A digital boost for the preservation of Sindhi

first_imgDigest this: the Sindhi language has 52 alphabets against 35 in Hindi; it has 101 words for ‘Elephant’; 28 commonly used words for camel, and an equal number of words for water.Its vast lexicon lent it the sobriquet of being the most ‘oxygenated language’.In a major step aimed at conserving and disseminating the Sindhi language, the National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language (NCPSL), affiliated with the Union HRD Ministry, on Monday released software tools and eBooks developed by the city-based Centre for development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in order to adapt Sindhi into the digital medium.“There was a maxim that if one was afflicted with lung problem, speak Sindhi. Its moniker of the most ‘oxygenated’ language was not without reason as in early medieval times, the province of Sindh was a bustling commercial entrepot, lying on vital land and sea routes connecting west with the east,” says author and Prof. Aruna Jethwani, who is also the Vice-Chairperson, NCPSL.Speaking to The Hindu, Prof. Jethwani said that owing to its peculiar geographical location in History, Sindhi embraced the gamut of Indo-Iranic languages including Uzbeki, Persian, Pushto, Hindi, Urdu, and Kannada, Malayalam and Tamil.Yet, she trenchantly points out, in spite of assimilating so many variegated tongues, Sindhi remains a purely Indian language.The occasion marked the 50th year since Sindhi was included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India by the 21st amendment of the Constitution. The Eighth Schedule enumerates languages (presently 22 in number) which the Centre has the responsibility to preserve and develop.“It is all very well to learn and find the learning of foreign languages exciting. But what about our Indian treasure trove of languages? For instance, Sindhi has the maximum number of alphabets, adjectives and adverbs compared to any regional language,” observes Prof. Jethwani.The Partition of 1947 resulted in the community being scattered and living as a Diaspora across the globe, leading to the atrophying of the language. As a result, the community’s leaders endeavoured to get the language included in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.The community has a significant presence in Pune, with a populace exceeding two lakh and a robust presence in the educational field, manifested especially in the educational institutions set up by the Sadhu Vaswani Mission.“The inexorable process of, and stress by necessity, on Anglicization has reduced the importance of several Indian mother languages, including Sindhi. It was with the view to preserve Sindhi that the NCPSL was instituted in 1994 and the release of software is a huge shot in the arm and an important step towards its rejuvenation as an educative force,” Dr. Jethwani said.Speaking to The Hindu, Mahesh Kulkarni, Associate Director, C-DAC said that the release of the CD containing tools and technology for the conservation and propagation of the Sindhi language – both in the Devnagiri and Arabic scripts – is part of an MoU the institute has signed with the NCPSL.Under this two-year project, software like Sindhi typing tool on Android devices and desktop platform, Sindhi fonts, Sindhi eBooks, and other free and Open Source software like office productivity tools, children software and website development tools are being developed in the Sindhi language, he informed.“The project is pegged at Rs. 72 lakh. In the first phase, we have focused upon content creation, like developing user-friendly tools like a Word Processor and Chat Messengers localized into Sindhi language. We’ve also localized browsers like Firefox and the Thunderbird email software into Sindhi, along with educative tools like Mathematical Markup Language (MathML),” said Mr. Kulkarni, commenting that the NCPSL website was also being upgraded by C-DAC in tandem.Further, he said that some books on Sindhi literature were ready to be viewed and downloaded for teaching purposes.“The training in technology would be imparted to ‘master trainers’, who in turn would introduce these tools in schools where Sindhi is taught,” he informed, stating that in the second phase of the project following content creation, C-DAC would be developing open-source Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools like spell checkers and grammar checkers.last_img read more

