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UPA Medical Scam: Ghulam Nabi Azad Cornered Over Desiraju’s Transfer

By Aglaia Staff

As the Lok Sabha elections 2014 are fast approaching, the UPA government has come under scanner for another scam. According to Times Now report, the controversy is related to the sudden ouster of the Union health and family welfare secretary and IAS officer Keshav Desiraju.

On February 11 this month, Desiraju was ‘transferred’ to the department of consumer affairs during cabinet reshuffle, while AIDS Control department Secretary Luv Verma was given additional charge as health secretary. The Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is said to be involved in the “capable officer” Desiraju’s ouster.

The top PMO official reportedly put pressure on Desiraju to “clear” Ketan Deasi’s file. In an alleged “secret fightback” note, it has been claimed that Azad had written to the cabinet secretary that “why Desiraju must go”. When reporters asked him on his ouster, Azad evaded questions and instead attacked the shunned bureaucrat. Shockingly, the PMO has remained silent on the medical scam, that has resurface now.

Now, after coming under media’s scanner, ‘cornered’ Azad has been forced to “expalin” that why he tried to “undo” the MCI’s decision. Azad has said that “he initially did not want to accept Desai’s nomination.” On being questioned for backing ‘graft tainted’ ex-Medical Council of India (MCI) chief Dr Ketan Desai, Azad has reportedly given a long ‘winded’ reply.

Azad has been accused of shunting Desiraju, an IAS officer of 1978 batch of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, who opposed him because he did not give his go ahead to the re-appointment of ex-MCI boss, who was jailed on corruption charges. Under pressure to explain, Azad tried to throw dirt back at the bureaucrat. When Azad was questioned about Desiraju’s transfer within 11 months of his appointment, he said these were ‘administrative things’. “I don’t think people should get into it. Officers’ and ministers’ portfolios change. It is a regular affair. He (Desiraju) is a capable officer”, he said.

5930962078 85c3b3d066 n UPA Medical Scam: Ghulam Nabi Azad Cornered Over Desirajus Transfer

Visit aglaia.co.in 12.07 (Photo credit: Ministério da Saúde)

Sources said that the decision to transfer Desiraju was taken by the PMO, due to issues with the Cabinet secretariat. Alleging foul-play, many health ex-secretaries and former bureaucrats had written to the PM Dr Manmohan Singh, that why Desiraju was removed without following any procedure. Desiraju had joined the Ministry as an Additional Secretary in 2010, after completing his tenure as the Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand.

The ‘tainted’ Dr Ketan Desai’s name first emerged in 2000 when the Income Tax Department had raided his house and established a corruption charge against him. In 2010, he was arrested by the CBI on corruption and disproportionate assets charges and is said to be currently out on bail.

‘Government doing contempt of court’ The former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian told a newspaper, “by transferring him (Desiraju), the government appeared to be violating a Supreme Court order last October directing the government to ensure fixed tenures for bureaucrats — to insulate them from political pulls and pressures. This is fully contempt of court.” AAP questions Congress, BJP over ex-MCI chief According to a news report, senior AAP leader Prashant Bhushan told mediapersons, “Ideological differences have been set aside to bring back Ketan Desai, despite the ongoing criminal cases pending against him.” “Medical education was reduced to a private business when Desai was at the helm in MCI,” Bhushan alleged.

 

 UPA Medical Scam: Ghulam Nabi Azad Cornered Over Desirajus Transfer
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Tight Security Arrangements For MahaShivratri In Varanasi

By Aglaia Staff

Elaborate security arrangements have been made in view large number of devotees visiting Kashi-Vishwanath temple here on the occasion of Maha Shivratri festival on Thursday, police said on Wednesday. 

An additional police force including eight additional SP (Superintendent of Police), 15 Circle Officers, 155 Sub-Inspectors, 75 head constables, 1000 constables, 125 Lady Sub-Inspectors and constables from 10 districts of the range have been deployed along with the police officials from Varanasi district, Inspector General of Police (IG range Varanasi) Prakash D told PTI. 

Eight companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and two platoons of flood company have also been deployed for better security.

River police with divers have been stationed at the ghats. 

“More than 5 lakh devotees are expected to visit the Kashi-Vishwanath temple on the day. Last year about 4 lakh devotees visited the temple and this time we are expecting a rise in their numbers,” he said. 

