," the study said. BCG India Partner and Director Alpesh Shah, however, said the industry has come a long way over the past decade, but the big challenge with the industry is profitability. "Private life insurers have accumulated losses of over Rs 16,000 crore till March 2010. Similarly, the non-life industry has cumulative underwriting losses of nearly Rs 30,000 crore," he said.

e, it added. "This progress has been aided by the dramatic shift in the availability of products including better term, ULIPs, whole life, maximum NAV (net asset value) guarantee, auto assistance and disease management," the study said. BCG India Partner and Director Alpesh Shah, however, said the industry has come a long way over the past decade, but the big challenge with the industry is profitability. "Private life insurers have accumulated losses of over Rs 16,000 crore till March 2010. Similarly, the non-life industry has cumulative underwriting losses of nearly Rs 30,000 crore," he said.

ever, said the industry has come a long way over the past decade, but the big challenge with the industry is profitability. "Private life insurers have accumulated losses of over Rs 16,000 crore till March 2010. Similarly, the non-life industry has cumulative underwriting losses of nearly Rs 30,000 crore," he said.

Vadivelu threatened

Vadivelu, who is campaigning in support of the ruling party, the DMK, met the Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and complained that his manager has been receiving phone calls threatening to blow him down while on the campaign trail. The comedian said that his manager had lodged a complaint with the police and met the DGP and Chennai Police Commissioner seeking protection to his residences in Chennai and Madurai and his office in Chennai.

Vadivelu briefed the CM about the phone calls that his manager had been receiving ever since he began campaigning for DMK to which the CM assured that no harm will befall him.

All eyes on STR!

STR’s much awaited Vaanam is likely to be released on April 29th. The producer, Ganesh (of VTV fame) and Cloud 9 movies believe the timing is right for their film to scorch the screens this summer.

 Vaanam is a remake of Vedam which had Allu Arjun in the lead and which won him a lot of critical as well as popular acclaim. Insiders swear that STR has done a superb job. Krish who directed the Telugu version has done even better with Vaanam, sources claim.  The film is a multi – starrer with Bharath, Anushka and Sonia Agarwal. The music by Yuvan is already a hit.

 Simbhu’s last release, VTV was a super- hit and if Vaanam can also set the cash registers ringing, his position as a saleable star will be strengthened.

Vishal follows Karthi!

Director Siva’s Siruthai with Karthi has been declared a blockbuster. Following the stupendous commercial success of the film, Siva is very much in demand. The top actors and production houses want to work with him. But the director is taking his time before committing himself.

He went to Kerela for some holistic therapy to rejuvenate himself as he was exhausted both physically and mentally due to rigorous shooting. The up and coming director is back in the city. Apparently he had a meeting with Vishal who is currently the toast of tinsel town for trying his hand at playing a squint eyed man in Avan Ivan. All went well and Vishal has been finalized for Siva’s next project.

Simple way to ensure a healthy pregnancy

Exercise a good way to ensure a healthy pregnancy even before you get pregnant. It will help in increasing your stamina, controlling your weight gain and making labour easy and less painful. If you have a habit of exercising, choose the right exercise after consulting your healthcare provider. Nowadays tapes are available and you can exercise daily watching them in any kind of weather. But before doing that you should

    * Consult your physician about your past pregnancy and the current situation whether it is favourable for any kind of exercise

    * Avoid risky sports like jumping, horse riding or skiing

    * Exercise regularly and gradually build your stamina

    * Always do warm up and then cool down and relax in between

    * Your pulse should not be beyond 140 beats per minute

    * Be very careful while changing positions during exercise

    * Stop exercising immediately if you have abdominal pain, bleeding, loss of fluid or any other serious ailment.

It is a good idea to follow a particular exercise regime even during pregnancy. This will ensure that you are in a better shape after delivery, will help in relieving backache, prevent constipation and varicose veins and help you feel better about yourself. You should not go for a vigorous exercise regime if you have not exercised before but certainly do not think that exercise will hurt your pregnancy in any way. Walking and swimming are excellent forms of exercising. According to Dr Archana Dhawan, a leading gynaecologist based in BLK hospital, New Delhi, the goal of exercise in pregnancy is overall good health, makes you feel better and gives you an emotional boost. In case of complicated pregnancies always consult your doctor before starting or doing any exercise.

First aid for burns while using crackers.

Diwali - a festival of lights can easily turn into a nightmare for people who take it easy. The festival celebrated across India irrespective of any caste or creed involves crackers and burning of candles and lamps. Apart from the crackers being a hazard for the environment it can be even more hazardous to human lives if care is not taken. Here are a few tips you must keep in mind in case of an accident involving burns.

First of all, it is important for you to keep calm. If you panic, you will
not be able to help the victim. It is recommended to seek medical
advice, specially when you are unsure of the seriousness of the injury.
It is important to get the wound dressed properly to ensure that there
will be no infection.

