Sunday, August 8, 2010

Do U Know About Indian Idol

Description :

Indian Idol is an adaptation of the Pop Idol format. It started airing in India with the First Season in 2004-2005 and followed that with Second (2005-2006), Third(2007- ) and Fourth (2008-2009) Seasons. In February' 2010, Sony Entertainment Television announced the launch of the Fifth season.


Anu Malik, Farah Khan and Sonu Nigam
Season 1 and 2 (2004-2006)
Anu Malik, Javed Akhtar, Alisha Chinai and Udit Narayan
Season 3 (2007)
Anu Malik, Javed Akhtar, Sonali Bendre and Kailash Kher
Season 4 (2008-2009)
Anu Malik, Sunidhi Chauhan and Salim Merchant
Season 5 (2010)


Season 1: Abhijeet Sawant, from Mumbai Amit Sana from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh was declared the 1st runner-up, while Rahul Vaidya from Nagpur and Prajakta Shukre from Jabalpur, MP came 3rd and 4th respectively.
Season 2: Sandeep Acharya.The 1st Runner-up was N. C. Karunya from Hyderabad, while the other talented singers from season 2, Anuj Sharma, Amey Date and Antara Mitra were placed at 3rd, 4th and 5th places respectively
Season 3: Prashant Tamang, who hails from Darjeeling in West Bengal. The runner-up, Amit Paul was from Shillong, Meghalaya.
Season 4: Sourabhee Debbarma won the title of the Indian Idol and became the first female contestant to do so. By doing so, she also won a contract of Rs. 1 crore with Sony Entertainment Television and a TATA Winger. Kapil Thapa finished as a 1st runner-up while Torsha Sarkar finished third.

Season 5: The winner of ‘Indian Idol 5’ will be awarded a contract with Sony Entertainment Television worth Rs 1 crore and the contenders will each stand the chance to win an opportunity to be a playback singer in a forthcoming movie of Yash Raj Films.

The new series sees two new judges; Sunidhi Chauhan, a popular female playback singer of the Indian film industry and Salim Merchant, a music director and singer and Anu Malik has been the jury member on Indian Idol since its inception.

Top 13 Finalists Season 5: Bhumi Trivedi, Vishwas Rai, Swaroop Khan, Sashi Suman, Manisha Karmakar, Tia Kar, Shivam Pathak, Naushad Ali Kawa, Shreeramchandra, Arpita Khan, Meghna Kumar, Rakesh Maini and Yashraj Kapil.

Who Will Win Indian Idol 5

Indian Idol

Sreeram, Bhoomi or Rakesh and the winner is?

Jeetu Moni wins Dance India Dance L'il Masters

After several weeks of tough competition, 11-year-old Jeetu Moni Kalita from Guwahati was announced the winner of Zee TV's dance reality show Dance India Dance L'il Masters at the grand finale held in Pune Saturday.

The talented boy pipped Pune-based Vaishnavi Patil, Atul Banmoria from Mani Majra in Chandigarh and Manoj Rathod from Mumbai, to bag the title of Dance Ka Baap.

He has been awarded a trophy and a cash prize of Rs.300,000.

The grand finale took place at Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, and was graced by actress Sonam Kapoor and her father, actor Anil Kapoor.

The show began with 16 children and was judged by ace choreographers Farah Khan and Sandip Soparrkar.

Veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty also attended the event. The children's mentors - Dharmesh, Jay, Mayuresh-Vrushali and Amrita staged power-packed performances.

Choreographers Remo D'souza, Geeta Kapoor and Terence Lewis, who provided encouragement to the contestants on various stages, too came to encourage the children.

I want to start a family: Ranbir Kapoor

Twenty-seven-year-old Ranbir Kapoor claims that, like any “normal person”, he, too, has memories attached to the house he grew up in — Krishna Raj, one of the few bungalows left on Mumbai’s Pali Hill. But, in a firm tone, he adds, “The house has to go. We are only making it better and more practical
for the future, so there is more (space) to enjoy.”

The house is now set to be converted into a 14-storeyed building, where Ranbir hopes to have a family some day.

Though the decision to reconstruct the house was taken by Rishi, the self-confessed ‘mama’s boy’ admits he could not agree more: “I want to start a family at some point. So we’re only making a bigger house for ourselves.”

And how soon would he be willing to start a family? “I will settle down as soon as I find someone special, and I haven’t so far; I have a lot to do as of now. I am still trying to create a firm hold in the film industry,” says Ranbir, whose next film is Anjaana Anjaani.

RanbirAlthough municipal authorities in Mumbai have opposed his dad’s construction plans, Ranbir says, “We are not doing anything for commercial purposes. It’s our own property. My father has even bought the FSI (Floor Space Index), so there should be no issue. We’re not renting it out or making any gain from starting a company in it.”

