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MARCH 2018

Eight dead as Dalit protests turn violent

Lucknow/New Delhi : Eight persons

were killed and dozens injured as

Dalit protests during a day-long

nation-wide shutdown on Monday

turned violent in India amid anger

against a Supreme Court order that

dilutes a law aimed at preventing

atrocities against Dalits and Tribes.

One person was killed in

Muzaffarnagar and over 100 were

injured on Monday as violence singed

many parts of the state during the

“Bharat Bandh” enforced by Dalit

groups in protest against a ruling of

the Supreme Court with regard to the

SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act,

police said. Maximum violence in the

state was reported from western Uttar

Pradesh, where the protesters took to

the streets and went on rampage. More

than 450 people, including a former

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator,

have been arrested.

The police and state Home

Department officials said the National

Security Act (NSA) would be invoked

against the lumpen elements who took

law in their hands. Additional security

forces were rushed to Agra, Meerut,

Muzaffarnagar and Hapur districts

where the situation went out of control

by evening.

Two persons were critically injured

in police firing in Muzaffaranagar, one

of whom later succumbed. More than

two dozen vehicles were set on fire in

Hapur and hundreds were attacked.

Dalit protesters here also vent their ire

on Hapur legislator Vijaypal Aadhati

and attacked his car. An Additional

Superintendent of Police (ASP) was

also injured in the violence. Over three

dozen policemen were injured in

Muzaffarnagar and Meerut as protesters

pelted stones on them and engaged

in brick-batting.

An irate mob also tried to torch the

family court premises and set on fire

the Shobhapur police outpost.

Violence and road jams due to squatting

of protesters was also reported on

the busy Delhi-Yamunotri highway in

Saharanpur. Roads were blocked in

Shamli and Bulandshahr and the protesters

targeted trains and blocked

them by lying on the rail tracks.

Several trains including Taj Express,

Gatimaan Express, Karnataka Express

and Kochi Express were delayed by

several hours due to the disruption of

rail traffic.

Violence has also been reported

from Agra and Firozabad. Initially,

there were reports that a Dalit youth

had been killed in the violence, but

Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind

Kumar categorically denied it.

“That incident was separate. It happened

last night and had nothing to do

with the Monday protests,” the official

told IANS. Demonstrations were also

held in Rampur, Amroha, Sambhal,

Moradabad, Pilibhit, Budayun,

Bareilly and Shahjahanpur. In

Gorakhpur, 16 persons were taken into

custody after they were caught forcing

shopkeepers to down shutters. They

had also damaged a bank ATM.

Trump to unveil China tariff list

this week, targeting tech goods

Washington : The Trump

administration this week will

unveil the list of Chinese

imports targeted for US tariffs

to punish Beijing over technology

transfer policies, a move

expected to intensify trade tensions

between the world’s two

largest economies.

The list of $50

billion to $60 billion

worth of annual

imports is

expected to target

“largely high-technology”

products

and it may be more

than two months before tariffs

take effect, administration officials

have said. The US Trade

Representative’s office needs to

unveil the list of products by

Friday under President Donald

Trump’s China tariff proclamation

signed on March 22.

The tariffs are aimed at forcing

changes to Chinese government

policies that USTR says

results in the “uneconomic”

transfer of US intellectual

property to Chinese companies.

The agency’s “Section 301”

investigation authorizing the

tariffs alleges China has systematically

sought to misappropriate

US intellectual property

through joint venture requirements,

unfair technology

licensing rules, purchases of

US technology firms with state

funding and outright theft.

China has

denied that its

laws require

technology

transfers and

has threatened

to retaliate

against any US

tariffs with

trade sanctions of its own, with

potential targets such as US

soybeans, aircraft or heavy

equipment. On Sunday, Beijing

slapped extra tariffs of up to 25

percent on 128 US products

including frozen pork, as well

as wine and certain fruits and

nuts in response to steep US

tariffs on imports of aluminum

and steel announced last month

by the Trump administration.

Fears have arisen that the two

countries will spiral into a trade

war that will crush global

growth.

Petrol price near 5-

year high in Delhi

New Delhi, The petrol

price in Delhi touched a nearfive

year high of Rs 73.83 a

litre on Monday while the

price of diesel also touched a

fresh record high in the

national capital, supported by

the recent surge in global

crude oil prices. In Mumbai,

Kolkata, Chennai, prices of

petrol reached multi-year

highs of Rs 81.69 per litre, Rs

76.54 and Rs 76.59 respectively,

the Indian Oil website

showed. The previous highs

in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata

and Chennai were Rs 74.10

per litre (September 2013), Rs

81.75 (July 2014), Rs 77.88

(May 2012) and Rs 77.53

(May 2012) respectively.

In Delhi, diesel was priced

at Rs 64.69 a litre on Monday.

In Mumbai, Kolkata and

Chennai, diesel prices were

Rs 68.89, Rs 67.38 and Rs

68.24 respectively. The surge

in diesel prices gains prominence

as the fuel is used in

transportation of food and

agriculture products, and a

rise in its prices may lead to

food inflation.

Kim attends concert by South Koreans

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday

attended the first concert in Pyongyang for over a

decade by South Korean entertainers, the latest

gesture of reconciliation before a crucial inter-

Korean summit South Korea’s Culture Minister

Do Jong-whan (R) flanked Kim at the rare concert

in which the 120-member group — 11 musical

acts as well as dancers, technicians and martial

artists — performed Kim said inter-Korean cultural

events should be held more often and suggested

another event in Seoul this autumn.


2 MARCH 2018

UNITED KINGDOM

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

International Development Secretary

calls on the global community to

‘end the cycle of crisis’ in Somalia

Penny Mordaunt tells donors that despite

success at averting a famine last year, drought

is still a serious threat Somalia. International

Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt will

tell an audience of global donors today that

while swift action last year saved thousands

of lives and held-off famine in Somalia, “the

job is not yet done”. At an event co-hosted by

the Department for International

Development (DFID), the Federal Republic

of Somalia and the Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

(OCHA), the International Development

Secretary will praise the efforts of the international

community in 2017 – but call for

continued global support for the 5.4 million

people in need living in Somalia. Six years

ago Somalia was ravaged by a deadly famine

which killed 260,000 people – half of those

who died were children. With extreme weathers

and an unprecedented fourth consecutive

year of poor rain forecast for the country, Ms

Mordaunt will today deliver the stark warning

that half the population is still hungry and

at risk of disease – and will call on global

partners to generate innovative ideas for

building long-term resilience to drought.

International Development Secretary Penny

Mordaunt said:

Last year the UK stood up and called for

international action at a landmark conference

to agree critical help for the people of

Somalia. Together, we helped avert a famine

and saved thousands of lives. But drought

continues to haunt Somalia, where today half

the population is hungry and at risk of disease.

The job is not yet done.

Drought and famine do not have to go

hand-in-hand. We must harness the potential

of new ideas to build future-proof resilience

against drought – and end the cycle of crisis.

We cannot let the world forget Somalia. It’s

not just the right thing to do – we are all less

safe when hunger and poverty are free to feed

extremism and mass irregular migration. The

International Development Secretary will

today announce a further emergency package

to get urgently needed medical, nutritional,

health and livelihood support to the country,

including to 54,000 children who will be

treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition.

The package will be distributed before the

end of March 2018, to ensure urgent delivery

of these life-saving services.

UN humanitarian chief and Emergency

Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said:

Last year, more than US$90 million from the

UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund

(CERF) and the Somalia Humanitarian Fund

were released to mitigate against the worsening

food security situation in Somalia.

Thanks to generous and timely contributions

from the UK and other donors, the Somalia

Humanitarian Fund is this year already programming

$22 million for life-saving support.

The CERF is also stepping up quickly

with complementary, time-critical and lifesaving

funding which will help minimize further

displacement of people in Somalia and

other risks caused by the drought.

Multi-million-pound contract to enhance

Royal Navy Type 45 fleet resilience

The Ministry of Defence has

announced a £160 million contract

with BAE Systems to

update the power and propulsion

system fitted to the Royal

Navy’s Type 45 destroyers.

The Power Improvement

Project (PIP) will enhance the

resilience of the Type 45 class

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Editor-in-chief

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Marketing & Creative Manager

Columnists

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by installing additional power

generation sources in each ship.

Delivered as a major conversion

project, the PIP will

replace the two existing generators

with three larger units

capable of delivering the ships

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sustaining more than 100 highly

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covers the design and integration

of the technical solution,

supply of equipment and physical

installation into all six

Type 45 destroyers. The contract

forms part of Project

Napier which was established

in 2014 and builds on the work

carried out in the first strand of

the project, known as the

Equipment Improvement Plan

which addresses the reliability

of existing equipment. Director

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Defence Equipment and

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Lawson said: This contract

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and I am extremely pleased

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

UNITED KINGDOM

MARCH 2018

Students and Parents Losing Charm

in the Indian Education System

3

Education is the only tool

with the help of which man or

woman can achieve economic

and social mobility in the society.

Today, the education system

in India is in great shambles.

Quantity rather than quality

is the mantra of today. We

can safely argue that the deterioration

of the education system

in India transpired primarily

due to non-inclusive policies

and recently a drastic cut in the

financial budget for the education

sector by the BJP government.

Privatization of education

sector has added additional

vows particularly

for the underprivileged

groups. Higher

fees charged by private

schools increase the

economic burden on

parents and students

and put education out

of reach of students

from economically

and socially marginalized

sections of our

society. ‘Digitization’

of every government department

would further reduce the

number of jobs for the nontechnical

workforce.

Technology and innovation

are welcome but not at the cost

of a huge underprivileged population

of the country. The

youths belonging to the underprivileged

groups are economically

so poor as unable to gain

technical skills which are, in

today`s world, essential to gain

employment. Their parents are

abysmally poor and are not in

position to buy a computer or

install 24×7 internet facilities

as compared to the

children of elite

class. From this,

one can draw a

conclusion that

Brahmins who

failed to annihilate

caste based reservation

in India.

Day by day,

Rahul Kumar

Balley, Senior

Correspondent

educational credentials

are becoming

obsolete due to

which desperation

among the students as well parents

keep on increasing.

Graduates with professional

degrees are sitting idle at home

since there is hardly any job

available for them in the market.

Recently, suicide by IIT

students indicate clearly that

the there is something wrong

with the education system.

According to Director General

of Civil Aviation (DGCA),

more than 5000 pilots are jobless.

Unemployed graduates

lead a life of social segregation.

Sustainable settlement in life is

delayed because of uncertainty

of job. According to the fifth

Annual Employment

–Unemployment Survey in

2015-16, 85% of India`s workers

earn upto or under just Rs

10,000 a month.

On the other hand, the government

jobs are disappearing.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

and RSS are bent upon liquidating

reservation meant for the

welfare of socially and economically

backward groups.

Corporate Houses are commonly

owned and run by

Brahmins in India, hardly prefer

to recruit educated youths

from the underprivileged

groups. The common pretext

used by the private companies

is that educated youths lack

industry relevant skills hence

they cannot be hired. The educated

youths belonging to the

underprivileged groups feel

doubly discriminated.

The current scenario in the

premier central and state educational

institutions is hugely

gloomy. Almost all central and

state universities in India are

infested with dirty politics. The

interference of RSS/VHP like

organization, with a medieval

mindset, in the administration

of the universities has blocked

future growth of education.

Promotion of Upanishads and

Bhagwad Gita in the educational

institutions has prevented

scientific thought to take place

among the students. Tax

payer’s money worth millions

of dollars have wastefully been

spent by Haryana Tourism

Corporation Limited to celebrate

International Geeta Jyanti

Utsav. This huge amount could

be utilized in improvising the

depleted conditions of government

schools in Haryana. In

this case Modi` s ‘MANN KI

BAAT’ failed to convince the

heads of the state government

from wasting tax payer`s

money.

In some states of India, highly

educated youths are lured by

criminal gangs. The primary

motive of joining criminal

gangs is to earn money and fulfill

their desires and wishes.

Youths with discernible technical

degrees assist the criminal

gangs to cheat innocent people

with the help of distance-driven

technology. Jobless growth in

India is a great challenge to the

peace and stability in the society.

In the absence of remedial

measures, this anger and desperation

of unemployed youths

can pave the way for a civil war

in the country.

Third Tide-Class

Tanker Arrives in UK

The third of four new support

tankers to be delivered to

the UK has arrived in Cornwall

for customisation and trials

before entering service with the

Royal Fleet Auxiliary and being

deployed on operations with the

Royal Navy. The arrival of RFA

Tidesurge comes just weeks

after her sister ship, RFA

Tidespring, met up at sea with

aircraft carrier HMS Queen

Elizabeth for the first time.

The 39,000-tonne tankers

can carry up to 19,000 cubic

metres of fuel and 1,400 cubic

metres of fresh water in support

of Royal Navy operations all

over the world. The detailed

customisation work to prepare

RFA Tidesurge and her sister

ships for operations is being

undertaken at the A&P shipyard

in Falmouth, sustaining

around 300 jobs. Minister for

Defence Procurement Guto

Bebb said: The arrival of RFA

Tidesurge in Cornwall marks

another key milestone in the

Tide Class programme.

Tidesurge will soon join her

sister ships in providing the

integral support which powers

our warships and helps our

Royal Navy maintain a truly

global presence. While in

Falmouth RFA Tidesurge will

be fitted with UK specific

armour, self-defence weaponry

and communications systems,

with the total UK work content,

including A&P, in the Tide

Class programme worth around

£150 million and sustaining

further jobs at 27 UK-based

companies. The customisation

work is expected to take around

four months after which RFA

Tidesurge will begin final sea

trials before entering service in

Autumn this year.

Meanwhile, RFA Tidespring,

which was preparing to conduct

a Replenishment at Sea (RAS)

refuelling when it met with

HMS Queen Elizabeth in

February, is currently acting as

the training tanker for the

Navy’s Flag Officer Sea

Training (FOST) and will take

part in exercise Joint Warrior in

the Spring. RFA Tiderace,

which is currently docked at

A&P Falmouth, is undergoing

preparations for her capability

trials which are expected to

commence in early April. Sir

Simon Bollom, Chief of

Materiel (Ships) at Defence

Equipment and Support, the

MOD’s procurement organisation,

said: I’m proud to say that

the delivery of the tanker programme

will provide vital support

for the Royal Navy, providing

it with fuel and fresh water,

while also being able to undertake

a wide range of maritime

operations, including humanitarian

relief.

The fourth of the Tide Class

vessels – RFA Tideforce – is

expected to be delivered later

this year. A&P Group has held

the contract to support and

maintain RFA ships at home

and abroad since 2008. Under

the Cluster Support

Programme, A&P Group provides

maintenance support to

groups of MOD vessels, which

include RFAArgus and the RFA

Bay Class vessels Mounts Bay,

Cardigan Bay and Lyme Bay.


4 MARCH 2018

UNITED KINGDOM

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Concluding event of the year-long celebrations of the

350th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji

India - the land which has

been home to one of the oldest

continuous living civilisations

on the planet, has a unique distinction

of being a fertile

ground for the birth of new

religions. This organic process

has not only had a transformative

impact on the world in

many ways, it has also been a

testament of the freedom of

expression, and a yearning for

spiritual upliftment of the people

born in that region.

As we celebrate the 350th

Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru

Gobind Singh Singh Ji, we celebrate

that inherent spiritual

wealth of India. In 2018, as the

world addresses multiple challenges,

India has a lot to offer

as a model of pluralistic, tolerant

and harmonious society, a

country with a multi-religious,

multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic

population, a country which is

a sterling example of unity,

cohesion, and peaceful coexistence.

I would like to take this

opportunity to thank the members

of Indian diaspora, especially in

Midlands and North England

region for their overwhelming

support in making these celebrations

a huge success.

Consul General of India Dr. Aman Puri welcoming the Chief Guest and Key

note speaker of the event, Justice J.S.Khehar, Former Chief Justice of India

In Zafarnama, Sri Guru

Gobind Singh Ji, while addressing

the Mughal Emperor

Aurangjeb indict the Emperor

for moral and spiritual bankruptcy

of his empire.

I would like to quote a verse

from the Zafarnama which is

perhaps the most often quoted:

Chun kar az hameh heelate

dar guzasht

Halat ast burden bi-shamsher

dast

When all has been tried, yet

Justice is not in sight,

It is then right to pick up the

sword,

It is then right to fight.

What I picked from this

verse is that one must exhaust

all other means for a righteous

cause, before picking up the

sword.

What I understand is that

becoming a saint is essential,

before becoming a good soldier.

These 111 stirring stanzas

highlight Sri Guru Gobind

Singh Ji's deep understanding

of the true nature of God and

creation.

There within those verses is

an unshakable faith in the

From left to right - Shri D.P.Singh, Counsellor (Consular) High Commission of

India, London, Bhai Saheb Dr Mohinder Singh , Chairman - Nishkam Guru Nanak

Sewa Jatha, Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India, Birmingham, Justice

J.S.Khehar, Former Chief Justice of India, Ms Mandeep Kaur, Sikh Chaplain to the

British Armed Forces, Dr. Andrew Davies, Director, Edward Cadbury Centre for

the Public Understanding of Religion, University of Birmingham

divine, unfaltering belief in

what's right despite supreme

sacrifice, the like of which is

un heard of in the history of

humanity. We can begin to

envision a powerful figure

who models a life and virtue

that he preaches, a stirring

author and orator who can

rouse the masses to fight for a

just cause, a brave soldier

who has unshakable faith in

his creator, a poet who is

never short of praise for the

supreme lord. And yet all with

such humility.

The message of the Dasam

Guru - Guru Gobind Singh,

the Badshah - Darvesh as

Bhai Nand lovingly writes of

him is universal and has a

timeless relevance.