Kabbadi auction: Abozar costliest foreign buy, Nitin attracts highest bid

first_imgSHARE India × May 23, 2017 COMMENT COMMENTS Published on Iran sport SHARE SHARE EMAIL The twelve franchises came together, in an intense bidding war, to piece together teams for the Pro Kabaddi League Season 5. The twelve franchises came together, in an intense bidding war, to piece together teams for the Pro Kabaddi League Season 5. Iran’s Abozar Mohajermighani became the costliest foreign buy in this year’s Pro Kabaddi League players auction after he was bought by new franchise Gujarat for Rs 50 lakh while India’s Nitin Tomar attracted the highest overall bid.Besides Abozar, other foreign players who attracted good bids at last night’s auction were Iran’s Abolfazel Maghsodlo (Delhi, Rs 31.8 lakh), Iran’s Farhad Rahimi Milaghardhan (Telugu Titans, Rs 29 lakh), Thailand’s Khomsan Thongkham (Haryana, Rs 20.4 lakh) and Iran’s Hadi Oshtorak (U Mumba, Rs 18.6 lakh).Nitin attracted the highest bid at this year’s auction by Team UP for an amount of Rs 93 lakh against his base price of Rs 20 lakh .This is a whopping increase of 626 per cent compared to the bid price of Rs 12.80 lakh for Rakesh Kumar, the costliest player in the opening season auctions.Besides Nitin, other local players to have fetched impressive prices are Rohit Kumar (Bengaluru Bulls, Rs 81 lakh), Manjeet Chhillar (Jaipur Pink Panthers, Rs 75.5 lakh), Surjeet Singh (Bengal Warriors, Rs 73 lakh) and Selvamani K (Jaipur Pink Panthers, Rs 73 lakh).The first day of the two-day auction netted a total price of Rs 27.27 crore for 60 players selected.Twelve franchises came together, in an intense bidding war, to piece together teams.Retention of key playersFor the elite retained players, the final salary was determined on the team’s highest spend on a player during the auction.Each franchise was permitted to retain one elite player, either from the domestic or overseas categories, from their respective Season 4 squads.Among them are Kabaddi stars Rahul Chaudhari (Telugu Titans), Anup Kumar (U Mumba), Jang Kun Lee (Bengal Warriors), Ashish Kumar (Bengaluru Bulls), Meraj Sheykh (Dabang Delhi K.C), Pardeep Narwal (Patna Pirates) and Deepak Hooda (Puneri Paltan). Jaipur Pink Panthers was the only existing franchise that did not retain any player from Season 4.The new franchises were permitted one priority pick before the auction. Team Haryana had the opportunity to pick first and they went for Surender Nada, part of the Indian team that lifted the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. Team Gujarat picked Fazel Atrachali of Iran whilst Team UP chose not to pick any priority player.“This is a new chapter in the history of VIVO Pro Kabaddi, our largest ever player auction with an enormous auction purse and the biggest talent pool, from all over the country and the rest of the world. With new introductions, such as dynamic pricing, it was encouraging to see the teams strategising to constitute robust teams with a focus on lifting the coveted Season 5 trophy,” said Anupam Goswami, League Commissioner, Pro Kabaddi League.Young talentsThe auctions were preceded by a draft pick for new young players, scouted from across the country.The first three to be selected were Rohit Gulia (19), Bhavani Rajput (22) and Mayur Shivtarkar (21).The second day of the auction, will see players from India under categories A, B, C and D, as franchises begin to see their team take shape before the season begins on July 28 across 12 cities, with over 130 matches across 13 weeks.last_img read more

Par approves Bill to develop 111 rivers as transport routes

first_imgNew Delhi, Mar 9 (PTI) Parliament today gave nod to a bill to convert 111 rivers across the country into National Waterways, a move that would boost movement of goods and passengers via rivers and expectedly reduce the transportation costs substantially. The National Waterways Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha today. The Lok Sabha had approved the bill last year. The bill provides for enacting a central legislation to declare 106 additional inland waterways as the national waterways in addition to five existing national waterways. Allaying fears of the state governments that the new law will infringe upon their rights, Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari said the passage of the much-awaited Bill will infact boost the maritime trade of the states and augment their economy. “The declaration of National Waterways does not restrict the rights of state governments in any way. It only facilitates Government of India in developing the waterway for shipping and navigation. It will not infringe upon their rights on minerals and water etc,” Gadkari said. Justifying the measure, he regretted that the waterways had taken a backseat in India, with only 3.5 per cent of trade being done through the mode here as against 47 per cent in China, 40 per cent in Europe, 44 per cent in Japan and Korea and 35 per cent in Bangaladesh. “Inland Water Transport is an environment-friendly and cost-effective mode of transporation, which on development will have the potential to establish an optimal modal mix and reduce logistic cost,” he said. He said logistic cost was as high as 18 per cent in India and an industrialist had rightly pointed out to the Prime Minister that transporting things from Mumbai to London was less expensive and easy in comparison to transportation to Delhi from Mumbai. Responding to contention by some members that these were here tall claims, the Minister asserted, “I do not make any announcement in the air… I promise if any of my announcements is not fulfilled, I will apologise in this House….You may even bring a Privilege Motion against me if my promise is not fulfilled.” When Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked him to refrain from throwing such a challenge, Gadkari said, “I am 100 per cent ready.. We have already signed contracts worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore in the road sector. I am not dependent on budget.” (MORE) PTI NAM NKD AKKadvertisementlast_img read more

