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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stick to a format: Pranab

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. File photo
In what could be construed as an affirmation of the Centre's response to the agitation by social activist Anna Hazare and his supporters for a strong Lokpal Bill to deal with corruption by August 30, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said near here on Sunday that a “larger section of the society” could engage in pre-legislation consultations but only in a “disciplined” and “well-established format.”
Without specifically referring to Mr. Hazare and his supporters, he said: “If a larger section of society wants to participate in a disciplined and in a well-established format, we can indulge in that.”
“Not necessarily does pre-legislation consultation have to be confined to civil servants and the political executive.”
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India's hunger striker says ready to die for anti-graft cause

Veteran Indian social activist Anna Hazare greets his supporters on the ninth day of his fasting at Ramlila grounds in New Delhi August 24, 2011. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
Indian anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Wednesday ruled out any compromise in his stand-off with the government over graft legislation, vowing to press on with a hunger strike now in its ninth day, even if it costs him his life.
With Hazare's health failing and thousands of supporters packed into the muddy open ground in New Delhi where he is staging his public fast, time was running out for the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to end the crisis.
Singh pleaded with the 74-year-old to at least agree to go on an intravenous drip, which Hazare has so far refused, and he called a meeting of political parties in parliament to find an end to the impasse.
Hazare's demand for more robust anti-graft laws has tapped into popular fury, particularly among the middle class, over the corruption that dogs Asia's third-largest economy, bringing tens of thousands onto streets across the country in the biggest social protests since the 1970s.
"I've only lost six kilos and a bit of my kidney is affected, but it is nothing to worry about," said the self-styled Gandhian activist, addressing his admirers in the Ramlila field just outside the walled city of old Delhi.
"Until the government agrees to all conditions, I will not back down. Even if I have to die."
The government has begun to offer concessions over tougher anti-corruption laws, but a deal has remained elusive.
"Over the last few days, I have watched with increasing concern the state of your health," Singh wrote in a letter to Hazare that was published by his office. "At worst, our paths and methodologies may differ, though I do believe that even those differences have been exaggerated."
Despite the throng of supporters at Ramlila, criticism of Hazare's unyielding stand has mounted steadily, with prominent social activists, intellectuals and politicians calling on him and his movement to come to a compromise.
Hazare's protests earlier this year prompted the government to introduce an anti-graft bill in parliament in August, but he and his supporters have slammed the draft law as toothless.
Hazare's movement wants the draft bill withdrawn and their own version -- which would create an autonomous anti-corruption agency -- to be passed by the end of this month, a demand senior government figures say is unrealistic.
Hazare's deteriorating health could force the government to decide on force-feeding him, a move that would risk sparking further protests against a fumbling government of elderly ministers widely seen as out of touch.
"Today is a very crucial day for the movement as his health is critical. Some concrete decision has to take place in the next few days or this movement may turn violent if something happens to him. We hope he breaks his fast in the next two days," said 26-year-old IT graduate Raj Aryan.
Hazare has rejected doctors' advice to go to hospital or take an intravenous drip.
"If anyone from the government comes to take me away forcibly, then block the gates. I will not go," Hazare told his supporters late on Tuesday. He has remained lying or sitting on a public stage in the open for most of the day. He sleeps for a few hours in a small cordoned-off area during the night.
With key state elections due next year in the run-up to a general election in 2014, Singh is under pressure to end a crisis that has paralyzed policy making and parliament and added to his unpopularity amid high inflation and a run of corruption scandals.
Many of India's fast-growing urban middle class have joined forces with Hazare to protest against a system that requires bribes for everything from driver's licenses to birth certificates and has allowed politicians and businessmen to cream off millions of dollars through shady deals.
Several scandals linked to the government, including a telecoms bribery scam that may have cost the government up to $39 billion, led to Hazare's latest protest.
The activist, who has carried out scores of hunger strikes over the last few decades to pressure governments, has since been visited by Hindu gurus, former judges and Bollywood actors. But he has refused to have any politicians on his stage.
As his fast entered its ninth day, the sentiment inside Ramlila ground remained jubilant. Thousands of people were again gathered in the grounds, large parts of which were waterlogged and muddy after overnight rain.
The main opposition, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is organizing a nationwide protest against the government on Thursday as it seeks to gain influence over what has essentially been a protest driven by the urban middle class.
Hazare was briefly jailed last week, a move the government tried to reverse quietly. But he remained voluntarily in prison until the government allowed him to continue his vigil, in public, for 15 days, and finally emerged last Friday to huge cheers from a triumphant crowd.
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

MAA joins Anna, stages satyagraha

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FAPCCI alarmed at losses due to bandhs

Hyderabad, August 11 (INN): Lamenting the enormous loss of production and fall in exports tax revenue to the state on accounts of frequent bandhs and shutdowns, the FAPCCI on Thursday appealed earnestly to the political parties not to involve the industry and trade and other commercial activities in the bandh calls.

