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Tourism Ministry to
seek Bollywood’s
help to promote places

NEW DELHI, July 3: Encouraged by the tourist response at Leh after ‘3 Idiots’, the Tourism Ministry is planning to join hands with Bollywood for making movies as a medium to promote various destinations in collaboration with National Film Development Corporation......more

Havaldar Malik—First
Kashmiri to climb
peak above 8,000 m

NEW DELHI, July 3: In the wee hours of May 9, when Havaldar Rafiq Malik stepped on top of the world’s eighth highest peak Mount Manaslu in Nepal, he created history by becoming the first Kashmiri to have climbed a mountain ..more

Ministedrs not
implementing
Cabinet decisions

NEW DELHI, July 3: Some Ministries and departments have failed to implement Cabinet decisions in the stipulated time-frame, the Cabinet Secretariat has said.......more

Of Moditva,
BJP and Gujarat!

NEW DELHI, July 3: The debate about ‘Moditva’ is a metaphor for alternative visions for India and its future trajectory will be decisive not only for Gujarat but equally for BJP, a new book says...more

Govt denies details
of jury decisions on
National Film Awards

NEW DELHI, July 3: The government has refused to disclose details of evaluation sheets of jury members who decide on National Film Awards, saying these papers are "confidential" and cannot be made public as ...more

Soon ‘foldable’
twin-seater sport
plane to soar in skies

NEW DELHI, July 3: Have you ever seen or flown a small sport plane which can both take off and land on water or ground, has foldable wings so that you can carry it on your trailer-truck and park ....more

DoT mulls monthly
review of BSNL
performance

NEW DELHI, July 3: In a bid to turn around loss-making PSU BSNL within six months, the Telecom Ministry has decided to review the performance of all circle heads of the service provider on monthly basis....more

Maruti Suzuki donates
engines, powertrain
to edu institutions

CHENNAI, July 3: The country’s largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki has, for the first time, presented its engine and powertrain for educational institutions ....more

 

Changing of names seems to be in thing in TN.....

Strengthen data collection of visitors in airports: FM.....

‘BJP determined to win 2013 Assembly elections in MP’....

‘Budget misquoted to favour Swiss Timing in TSR contract’....

 

Tourism Ministry to seek Bollywood’s help
to promote places

NEW DELHI, July 3: Encouraged by the tourist response at Leh after ‘3 Idiots’, the Tourism Ministry is planning to join hands with Bollywood for making movies as a medium to promote various destinations in collaboration with National Film Development Corporation.

"We have decided to identify various locations in the country and call a meeting of leading directors to promote these destinations through movies," a senior Tourism Ministry official said.

The official said ‘3 Idiots’ have done wonder for Leh-Ladakh as all the hotels are fully booked and there are no rooms available for the next six months in Leh.

Similarly, Yash Chopra films have made Switzerland the dream destinations for Indians.

"The Ministry has realised its potential and wants to develop a mechanism where they can promote destinations through movies," he said, adding that "We are discussing the proposal with the NFDC."

Besides, the Ministry is also mulling to create separate fund through which films can be made to promote destinations. "The expenditure on the film project can be subsidised," he said.

Tourism Ministry recently had participated in the Cannes film festival. "Our participation was appreciated by Bollywood and got appreciation from various industry forums also," the official said.

In the last few years, the tourism sector has witnessed significant growth. Foreign tourist arrivals have reached 5.58 million in 2010 from 3.92 million in 2005. Domestic tourist visits have gone up to 650 million in 2009 from 392 million in 2005.

Tourism is one of the major foreign exchange earner in 150 countries. It accounts for 40 per cent of GDP for half of the least developed countries.

The sector contributed 5.92 per cent towards GDP and 9.24 per cent towards employment generation in 2007-08. It is estimated that total number of tourism jobs in 2007-08 were 49.8 million, according to the ministry data.