Men dominate coaching, technical zone at womens boxing Natls

first_imgBy Poonam Mehra Haridwar, Nov 22 (PTI) Its the National Championship for women boxers but in the headcount for support staff and technical delegates, its the men who dominate, outnumbering their female counterparts in the field of play outside the ring. Of the nearly 100 coaches attached to the 38 teams competing in the ongoing Championship here, only 12 happen to be women. And of the 40 Referees and Judges conducting the competition, merely four are women. The massive disparity is hard to miss but the Boxing Federation of India insists that projects are in the pipeline to reduce the gap. The boxers are mostly nonchalant about the lack of women in the technical staff even though a majority agrees that it is important to have women in the support staff despite the fine equations they share with their male coaches. The male coaches, on their part, have no qualms in admitting that having more women in the coaching team is imperative given that there are certain areas, which are off limits for them. “It is more challenging to train girls than boys because they are a lot more emotional. We have to respect certain spheres while dealing with them. With boys, we can be a lot more informal, but when it comes to women, we cannot go beyond a point and have to be careful,” said Indias first Commonwealth Games gold-medallist and Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) coach Mohammed Ali Qamar. “Then there is the part about understanding, women coaches would certainly be able to understand girls a lot better than us,” he added. RSPB, to their credit, have an accomplished woman coach in former World Championships silver-medallist N Usha, who echoed Qamars views. “Of course having a woman coach helps the girls feel a lot more comfortable. But the male coaches have also done a fine job and sometimes, it is better for strength and endurance to train with a man,” she said. Dronacharya awardee coach Sagar Mal Dhayal, who has worked extensively with women boxers including M C Mary Kom, said the disparity in male and female coaches exists even in Europe and America. “Even in international competitions, the male coaches are more in number compared to women. In fact, India is still ahead of several other countries in having a sizeable female support staff team while travelling for international competitions. Take for instance the World Championships, lot of nations who come there dont have even a single female coach,” he claimed. “This dominance of male coaches, in my opinion, has also got a lot to do with how training is done in a contact sport. The job demands a degree of ruthlessness which doesnt come easy in women. I am not saying that women coaches are not hard taskmasters, my point is that women are inherently more caring compared to men, which at times can be an impediment when you are looking to discipline,” he said. But Dhayal also conceded that the number of women coaches needs to increase. “But this is not to say that there shouldnt be women coaches in the team, they should be there in greater number and I hope the new federation will address this issue,” he added. Another coach, who did not wish to be named, said for a male coach to have a good working relationship with a female boxer, mutual respect is a crucial ingredient. “It is a contact sport end and trust is an important element. The respect for each other is crucial. Only then can there be a successful equation like any other. A coach has to be like a father figure,” he said. PTI PM AT ATadvertisementlast_img read more

Formula One fans intrigued as Lewis Hamilton keeps mum on social media

first_imgLewis Hamilton’s social media content or perhaps the lack of it right now has sent the Formula One fans talking ahead of the new season in a few months time.Hamilton was criticised for his activity on Instagram on Christmas, where he commented about his young nephew wearing a pink dress.”Boys don’t wear princess dresses,” the Briton had said, in a video on Instagram that he apologised for and took down the next day.After that, the Mercedes driver wiped clean his prolific Twitter and Instagram accounts and hasn’t tweeted or done anything so far this year.WATCHHamilton removed most of the content and photographs from his feeds, giving no explanation for what was interpreted by many as an emotional response to the criticism. Even on New Year’s Day and his 33rd birthday on January 7, he didn’t put up anything.Hamilton has more of a profile than any other F1 driver, boasting 5.7 million followers on Instagram and 5.26 million on Twitter, who are kept up to speed about his celebrity lifestyle and fashion tastes.Formula One’s owners Liberty Media, who took over last year, have adopted a “fan first” approach with social media a major plank in their strategyMcLaren executive director Zak Brown said the sport needed Hamilton’s engagement.”Obviously the amount of feedback looks like it’s upset him, to the point where he’s said well then I won’t do anything,” Brown told Reuters at the Autosport International show on Thursday.”That’s a shame for all the racing fans who love Lewis and want to know what he’s up to. Hopefully that situation will settle down.advertisement”We want to hear what Lewis is up to and he has the biggest following. So if he pulls off social media, that would be a loss for everyone.”Mercedes have made no official comment on the reasons for Hamilton’s actions, although a team source said it was “just a bit of hygiene” to wipe the slate clean for a fresh start this season.An adviser to Hamilton also had no comment, telling the BBC that “taking a break” from social media during the holiday period was not newsworthy.While the season starts in Australia in March, January is a quiet time in Formula One when engagement on social media helps maintain the sport’s profile.”I think it’s unfortunate how quickly people jump on him (Hamilton),” said Brown of a driver who won his first title with McLaren in 2008.”I bet the majority of those people (critics), if they were sitting in front of Lewis, would still want to get his autograph.”(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

Virat Kohli shares video of Anushka scolding man for littering streets

first_imgThe Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan will only become successful if we actively participate in the movement. But there are many who have not committed to the cause and one of such person was pulled up by Anushka Sharma for littering the roads.Virat Kohli on Saturday shared a video on his Twitter account in which Anushka could be seen pulling up a man, who is sitting in a “luxury” car, for throwing plastic on the road.Kohli posted the video with the caption: Virat shared the video with the slogan: “Saw these people throwing garbage on the road & pulled them up rightfully. Travelling in a luxury car and brains gone for a toss. These people will keep our country clean? Yeah right! If you see something wrong happening like this, do the same & spread awareness. @AnushkaSharma”.Saw these people throwing garbage on the road & pulled them up rightfully. Travelling in a luxury car and brains gone for a toss. These people will keep our country clean? Yeah right! If you see something wrong happening like this, do the same & spread awareness. @AnushkaSharma pic.twitter.com/p8flrmcnbaVirat Kohli (@imVkohli) June 16, 2018The India cricket captain also urged his followers to do the same if they come across something similar around themselves.The video garnered over 4000 retweets in an hour. While many supported Anushka for pulling up the person, some on the social media platform made fun of the video. This didn’t go down well with Kohli, which he made clear on Twitter.advertisementKohli wrote: “Lot of people who don’t have the courage to do something like this find it funny. Everything for people nowadays is meme content. Shame.”Lot of people who don’t have the courage to do something like this find it funny. Everything for people nowadays is meme content. Shame.Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) June 16, 2018last_img read more