The FAPCCI also appealed to all the concerned that they advise their volunteers and other concerned not to disturb the normal functioning of industry and trade nor forcibly close the factories, nor cause damage to the property and personnel.

FAPCCI president VS Raju told media persons that the frequent bandhs pained the Industry and are a matter of concern, with the entire industry, trade and services being grievously hurt.

Mr Raju pointed out that the wage earners are losing their wages while students are losing their education and are put to lot of trouble. 'The industry is incurring wrath of its customers,' he said.

'In these days of tough competition and just-in-time supply chain management, the delays and uncertainty in getting their orders executed by the industry in the State, are major concern; the industry is finding it difficult to convince its customers to put up with the delays and uncertainty. It is becoming a herculean task for the industrialists to assuage the angry and agitated customers and get repeat orders from them,' he said.

As far as the city of Hyderabad is concerned, the momentum of development in Hyderabad was built over the decades. And, that momentum has been keeping Hyderabad going forward. Had it not been for the ongoing unrest, Hyderabad and also the State would have recorded much higher industrial and economic growth, city has reasonable good infrastructure in terms of roads, airport, IT connectivity availability of skilled manpower among others. But the city is gradually losing out and its image as a preferred investment destination is getting tarnished.

The growth rate of IT sector is also affected quite adversely over the last few years as investors are looking out to destinations such as Chennai, Pune, NCR, Bangalore etc where there is more vibrancy. As a result getting a new business into Hyderabad is becoming a very difficult task given the uncertainty and instability prevailing in the State.

In such a situation of uncertainty and instability several investment proposals awaiting financial closers or collaborations etc., may be have second thought of investing in the State.

On top if the State is losing its most valuable Revenues. They are so very essential for the State to carry on with its development and welfare programs. This loss will entail in slowing down the growth momentum of the State's economy, which is very essential to raise the prosperity of its people and to eradicate poverty.

FAPCCI also appealed to the government to take such appropriate measures as are required, so that the Industry, Trade and other commercial activities are not unduly affected in their orderly functioning and cause loss to the economy and exchequer.

Loss of production in different Industrial Estates in and around Hyderabad Is around 25 to 30 percent, while the drop in power consumption in APCPDCL is around 900 MW. Out of which the drop in power consumption is around 350 MW. The normal consumption of power for the industry is around 1200 MW. The production loss from this figure is also around 25 to 30 percent, the FAPCCI chief said.

The estimated loss of production is around Rs 300 to Rs 350 crore; and loss due to dislocation of supply chain is around Rs 150 to Rs 180 crore. Total loss is around `400 to 500 crore only on account of loss of production from the industry in around Hyderabad.
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Monster launches new applications for jobseekers

Hyderabad, Aug 17 (INN): Leading online job portal Monster.com on Wednesday announced the launch of its Android applications for both employers and jobseekers to help them find candidates/ jobs on the move.

Monster's new mobile applications aim to provide consumers with a flexible, on-the-go, 24X7 platforms to scout and apply for job opportunities at their convenience.

According to Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, Monster.com (India/ Middle East/ South East Asia) said, 'Our Android application and WAP portal for job search are a direct outcome of consumer feedback we've received, which pointed to an increasingly active and mobile lifestyle that necessitated the need for a mobile version of our job search capabilities.

With our new Android application, we're converging traditional online job searching with mobile technology to cater to a young, mobile, tech-savvy working population, giving them an on-the-go and easy-to-use mobile job search application.

'Today the mobile handset and smart phone market is growing at an exponential pace, and the Android platform is at the top of the heap ' with analysts expecting it to overtake all existing mobile platforms by 2012. Based on the future potential of the Android platform, the new Monster app provides a huge opportunity for us to tap into even more job seekers and in an element that they are naturally gravitating towards more and more often,' he added.

To further strengthen its penetration in the mobile space, Monster India has also launched a new employer/ recruiter interface on its WAP portal. The company has also recently revamped its WAP portal for jobseekers with newer and enhanced features.

The WAP portal for employers will help them to search, shortlist, and reach out and interact with prospective candidates, They can also post, renew and manage job postings. Monster India recently revamped their WAP seeker site. The seeker WAP portal has over 575,000 visitors in July 2011.

Sanjay Modi believes that Monster.com has taken the first mover advantage in launching its Android application and the WAP portal for the employers/ recruiters to help them find the right candidate anywhere and anytime.

Monster's Android application can be downloaded for free on the Google Android marketplace, making it easy to keep up with the latest job opportunities anytime, anywhere.

The application has all the features and services which are present in Monsterindia.com, but gives users the choice to choose the way they want to search for their next job opportunity.