Dignitaries / guests attending the 'Seminar of the Life and Philosophy of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji' at The Great Hall, University of Birmingham

on the occasion of the concluding event as part of the year-long celebrations of the 350th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ji

Justice J. S. Khehar (Former Chief Justice of India) presenting a souvenir

to Dr. Andrew Davies (Director, Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public

Understanding of Religion, University of Birmingham) for co-hosting the

concluding event ‘Seminar on the Life and Philosophy of Sri Guru

Gobind Singh Ji’ held at The Great Hall, University of Birmingham

VIRENDRA SHARMA MP BACKS CAM-

PAIGN TO EXPAND HEATHROW

Virendra Sharma MP for Ealing,

Southall, has backed building a new

runway at Heathrow because of the

huge number of jobs, the economic

boost and the new regional connectivity

that will come to West London.

Virendra Sharma joined Unite the

Union and Back Heathrow – the

grassroots community campaign for

expansion at Heathrow airport - at a

special Parliamentary Reception on

Tuesday 27th February. Heathrow

will soon be centre stage in

Parliament, with a key vote expected

in the House of Commons before the

summer recess.

An expanded Heathrow is a crucial

infrastructure project that will

create 180,000 jobs nationwide and 10,000 apprenticeships.

It will also provide new domestic connections

that will bring economic benefits to

Ealing, not just London and the South East, which

is why 38 other UK airports are also backing a new

runway at the UK’s only hub airport. Virendra

Sharma MP said: “I think we have much to gain

from a world leading hub, and I look forward to a

revitalised Southall benefiting from investment

driven by an expanded Heathrow.

“There is huge support for Heathrow expansion

from MPs across the Labour Party and the

Government has promised Parliament a vote on

Heathrow expansion before the summer recess –

now they need to deliver it because we can’t wait

any longer. It’s time to get on with it.” Parmjit

Dhanda, Back Heathrow Executive Director, said:

“A new runway at Heathrow represents an opportunity

to create 180,000 unionised jobs across the

country and an opportunity to boost the UK's

economy at an uncertain time. “It's great to be

working with Unite the Union and so many Labour

MPs to help ensure this project is secured in a

Parliamentary vote as soon as possible.

It's great to see so much backing for this campaign

locally in west London and today from MPs

across the country." Diana Holland, Unite

Assistant General Secretary for Transport, said:

“The future Heathrow expansion is an issue of

national importance and fundamental to securing

quality jobs, apprenticeships and growth – for the

whole of the UK. “Building a new runway protects

jobs in aviation and will mean tens of thousands of

new, high-quality jobs, not just in construction but

also in a supply chain that has the potential to

reach every corner of the UK.”


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

UNITED KINGDOM

MARCH 2018

5

INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE

DAY 2018 CELEBRATIONS IN LEICESTER

Her Majesty The Queen Representative Lord - Lieutenant of Leicestershire Lady Gretton Main Guest

Leicester | International Mother

Language Day celebrations on Sunday

25th February at Ramgarhia Sik

Gurdwara was a great success where the

special guests were Her Majesty The

Queen's Representative Lord-

Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Lady

Gretton; The Right Worshipful The

Lord Mayor of Leicester Councillor

Rashmikant Joshi; The Chairman of

Leicestershire County Council Mrs.

Janice Richards and Leicester City

Council Councillor Kulwinder Singh

Johal. The General Conference of the

United Nations Educational, Scientific

and Cultural Organisation {UNESCO}

proclaimed 21st February as the

International Mother Language Day on

17th November 1999 which was first

observed on 21/2/2000. It has been

annually celebrated to promote peace

and multilingualism around the world as

well as to protect all mother languages.

Speaking from the stage Lady Gretton

said that it has been my privilege to have

served as Her Majesty's Representative

in our City and County for the past 14

years and she spoke about 'the language

of the Royal service' and commented "

Her Majesty The Queen has served as

Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada,

Australia, and New Zealand-and as Head

of the Commonwealth-for 66 years. It is

hard to think of any other role model

who has given quite so much in service

over such a prolonged period of time".

She concluded by reading a letter from

Buckingham Palace dated 4th January

2018 in which ..." The Queen was

pleased to be reminded of her visit to

Guru Nanak Gurdwara on 1st August

2002 as part of Her Majesty's Golden

Jubilee celebrations and ...sends her best

wishes to all those who will be gathered

together at Ramgarhia Sikh Gurdwara in

Leicester for a most enjoyable day."

Lady Gretton was presented with a laminated

framed photograph of 'Welcome' in

different languages.

The Lord Mayor was delighted to be

invited to the IMLD celebrations and

said " In order to preserve one's true

identity, heritage, culture and traditions,

then it is vital to teach and encourage

children and adults to speak their own

mother language but also to be able to to

speak the main language of the country

they've made their home. I am very

much encouraged by the Punjabi

Listeners Club who are working so hard

to preserve the Punjabi Language".

Councillor Joshi was presented with

THE SIKHS- a book in English language

on Sikh religion by Gurinder

Singh Sacha. Mrs. Janice Richards was

very pleased to be able to lend her support

to the celebration of the mother

tongue and spoke about 'the language

of civic and community service'. She

was presented with a laminated framed

photograph of the Golden Temple- the

holiest shrine of the Sikh religion.

Ajit Jallandar reporter Sukhjinder

Singh Dhaday, elder family members of

Loyal Kirtan Jatha and Miri Piri Khalsa

Dhadi Jatha were presented with trophies.

Certificates and special 'Punjabi

Bags' were presented to Gurkiran Kaur

Loyal, Gursimran Kaur Loyal, Guraman

Singh Loyal, Karandeep Singh, Jugraj

Singh and Satvir Singh for their contribution

in the celebrations. Leicestershire

Partnership NHS Trust provided Mental

Health Awareness and volunteers from

Basics of Sikhi promoted Punjabi

Language and Sikh Religion through

their stall from 10 am to 1 pm. The event

raised £501 for the Lord Mayor's Appeal

- The Alzheimer's Society.

The Co-ordinator of the Punjabi

Listeners Club Tarlochan Singh Virk said

that every person on planet Earth should

feel proud of their own mother tongue language.

We would like to thank all the special

guests, Ramgarhia Sikh Gurdwara,

Civic Affairs Office of Leicestershire

County Council and everyone who contributed

and made the IMLD 2018 celebrations

successful and memorable.

Before coming to power in 2014

Mr. Modi, the Indian Prime Minister

with the support of BJP and RSS

befooled the Dalits by his flowery secular

rhetoric almost from every national

platform. Once Dalit leader (now a

Brahmin leader) Udit Raj(Member of

Parliament in the BJP government)

wrote an article in the Hindustan Times

in which he argued that the Dalits will

benefit by joining the BJP.

Today, when Baba Sahib

Ambedkar`s statue is vandalized by the

RSS miscreants in the city of Meerut;

Dalit leader such as Udit Raj, Vijay

Sampla, Ramdass Athawale seem powerless

and helpless in the BJP party.

Noone has dared to question the

BJP/RSS leaders. The question

remains: "Will anyone of them resign

in protest of vandalisation"?

Appropriation of iconic Dalit leaders

by the BJP nationally and internationally

is a bait to trap Dalits in order

to get their votes.

2019 election is coming soon. The

BJP and RSS have been tempting the

Dalits with new promises. The time has

Ambedkar Statue Vandalised in Meerut

come for the Dalits to understand

regressive and dirty politics of the

BJP/RSS. All Dalits irrespective of

caste or sub-caste affiliation or categorization

must understand that BJP/RSS

can never be on the side of Dalits.

Digital payment app BHIM, celebration

of 125th Ambedkar`s birth

anniversary and nominating Dalit

Kovind as President of India

is nothing but a well -thought

Rahul Kumar

(Senior Political

Correspondent)

strategy of the BJP/RSS. The

BJP/RSS is an anti- minority

party and would remain

ever so. The more the

BJP/RSS win states,

the more killing, vadalisation

of Dalit icon

statue will take place

In three and half

years of the BJP ruling

at the centre, the unemployment

of the Dalits increased manifolds.

Reserved seats in different government

departments are lying unfulfilled.

New methods are devised everyday

by the higher echelons of the

BJP/RSS to curtail the number of

reserved seats meant for the Dalits.

Reservation will be annihilated sooner

or later by such precarious methods.

In this scenario, the SC/ST/OBC of

India must not vote for the BJP. Stop

the BJP coming to power in 2019 by all

means. Do not trust people like Udit

Raj. He or others like him might come

to your doors with fresh promises but

never trust such chameleons.

All Dalits must keep in mind if

by hook or crook the BJP succeed in

gaining power in 2019, the members

of underprivileged groups will be

forced to beg on the street; their

educated children will be forced either

to commit suicide or to sell Pakoras

on the roadside.

I firmly believe that the members of

the Dalit community are smart. Let

us exercise our wisdom in the larger

interest of progeny.


6 MARCH 2018

ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

280% spike in buses

plying illegally in Delhi

New Delhi, The number of buses found plying illegally in the

national capital has increased by 282 per cent, the Delhi government

informed the Assembly on Tuesday.

The total number of buses found plying illegally has increased to

7,961 in 2017-18 (till February) from 2,084 in 2016-17 — an

increase of 280 per cent, the government said in reply to a starred

question. Also, the number of challans issued has increased to 13,962

in 2017-18 (till February) from 3,010 in 2016-17.

The reply said the number of such buses impounded jumped to

5,359 from 748 in the same time period in 2016-17.

Taj entry restricted to three

hours from Sunday

Agra, Entry to the Taj Mahal will be restricted to only three hours

starting from Sunday, according to a notice issued by the

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

The decision was taken to reduce “human load” on the fragile, 17th

century monument of love which has started showing signs of

fatigue and ageing, the notice said. ASI sources said the modalities

were being worked out as extra staff would be needed to check tickets

and enforce new timing instructions. The crowd management at

the white marble

mausoleum had

become a huge

challenge for the

CISF, as on holidays

and weekends

the number of visitors

exceeded

50,000, excluding

children below 15

years who can enter

for free and therefore

not recorded.

Deadline for linking

Aadhaar with PAN

extended till June 30

New Delhi, The government on Tuesday extended the deadline

for linking Aadhaar

with PAN for the

fourth time by three

more months, till

June 30. The earlier

deadline was March

31. The decision

came after the

Supreme Court earlier

this month

extended the deadline

for linking of

various services

with Aadhaar till it

delivers its judgment on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional

validity of the biometrical identification scheme.

During the proceedings, the government had told the Supreme

Court that if required it might consider extending the March 31

deadline for linking Aadhaar to various government schemes as well

as mobile phones and bank accounts. This is the fourth time that the

deadline for Aadhaar-Permanent Account Number (PAN) linking

has been extended. The government had first made it mandatory to

link Aadhaar number with PAN till July 1, 2017. It first extended it

to August 31, 2017 and then to December 31, 2017 citing difficulties

faced by taxpayers. As many taxpayers had not completed the

linking of PAN with Aadhaar even till December 31, the government

extended the deadline till March 31 this year.

Last week, the government had also extended the last date for reverification

of mobile connections through Aadhaar based E-KYC

process till the Supreme Court’s verdict.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

ASIA

‘JNU students, teachers

demands ‘unreasonable’’

New Delhi,

Facing a total lockdown,

the Jawaharlal Nehru

University (JNU) on Monday proclaimed

teachers’ and students’

demands as “completely unreasonable”

and appealed them to not

obstruct study of non-agitating students.

The JNU Students’ Union

(JNUSU) and teachers’ association

have the university under a complete

lock-down, with hardly any classes

being held, since last Monday over

various differences with the varsity

administration, including sexual

harassment charges against a number

of professors and alleged scuttling of

reservation in admission for the SC,

ST, and OBCs. “Some teachers have

demanded to ‘reinstate the faculty

members who were summarily dismissed

from their administrative posts

as dean/chairperson’, to ‘put on hold

implementation of all the decisions’

regarding holding of M.Phil/Ph.D.

viva through video conferencing,

mandatory attendance for students, delinking

of M.Phil/Ph.D. programmes

etc. “All these demands are completely

unreasonable and tantamount to

going against JNU rules and regulation,”

the university Registrar said in a

note appealing the protesters to call off

their strike. The administration

attacked the JNU Teachers’

Association (JNUTA) especially,

accusing it of violating the university

rules by “organising protests, demonstrations

and marches in the prohibited

area” despite their advice.

“The administration urges the

JNUTA and JNUSU office bearers to

refrain from all those activities that

have vitiated the academic atmosphere

of the university and prevented normal

functioning of various offices,” it

added. On Monday, the JNUTA

announced an extension of its strike for

another three days. Responding to this,

the administration warned the teachers

of non–payment of their salaries for

the days they were on strike “under the

principle of ‘no work, no pay'”.

Later, in another

note, the administration

invited the agitating

teachers for a “discussion…

to put forth their

views on this critical

issues”

MARCH 2018

7

Airtel to acquire Gulf

Bridge International’s

India operations

New Delhi | Telecom service

provider Bharti Airtel on Tuesday

announced an agreement with global

cloud service provider Gulf Bridge

International (GBI) to acquire the

India leg of GBI’s India-Middle East-

Europe submarine cable system.

“Under the agreement, Airtel will

acquire the ownership of the India leg

of GBI’s India-Middle East-Europe

submarine cable,” the Indian telecom

major said in a statement, adding

that: “Airtel will also pick up a significant

capacity on Middle East-

Europe section of GBI’s cable system.”

The company, however, did not

divulge the acquisition amount.

Airtel and GBI also agreed to formulate

joint “go-to-market” strategies

and leverage the footprint of their

respective global networks to serve

global customers, it said. “GBI is a

multilayer terrestrial and subsea

cable-meshed network, which bridges

the East to the West through the

Middle-East,” the statement said.

“With this (agreement), we are adding

a large capacity to meet the growing

data, content demand in markets like

India as well as serve the connectivity

needs of global carriers and enterprise

customers,” said Ajay Chitkara,

Director and CEO for Global Voice

and Data Business, Bharti Airtel.

Dalai Lama

events in Delhi

CANCELLED

Dharamsala | The Tibetan government-in-exile has decided to

cancel its two main events in New Delhi slated to mark 60 years of

its exile India. The events, which were to be attended by Tibetan

spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, were scheduled on March 31 and

April 1. However, officials of the Central Tibetan Administration

(CTA) headquartered here were tight-lipped about the development.

A media report quoting CTA spokesperson Sonam Dagpo, who is

based here, said: “The Thyagaraj stadium event has been shifted to

Dharamsala now. And the inter-faith prayer at Rajghat has been cancelled

for now. “India is host to Tibetan refugees. We respect the

Indian government’s decision. We have no further comments,” said

Dagpo. The CTA had planned an inter-faith prayer at the Gandhi

Samadhi in Rajghat in Delhi on March 31 and a ‘Thank You India’

event at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex on April 1.

Sixty years ago, some 80,000 Tibetans, along with their spiritual

leader the Dalai Lama, left Lhasa after a failed uprising against

Communist rule over Tibet and fled to India. The Tibetan exile

administration, called the CTA, is based in this northern Indian hill

town, where the spiritual leader also lives. The Tibetan administration

is launching a round-the-year campaign in India on March 17

from Arunachal Pradesh to reach out to the Indian community

through “Thank You India” events. Both the New Delhi events were

also part of “Thank You India” campaign. The spiritual leader

entered India on March 31, 1959, through Arunachal Pradesh, along

with his followers.

Pakistan

violates

ceasefire

along LoC

in J&K

Jammu, After a lull of ten

days, Indian and Pakistan

army traded fire on the line of

control (LoC) in Poonch district

on late Tuesday.

A Defence Ministry official

said the Pakistan army

started shelling and firing at

Indian positions in Khari

Karmara area of the LoC in

Poonch district.

“Pakistan firing started at

8.30 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday)

and continued for nearly half

an hour. Our troops retaliated

effectively and strongly”, the

official said.

Tuesday’s ceasefire violation

came after ten days of lull

on the borders.

On March 18, five members

of a family were killed

and two others injured when a

mortar shell fired from across

the LoC hit a residential

house in Balakote sector of

Poonch district.


8 MARCH 2018

ASIA

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

India denied

visas to over 500

pilgrims: Pakistan

Islamabad | Islamabad said on

Monday that New Delhi denied visa to

more than 500 pilgrims who were to join

the annual Urs celebrations at Ajmer in

India this month.

“Pakistan notes with deep disappointment

the non-issuance of visas by India

for the visit of the 503 Pakistani (pilgrims)

to participate in the Urs of Hazrat

Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer

Sharif on March 19-29,” the Foreign

Ministry said in a statement. The

Pakistani pilgrims have been deprived of

the opportunity to participate in the gathering,

which is of special significance to

them, the statement said.

Earlier, 192 Pakistani pilgrims could

not take part in the annual gathering of

another Sufi saint, Hazrat Khawaja

Nizamuddin Aulia, in Delhi in January

due to the non-issuance of visas by India,

according to the foreign ministry.

New Delhi : Four days

after Jawaharlal Nehru

University professor Atul

Johri was booked on

charges of sexual harassment,

the police arrested

him on Tuesday. He was

granted bail within a few

hours.

Deputy

INDIA SUMMONS PAKISTAN

Deputy HC over ceasefire

violations, lodges strong protest

New Delhi : India

on Monday summoned

Pakistan’s Deputy

High Commissioner

Syed Haider Shah and

lodged a “strong

protest” over the loss

of lives of five Indian

civilians in unprovoked

ceasefire violations by

Pakistan from across

the Line of Control in

Jammu and Kashmir

on Sunday.