Special arrangements have been made for the smooth movements of devotees, sign boards at various diversions are being fixed and a temporary cloak room has been been set up at Godwalia, he said.

The officer said the area around the temple has been declared ‘no traffic zone’ and vehicular traffic would be prohibited from midnight. 

Metal detectors and CCTV cameras have also been installed in the temple premises and outside. 

The IG denied any kind of threat inputs by the intelligence agencies on the day, as reported in a section of media. He said an alert has been sounded to avoid any untoward incident such as stampede. 

 

 Tight Security Arrangements For MahaShivratri In Varanasi
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New Godzilla Trailer Gives Glimpse Of Terrifying Monster

By Aglaia Staff

Just yesterday there was a little rash of audio teasers for director Gareth Edwards’ upcoming Godzillareboot. The most spine tingling of which was Bryan Cranston’s Joe Brody going full on Panicked Walter White and proclaiming (amongst other things): “What’s really happening is that you’re hiding something out there. It is going to send us back to the Stone Age. You have no idea what’s coming.”

Now we know what he was talking about. In the new full official trailer – not to be confused with the teaser which just showed a bunch of soldiers air-dropping onto what seemed to be the back of the beast – we get a sense of the scale of this new Godzilla. And he is massive. He’s also apparently wreaking a path of destruction across San Francisco to Asia to Las Vegas that no one can stop. This trailer also has a bunch of talk about how “in 1954 we awakened something” and something else about nuclear tests in the Pacific. So far it seems like Edwards’ film will have a lot of mood, suspense, and action — and ties to Godzilla’s origins — but it’s still hard to tell if it’ll be all dread and no fun.

But bottom line, Legendary Pictures’ new version of Godzilla, which hits theaters May 16 and stars future Avengers: Age of Ultron players Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Quicksilver), looks monstrously epic. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s also a massively good time.

 

 New Godzilla Trailer Gives Glimpse Of Terrifying Monster
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Samsung Adds Biometrics To Latest Galaxy

By Aglaia Staff

The next iteration of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone range will feature biometric security, the company has announced.

In a similar way to Apple’s iPhone 5, the main button on the front of the device doubles as a fingerprint scanner used to unlock the device.

The S5, which is water and dust-resistant will be available in April.

South Korea-based Samsung, the market leader in smartphone sales worldwide, also claimed to have made the “world’s fastest” auto-focusing camera.

In addition to two smartwatches announced on Sunday – the Gear and Gear 2 Neo – Samsung also added the Gear Fit, a smartband that is focused on fitness.

Security focus

Security has been a major theme at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Earlier on Monday, the Blackphone, made by Silent Circle, was launched. It included a range of specialised security apps offering encrypted communication.

And for Samsung, it was security features that provoked applause from those in attendance at its characteristically-flamboyant launch event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

As well as unlocking the device, the fingerprint scanner will be used to power payments. Samsung has partnered with Paypal to offer payment-by-finger.

The next iteration of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone range will feature biometric security, the company has announced.

In a similar way to Apple’s iPhone 5, the main button on the front of the device doubles as a fingerprint scanner used to unlock the device.

The S5, which is water and dust-resistant will be available in April.

South Korea-based Samsung, the market leader in smartphone sales worldwide, also claimed to have made the “world’s fastest” auto-focusing camera.

In addition to two smartwatches announced on Sunday – the Gear and Gear 2 Neo – Samsung also added the Gear Fit, a smartband that is focused on fitness.

Security focus

Security has been a major theme at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Earlier on Monday, the Blackphone, made by Silent Circle, was launched. It included a range of specialised security apps offering encrypted communication.

And for Samsung, it was security features that provoked applause from those in attendance at its characteristically-flamboyant launch event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

As well as unlocking the device, the fingerprint scanner will be used to power payments. Samsung has partnered with Paypal to offer payment-by-finger.

The scanner is also able to enable “private mode”, a way of storing sensitive information accessible only by using the scanner.

“Consumers already worried about the security of established payment mechanisms are likely to view a new technology and process with suspicion,” commented Eden Zoller, principal analyst at Ovum.

“On the positive side, Samsung is a hugely popular smartphone brand with global reach, while PayPal is a trusted payments service provider. This is a powerful combination.”