Lok Sabha to hold discussion on Commonwealth Games preparation

Amid a row over alleged large-scale corruption in Commonwealth Games projects, the Lok Sabha will hold a discussion on CWG preparations on Monday. BJP members Virender Kumar and A T Nana Patil will initiate a special discussion on "delay" in the preparation of the mega sporting event to be held in

New Delhi from October 3-14.

The issue of alleged large-scale corruption in the Games projects had created an uproar in Parliament last week with entire Opposition in the Lok Sabha uniting to attack the government, accusing it of allowing "loot" of public money.

Members of the BJP, JD(U), Left parties and Samajwadi Party had targeted the government on the issue. The Left had even demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe charges of corruption in the Games projects.

While Sports Minister M S Gill will reply to the debate, Urban Development Minister S Jaipal Reddy is expected to intervene in the matter.

A discussion on the Bhopal gas tragedy and the recommendations of the GoM will also take place next week, Parliament sources said.

The sources said the BJP will no longer press for a discussion on "misuse" of CBI, an issue high on the Opposition party's agenda when the Monsoon session began two weeks back.

Instead, Congress members are now keen for a discussion on the issue through which they could raise the matter of "Hindu terror", the sources said.

33 soldiers washed away in Ladakh floods, Pak help sought

Thirty-three soldiers including three JCOs, deployed along the Line of Control near Siachen glacier, are feared to have been washed away to PoK in flash floods in Ladakh and help of Pakistan has been sought to trace them. A senior army officer said today that the jawans, who were manning a post

near Turtok along the Line of Control (LoC), still remained untraced after they faced the fury of a swollen Shyok river on the same day when Leh was hit by flash floods following a devastating cloudburst on Friday.

The Army has now sought the help of Pakistani authorities to help rescue the 33 personnel of 15 Bihar infantry regiment as it fears that they may have been swept away towards Pakistan-occupied Kashmir(PoK) in the deluge, the officer said.

Though the 33 soldiers, including three junior commissioned officers, were well-trained to negotiate the conditions, the Army has not been able to trace them even 48 hours after the incident, the officer said.

"The soldiers are feared to have been swept away towards PoK and we have sought help from Pakistan to trace them," the officer said.

'Inzamam to blame for dearth of batting talent in Pak team'

Pakistan's former Test captain, Aamir Sohail feels the country's most capped player Inzamam-ul Haq is responsible for the dearth of quality batsmen in the national team. Sohail said by the time Inzamam retired he had disturbed the national team and left it facing numerous problems. "When
Imran Khan retired, he left behind a pack of quality bowlers, when Javed Miandad retired he left behind a legacy of good batsmen but when Inzamam retired he left behind nothing," Sohail told 'Geo super channel'.

Sohail said during Inzamam's tenure as captain, no batsman was allowed to settle down or groomed to take over when the big guns retired.

"Good players like Yasir Hameed, Asim Kamal, Faisal Iqbal, Taufiq Umar or Hasan Reza who had done well in the chances given to them were never allowed to settle down in the team and establish themselves," he explained.

"The result is that today we don't have a ready line of batsmen to replace seniors. That is why I blame Inzamam for the current crisis in the team," Sohail said.

Inzamam, who played 120 Tests and 398 one-day internationals, retired in 2007 after having remained captain since 2003.

Sohail also lashed out at the national selectors and the management of the team for misleading the board into believing that there was enough back up talent to replace experienced players like Muhammad Yousuf, Younus Khan or Faisal Iqbal.

"The truth is they misled the PCB Chairman into believing that he could manage the national team without Yousuf and Younus and that is why we are facing problems in England on Monday," Sohail said.

Efforts on to check oil spill off Mumbai

The authorities on Sunday launched efforts on a war footing to combat the oil spill from a Panaman ship which crashed

The damaged cargo ship MSC Chitra is seen in the Arabian Sea, off the Mumbai coast. Two Panamanian cargo ships collided off the Mumbai coast causing an oil spill from one of the vessels.
into another vessel in Mumbai harbour, an official said.

The MSC Chitra had crashed into the St Kitts-registered MV Khalijia-III on Saturday.

Five Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ships and two helicopters have been pressed into service for checking the massive oil spill in the Mumbai harbour, around five km south of Mumbai, the official said.

Due to the impact of the collision, MSC Chitra has dangerously tilted in the sea and rescue groups were seeing containers that it was carrying falling from it at regular intervals.

Since the containers are floating in the choppy Arabian Sea, it poses a serious hazard to vessels navigating in that area and consequently, shipping traffic has been kept on hold for the time being, an official said.

The coast guard vessels - Sankalp, Amrit Kaur, Subhadra Kumari Chauhan, Kamla Devi and C-145 - have joined advanced offshore patrol vessel Sangram which was deployed since Saturday to monitor the oil spill and guide the relief efforts.