"We are also planning to make a few short films to be shown in major airlines and world festivals to mark the Incredible India presence felt. We have requested all other ministries including Commerce, Textiles and MEA to use these films in their conferences abroad to promote Indian destinations, events and festivals under the brand Incredible India," said the official.

There are shows held abroad by different ministries. "These films promoting Indian destinations can be shown there," he said.

Recently, Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay made a presentation of his ministry’s future strategy to the Prime Minister. The minister sought the cooperation of all other ministries to promote tourism in a coordinated way. (PTI)

Havaldar Malik—First Kashmiri to climb peak
above 8,000 m

NEW DELHI, July 3: In the wee hours of May 9, when Havaldar Rafiq Malik stepped on top of the world’s eighth highest peak Mount Manaslu in Nepal, he created history by becoming the first Kashmiri to have climbed a mountain with height over 8,000 metres.

Malik, who is earning all round praise, is an embodiment of a positive story as he escaped the lure of joining militancy in early 1990s and instead joined the Army.

Hailing from a village near Anantnag district, about 60 km south of Srinagar, Malik was determined to do "something big" for which he had joined the Army in 1995, following in the steps of his father and uncles.

In fact, he joined the Army "discreetly" and kept it a secret even from his fellow villagers for over a year.

"As the trend was in those days, many of my classmates at our school in Khanabal joined ranks with the terrorists, who used to frequently visit our school to take us across the Line of Control (LoC) to pick up arms," Malik said.

"My decision to join the Army remained a secret for over a-year-and-a-half and people in my village came to know about it only when Government officials reached there for verifying my credentials," he said.

Soon after completing his training, Malik realised his love for mountains and did a course from the elite High Altitude Warfare School in Gulmarg and then from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling, where he stood first in all courses.

"A number of people from the State belonging to the Ladakh region have achieved this feat but Rafiq, a Havaldar in the 15 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry regiment, is the first Kashmiri to do so," Colonel Ajay Kothiyal, who lead the expedition team, said.

The first major peak that he conquered was Mount Nun in Ladakh region in 2007. Rafiq then took part in operations at Mount Chaukhamabha, where they had to rescue some trapped army mountaineers.

His big moment came when he was selected for Indian Army’s Manaslu expedition in Nepal in 2010.

"I was excited as I knew that no Kashmiri had ever climbed heights above 8,000 metres (only 14 such peaks are there across the globe) and I wanted to do so," Malik said.

After the expedition was flagged off on March 8, it was split into two groups by expedition leader Colonel Kothiyal and Malik was one of the first few to have reached the peak.

Manaslu means ‘Mountain of the Spirit’ and the name comes from the Sanskrit word Manasa, meaning ‘intellect’ or ‘soul’. (PTI)

Ministedrs not implementing Cabinet decisions

NEW DELHI, July 3: Some Ministries and departments have failed to implement Cabinet decisions in the stipulated time-frame, the Cabinet Secretariat has said.

It has asked all Ministries and departments to take "pro-active" steps to meet the deadlines.

In a recent memorandum to all Union Secretaries, the Cabinet Secretariat has also pointed that the failure on part of Ministries and departments in implementing the decisions of the Cabinet and Cabinet Committees have not been communicated to it.

"...There have been instances where the decisions of the Cabinet or Cabinet Committees could not be implemented even after a lapse of a considerable period of time and the fact of non-implementation was not brought to the notice of the Cabinet Secretariat either in the monthly reports, copies of which are also endorsed to the Prime Minister’s Office, or otherwise," the memorandum says.

Without naming any Ministry, it has reminded that the decisions of the Cabinet or the Cabinet committees have to be implemented as per the time-frame mentioned in Cabinet notes and implementation schedules, the communication calls for taking "pro-active" steps in meeting the deadlines.

The Cabinet Secretariat said "in exceptional cases" where "genuine difficulties arise" in implementing decisions, the matter should be brought to its notice and a copy of the same should be sent to the PMO.