Ronaldo omitted from Portugal squad at own request

first_imgLisbon, Aug 31 (AFP) Cristiano Ronaldo has been left out of Portugal’s squad for the Nations League and friendly matches at his own request, coach Fernando Santos said today. Santos said he and Ronaldo had discussed the situation after the star moved from Real Madrid to Juventus. “After a conversation I had with the player, who had just signed with Juventus, I decided, given the process of adaptation he needed, that he would not be with us during this window,” the coach said. Ronaldo scored at least 40 goals a season in the last eight seasons at Real Madrid but has yet to score for his new club. Portugal, who were knocked out of the World Cup in the last 16 by Uruguay, host World Cup finalists Croatia in a friendly in Faro on Thursday. They will then await the visit of Italy on September 10 for their first match in the new Nations League, a format UEFA hopes will give a new edge to matches that were previously friendlies. Just 13 of the 24 Portuguese players selected were at the World Cup, including forwards Bernardo Silva of Manchester City, Goncalo Guedes and Andre Silva. Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Wolverhampton/ENG), Beto (Goztepe/TUR), Claudio Ramos (Tondela) Defenders: Cedric Soares (Southampton/ENG), Joao Cancelo (Juventus/ITA), Luis Neto (Zenit St Petersburg/RUS), Mario Rui (Napoli/ITA), Pedro Mendes (Montpellier/FRA), Pepe (Besiktas/TUR), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Ruben Dias (Benfica) Midfielders: Bruno Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon), Gedson Fernandes (Benfica), Pizzi (Benfica), Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich/GER), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton/ENG), Sergio Oliveira (FC Porto), William Carvalho (Real Betis/ESP) Forwards: Andre Silva (Sevilla/ESP), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Bruma (RB Leipzig/GER), Gelson Martins (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia/ESP), Rony Lopes (Monaco/FRA). (AFP) AHAHadvertisementlast_img read more

Olympic broadcasters gear up for the biggest show on earth

first_imgMadrid, Dec 2 (AFP) Clock-watching is an integral part of any Olympic Games but even the most eagle-eyed sporting anoraks might be forgiven for missing the fact that Sunday marks 600 days until the start of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. For most people, it is not actually a particularly significant milestone but for 160 people of 35 nationalities beavering away in a building overlooking a highway in Madrid, the pressure of organising the biggest television show on earth just went up a notch. These are the people of the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS), a wing of the International Olympic Committee responsible since 2008 for providing the pictures of every competition which are beamed around the world. The size of the audience is phenomenal as is the money that is generated. Over five billion viewers tuned in for the last Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 as opposed to 3.4 billion for this year’s football World Cup. Television stations from around the world have dished out more than six billion dollars for the rights to the Games in Tokyo — broadcasting the event is a complex, lucrative business managed from the Spanish capital. “Preparing and planning for the games is an ongoing function, so as we speak we are obviously very close to the finalisation of our plans for Tokyo,” says Yiannis Exarchos, the imposing Greek boss of the OBS. “But we have already started quite detailed planning for the winter games in Beijing (2022) and we have already started engaging with Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028).” – A ‘burden’ on host cities -advertisement============================= The first time pictures were beamed live from the Olympics was Berlin in 1936. It wasn’t until the 1964 Games, also in Tokyo, that pictures went live around the world. Back then it was the responsibility of the host nation to provide the coverage and that is how it stayed until 2008. “During the games we employ a team of more than 7,000 professionals coming from 90 different countries, we have 1,000 cameras, hundreds of thousands of kilometres of cables,” says Exarchos. “This started to become a big burden for the organising committee as the Games grew bigger and more complex. “As early as the Games of Atlanta (1996), it was made clear that the IOC should do something to support the cities.” So it was that the IOC created OBS in 2001 to provide coverage of all Olympic and Paralympic Games.- Infrastructure -================== Beijing 2008 marked the OBS’ first outing and it comes as no surprise to discover that Sotiris Salamouris, who is in charge of technology at OBS, was back in Beijing last month to discuss the next Winter Olympics in 2022. “We need to have a good number of discussions with the organising committee in terms of the infrastructures they need to make available for us,” says Salamouris. “The IBC, that is the priority.” The IBC is the International Broadcast Centre, a bustling hub set up in each host city where television channels from all over the world get the signal from OBS to broadcast back home. “We need to work quite early with the organising committee to find this facility, to secure it, to agree about timelines, additional works necessary. “This is what we have begun with Paris,” says Salamouris looking ahead already to the Summer Olympics of 2024. Given that the IOC is based in Lausanne, it may raise an eyebrow to see that the OBS is centred in Madrid. “It does not come from heaven, it comes from (Manolo) Romero,” jokes IOC member Juan Antonio Samaranch Salisachs whose father served 21 years as president of the IOC. A Spaniard and in charge of radio and television coverage of the Games since Mexico in 1968, Romero was appointed head of OBS when it was created and insisted on the headquarters being in Madrid, where he lived.- ‘Lifeline’ for sport -======================== “Major sports events remain the holy grail of broadcasting,” says Exarchos. Demand for television rights is constantly on the increase, and this, he points out, will continue with the emergence of new digital players in the market. “Ninety percent of the TV rights go for the support of the Olympic movement and the development of sport,” he says. The IOC keeps the rest. “The funding that comes from the television rights of the Games is a lifeline for the support of sports.” “The vast majority of the sports which are in the Olympic programme would have a hard time surviving if it were not for revenues coming from the rights.” And with that, Exarchos returns to work, ticking off another day on the road to Tokyo. (AFP) ATKATKadvertisementlast_img read more