Accroding to the ICG, two helicopters were pressed into service for aerial spraying of dispersants on the thick oil slick through regular sorties. Nearly 150 litres of dispersants had so far been sprayed.

The ICG's smaller vessels are now engaged in churning down the oil sheen for weathering/emulsification, but the discharge from the grounded ship continued, thwarting the efforts by different agencies.

The official said that the authorities are making the best efforts to mitigate and minimise the damage to the sea due to the oil spill.

"Containment and recovery of spilled oil in present position is not feasible because of the rocky surface and the prevailing weather and tidal conditions," the official explained.

The ICG rescued all the 33 sailors from the two ships. The two vessels, loaded with containers of dry cargo, collided when one of them was attempting to berth at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), off Mumbai, around 9.45 a.m. Saturday, an ICG official said.

Vidya Balan Kissing Scene

Deepika-Ranbir HOT Lip kiss

Preity Zinta Sex With Abishek

Salman Khan Sonam Kapoor Kissing Scene

Sonam Kapoor's a head turner

Sonam Kapoor - super sexy!

Imran Khan Hot kisses To Sonam Kapoor Video Leaked

Deepika's lookalike?

Lakshmi Manchu, daughter of Telugu star Mohan Babu, is gearing up for B-Town. The actress has an uncanny resemblance to Deepika Padukone. She did a photo shoot recently and anyone who has seen the snapshots can't help but comment on the similarity.

Deepika Padukone and Lakshmi Manchu

She is, however, not new to showbiz. Based in Los Angeles (she keeps shuttling between India and the US), Lakshmi has appeared in shows like Las Vegas, Boston Legal and even Desperate Housewives.

Basking in success
She is currently basking in the success of her first movie as a producer -- a Telugu film Jhummandi Nadham under her home banner Sri Lakshmi Prasanna Pictures. The film released last month. Directed by K Raghavendra Rao, it stars her younger brother Manoj. "I am excited that the film got a tremendous response.

I feel super blessed," she said. The star daughter also plays the negative lead in Disney's first ever Telugu film tentatively titled Once Upon A Teardrop which stars Siddharth and Shruti Haasan. "I love playing the negative lead. The most difficult thing I would say was getting into the evil queen's costume after hours of make up. But when the end result is nice it's all worth it."

Her chat show in the south The Lakshmi Manchu Show is slated for a third season soon. "When I was in the US, I used to watch a lot of Bollywood movies. It was a great connect between the East and the West. Now that I am here, I do have some offers from Bollywood but it's too early as I am going through some scripts. I would want something really challenging and different for my first film."

First Look :- Anjaana Anjaani

Here's the first look of producer Sajid Nadiadwala's love story Anjaana Anjaani, which brings together Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra for the first time.

Directed by Siddharth Anand, the first promo of the film releases on August 6.

Priyanka is playing the role of a woman based in San Francisco, while Ranbir is essaying the role of a New York City boy. They meet in NYC and travel across cities.

Ranbir,Priyanka in Anjaana Anjaani

The film has been shot entirely in the US, across many cities including New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.

"Apart from Priyanka and Ranbir being a fresh combination, it's the first pure, young, cool love story from my banner, Nadiadwala Grandsons and Siddharth is the right director for the job. He is very focused and works 18 hours only on the film," said Sajid.

"The thought behind Anjaana Anjaani is that all great love stories start out as people meeting as strangers before they fall in love with each other," said Siddharth.

The story has been written by Siddharth's wife Mamta.

Read more at:

Sonam refuses to kiss Shahid

Sonam Kapoor won't kiss her Mausam co-star Shahid Kapoor and was shocked when she was asked to do so at the last minute, during the Scotland schedule.

It took her completely unawares as there had been no talk of any kissing scene when she signed on. She was never told that there would be a liplock with Shaks. No mention of it was made even during the detailed script narrations.

Says a unit source, "Sonam was taken aback when the director (and co-star Shahid's dad Pankaj) told her about it. She flatly refused."

There was high drama on the sets with Pankaj frantically calling Sonam's dad Anil in desperation to save the situation. But the actress was adamant.

Adds the source, "It was at Shahid's behest that a kissing scene was created. He put forth the idea to his father who complied with his request. Shahid feels that like Aamir Khan he, too, should kiss all his heroines. He felt it would add more passion to the scene."

Sonam maintains, "There was no kissing scene in Mausam. It's complete fabrication that I refused to do such a scene."

But the source says, "When Sonam realised that it was her hero's demand, she became even more adamant about not doing the kiss and was in no mood to listen to anyone on the subject." As a result, Mausam will now have to do without the chumma.