"...In very rare cases, where the difficulties cannot be overcome, the Ministries/departments should bring complete facts before the Cabinet or the Cabinet Committee and seek their directions about future course of action," it said. (PTI)

Of Moditva, BJP and Gujarat!

NEW DELHI, July 3: The debate about ‘Moditva’ is a metaphor for alternative visions for India and its future trajectory will be decisive not only for Gujarat but equally for BJP, a new book says.

"In a post-Vajpayee, post-Advani age, (Gujarat chief minister) Narendra Modi alone among the BJP’s Gen-Next is a proven mass leader, having delivered Gujarat for a unprecedented fourth consecutive term. As the party struggles to redefine itself after the 2009 electoral debacle, the Modi model is seen by a wide section of the party rank and file as the next saviour," says writer-journalist Nalin Mehta in "Gujarat beyond Gandhi: Identity, Conflict and Society".

According to the author, no major Indian political leader whose name has been associated with a riot has ever had a shot at the throne of Delhi.

"Modi arguably has such a shot. In 2014, is it too far-fetched to imagine a Rahul Gandhi-Narendra Modi battle at the hustings? If it does come to that, it will be a test for the idea of India as never before," the book says.

The birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi and the land that produced Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Gujarat has been at the centre-stage of South Asia’s political iconography for over a century. This book is a collection of essays critically exploring the many paradoxes and complexities of modernity and politics in the state that was created in 1960.

The contributors provide much-needed insights into the dominant impulses of identity formation, cultural change, political mobilisation, religious movements and modes of communication that define modern Gujarat.

This book, edited by Mehta and Mona G Mehta and published by Routledge, touches upon a fascinating range of topics - the identity debates at the heart of the idea of modern Gujarat; the trajectory of Gujarati politics from the 1950s to the present day; bootlegging, the practice of corruption and public power; vegetarianism and violence; urban planning and the enabling infrastructure of antagonism; global diasporas and provincial politics – providing new insights into understanding the enigma of Gujarat.

Tow of the contributors in this collection focus specifically on deeper issues related to the 2002 riots. While Arvind Rajagopal studies urban geographies of violence in Ahmedabad to understand how historical patterns of spatial ordering may have contributed to a given socio-political imagination, Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi, in contrast, takes an ethnographic approach.

Rajagopal argues that historically urban growth, economic development and ghettoization appear to have worked in tandem in Ahmedabad, with the patterns of spatial expansion and capital accumulation working to force Muslims more closely together while rendering the rest of the city as a canvas for Hindu aspirations.

Ghassem-Fachandi looks at violence through the fascinating prism of vegetarianism and researches its street discourse to investigate processes of stereotyping in Hindu nationalist mobilisation and the relationship among imageries of Muslim meat consumption, concepts of diet and worship and Hindu notions of disgust.

There are also contributions on topics like Narmada river, authoritarian developmentalism and Politics of Modi, the Tablighi Jamaat and Svadhyaya and the strong diaspora community. (PTI)

Govt denies details of jury decisions
on National Film Awards

NEW DELHI, July 3: The government has refused to disclose details of evaluation sheets of jury members who decide on National Film Awards, saying these papers are "confidential" and cannot be made public as per established rules.

Denying the information, the Directorate of Film Festival (DFF) said note sheets of each jury member remain with the person concerned and it does not ask them to give it back.

"DFF does not possess or take possession of assessment/ evaluation sheets or notes of jury members. They remain with the jury who treat it as confidential...," the DFF, which acts as a nodal agency to organise international and national film festivals within the country, said in its reply to an RTI query filed.

According to the reply, the results are provided to the Directorate in "final shape only".

"They (jury) do not share the material with each other or even with DFF. Results are provided to DFF in the final shape only. Jury members carry their sheets with them when they leave. Jury members are not asked to handover their assessment material to DFF," it said.

Interestingly, the DFF cited Clause 21 of its own regulation to deny the information thus flouting the norms set under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

According to Section 22 of the RTI Act, "the provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act."

Whereas, the DFF rule says that the jury members shall maintain strict confidentiality regarding the deliberations/ recommendations in respect of awards to various categories.