Joe Burrow’s First Half Stats At Vanderbilt Are Insanely Good

first_img Burrow’s heroics led LSU to a road victory over Texas two weeks ago, and yet he’s actually performing even better this afternoon against Vanderbilt.Heading into halftime Burrow had 375 passing yards and four touchdowns. That’d be an impressive final stat line for the LSU gunslinger.Don’t mistake this for a final stat line… It’s halftime18/24, 375 Yards, 4 TDs pic.twitter.com/XWXf7vEPVr— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) September 21, 2019It’s fair to wonder how much Burrow has elevated his stock over the past few weeks. NFL scouts have to be impressed with how much he’s developed as a passer.Unfortunately for Vanderbilt’s defense, it has to deal with Burrow for another half of football. He started off the third quarter with his fifth touchdown pass of the game.Burrow needs one more touchdown pass to break the school record for most passing touchdowns in a single game. Joe Burrow throwing a pass.GLENDALE, ARIZONA – JANUARY 01: Quarterback Joe Burrow #9 of the LSU Tigers throws a pass during the first half of the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl between LSU and Central Florida at State Farm Stadium on January 01, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)It’s hard to find a player that has shown more improvement this season than Joe Burrow. The LSU quarterback continues to put on an offensive clinic this fall.LSU was fortunate enough to add Burrow to its roster last season. In 13 starts he threw for 2,894 yards and 16 touchdowns.The Tigers went out of their way to hire Joe Brady as their passing game coordinator. He previously spent time as an offensive assistant for the New Orleans Saints.Clearly, Brady’s new offensive scheme has helped take Burrow to the next level. Coming into Week 4 of the season, the senior quarterback had 1,122 passing yards and 11 touchdowns.last_img read more

Meet Us at SMM in Hamburg

first_imgzoomImage by WMN In just one week, the Who’s Who of the maritime industry will meet in Hamburg, Germany for the biennial SMM maritime trade fair, taking place on September 4 – 7, 2018.SMM will open its gates next week to welcome 2,289 exhibitors and around 50,000 visitors from more than 124 countries, displaying and discussing the latest developments in maritime technology. The four-day event is preceded by an inaugural international conference, the Maritime Future Summit (MFS), on September 3, 2018, one day before the exhibition opens.Under the motto of “Trends in SMMart Shipping”, the event will occupy 13 exhibition halls of Hamburg Messe und Congress (HMC) and focus on all the top items on the industry’s agenda.For the first time there will also be a special exhibition on 3D-printing for the maritime industry, as well as a new theme route for the Cruise & Ferry segment. A comprehensive conference programme will accompany the four-day fair, with Smart Shipping and Industry 4.0 taking center stage.As appropriate for the age of the digital revolution and the maritime energy turnaround, this year’s SMM will put its main emphasis on digitalisation and the environment.Novelties at the event will include 3D printing, Cruise & Ferry Route, future-looking topics, cybersecurity, job exchange, new countries and ship-owning companies with the TradeWinds Shipowners Forum taking place at SMM for the first time.World Maritime News team will also be attending this year’s SMM event. For more information please contact:Dzenita Cama, WMN Account Manager, dzc@navingo.com and Erna Penjic, WMN Editor, ep@navingo.com.last_img read more

Kovind for simultaneous elections says terror to end

first_imgNew Delhi: Appealing for simultaneous parliamentary and Assembly elections, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday outlined the new Modi government’s roadmap, saying it was determined to crush terrorism and Maoism. Addressing a joint session of Parliament, Kovind also said that India was on its way to becoming the world’s fifth largest economy in terms of GDP and said the government’s aim was to make women equal stakeholders in economic development. Also Read – Cong may promise farm loan waiver in Haryana Making a strong case for ‘one nation, one election’ concept, the President said simultaneous elections were the need of the hour to accelerate development. “With such a system in place, all political parties… will be able to better utilize their energy towards development and public welfare. “Therefore, I urge all MPs to seriously ponder over this development-oriented proposal of ‘one nation – simultaneous elections’.” The President’s remarks came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi presided over an all-party meeting here to pitch for simultaneous parliamentary and state Assembly elections — an issue that has divided political parties. Also Read – Modi formed OBC commission which earlier govts didn’t do: Shah Saying economic prosperity was linked to nation’s security, Kovind said that effective steps had been taken to tackle terrorism and Maoism. “India has amply demonstrated both her intent and capabilities, first through surgical strikes and then through air strikes after the Pulwama attack at terrorist hideouts across the border. In future too, all possible steps will be taken to ensure our security. “The area affected by Naxalism is reducing continuously.” He said that illegal infiltrators posed a major threat to internal security, leading to social imbalance in many parts of the country. “My government will make the zero tolerance policy against corruption more comprehensive and effective. The mission to eliminate corruption from public life and government services will be implemented with greater zeal.” He said India was now getting information about economic offenders from 146 countries including Switzerland. “We are now receiving information about all those who have stashed black money abroad.” India, he said, was among the fastest growing economies in the world today and was set to become the world’s fifth largest economy in terms of GDP. As part of economic development, the Modi government was committed to make women equal stakeholders. “Priority will be given to those enterprises where women’s participation in the workforce is more than the prescribed limit.” The President said it was imperative to eradicate social evils like ‘triple talaq’ and ‘nikah-halala’. ” Kovind said that after assessing the performance of the Modi government during the first tenure, the people of the country have given “even stronger support for the second term”. Underlining the need for a strong rural economy, he said that the government will double the income of farmers by 2022. The President also spoke about the water crisis and the government’s determination to clean up the Ganga river. “On the lines of river Ganga, the government will also endeavour to clean up other rivers such as Kaveri, Periyar, Narmada, Yamuna, Mahanadi and Godavari.” He said that India had acquired a new image today “and its relations with other countries have become stronger”. “The world community supports India’s position on various issues… Today the whole world stands with India on the issue of terrorism.”last_img read more