“The Deputy High

Commissioner of

Pakistan, Syed Haider

Shah was summoned

today and strong

protest was lodged at

the loss of lives of five innocent

Indian civilians (a family comprising

husband, wife and three children)

and grievous injuries to two

other minor children in unprovoked

ceasefire violations by

Pakistan forces on March 18, 2018

in Bhimber Gali Sector across the

Line of Control in the Indian state

of Jammu and Kashmir,” the

External Affairs Ministry said in a

statement.

“It was conveyed that the deliberate

targeting of innocent civilians,

who are located two kilometeres

away from the forward line

of defences, by Pakistan forces

using high calibre weapons, is

highly deplorable and is condemned

in the strongest terms.

Such heinous acts are against

Commissioner of Police

(South West) Milind

Mahadeo Dumbere said

Mr. Johri, professor at the

School of Life Sciences,

came to the police station

on Tuesday afternoon after which

he was questioned and arrested.

He was produced in Patiala House

Courts which granted him bail.

“The police did not ask for custody.

I can’t share further details

because it’s a sensitive matter,”

Mr. Dumbere said.

7 more FIRs

As the pressure grew from JNU

students who demonstrated outside

the Vasant Kunj North police

station on Monday night, the

police registered seven more First

Information Reports in connection

with the case in addition to the

earlier FIR which was registered

under Section 354 (sexual harassment

and punishment for sexual

harassment) and 509 (word, gesture

or act intended to insult the

modesty of a woman) of the

Indian Penal Code. “The other

FIRs have been registered under

other Sections,” said Mr Dumbere.

The court granted bail to Prof.

Johri on a personal bond of ?

30,000 in each of the eight of sexual

harassment cases with the condition

that the accused should not

hamper the investigation. The

police wanted him to be sent to

judicial custody as his interrogation

was over. Moving the bail

application, counsel for the

accused submitted that sending

him to jail would spoil his career.

Delhi Police chief spokesperson

established humanitarian norms

and professional military conduct,”

the statement said.

“Pakistan authorities are called

upon to investigate into such

heinous acts and instruct its forces

to desist from such acts immediately.”

Five members of a family

were killed and two others critically

injured on Sunday in Pakistan

shelling on the Line of Control

(LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s

Poonch district, police said.

According to the police, the

Pakistan Army resorted to indiscriminate

shelling and firing on

the civilian areas and a shell hit the

house of a civilian identified as

Muhammad Ramzan Chowdhary,

killing him, his wife Malka Bi and

three sons. His two daughters were

JNU PROFESSOR ATUL JOHRI

ARRESTED, GRANTED BAIL

Dependra Pathak,

however, claimed

that the bail plea

was opposed by the

police citing the

apprehension of

complainants

regarding intimidation

from the

accused as he is

holding various

authoritative positions

at JNU.

Responding to the

bail, JNUSU president Geeta

Kumari said, “it’s disheartening. I

have been told that he has been

granted bail after he said his career

will be destroyed but how many

careers has he destroyed? The first

girl who came out about the

harassment she faced at his hands

left her PhD because of him. There

are eight women complaining

against him, it should count for

something.” The complainants

told the police that the professor

often “made sexually coloured

remarks, openly demanded sex

and commented on the figure of

almost every woman. If a woman

objected, he held a grudge against

her and threatened to ruin her

research career.”

critically injured.”

In its statement on Monday, the

External Affairs Ministry said that

India’s strong concerns were

shared with the Pakistan Deputy

High Commissioner at continued

unprovoked firing and ceasefire

violations across the Line of

Control and the International

Border.

“More than 560 such violations

have been carried out by Pakistan

forces at the Line of Control so far

during 2018 in which 23 Indian

civilians have been killed and 70

other have been injured.

“The Pakistan side was also

asked to end the support being

given to cross border infiltration of

terrorists, including through covering

fire,” it said.

Easy ways to improve

YOUR DIET

If you are finding it difficult to keep a

check on your diet than it is time to improve

it in a few easy ways.

Re-organise your kitchen: A simple hack to

stop yourself from late night snacking is to

move high-calorie foods to the back of the

fridge, leaving the front free for healthier

snacks like carrot sticks and hummus. Try

storing any sweets, biscuits or chocolates in

opaque containers. It's also a good idea to

reorder your kitchen cupboards, moving

smaller plates to the front, making them more

accessible, as research has found that when

you eat from a small plate, you tend to consume

less food. Ensure you have a balanced

diet: When it comes to improving your diet,

ensure you eat a balance of foods. You should

make sure that you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables,

at least five times a day.

Make sure that they are part of each meal,

for example having a banana with breakfast,

some green vegetables like spinach, or

asparagus for lunch and ensure that half of

your plate for dinner is also vegetables. Also

include starchy foods in your diet - potatoes

with the skin on are a great option. Also try

and make sure that your starchy foods are

wholegrain, as these contain more vitamins

and nutrients than the alternatives. Drink

plenty of water: There are many reasons why

water is an essential component of our diet.

Firstly, water assists the body in disposing off

waste products, it also ensures a stable blood

flow and provides your cells with the hydration

they need in order to function properly.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk ASIA MARCH 2018 9

Railway contract management goes

END-TO-END DIGITAL

New Delhi,

Indian Railways will

now digitise the submission of bills by

vendors for payment and issue of

inspection certificates by inspecting

agencies with the aim of achieving

complete digitisation of its contract

management. Besides, the state-run

transporter has introduced the letter of

credit (LC) mode of payment as an

option in supply/works contracts to

improve transparency and the ease of

doing business. “It has been decided

that all tenders for supply/works having

an estimated value of Rs 10 lakhs

(over $15,000) and above shall include

in tender conditions an option for the

contractors to take payment from railways

through LC arrangements,” said

a senior Railway Ministry official.

It would cost 0.15 per cent of the

LC to the contractors. Indian Railways

has already undertaken steps for digitisation

of its entire supply chain in a bid

to adopt end-to-end paperless working

in contract management by eliminating

human intervention.

“Now, one does not have to come to

the Railways office for submission of

AHEAD OF WHEAT HARVESTING SEASON

Dalits gather to address

concerns over auction of

PANCHAYATI LAND

Echoing similar views, Vinay Partap Singh of Bhim Army

also condemned the decision of the Punjab government to set

up an industrial park in Sangrur over panchayati land.

Sangrur : AHEAD of the

annual auction of panchayati

land, a Dalit mahapanchayat was

held in Kheri Sahib village in

Sangrur in which Dalits gathered

to discuss the annual auction of

land. In the meeting, they

demanded scraping of e-auction

of panchayati land, which they

feel will not be transparent. Till

last year, manual auction was

being conducted across the state.

Mukesh Malaud, president of

Zamin Prapati Sangrash

Committee (ZPSC) said, “Earlier,

we had been protesting against

the SAD-BJP alliance and now

bills and getting inspection certificates,”

said the official, adding: “Bill

approval status can be tracked online.”

The system includes digitisation of

processes like bill submission, inspection,

dispatches, receipt, bill passing

we have gathered so that

Congress government don’t flout

any norms while conducting the

auction. In Sangrur alone, there is

about 10,000 acres of land which

is meant for Dalit peasants, but in

2017-18, Dalits got only 4,000

bighas (i.e1000 acres). Hence,

one can easily imagine what is

the position across the state.”

Gurmukh Singh, Secretary of

ZPSC said,”We got land at an

average rate of Rs 20,000 per

acre in the last financial year for

wheat and paddy farming and

now our demand is to give land to

Dalit farmers on 99 years of

and bill payments, and warrantee monitoring.

With 100 per cent e-tenders

and e-auctions already assimilated into

the system, the Railways is further

planning to build on these initiatives to

achieve seamless flow of materials,

lease.” Gurmukh further said,

“Now the present state government

has plans to set up an industrial

park on Sagrur’s panchayati

land which shows their seriousness

towards land for farming

purposes for Dalits. Earlier,

Congress leaders used to support

us in dharnas and now they are

busy in setting up industrial parks

on panchayati land.”

Echoing similar views, Vinay

Partap Singh of Bhim Army also

condemned the decision of the

Punjab government to set up an

industrial park in Sangrur over

panchayati land.

Bengaluru | A helicopter

shuttle service (HeliTaxi) was

opened in Bengaluru on Monday

for the public between the

Bengaluru airport and the city, in

a bid to provide last-mile

connectivity.

The Bengaluru

International Airport

Limited (BIAL), located

in Devanahalli, about 40

km from the city centre,

had tied up with helicopter

service provider

Thumby Aviation to ferry

air passengers to and

from the city.

“We are currently

operating the service from 6.30

a.m. to 9.30 a.m. and 3.15 p.m.

to 6 p.m. between the airport and

the city through a helicopter that

can seat six passengers,”

Thumby Chairman Group

Captain K.N.G. Nair told IANS.

The fare for each passenger in

the seven-seater (six passengers

finances and information.

The Indian Railways has a vast supply

chain to maintain, sustain and build

its huge asset base, to run the system,

and to provide transportation services.

The Railways’ supply chain has a

large number of stakeholders and

involves huge recurring expenditure of

about Rs 50,000 crore annually. This

supply chain generates large volumes

of business and employment upstream

and hence is critical in the Railways’

functioning. Currently, the Railways

has about 52,000 suppliers registered

with a huge transaction order of rolling

stock, track items, maintenance spares

and other such items. The supply chain

digitisation would encompass integration

of information flows, physical

flows, and financial flows between

railways and its supply chain partners.

It involves completely digitising the

internal business processes of material

supply chain and seamlessly integrating

processes controlled by different

stakeholders digitally to achieve a

completely integrated, paperless and

digitised supply chain.

and a pilot) HeliTaxi is pegged at

Rs 3,500 with additional taxes. A

commuter can opt for the helicopter

shuttle service between

BIAL and Electronic City in the

south (about 70 km from the airport),

which is home to hundreds

of technology firms including,

Infosys and other multinationals,

or Hindustan Aeronautics

Limited (HAL) Airport in the

city centre.

“Bengaluru needed a service

like this much more than the

Pakistan test-fires

long range anti-ship

cruise missiles

Islamabad | Pakistan has successfully

test-fired long range anti-ship cruise

missiles, a statement from the Pakistan

Navy said on Monday. The Pakistan Navy

and the Pakistan Air Force jointly tested

the anti-ship cruise missiles, the C-802

AK, air to surface missiles, which were

fired from both the JF-17 Thunder aircraft

and Pakistan Navy Ship SAIF, Xinhua

reported. The statement noted that the

successful joint launch of the missiles by

two defence forces of Pakistan exhibit the

desired interaction and cooperation

between the two organisations. “Missiles

launched from both platforms, successfully

hit their intended targets which not only

re-asserts the efficacy of the weapon systems

but also manifests the extended

range of Joint PN-PAF Sea-Air operations

and desired synergy between the two

services,” said the statement.

HeliTaxi service opens between

Bengaluru airport and city

other cities due to its poor road

density (the measure of road

length per square km area of

land), as compared to other

Indian cities,” said Nair. The

decision to launch the

helicopter shuttle service

was announced in August

2017 by Union Minister

of State for Civil Aviation

Jayant Sinha.

Currently, the chopper

service provider has

employed only one helicopter

to ferry the air passengers

and will increase

the number depending on

the demand. The

HeliTaxi is expected to make

one to-and-fro trip per hour

between the helipad at BIAL and

Electronic City or HAL Airport.

The chopper service fare is comparable

to a 5-7 seater luxury cab

fare, which costs about Rs

3,000-4,000 from the city’s far

end to the airport.

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& Catering

We Cater For All Occasions;

Weddings, Birthdays,

Engagements Parties or any

other Social Functions.

Big Discounts on

Bulk Orders

Quality Service and

Years of Experience

71 Great Bridge,

Tipton, DY4 7HF

Tel. 0121 238 2648

Mob: 07413 426 930

Mail: vivek_18hp@yahoo.com

Café & Restaurants

84 Oxhill Rd, Birmingham,

B21 9RH | Tel : 0121 554 5517

225 Holyhead Rd, Birmingham

B21 0AP | Tel : 0121 515 4110

20 High St, Smethwick, B’ham,

B66 1DX | Tel : 0121 558 8488

86 High St, Smethwick, B’ham,

B66 1AQ | Tel : 0121 558 8372

Tollgate Shopping Precinct,

Smethwick, Birmingham, B67

7RA | Tel : 0121 565 2122

Tollgate Shopping Centre,

Brewery St, Smethwick, B’ham,

B67 7RA | Tel : 0121 555 8400

285-287 High St, Smethwick,

Birmingham, B66 3NJ

Tel : 0121 565 2187

166 High St,

Harborne,Birmingham,

B179PN

314, High St,

Harborne, Birmingham,

B179PU

10, Rood End Road,

Oldbury, Birmingham,

B688SH

125 High St, West Bromwich,

Birmingham, B70 6NY

Tel : 0121 525 9458

142 High St, West

Bromwich, Birmingham,

B706NY

40 Old Walsall Rd, B’ham,

B42 1NP

205 Dyas Ave, Birmingham,

B42 1HN

572 Kingstanding Rd, B’ham,

B44 9SD | Tel : 0121 373 3549

563 Coventry Rd, Small Heath,

Birmingham, B10 0LP

Tel : Tel: 0121 572 6397

703 - 705 Stratford Road,

Sparkhill, B’ham, B11 4DN

Tel: 0121 778 5100

71 Great Bridge, Tipton, DY4

7HF | 0121 238 2648

48A Lower High St,

Wednesbury, WS10 7AL,

Tel : 0121 505 1211

200 Dudley Rd, Wolverhampton,

WV2 3DT | Tel : 01902 450939

Barcroft Rd, Wolverhampton,

WV2 3HF | Tel : 01902 451113

Cash & Carry /

Supermarkets /

Corner Shops

Radias Superstore

121-127 Melton Rd, City

Centre, Leicester LE4 6QS Tel:

0116 266 9409

A1 Cash and Carry

112 Green Lane Road,

Leicester, LE5 3TJ

Tel: 0116 212 2129

Shah's Pan House

523 Foleshill Rd, Coventry,

CV6 5AU

Tel: 02476 665 2777

Catering

Sukhdev's Catering

Unit 4, 5/7 South Road,

Hockley, Birmingham B18 5LT

Tel: 0121 314 1247

Mail: sukhdev@sukhdevfoods.com

www.sukdhevcaterings.co.uk

Double Glazing

Star Windows (GB) Ltd.

16 Rolfe St, Smethwick,

B’ham B66 2AA

Tel. 0121 555 8333

Electronics

86 Great Hampton St, B’ham,

B186EW

Fence

T & D Fencing

Unit 405, Smethwick Enterprise

Centre, St, Smethwick, B66 2AR

Tel. 0121-565 4533

www.TandDfencing.co.uk

Hardware Store

Queens Park Stores

Diy • Furniture • Beds • Bathrooms

224/230 Court Oak Road,

Harborne, Birmingham B32 2EG

Tel: 0121 – 4282164

www.queensparkstores.co.uk

27A W Bromwich St, Walsall,

WS1 4BP :| Tel : 01922 642329

CLASSIFIED

Health Care

Premium Community Care

86 Digbeth, B’ham B5 6DY

Tel. 0121 643 9808

Insurance

Crownsway Insurance

Brokers Ltd.

183 Holyhead Road,

Handsworth, Birmingham

Tel. 0121 554 3566/9788

www.crownsway.co.uk

Insurance Broker

46 Summer Rd, Birmingham,

B236UR

DJS House, 183 Holyhead

Road, Birmingham, B21 0BD

Tel : 0121 554 3566

Lettings & Sales

Ignite Properties

44A High Street, Leamington

Spa, CV31 1 LW

Tel.: 01926 930 251

www.ignite-properties.co.uk

Angel Estates Ltd

251-253 Rookery Rd,

Birmingham B21 9PU

Phone: 0121 448 0717

M & R Lettings & Sales

Wolverhampton

Tel. 01902 833 844

Sodhi & Co.

123 Evington Road, Leicester

Tel. 0116 255 3455

www.sodiandco.com

Library

Birmingham Rd, Birmingham

B43 6NW

193 High St, Harborne, B’ham,

B179QG

Kingstanding Road, B’ham,

B44 9ST | Tel : 0121 464 5193

Meat Shop

Soand Meat Shop

122 Green Lane Road, Leicester

Tel. 0116 276 0658

326 Ladypool Rd, Birmingha,

B128JY

Punjab Meat Center

16 Tollgate Shopping Precinct,

Smethwick, B’ham B67 7RA

Tel. 0121 448 7279

169 Rookery Rd, Birmingham,

B21 9QZ, Tel : 0121 554 1988

Tollgate Shopping Precinct,

Smethwick , B’ham, B67 7RA

Tel : 0121 558 4441

123 High St, West Bromwich,

Birmingham, B70 6NY

Tel : 0121 553 3555

37 High St, West Bromwich ,

Birmingham, B70 6PB

Tel : 0121 553 5231

600 -602 Coventry Rd, Small

Heath, Birmingham, B10 0US

Tel : 0121 773 0234

542 -544, Coventry Rd, Small

Heath, Birmingham, B10 0UN

Tel: 0121 771 0292

711/713 Stratford Road,

Sparkhill, Birmingham, B11

4DN | Tel: 0121 778 5553

Soand Meat Shop

122 Green Lane Road, Leicester

Tel. 0116 276 0658

Punjab Meat Center

16 Tollgate Shopping Precinct,

Smethwick, B’ham B67 7RA

Tel. 0121 448 7279

Stand Meat Shop

122 Green Lane Road,

Leicester, LE5 3TJ Tel: 0116

276 0658

New Asia Meat Centre

119 Caludon Rd, Coventry CV2

4LR Tel: 024 7644 7900

Gill Meat & Grocery

Unit 12, Tollgate Shopping Centre,

Smethwick, B’ham B67 7RA

Tel : 0121 558 4441

383 Mosley Rd, B’ham,

B129DD

Tat Bank Rd, Oldbury, B’ham

B68 8NR

212 Golden Hillock Rd, B’ham,

B112PN

Birmingham,

B10 0QP

Mortgage

Zakir Mortgage

128 A, Stoney Lane, B’ham

Tel. 0121 449 7091

Mob. 07890 615 016

Motoring

BR Car Care

383-387 Moseley Rd, B’ham

B12 9DD

Tel. 0121 440 0779

Mosque

Off License

Super Wines and Spirits

91-793 Stratford Rd,

Birmingham B11 4DG

Tel: 0121 778 5016

MARCH 2018

10

4-6 Beauchamp Ave, B’ham,

B201DR

255 Lodge Rd, B’ham,

B18 5SJ

91-793 Stratford Rd, B’ham,

B11 4DG | Tel: 0121 778 5016

138 Clay Ln, Coventry,

CV2 4LT

Brax News, 156-160 W

Bromwich St, Walsall,

WS1 4DE

Darlaston, Wednesbury,

WS10 7TQ

Party Hall

Supreme Banqueting and

Conference

10, Roebuck Lane, West

Bromwich, B70 6QP.