"In case of any violation by jury members, he/she would be debarred for life from becoming a jury member in National Film Awards/Indian Panorama/International Film Festival of India," the rules say.

"They (note sheets) are taken back with them by jury members when they leave after completion of the assignment," the reply said.

National Film Awards are given every year under different categories to encourage creative people at regional and country level. The 58th NFA were announced last month in the national capital. (PTI)

Soon ‘foldable’ twin-seater sport plane to soar in skies

NEW DELHI, July 3: Have you ever seen or flown a small sport plane which can both take off and land on water or ground, has foldable wings so that you can carry it on your trailer-truck and park it in your garage?

Now this may not remain a dream, as a prototype of the American light-sport aircraft (LSA) which is being tested for the past three years is likely to enter the production line in the second quarter of 2012.

The two-seater ICON A5 is being developed by California-based Icon Aircraft. Its wings can be folded easily from the cockpit in under five minutes while on water or land.

The company last week announced that it closed a USD 25 million round of equity infusion in June to fund the project through the completion of its ongoing engineering development program, manufacturing setup and the beginning of production of the amphibious sport plane.

The financing was led by investors Satyen Patel and Bart Becht, who have deep expertise in building consumer product companies. Patel has been associated with a top IT- BPO firm and worked at senior positions with global brands like Pepsi-Cola International and Nike.

Icon is looking at India to set up a supply chain base for spares and other essential components, besides trying to focus on the growing market of high net-worth individuals who could be interested in buying this aircraft, Patel told PTI on phone from the US.

Other investors include Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, former Chairman and CEO of Boeing Phil Condit and several top Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

The company was started in 2005 by CEO Kirk Hawkins and COO Steen Strand, who met at Stanford University while pursuing degrees in business and product design, respectively.

"We have a two-pronged strategy for India that will be part of our global strategic plan which will be finalised over the next 3-6 months. India features very importantly in our plans," Patel, who is now on the Icon Board, said.

"The first part of the strategy is to source components for the aircraft, making India an important and reliable supply base along with China," he said.

"We will try to develop a supply chain with Indian firms. We may also look at starting a sub-assembly in India in the long run," he said while noting that HAL and Indian firms were already manufacturing components for various aircraft produced by Airbus and Boeing, including the super-jumbo A-380s and B-777s. They were also associated with fighter jets like the MiG aircraft series.

"Based on our surveys, we could also look at international production line. But all this have to be discussed and finalised," Patel said.

The second part of the Icon strategy would be to study the market for the A5 planes in India. "It is a fairly affordable product for high net-worth individuals who can carry out short and quick business trips," Patel said.

"We are already looking at markets in the US, Canada, Western Europe and the Middle East," he said, adding that since the aircraft was "an affordable luxury and there are a considerable number of buyers of such products in India, we feel the country has a potential to become a market for this aircraft".

Patel said A5 could be flown for short business trips from a city to satellite locations around it. "You can fly from Pune to Nagpur or Mumbai or from Ahmedabad to Jamnagar or Surat. It has a range of 50 miles with 20 gallons of gas," he said. (PTI)

DoT mulls monthly review of BSNL performance

NEW DELHI, July 3: In a bid to turn around loss-making PSU BSNL within six months, the Telecom Ministry has decided to review the performance of all circle heads of the service provider on monthly basis.

"There will be a monthly review of all the 24 zonal directors. It is necessary as quarterly monitoring is a very long period for assessing the performance of a commercial organisation like BSNL," a DoT source said.

BSNL, once the country’s flagship telecom company, posted a net loss of Rs 1,823 crore on revenue of Rs 32,046 crore in 2009-2010. It is also likely to post losses for the financial year ended March 2011. The company had a net profit of over Rs 10,000 crore in 2005-06.

Further, the source said that since it is a difficult task to monitor a large-sized PSU on profitable platform, Department of Telecom (DoT) has decided to adopt revenue- -monitoring criteria for reviewing a commercial organisation like BSNL.