Another feature impressing the crowd was the device’s black-and-white mode – designed to save battery life by limiting the power used by the screen and disabling all but essential features such as text and calls.

“Samsung appears to have cherry-picked the most crowd-pleasing features available from other manufacturers,” said Ernest Doku from uSwitch.com.

“A fingerprint ID sensor and an attractive gold model like Apple’s iPhone 5s, a water and dust-resistant body like Sony’s Xperia Z2, and photography credentials to challenge the best from Nokia.”

No Tizen

Samsung is by far the dominant player in smartphones globally.

According to Strategy Analytics, 452 million Samsung devices were shipped in 2013 – far greater than Apple’s 153 million.

But sales of the S5′s predecessor, the S4, were seen as disappointing compared to the growth achieved by the S3.

The company also faces a growing threat from emerging Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi, ZTE and Lenovo.

Some had speculated before the event that Samsung would eventually drop Google’s Android software in favour of a fledgling system known as Tizen.

However, while the company’s new smartwatches will use Tizen rather than Android, the flagship smartphone is, for now, sticking with Google’s system.

This is likely to be of relief to the search giant – it is Samsung’s enormous market share that makes Android the most popular mobile operating system.

“What perhaps is the most interesting aspect of the device is what Samsung did not announce, effectively putting to bed a number of rumours,” said Ovum analyst Nick Dillon.

“These included suggestions at both ends of the scale that that the device would be running Tizen OS and that it would be using a ‘pure’ Google version of Android.

“That it has neither tells us both that Tizen is unlikely to see a major handset launch this year and that Google and Samsung are still operating at arm’s length.”

 

 

 Samsung Adds Biometrics To Latest Galaxy
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Indian Muslim Hunts For Lover In Taliban Land; Disappears

By Aglaia Staff

Fifteen months ago, a 26-year-old management graduate from Mumbai set off on a journey few would ever contemplate. Indian Muslim Hamid Nehal Ansari took a flight to Kabul and sneaked into Pakistan to meet a girl he had met on the internet and fallen in love with. 

After reaching Kabul on November 4, 2012, Ansari illegally crossed into the wilds of north-west Pakistan to meet his soul mate who had informed him that her family was in the process of fixing a match for her — the trigger for Hamid’s courageous, if risky, adventure. 

On Monday, the Supreme Court could offer little succour to Ansari’s mother Fauzia, who had moved the court seeking a direction to the Centre to pursue the case of her son with the Pakistani government after he vanished in Taliban territory in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Hamid was last traced to Pakistan’s Kohat region where he stayed with a journalist working for an Urdu daily after crossing the border around November 10. Indian high commission officials in Pakistan have been unable to trace him thereafter. 

After the young man virtually vanished into thin air, his relatives discovered from Facebook posts that he had used the ruse of a job interview in Kabul for a pre-planned journey to meet the girl whom he had met and wooed on the social networking site. 

Fauzia’s worries grew as she learnt that Kohat was not too far from Taliban-dominated Waziristan area. She moved the Supreme Court in November 2013 for a direction to the Union government to trace her son and ensure his safe return to India

She had complained to a bench of Justices Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Pinaki Chandra Ghose that her letters to the Pakistani government had gone unacknowledged and the stock reply of the Indian high commission was that they were trying to elicit information on Hamid’s whereabouts from Islamabad. 

She was worried that like many Indians who had crossed into Pakistan without valid papers, Hamid could have been arrested and lodged in a prison by the authorities there. The stories about inhuman treatment meted out to Indian prisoners were reflected in her nervous petition. 

The bench ordered that a copy of Fauzia’s petition be served on additional solicitor general Indira Jaising, who in turn informed the court on the last two occasions that the Indian government was trying its best through diplomatic channels to elicit information about Hamid’s whereabouts in Pakistan. 

On Monday, advocate Abhinav Mukherjee told the bench of Prasad and Ghose that Hamid had gone through Rotary Club for a cultural exchange programme in Afghanistan on November 4, 2012. He allegedly crossed over to Pakistan’s Kohat region on November 10 through an illegal route and stayed there with a friend, a journalist with Urdu daily ‘Dastak’. 

The journalist confirmed to the Indian high commission that Hamid indeed stayed with him for two days and had talked about his friendship with the girl in Kohat. It also transpired that Pakistani security agencies reportedly apprehended Hamid, but the trail went cold thereafter. 