3 CISF personnel among 4 killed in fire at ONGC plant

first_imgMumbai: At least four people, including three CISF personnel, were killed and three others injured when a major fire broke out in a processing plant of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in Maharashtra’s Navi Mumbai township on Tuesday, an official said.Those injured are also personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the official said. The mishap, however, had no impact on the oil processing at the unit, the ONGC said, adding that the gas was diverted to its Hazira plant in Gujarat’s Surat district. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsIt said the fire broke out in a stormwater drainage unit at its Uran plant and was doused within two hours. Following the blaze, thick smoke engulfed the area, the police said, adding that they appealed to people staying in villages in the plant’s vicinity not to panic, and assured things were under control. The victims died during a blast while they were trying to check gas leakage at the site, a senior CISF official said. The mishap took place around 6.47 am in the ONGC’s processing plant at Uran town, located around 50 km from here, a police official said. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday”Four people were killed and three others injured in the mishap,” a senior police official said. The deceased included three CISF fire personnel Eranna Nayakka, Satish Prasad Kushwaha, and M K Paswan, who were trying to stop the gas leakage, and resident production superintendent C N Rao of the ONGC, CISF’s Deputy Inspector General (west zone) Nilima Singh said. The injured persons were admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment, she said. At least 22 fire brigade tenders, including those of the ONGC, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Reliance Group, Navi Mumbai civic body and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation at Taloja, were rushed to the spot. The ONGC on its Twitter handle said: “Fire broke out in stormwater drainage in Uran Plant early morning successfully doused within two hours by fire fighting team. #ONGCs robust crisis mitigation preparedness helped put off this major fire in a concise time.” The exact cause of the fire was yet to be ascertained.last_img read more

Pliskova sweeps past Konta to win Italian Open

first_imgRome: Czech fourth seed Karolina Pliskova swept past Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 to win the WTA Italian Open on Sunday. Pliskova, the 2017 French Open semi-finalist, clinched her 13th career title, in the final major warm-up tournament on clay before Roland Garros starts on May 26. A break in each set was enough for the former world number one to get past Konta, sealing victory on her third match point after 85 minutes on court. “It was a great week for me and my team,” said the 27-year-old, now coached by former Rome champion Conchita Martinez. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”There were a couple of tough matches so I was happy to fight through them. I was a little bit nervous today, but it was my first final in Rome, so that’s to be expected.” She had never gone past the semi-finals in her four previous appearances in Rome. Last year she exited in disgrace after smashing a hole in the umpire’s chair in a temper tantrum after losing in the second round. Pliskova, the highest remaining seed, got an early break in the final and swept 3-0 up in just eight minutes on the red clay of the Foro Italico. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersA double fault when serving for the set handed Konta a break point but the British number one squandered the chance with a smash into the net with the entire court open to her. Konta then hit a weak forehand shot into the tape and the ball bounced wide, allowing Pliskova to wrap up the first set in 36 minutes. Pliskova broke in the seventh game of the second set, despite Konta saving two break points, with the Czech world number seven powering through for the biggest title of her career since Cincinnati in 2016. She becomes the first Czech woman to win the Rome tournament since Regina Marsikova in 1978. – ‘Uphill battle’ – For Konta, who has won three WTA titles, it was her second straight defeat in a final on clay after the Morocco Open earlier this month. “It’s always tough playing Karolina,” said former world number four Konta, who has slipped to 42nd. “There’s rarely really a rhythm to the match. She plays with big shots, quite flat, and big serves. “It can feel sometimes you’re fighting an uphill battle. That was the case today.” “She didn’t really have a letdown throughout the match. “She played very consistently. I found it quite hard to get a footing into the match, which is credit to her. The 28-year-old Konta, the first British woman in the Rome final since Virginia Wade in 1971, will now be seeded at the French Open later this month. “I’m definitely pleased with this week. This is my second final in three weeks. That’s still quite an achievement,” said Konta. “I’m looking forward to Paris.” Top seeds Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova pulled out injured during the Rome event, while Roland Garros champion Simona Halep crashed out in her opening match in Italy. Four-time Rome winner Serena Williams also withdrew before the second round as her return after a two-month layoff was cut short when her knee injury flared up. In the men’s competition, world number one Djokovic — winner at the Madrid Open last weekend — will meet defending champion and eight-time winner Rafael Nadal. It will be the 54th clash between the world’s top two men’s players who have won 12 of the last 14 Rome titles between them.last_img read more