"Profitability clause should not be the criteria for reviewing performance of large-sized PSU like BSNL as it is the profitability of telecom industry (which )is falling. Hence we have decided on adopting revenue-monitoring criteria for reviewing a commercial organisation like BSNL," a source from DoT said.

In terms of mobile subscribers, BSNL has been relegated to the fifth position from the second rank it held just a few years ago since the company has failed to match the competition from private players like Bharti, Vodafone, Idea and Tatas.

Earlier, DoT had instructed BSNL directors in all the 22 territorial circles to mop up monthly revenues by 25 per cent, failing which strict action will be taken against them.

"If any any circle fails to achieve the revenue target, we will transfer people on large scale. The idea is to make higher officials accountable.

"The biggest challenge before us is to bring BSNL into the positive zone. For an organisation to grow zonal directors should be made accountable. We have done this in the first phase and have been tracking this for last two months," he added.

Even Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had said that the organisation must have targets for circles, according to which if the officials don’t perform they will be transferred out while those who meet the targets will be rewarded, like given a posting of their choice.

Under the revenue maximisation strategy, BSNL’s circles have been divided into three-revenue wise categories, including those with less than Rs 10 billion revenue, those with Rs 10 billion-Rs 20 billion revenue and circles with revenues in excess of Rs 20 billion. (PTI)

Maruti Suzuki donates engines, powertrain
to edu institutions

CHENNAI, July 3: The country’s largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki has, for the first time, presented its engine and powertrain for educational institutions valued at Rs 1.5 crore in order to tap the skills of automobile engineering students.

The automaker has donated over 40 units of 800 CC engines and powertrain to engineering college students, enabling them to manufacture their own prototype of a Formula car for the four-day SAE India-Maruti Suzuki event at Irungattukottai race track here.

"We decided to give them the engines and powertrain so that it will not only help them develop their skill, but also make others get interested in automotive engineering", Maruti Suzuki India General Manager (Technical Administration) Deepak Sawkar said at the race track about 50 km from here.

For the initiative, the company has teamed up with Supra SAE India, which would help students focus on developing a prototype of a Formula car equipped with Maruti engines and power transmission.

"The objective of this concept is to give them a platform to showcase their skills. It is mainly for those who have passion in the automobile industry. SAE India has selected students from various colleges and we have sponsored the event",he said

For designing such prototypes the transmission cost takes a lion’s share, making it more difficult for students to take part. "This is the first time that such a competition is being organised for undergraduate and graduate engineering students," he said.

The competition helps young engineering students design, fabricate and compete on a working model or a prototype of a Formula 1 racing car offering a real time challenge to students, he said.

According to Sawkar, the students would require Rs four lakh to develop such prototypes. But with provisioning of engine and power transmission the expenditure will be reduced to half.

Admitting that there would be many complications in identifying specifications for a prototype, he said with the provisioning of 800cc engines, the students can readily focus on unique features of the car.

"It may be using lighter weight metals or making the vehicle more fuel-efficient. During the event we will examine all those aspects before finalising the product", he said.

Claiming that this is the first time, a car manufacturer is providing a complete powertrain unit, he said they had invested around Rs 1.5 crore towards the event.

Around 40 teams, comprising over 1,100 engineering students across the country, will showcase their racing prototypes which will be evaluated by a jury.

Four Maruti Suzuki engineers are part of the technical inspection team, along with SAEINDIA judges panel. About 30 inspectors from SAE, Maruti Suzuki and other automobile companies are also participating, he said.

Stating that Maruti had handed over the engines to the colleges in November 2010, he said students need to develop the prototype besides focusing on their regular academics.

"It was a challenging experience and they have taken more than six months to develop the prototypes", he said.

He said given the experience in making such prototypes, the students can get job opportunities with any automobile manufacturer.

"We have about 1,100 engineers in the Research and Development unit. This year we will add another 300 people... we may take them from this event too," he added.

