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Committee of Secretaries submits suggestions for retail FDI to ministry

NEW DELHI: The long pending issue of opening of multi-brand retail to foreign investment moved one more step, with the top secretaries forwarding 10 recommendations to the commerce and industry ministry on Friday.

We have formally received the minutes of the Committee of Secretaries (CoS) meeting held on July 22 and appropriate decision will be taken soon, an official on the condition of anonymity said. The ministry is examining it and would take the proposal before the Cabinet soon, the official added.

On August 3, commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma had said in Rajya Sabha that an early decision on opening the sector for FDI would be taken after he formally gets the recommendations.

The CoS headed by cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth has recommended that 51% FDI could be allowed in the sector, which is dominated by mom and pop stores. The CoS has also suggested that at least 50% of the investment and jobs should go to rural areas.

Besides, the entities with FDI should source at least 30% of their requirements from the MSME sector. A foreign player would have also to commit at least $100 million investment.

The other recommendations include, allowing such mega stores to sell nonbranded items and such entities should be allowed only in towns with population of over 10 lakh. India allows 51% FDI in single brand retail and 100% in cash and carry format of the business.

In July 2010, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) floated a discussion paper on opening of the politically sensitive multi-brand retail.

Once the Cabinet clears the proposal to allow FDI in the politically sensitive sector, foreign players like WalMart, Carrefour and Tesco, can form joint ventures with Indian companies to open multibrand retail outlets.

While the Central government formulates norms for FDI, the joint venture firms would have to seek permission from state governments (as per the Shops and Establishment Act) to open stores.

In general any company or establishment needs to take permission from the state authorities to start business and so the joint ventures would require such permission before they can start their stores, the official added.

While several retail and farmers associations have opposed the idea of allowing FDI in the sector, the government claims the move would not only help in creating jobs, but arrest the spiralling inflation.

Resource : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/committee-of-secretaries-submits-suggestions-for-retail-fdi-to-ministry/articleshow/9501620.cms

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Sensex, Rupee Slide, Bonds Climb as Global Recession Fears Spark Selloff

Indian stocks tumbled, rupee fell and bonds climbed on concern the global economy may lapse into recession even as accelerating inflation prompts the central bank to extend interest-rate increases.

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), India’s most valuable company, sank to its lowest price since April 2009. Infosys Ltd., the second-largest software maker, slid to its lowest in 14 months. The rupee is set for its biggest weekly loss in three months. The yield on the 7.8 percent bonds due April 2021 dropped 15 basis points this week, or 0.15 percentage point, to 8.31 percent, according to the central bank’s trading system.

“If there’s going to be some catastrophe in Europe or the U.S. then in the near term all global markets are going to get hit,” Sunil Singhania, head of equities at Reliance Capital Asset Management Ltd., India’s biggest money manager, said in an interview. Reliance Mutual Fund has $23 billion in assets.

The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index, or Sensex, lost 387.31, or 2.2 percent, to 17,305.87, the lowest since June 11, 2010, at the 3:30 p.m. close in Mumbai. The gauge retreated 4.9 percent this week, the most since October 2009. The SP CNX Nifty Index lost 2.3 percent to 5,211.25. Its August futures settled at 5,220. The BSE 200 Index sank 2.1 percent.

Global stocks sank for an eighth day, the longest losing streak since January 2010, and commodities fell, erasing the Standard Poor’s GSCI index’s gains for the year, on concern the U.S. recovery is faltering. Bonds jumped, driving Treasury 10-year yields to a 10-month low.

The U.S. added 85,000 jobs last month, leaving the 9.2 percent unemployment rate unchanged, according to economists surveyed before data today that will cap a week of economic reports that showed the recovery is slowing.
‘Threshold Level’

India may extend rate increases, after the central bank boosted the repurchase rate 11 times since 2010, even as counterparts in Europe, Japan and Switzerland add cash into their economies or seek to stem appreciating exchange rates to support expansion. Price gains are “far above the threshold level” and policy makers need to curb growth to slow price gains, central bank Governor Duvvuri Subbarao said yesterday.

Reliance Industries shed 2.5 percent to 792 rupees, its lowest since April 2009. Sterlite Industries (India) Ltd., the largest copper and zinc maker, retreated 6.3 percent to 141.45 rupees. The stock has lost 18 percent in nine days, its longest losing streak in at least two decades.