Tel: 0121 553 3921

Radio

715-C Parkfield Road

Wolverhampton, WV4 6EE

Tel. 1902 681 655

TM

Sky Digital Channel 0205

24 hour Entertainment

On Sky, On-Line, On Mobiles

Studio : 01902 457875

Reception : 01902 450533

Safety Lockers

MINT Safety Deposit Centres

MacDonald Road, Leicester,

LE4 5HD | Tel. 0345 222 3456

School of Motoring

Bains School of Motoring

Mobile: 07973 281968

Tel: 0121 523 2848

Security Services

Your Security Services Ltd.

86 Digbeth, B’ham B5 6DY

Tel. 0121 448 0750

www.ysrl.co.uk

Singers, Stage and

TV artists

Babbu Chander

Wolverhampton

Mob. 07492 129 321, 07429 119 530

Sukhdev Jassi

Bedford | Mob. 07901 796 669

Pamma Lasadia

Wolverhampton

07448 886 166


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Solicitors Chaudhary’s Cash & Carry

Stratford Rd, Birmingham, B11

4BP | Tel: 0121 778 3800

Dadiyal Supermarket

118-120 Alum Rock Rd, B’ham,

B8 1NH

Desi Bazaar

560 Coventry Rd, Small

Heath, Birmingham, B18 0UN

Tel: 0121 773 9909

Braitch Solicitors

28 Chapel Ash,Wolverhampton

Mob. 07773 374 848

Tel. 01902 711 200

Indian Advocate & Top

Immigration Services

Wolverhampton

Tel.01902 457711

Mob. 078 2828 3992

Midland Immigration

Services Ltd.

255 Melton Road, Leicester

Tel. 0800 0304 998

VKM

48, Queen St, Wolverhampton

WV1 2BJ

Tel: 01902 311 1155

Super Market

Sabar General Stores

113, Holyhead Road,

Handsworth B21 0HH

Tel : 0121 551 6423

Wayco Supermarket

72A Soho Road, Handsworth,

BIRMINGHAM, B21 9BH

Tel : 0121 551 8711

Soho News

129 Soho Rd, BIRMINGHAM,

B21 9ST

Al Halal Supermarket

7 - 13 Alum Rock Rd, B’ham,

B8 1LL | Tel: 0121 327 0074

Al Halal Supermarket

360 Coventry Rd, Birmingham,

B10 0XE | Tel: 0121 753 4391

Al Halal Supermarket

753-770 Stratford Rd, B’ham,

B11 4DG | Tel: 0121 777 1510

Aujla Supermarket

116 High St, West Bromwich,

B‘ham, B706PB

Buy and Save

Rood End Rd, Oldbury, B’ham,

B688SH

Desi Mass Bazar

Ladypool Road, Birmingham,

B128TT

East & West Supermarket

721-725 Stratford Rd, B’ham,

B11 4DN | Tel: 0121 7773904

East & West Super market

132 - 136 Ladypool Rd, B’ham,

B128JA

Food World

121 Villa Rd, Birmingham,

B19 1NH | Tel: 0121 554 6532

Food World Super market

728 Stratford Rd, Birmingham

B11 4BP | Tel: 0121 777 8636

Gill Super market

330A Soho Rd, Birmingham,

B21 9NA | Tel : 0121 523 5272

Grocery Store

New Street, Smethwick, B’ham,

B66 4PH |

Hill Top Super market

125 Hill Top, West Bromwich,

Birmingham, B70 0RU

Tel : 0121 505 3529

Khan Super Market

618 - 620 Coventry Rd, Small

Heath, Birmingham, B10 0UT

Tel : Tel: 0121773 6843

Lifestyle Express Apna

Food & Wine

Albret Rd,

B’ham, B21 9QX

Lodge Supermarket

70 Lodge Rd, West Bromwich,

Birmingham, B70 8PA

Tel : 0121 553 4004

Londis Supermarket

23 Acfold Rd, Birmingham,

B20 1HD

Malhi's Supermarket

Bacchus Rd, Birmingham, B18

4RE

Money Saver Food Store

Ladypool Rd,

B’ham, B128TT

Pak Super Market

121-125 Lozells Rd, B’ham,

B19 2TR | Tel : 0121 554 2711

PAK Supermarket

Unit 1 Cape Hill Retail Centre,

Cape Hill, B’ham, B66 4PH

Tel : 0121 558 6786

Pak Super Market

42 Alum Rock Rd, B’ham, B8

1JA | Tel: 0121 328 7868

Punjab Food Store

94 High St, West Bromwich,

B’ham, B706NZ

If You See This...

List Your Business Here

Call : 07878 456 484

Punjab Supermarket

Birmingham :

B11 4DX

R S Superstore

58 Nineveh Rd, Birmingham,

B21 0TE | Tel : 0121 554 1687

S & B General Store

3 College Rd, B’ham B20 2HU

Tel : 0121 523 4371

Sabar General Store

113 Holyhead Rd, Birmingham

B21 0HH | Tel :

Sonali Supermarket

537, Coventry Rd, Small

Heath, Birmingham, B10 0LL

Tel: 0121 773 8236

Toor Supermarket

93 Rookery Rd, B’ham, B21

9QX | Tel : 0121 554 0796

Vegmart

147-149 Soho Rd, B’ham, B21

9ST | Tel :

Villa Supermarket

117 Villa Rd, B’ham, B19

1NH | Tel : 0121 554 2374

Wayco Supermarket Ltd

72A Soho Rd, B’ham, B21

9BH | Tel : 0121 551 8711

Heer Super Store

19-21 Clay Ln, Coventry, CV2

4LJ | Tel : 024 7645 6903

Warley Supermarket

75 Bridge St, Wednesbury,

WS10 0AH | 0121 505 5898

Banga Stores

59A Lea Rd, Wolverhampton,

WV3 0LW | 01902 338835

Samra Supermarket

418 Dudley Rd, Wolverhampton

WV2 3BP | 01902 458814

Sandhus Supermarket

15 Bargate Dr, Wolverhampton,

WV6 0QW | Tel: 01902 311556

Take Away & Cafe

Chick King

225 Holyhead Rd, B’ham

B21 0AP | Tel. 0121 515 4110

Jalandar Sweet Shop

86, High St, Smethwick,

B’ham B66 1AA

Apna Punjab Sweet Centre

65A, Purely Road, Leicester

LE4 6PB

Tel: 0116 266 6567

Taxi & Coach Hire

Brit Coaches

93 Dudley Rd, Halesowen

B63 3NS

Tel. 0121 769 2707

www.britcoaches.co.uk

Warley Cars

Tel. 0121 555 7654

Taxi & Bus Hire

86, Digbeth Rd, Birmingham, B5

6DY | Tel : Tel: 0121 643 1000

209, Bordsley Green, B’ham, B95SP

Tent Hire

Amrit Tent Hire

Mob; 07815 134 618

amrittenthire@yahoo.co.uk

Walsall DIY

West Bromwich St.

Walsall 01922 642 329

CLASSIFIED

Travel Agency

101 Soho Rd, Birmingham, B21

9SP |

Travel Agencies

Sky Way Travel

232 Soho Rd, B’ham B21 9LR

Tel. 0121 523 3050

Balu Travel

114 Soho Rd, B’ham B21 9DP

Tel. 0121 554 4013

Visa

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MARCH 2018

Training & Development

11

Event Management & Wedding Planners

Travel & Accommodations

Enjoy Holidays in India & Across the Globe with ONTIME

Inbound & Outbound Tailor Made Tours

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On kanshi TV

channel 864.

SATURDAY at

6 :00 pm

SUNDAY at

6 :00 pm

Ambedkarites News and Views

by

BUDDHIST INTERNATIONAL MEDIA

Mob : 07411 251 804, 07847 307 059


12 MARCH 2018

BUSINESS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Gold falls sharply

as US dollar rallies

Chicago, Gold futures on the COMEX

division of the New York Mercantile

Exchange posted more than one percent

losses on Wednesday as the US dollar rallied.

The most active gold contract for June

delivery fell $17.9, or 1.33 per cent, to settle

at $1330.00 per ounce. The US dollar

index, a measure of the dollar against a

basket of other major currencies, rebounded

by 0.52 per cent to 89.80 as of 1636

GMT, Xinhua reported.

The dollar was boosted by the news that

US economic growth slowed less than previously

estimated in the fourth quarter of

2017, as the US Commerce Department

revised its third GDP growth rate earlier

Wednesday. Accordingly, the gross domestic

product expanded at a 2.9 per cent

annual rate in the final three months of

2017, up from the previously reported 2.5

per cent. Gold and the dollar typically

move in opposite directions, which means

New Delhi, The central

government has invited

‘Expression of Interest’ to

divest 76 per cent stake in the

national passenger carrier Air

India (AI).

The development follows

the issue of Preliminary

Information Memorandum

(PIM) which invited

“Expression of Interest” for the

strategic divestment of AI,

along with the airline’s shares

in AIXL (Air India Express)

and AISATS (Air India SATS

Airport Services) from private

entities including the airline’s

employees. The central government

owns 100 per cent equity

of Air India. In turn the airline

has a cent per cent stake in Air

India Express, while it holds 50

per cent stake in the joint venture

AISATS. “The

Government of India has given

‘in-principle’ approval for the

strategic disinvestment of AI

by way of the transfer of management

control and sale of 76

per cent equity share capital of

AI held by GOI, which will

include AI’s shareholding interest

in the AIXL and AISATS,”

said the PIM document.

The PIM detailed that the

central government plans to

retain a 24 per cent stake in AI

and that the existing debt and

liabilities of AI and AIXL are

being reallocated.

“… the balance debt shall be

allocated to Air India Asset

Holding Limited which is 100

per cent owned by the GOI subject

to receipt of requisite

approvals from lenders and

regulators, as applicable.

Details of this debt or liabilities

if the dollar goes up, gold futures will fall

as gold, priced in US dollar, becomes more

expensive for investors using other currencies.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial

Average rose 147.02 points, or 0.62 per

cent to 24,004.73 as of 1646 GMT. The rise

of equities also pressured gold futures. On

geopolitical front, the recent commitment

expressed by Pyongyang to denuclearisation

on the Korean Peninsula has eased the

tension and decreased the safe-haven

appeal for gold, said analysts. As for other

precious metals, silver for May delivery

went down 28.8 cents, or 1.74 per cent, to

settle at $16.253 per ounce. Platinum for

July fell $11.60, or 1.22 per cent, to close

at $940.80 per ounce.

reallocation shall be shared at

RFP (request for proposal)

stage,” the document said.

Apart from AIXL and

AISAT other subsidiaries of AI

Group like AIESL (Air India

Engineering Services Ltd),

AIATSL (Air India Air

Transport Services Limited),

HCI (Hotel Corporation of

India) and AASL (Airline

Allied Services Limited), “will

not be part of the proposed

transaction”.

The other four subsidiaries

will either be “hived off (along

with any receivables or

payables related to these subsidiaries)

through demerger or

other appropriate mechanisms…

before the closing of

proposed transaction.”

According to the memorandum,

private entities should

have a net worth of Rs 5,000

crore to be eligible to send in

their bids for the proposed

transaction. The entity should

PNB to honour all interbank

LoUs, FLCs

New Delhi, State-run lender Punjab National Bank (PNB)

will honour all interbank

Letters of

Undertaking (LoUs)

and Foreign Letters

of Credit (FLCs)

issued by it which

mature on or before

March 31, 2018.

The decision was

taken by the Board

of PNB in a meeting

held on Wednesday.

“The PNB board’s

decision will lead to settling of LoUs worth Rs 6,500 cr with 7

banks in relation to the recent fraud that was reported by the

bank,” the lender said in a statement. “The bank will also honour

all subsequent maturing LoUs and FLCs as and when they are

due.” According to the lender, it has a strong balance sheet to

meet any contingent liabilities arising out of the recent fraud.

“This measure will ensure that India’s banking system at large

has the least possible disruption owing to the unfortunate fraud

and banking operations will continue to function smoothly,” the

statement said.

Government plans to divest 76% in Air India, invites EoI

Chennai jewellery firm accused

of cheating individuals, SBI

Chennai, Several individuals have lost their money investing

in the savings scheme floated by city-based jeweller Nathella

Sampath Jewelry Private Ltd while

State Bank of India (SBI) has reported

it had lost Rs 250 crore.

The jewellery company also did

not honour commitments made to

people who had offered their jewellery

for sale and were promised

they would be paid the money later.

“I had invested in the savings scheme floated by the jeweller.

I had invested sizeable sum and yet to get back the money,” an

investor told a television channel on Saturday.

Another person said Nathella Sampath Jewelry promised to

pay him the value of his jewellery after sometime but failed to do

so. The jewellery chain downed its shutters sometime back

promising that it would settle the dues.

Meanwhile, the SBI on Friday in a filing in BSE said it had

sanctioned an aggregate limit of Rs 250 crore in a consortium

arrangement to Nathella Sampath Jewelry.

The bank said it has classified the loan as “fraud” on

December 22, 2017 as the company had misrepresented its financial

statements from 2010 and liquated its primary security.

The matter has been reported to CBI, the bank said.

New York, US stocks

opened lower on Thursday as

traders were sifting through the

Federal Reserve’s latest decision

to raise interest rates.

Shortly after the opening bell,

the Dow Jones Industrial

Average lost 265.07 points, or

1.07 per cent, to 24,417.24,

reports Xinhua. The S&P 500

decreased 24.66 points, or 0.91

per cent, to 2,687.27. The

Nasdaq Composite Index was

down 74.23 points, or 1.01 per

cent, to 7,271.05.

The US central bank on

Wednesday raised the benchmark

interest rate by 25 basis

points and signalled two more

rate hikes in 2018, citing the

“strengthened” economic outlook

in recent months.

“In view of realised and

expected labour market conditions

and inflation,” the Fed

decided to raise the target range

for the federal funds rate to 1.5

to 1.75 per cent, the Fed said in

a statement after concluding a

two-day meeting.

Fed officials widely expected

that the US economy would

grow at a faster pace this and

have reported a positive profit

after tax in at least three of the

five preceding financial years.

Last month, Minister of

State for Civil Aviation Jayant

Sinha had said that the government

plans to divest its stake in

the national passenger carrier

by this year-end. He said the

bidding process is expected to

be finished by June, by when

the winning bidder will be chosen,

and all the “legal formalities”

will be completed by

December. As per the plan, the

Air India group will be divested

as four different entities and

that the “information memorandum”

will be issued in

sometime. Accordingly, one of

the four entities will include Air

India, its budget subsidiary Air

India Express and gateway

services and food solutions

units AI-SATS. In addition, Air

India Air Transport Services,

Air India Engineering Services

and Alliance Air will each form

next year, driven by fiscal stimulus

and improved overseas

demand.

In corporate news, shares of

Facebook declined nearly a per

cent on Thursday morning after

the company’s Chief Executive

Officer Mark Zuckerberg broke

separate entities.

In his Budget speech for

2018-19, Finance Minister

Arun Jaitley had said: “The

government has also initiated

the process of strategic disinvestment

in 24 Central Public

Sector Enterprises. This

includes strategic privatisation

of Air India.” The airline is

under a massive debt burden of

around Rs 50,000 crore (around

$8 billion). The national carrier

got a new lease of life in April

2012, when the then UPA government

approved a Rs 30,000

crore turnaround and financial

restructuring package spanning

up to 2021. Till now budget

passenger carrier IndiGo has

evinced interest in buying the

airline’s international operations

and its subsidiary Air

India Express. Besides IndiGo,

aviation industry majors SATS,

Bird Group and Celebi have

shown interest but in buying Air

India’s ground handling unit.

US stocks open lower after Fed’s rate-hike decision

his silence over news that the

social media giant allowed

third parties to access the data

of millions of users without

their knowledge.

In an interview with US television

network CNN on

Wednesday night, Zuckerberg

said the leakage had been “a

major breach of trust, and I’m

really sorry that this happened.”

Shares of Facebook have

been under pressure in the past

four trading sessions, down

over eight per cent through

Wednesday’s close.

Investors also paid close

attention to US President

Donald Trump’s potential tariff

plan towards imports from

China, which has raised widespread

concern and criticism

among US industry associations

and major retailers.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

HEALTH

MARCH 2018

PREGNANT? GO FOR A WALK

Make the nine months work for you with an active lifestyle and a sensible diet, say experts

13

Dehydration is similar to dry

skin and includes rough, tight

feeling, increased itching combined

with peeling, redness and

coarse thick skin. Simply water

intake may not be the answer due

to many other internal and external

factors affecting skin dehydration.With

summer season comes

the dull, irritated, dehydrated skin

that is not worth showing off. Skin

cells contain natural chemicals

that build up the natural moisturizing

factor. The production and

health of these factors define the

balance of the skin and since the

key ingredient for this moisturizing

factor is water, any loss in the

body’s water volume results in

dehydration.Dehydration is similar

to dry skin and includes rough,

tight feeling, increased itching

combined with peeling, redness

and coarse thick skin. Simply

water intake may not be the

answer due to many other internal

and external factors affecting skin

dehydration.