Maruti Suzuki is setting up a dedicated R&D centre in Haryana at an investment of Rs 1,000 crore. This would be Suzuki Motor Corporation’s only R&D facility outside Japan. (PTI)

Changing of names seems to be in thing in TN

CHENNAI, July 3: Instances of people changing names in the hope of altering their luck seem to be on the rise in Tamil Nadu if the number of applications received at the Directorate of Stationery and Printing is any indication.

Between April 1 2010 and March 31 this year alone, the Directorate received 44,345 applications for name change, Directorate sources said.

Though majority of name changes are due to human errors made during their school days, changing of names with numerology and astrology in mind, hoping to alter one’s fortune is on the increase.

The Directorate is not complaining though as name changing has resulted in a bonanza, bringing in more income to its treasury. Between 2008 and 2011, it received over a lakh name change applications and collected over Rs 4.5 crore as fee.

However, there is no data available with the directorate on why the applicant wants a change in his/her name.The directorate publishes the state gazette in which it prints the individual’s old and new name.

The directorate received 29,730 applications between April 1, 2008 and 32,963 applications between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010 respectively and collected a little over Rs 1.28 crore and Rs 1.32 crore as fee in the corresponding period.

Between April 1 2010 and March 31 this year,the directorate collected Rs 1.98 crore,sources said.

Though altering names was and still is a fad among film stars,this seems to have crept into the common man’s life too.

"The trend is catching up with common people too. Adding extra letters, or spelling the name in a different manner can be seen everywhere. Many might be doing it to sound different, but it becomes a problem for the other person to write or pronounce it.And I guess name is the only thing which is used more by others than the owner," says Geetika Rustagi, a web editor working with a daily in Delhi.

It is mandatory for the person to advertise in an English and a vernacular daily on the name change with his/her old and new name.

"We used to get only 150 such name change advertisements for a month five years back. But these days we get more than 500 ads in a month," says V Chandrasekar working in the advertisement section of a daily in Chennai.

"I added a word to my name after my astrologer’s advice and things have certainly improved. Though not many noticeable changes have happened, things that could have turned against me were avoided," says Lakshmy Devi Venkiteswaran, who has added her middle name recently.

Chennai-based astro-numerologist P R Sundhar Raja said changing one’s name can make a lot of change in his/her life.

"The way your name sounds make certain vibrations. So we recommend names or alteration in your name that can bring a preferred vibration," he says.

"It’s not blind adding or deleting an alphabet or a word.We change it in tune to your astrology chart. These days people from all walks of life come for name change," Raja says. (PTI)

Strengthen data collection of visitors in airports: FM

NEW DELHI, July 3: With a view to tighten vigilance on suspicious international visitors, the Finance Ministry has directed Airport authorities to ensure passenger information remains readily available for law enforcement agencies.

The ministry has asked the Customs department to install suitable computerised database of frequent and short visitors at all international airports.

The directive comes after the ministry noticed that advance information of passenger manifest (details like passenger and passport number) transmitted by airlines to the Customs is not properly collated and used for mapping and profiling of passengers at international airports.

"Board has taken a serious note of the aforementioned matter and emphasises the urgent need to put in place a mechanism to gather intelligence and undertake profiling of suspect international passengers," the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) said in a notification.

The Chief Commissioners in-charge of International airports have been requested to furnish action taken report on these issues by July 30.

As per rules, the passenger manifest should be delivered electronically to the Customs three hours before the departure of the flight from the originating station by airlines.

The CBEC said the information on passengers is also not "systematically utilised" in cases where alerts have been issued by investigating agencies for monitoring and apprehending the targets.

It has expressed concerns on the lack of computerised database of offence cases registered against erring passengers at international airports.

Information on passengers helps in matching available data for monitoring of alert issued by law enforcing agencies.

The CBEC said the lack of database has resulted in inadequate compliance of its instructions relating to identification of repeat offenders for deciding fitness for arrest and launch of prosecution.