Infosys tumbled 4.4 percent to 2,591.2 rupees. Its August futures settled at 2,600.70 rupees. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS) slumped 3.5 percent to 1,057.95 rupees. The two companies get more than 90 percent of their sales from overseas.
‘Dollar Strength’

“Risk-aversion emanating from the U.S. data has led to a very weak domestic stock market and increasing worries about capital inflows,” J. Moses Harding, executive vice president at IndusInd Bank Ltd., said in Mumbai. “The dollar strength we saw yesterday also worked against the rupee.”

The rupee weakened 0.4 percent to 44.74 per dollar. It fell to 44.85 earlier, the weakest level since June 29.

The Dollar Index, which tracks the U.S. currency against those of six trading partners, rose 1.7 percent yesterday, the most since June, and Treasuries advanced as investors favored the safest assets. It is little changed today.

Offshore forwards indicate the rupee will trade at 45.19 to the dollar in three months, compared with expectations for a rate of 44.99 yesterday.

India’s 10-year bonds rose, driving yields down this week by the most since June, as investors sought the relative safety of government debt.
‘Powerful Benefit’

Oil fell to the lowest in eight months in New York, set for the biggest weekly decline since May. Futures dropped as much as 4.3 percent after slumping 5.8 percent yesterday. India depends on imports to meet almost 80 percent of energy demand.

“The drop in oil is a powerful benefit for India, which has not been factored in this market fall,” Sankaran Naren, chief investment officer for equities at ICICI Prudential Asset Management Co., India’s third-largest money manager, said in an interview to Bloomberg UTV. Naren said he’s using the declines in share prices to reduce cash holdings across funds.

The Sensex has lost 16 percent this year, the second-worst performer after Brazil’s Bovespa Index among major indexes in the 10 biggest markets, on concern higher borrowing costs will erode earnings. The decline has almost erased gains of 17.4 percent in 2010. Companies on the gauge trade at 14 times 2012 earnings, down from 21.5 times in March 2010, last year’s high.

Earnings reported by nine out of 20 Sensex companies, or 45 percent, have lagged behind analyst estimates for the three months ended June. That compares with 33 percent that missed forecasts in the previous quarter.

Overseas investors sold a net 8.01 billion rupees ($180.5 million) of Indian equities on Aug. 3, paring their investment in stocks this year to 93.6 billion rupees, according to data on the website of the regulator.

Resource : http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-05/sensex-at-14-month-low-on-concern-global-economy-will-slip-into-recession.html

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Mayank Shekhars review: Office Office

Director: Rajiv Mehra
Actors: Pankaj Kapur, Gaurav Kapoor
Rating: *1/2 Naam (name)? asks the policeman at his station desk. Mussaddi Lal, says the accused, Mussaddi Lal (of course). Pesha (profession)? Retired school master, Mahatma Gandhi School, Lal Ganj, Ghaziabad, India. Jurm (crime?) Common man!

Being common in Third World is some sort of a crime all right. Especially, in a congenitally corrupt nation that daydreams of becoming developed some day. First World, by definition, is determined by how the last man standing gets treated in his own country. Shining India is furthest from it. You can tell. This film is valid commentary of that state.

Mussaddi is an idealist old man, left with little else, besides his honesty, income from his pension, a small apartment, and a 28-year-old son (Gaurav Kapur) whos seriously good for nothing. The strange chemistry between this father and his son Bunty does offer fair amount of laughs though.

Mussadis wifes just died. She was admitted to a state hospital that was more interested in diagnostic tests he could cough up cash for. Hes off on a pilgrimage on a train to distribute ashes of the deceased one. Each episode above is a tiring drill for old Mussaddi. He has to triumph over red-tapist worms, scavenging officials, to barely survive, get on with life.

At every stage, he comes across proverbial characters, played by the same actors, in different settings Bhatia Saab (Manoj Pahwa), Shuklaji (Sanjay Mishra), Pandeyji (Hemant Pandey), Patel (Devan Bhojani). They play multiple roles of doctor, ticket collector, hospital wardboy, low-level hawaldar, pesky pandit, bank-teller… And eventually, clerks in a pension office. Because, Mussaddi Lal has just returned from his pilgrimage to learn, from government records, that hes dead. He must now prove himself to be alive, to be able to claim his own monthly pension!