The most common factors

affecting skin hydration levels are

high temperatures, UV radiation,

ageing, dryness due to excessive

“No! You are not eating for two,” admonishes Dr.

Shilpa Shah, lifestyle health consultant. “ Two hundred

and fifty calories is all the extra calories you

need per day if you are pregnant, “ she says. It is

important to eat nutritious food, but it is as important

to have an active lifestyle, she advises. “Most pregnant

women tend to become sedentary, especially

when family members advise them to avoid any

physical activity, including household chores.” Shah

also conducts Lamaze classes where she focuses on

breathing techniques, appropriate exercises and

yogasanas. Shah firmly believes that if the body is

healthy, the mother can

bond better with her

unborn baby

• Walking for 30 to 45

minutes at a moderate pace.

• Warming up and exercising the joints to keep them

use of air conditioning, humidity,

aggressive cleansing methods and

strong active harmful ingredients

in products, long hot showers,

alcohol, coffee and smoking,

declining hormones such as estrogen,

progesterone and testosterone.

Cosmetic and celebrity

dermatologist from Apple Skin

Clinic, Dr (Capt) Deepti Dhillon

claims ‘hydration’ to be the key

for skin care in summers. Here’s

what you can do to keep skin

hydrated in summers.

- Increase fluid intake: Your

body loses fluids due to overheating

of body temperature. You must

drink plenty of water and other

fluids in summer months. Atleast

7-8 glasses of water are suggested.

You can include aloe vera juice in

your diet as it helps in calming the

skin and has numerous other

health benefits as well. It is important

to hydrate yourself as much as

possible to maintain the body temperature

and hydrate internally.

- Daily dose: Take omega 3,

lycopene, selenium, vitamin C and

antioxidants to revive the skin from

summer and sun skin damages.

- Balanced diet: Include fresh

fruits and vegetables that lead to

increased hydration levels. Eat

moving and flexible.

• Doing back stretches like the cat and camel stretches

• Contracting lower butt muscles, doing back bends,

and forward bends. This is to tone up abdomen

and back muscles that will sag after delivery and

may lead to back aches post delivery.

A cautionary note: High intensity workouts like

aerobics should be avoided and those who are pregnant

for the first time can take it easy in the first

trimester Fitness expert L. Reshma of Pink and

Fitness One also urges pregnant women to stay

active. She says there are work out routines that are

specially tailored for pregnant women. She says

“Household chores that involve bending, stretching,

and squatting also help. With a combination of walking,

warm up and stretches, one can easily cover

10,000 steps a day and stay fit. It is these postures we

modify scientifically as a fitness routine.”

Summer skincare : ? Here’s how you can take

care of your skin, even in this dreaded heat

foods like cucumber, watermelon,

coconut water, cabbage, green

salad, apples, red bell peppers,

pineapples, grapefruit, celery,

berries and carrots.

- Avoid excess sodium intake:

Foods high in sodium will naturally

draw water from body, contributing

to dehydration.

- Use mild gentle cleanser/facewash

which is pH balanced, SLS

free and paraben free.

- Use moisturizer/thermal

spray waters containing hydrating

and soothing agents like aloe vera,

vitamin C.

- Use a broad-spectrum (UVA

& UVB) sunscreen SPF 30 or

above, which must also be noncomedogenic

and non-allergic.

The application of sunscreen must

be repeated every four hours.

Deepti also stressed on the

importance of green tea as she

said, “Green tea has great cooling

properties and along with soothing

the skin in the heated month, a

face scrub made with this ingredient

helps in tightening the skin

and removing any small imperfections

caused due to seasonal skin

damage.”

Food supplements

may help

treat psychosis

Some nutrients found in food may help reduce the

symptoms of psychotic illness such as schizophrenia,

when used in the early stages of treatment, a study

claims. Researchers, including those from the University

of Manchester in the UK, examined if nutrient supplementation

could provide effective ‘add on’ treatment for

young people with psychosis. The team brought together

data from eight independent clinical trials of nutrient

supplementation in 457 young people in the early stages

of psychotic illness, such as schizophrenia.

Researchers found that certain nutrient supplements,

used alongside standard treatment, may improve mental

health in young people with psychosis more than standard

treatment alone. “Nutrient supplementation in the

treatment of mental illness is something which can be

surrounded by both cynicism and ‘hype’,” said Joseph

Firth, who led the study published in the journal Early

Intervention in Psychiatry. “Certainly, there is early indication

that certain nutrients may be beneficial, not to

replace standard treatment, but as an ‘add-on’ treatment

for some patients,” said Firth. One nutrient reviewed was

Taurine, an amino-acid found in foods such as shellfish

and turkey. A clinical trial conducted in Melbourne,

Australia in 121 young patients with psychosis found

that 4 grammes of Taurine per day reduced psychotic

symptoms within just 12 weeks, researchers said. Certain

antioxidant supplements, such as n-acetyl cysteine and

vitamin C, may also be effective - particularly for

patients with high levels of ‘oxidative stress’. Studies on

omega-3 supplements showed that although these appear

to improve brain health in young people with psychosis,

the evidence for actually reducing psychotic symptoms

is conflicting, researchers said.

Grilled, roasted meat may up high BP risk

People who routinely eat grilled or

roasted meat, chicken and fish may be

more likely to develop high blood pressure,

a study warns.

Researchers at the Harvard T H Chan

School of Public Health in the US

analysed cooking methods and the development

of high blood pressure in people

who regularly ate beef, poultry or fish.

The study involved 32,925 women taking

part in the Nurses’ Health Study,

53,852 women participating in the Nurses’

Health Study II and 17,104 men in the

Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

Detailed cooking information was collected

in each of these long-term studies.

None of the participants had high blood

pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer

when they enrolled.

However, 37,123 people developed

high blood pressure during an average follow-up

of 12-16 years, according to the

research presented at the American Heart

Association’s session.

“The chemicals produced by cooking

meats at high temperatures induce oxidative

stress, inflammation and insulin resistance

in animal studies, and these pathways

may also lead to an elevated risk of developing

high blood pressure,” said Gang Liu

from the Harvard T H Chan School.

The risk of developing high blood pressure

was 17 per cent higher in those who

grilled, broiled, or roasted beef, chicken or

fish over 15 times per month, compared

with less than four times a month.

The risk was 15 per cent higher in those

who prefer their food well done, compared

with those who prefer rarer meats,

researchers said.

The risk of high blood pressure was 17

per cent higher in those estimated to have

consumed the highest levels of heterocyclic

aromatic amines (HAAs) - chemicals

formed when meat protein is charred

or exposed to high temperatures - compared

to those with the lowest intake.

Oxidative stress, inflammation and

insulin resistance affect the inner linings

of blood vessels, and are associated with

the development of atherosclerosis.

The disease underlies heart disease and

causes the arteries to become narrowed,

researchers said.


14 MARCH 2018

HEALTH

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Dried seahorse, manta ray gills and tiger bones :

Can they cure asthma, cancer or AIDS?

There is a multi-billion dollar illegal trade in

animal parts touted to cure anything from a hangover

or asthma, to cancer and AIDS, which is

endangering species and putting people’s lives at

risk. A pinch of powdered chimpanzee bone, some

gecko saliva, a dash of vulture brain. These are not

the ingredients of a fairytale witches’ brew, but

some of the prized substances helping drive the

multi-billion dollar illegal trade in animal parts

touted to cure anything from a hangover or asthma,

to cancer and AIDS.

Along with better-known products, such as

rhino horn, pangolin scales, and tiger bone, dealers

do a brisk trade in some more obscure ones too —

dried seahorse, sloth claws, manta ray gills, and

macaque embryos. Many are creatures listed as

endangered or threatened. And while some of the

products are key constituents in centuries-old traditional

cures prescribed by healers in Asia and

Africa, others are fictional cure-alls sold by cynical

quacks, experts say. “We do see modern-day snake

oil salesman,” said John Scanlon, secretary general

of the Convention on International Trade in

Endangered Species. While stressing “we will

never criticize any traditional practices,” he condemned

“people who are promoting certain wildlife

products as having properties that have no association

with traditional medicine”. “They’re really

preying on people in very vulnerable situations.”

These include peddlers of rhino horn to cure cancer

— an unproven claim that has contributed to the

decimation of these majestic beasts. Sudan, the

world’s last male northern white rhino, died in

Kenya this week. In 1960, there were an estimated

In 1960, there were an estimated

1,00,000 black rhino in Africa —

today there are fewer 28,000 rhinos

of all species left in Africa and Asia,

according to a 2016 UN World

Wildlife Crime Report. “The current

rhino poaching crisis, which began

around 2007... does have its origins

in bogus medicinal use,” said

Richard Thomas of TRAFFIC, which

monitors wild animal trade.

1,00,000 black rhino in Africa — today there are

fewer 28,000 rhinos of all species left in Africa and

Asia, according to a 2016 UN World Wildlife

Crime Report. “The current rhino poaching crisis,

which began around 2007... does have its origins in

bogus medicinal use,” said Richard Thomas of

TRAFFIC, which monitors wild animal trade.

NO EVIDENCE

A surge in demand in Vietnam is ascribed to a

senior politician claiming in the mid-2000s that

rhino horn cured his cancer. “This has no basis in

scientific fact, but was almost certainly the urban

myth that led to the crisis,” said Thomas. As

incomes have increased in Asia, so has demand

for rhino horn, which can sell for tens of thousands

of dollars per kilo.

Today, rich people us it as a tonic, even for

hangovers, and as a display of wealth. “And

although there is a popular myth in Western society

(that) rhino horn is used as an aphrodisiac in

Asian culture, it was never prescribed as such —

ironically, it has now taken on such a use in

Vietnam,” said Thomas. Now banned in China,

Rhino horn originally was prescribed by traditional

healers as a treatment for fever.

Some scientific studies have shown that it is

somewhat effective for this purpose, though not

more so than aspirin. Other traditional medicines

have been more successfully assimilated by

westerners. Bear bile was found to contain an

ingredient called ursodeoxycholic acid, effective

in treating a liver disease.

Don't let your stomach

suffer this summer

With summer

comes various issues

of the stomach. Not

only do the high temperatures

make us sweat

more, it also reduces our

immunity so make sure you

eat eating properly this season.

"Summer brings a majority of

digestion related illnesses. Considering

the rise in temperature every year, it is very

important to manage our food habits to avoid

stomach illnesses," says an expert.

A few tips to keep your stomach healthy

this summer :

* Keep yourself hydrated, always:

Drinking good amount of water helps in

fighting 90% of the diseases. Fiber present

in the body pulls water into the colon and

helps the body in creating softer, bulkier

stools. This makes the passage of the stools

easier without causing fissures or piles.

* Increase fiber intake: Including elements

to your diet that's high in fiber and

rich in whole grains, vegetables, legumes,

and fruits can improve your digestive tract. A

high-fiber diet helps in avoiding constipation,

which is a leading cause of fissure.

Avoid Fatty food: Fatty foods, generally,

curb the digestive process. It is advisable to

avoid intake of fatty substances in your diet

during summers.

Limit coffee: Limiting excessive intake

of caffeine as it can give rise to trouble with

the smooth functioning of your digestive system,

and lead to problems like stomach

ulcers, acidity, and heartburn.

Dhrity Vats, Medical Officer, Healthians -

- an online diagnostic center that offers home

service -- further explains the digestive disorders

that can trouble you this summer.

Gastroenteritis: This is the most common

stomach infections seen across all age

groups. Vomiting, blood in motions, watery

motions with froth, dehydration, severe pain

in the abdomen are the first symptoms and

when not treated initially can cause severe

damage like dehydration and sometimes

even unconsciousness due to weakness.

Jaundice : A very common infection of

the liver, which shows symptoms like nausea,

itching on skin, bitter tongue, pale look

of the face with a yellow coloration of the

eye. The Hepatitis A virus attacks the liver,

which starts producing extra bile.

Contaminated water or unhygienic food is

the main reason for this infection.

Typhoid: A high-grade fever with

fatigue, weakness, pain in stomach, vomiting

and loose motions, headache and rarely body

rashes are all symptoms of the Typhoid

Fever. This is a water-borne disease, seen

very commonly in summers.

Food Poisoning: This is a typical infection,

which happens within 6-8 hours of eating contaminated

food kept in low levels of hygiene.

Vats further adds few precautions to be safe

Avoid eating food from outside during

summers. Carry your own water whenever

stepping out of the house. Eat freshly prepared

food. If the food has been cooked prior

either boil it or fry it before consuming it.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

SPORTS

MARCH 2018

15

It will be sad if Smith and Warner

don’t play IPL : Nehra

New Delhi : Former India fast bowler

Ashish Nehra concedes that Steve Smith

was wrong in orchestrating ball-tampering

but it will be sad if the under-fire

Australian captain is barred from participating

in the Indian Premier League.

Smith has been suspended for a Test

and docked 100 per cent of his match fee

by ICC for instigating Cameron Bancroft

to tamper the ball with sandpaper

during the third day of

the third Test against South

Africa in Cape Town.

Since Smith spoke about

the leadership group’s role in

the controversy, David

Warner too could also face

possible sanctions from

Cricket Australia.

“I know what they did was

wrong. But if we think that

this is the first time that ball

tampering is happening, then

that is also wrong. But the

best part is they admitted

their mistake and ICC has sanctioned

them. Obviously, we don’t know what

Cricket Australia will do but if they don’t

play, it will be a huge setback for

Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers

Hyderabad. They are quality players and

it will be sad if they miss out on IPL,”

Nehra told reporters, here today.

When asked whether bowlers should

get some leeway as reverse swing is a

difficult art, he gave an inimitable reply.

“Yes, it’s an art but then stealing is

also an art. Would you put a thief in jail

or praise him. Reverse swing is an art but

ball tampering is dishonesty. And there

are ways to prepare a ball for reverse

swing without tampering,” Nehra, who is

one of India’s finest exponents of swing

bowling, said during an announcement of

HP as the principal sponsors of RCB.

“Also this is a phenomena, you will find

mainly in Test cricket as in T20 and

ODIs, it’s difficult to reverse the white

ball. In ODIs, two new white balls are

used, so chances are really less. It’s only

in Test cricket which is played for a considerable

amount of time that teams want

their bowlers to try reverse swing. “Now

conditions also play a huge role in

reverse swing. If conditions are dry and

pitch abrasive, the ball will in any case

reverse. For example at the Feroz Shah

Kotla, even a Ranji team will get the SG

Test to reverse within 10 overs,” Nehra

explained. Nehra, however, didn’t give a

clear answer on whether the current batch

of Australian cricketers is not as popular

as some of the earlier generations.

“Smith and Warner are typical Aussie

players. I find no difference with earlier

generations. Australians

compete hard and these two

are no exception,” Nehra

said. Coming to the IPL, his

role is more of a man-management

rather than coaching,

said the former leftarm

fast bowler.

“Coaching is required at

the U-16 and U-19 levels.

At the IPL level, you need

to be a good man-manager.

Like Chinnaswamy is a

small ground where a target

of 180 might not be safe.

My job is to give inputs to

the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and

Navdeep Saini in order to ensure that

they know what lines to bowl in particular

situations,” he added.

Asked to compare Mahendra Singh

Dhoni and Virat Kohli’s style of captaincy,

Nehra said: “Both are different but

both give more than hundred per cent.

Dhoni will come across as calm and Virat

might be animated but whatever works

for them.”

Federer says he won't play clay court

season, skips French Open

Miami : Roger Federer won't go for a 21st

Grand Slam title at the French Open, with the

36-year-old Swiss great saying he'll skip the

clay-court season. Federer confirmed the plan

after falling 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) to Australian

qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second

round of the Miami Masters. "I decided not to

play the clay season," said Federer, who won

his 20th Grand Slam tournament at the

Australian Open in January, but will lose the

world number one ranking to Rafael Nadal

after his shock defeat.

It's the second straight year that Federer

will forego a clay-court campaign.

Last year after winning back-to-back tournaments

at Indian Wells and Miami he took a

break, returning in mid-June at the grass

court tournament in Stuttgart. He lost his

first match there, but went on to win at Halle

and Wimbledon.


16 MARCH 2018

SPORTS

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Sindhu suffers

ankle sprain, to

resume CWG

training soon

New Delhi, Indian badminton

ace P.V. Sindhu’s right ankle injury,

which she suffered during training on

Tuesday, is “just a sprain”, and she

will resume training soon.

The 2016 Rio Olympic silver

medallist, a top gold medal prospect

for India at the upcoming

Commonwealth

Games, went

off the practice

court after suffering

a sprain

in her right

ankle while

practicing at the

Gopichand

Academy in

Hyderabad. “It

is not a major

injury. Medical

tests have

revealed that it is just a sprain,” the

22-year-old’s mother Pusarla Vijaya

told IANS over phone. “She can go

to training from tomorrow onwards,”

she added about her daughter who

reached the semi-finals of the All

England championships last week.

Sindhu is a three-time World

Championships medallist and had

won bronze in the 2014 CWG edition

in Glasgow. Not only in the singles

category, the Hyderabadi will be a

key player in the mixed team event as

well.

The badminton competitions at

the CWG will begin with the mixed

team event on April 5.

‘Ghost’ of 7-1 Germany mauling

still haunts Brazil : Tite

Berlin - Brazil coach Tite

says the “ghost” of their 7-1

mauling by Germany at the 2014

World Cup still haunts the

‘Selecao’, as the teams prepare

to meet on Tuesday.