Unavailability of ready and easy-to-use database on habitual offenders leaves scope to adjudicate the cases of non-bonafide baggage with nominal fine and penalty by Customs authorities, it said.

In this regard, CBEC said, it has instructed in the past that cases of import of goods in commercial quantities through passenger baggage should be adjudicated by imposing appropriate fine and penalty so as to curtail the practice.

CBEC also said that Commissioners at international airports across the country should emulate the practice of Chennai international airport where a customised software—COPS—is being used for maintaining and updating an offender database. (PTI)

‘BJP determined to win 2013 Assembly elections in MP’

BHOPAL, July 3: Madhya Pradesh BJP President, Prabhat Jha, has said that his party is determined to win the 2013 Assembly elections and retain power in the state.

"This year BJP has already wrested three Assembly seats from Congress, which it had held for a long time, and now the party (BJP) is gearing up to score a victory in the 2013 Assembly elections," Prabhat said yesterday.

The three Assembly seats which the BJP recently won in bypolls were Kukshi, Sonkatch and Jabera.

The state BJP chief said that in the next Assembly polls, the party would have a two-pronged strategy: to ensure that seats won last time are retained, and to make inroads in the constituencies which are currently with Congress.

BJP’s strength in the Assembly went up by eight seats recently, with the victories in three by-elections, and merger of Uma Bharti’s Bharatiya Janashakti (BJS) with the BJP.

Jha said that Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, would be undertaking extensive tours of the constituencies which sent Congress candidates in 2008 elections.

BJP won the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh in December 2003, and again in November 2008.

Talking about the outcome of the recent by-election in Jabera, Prabhat said Congress lost this election for various reasons, and "poor management" was one of them.

Congressmen these days have "forgotten how to contest an election", he said.

The BJP leader also claimed that even Muslims, who formed Congress’s traditional vote bank, were now drifting towards BJP.

Chief Minister’s development record was helping BJP in the state, he said. (PTI)

‘Budget misquoted to favour Swiss Timing in TSR contract’

NEW DELHI, July 3: Two top officials in the CWG Organising Committee (OC) misquoted the budget for Timing Scoring and Results (TSR) system and ignored lower bid by another firm to award the contract to the Swiss firm Omega, the CBI has been informed.

Bharat Prasad, who joined OC in July 2008 as Deputy Director General (Finance) and has been named by CBI as a witness in the TSR scam case, in his statement has explained how the funds were misappropriated by V K Verma and Lalit Bhanot causing huge loss to the exchequer.

The total budget sanctioned for TSR was Rs 92.30 crore only of which Rs 7 crore was meant for purchase of legacy items like camera’s and swimming equipments to be retained by venue owners, the 62-year-old Prasad said.

However, former Director General of OC, V K Verma told the Executive Board that the budget for TSR was Rs 109.23 crore and the Rs 7 crore was not utilised for the purpose it was meant for.

"The total budget for TSR was Rs 92.30 crore only. It was seen from the minutes of meeting that DG while informing the OC Executive Board about the details of the processing of the commercial and sponsorship bids of Swiss Timing has indicated the budget for TSR to be Rs 109.23 crore which is false," Prasad said in his statement.

"Grant for TSR included Rs 7 crore for procurement of legacy items to be retained by venue owners. However, OC did not go for these purchases nor the grant of Rs 7 crore was returned," Prasad said.

Secretary General of the OC, Bhanot went ahead to execute the contract for TSR with Swiss Timing at Rs 115.33 crore ignoring other substantially lower bids that caused a huge losses to the public exchequer, he said.

"The bid price from Swiss Timing for TSR came out to be Rs 115.33 crore and for other Spanish firm MSL it was 90.15 crore. Moreover, MSL had offered Games Management Systems free in its bids.

"Further, the price quoted by MSL is inclusive of all taxes wheres the price quoted by the Swiss firm was exclusive of all taxes which include service tax at rate of 10.3 per cent and TDS at 20 per cent," he said. (PTI)



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