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Telangana agitation hits IT exports

HYDERABAD: They say misfortunes come in a series. First came the economic meltdown of 2008, then the Telangana agitation and now fears of double-dip recession and the eurozone crisis. For the IT industry in Hyderabad, it couldn't get any worse.

Once the showpiece of AP, the software industry recorded an abysmal growth rate of 4.5 per cent in 2010-11 -- while clocking Rs 36,000 crore -- much below the national average of 18.7 per cent estimated by the National Association of Software & Services Companies (Nasscom).

Hit by macroeconomic factors in 2009-10, India's IT services exports registered an all-time low growth of 5.5 per cent. Karnataka, the largest exporter contributing 30 per cent of the total exports, slipped to a low of 1.4 per cent growth.

Maharashtra did 10 per cent and Tamil Nadu 8.5 per cent. Andhra Pradesh, the fourth largest software exporter, registered just 3 per cent in 2009-10 (Rs 33,500 crore), much lower than its internal estimate of 12.5 per cent.

Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) director P Venugopal takes some comfort from the fact that the growth rate this year is an improvement over last. 'The industry is just recovering from the global recession and we anticipate double digit growth in fiscal 2011-12,' he added.

Interestingly, the top four software exporting states, excluding AP, are on a rebound and have indicated double-digit growth in 2010-11. While Karnataka is likely to post 20 per cent, Maharashtra is likely to do 10.77 per cent followed by Tamil Nadu 11 per cent.

On the other hand, AP is stuck at 4.5 per cent. 'There are multiple reasons for this sluggish growth. One is the global recession. Secondly, some of the top five companies have slackened, which is dragging down growth in Andhra Pradesh.

Lastly, and more importantly, due to the uncertainty over Telanagana, we are losing out on growth opportunities. We could have fared better in 2010-11, but for this ambiguity,' said L Suresh, president of the IT & ITES Industry Association of AP.

As a result of the uncertainty, some firms are folding up operations in AP, while newcomers are opting for alternative locations such as Pune and Chennai.

A case in point is Convergys, which shifted its 600-seater call centre from Hyderabad to Bangalore. The sector which typically employs over 20,000 to 25,000 annually hired just about 15,000 in 2010-11. Companies are deferring expansion plans.

'The real impact of frequent agitations and an an unfriendly business climate will be reflected in 2011-12 and growth may be adversely affected in 2012-13 if the situation continues,' Suresh explained.
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Govt trying to stop Lokpal from becoming a reality: Team Anna

Anna HazareNEW DELHI: Anna Hazare's fast demanding a strong Lokpal entered the fifth day on Saturday saying that the government has been trying to delay the Lokpal Bill for decades. It sent a clear message to the government that the protest will not end till a strong Lokpal Bill is passed.

In a media interaction at the historic Ramlila Maidan from where Anna Hazare on Friday launched his protest fast, Team Anna took on the government for delaying the Lokpal Bill and accused the government from making the law a reality.

The 73-year-old Gandhian said, "They (government) have linked us to the US and now they will link our agitation to Pakistan."

Team Anna also dismissed reports that the movement has got any backing from any political parties or has links with any political parties like BJP, RSS. "Our protest is not political, it is against corruption" Team Anna said.

"Those who are saying the BJP and RSS are behind our agitation should be sent to a "mental hospital," Anna Hazare said. Team Anna also added that the government should stop wasting time in making false allegations.

Civil society member Prashant Bhushan questioned the government, "How long will the nation wait for the Lokpal Bill."

Hazare's close associate Arvind Kejriwal said they were ready to talk to the government but no such communication channels have been opened.

Accusing the government of using divisionary tactics, Team Anna said that it is not holding the government to ransom and added that everyone has the right to protest in this country.
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CBI cracks down on Jagan's business