Incidentally, Sonam kisses Abhay Deol in her home production Aisha which releases this week. Sasha has locked lips with Kareena Kapoor (Jab We Met), Priyanka Chopra (Kaminey) and Anushka Sharma (Badmaash Company).

Abhi-Ash makes second mistake

aishwarya abhishekIt is a known fact that Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai starrer Raavan bombed at the box office. And now the latest is that many feels that the couple has lost their charisma and magic that smitten the audience in Guru last time.

But it seems like the couple is taking no interest in learning from their mistake.

News is theree the director Abhishek Kapoor has approached the hottest couple to work in his next film based on Chetan Bhagat novel ‘The 3 Mistake Of My Life.’ However, the novel is not amongst the best creation of Chetan and so it is assumed that the blending of uninteresting story line and that too with a thanda jodi might again bring the same result which is not very hard to presume.

Priyanka loves breaking rules!

Priyanka ChopraActress Priyanka Chopra says she is venturing into TV as a reality show host at the peak of her Bollywood career as she loves breaking rules. But she is quick to shrug off comparisons with Akshay Kumar saying he is the "original khiladi".

She will be host of "Fear Factor-Khatron Ke Khiladi" season three, which she says will be scarier than its previous editions that saw Akshay play host to 13 women celebrities.

"I want to thank Akshay. He was so wonderful in the last two seasons of 'Khatron Ka Khiladi' that he has already brought the show to one level, I only have to carry it forward. Comparisons would be unfair," Priyanka told IANS in an interview.

"Akshay is not only the industry's but also India's action hero. He is an original khiladi and I can't be like him; neither will I try following in his footsteps. I will try to make a mark of my own."

Breaking rules excites Priyanka and that's why she chose to venture into television now.

"Television is the biggest medium to reach your audience. There is a set rule that when actors are leaving films, they come to television. It's always exciting to break rules. I'm lucky that I'm in such a stage of my career where I'm doing good films with talented people. At this point, doing something different is quite exciting," said Priyanka.

Asked why she chose "Fear Factor..." as a television debut, she said: "Actually I'm doing so many films right now that there's no time for television. When 'Fear Factor' came to me, because it's my favourite show and I love spontaneous things...and the fact that I could grill the boys and be really mean to them, I guess being a part of a show like this was really exciting for me. What made it easier for me was they required only 20 days from me."

"Fear Factor" on the Colors channel will bring together 13 celebrities competing with one another by performing daring stunts and the one who survives through all the tasks is the winner.

"This time the stunts are bigger, a little more scary, a little more gross. Actually they play with your mind at lot...There can be trivial things that scare you. Some fear darkness, some may fear cockroaches, so it's basically playing with your fears," said Priyanka.

The show was earlier supposed to have cricketers as contestants this season but now they have male celebrities including model-actors Rahul Dev, Milind Soman and Dino Morea, actors Rahul Bose, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Karan Singh, funnyman Cyrus Broacha, filmmaker Abhishek Kapoor and squash champion Ritwik Bhattacharya.

"I think BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) had a commitment with the channel but later what happened I really don't know. But now I have contestants from various I feel it's much better because you have various people who will talk about many, many things. It's a different mix of people," said Priyanka.

Asked whom she would choose if she had to select participants among her co-stars, she said: "I would love to see Shah Rukh Khan in this show. If Ranbir (Kapoor) had been a participant it would have been great entertainment."

Priyanka reveals that her mother is scared about her being on the adventure show.

"My father and brother were very excited, but my mom got very scared and she said she would stay with me during the shoot and keep praying for me," the actress said.

So will we get to see her perform dangerous stunts as well?

"You will see me showing stunts. Quite a few actually...may be not in every episode. See the lucky thing is I'm the host and I can pick my stunts," she quipped.

"Fear Factor..."' is expected to go on air in September and will be shot in Brazil this month.

'Peepli Live' explores an unseen troubled India

'Peepli Live' is a satiric comedy-drama that casts a light on the country's rural citizens. The film highlights the growing divide between rural and urban India, a problem that remains largely invisible to most city dwellers.Peepli Live' is a satiric comedy-drama that casts a light on the country's rural citizens. The film highlights the growing divide between rural and urban India, a problem that remains largely invisible to most city dwellers.

‘Peepli Live’ might be a film that changes the hard-and-fast-divide between Bollywood's exuberantly overstuffed musical melodramas and high-minded art-house fare.

Produced by Aamir Khan, 'Peepli Live' was written and directed by Anusha Rizvi as her first directorial venture, the film stars Omkar Das Manikpuri as well as Raghuvir Yadav, Nawazuddin Siddiqui along with a number of newcomers.

'Peepli Live’inspired by real-life contemporary events
The bizarre reality on which the film's plot turns is that the Indian government makes compensatory payments to suicidal farmers' surviving family members.