Satisfied with the government’s prolonged efforts to trace Hamid, the bench disposed of Fauzia’s petition to send back the mother empty-handed. The bench said given the facts and circumstances of the case, there was little the government and even less the court could do. 

 

 Indian Muslim Hunts For Lover In Taliban Land; Disappears
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Vindu Dara Singh Alleges IPL Fixed; Vijay Mallya Into Betting

By Aglaia Staff

Vindu Dara Singh, one of those allegedly involved in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, has made some startling claims in a sting operation on the subject aired by Zee News, an Indian television channel. Singh claims that the real battle regarding the IPL lies in the fight between the current chief of the BCCI, N. Srinivasan, and former IPL commissioner, Lalit Modi.“This entire case is actually a tussle between Modi and Srinivasan. We have nothing to do with it,” Vindu tells the reporter. “Lalit Modi just needed a chance to get Srinivasan out.”

Singh goes on to add that he was involved in betting and claims that just as he was being used as a pawn to get to Srinivasan.“They (cops) said, ‘We know you haven’t done anything, but there’s pressure from Sharad Pawar sahab and until Srinivasan isn’t nabbed you will have to stay. You will have to stay here for 10-15 days or a month’,” he says.

Meiyappan had lost a huge bet Singh claims. Asked why he was the chosen medium, he says: “Gurunath is Srinivisan’s brother-in-law. If anything is proved against Guru then…”

Singh also says that the IPL is “100 percent fixed” and that he is only aware of one owner who is directly involved in betting, Vijay Mallya.“Barring Vijay Mallya nobody knows anything. Mallya is himself involved in betting, he earns 100-200 crores in IPL,” he says.

Singh claims that Modi, who started the IPL under Sharad Pawar’s watch, rubbed the Congress the wrong way when the took the IPL to South Africa. Back by Pawar, Modi took Shashi Tharoor, an investor in an IPL team, to task and that was the basis for this battling.

Singh’s last statement though, raises questions. “Sharad Pawar is a ‘great’ man. These people are challenging him and we are getting dragged into it… Today you (media) are taking the fight to him — he can shut your channel,” he says.

Nowhere during or after the interview, has it been explained how or in what capacity the reporter approached Vindu Dara Singh. Also, how was he able to specify to the reporter that Sharad Pawar could shut the channel in question, especially as he did not know that he was being recorded?

 

 Vindu Dara Singh Alleges IPL Fixed; Vijay Mallya Into Betting
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Harold Ramis Dies At 69

By Aglaia Staff

Acclaimed filmmaker Harold Ramis has died at the age of 69.

It is understood that the writer, director and actor, best known for his work on hit comedies such as Caddyshack, Club Paradise and Groundhog Day, died at 12.53am this morning. He also co-wrote and starred in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II, playing the bookish ghost-hunter Egon Spengler.

t has been reported that he died from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that affects the blood vessels. Ramis was diagnosed with the disease in 2010.

In a statement, his family said: “His creativity, compassion, intelligence, humour and spirit will be missed by all who knew and loved him.”

During his 45-year career, the Chicago-born Ramis worked with a number of leading actors, including Bill Murray in army comedy Stripes, Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters and Chevy Chase in Ramis’ directorial debut, Caddyshack.

In 1997, he played Dr Martin Bettes alongside Jack Nicholson in the Oscar-winning film As Good as It Gets, directed by James L Brooks, and in 1999 he directed Robert De Niro in the gangster comedy, Analyze This.

Ramis told the Wall Street Journal in 2009: “My early movies were all about individuals against institutions, and empowering the underdogs. I always thought of our characters as smart rebels, as opposed to losers.”

Described by film producer Brian Glazer as “the father of the modern Hollywood comedy”, Ramis was inducted into the St Louis Walk of Fame in 2004 and was the recipient of the Austin Film Festival’s Distinguished Screenwriter Award in 2005.

The last film he directed was historical comedy Year One, starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, which was released in 2009.

 

 Harold Ramis Dies At 69
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Chutki Does Not Have The Punch Gutthi Had: Kapil Sharma

By Aglaia Staff

Kapil Sharma, who made it a point to watch the inaugural episode of his former associate Sunil Grover‘s Mad In India, says the latter shouldn’t have ever quit his show Comedy Nights With Kapil. 