Brazil suffered their heaviest

home defeat when Germany hit

four goals in six devastating

first-half minutes of the Belo

Horizonte semi-final nearly four

years ago. Toni Kroos and Andre

Schuerrle both scored twice over

the 90 minutes as Germany’s

attack ran riot en route to winning

the World Cup title.

The teams meet in a friendly

for the first time since at Berlin’s

Olympic Stadium and Tite says

Brazil still bear the scars. “This

has a huge psychological meaning

— no one needs to fool

themselves about that,” Tite told

German magazine Kicker.

“The 7-1 from the World Cup

is like a ghost. “It’s present, people

still talk about it, but the

more you talk about it, the less

this ‘ghost’ disappears. “It won’t

just be a sporting challenge, but

a huge emotional challenge too.

“We are preparing to give our

best performance, which will be

important, but of course I also

want a good result.” Tite has

been in charge of Brazil since

2016, but Felipe Scolari was

head coach for the mauling by

Portugal gear up for

friendly vs Dutch

Geneva, The coach of the Portuguese

national football team warned that

despite their recent slump in form, the

Netherlands remain a dangerous team

ahead of their friendly match in Geneva

on Tuesday. Fernando Santos was speaking

at a press conference before

Tuesday’s friendly, which the reigning

European champions are using to prepare

for this summer’s World Cup in Russia,

reports Efe.

Having left

it late to

defeat Egypt

through two

Cristiano

Ronaldo

goals on

Friday,

Santos

reminded

his players

that they

would be

facing “a

team at a

very high

level”, and

said he would make changes in the line

up. “There will definitely be some

changes. If not from the start, then they

will be made during the game itself”, the

head coach said. Portugal are using the

two friendly matches this week to prepare

for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

With former champions Spain,

Morocco and Iran joining them in Group

B, the Portuguese will fancy their

Germany at the last World Cup.

“I was watching the game at

home in Sao Paulo with my wife

and after the third goal went in,

she started to cry,” said the 56-

year-old Tite.

“That started me off. It was a

moment of great inspiration for

Germany, every shot was a goal

— stuff like that doesn’t even

happen in video games.

“Sometimes you get that in football,

a team comes close to perfection

and that’s what happened

to Germany. “The wound is still

open and the match in Berlin is a

part of the process of closing it.”

Germany lost to Brazil on penalties

in the men’s final of the

2016 Olympic Games in Rio de

Janeiro, but this is their first

meeting at senior international

level since the 7-1 rout. Tite told

Brazil reporters that Manchester

City midfielder Fernandinho will

replace Douglas Costa in the

only change from the team

which beat Russia 3-0 in

Moscow on Friday.

Germany head coach Joachim

Loew expects to make up to five

changes from the starting line-up

of Friday’s 1-1 with Spain.

Stars Mesut Ozil and Thomas

Mueller have been released by

Loew to rest while Ilkay

Gundogan is expected to start in

Germany’s midfield. Tite

explained in depth why he sees

Germany as one of the favourites

to defend their World Cup title

this June in Russia.

“Not only because of the football,

but because of something

hard to attain: continuity in their

performances,” said the

Brazilian.

“It has been a process in the

years under Joachim Loew.

“Tactically, Germany has a lot

of options, you saw that at the

Confederations Cup (which they

won) with high quality young

players.”

chances of qualifying for the Round of

16. Their opponents on Tuesday, the

Netherlands, have endured a torrid last

few years, particularly considering their

illustrious footballing history and tradition.

The Dutch have failed to qualify for

back-to-back major tournaments for the

first time since 1980. Ronald Koeman

has been hired in an attempt to turn the

tide for the Euro 2020 qualification campaign,

w h i c h

kicks off in

September.

H e

began his

reign with

a 0-1 home

defeat to

England on

Friday, and

will be

hoping his

charges

turn in a

positive

performa

n c e

against the odds when they face the

European champions and the world player

of the year in Ronaldo, who has scored

19 goals in his last nine games for club

and country.

“He is one of those players that can

always score. Even when the team is

playing badly, they have the ability to

score out of nothing”, Koeman told

reporters on Sunday.

India lose 1-2 to Kyrgyzstan,

13-match unbeaten run ends

BISHKEK : The Indian

football team's 13-match

unbeaten run ended as it lost 1-

2 to an attacking Kyrgyzstan in

an inconsequential final group

game of the 2019 AFC Asian

Cup qualifying campaign, on

Tuesday. Anton Zemlianukhin

opened the scoring for the hosts

as early as the second minute

and Mirlan Murzaev doubled

the lead with his 72-nd minute

strike.

Jeje Lalpekhlua pulled one

back for the visiting side by

finding the back of the net in the

88th minute. India, who have

already secured qualification to

next year's continental showpiece,

felt the absence of their

key players, especially Sunil

Chhetri. Playing in place of

Chhetri, striker Balwant Singh

was denied a goal twice in the

space of 11 minutes. Rowlin

Borges' free-kick came off the

crossbar and fell to the Mumbai

City striker who tapped it into

the net but the flag had already

been raised for offside. Then, he

raced past his marker into the

free space behind the home

defence and slotted past

Matiash but the referee had by

then blown his whistle for a

foul, much to Balwant's dismay.

Kyrgyzstan were on the offensive

from the word go as they

looked for scoring opportunities

and pressed India hard. The

margin of defeat could have

been bigger, had it not been for

India captain Gurpreet Singh

Sandhu's showings at the post.

Kyrgyzstan succeeded right at

the start of the game as

Zemlianukhin struck, much to

the delight of the home crowd.

The home team threatened to

top the group but Jeje's consolation

goal ensured India finished

the group qualifying engagements

at the top with 13 points.

That was, however not good

enough to end on level terms in

the game. India make five

changes from the 2-2 draw

against Myanmar in Goa in

November last year. Chhetri

was suspended for the game

with double booking, paving

the way for Balwant's inclusion.


ENTERTAINMENT

When someone tries to

shut you down, it tests your

conviction : Swara Bhaskar

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

MARCH 2018

17

Anushka Sharma

in Forbes 30 Under

30 Asia 2018 list

Mumbai, Bollywood actress-producer

Anushka Sharma features in the

Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia 2018 list, which

includes innovators and disruptors who

are reshaping their industries and

changing Asia for the better.

Anushka, one of Indian film industry’s

highest paid actresses, is all of 29.

She started out her career as a model

in 2007, making her acting debut in

2008 in the hugely successful “Rab Ne

Bana Di Jodi,” which won her a

Filmfare award for Best Actress.

She has since acted in movies like

“Band Baaja Baaraat”, “Jab Tak Hai

Jaan”, “PK”, “Bombay Velvet”, “Dil

Dhadakne Do”, “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”

and “Jab Harry Met Sejal”.

As a producer, Anushka, who is married

to ace cricketer Virat Kohli, has

made films like “NH10”, “Phillauri”

and “Pari” under her banner Clean

Slate Films. She starred in all three

films herself. The Forbes list highlights

300 young individuals driving change in

Asia. India’s badminton ace P.V. Sindhu

also features in the list. Pakistani singer

Momina Mustehsan, who shot to fame

with the Coke Studio version of “Afreen

afreen”, which she sang with Rahat

Fateh Ali Khan for, too finds a mention.

ven by the insight that in a world that still tries to restrain women from achieving their potential by fueling

insecurities about themselves — whether it is about her “body” or her “being” — there is an increasing number

of stories of women who took their chances and beat the odds. Swara feels she has literally shaped her

world in Bollywood by speaking out. “I believe in speaking my mind and being frank. My parents gifted

me the feeling of fearlessness. I believe in looking beyond existing stereotypes in my industry — right

from gender discrimination; to pre-defined characteristics of a typical actress; to the portrayal of

women in society. “My belief in rising above fear and speaking out is how I shape my world,”

added the daughter of well-known strategic analyst C. Uday Bhaskar and professor of film

studies Ira Bhaskar. She said she never thought of speaking out or doing what she feels

like as something that requires strength or as something out of the ordinary. “I always

believed myself to be a regular urban Indian kid. It is easier for me to be myself and

make the right choices that way. This is who I am and have always been.” Being

a girl child in a country like India, the best gift she got from her parents was

the quality of being “fearless”. “As individuals too, it is very important

for us to interact with the society around us. I am what I am

because of the upbringing my parents gave us as children,

and they continue to teach me to believe in myself and do

everything with conviction.” On the big screen, Swara will next

be seen in “Veere Di Wedding”.

‘Simmba’ will make me do

some homework: Sonu Sood

Mumbai, Actor Sonu Sood has come on board for

Rohit Shetty’s upcoming entertainer “Simmba”. He says

the “challenging” role will make him do a lot of homework.

The announcement about Sonu’s entry into the

“Simmba” cast comes after R. Madhavan made it clear that

he can’t be a part of the movie due to his shoulder

injury. Sonu will join Ranveer Singh and Sara Ali

Khan in the movie.

Sonu told IANS: “I can’t reveal much

about the character, but all I can say is

that it is one of the most challenging

roles that I will be playing.” He will

be seen as an anti-hero.

“I think it’s exciting to have a

role with multiple layers… and

something which challenges you

to work on it, always gives a high

to an actor. This is something

which will need me to work a

lot and study a few things.

“Once the film comes out,

people will come to know

about it. And yes, it will put me to do some kind of homework,”

Sonu added. The actor is currently working on his look for the film

with Shetty, with whom he is collaborating for the first time. Shetty

is known for his out-and-out masala entertainers topped with all

elements associated with a Bollywood potboiler. “Simmba”, presented

by Reliance Entertainment, also marks the debut collaboration

of Shetty and Karan Johar. It will release on December 28.

Avengers assemble for dying

child after Twitter plea

Reynolds tweeted. Both actors are known to have huge hearts, both spending time with young fans who suffered from serious

medical conditions in the past. Evans will soon be seen in “Avengers: Infinity War” and Reynolds in “Deadpool 2”.

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Chris Evans, who essay Deadpool and

Captain America in the Marvels superhero Avengers universe, volunteered

to meet with a dying child on a request that came via Twitter. Fox

News personality Shannon Bream sent a request out via social media in

the hope of connecting the dying child with one of the actors who make

up Marvel’s Avengers, reports aceshowbiz.com. “Need your help

Twitterverse — trying to help a young boy who is dying. He probably

has just days and all he want is a greeting from one of the Avengers. If

you have a celeb connection, please let me know.

Otherwise, could you help out with a RT (retweet)? Thank you in

advance,” Bream tweeted. Her post got a huge response as it was retweeted

more than 10,000 times with numerous people tagging various

actors from the Marvel films in the hope one would notice. Both Evans

and Reynolds said they would be happy to connect with the young man.

“I’m more of a ‘Reserve Avenger’. But happy to help,” Reynolds

tweeted. Both actors are known to have huge hearts, both spending time

with young fans who suffered from serious medical conditions in the

past. Evans will soon be seen in “Avengers: Infinity War” and Reynolds

in “Deadpool 2”.

“Thank you, everyone. Major progress has been made because of

you. A special assist coming in from Jake Tapper (CNN Anchor). I guess

Twitter can be full of love when someone really needs it,” Bream wrote.


18 MARCH 2018

ENTERTAINMENT

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Kapil Sharma is back, and how

So he is back, after all. The naysayers and

party-poopers are biting their nails. To his credit,

Kapil Sharma has adopted a completely new format

for his comeback, and viewers don’t get to

see even a shred of the earlier shows, except the

sexist quips. So switch on your television sets

again because Kapil Sharma is back.

“Family Time With Kapil”, which kick-started

on Sony Entertainment on Sunday evening, is

fun to watch… If you like game shows where

people, who would normally not be caught doing

such things, are seen balancing playing-balls

between their derriere.

The tempo was preserved to the end, and

Kapil’s old colleagues Kiku Sharda and Chandan

Prabhakar provided able support. No one missed

the spoilsports from Kapil’s earlier shows who

have chosen to their separate way. And yes,

Navjot Singh Sidhu was also back on the show,

though I am not very sure what his function

would be this time. Sidhu did get his judge’s

chair, though. Old habits die hard. And who

knows this better than Kapil?

But who cares? As Kapil said at the start,

“Game toh ek bahana hai, har family ko saath

jutana hai. (The game is just an excuse, the idea

is to bring families together.)”

There were digs galore about Kapil’s mishaps

during the past year, and Sidhu even slipped in a

dig about the comedian’s flopped big-screen

plans. I had fun watching Kapil’s comeback timing.

I can see families switching on to the show,

for no better reason except to see Kapil act

naughty. At one point, he asked a member of the

audience why he didn’t bring his wife on the

show. “Insha Allah agli baar aapke liye laaonga

biwi ko,” said the over-enthusiastic guest.

“Aapki biwi aapko mubarak ho,” Kapil

remarked. No offence meant. Let the fun begin.

Even Ajay Devgn, who came on the show,

seemed to enjoy himself.

Three stars for this one.

SIRCAR

didn’t

hold workshops

for

‘October’:

BANITA

Filmmaker Shoojit Sircar

did not hold workshops for

the actors of his forthcoming

film “October” as he wanted

raw emotions, says newcomer

Banita Sandhu.

“Shoojit Sir wanted raw

emotions, hence there were

no workshops held for us.

This helped us to explore ourselves

and bring out our emotions

in the most natural manner,”

Banita said in a statement.

“I could not have asked

for a better debut than

‘October’. Having worked

with him in an ad before,

Shoojit Sir is par excellence,”

she added. Her co-star Varun

Dhawan, known for films like

“Judwaa 2” and “Badlapur”,

called Sircar a “genius”.

“His style of working has

not only made me grow as an

actor but also changed me

personally as a human being.

My brief was simple, I had to

play myself onscreen. I was

amazed to see my own performance

in the film and it

wouldn’t have been possible

without him,” said the son of

filmmaker David Dhawan.

“October” is set to release on

April 13.

‘SACRED

GAMES’

to premiere

on July 6

Netflix’s big-ticket India

original series “Sacred

Games”, starring Bollywood

biggies Saif Ali Khan,

Nawazuddin Siddiqui and

Radhika Apte, will premiere on

July 6.

The much-awaited show,

produced by Phantom Films, is

based in and shot in India. It is

based on the criticallyacclaimed

best-selling novel of

the same name by author

Vikram Chandra, read a statement.

The series is co-directed

by Vikramaditya Motwane and

Anurag Kashyap, both

acclaimed names in Indian cinema.

In an earlier interview to

IANS, Motwane had said the

show is like a “guinea pig” in

the Indian market, and that

there is pressure on them to

“deliver a great show”.

“Sacred Games” focuses on

Sartaj Singh, a seasoned and

cynical Mumbai Police officer,

summoned by an anonymous

tip one morning by a voice

which promises him an opportunity

to capture the powerful

Ganesh Gaitonde, criminal

overlord of the G-Company.

As the stakes mount and

Sartaj seeks knowledge of his

prey, it becomes clear that the

game the two players thought

they were engaged in is in fact

part of a much larger scenario,

one that expands beyond their

city.

Claire Foy finds it odd to be in midst of pay-gap uproar

Jacqueline

resumes ‘Race 3’

shoot post-injury

Actress Jacqueline

Fernandez, who suffered an

eye injury on the sets of her

upcoming film “Race 3”, has

started filming again. She will

be shooting the climax

sequence wearing sunglasses.

The actress was here shooting

for high octane action

sequences for the action

thriller when she suffered an

injury while playing squash.

She was immediately rushed to

a hospital, from where she was

discharged after receiving primary

treatment. However,

due to the visible injury,

the actress will have to

shoot the climax

sequences wearing sunglasses.

She took to

Instagram on Saturday

to thank her fans.

“Thank you all for your

‘get well soon’ wishes,

really means a lot. I did

kind of injure my right eye

and I have to do an entire

climax scene in sunglasses

now, so don’t be shocked,” she

said in a video.

Also starring Salman Khan,

Anil Kapoor, Bobby Deol,

Saqib Saleem and Daisy Shah,

the action thriller is being

directed by Remo D’souza. It

will hit the theatres on Eid

2018 (June 16).

Actress Claire Foy says she finds it odd to be in the

middle of Hollywood’s major pay-gap uproar, which

started after she opened up about her pay during the

first two seasons of “The Crown”.

Her co-star Matt Smith had received more for the

first two seasons of “The Crown” as a result of his

“Doctor Who” fame.

“I’m surprised because I’m at the centre of it, and

anything that I’m at the centre of like that is very, very

odd, and feels very, very out of ordinary,” Foy told

ew.com. “But I’m not surprised about the interest in

the story in the sense that it was a female-led drama.

I’m not surprised that people saw the story and went,

‘Oh, that’s a bit odd’. But I know that Matt feels the

same that I do, that it’s odd to find yourself at the centre

of a story that you didn’t particularly ask for,” she

added. Left Bank Pictures, the production company

behind “The Crown”, revealed that Smith had

received a higher pay cut, but added that going forward,

“no one gets paid more than the Queen”.

The company later issued a formal apology for the

pay gap.

Foy and Smith’s tenure with the series ended with

the second season. For the third season, their characters

— Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip — will be

replaced by Olivia Colman and an unannounced actor

to portray the royal couple during the years spanning

1964-1976.

Helena Bonham Carter will replace Vanessa Kirby

as Princess Margaret.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Now send 360-degree

photos, HD videos on

Facebook Messenger

New Delhi : Giving its Messenger

a more visual appeal, Facebook on

Tuesday said that users can now send

360 degree photos and HD videos from

within the platform. The 360 degree

photos in Messenger are available

globally on both iOS and Android platforms.

HD quality videos are available

in Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada,

Denmark, Finland, France, Hong

Kong, Japan,

Netherlands,

N o r w a y ,

Romania,

Singapore,

South Korea,

S w e d e n ,

Switzerland,

Taiwan and the

US on iOS and

Android.