In the film, Natha (played by Omkar Das Manikpuri) and his marginally savvier brother Budhia (Raghubir Yadav) are despairing of losing their land over an unpaid government loan.

So they hatch a plan to cash in by having Natha kill himself. 'Peepli Live' conjures a rural morality tale about a none-too-bright young farmer who nearly loses everything, including his life.

‘Peepli Live’ is inspired by real-life contemporary events, the economic shakeup of India's agrarian society and a horrifying wave of suicides by poor Indian farmers.

According to government statistics cited in the film, 182,000 farmers took their own lives between 1997 and 2007.

Director Anusha Rizvi on ‘Peepli Live’
Rizvi, whose own extended family has deep rural roots, said it was the government's peculiar policy that fired her imagination to write the film. "We have compensation for the dead," she said, "but what about the living?"

"It's the kind of film where you're laughing and wondering, 'Should I be laughing?'" said Anusha Rizvi, who wrote "Peepli Live," her first feature film, and co-directed it with her historian husband, Mahmood Farooqui.

Aamir Khan said, "There were no really big stars, a lot of the actors are villagers themselves, and a lot of them are tribals, so they kind of gelled in quite well. A lot of them spoke the same dialect and all of that."

He further adds,"There's no cynicism. There's a lot of hope, there's a lot of color, there's a lot of vibrancy, and it’s a great emotional journey that you go on.”

Ruia Group to bid for south Korean SsangYong Motor

City-based Ruia Group Sunday said it will make a bid to buy out troubled South Korean SsangYong Motor Company.

'Ruia Group is indeed bidding for SsangYong. This has been decided in a meeting today (Sunday) presided by Pawan Kumar Ruia, chairman, Ruia Group,' the Group said in a statement.

The Ruia Group and Mahindra & Mahindra are the two Indian corporations among the six suitors shortlisted to bid for the bankrupt South Korean firm SsangYong Motor.

The last date for bid submission is August 10.

Mahindra & Mahindra Saturday said the board had approved the company's plan to submit a binding bid for a majority stake in Ssangyong.

The Ruia Group chairman Thursday had hinted at the possiblity of the group bidding for Ssangyong, saying it is 'evaluating' the car-maker, whose present market cap is $400 million.

Indian automotive makers are looking for a presence overseas, where car prices and profit margins are said to be higher.

Ssangyong, which has about two percent of the South Korean market, exports to Russia, Europe, China, Middle-East, Africa, North and South America and the Asia-Pacific.

The other firms are in the race are South Korea's private equity fund Seoul Invest, Daewoo Bus and Renault-Samsung.

In December 2009, the Seoul Central District Court had approved the debt-ridden SsangYong's restructuring plan.

Media reports say SsangYong has run up a debt of $1 billion. The majority shareholder Chinese carmaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC) had lost management control when SsangYong filed for bankruptcy.

‘I have 20 odd Pandey friends who I’ll send to Chunky for royalty’

Eid release Dabangg has a roll call of characters with quirky names, starting with Salman Khan who answers to the call of Chulbul Pandey. Apparently, actor Chunky Panday has demanded royalty because they have borrowed his initials. “I have 20 odd Pandey friends who I will send to Chunky for

“Pandey or Panday is a common surname in UP and I have a nephew whose nickname is Chulbul. I borrowed it because Salman’s character in the film has a chulbula (naughty) side to him. We’ve had enough of Rajs, Vijays and Vikrams. And the name has caught on.” Arbaaz’s character in the film goes by the name of Makhi, short for Makhanchand.

Salman Khan“I heard it somewhere and it stuck in my mind,” says Kashyap, adding that Sonu Sood’s name in the film is Cheedi Singh and the script puns on the word hole. Raise the question top most on many minds about what Dabangg means and he says with a laugh, “Fearless but now don’t go thinking it is Veer 2. Up North, it’s a common word that means someone who is not scared of anyone. And Salman is like that in real life too so he fit the role perfectly.”

No interference
Buzz is that this being Arbaaz Khan’s debut production, big brother Salman had a lot to say in all departments, from the script and the shooting to the editing. “What you see as interference, I look at as creative involvement. Salman has not directed the film but he did make a few pertinant suggestions. So did so many others. It was a democratic set-up,” Kashyap argues.

Kashyap adds that Dabangg is not Wanted 2 either, as is being presumed. “We’ve just taken off from where Wanted left and gone bigger,” he says. “People need a reference point for everything but the only similarity between the two films is that Dabangg is an action film too, featuring Salman Khan.”

US Senator Charles Schumer calls Infosys 'chop shop'

Criticising companies outsourcing highly-paid American jobs, a US Senator has described Indian IT major Infosys as a "chop shop", a place where stolen cars are dismantled and parts sold separately.

The comments were made by Democrat Senator of New York Charles E Schumer during discussions on the Border Security Bill, a $600-million emergency package aimed at strengthening security along the porous Mexican border.