Silly as it may sound, this is not entirely a work of fiction, of course. Several similar, true cases have been reported in the past in this country, some even turned into compelling films (Mazhar Kamrans Mohandas is a recent one that comes to mind). The general attack on corruption itself can take the form of a movie thats angry (Dombivli Fast), frustrated (Saraansh), or plain funny (Lage Raho Munnabhai). This one attempts to be all three, succeeds at none.

Office Office, I hear, was a much-loved series on television. I havent watched a single, complete episode, but its not that hard to tell why. It starred one of the nations most under-rated acting talents, Pankaj Kapur. As does this film. The story bears resonance, empathy. The difference is in the medium alone.

Television, free chewing gum for the brain, rarely demands half as much as a fully consuming film on the big screen in a dark theatre does. Distracted audiences are far more forgiving on TV. Anybody whos watched and loved a bad movie on a tiny tube, especially on a flight, will agree.

In here, there is just no visible escape. The writing is entirely episodic, like a TV show. Scenarios recur. Actors ham it up. Loud background score informs every scene. You care for our man Mussaddi. Or at least wish to. He takes rounds of various daftars (offices), literally living a farce. Democracy is probably both the problem, and its only plausible solution. You get the point. How about a better picture?

Resource : http://www.hindustantimes.com/Mayank-Shekhar-s-review-Office-Office/Article1-729859.aspx

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Priyanka on a Song

Priyanka Chopra’s trip to Los Angeles last month to meet Lady Gaga wasn’t just a holiday, it seems. The announcement of her international music debut, soon after her return, makes us wonder if she combined business with pleasure. Troy Carter, CEO of Atom Factory, who manages Lady Gaga, has signed up Chopra to manage her music career across the globe.

Chopra’s worldwide recording agreement is between the Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s leading music company, and Desi Hits, an India-based music company owned by Anjula Acharia-Bath. As a part of this deal, Chopra will release her debut music album in North America with Desi Hits through Interscope Records and in other international markets on Island Records, UK.

“It has been a long cherished dream, which is finally coming true”, says Chopra about her debut. “I am truly excited to have an opportunity to present my musical dimensions on a world platform. I am privileged to be working with some of the most illustrious names in the music industry. This is a fascinating new experience for me and I am thoroughly enjoying the journey,” added Chopra, a trained western classical singer. Chopra is also writing her debut pop album, which will be in English.
After wowing the audiences with her good looks and acting skills, Chopra will now hope to get them grooving to her tunes. Are we ready?

Resource : http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Priyanka-on-a-Song/827811/

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Intel invests 30m in cloud computing

NEW DELHI: Intel Labs has announced two new Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTC) hosted at Carnegie Mellon University focused on cloud and embedded computing research.

Aimed at shaping the future of cloud computing and how increasing numbers of everyday devices will add computing capabilities, Intel Labs announced the latest Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTC) both headquartered at Carnegie Mellon University.

These centers represent the next $30 million installment of Intels recently announced 5-year, $100 million ISTC program to increase university research and accelerate innovation in a handful of key areas. As with previously announced ISTCs for visual computing and secure computing, the new centers encourage tighter collaboration between university thought leaders and Intel. To encourage further collaboration, the ISTCs use open IP models with results publically available through technical publications and open-source software releases.

These new ISTCs are expected to open amazing possibilities, said Justin Rattner, Intel Chief Technology Officer. Imagine, for example, future cars equipped with embedded sensors and microprocessors to constantly collect and analyze traffic and weather data. That information could be shared and analyzed in the cloud so that drivers could be provided with suggestions for quicker and safer routes.

Cloud computing research
The ISTC forms a new cloud computing research community that broadens Intels Cloud 2015 vision with new ideas from top academic researchers, and includes research that extends and improves on Intels existing cloud computing initiatives. The center combines top researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of California Berkeley, Princeton University, and Intel. The researchers will explore technology that will have has important future implications for the cloud, including built-in application optimization, more efficient and effective support of big data analytics on massive amounts of online data, and making the cloud more distributed and localized by extending cloud capabilities to the network edge and even to client devices.

In the future, these capabilities could enable a digital personal handler via a device wired into your glasses that sees what you see, to constantly pull data from the cloud and whisper information to you during the day telling you who people are, where to buy an item you just saw, or how to adjust your plans when something new comes up.

ISTC for embedded computing
Tapping into the expertise of leading researchers from Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley and Intel, the ISTC for embedded computing forms a new collaborative community to drive research to transform experiences in the home, car and retail environment of the future. With the growing popularity of mobile real-time and personalized technology, there is a corresponding rise in demand for specialized embedded computing systems to support a broad range of new applications including many not yet envisioned.