In case of giving first aid, please keep in mind the following:

Run cold water over the burn:
it is a myth that one should use ice, butter or an ointment mnt over a
burn area. In reality it is better to run cold water for a few minutes
over the burn immediately.

Remove clothes.
You must remove the clothes of the victim and any other restrictive
items like belt, jewelry etc. it may be difficult to remove them later as the burnt skin can swell.

Cover the burnt area with a clean cloth. This is to keep the infection away from the burnt area. It is better to use sterile gauze or bandage.

Do not give anything to eat or drink to the burn victim unless you have checked with the doctor.

Yes, this is where a woman likes to be touched

Apart from the areas where men love to touch their women, she has sensitive points all across her body. Here are four parts of her body that we men commonly ignore.

Backside of the Knee

Behind the knee is one of the very sensitive areas for woman’s sexuality. Most men are not even aware that this area can stimulate their woman and lead to better sex.


Women love to have someone caress their hair. It works as an amazing stress reliever. The one other thing it surely does to women is to fire her passion. She loves to be pampered. Be cautious not to spoil her hair-do while you are at a party.


Kissing and even gentle biting on the earlobes can work wonders to ignite that fire. Women love to feel their man’s lips on her earlobes. Be sure to stress on the word “gentle” when biting her earlobes.

Inner thighs

Touching your woman’s inner thighs can create a pleasurable sensation among women.  This is one of the most obvious pleasure centres but generally underestimated by men.

AP Photographer Located In Libya

New York  :  An award-winning Associated Press photographer covering the conflict in Libya was located today after being missing for more than a day, the news agency said.

Altaf Qadri was safe and unhurt, and was on his way back to the AP offices in Benghazi, according to John Daniszewski, the agency’s senior managing editor for international news and photos.

Qadri became separated from his colleagues near the eastern Libyan city of Ajdabiya while on assignment Saturday, according to the AP.

“We’re very pleased that he has emerged unharmed while covering the violence in the area,” Daniszewski said. “We thank all the people around the world who offered good wishes for his safe return.”

Qadri, 35, won a World Press Photo award this year for his poignant photograph of relatives mourning over the body of a man killed in a shooting by Indian police in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Qadri, an Indian citizen, is a native of the Kashmiri city of Srinagar. He studied science at Kashmir University and worked as a computer engineer before taking a job as a staff photographer at a local Kashmiri newspaper in 2001.

In 2003, he joined the European Press Photo Agency and covered the conflict in Kashmir. In 2008, he began working for The Associated Press in the Indian city of Amritsar. His work has appeared in magazines and newspapers around the world and has been exhibited in the United States, China, France and India. AP

Shariah Police In Indonesia Gives 9 Lashes To Woman For Extramarital Affair

Jakarta : The Shariah (religious) police in Indonesia gave nine lashes to a 34-year-old woman Irdayanti Mukhtar on charge of extra-marital relationship, Daily Mail reported.The woman flinched and later fell unconscious after she was given nine lashes.

Irdayanti Mukhtar, 34, received nine lashes by Sharia Police for having a relationship with another man, even though she is said to be in the process of divorcing her husband.The harsh punishment was meted out in front of a crowd of 200 people outside the Al Munawwarah Mosque in Jantho, Indonesia.

Brutal: An Indonesian official prepares to whip Irdavanti Mukhtar as another announces to the crowd what her punishment she will receive The jeering crowd recorded the brutal beating on their mobile phones and camcorders and shouted for more beatings in the strict Muslim city. Mukhtar had been sentenced to the punishment the previous day by a Sharia court where prosecutors said that she was guilty of being in 'close proximity' to another man.

Under Sharia law the offence carries a maximum beating of nine strokes with a cane or a minimum of three.Neighbours had seen Mukhtar with the man and had barged in on her while the couple were in her bedroom, although it is unclear what they were actually doing. The mob then dragged them to the local police station to be charged.

It is believed Sharia Police are also investigating a claim that Mukhtar was molested by the crowd before they took her to be charged.Shortly after the caning on Friday Mukhtar passed out and had to be taken to hospital for treatment.She was one of four people, including the man she was caught with, to be caned for extramarital affairs.

NATO Intercepts Libya Rebel Fighter Jet: Official

Brussels : NATO warplanes intercepted a MiG-23 fighter jet operated by a Libyan rebel pilot today and forced him to land after he violated a UN-mandated no-fly zone, a NATO official told AFP.

The jet had taken off from a rebel-controlled airfield near the eastern city of Benghazi in the morning and was intercepted within minutes, the official said on condition of anonymity. No weapons were fired by either side."No aggressive action was displayed by the MiG-23 and the NATO fighters proceeded to force it to land back at the Benina airfield," the official said.

The official added that the rebels had not warned NATO that one of their jets was going to take off.It was the first time that any aircraft violated the no-fly zone since NATO took command of the mission from a US-led coalition on March 31.

The UN Security Council put in place last month a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent Moamer Kadhafi from using his air force to kill civilians after the Libyan leader violently cracked down on pro-democracy protests.NATO has also conducted air strikes against Kadhafi's ground forces under the UN mandate to use "all necessary measures" to protect the population.