"The emergency border funds will be paid for by assessing fees on foreign companies known as chop shops that outsource good, high-paying American technology jobs to lower wage, temporary immigrant workers from other countries.

"These are companies such as Infosys," Schumer said on the Senate floor on Thursday.

Indian credit terms 'good': Bangladesh

Bangladesh finance minister AMA Muhith on Sunday described as "good" the terms of the $1 billion credit India has offered as the two neighbours reviewed the growing economic and security cooperation during finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's visit here.

Muhith rejected opposition criticism that the Indian terms were higher than the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, saying in the past Bangladesh had paid as high as five per cent for foreign loans for 15 years.

The loan agreement between India's Exim Bank and Bangladesh's Economic Relations Division was signed on Saturday in the presence of Mukherjee.

Muhith said the interest rate is 1.75 per cent and commitment charge is 0.5 per cent and wondered how the opposition could make such an allegation. "This is utterly false," The Daily Star quoted him as saying.

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party had said the government was getting the loan from India with an interest rate seven times higher than that from any multinational bank or donor agency.

The loan is the biggest ever credit package by India to any nation. It is also the single largest loan to Bangladesh from any nation, development bank or donor agency.

The credit will finance 14 development projects of Bangladesh. The projects mostly relate to development of railways and other communication infrastructure in Bangladesh, particularly to facilitate transshipment of Indian goods to its northeastern region through Bangladesh.

During Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi in January this year, Bangladesh had agreed to allow India using the Chittagong port, while Delhi had agreed on giving transit facilities to Bhutan and Nepal for increasing connectivity, trade and investment.

Mukherjee said India would earmark the non-tariff barriers and remove the obstruction for Bangladeshi products to access the Indian market.

Muhith said border markets will start functioning soon.

Mukherjee's visit was the first visit by a key Indian leader since Sheikh Hasina's trip to New Delhi. He met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and discussed a wide of range of bilateral issues.

These included a quick implementation of the joint declaration of the two countries on Dahagram and Angarpota enclaves, food procurement, and increasing regional connectivity involving Nepal and Bhutan, The Daily Star quoted Abul Kalam Azad, the premier's press secretary, as saying.

Mukherjee also held talks with foreign minister Dipu Moni and reviewed the implementation of the agreements reached between the two countries.

China landslides: around 96 die, 2,000 missing

China landslides: around 96 die, 2,000 missing

Massive landslides triggered by rains hit northwest China's Gansu province, killing at least 96 people while 2,000 were missing, authorities said on Sunday.

While 96 people were confirmed dead in Zhouqu county in Gannan Tibetan Autonomous prefecture, over 680 people were rescued after the Bailong river overflowed and a large body of water inundated Chengguan township.

"Torrential rains began at around 10 pm on Saturday, then there were landslides," Xinhua quoted Diemujiangteng, head of the county, as saying.

"Many people were trapped. Now the sludge has become the biggest problem. It's too thick to walk or drive through," he said.

At least 50,000 residents were believed to be affected as floods had submerged half of the county and many houses were buried by landslides.

Li Tiankui, a resident who lived near the Bailong River, said: "People are looking for their family members and friends."

Yueyuan village was buried in the disaster. Over 120 homes in Chengguan township and Jiangpan village were extensively damaged. Some 300 residents were still trapped, said the provincial committee of the Communist Party of China.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has left Beijing to visit the landslide-hit Zhouqu county. The county covers 3,010 square km and has a population of 134,700, about 33 percent of which are Tibetans.

High security in Lalgarh for Mamata's rally Monday

High security in Lalgarh for Mamata`s rally Monday

Adequate security cover will be in place for Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's "apolitical" rally on Monday in Maoist-affected Lalgarh of West Bengal's West Midnapore district that will also be attended by a pro-Maoist tribal group, police said on Sunday.

"CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel will assist the state police in maintaining law and order in the area," West Bengal Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Surajit Kar Purakayastha said.

"There will be strong police security at the rally. Thorough checking will be conducted at the venue and along the routes," he added, but did not disclose the number of paramilitarypersonnel to be deployed.

"CRPF personnel have been deployed in anti-Maoist operations in Jungle Mahal (forested areas of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura districts)," Purakayastha said.

"The state government sought permission from the central government to use the troopers in assisting the state police in maintaining law and order during the rally. It has given the permission," he said.

In a bid to rope in intellectuals as well as the agitating tribals, Banerjee had announced that the rally in Lalgarh would be held under the banner of an apolitical forum - Santras Birodhi Mancha (Anti-Atrocities Platform), and not the Trinamool Congress.

She had said that Democracy Day would be observed in trouble-torn Lalgarh on August 9.