Sunil Grover effectively and effortlessly portrayed Gutthi in Comedy Nights With Kapil before leaving the show late last year. He has now embarked on his own show Mad In India, where he plays the character of Chutki. 

 

“I am saying this with not a shred of excessive humility, but the show belongs to the entire talented team. Upasana Singh who plays my Bua, Kiku Sharad who plays Palak ,Ali Asgar as Daadi and Sumona Chakravarty who plays my wife and, of course, Sidhu paaji (Navjot Singh Sidhu).” 

“I don’t know. Sunil has been around trying to find his bearings in the entertainment industry. He’s my senior. I’ve the highest regard for his talents. And I am not the kind to feel threatened or competitive about anyone.

“In fact, I go out of my way to ensure every member of my team has a chance to take centrestage, so I can relax. Sunil must have been provoked into leaving by people around him,” said Kapil Sharma, who launched Comedy Nights With Kapil on Colors in June last year.

Jo baat Gutthi mein thi hamare show mein, woh baat mujhe Chutki mein nahin dikhi (I don’t find Sunil’s Chutki act to be comparable with his Gutthi on my show).

Mad In India went on air on Star Plus on February 16.

 

 Chutki Does Not Have The Punch Gutthi Had: Kapil Sharma
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Samsung Galaxy S5 To Be Launched Today

By Aglaia Staff

Samsung Electronics will unveil its highly-anticipated Galaxy S5 at the event scheduled at the Mobile World Congress on Monday in Barcelona.

The Galaxy S5 is variously rumoured to have a fingerprint scanner on the home button; a 5.24-inch, full high-definition display; a water and dust-proof case, possibly metallic, and a 16 megapixel camera

Samsung has already sent out invitations for “Samsung unPacked 5″ event on February 24 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

The world’s biggest smartphone maker is bracing for its weakest mobile annual profit growth in seven years amid fierce competition from Apple Inc and Chinese vendors, and as growth for high-end smartphones eases due to near saturation in many markets.

The launch at the annual industry gathering is set to reflect a new emphasis on costs, marking a departure from the glitzy marketing Samsung has deployed in the past, including the use of actors and a full live orchestra to launch the S4 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall last year.

Meanwhile, Samsung has launched Sunday a new smart watch, the Gear 2, after a first version won over few critics, adding new features and ditching Google`s Android in favour of its own operating system.

Besides an array of features including sports tracking software and a heart rate monitor, the Gear 2 marks an important and widely rumoured step towards independence from Android.

The watch, available in two models — the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo, which has no camera — will be powered by the Tizen operating system developed by Samsung with various partners to break free of the Android dominance.

 

 Samsung Galaxy S5 To Be Launched Today
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Swamy Slams Jaya Over Release of Rajiv Assassins

By Aglaia Staff

Former Union minister and BJP member Subramanian Swamy slammed the decision by Tamil Nadu (TN) government to release seven people convicted for their role in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. He said the Union government should take a strict view on the issue.

Swamy said the letter by the TN government telling the Centre that it should reply within three days or they would release the convicts was illegal. “The state government has no such right. Only the central government can do so as they have been convicted under a central act,” he said.

Swamy demanded that the PM send a missive to TN chief minister J Jayalalithaa under Article 256 of the Constitution of India and then threaten to use Article 356 to dismiss the government. Swamy said this was needed as the anti-national sentiment in TN was getting encouragement. “This is needed to curb such forces in the state,” he said.

According to Swamy, the accused had in the court expressed pride in carrying out the assassination and said that they did so as India had sent a peace-keeping force to Sri Lanka. “The fact is that the force was sent after a proposal brought in Parliament was cleared,” he said.

Swamy also slammed Congress leader Sonia Gandhi for writing to the President that the convicts should not be given capital punishment. “If she was compassionate why did she not make such a demand for Satwant Singh, who killed Indira Gandhi or for Dhananjay Chatterjee, who kept begging for mercy for 20 years,” he said.

Swamy, who was in the city, to speak at a national seminar on ‘Had Sardar Patel not been successful in building united India, what would have been the fate of the nation’. He praised Patel for uniting the princely states and said the country would not have been what it was without his efforts.

 

 Swamy Slams Jaya Over Release of Rajiv Assassins
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