UN advocate salutes Cape Verdes graduation from category of poorest States

Anwarul K. Chowdhury, the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, told a conference marking the graduation that the island chain’s achievement should instead spur the country and its international partners to even greater endeavours.“We have won the battle [but] not the war of ensuring sustainable development for Cape Verde,” Mr. Chowdhury said in a message delivered on his behalf by Patricia de Mowbray, the UN Resident Coordinator in Cape Verde, to the conference, which was held in the capital, Praia.He said continuing international support to Cape Verde’s development efforts “should be forthcoming without fail.”Cape Verde becomes only the second country in history to graduate from the LDC category – the first was Botswana in 1994. There are now 49 States in that grouping.LDCs are those nations classified by the UN as having the least socio-economic development and being most in need of international support. To qualify, they must meet three criteria: low incomes; human resource weaknesses, based on indicators of health, nutrition, education and literacy; and economic vulnerability, based on an array of factors, including the stability of agricultural production and the exposure to natural disasters.In his message, Mr. Chowdhury praised Cape Verde’s people and the leadership for their efforts and determination to secure progress in the face of various challenges. He also credited the UN system and the international donor and development community for their roles in assisting Cape Verde. 14 June 2007A United Nations official today hailed the graduation of Cape Verde from the category of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) while cautioning that the State’s success should not lull the UN or other development partners into thinking that its problems have ended. read more

Liberia UNbacked jobs project jumpstarts economic growth

Both skilled and unskilled workers, more than a quarter of whom are women, are repairing major roads, removing garbage, cleaning drainage systems and carrying out other tasks under the initiative, which is being led by the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in partnership with other UN agencies. With an 80 per cent unemployment rate in Liberia, job creation is widely considered one of the biggest obstacles the Government faces.This “employment is fundamental in building a solid path towards sustainable peace as it offers an alternative to war and fosters hope for people who are currently emerging from a dark history of conflict,” said Andrea Tamagnini, Director of UNMIL’s Reintegration, Rehabilitation and Recovery Section.Some of the jobs, such as one project to crush stone to fix roads, are intended for young people, especially in areas outside the capital where unemployment levels are highest. Special efforts are made to create positions for people affected by war and those who are most vulnerable, UNMIL said.“People need to work, now and in the future,” Mr. Tamagnini said. “One formula to address this problem is creating short-term emergency employment programmes immediately and further exploring ways to make these sustainable while the country slowly recovers from conflict.”Working with UNMIL on the project are the World Bank, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Liberian Ministry of Public Works. 13 June 2007The United Nations is working with the Government of Liberia on a project that has so far generated some 21,000 jobs in the country, where employment is considered vital to consolidating stability. read more

New glossary in Sierra Leones major languages issued by UNbacked tribunal

7 November 2008The top official of the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) has launched the first-ever glossary of national legal terminology in the West African nation’s four major local languages. “When people are charged before a court, they have the right to hear the case against them in a language they understand,” Herman von Hebel said at a ceremony yesterday presided over by the country’s Acting Chief Justice, Umu Hawa Tejan-Jalloh. “This glossary will contribute significantly in making this possible.”The “Integrated Glossary of Legal Terminology: Krio, Limba, Mende, Themne” was compiled by the Court’s Language Unit and draws upon the experience of its interpreters.Mr. von Hebel underscored that the new publication seeks to bolster Sierra Leone’s judicial system and voiced hope that it will be part of the SCSL’s legacy.“We believe that the ability for a court to communicate legal terminology to those who come before it in terms they understand is crucial [for] the accessibility of justice and the right to a fair trial.”The Court, established in January 2002 by an agreement between the Sierra Leonean Government and the UN, is mandated to try “those who bear greatest responsibility” for war crimes and crimes against community committed in the country after 30 November 1996.The SCSL’s trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone is currently under way in The Hague. read more

84yearold retired Hamilton Navy vet wins 250K

A retired Navy veteran from Hamilton is smooth sailing with a $250,000 instant lottery win.Eighty-four-year-old Ernest Stokes is a father of seven and grandfather of “many”, according to Ontario Lottery Gaming. He won the top prize on an Instant Sonic Multiplier.Stokes said it felt fantastic when he scratched his winning ticket. “This is my first really big win, although I remember winning $10,000 a few years back too,” said Stokes during an interview at the OLG Prize Centre in Toronto. “I said woah and started jumping up and down!”The Hamilton senior plans on sharing his winnings with his family. The winning ticket was purchased at Goldie’s Variety on Mohawk Rd. in Hamilton. read more