NATIONWIDE SWEEP: CBI Joint Director V.V. Lakshmi Narayana, who supervised search operations on businesses of YSR Congress chief Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, coming out of the Bharathi Cements office in Hyderabad on Thursday. Photo: Mohammed Yousuf
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) cracked down on the businesses owned by YSR Congress president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and the companies that invested in his firms by conducting extensive searches in six cities across the country simultaneously on Thursday.
In one of the biggest searches of their kind in Andhra Pradesh, as many as 28 companies, including Jagathi Publications which runs Sakshi daily and TV, across 22 premises in Hyderabad city alone were visited by the CBI sleuths. In all, 91 premises were searched by 15 different teams in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Rajkot. However, unconfirmed sources said two companies in Ranchi were also raided.
The CBI teams also searched offices of Emaar Properties which entered into an agreement with AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) to develop plush villas on land acquired at Manikonda here. The residence of a senior IAS officer and former managing director of APIIC B.P. Acharya at Mahindra Hills was also searched by the investigating agency.
Full-fledged investigation
These searches follow Andhra Pradesh High Court's direction to the CBI to take up full-fledged investigation into the investments in the businesses of Mr. Reddy and, in another order, into alleged irregularities in allotment of land to Emaar Properties from the land bank of APIIC.
Case registered
Accordingly, the agency registered a case under section 120-B of IPC (punishment for criminal conspiracy) read with sections 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust), 477 A (falsification of accounts), and various provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act against Mr. Reddy and others on the allegation that investors put their money in his companies “at very high premiums” as a “quid pro quo” for favours doled out by his late father, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, as Chief Minister.
Among the premises searched was the 90,000 sq. ft palatial building with 74 rooms near the Lotus Pond in the posh Jubliee Hills which is used by Mr. Reddy as his residence and business office.
Mr. Reddy's mother and Pulivendula MLA Vijayamma rushed to the house after the CBI officials landed there. The Kadapa MP himself was away on a tour in Krishna district and made virtually no mention of the CBI's action. The premises of Sakshi, Telugu daily, and Bharathi Cement owned by Mr. Reddy here, his office and residence at Yalahanka in Bangalore, where he set up offices of Carmel Asia Holdings and Sandur Power Project were also searched.
Among the prominent investors searched were Nimmagadda Prasad, founder and vice-chairman of Matrix Labs, and his entities Alpha Avenue, Alpha Villas, and Gilchrist Investments. At the administrative building of Hetero Drugs, Hetero Health Care, and Hetero Labs at Sanathnagar, the managing director Srinivas Reddy explained the position to officials.
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Anna ill-advised, says NAC member Aruna Roy

NAC member Aruna Roy has said that Team Anna should take their version of the Lokpal Bill to the Standing Committee. File photo
Arguing that Anna Hazare should not deride democratic institutions, National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy on Saturday said the Gandhian was “ill-advised” as there was still scope for the civil society group to change the government’s version of the Lokpal Bill.
Referring to the Anna camp’s assertion that sending the government Lokpal Bill to the Standing Committee as a waste of time, Ms. Roy said such committees are an important institution and one should use it as much as possible.
Ms. Roy said the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), with which she is associated, has prepared a version of Lokpal Bill and would present it before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Personnel.
“We must assert our rights. But to get rid of these institutions would be a great disaster for all the people in this country. Therefore we must make it work,” she said.
“Our argument is that democracy is people’s right in our system. So we must make these democratic institutions work for us and they must work for us,” she said.
Ms. Roy noted that Mr. Hazare and his associates should take their version of the Lokpal Bill to the Standing Committee.
In an apparent reference to Mr. Hazare setting a deadline to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill, she said, “I think Annaji is ill-advised... any one who says my view should be the only view is wrong.”
“I still believe if we all go and depose before the Standing Committee and sufficiently with well stacked arguments, we can change the Bill around because the government Bill leaves a lot to be desired. It is a bad Bill,” she said.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Anna steadfast on demands, announces India Gate March