“Amazing

360 degree photos

and

panoramic photos

will give you the ability to share

more immersive views of your world

— from stunning landscapes, to that

coveted ocean view from your hotel

room, or the way your new apartment

looks –the world is your oyster now in

Messenger,” Sean Kelly and Hagen

Green, Product Managers at

Messenger, wrote in a blog post.

“On the heels of our high resolution

photo news introduced last fall, we’re

also launching the ability to share HD

quality videos straight to Messenger,”

the duo added. Earlier this year,

Facebook made it possible for users to

share photos, videos, stickers and GIFs

in Messenger. To try out these new features,

users

need to update

the Messenger

app to the latest

version. For

360 degree

photos in

Messenger,

simply set the

phone camera

to panorama

and snap a

photo or capture

a 360

degree photo

using a 360 photo app or camera and

share it in Messenger just like a normal

photo. To share HD videos, users can

either share a video saved on their

smartphones or from News Feed.

Users can also share a video from one

message thread to another.`

TECH

MARCH 2018

19

SpaceX to launch

14th resupply mission

to ISS on Monday

Washington : SpaceX is

targeting Monday for the

launch of its 14th resupply

mission to the International

Space Station (ISS) which will

deliver science that studies

thunderstorms on Earth, space

gardening, potential pathogens

in space, new ways to patch up

wounds, among others.

Packed with about 2,631

kgs of research, crew supplies

and hardware, the resupply

mission aboard a SpaceX

Dragon spacecraft will launch

on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape

Canaveral Air Force Station in

Florida no earlier than 4.30

p.m. EDT (2 a.m. Tuesday

India time), NASA said.

Grapple and berthing to the

space station is targeted for

April 4, it added.

Among the science headed to the

space station is the Atmosphere-Space

Interactions Monitor (ASIM) experiment

that will survey severe thunderstorms

in the Earth’s atmosphere and

upper-atmospheric lightning, or transient

luminous events.

Understanding how plants respond to

microgravity and demonstrating reliable

vegetable production in space represent

important steps toward the goal of

growing food for future

long-duration missions.

The Veggie Passive Orbital

Nutrient Delivery System

(Veggie PONDS) experiment

will test a passive

nutrient delivery system in

the station’s plant growth

facility by cultivating lettuce

and mizuna greens for

harvesting and consumption

on orbit, NASA said in

a blog post. The Materials

ISS Experiment Flight

Facility (MISSE-FF)

experiment will provide a

unique platform for testing

how materials, coatings

and components react in

the harsh environment of

space. With the aim to help

develop more effective and

less expensive drugs, the Metabolic

Tracking investigation seeks to determine

the possibility of developing

improved drugs in microgravity, using a

new method to test the metabolic impact

of drug compounds.


20 MARCH 2018

TECH

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Won’t harvest data

from driverless cars:

Alphabet’s Waymo

London : Google’s parent company Alphabet has no “masterplan”

to save massive sets of data that will be generated from

its self-driving cars, a top company executive has said.

According to John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo which is the driverless

car division of Alphabet, the company will not harvest

data from its fleet of autonomous vehicles, The Telegraph reported

on Monday. “Our aim is moving people around the world and

that is very hard. To the core of my body, I swear on my father’s

grave, it’s (harvesting data) not a priority. I’m not saying it won’t

be a workstream in the future but at the moment it is not in our

workspace,” Krafcik said during the New York Auto Show.

Alphabet also announced a partnership with Jaguar to use the

British company’s “I-Pace” electric cars.

The amount of work on data gathering is “zero, a big zero” at

Google’s autonomous car devision, Krafcik was quoted as saying.

“Getting to zero fatalities on roads has to be the big goal,”

he said. Uber has suspended its self-driving operations in other

cities including Tempe, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto

following a fatal accident that killed a woman. A self-driving

Volvo SUV from Uber travelling at 64 km per hour killed the

woman in Arizona last month, triggering a heated debate on

whether autonomous cars are safe enough and who is to blame

for the death. Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid

minivans were also being tested on public roads in Arizona and

California. Google’s Waymo recently patented a technology that

will make its self-driving cars soft on the outside if it comes

across a situation where there is a possibility of an accident with

a human. According to a report in The Verge, Waymo has patented

a car design in which the vehicle is held together internally

with a number of “tension members”. These members — which

could be cables, rods, or springs — would slacken or tighten to

adjust the car’s “external rigidity” as needed, the report said.

Nadella rejigs core Microsoft

team, Windows chief quits

San Francisco, Giving a fresh impetus

to his vision of achieving Intelligent

Cloud and Edge, Microsoft CEO Satya

Nadella has realigned duties of his core

senior team, announcing that Terry

Myerson, Head of Windows and Devices

Group (WDG), was leaving the company.

Myerson and the WDG team transformed

Windows to create a secure, always upto-date,

modern operating system (OS).

“His strong contributions to Microsoft

over 21 years from leading Exchange to

leading Windows 10 leave a real legacy. I

want to thank Terry for his leadership on

my team and across Microsoft. He will

work with me on the transition over the

coming months,” Nadella said in an internal

email to employees on Thursday.

Rajesh Jha, Executive Vice President,

Office Product Group at Microsoft, will

lead Experiences and Devices that will

include Windows, Office, third-party

applications and devices into a more

cohesive Microsoft 365 experience.

“Jha will expand his existing responsibilities

to lead a new team focused on

Experiences & Devices. The purpose of

this team is to instill a unifying product

ethos across our end-user experiences

and devices,” Nadella said.

Nadella announced the formation of

two new engineering teams to accelerate

innovation at Microsoft.

For Microsoft Devices, Panos Panay

will serve as Chief Product Officer to

ensure end-to-end devices business execution

excellence. “Joe Belfiore will continue

leading our Windows experiences

and will drive Windows innovation in

partnership with the PC and device

ecosystem,” Nadella wrote.

NASA delays launch

of next-gen space

telescope until 2020

Washington : NASA is now targeting May

2020 for the launch of its James Webb Space

Telescope, the $8 billion dollar Hubble successor.

The announcement on Tuesday made after

an independent assessment of remaining tasks

for the highly complex space observatory further

pushes the launch target of the next-generation

space telescope by about a year. “Webb is the

highest priority project for the agency’s Science

Mission Directorate, and the

largest international space

science project in US history,”

said acting NASA

Administrator Robert

Lightfoot.

“All the observatory’s

flight hardware is now complete,

however, the issues

brought to light with the

spacecraft element are

prompting us to take the necessary

steps to refocus our efforts on the completion

of this ambitious and complex observatory,”

Lightfoot said.

Testing the hardware on the observatory’s telescope

element and spacecraft element demonstrate

that these systems individually meet their

requirements. However, recent findings from the

project’s Standing Review Board (SRB) indicate

more time is needed to test and integrate these

components together and then perform environmental

testing at Northrop Grumman Aerospace

Systems in Redondo Beach, California, the project’s

observatory contractor. NASA said it is

also establishing an external Independent

Review Board (IRB), chaired by Thomas Young,

Brad Anderson will continue to lead

Windows Enterprise deployment and

management efforts with even tighter

alignment across Microsoft 365 and will

partner closely with the EMS teams within

Cloud + Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Platform.

Scott Guthrie will lead the Cloud + AI

Platform.

Jason Zander has been promoted to

Executive Vice President of Azure Cloud.

The Windows platform team led by Harv

Bhela, Henry Sanders and Michael Fortin

will join Zander’s team.

“For Business AI, the customer service,

marketing and sales Insights teams,

previously led by Gurdeep Singh Pall,

will join James Phillips’ Business

Applications Group,” the Microsoft CEO

said.

“I am thankful for Gurdeep’s leadership

in building these new AI solutions

that are going to help differentiate

Microsoft in this area,” he added. When it

comes to AI perception and Mixed

Reality (MR), Alex Kipman will lead the

new team.

“This team will continue to build firstparty

products and the core building

block cloud services for third parties on

Azure,” Nadella added.

a highly respected NASA and industry veteran

who is often called on to chair advisory committees

and analyse organisational and technical

issues. NASA will consider the findings and recommendations

of both the boards’ findings for

defining a more specific launch time frame.

The US space agency will then provide its

assessment in a report to Congress this summer.

Webb is an international project led by NASA

with its partners, ESA

(European Space Agency)

and the Canadian Space

Agency.

NASA will work with its

partner, ESA, on a new

launch readiness date for

the Ariane 5 vehicle that

will launch Webb into

space.

ESA is providing the

Ariane 5 as part of its scientific

collaboration. Once a new launch readiness

date is determined, NASA said it will provide a

cost estimate that may exceed the projected $8

billion development cost to complete the final

phase of testing and prepare for launch.

Additional steps to address project challenges

include increasing NASA engineering oversight,

personnel changes, and new management reporting

structures. “Considering the investment

NASA and our international partners have made,

we want to proceed systematically through these

last tests, with the additional time necessary, to

be ready for a May 2020 launch,” said Thomas

Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA’s

Science Mission Directorate.

WhatsApp to soon

roll out new ‘Change

Number’ feature

New Delhi : WhatsApp on

Friday rolled out a new feature

in a Beta update that will soon

enable iOS, Android and

Windows Phone users migrate

their data to a new number

without much hassle. The new

“Change Number” feature

update is currently available in

the 2.18.97 Android beta

update on Google

Play Store. It will

come in iOS and

Windows devices

later. “It adds

many improvements

to the old

change number

feature. You will

be able to choose

specific contacts

to notify, and the

chat history will be moved in

the new chat on the recipients’

phone. This deletes the problem

of duplicated chats,”

tweeted WABetaInfo, a fan

website that tracks upcoming

WhatsApp features. The user

can now choose if he wants to

also notify some or all contacts.

“You can also choose to

notify contacts who you have a

chat with,” the report said. The

Jio Prime members

to get a

year’s complimentary

benefits for

no cost

New Delhi, All Jio Prime

members who have subscribed

to the exclusive membership

benefits till March

31, 2018 will get another year

of complimentary Prime benefits

at no additional fee (limited

period offer), a company

statement said here on Friday.

To avail the benefit the

existing subscribers need to

express interest to get complimentary

membership for the

next 12 months through

MyJio app. At present, there

are over 175 million Jio Prime

members.

For new Jio users (on or

after April 2018), the Jio Prime

membership will continue to

be available at an annual membership

fee of Rs 99. “The continued

availability of the Jio

Prime Membership to new

subscribers reiterates Jio’s

commitment to deliver a differentiated

Digital Life experience

to Indians and will propel

this into the world’s largest

loyalty programme,” the company

said.

user will have to select the

“Change Number” option in

WhatsApp Settings and then

Account. After inserting the

required old and new phone

numbers, WhatsApp will ask

which contacts have to be notified

about your new number.

After the migration, in the

recipient’s phone, all shared

messages in the old chat will

be transferred in the new one

and in the chat will appear a

new bubble, indicating that the

user has a new number,

WABetaInfo said.

WhatsApp now has 1.5 billion

monthly active users

(MAUs) who are exchanging

nearly 60 billion messages on

a single day. It has over 200

million users in India.


www.theasianindependent.co.uk

WORLD

MARCH 2018

21

China will guard its sovereignty,

not concede an inch of land : Xi

US prohibits transactions with

Venezuela’s digital currency

Washington |

US President Donald

Trump on Monday issued an executive

order prohibiting US transactions with

Venezuela’s digital currency, a move to

further block the South American country’s

access to US financial market.

The US blocked “all transactions

related to, provision of financing for, and

other dealings in, by a US person or

within the US, any digital currency, digital

coin, or digital token,” which have

been issued by the Venezuelan government

since January 9, Xinhua quoted a

White House statement, as saying.

Washington said the new measure has

been introduced to counter the latest

attempt from the Maduro administration

“to circumvent US sanctions.”

In late February, Venezuela launched

the presale of its own cryptocurrency, a

type of digital or virtual currency, backed

by its crude oil reserves, as a new financing

option against financial sanctions

imposed by Washington, which forbid

US businesses from lending to the

Venezuelan government or the state-run

oil and gas company PDVSA. The US

Treasury Department said earlier that the

digital currency could violate the sanctions

against Venezuela, warning

investors who acquire it of legal consequences.

The Venezuelan government has

been the subject of increased pressure

and sanctions from abroad, including the

US and the European Union, for allegedly

electoral fraud, corruption and causing

widespread poverty. Venezuelan

President Nicolas Maduro vowed in

February that his government was ready

to receive international observers to oversee

presidential elections on April 22.

U.K. to target wealth

linked to Kremlin

LONDON | Britain is to target wealth

linked to the Kremlin in response to the

poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal,

Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said on

Sunday. “Where people have obtained

wealth by corruption and where we can see

a link with the Kremlin... it may be possible

to have unexplained wealth orders and

other sanctions on those individuals,” Mr.

Johnson told BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

He also said the government was

considering something similar to the

U.S. Magnitsky Act. Technical experts

from Organisation for the Prohibition of

Chemical Weapons will visit Britain on

Monday to collect samples of the nerve

agent used in the attack. Also on

Saturday, Russia’s Ambassador to the

European Union, Vladimir Chizhov,

said Moscow “had nothing to do” with

the attack. He also appeared to suggest

that Britain itself may have been the

source of the chemical agent. “When

you have a nerve agent, you check it

against certain samples you have in

your laboratories,” he said.

Beijing | China will not concede “a

single inch of land” and guard its sovereignty,

Chinese President Xi

Jinping, who was re-elected for second

five-year term with prospects of

continuing as leader for life, asserted

on Tuesday. Besides the border dispute

with India, China claims rights

over the disputed islands in East

China Sea under the control of Japan

and vast stretches of the South China

Sea (SCS), where it is firmly asserting

its control. Vietnam, the Philippines,

Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have

counter claims over the South China

Sea. “The Chinese people and the

Chinese nation have a shared conviction,

which is not a single inch of our

land will be and can be ceded from

China,” Xi said in a 30-minute-long

speech at the end of the 18-day-long

parliament session. During its session,

China’s National People’s Congress

has ratified the constitutional amendment

removing decades-old two-term

limit for President and Vice President

paving the way for Xi to continue in

power for life. He also was re-elected

by the 2,970 deputies for second fiveyear

term as President and head of the

military. In October last year, he was

elected as General Secretary of the

ruling Communist Party of China,

(CPC) for the second five-year term.

By heading the party, the military

and presidency with no limit on

Beirut | Almost 100,000 people have fled

the Kurdish-Syrian enclave of Afrin since a

Turkish military offensive was launched on

the region, a UN humanitarian office said on

Monday, while the EU’s foreign affairs chief

expressed concern at the ongoing military

activities. Afrin city, located in a Syrian

province of the same name, was captured by

the Turkish Army

and its allied

Syrian militiamen

on Sunday, a

major milestone

for Ankara in its

offensive against

the Kurdish

armed groups in

an operation that

the UN Office for

the Coordination

of Humanitarian

Affairs (OCHA)

said had internally

displaced 98,000 residents. Meanwhile, at

a foreign ministers council in Brussels, EU’s

foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said

she was worried about the situation in Afrin,

Efe news reported. The OCHA said 75,000

displaced people had fled to Tal Refaat,

which was still under Kurdish control, while

tenure, he is regarded

as the most powerful

leader after party

founder Mao Zedong.

In a departure from

the past, Xi on

Tuesday addressed the

closing session with

rabble speech televised

live all over the country.

“We should safeguard

the sovereignty

and territorial integrity

of the country and

achieve full unification

of the motherland.

This is the aspiration of all Chinese

people. This is also in line with fundamentals

of the Chinese nation,” he

said in an apparent reference to

Taiwan which China claims as part of

it. He also delivered a stern message

to the separatists. “Faced with this

important question of our nation and

history any action that separates the

country is doomed to fail. These separatist

actions will be met with the condemnation

of the people and punishment

of the history,” he said. “Chinese

people have strong determination, full

confidence and every capability to triumph

over all the separatist actions,”

he said. Besides Taiwan, China brands

the Dalai Lama as “splitist”. China is

also carrying out extensive crackdown

in the Muslim Uygur

majority Xinjiang

against the separatist

group East Turkistan

Islamic Movement

(ETIM). Xi said any

actions and tricks to

split China are certain

to meet with the people’s

condemnation

and the punishment.

“China will never

seek hegemony or

engage in expansion.

Only those who are

accustomed to threatening

others see

everyone as a threat,” he said, taking a

dig at the US. “The Chinese people’s

sincere wish and practical action to

contribute to the peace and development

of humanity should not be misinterpreted,

nor should they be distorted,”

Xi said, adding that “justice will

prevail”. Xi said China would stay on

the path of peaceful development, and

continue to pursue a mutually beneficial

strategy of opening up.

He said China endeavoured to

uphold international fairness and justice.

China advocated that all issues in

the world should be settled through

consultation with people around the

world, he added. China would not

impose its will on others, Xi added.

He said China would contribute more

the rest sought refuge in Nabul and Zahraa,

predominantly Shia Muslim communities

under the control of the Syrian regime.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, an umbrella

group predominantly comprised of the

YPG Kurdish militia, had been in control of

Afrin since 2012, after the outbreak of civil

war in Syria. Although the YPG receives support

and

training from

the US, the

Turkish state

regards them

as a terrorist

group intrinsically

linked

to the

Turkey-based

PKK Kurdish

separatist

insurgents.

On January

20, the

Turkish Army launched a military incursion

against Afrin, which is isolated from the

swathe of Kurdish territory further east, citing

a security threat to its border. The OCHA

estimated that 100,000 people remained in

Afrin district and said it would increase its

humanitarian aid efforts in the area.