Pro-Maoist tribal group Peoples' Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) has decided to participate in the rally. Social activists like Swami Agnivesh and Medha Patkar will also participate under the banner of the Forum for Peace, Justice and Democracy.

Pilots deserting Mallya's Kingfisher Airlines

Pilot hegira in Kingfisher Airlines

Vijay Mallya`s Kingfisher Airlines is facing trouble as more than 150 of its pilots have bid adieu to Kingfisher in the past one and half years, citing various reasons.

Even though some new have joined, the current shortage in the airlines is estimated to be 35, forcing the airline to ground some of its aircrafts. Amid all the turbulence, a huge shuffle and reshuffle has been noticed. The troubledairlines cancel leaves of flight commanders, and put senior executives from the operations department on flying duty.

In the same period, Kingfisher`s rival, Jet Airways, lost 35 pilots.

In response to an e-mail query, a Kingfisher spokesman wrote: "We are not in the business of answering speculative questions. The assumptions and consequent questions do not merit reply. All our flights are operating on schedule."

Kingfisher, part of the UB Group -- the world`s second largest spirits maker by volume, has 618 pilots. Kingfisher`s Airbus A320 fleet, which constitutes about a third of its 66-plane fleet, has been the worst hit by the pilot shortage.

"The airline is facing a shortage of at least 35 pilots in the Airbus A320 fleet," a Kingfisher executive said on the condition of anonymity. Another said the airline had told the pilots they should go on leave only if absolutely necessary. It has put at least 12 senior executives from the operations department on the flying roster to bridge the gap in the cockpit.

In other airlines, senior executives from the operations department are required to fly only once a month to retain their flying licence.

Another Kingfisher executive said the airline had been forced to ground some of its aircraft owing to the pilot shortage. "About 12 of our aircraft are grounded at the moment. Some due to spare parts shortage, but a few because they do not have pilots to operate them," the executive said.

Kingfisher was under a debt of Rs7,413 crore as of December 2009. The merchant banking arm of State Bank of India (SBI) is preparing a debt-recast plan for the airline. SBI had earlier rejected a proposal to recastKingfisher`s Rs2,099-crore short-term debt.

Kingfisher, which operates more than 375 flights a day to 71 destinations in India and abroad, had reported net loss of Rs1,647.2 crore in the financial year ended March 2009. It reported a net loss of Rs187 crore in the first quarter of the current financial year.

The airline has hired Seabury Aviation & Aerospace, a US-based company, to advise on sustaining its long-term profitability by strengthening the operational and financial performance

CBI continues to question Amit Shah

CBI continues to question Amit Shah

The CBI sleuths on Sunday kept on quizzing former Gujarat minister Amit Shah. He was grilled on Saturday for nine hours in connection with the 2005 killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in a staged shootout.

The former minister of state for home was at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) office in the morning for the final day of questioning. His two-day period of CBI remand ends Sunday night.

Though Shah has been lodged in Sabarmati jail after his arrest on July 25 and judicial remand thereafter, he spent on Saturday night in the CBI lock-up in it's regional office in Sector-10 here.

He was brought to the CBI camp office in the old secretariat for further questioning Sunday morning.

The minister faced over 300 questions over the length of the day Saturday, say sources in CBI. His lawyers said they had no complaints in relation to the questioning.

According to the source, Shah has been less than cooperative in answering questions. On Saturday, he was in the custody of the CBI from almost 10 am to 8.30 pm The questioning began around 10.a.m. Sunday again.

He has answered largely in monosyllables or at best with "I don't remember".

The former minister has been asked searching questions about the orders he issued in relation to the transfer of key police officers who are now co-accused and his phone conversations - 32 times with Deputy Superintendent of Police NK Amin on the day Sohrabuddin's wife Kauserbi is suspected to have been killed, the source said.

Man hurls both shoes at Zardari in Britain

Man hurls both shoes at Zardari in Britain

An elderly man from a crowd in Britain threw both his shoes at Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari when he was addressing a public meeting in Birmingham. The shoes landed just short of him.

The Telegraph Sunday reported that Zardari, who has been criticised for visiting Britain while there were floods in his country, was in the middle of his speech when the man in the crowd hurled both shoes at him.

An unidentified man was later taken away from the Saturday evening meeting by police and security officials.

"Zardari was in the middle of a long campaign speech when a man towards the back of the crowd hurled the shoes at him," an eyewitness was quoted as saying.

"They landed short of him, and it wasn`t clear what exactly the man was protesting about."

Zardari told and had dismissed claims that he should have stayed at home. He said this while he was talking to the British daily.

He said that the visit had resulted in the floods receiving far more international attention than they might otherwise have done.

Zardari said: "These meetings are planned months in advance, and my coming abroad has drawn more attention to them than I myself would have been able to draw."

