Return of E-rickshaws to Delhi roads legally

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Return of E-rickshaws to Delhi roads legally

Return of E-rickshaws to Delhi roads legally

Paving a way for existing E-rickshaws to return on Delhi roads, Lok sabha has passed the bill to legalise E-rickshaws in Delhi by bringing them under the ambit of Motor Vehicles Act. The drivers of these battery-operated vehicles will also be provided with licenses and govt. has promised to incorporate member suggested rules, once it becomes a law.

These rickshaws were banned after the death of a three year old kid, slipped into a pot of boiling sugar syrup when the three-wheeler struck his mother and threw her off-balance outside a street-side sweet shop in east Delhi. Apart from the problems faced and the accidents, the bill to bring back e-rickshaws has been passed in Lok sabha.
Several amendments and rules were kept forward about the continuation of vehicle by the transport ministry that it will not carry more than 4 passengers including driver, more than 40kg luggage is not allowed. The power of electric motor should not be more than 2000 watts, the maximum speed of vehicle should be less than 25km per hour and the driver is bound to have license.
The act of Lok sabha passing the bill raises many questions about the transport minister Nitin Gadkari, depicting his relations with Purti Green Technologies, one of the seven companies that were granted licenses by the state-run Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CSIR to produce e-rickshaws and moreover hurrying the action because of nearby elections. The minister denied the allegations of bill being passed early due to elections or any commercial relations with Purti Green Technologies saying that the early  passage of the bill will be a boon for one crore poor people who face a lot of health problems by plying cycle rickshaws manually.

E- rickshaws

E- rickshaws on roads

Gadkari also stated that all the safety measure, including the standardisation of the design of e-rickshaw have been addressed in the bill, he further added saying that the govt. has decided to provide low interest loan to the rickshaw pullers belonging to poor and backward minority communities to buy e-rickshaws. He also spoke about pollution-free India and the government’s ambitious plan to convert polluting diesel buses to “e-buses.”
There are always two sides to everything. E-rickshaws provide employment to people and also in a sense promotes illiteracy, as license can be given to illiterates hampering the safety of people and violation of traffic rules. It also serves as a substitute for manual pulling rickshaws and is a way of earning livelihood for many poor people but because of its inappropriate structure and other safety reasons it was banned. With legalising it, the govt. has promised to work on its structure and the safety. The bill has still to be passed in Rajya Sabha to be practiced in Delhi. We hope that that it goes well as thought by the ministry and help rickshaw pullers to lead a better life.

 

 

 

PESHAWAR MASSACRE LEAVES THE WORLD BAFFLED

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PESHAWAR MASSACRE LEAVES THE WORLD BAFFLED

PESHAWAR MASSACRE LEAVES THE WORLD BAFFLED

“My son was in uniform in the morning. He is in a casket now,” wailed one parent. “My son was my dream. My dream has been killed.”

A bloodcurdling attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School, near Pakistan-Afghanistan border, killed around 141 people, 132 of whom were children and teenagers attending the academy. The slaughter, carried out by six Taliban terrorists, is the single worst terror attack in the country’s history and one of the most brutal assaults faced by a school. Even in conflict-ravaged Pakistan, it seems an unprecedented act.

The assault began in the morning when terrorists wearing vests of explosives scaled a back wall of the school using a ladder. They open-fired at the auditorium and then went to classrooms and other parts of the school. Army commandos in no time arrived at the scene and started exchanging fire with the gunmen. It took them eight hours to end the assault and clear the school. It has been reported that all the attackers died on the spot but it was not clear whether they blew themselves up or were shot by the soldiers.

Hospitals were overwhelmed by the injured and dead. Shell-shocked  survivors recounted horrific episodes of the assault describing it nothing short of mayhem. The attackers came dressed in paramilitary uniforms looking for people to kill. A 16 year old survivor, Shahrukh Khan, who was shot in both legs, said he managed to survive after playing dead.

SMALLER COFFINS ARE HEAVIER TO CARRY

SMALLER COFFINS ARE HEAVIER TO CARRY

As quoted by an army official, the militants did not seem to have any intention of taking the children hostage or making demands, their sole purpose was to kill kids, that’s what they did.  Pakistan’s Taliban spokesman Mohammed Umar Khorasanin said the assault was “a revenge attack” for an army offensive in North Waziristan in June that targeted militants.”We targeted the school because the army targets our families,” “We want them to feel our pain.” However, Taliban militants in neighboring Afghanistan descried the killing spree, calling it “un-Islamic.”

The attack drew swift condemnation from around the world.
“It a senseless act of unspeakable brutality, my heart goes out to everyone who lost their loved ones today. We share their pain & offer our deepest condolences,” said, Narendra Modi. Nobel Prize-winning Pakistani student activist Malala Yousafzai said, “We stand with all those families and all those children who are injured right now and who are suffering through this big trauma.” “The terrorists have once again  showed their depravity,” said, Barack Obama.

The incident has left the world dumbstruck, assassinating kids for taking revenge is not acceptable. After such an outrageous act, we hope that it strengthens the view of countries joining hands and fighting unanimously against terrorism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHIMLA WITNESSES FIRST SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON

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SHIMLA WITNESSES FIRST SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON

SHIMLA WITNESSES FIRST SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON

Cold conditions intensified due to the unexpected snowfall in Shimla, followed by rain in some parts of northern India which got temperature drop by 8-12 degree Celsius. Bright and pleasant mornings were turned into chilly winter days with minimum temperature recorded as minus 0.6 degree in Manali, 2.7 degree in Shimla and 5.4 degree in Dharamshala.