There were no signs of a let up between Anna Hazare and the government on Wednesday afternoon with the social activist reiterating that he would not come out of his self-imposed stay in Tihar Jail unless allowed to fast without conditions.
After a meeting with Hazare inside jail, close associate Prashant Bhushan said the government and the police were discussing with them options of a fast venue -- JP Park or Ramlila Maidan -- where he could launch his fight for a strong Lokpal Bill.
Bhushan said if conditions were imposed, Hazare would continue his fast inside the jail.
Even if it was Ramlila Maidan, their fast would not bow to any conditions set by the government, Hazare's other aide Manoj Sisodia said.
The government is not ready to allow a fast for more than five days while Team Anna's relentless demand is permission for a month.
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Varalakshmi Vratam is an important pooja performed by many women in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and some parts of Tamil Nadu.The Hindu festival going by the name 'Vara Lakshmi Vrata' is celebrated on the last Friday of the bright fortnight in the month of Ashadha, also called Adi, which corresponds to the English months of July-August.
Eight forces or energies are recognised and they are known as Sri (Wealth), Bhu (Earth), Sarasvati (learning), Priti (love), Kirti (Fame), Santi (Peace), Tushti(Pleasure) and Pushti(Strength). Each one of these forces is called a Lakshmi and all the eight forces are called the Ashta Lakshmis or the eight Lakshmis of the Hindus. Vishnu is also called Ashta Lakshmi Padhi which is equivalent to saying that he is the asylum for the eight-Lakshmis or forces. In fact, Vishnu representing the preservative aspect of the universe, radiates these forces from him. These forces are personified and worshipped as Lakshmis, since abstract force is beyond the comprehension of the ordinary people. As health, wealth and prosperity depend upon the rythmic play of these forces, the worship of Lakshmi is said to be to obtain these three. Only a woman can sympathise with women. Lakshmi is a woman. So she will more readily sympathise with women. Hence this festival is observed largely by women, invoking the blessings of Lakshmi on them, their husbands and their children.
As the legend goes, this is a pooja that was pronounced by no other than Lord Parameswara to be performed by his consort Parvathi to seek prosperity and happiness for the family. Thus it came to be emulated by married women who sought boons (varam) for the health, wealth and knowledge for the entire family. In some cases, women prayed for being blessed with children. The prescribed day for the pooja is the Friday of the month of Sravan in the fortnight known as Sukla paksha, preceding the full moon day.
On one occasion, Parvati and Parameswara were engaged in a game of chess. Parvati was winning game after game, but Parameswara is said to have claimed the victory at each games, wantonly, to her intense chagrin. So Parvati wanted to have an umpire and one Chitranemi, a creation of Parameswara, was chosen. As an underling of Parameswara, he sided with him most unjustly. This provoked Parvati's anger and she cursed Chitranemi that he should become a leper for discharging his duty in most unfair manner.
When Chitranemi begged Parvati's forgiveness and Parameswara added his entreaties to it, she is said to have relented and modified the curse by adding that he would be cured of his leprosy by observing the Vara Lakshmi Vrata. By doing this Chitranemi was, it is said, rid of the loathsome disease.
The history of the origin Of the Vara Lakshmi Vrata is rather interesting. Lakshmi is said to have visited a pious woman by name Sarmadi, living in the city of Kuntinapura in Magadha (Bihar), in in one of her dreams and expressed her satisfaction at her devotion to her children. When she woke UP from her sleep, she took a bath and worshipped Lakshmi to ensure her blessings. When the other ladies heard of her dream and her worship of Lakshmi, they too began to worship her, and the custom is then said to have spread everywhere throughout the land in course of time.
In the kingdom of Magadha of yore, there lived a brahmin woman called Charumathi in a town named Kundina. The prosperous town was the home of Charumathi and her husband. She devotedly served her husband and her parents-in-law. Impressed by her piety, Goddess Mahalakshmi appeared in her dream and asked her to worship Vara-Lakshmi (literally, boon granting - goddess of wealth) and seek to fulfill her wishes. Varalakshmi is yet another form of Lord Vishnu's consort, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Thus was prescribed the Friday of Sravana month preceding the full moon day for the worship.
When Charumathi explained her dream to her family, she found them encouraging her to perform the pooja. Many other women of the town also joined her in performing the pooja in a traditional way and offered many sweet dishes to the Goddess Varalakshmi. They prayed with deep devotion:
"Padmaasane Padmakare sarva lokaika poojithe
Narayana priyadevi supreethaa bhava sarvada"
The well dressed women made offerings of delicious feast with utmost devotion. As they went round the deity in prayer, dazzling jewelry is said to have appeared as ornaments on the bodies of these worshippers and their houses filled with riches. They rewarded the priest who assisted them in performing the pooja and they all partook in the feast. The women expressed their gratitude to Charumathi who shared her dream and helped them become prosperous. This pooja came to be practiced year after year by women. Done with devotion, it is said that boons would be granted and thus many wishes would be realized.
This pooja can be done with no restriction to caste or creed. To this day, the faithful of modern times observe this tradition.
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Poru Telangana 2011 Movie Songs Download

Poru Telangana 2011 Movie Songs Download
Movie : Poru Telangana
Language : Telugu
Genre : Drama
Music: R. Narayana Murthy
Poru Telangana 2011 Movie Track List
01. Chudu Telangana
Singer : Mitra
02. Osmania Campuslo
Singer : Vandemataram Srinivas
03. Rathi Bommalona
Singer : Nitya Santoshini
04. Rajiga Ore Rajiga
Singer : Vandemataram Srinivas
05. Entha Sahasamaindhi
Singer : Mitra
06. Avvoniva
Singer : Telu Vijaya
07. Gnanam Okadi Sottu
Singer : Vandemataram Srinivas
08. Telangana Vachedaka
Singer : Vandemataram Srinivas
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Mahesh Babu 36th Birthday Celebrate Photos

Mahesh Babu 36th Birthday Celebrate Photos
Born : Ghattamaneni Mahesh Babu, August 9, 1975 Madras, Tamil Nadu, India
Residence : Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Occupation : Actor,
Spouse : Namrata Shirodkar (2005 – Present),
Children : Son named Gautham Krishna.
Mahesh Babu is an Indian film actor. He is the son of actor Krishna. He has worked in a number of critically and commercially successful films and has established himself as one of the lead actors in contemporary Telugu cinema.
He started his film career as a child actor in his father’s film Needa. He made his debut as a lead actor in 1999 with Rajakumarudu and then went on to star in films such as Murari 2001, Okkadu 2003, Athadu 2005 and Pokiri 2006. He has won six “Nandi Awards” and two “Filmfare Awards” till date.