A key area of research is to make it easier for these everyday devices to continuously collect, analyze and act on useful data from both sensors and online databases in a way that is timely, scalable and reliable. For example, in cars, this data could be used to customize in-vehicle entertainment options when specific passengers are recognized, and provide them better routing, retail, dining, and entertainment recommendations while on-the-road.

Resource : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/news/hardware/Intel-invests-30m-in-cloud-computing/articleshow/9493661.cms

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Never took instructions from BCCI: Sunil Gavaskar

People are critical of your commentary. You have been called too nationalistic, etc…
That is an individual opinion. How can I control it? Some like your cricket, some don’t. Similarly, some will like your writing, some won’t. It is the same with my commentary as well. I can’t do anything about it.

So, you say you are comfortable with the criticism of your commentary.
Whatever I can learn from the criticism, I will learn it. But I’m of the opinion that criticism has to be used to your advantage — be it as a player, person, writer or commentator. You have to take it in your stride. There is nothing wrong in that.

Are you aware of a recent article that called you a PR agent of BCCI?
My answer is the same as I said before. It is a particular individual’s opinion. It is a free country. So, he is perfectly entitled to his opinion.

In your recent column you blasted the Indian team for playing like school boys…
I did not say they played like school boys. I tried to say a professional team was playing against school boys — in preparation, determination.

But you did not criticise the BCCI for poorly planning the series.
Because in my view, it is basically a technique and temperament thing.

It has got nothing to do with preparation and planning in which England have shown to be much better. That is where it is. They have shown better technique and temperament.

Their lower-order has shown a better technique to the moving ball and a greater determination to hang in there. That has been the difference between the two teams.

In the 1971 series, you had trained here for one month before starting the Test series. This time, there was only one practice match. How can you defend that?
If you have more matches, it allows everybody to be competitive. By that I mean, when the team is selected, you normally know what the team is going to be, or at least who the first nine are going to be.

The last two places can be filled based on the players’ form. And that form can be seen in the tour matches. Now, after two matches, reserve players have not had a chance to prove their form.

There could be an impression that after the two-day game, the team could go with the normal side.

If there is more than one practice match, the reserve players like Amit Mishra could get a chance to prove their form although there is a lot of difference between a three-day game and a Test. But at least, he can lay claim for a place.

So, he will be then pushing the regulars for a place. If there are no matches, the fringe player does not get an opportunity to stake his claim. That’s why I think these matches are important.
But one tour game before the first Test surely in not enough. You never said anything on that.

For all you know, even five games would not have been enough. The way the England team has played, more than the way Indian team has played, even five matches would not have been sufficient. So, you cannot say there should be mandatory X number of matches.

But the general impression is you have been reluctant to criticise the planning and programming of the BCCI.
People should listen to the commentary and read my columns before jumping to conclusions. I do speak freely, my friend.
OK, what about conflict of interest? You are contracted to the BCCI for Rs3.6 crore a year. How can you be expected to give an independent view?

Absolutely, I’ve no problem in answering that. There is a conflict of interest inherent in just about every job.

A journalist does not agree with what the editor says because the editor tells him to do a particular story, he does it. That’s a conflict of interest. The editor may not agree with the publisher but he still follows the instruction. That is also a conflict of interest. ]

So, how to deal with that is every individual’s choice. Every job virtually has this inherent conflict of interest. That’s the way I look at it. Besides, you know that our contract was not with the BCCI. It was originally with the WSG for the first two years.

Because of the BCCI’s problems with the WSG, our contract was taken away from them. The BCCI has now taken over that contract.

The BCCI has not appointed any production guy yet. It is a matter of subjudice and that is why the BCCI cannot appoint another party to be contracted to us.

So, the board handles our contract. But as I said, in my case, just read my columns and commentary. Then you decide whether I’m muzzled or I speak freely.

Just because there would be occasions when my views and BCCI’s stand coincide, that should not mean anything. You cannot always disagree with everybody.

There are times, you have to agree with people. Whatever has to be said, I said. It is not an issue with me and not an issue with the BCCI.

But there could be occasions when you may have been told by the BCCI to endorse its position.

It never ever happened. They have never told me to say this or write that. Not once did that happen. I have never got any instruction from the Board. I’ve always stood by my conviction. There was never a compromise.