Chinese wisdom, Chinese solutions

and Chinese strength to the world, to

push for building an open, inclusive,

clean and beautiful world that enjoyed

lasting peace, universal security and

common prosperity. Expressing his

heartfelt gratitude to the trust placed

on him by all deputies and Chinese

people of all ethnic groups, he said, “It

is a glorious mission and weighty

responsibility to take on this great

position of the President of the

People’s Republic of China.” “I will,

as always, faithfully fulfil my responsibilities

empowered by the

Constitution, be loyal to the motherland

and the people, perform my duty

scrupulously, do all my best, be diligent

at work, and stay devoted and

dedicated,” he said.

He said all officials should subject

themselves to people’s supervision.

“No matter how high a position one

holds, all personnel of state organs

should keep firmly in mind that our

republic is the People’s Republic of

China,” Xi noted.

He asked all personnel of state

organs to always put the people in the

most prominent place in their hearts,

always serve the people wholeheartedly,

and always work hard for the

people’s interests and happiness.

Praising Chinese people’s history, he

said people are the creators of history

and the real heroes.

100,000 people flee

Syria’s Afrin, EU

expresses concern 90 houses destroyed by

Australia wildfires

Canberra | At least 90 houses and properties

were destroyed by wildfires raging in various parts

of southeastern Australia over the weekend, officials

said on Monday. Some 70 houses were burnt

down by a fire in the town of Tathra, which has

been blazing since early Sunday morning, reports

Efe news. A volunteer firefighter was injured and

four civilians were treated for smoke inhalation,

but no one has been reported missing so far,

according to the New South Wales Rural Fire

Service. The wildfire, fuelled by strong winds and

high temperatures, spread rapidly over an area of

1,070 hectares but the fire service finally managed

to control it due to change in weather conditions.

The fires have destroyed 18 houses, killed livestock

and razed farms in areas some 200 km southwest

of Melbourne. Firefighters are working

Monday to contain a fire in Cobden and Penshurst,

where some 1,700 homes are left without power as

electrical poles and infrastructure has been damaged.

Experts had warned authorities in recent

reports about the worsening of extreme heat waves

and wildfires due to increased carbon dioxide

emissions. The fire season in Australia varies

according to the area and weather conditions.

Australia’s worst wildfire in the last decades

occurred in February 2009 in the state of Victoria,

when an area of 4,500-sq.km area was burnt down,

killing 173 people and injuring 414 others.


22 MARCH 2018

WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

Facebook's Zuckerberg summoned over data breach scandal

London : Facebook chief Mark

Zuckerberg was on Tuesday summoned

before a UK parliamentary committee

amid a growing row over data breaches

linked to the popular social media company.

The summons letter to 33-yearold

Zuckerberg was sent by Damian

Collins, the chair of the House of

Commons Digital, Culture, Media and

Sport Committee (DCMS), which is

investigating the issue of fake news.

“It is now time to hear from a senior

Facebook executive with the sufficient

authority to give an accurate account of

this catastrophic failure of process,” the

US-S.Korea annual

military drills from April 1

Washington | The Pentagon has

announced that the annual military drills

between the US and South Korea will start

from April 1, the media

reported on Tuesday.

“US Secretary of

Defence James N. Mattis

and the South Korea

Minister of National

Defence Song Youngmoo

have agreed to

resume the annual combined

exercises including

Foal Eagle and Key Resolve which were

de-conflicted with the schedule of the

Olympic Games” Pentagon spokesman Col.

Rob Manning said in a statement issued late

Monday. “The exercises are expected to

resume April 1, at a scale similar to that of

the previous years.” Manning added: “The

UN Command has notified the Korean

People’s Army (North Korea’s army) on the

schedule as well as the defensive nature of

the annual exercises.” This year’s Foal

Eagle field training exercises will involve

about 11,500 US forces and some 290,000

South Korean troops, according to Pentagon

spokesman Lt. Col. Christopher Logan. The

exercise was originally supposed to take

place during the Winter Olympics, which

were held last month in Pyeongchang, South

Korea, CNN reported. However, US and

South Korean officials opted to postpone it

until after the Olympics and the

Paralympics, which ended on Sunday.

letter states. “Given your commitment

at the start of the new year to ‘fixing’

Facebook, I hope that this representative

will be you,” it adds.

The letter has come as the UK’s

Information Commissioner Elizabeth

Denham said she would be applying to

court for a warrant to search the offices

of Cambridge Analytica – the UK-based

political consulting firm accused of using

the data of 50 million Facebook members

to influence the 2016 US presidential

election. The company, which counts

India among a list of numerous countries

where it has done election-related work,

Indians killed in Mosul : Why were we

kept in the dark, ask angry families

Relatives of the 39 dead in Mosul were shocked when the news aired on television, more so

because government gave them the hope that their loved ones were alive

After External Affairs Minister

Sushma Swaraj announced in

Parliament on Tuesday that 39 Indians

abducted by the Islamic State in Mosul

in Iraq in 2014 were dead, their family

members are in a state of disbelief and

anger. In Punjab, the kin of the dead

expressed anger at not being informed

prior to the public announcement. At

Bhoewal village in Amritsar, a dejected

Gurpinder Kaur, whose brother

Manjinder Singh was among the group

of 39 men, is yet to come to terms with

the news.

‘False hopes’

“For the past four years, they [the

Centre] has been promising that he was

alive ... I don’t know who to trust. I am

waiting to talk to Ms. Sushma Swaraj,”

Ms. Kaur said. “Till now we have not

received any information from the

government ... it’s only through television

that we have come to know about

the deaths. Why were we not informed

is in the eye of a storm after its senior

executives were filmed by an undercover

reporter giving examples of how the firm

could discredit political rivals by arranging

various smear campaigns. The

reporter for ‘Channel 4 News’ posed as a

Sri Lankan businessman wanting to

influence a local election and was told by

Cambridge Analytica boss Alexander

Nix about setting up encounters or, socalled

“honeytraps”, and staging situations

in which apparent bribery could be

caught on camera. Offering bribes to

officials is an offence under the UK

Bribery Act and the US Foreign Corrupt

first,” she asked. Her sentiments were

echoed by Davinder of Murar village

in Kapurthala district. His elder brother

Gobinder, then 46, had gone to Iraq

in 2014. “After the news of his abduction

came, the government informed us

that there was no substantial evidence

of his death ... It kept our hopes alive.

But today, we are shattered. Moreover,

Angry Russians protest over shopping mall fire

Moscow, Thousands of angry

Russians took to the streets in the

Siberian city of Kemerovo demanding a

full investigation into a shopping mall

fire that claimed the lives of 64 people

— 41 of them children. Russian

President Vladimir Putin, who flew

to the city to offer his condolences

to the victims’ families, declared

three days of national mourning

beginning on Wednesday. He

blamed the blaze on “criminal negligence”

and promised that those

responsible would be held accountable,

Sputnik news agency reported.

Deputy Emergencies Minister

Vladlen Aksyonov said that rescue

workers recovered the bodies of all

64 victims and they were handed

over to Russia’s Investigative

Committee.

However, relatives said as many

as 85 people were still missing, most of

them children, according to Interfax

news agency. The deadly blaze swept

through the four-storey Winter Cherry

shopping mall on Sunday, the first weekend

of school holidays, trapping many

families who had gathered at a children’s

play area and cinema hall there. Russian

investigators said the mall’s fire exits

were blocked and a fire safety technician

at the complex “switched off the alarm

system” after being alerted about the

fire. The cause of the fire was not yet

known, but Russia’s Investigative

Committee spoke of “serious violations”

at the shopping mall. It said a criminal

investigation into the cause of the fire

had begun, although reports suggested

that it could have been started by a child

misusing a cigarette lighter or malfunctioning

electrical wires. A video released

by Putin’s press office showed him laying

roses at a makeshift memorial scattered

with candles and toys. “What is

happening here?”, Putin said after laying

a wreath at the scene. “This is no battle

or an unexpected methane outburst in a

mine.” “People, children came to relax.

We are talking about demography and

are losing so many people because of

what? Because of criminal negligence,

sloppiness,” he said. Putin did not meet

with demonstrators in

Kemerovo, who had gathered

in front of the local

administration office to

call for a full probe into

the fire. They also

demanded that officials be

sacked over the fire safety

shortcomings. Members

of the distraught crowd

cast doubt on the official

death toll and demanded

that the Forensic

Examiner’s Office verify

the number, TASS news

agency reported. Footage

from the scene showed riot police standing

between protesters and the municipal

building. “A lot of children died. They

died because of irresponsibility of management,”

said one protester Svetlana

Shestakova. The main slogans were

“Truth!” and “Resign!” — directed at

local officials. Dozens of people vowed

to stay on the square until Kemerovo’s

Governor Aman Tuleyev resigns.

Practices Act. Cambridge Analytica,

which operates in the UK and is registered

in the US, denies any wrongdoing.

“I must emphatically state that

Cambridge Analytica does not condone or

engage in entrapment, bribes or so-called

‘honeytraps’, and nor does it use untrue

material for any purpose,” Nix said in a

statement. The ‘Channel 4 News’ investigation,

broadcast in the UK yesterday,

comes two days after the ‘Observer’

newspaper reported Cambridge Analytica

had gained unauthorised access to tens of

millions of Facebook profiles in one of

the social media company’s biggest data

the news has come from television,”

Mr. Davinder said.

Masih feels vindicated

Harjit Masih of Kala Afghana village

in Punjab, who escaped after

being abducted along with the 39

Indian workers, told presspersons that

he had been vindicated. On his return,

breaches. “Deep digging is interesting,

but you know equally effective can be

just to go and speak to the incumbents

and to offer them a deal that’s too good

to be true, and make sure that that’s video

recorded. “You know, these sorts of tactics

are very effective, instantly having

video evidence of corruption, putting it

on the internet, these sorts of things,” he

was recorded saying in the undercover

report. He claimed they could “send

some girls around to the candidate’s

house”, adding that Ukrainian girls “are

very beautiful, I find that works very

well”, Channel 4 reported.

he said he had seen the other Indians

being shot, but the government then

rejected his claim. He was saved as a

bullet just grazed him. “What I had

said then has come true ... I told what I

saw. The terrorists had shot all and they

were dead,” Mr. Masih said.

Helpless in Nadia

In Nadia in West Bengal, the family

members of Khokhon Sikdar got the

information about his death through

television. “Till late in the evening,

nobody has approached us from the

Centre of the West Bengal government,”

Abhishek Hira, cousin of

Khokhon, 48, a carpenter, said. He has

left behind his wife, Namita, children,

Rita and Abhro, and mother, Shubha

Rani Sikdar. The family members of

Samar Tikadar from the same district

said they got the information about the

death from presspersons. He leaves

behind his wife, Dipali, and daughter,

Sharmistha.

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www.theasianindependent.co.uk

WORLD

China’s $175bn defence budget

three times higher than India’s

MARCH 2018

23

Rouhani kicks off

trip to Turkmenistan,

Azerbaijan

Beijing | China on Monday hiked

its defence spending to 8.1 per cent of

its GDP, pegging its economic growth

at 6.5 per cent in 2018. China’s

defence budget in 2017 was 7 per

cent of the country’s GDP and has

been in single digit since 2013, but

this year’s military spending is the

highest in three years. The budget of

$175 billion is three times higher than

India’s defence spending.

China’s economy, which grew in

double-digit for three-decades, has

slowed down over the years.

The economic target was

announced by Chinese Prime

Minister Li Keqiang when he delivered

the work report to the National

People’s Congress (NPC), China’s

128,000

civilians

leave Syria’s

Eastern

Ghouta

Parliament which

opened on Monday.

China has the world’s

largest standing

Army and spends the

most on defence after

the US in the world.

President Xi Jinping

has vowed to make

the Chinese Army a

modern force by cutting

down its troops.

This was mentioned

by Li while

delivering the work

report at the Great Hall where nearly

3,000 Chinese lawmakers had gathered.

“We have completed the task of

reducing the armed by

300,000 troops,” Li

said at the opening

session of the NPC.

The two-week

Parliament session

will be a historic one

as the rubber-stamp

legislature will

remove the two-term

cap on the Chinese

presidency, giving Xi

unfettered power and

license to rule until he

retires or dies. The

party’s powerful Central Committee

in February passed a proposal to

remove the two-term cap on Chinese

presidency — a move that has startled

Damascus, A total of 128,000 civilians have so far left rebel-held

areas in Damascus’ Eastern Ghouta through humanitarian corridors,

state news agency SANA reported on Wednesday.

Citing a military source, SANA said the Syrian Army secured the

evacuation of the large number of civilians, adding that the operation

was ongoing. The latest batch of civilians left Eastern Ghouta on

Tuesday, with 500 civilians reaching government-controlled positions

in the Wafidin area northeast of Damascus before they were

taken to shelters nearby, Xinhua news agency cited the Syrian news

agency as saying. The civilian evacuation, which started on March

14, was made possible after the Syrian Army advanced in Eastern

Ghouta and captured 90 per cent of that area from an array of rebel

groups, which have been entrenched in that key area since 2012.

Also, thousands of rebels and their families were leaving Eastern

Ghouta towards rebel-held areas in Idlib province.

the world. China’s revered leader

Deng Xiaoping in 1980s had restricted

the presidential five-year tenure to

two to avoid the perils which the cult

around Mao Zedong had brought. In

2017, at the Communist Party’s once

in a five-year meet, Xi began his second

five-term without announcing his

successors, a convention his predecessor

Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin had

followed.

The move was widely speculated

as Xi’s desire to rule the country of

1.4 billion beyond the customary 10

years.

Xi is China’s most powerful leader

since Mao. He has been conferred

with the status of “core”, an honorific

given only to Mao and Deng.

Tehran : Iranian President Hassan

Rouhani on Tuesday left Tehran for

Turkmenistan for talks on bilateral and

regional issues. Rouhani’s visit came at

the official invitation of Turkmen

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.

Before heading for Turkmenistan’s capital

Ashgabat, the Iranian President

said that his country “attaches importance

to the promotion of its ties with

the neighbouring countries”, Xinhua

news agency reported. During the

two-day visit, Rouhani will hold talks

with Berdimuhamedow while the two

countries’ high-ranking delegations

would hold meetings. Iran and

Turkmenistan will also sign cooperation

documents in the presence of the

two leaders. On Wednesday, Rouhani

will head for Baku, the capital of

Azerbaijan, to hold talks with his

Azeri counterpart Ilham Aliyev.

Tehran and Baku are scheduled to sign

several cooperation agreements after

which the two Presidents will attend a

joint press conference. An economic

meeting would be held on Thursday to

discuss the strengthening of cooperation

among the two countries’ staterun

sectors and economic agents.


24 MARCH 2018

WORLD

www.theasianindependent.co.uk

40,000 civilians return home

in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

Damascus : A total of 40,000 civilians have

returned home in the Syrian capital’s Eastern

Ghouta, where the Army nearly gained full control,

state news agency SANA reported on

Tuesday. The return of the civilians was ongoing

as the Syrian Army recaptured all towns in

Eastern Ghouta except for the last rebel stronghold

of Douma district, the report said. Around

150,000 civilians left Eastern Ghouta in March

following a relentless offensive by government

troops targeting the rebels.

A day earlier, SANA reported that 12,000

children from Eastern Ghouta returned to

schools in the government-run shelters. As the

last batch of rebels were moving to the rebel-held

area in the northern city of Jarablus, the situation

in Eastern Ghouta was returning to normal,

allowing people to return home.

Eastern Ghouta, a 105-square-km agricultural

region consisting of several towns and farmlands,

used to be occupied by several rebel

groups, who posed the last threat to the capital by

firing shells into Damascus’ government-controlled

neighbourhoods.

UN blacklists shipping

firms for aiding N.Korea

nited Nations, The UN

Security Council has blacklisted

27 ships, 21 shipping companies

and one individual for

aiding North Korea in its effort

to evade sanctions, the media

reported on Saturday.

The latest restrictions

announced on Friday were

directed not just at North

Korea’s shipping operations

but Chinese companies trading

with Pyongyang, reports the

BBC.

The list includes 16 companies

based in North Korea, five

registered in Hong Kong, two

on the Chinese mainland, two

in Taiwan and one each in

Panama and Singapore. The US

Ambassador to the UN, Nikki

Haley said the latest measures

were a “clear sign that the international

community was united”

in its efforts to increase

pressure on the North Korean

regime.

Friday’s measures were proposed

by the US last month as

part of a crackdown on the maritime

smuggling of North

Korean commodities such as

oil and coal. Sanctioned oil

tankers and cargo vessels are

banned from ports worldwide

and businesses face an asset

freeze, the BBC reported. This

is the UN’s largest ever package

of designated penalties

against Pyongyang.

The reclusive nation has

been subjected to numerous

rounds of international sanctions

since 2006, which has cut

off most of its exports and

capped its imports of oil.

20 Myanmar migrant workers

killed in Thailand bus fire

Bangkok, Twenty migrant workers from Myanmar were

killed when their bus caught fire in northwestern Thailand on

Friday, the police said. The workers were travelling to a factory

district near Bangkok when their

chartered bus was engulfed in

flames around 1.30 a.m. in Tak

Province, the Bangkok Post

reported. The double-decker bus

was carrying 47 Myanmar workers,

out of which 27 managed to

escape the inferno, said Col.

Krissana Pattanacharoen, a Royal Thai Police spokesman.

The cause of the fire was not yet known, he said. Initial

reports said that the engine of the bus caught fire which spread

quickly through the vehicle. Police said the fire was so intense

that identifying the dead would require experts.

One officer at the scene told the daily that he could not distinguish

between male and female corpses. The authorities were

planning to interview the driver, who survived the fire. “We are

trying to identify the bodies and also trying to contact the

Myanmar Consulate in order to identify the bodies,” Colonel

Krissana said. “They are Buddhists, so we’ve got to send them

back to their hometown for religious ceremonies there.” The

workers who were killed on Friday had passed the lengthy new

registration process to work in the country, reports said.

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