Warren Buffetts company reports 46 per cent jump in 2Q profit on

Warren Buffett’s company reports 46 per cent jump in 2Q profit on big paper gain on investments AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Josh Funk, The Associated Press Posted Aug 2, 2013 5:30 pm MDT OMAHA, Neb. – Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s second-quarter profit jumped 46 per cent as Warren Buffett’s company reported big paper gains on the value of its investments and derivative contracts.On Friday, Berkshire reported net income of $4.54 billion, or $2,763 per Class A share. That’s up from $3.1 billion, or $1,882 per Class A share, last year.The biggest factor behind the big swing in earnings was the estimated value of Berkshire’s investments and derivatives. This year, those were worth $622 million. Last year, Berkshire recorded a $612 million paper loss on those.Berkshire’s revenue grew 16 per cent to $44.69 billion as its more than 80 subsidiaries generally performed well.The three analysts surveyed by FactSet expected Berkshire to report earnings per Class A share of $2,163.63.Several years ago, Berkshire sold derivative contracts that are tied to either the value of several global stock indexes or credit defaults. Berkshire must estimate the value of those contracts every time it reports earnings even though the contracts won’t mature for at least several more years.So the true value of the derivatives won’t be known until later, but they can create big swings in Berkshire’s net income from quarter to quarter.Without Berkshire’s investments and derivatives, the company based in Omaha, Neb., reported operating earnings of $3.92 billion, or $2,384 per Class A share. That’s up from $3.72 billion a year ago, or $2,252 per Class A share.Berkshire’s BNSF railroad performed well in the quarter and contributed $884 million to the conglomerate’s profits, up from $802 million a year ago.BNSF said volume was up 3 per cent this year and rates improved 2 per cent as the railroad hauled more coal, crude oil and intermodal containers of products. Berkshire said higher natural gas prices and low utility stockpiles drove coal demand higher.Berkshire’s insurance businesses, which include reinsurance giant General Re and car insurer Geico, contributed $530 million to Berkshire’s net income in the quarter. That was down from $619 million last year mostly because Berkshire recorded $189 million in pretax losses related to flooding in Europe.Berkshire owns an assortment of companies, including clothing, furniture and jewelry firms. Its insurance and utility businesses typically account for more than half of the company’s net income. It also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co.___Online:Follow Josh Funk at www.twitter.com/funkwriteBerkshire Hathaway Inc.: www.berkshirehathaway.com read more

New cars purchased in 2009 equipped with active safety system

Within the first six months of 2009, nearly 60% of newly registered passenger cars in the UK featured the Electronic Safety Program (ESP) active safety system. ESP offers benefits to driving in hazardous conditions, when roads can be wet, snowy or icy. It can reduce the number or severity of crashes which lead to skidding or overturning. The program compares the driver’s steering input to the actual direction in which the vehicle is moving. If the vehicle understeers or oversteers, ESP reacts immediately by directing specific braking pressure at individual wheels allowing the car to steer as the driver intends.Europe regards ESP as an important safety feature. An EU regulation passed in 2009, and taking effect from November 2011, stipulates that all new passenger car and commercial vehicle models must be equipped with this active safety system. In February 2009, Euro NCAP launched its latest car safety rating scheme, the first update to the rating system since 1997. The new rating scheme has one overall star rating per vehicle tested and includes an extra element focusing on safety assistance. A vehicle cannot reach a top rating unless it is equipped with ESP.The UK motor industry is aware of vehicle and road safety concerns and each manufacturer is developing advanced safety systems to protect drivers in the event of an accident. Further research and technological progress by industry is expected to refine safety tools such as the new generation of airbag restraint systems, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and electronic stability control. Vehicles today are safer than ever before and these new improvements will make for an even safer future. To learn more about UK road safety, click here.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more

RIM may be looking to Microsoft for a lifeline

first_imgThere’s a new battle of Waterloo going on, and this time it’s not in Belgium. Canada’s long-time technology standard bearer, RIM, is fighting for survival amidst dismal sales and waning consumer interest. With the release of BlackBerry 10 and the accompanying new hardware now pushed back to early 2013 — a full year later than it was originally promised — things don’t look good.With an uneasy board feeling the ever-increasing heat (surely at Robot Devil levels now) from investors, RIM is now feeling the pressure to consider all possible options to right the ship. On that list: getting into bed with Microsoft.The relationship could take a number of forms, of course. There’s no doubt that Microsoft would love to acquire a good chunk of RIM’s patent portfolio. Doing so would further protect Windows Phone and give Microsoft additional ammunition in its ongoing licensing “skirmishes” with Android OEMs. Another option would be a Nokia-style collaboration. RIM’s board is reportedly not too keen on giving up the amount of control they’d be required to if Microsoft were to buy a stake in the company and kick in for R&D and marketing expenses.And don’t forget about Windows Phone 8. RIM could stop developing their own mobile OS, thereby allowing more time and effort to be devoted to higher-margin enterprise products and services.Would that really be a good idea, though? With an uncertain future and no new OS for at least six months, it’s hard to imagine that competing against HTC and Samsung with Windows Phone 8 would really be any harder than competing with them using an OS that most of the western world has already lost interest in.via Reuterslast_img read more