But do you think it is an ideal situation to be in contract with the board?
Ideally, you want to stay with another television production company. We were with a production company till this thing happened.

The IPL has been pilloried widely as an elephant in the room. It is looked at as something not in the best interest of Indian cricket. But you never said anything against it.

On the contrary, I thought the IPL has galvanised the Indian and world cricket. Injuries can happen at any time. Injuries have nothing to do with the IPL. It can happen in a Test match as it happened with Yuvraj Singh.

He played the entire World Cup and IPL without being injured. He comes and gets injured in a Test match. The IPL has lessened the animosity between players and helped better understanding between different cricketing cultures.

The animosity that was existing before 2008 has come down considerably. It has made cricket a good career option in India.

Do you actually endorse the position of BCCI, Dhoni and Tendulkar on DRS. The entire world has criticised the BCCI but you did not say anything.

I have a slightly different stand on this. I’m uncomfortable with players challenging the umpire’s decision. I was brought up to accept an umpire’s decision, right or wrong.

Fundamentally, any review should be done by the umpires themselves. Players should not have this option.

Resource : http://www.dnaindia.com/sport/report_never-took-instructions-from-bcci-sunil-gavaskar_1573028

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‘Don’t write off Sehwag and Gambhir just yet’

A handy South African cricketer, Andrew Hall is described by most profile writers as a ‘useful all-rounder suited for the limited overs game’.

Quite early in the conversation, however, Hall speaks about his one and only Test hundred. The Northamptonshire captain, extremely fit at 36, is sitting out for India’s tour game, and it’s the presence of Virender Sehwag in the middle that makes Hall recall one of the most memorable days of his Test career — when he not only made 163 against India in 2004 but also faced 454 balls in the process on a lifeless Green Park pitch in Kanpur.

Hall isn’t flaunting his record, he is just putting Sehwag’s brand of batsmanship into perspective. “He (Sehwag) scored one run more than me (in that game), but played nearly half the number of balls,” Hall said.

Unlike that match seven years ago, Sehwag lasted just 25 balls on Friday, scoring just 8. He wasn’t timing or middling the ball like he did at the nets on Thursday but Hall says that the opener, along with his partner Gautam Gambhir, seemed in good touch. “They are both looking in good form. They were leaving the ball well, they were playing good shots, they were getting in good positions. If they get in and bat for an hour in a Test match and if they get through for the first hour, both can score big runs. For them, it is just about spending some time out in the middle,” Hall added.
Sehwag started with a fierce cut that was stopped on the fence and a powerful cover drive that went to the boundary, but soon he was to realise how the net session indoors was very different from the real action out in the open.

Northampton’s two young pacers Dave Burton and Luke Evans did what seamers do in English conditions: they pitched the ball in the right area and Sehwag had a tough time getting to the pitch of the ball.

Several times during his stay, the opener was beaten by the away going ball. But Hall insists that Sehwag shouldn’t lose sleep over the ‘play and misses’.

“When we looked at the wicket, it had some grass and the ball was doing a bit so we were happy to bowl first. It’s difficult, the ball does move a bit, they (Gambhir and Sehwag) like to have the ball coming on to the bat. It’s going to be difficult for them to change their game plan all of a sudden. It has been successful for so many years and I don’t see why they can’t do it again,” he says.

Resource :http://www.indianexpress.com/news/dont-write-off-sehwag-and-gambhir-just-yet/827865/1 and http://www.indianexpress.com/news/dont-write-off-sehwag-and-gambhir-just-yet/827865/2

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42 million Indians carry Hepatitis B virus: Experts

India is all set to emerge as the global capital of the dreaded Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), according to the team of doctors from MIOT Hospital in Chennai.

“Forty two million Indians suffer from chronic Hepatitis B infection. The Hepatitis B Virus is responsible for 60% of liver cancer cases in India,” said Dr Arul Prakash, leading gastroenterologist, MIOT Hospital.

He said that condition in India with reference to Hepatitis B vaccine is shocking. “We found that not even one per cent of school children in India have been vaccinated against HBV. This is more shocking since there are effective vaccines available all over the world. Though a vaccine against HBV which was developed in 1970 and we are yet to take HBV seriously,” said Dr Prakash.

According to Dr PVA Mohandas, director, MIOT Hospital, there are 400 million people chronically infected by the HBV. “What is worrying is the fact that 40% of these people will end up in cirrhosis and liver cancer,” said Dr Mohandas.