In February last year, a German student hurled a shoe at Chinese premier Wen Jiabao during his visit to Cambridge University in Britain.

Murty's son to tie knot with TVS heiress

A big event is going to take place as two business family descendants will be two hearts and one soul very soon. Infosys mentor NR Narayana Murthy's son Rohan is all set to marry Lakshmi Venu, only daughter of TVS Motors chairman Venu Srinivsan. Rohan.

Rohan is a Microsoft fellow, who is doing his PhD in computer science from Harvard University, and has an engineering degree from Cornell University.

He earlier did his schooling at Bishop Cotton Boys' School in Bangalore. Lakshmi, who studied economics at Yale Univeristy, later got a PhD in manufacturing management from Warwick Univesity in the UK. In Chennai her alma mater was in Shishya.

Lakshmi is mandated to steer strategy at both Sundaram Clayton (an auto component maker) and TVS Motor (India's third largest two-wheeler company).

Said Narayana Murthy, who is on a visit to Mantralaya, home of the revered saint Sri Raghavendra Swami, "We are very happy. Lakshmi is such a wonderful person." He said that the marriage date was left to the couple. "I don't want to get into the details. It is left to the couple.

They are both mature, intelligent people and will decide these things on their own." Rohan is currently in Chennai meeting members of Lakshmi's family.

Kalmadi takes Mani Shanker Aiyer head on

Kalmadi takes Mani Shanker Aiyer head on

Unfazed with the barrage of accusations of corruption, Suresh Kalmadi said his conscious is clear. There is no direct charge of corruption against him. There is no question of quitting the games when it is so near. CVC has not pointed any finger on him. Now, he is only concentrating in order to organize the Commonwealth games successfully.

In a no hold-barred interview with Anurradha Prasad for her `Aamne -Saamne` show on News 24, Chief of Commonwealth organising committee said, “ I am ready to face any judicial inquiry to clear my name. i am really surprised that as to why there is such a campaign for the last one week against him,though everything was going nicely before that.” He also added, “ I would like to clear my name from all the charges before games. I would also like to clear name before my family and my constituency.”

Replaying to a direct barb regarding the involvement of his close aides of financial bung lings, Suresh Kalmadi said, “ Around two thousand people work under me. I do not know every body. I constituted an inquiry committee and suspended two officials when i came to know about their involvement in bungling.” He also completely denies that the suspended officials namely, TS Darbari and Sanjay Mahendroo were very close to him. This is not at all true. “ I even do not know Mahendroo at all.”

Taking the ten days deadline of Commonwealth Games federation president Mike Fennell to put the house in order rather lightly, the ex – fighter pilot of India Air force said, “ I am sure within next ten days everything (stadiums) would be completed.”

On a question related to incomplete infrastructures and stadiums where important events would suppose to take place, Kalmadi completely washed off his hands of taking the responsibility of their present condition. “ I am not involved in the construction related activities. Various agencies are looking after the construction of stadiums and other infrastructures. This question should be asked to them.”

He, however, made it clear that if there would be any problem in staging the games, then it would be a collective responsibility of organizing committee as well as all the agencies responsible for construction of stadias.

`But you are now face of the commonwealth games...?` Suresh Kalmadi said, “ I do not want to pass the buck. I take the responsibility of any corruption charge. I do not have sanctioning authority of even single paise.”

Taking his bete noire and party colleague Mani Shanker Aiyer head on, Kalmadi said, “ I do not want to comment against his utterances. He has lost the Lok Sabha elections and entered Parliament as a nominated member. Hence, I do not know whether he is in Congress or not.”

Did you talk to him? With contempt, he said, “ Yes, I did. When he was a sports minister i used to meet him. That two years as his minister of sports was the worst phase. He has been against the games since long. Even when he was minister of sports, he was against the games. After the games, I will meet him.”

Kalmadi revealed that he has been meeting both Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. “ PM has given us Rs600 crores. That money is spent on providing training to our players. I am sure this time our players will win 70 medals and India would be in third position in medals tally.”

Making his position clear in respect of huge sum that has already been incurred on games related projects, Kalmadi said, he has so far received only Rs900 crores out of sanctioned Rs1600 crores. “We have already collected Rs700 crores as revenue from sponsorships,sale of tickets and TV rights. We were expecting Rs30 million from TV rights, but we got Rs50 million. BBC,Australia,South Africa have taken TV rights. US would also show the games. Three billion people across the world would watch the opening and closing ceremonies.”

So, will you return the Rs1600 crores to government? “ Yes, of course.” `But so far only three per cent tickets were sold ?` Kalmadi was hopeful that the sale of games tickets would pick in days to come.

Is it true that sponsors like Railways and NTPC are also worried as the corruption charges against the Organizing committee is becoming more and more frequent? Rather than replaying to the question, he said now he is only concentrating on the games.

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