Following normal procedure, NATO jets were scrambled to intercept the MiG-23 after it was detected by an AWAC surveillance aircraft, the NATO official said.

Two NATO planes flew alongside the MiG and made visual contact with the Libyan pilot, using international signals to indicate that he should land. The signals are usually made by hand or by tipping the plane's wing."He complied and the aircraft landed very quickly after take off," the official said. "It was only in the air a few minutes."

"In this case there was no aggressive behaviour, which meant no lethal force was required," the official said.NATO assumes the pilot was part of the opposition because Benghazi is in the hands of rebels who have commandeered several Libyan fighter jets."It shows we are impartial, the no-fly zone applies to any aircraft," the official said. "A no-fly zone is a no-fly zone, period."

The intercept came in the wake of two friendly fire incidents in Libya.NATO warplanes mistakenly struck a column of rebel tanks on Thursday, killing four people. The alliance admitted that it was unaware that the rebels were using tanks in the conflict. (AFP)

Courage: 14 Year Old Gurgaon Boy Fights Kidnappers, Escapes

Gurgaon : 14-year-old schoolboy Awaz Mangla from Gurgaon's Sadar Bazar area was abducted by three kidnappers in a Maruti van on Saturday evening and was taken to Delhi, but the brave boy showed tremendous presence of mind and escaped from their clucthes, reports India TV correspondent Parveen Dahiya.

According to the boy's father, Ajay Mangla, Awaz had gone to a shop to buy something, when he was forcibly abducted by three persons in a Maruti van.  The  abductors tried to render him unconscious inside the van  but failed.

Meanwhile, Awaz stole a ballpoint pen from the pocket of one of the kidnappers and slashed it at his face. The boy soon jumped off the van and found himself outside the Karol Bagh Metro station in Delhi.

Startled, the kidnappers tried to follow him, but Awaz ran inside the Metro station and told a CISF jawan about his abduction. The kidnappers had, meanwhile, fled.

Awaz's father informed Gurgaon police, which practically did nothing. Not a single policeman accompanied the boy's father to Karol Bagh to bring the brave schoolboy back, says Ajay Mangla.

Anna Overruled Objection Over Father-Son Inclusion: Shanti

New Delhi : In the backdrop of the controversy over the father-son duo being part of the Lokpal drafting committee, noted lawyer Shanti Bhushan today said his son Prashant had raised the issue of their inclusion with Anna Hazare but the Gandhian overruled the objection.

"Prashant had himself raised the issue with Anna Hazare as to why you are keeping both of us in that committee.  You, instead of myself, include others and he (Prashant) had suggested two or three names," he said.

He was clearing the air in the wake of Baba Ramdev's criticism of the two being part of the same panel, alleging it showed nepotism.

"But Anna Hazare did not agree and he gave reasons. He said that Prashant had become a recognisable face all over India as a crusader against corruption. Therefore, your presence in the committee is essential and you are a distinguished lawyer yourself," the senior Bhushan said.

He further said, "It is only a coincidence that two distinguished lawyers happen to be father and son, and, therefore, they have to be kept on the committee. So, he overruled Prashant's objection and insisted on his being in. So Prashant had to give in". PTI

BJP Says It Will Give Suggestions On Lokpal Bill In Parliament

New Delhi  :  Asserting that it considers Lok Pal Bill an effective medium to fight corruption in the country, the BJP today said it would give its suggestions and views on the proposed legislation when it comes up in Parliament.

"The BJP will have its suggestions and recommendations when the Lok Pal Bill is in Parliament. We see it as an effective medium to fight corruption in the country," party spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told reporters here.

Hussain stressed that BJP has always raised the issue of corruption and that it had pressurised the government to form a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

"First, the battle against corruption was won in Parliament when we convinced the government to set up JPC. Now, the people of the country have won it by getting representation in drafting the Lok Pal Bill," the BJP MP said.

Asked about veteran social activist Anna Hazare's fast unto death and if the party approved of it, Hussain said that the BJP welcomes all democratic means to voice concern against corruption.

Asked about the differences that have cropped up among the civil society members, with yoga guru Baba Ramdev objecting to the presence of father-son duo of Shanti and Prashan Bhushan in the joint committee on the Lokpal Bill, Hussain evaded a direct reply but said, "It is good that there are people from all walks of life in this crucial process".

Asked about a senior Infosys official recently claiming that even they had to bribe government officials in Karnataka to get their work done, Hussain said that no form of corruption should be tolerated and all state governments should have a mechanism to tackle it.

"Just because some individuals and some political parties make some charges does not mean they are true. It should be backed by ample evidence," Hussain said.

The BJP has been defending Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyruppa, who is facing allegations of corruption on land allotment to his family members.

Asked by a Union Minister's reported comment that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was "ten times more honest" than anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, Hussain said, "Initially every one defended A Raja. He was defended on the floor of Parliament at least 10 times. Now, he is in jail". PTI

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