Personal life
Mahesh dated Bollywood actress and former Miss India Universe Namrata Shirodkar for two years. She was his co-star in the movie Vamsi. They got married on February 10, 2005, and have a son named Gautham Krishna.
Early life
Mahesh Babu was born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, to actor Ghattamaneni Siva Rama Krishna and Smt. Indira Devi on August 9, 1974. He has four siblings: Ramesh Babu, Padmavathi, Manjula and a younger sister, Priyadarshini. He did his schooling at St Bede’s in Chennai and obtained an Honours Degree in Commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. Mahesh Babu acted in seven of his father’s films as a child.
Filmography in Child Artist
1). 1979 : Needa, produced by Dr. K. Rama Koteswara Rao
2). 1983 : Poratam
3). 1987 : Sankharavam
4). 1988 : Bazaar Rowdy
5). 1988 : Mugguru Kodukulu
6). 1989 : Gudachari 117
7). 1989 : Koduku Diddina Kapuram
8). 1991 : Bala Chandrudu
9). 1990 : Kodukulu
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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sheila Dikshit evades CAG queries on CWG

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila DikshitDelhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today evaded questions on the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reportedly rapping her government for irregularities in Commonwealth Games projects, saying she will comment only after the report is tabled in Parliament.
"I will not comment on CAG. Let it be tabled in Parliament. Then only I will say anything," Dikshit said.She was asked to comment on reported observations by CAG about irregularities in certain contracts related to the Commonwealth Games.

The report, yet to be tabled in Parliament, has reportedly pointed out that Spage Age, one of the disqualified firms bidding for street lighting was declared qualified "irregularly" after it made a plea to the Chief Minister.

It also reportedly found overspending by the Delhi government and civic agencies to the tune of over Rs 100 crore over streetscaping and an excess expenditure of Rs 31.07 crore on street lighting by MCD, NDMC and PWD
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India's Gandhi family scion steps closer to power

Rahul Gandhi, a lawmaker and the son of India's ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, waves during an election campaign rally ahead of state assembly elections in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu April 6, 2011. REUTERS/Babu
The illness of Sonia Gandhi, India's most powerful political leader, may have set off a risky succession that could propel her inexperienced son Rahul to government just as the ruling Congress party battles corruption scandals and high inflation.
The appointment of the 41-year-old Rahul to a quartet that will administer political affairs for Congress as she is being treated for an undisclosed illness abroad came as a surprise to many - other more senior and experienced leaders were ignored.
Sonia Gandhi's illness was not disclosed in Thursday's surprise announcement, but the 64-year-old party chief may be away for weeks. Her absence may be longer if two newspaper reports, which said she had cancer, are correct.
The Congress party said on Friday she had undergone successful surgery - but Rahul's appointment may signal his rise to power ahead of the 2014 general election even if she quickly returns to office.
"Sonia Gandhi gives Congress keys to Rahul" was the headline of the Indian Express newspaper.
Stung by opposition criticism that India could not be run by an Italian-born figure, Sonia Gandhi nominated Manmohan Singh as prime minister after her 2004 election win. Since then she has largely run the country from behind the scenes, winning re-election for her party in 2009.
Rahul will now take these reins just as a raucous parliament debates some key reforms such as a land acquisition bill and battles accusations it turned a blind eye to a huge telecoms scam that has already seen a minister quit.
Apart from Rahul, the quartet to replace Sonia Gandhi comprises Janardan Dwivedi, a general secretary of the party, Congress political secretary Ahmed Patel and Defense Minister A.K. Antony. All are close advisers to Gandhi.
Cabinet heavyweights like Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee - who usually has a hand in most government affairs and is seen by some as more powerful than the prime minister - and Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, were ignored.
"What was baffling was that the top guns who are managing the country ... were not found competent to run the party," the Mail Today said on its front page.
Rahul has long been seen as heir apparent to the secular and left-leaning Congress party as family scion to a dynasty that has ruled India for much of independence. Many expect him to succeed Singh, 78, before the 2014 general election.
Sonia Gandhi's agenda has long been more populist than Singh's - fighting for policies like food subsidies for the poor in the face of government reformists worried about their fiscal cost. All signs are that Rahul will carry on from his mother.
But until now he has been reluctant to be involved in government, preferring to organize the youth wing of his party and traveling across India to campaign for the land rights of poor tribal people and villagers.
Many saw these travels, where he would often stay the night in a remote hamlet or travel by motorcycle to villages, as a campaign to raise his profile ahead of the 2014 election.
His key test was expected to be his drive to win the 2012 elections in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous and electorally important state, before securing the credentials to hit the national stage.
Critics say he lacks the intellectual gravitas and charisma of his mother or grandmother - the assassinated Prime Minster Indira Gandhi. He has made few public statements on key national issues, whether the economy or relations with Pakistan.
He has sometimes been embarrassed by unprepared public statements - most recently when he said a mass grave was found in an opposition-ruled state after police battled villagers over land acquisition - but no evidence was found for his claim.
There are historical precedents that underscore how hard it could be for Rahul.
When Sonia's husband Rajiv - then only 41 years old - succeeded his mother Indira after she was assassinated in 1984, his government was hamstrung by an elderly Congress guard that refused to back his reforms.
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India bring Dravid back into one-day squad ahead of series against England

India have recalled veteran batsman Rahul Dravid to their one-day international squad, but will be without the injured Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh for the NatWest Series against England.
Dravid has not played limited-overs cricket for India since 2009 and was not part of the squad which famously won the World Cup on home turf four months ago.
But the 38-year-old has been a near lone success in the ongoing npower Test series against England, scoring a century in each of two defeats so far.