Team MIOT Hospital has unleashed a blitzkrieg to spread an awareness campaign against the HBV, a disease Dr Mohandas describes as worse that HIV/AIDS.

Resource : http://www.dnaindia.com/health/report_42-million-indians-carry-hepatitis-b-virus-experts_1572736

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Sonia unwell, Rahul to lead Cong

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has notified a four-member committee, including AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, to oversee the functioning of the party while she recuperates from a surgery abroad.

The party is tightlipped about the nature of the surgical procedure Sonia, 64, is
likely to undergo on Thursday or Friday. Rahul and his sister Priyanka are accompanying her.

A senior Congress functionary told Hindustan Times that the UPA chairperson has been under treatment for some time. She has travelled abroad for the surgery on the advice of doctors and to prevent any discomfort to other patients if she were to undergo the procedure in a facility in India.

A brief four-line statement released by AICC media department head and general secretary Janardan Dwivedi read: “Smt. Sonia Gandhi has been recently diagnosed with a medical condition that requires surgery. On advice of her doctors, she has travelled abroad and is likely to be away for two to three weeks”.

The other members of the panel notified by Sonia included defence minister AK Antony, her political secretary Ahmed Patel and Dwivedi.
All four of them including Rahul are regular members of the partys highest decision-making body, the Congress Working Committee (CWC).

The Congress president is understood to have informed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee about her decision to set up the committee.

They are not part of the interim arrangement on account of their preoccupation with heavy government and parliamentary work in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament.

The constitution of the Congress party is silent on the options to be exercised in the event of the president becoming dysfunctional due to a medical exigency. The party constitution merely states: “In the event of any emergency by reason of any cause such as the death or resignation of the president elected, the senior most general secretary will discharge the routine functions of the president until the working committee (CWC) appoints a provisional president pending the election of a regular president by the AICC.”

In the instant case, Sonia continues to be president and she herself has constituted the group. The panel members have been asked to be in regular touch with the PM and Mukherjee and consult them on all issues.

Not only the nature of the surgery, even Sonias itinerary, including the duration and place of stay (surgery) is being kept under wraps on the advice of the special protection group (SPG) mandated for her security.

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari faced a volley of questions on Sonias medical condition and the country of her destination. His refrain was: “Public personalities are entitled to a certain degree of privacy when it concerns their medical condition.”

Rahuls presence on the panel was downplayed by sources who insisted that it should be viewed as what it is — a stopgap arrangement. They said the four-member committee will oversee the partys day to day functioning until Sonias return.

Resource : http://www.hindustantimes.com/Sonia-unwell-Rahul-to-lead-Cong/H1-Article1-729518.aspx

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Karnataka: Now its fight for cabinet berths

BANGALORE: After engaging themselves in a week-long battle for the CMs post, the factions within the state BJP are now fighting for their pie in the Cabinet.

As a result, D V Sadanand Gowda, who had planned to take oath along with a few ministers, had to take oath alone on Thursday, that too in the absence of several legislators who owe allegiance to former minister Jagadish Shettar.

According to sources, both camps one led by former CM B S Yeddyurappa and the other by national BJP general secretary Ananthkumar have engaged in a hard bargaining over cabinet berths. While the Kumar camp is demanding for equal share in the Cabinet besides seeking plum portfolios like home, revenue and RDPR, the Yeddyurappa camp, which has more MLAs, is said to have offered them 14 cabinet berths while seeking to retain 20 berths for it.

Gowda who visited both Shettar and state BJP president K S Eshwrappa on Thursday is said to have made this offer while inviting them for the swearingin ceremony in the evening.

The Shettar camp, on its part, rejected the offer while sticking to their demand for equal share. When Gowda did not commit on it, they decided to boycott the swearing in ceremony.

After getting the feel of the Yeddyurappa camp, the rival camp is said to have adopted a new stand that the composition of the Cabinet and allocation of portfolios should be held in the presence of party national leaders.

They are also demanding the constitution of a core committee under one of their leaders and all important decisions, including in government, should be cleared by the committee.

With both the sides not willing to buckle, it appears that the mediation by the BJP national high command seems inevitable. However, Gowda expressed hope that all problems will be solved in 34 days.

Resource : http://expressbuzz.com/states/karnataka/karnataka-now-its-fight-for-cabinet-berths/301237.html

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