Back in favour: Rahul Dravid (right) has been recalled to India's limited overs side
His recall for the shorter format is nonetheless a surprise - something which cannot be said for the omission of off-spinner Harbhajan and destructive middle-order batsman Yuvraj, who have both been ruled out of the final two Tests after suffering respective stomach and finger injuries at Trent Bridge.
Dravid, India's captain at the 2007 World Cup and scorer of more than 10,000 runs in 339 ODIs so far, was last involved in 50-over cricket for his country at the 2009 Champions Trophy in South Africa.

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Delhi CM evades questions on CAG report on CWG

The Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit. (file photo)
The Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, today evaded questions on the Comptroller and Auditor General reportedly rapping her government for irregularities in Commonwealth Games projects, saying that she will comment only after the report is tabled in Parliament.
“I will not comment on CAG. Let it be tabled in Parliament. Then only I will say anything,” Ms Dikshit said.
She was asked to comment on the reported observations by CAG about irregularities in certain contracts related to the Commonwealth Games.
The report, yet to be tabled in Parliament, has reportedly pointed out that Spage Age, one of the disqualified firms bidding for street lighting, was declared qualified “irregularly” after it made a plea to the Chief Minister.
It also reportedly found overspending by the Delhi Government and civic agencies to the tune of over Rs 100 crore over streetscaping and an excess expenditure of Rs 31.07 crore on street lighting by MCD, NDMC and PWD.
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Cong on overdrive to save Sheila: BJP

Nitin Gadkari
Demanding Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's resignation after her reported indictment in the CAG report on Commonwealth Games (CWG) scam, BJP president Nitin Gadkari on Saturday accused the Congress of “maintaining double standards and going on the overdrive to save her”.
“In Karnataka, when the Lokayukta in his report (on illegal mining) indicted Yeddyurappa, the Congress demanded his resignation despite us asking him to resign,” Gadkari told reporters.
But when Sheila Dikshit has been directly held responsible by the CAG in the CWG scam, the Congress has gone on the overdrive to save her, Gadkari alleged.
“CAG is a statutory authority. When it makes one responsible for irregularities, then that person should resign forthwith,” he said.
“The BJP demanded Dikshit's immediate resignation. She has no right to continue as the chief minister when the CAG has raised the issues regarding irregularities in award of contracts, supply of inferior equipment, delay in awarding contracts leading to escalation of expenditure,” he asserted.
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US downgrade a grave concern: Pranab

Pranab Mukherjee
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today described the downgrading of the US government by credit rating agency as a "grave situation" and said it has to be analysed.
"We will have to analyse it. It will require some time. Situation is grave and there is no gain in making off-the-cuff remarks," he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
In an unprecedented move, Standard & Poor's downgraded the US government's 'AAA' sovereign credit rating – a development which raises concerns that investors will lose confidence in its economy.
This comes a day after a bloodbath was witnessed in the global markets including those in Asia. In India, the BSE Sensex plunged more than 700 points before recovering partially with investors selling across the board.
Seeking to allay domestic fears, Mukherjee had yesterday said that the market fall was due to external factors.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

At New Delhi's SlutWalk, Women Protest Sexual Violence

On a bright Sunday morning, young women walked the streets of New Delhi without the fear of being ogled or groped. For yesterday's female participants in SlutWalk Delhi, one of a series of marches around the world protesting sexual violence against women, the atmosphere of safety was an exception to daily life in the Indian capital. "People stare at you, they make you feel uncomfortable, and in places where it's very crowded, people take advantage of the crowd and try to molest you," says Trishla Singh, a college student and a coordinator at the event. "On public transportation, going out on the streets, anything that has to do with going out of the house is problematic."
The SlutWalk movement, which started in Toronto in April to protest police indifference to victims of rape, spurred similar marches in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. In these earlier versions of the event, protesters' clothes were skimpy, the lipstick flaming red and the large crowds exhibitionist in an effort to make their point. In conservative India, the message was the same, but the march through the streets of the capital took a slightly less risquÉ form. "It had to be a little bit toned down because we're talking about a different sociocultural context," says Singh. "If you talk about societal time frame, we are not in the same time as Toronto or the U.S." (Read about women in Saudi Arabia's universities.)
To keep the focus on the message of protesting sexual violence, the name of the march was tweaked in Hindi to "Shameless Front." Armed with placards drawn in marker with slogans like "Stop Staring: This Is Not an Invitation to Rape Me" and "I Have Nothing to Be Ashamed of," the hundreds of protesters hoped to draw attention to the growing problem of harassment and violence that women in India are facing. The number of rape cases reported has grown 678% since the country began keeping statistics 30 years ago; rape is now considered the fastest-growing crime in the country. "There was the feeling that something really needs to be done because we all know that Delhi is highly unsafe for women," says Umang Sabarwal, a college student in New Delhi and chief organizer of the event.
A series of high-profile incidents in the capital in the past year has increased the urgency of the call to action. When a 30-year-old woman was raped going home late at night from her job at an Indian outsourcing company, the public outrage that ensued compelled the police to take action. The employee was gang-raped after being dropped off several hundred yards from her home by a hired-car service. To try to protect women going to and from work late at night in shared cabs, the New Delhi police force required companies to drop female employees at their doorsteps and to install GPS units to ensure that the rule was followed.
Incidents of sexual harassment are, in fact, so frequent on the New Delhi metro that certain cars are restricted to female passengers. Earlier this month, when New Delhi's police commissioner advised women not to travel late at night by themselves, he was criticized by women's groups and the media for not taking women's safety seriously enough. "You hear stories, and there are things that happen that are so normal because they happen to everybody," says Sabarwal. "It's very important for women to assert themselves and reclaim what is rightfully theirs."
The heightened sense that women are at risk is in part due to the increasing friction between old cultural norms and new economic realities, says Sunita Kaistha, head of the Women Work & Health Initiative, a nonprofit based in New Delhi. The economic boom that has encompassed the country has brought more women out of their traditional roles in the home and into the workforce, particularly in urban areas. In New Delhi, Kaistha sees the rise in sexual violence as linked to the rise of women in the workforce. "The culture is very patriarchal, and it's still very difficult for people to accept girls working, traveling, going out at night," she says.
The increasing number of women in the workplace has also put a spotlight on behavior in the office. A survey conducted last year by the Centre for Transforming India, a nonprofit organization in New Delhi, found that a startling 88% of female workers in the country's growing IT and outsourcing industry experienced sexual harassment on the job.
The alarming rise in violence may not mean that there are necessarily more incidents of harassment and rape but that they are finally being reported, says Urvashi Butalia, the founder of the first feminist publishing company in India. "Violence against women has always been prevalent, but it never makes it to the papers," she says. "The changing reality is women are out more, accessing the public space more, so on all fronts it's a much more public phenomenon than it was earlier."
For the participants at the New Delhi SlutWalk, taking what was once an individual struggle for Indian women to the streets was an important first step. "People are talking about it. That's a start," says Singh. "People never used to mention rape or molestation as a problem. It used to be a crime, just like stealing someone's car."
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Rhode Island city files for bankruptcy

Drowning in debt and unable to seek concessions from city employees, the struggling Rhode Island city of Central Falls filed for bankruptcy Monday.
The city, north of Providence, has a population of 19,000 living in roughly a square mile. It isn't alone in seeking court protection. In March, Idaho's Boise County filed for Chapter 9 protection after it was found in violation of a federal law and ordered to pay $6.2 million to a housing developer.
Central Falls took the step after it was unsuccessful in asking police and firefighter retirees to give up 50% of their pension.
"In the end, we were left with no practical option," said former State Supreme Court Judge Robert Flanders who has overseen the city's finances. "We cut city services to the bone, we raised taxes to the maximum allowable, we negotiated with Council 94 and fire and police unions without success," he explained.
"We needed cooperation and monetary agreements from all sides to make this work," Flanders said. "That didn't happen, and so that's why we're all here today."
The city has historically had difficulty reducing its expenses because of a decline in population and the resulting smaller tax revenues, said Michael Trainor, a spokesman for Flanders.
Without the filing, it projected a deficit of $5.6 million by next June -- based on $22 million in expenses and $16.4 million in projected revenue.
Central Falls' website calls itself "A city with a bright future." Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee maintained the rosy glow, saying the filing would "put the city back on a path to solid financial footing and future prosperity."
Monday's filing isn't the first result of a failed agreement for the city.
The city's school board voted to fire all teachers at its high school in February 2010, after a failed agreement between the district and the city's teacher's union.
In negotiations prior to the firings, teachers were asked to spend more time with their students to improve failing student test scores, where half of them failed every subject, officials said.
A spokesman for the union last year said the teachers had accepted most of the changes the district presented, but that they wanted compensation for the extra hours of work.
Both sides couldn't reach a pay rate agreement, according to the school's superintendent, resulting in the firings of 77 teachers, including the school's principal and three assistant principals.
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