Hoteliers and farmers in the hilly regions seemed happy with the onset of snow. Shimla for its charm, hilly surroundings, enchanting sunrise and sunset views and a popular honeymoon spot attracts a large number of tourists. Snow being the cherry on the pie for Shimla, hoteliers are expecting a good kick to the tourism business. Farmers too got over with the threat of dry season and feel relieved with the increase in chilling hours required for upcoming apple season.

Apart from good business for people, snow also resulted in blocked roads as well as unannounced power cuts. Around 850 roads were blocked out of which only 100 major roads got opened and the bus service in interior areas of Shimla and Kullu also got suspended due to the slippery road conditions. Moreover, 400 vehicles including buses, were stranded between Rohtang Pass and Solang Nallah. Vehicular traffic at Hindustan-Tibet National Highway was hampered at Narkanda and Kufri as well.

People enjoying snowfall

People enjoying snowfall

According to the PWD officials, the work is under process and the roads would be cleared in a day, which won’t hamper the tourist season.
People are writing queries to newspapers and meteorological department to know about the status of snow during Christmas and New Year, to plan their trips accordingly. The local Meteorological office has predicted dry weather for next two days and rains, thunderstorm and snowfall from January 8 onwards

Even after the blocked roads, tourists were found to be enthusiastic to see the season’s first snow and planned their trip to Shimla.
Winters is termed as the best time for the people who love adventure sports like skiing and ice-skating to visit Shimla. Shimla, during winters, flaunts its extraordinary beauty wrapped in snow.
 

 

 

 

 

 

UN DECLARES INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY

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UN DECLARES INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY

UN DECLARES INTERNATIONAL YOGA DAY

Yoga has fairly been in news for different reasons, whether through Baba Ramdev’s consistent urges to practice in everyday life or actresses from Indian film industry giving yoga lessons on DVDs. More recently, UN general assembly declared international day for yoga acknowledging its importance in the world today.
It is popularly believed that yoga is a set of physical exercises where people twist, turn, stretch, and breathe in complex ways. However, yoga has lot more to offer. It enhances inner beauty and makes person internally healthy that gets reflected on one’s physical posture and personality. It is an overall process that helps to rejuvenate and accentuates a balanced mind, body and soul.
Asanas (positions or postures) are one of the eight limbs of yoga that help to maintain the outer appearance, whereas yoga holistically focuses on body as a whole.

Yoga’s easy accessibility and timeliness has made its reach to masses, one of the beauties of its physical practice is that the asanas can be done by people of all age and can be practiced merely on a mat. Additionally, it is said that the efforts in yoga are never fruitless.  With time, people have realised about the benefits of yoga and started practicing it. Such examples can be found in laughter yoga clubs, people doing yoga in parks and informal groups of housewives or working class people being formed to practice yoga. The impact of yoga can be best seen in the recent announcement when UN General Assembly adopted an Indian-led resolution declaring June 21 as ‘International Day of Yoga’, identifying that “Yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being., in less than three months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the idea.”
The resolution on ‘International Day of Yoga’ was introduced by India’s ambassador to UN Asoke Mukerji and had 175 nations joining as co-sponsors, the highest number ever for any general assembly resolution.
It is also for the first time that such an initiative has been proposed and implemented by any country in the UN body in less than 90 days.

yoga being performed at larger sclale

Yoga being performed at larger scale.

UN secretary general said, “The annual commemorations of this new International Day will serve to promote other United Nations goals and initiatives.  Yoga can contribute to resilience against non-communicable diseases.  Yoga can bring communities together in an inclusive manner that generates respect.  Yoga is a sport that can contribute to development and peace.  Yoga can even help people in emergency situations to find relief from stress.”

Sam K Kutesa, president general assembly, UN said, “For centuries, people from all walks of life have practiced yoga, recognising its unique embodiment of unity between mind and body.  Yoga brings thought and action together in harmony, while demonstrating a holistic approach to health and well-being.”

Being a life changing process, yoga reduces stress, gets body relaxed, purifies  mind, maintains health, reduces depression, increases metabolism, improves concentration power and the list goes on with its unending benefits. Yoga has been in our culture for more than 5000 years and has evolved from being a term to a continuous practice, as it is popularly said ‘you cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state.’ It is slowly being accepted as an essential part of day to day life and we hope it becomes a way of life for people in near future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Permanent Delegations of India to UNESCO to commemorate WWI Centenary

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First World War centenary commemoration has been running in France for more than a month. A series of major events have been taken place. Another major event is going to be added to this series, which will be organised by the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO on December 11, 2014 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.

As per the schedule of the programme, Indian expert Squadron Leader Rana Chhina will make a presentation on ‘India and the Great War: An Overview’ to be followed by French expert Yves Le Maner who will speak on ‘The colonial troops of the French and British Empires during WWI’.

The event will be opened with a rendition of the French Last Post (Sonnerie aux morts) followed thereafter by a welcome address by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj from India. The Permanent Delegations of Australia, Belgium, Canada France, Germany, New Zealand and the UK have also extended their support to this special event under the aegis of UNESCO’s 70th anniversary celebrations. To this end, the ambassadors of these countries will also address the distinguished audience, inclusive of ambassadors/permanent representatives to UNESCO, officials from the Secretariat of UNESCO, students as well as prominent personalities from various walks of life invited to the event. The event will conclude with a rendition of the Commonwealth Last Post.

Here is the detailed programme: PROGRAMME

  • * French Last Post (Sonnerie aux morts)
  • * Welcome remarks by H. E. Ms Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of India to UNESCO
  • * Remarks by Mr. Eric Falt, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO
  • * Message of Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO
  • * Remarks by H. E. Mr Yves Haesendonck, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Belgium to UNESCO
  • *Remarks by H. E. Mr Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Canada to UNESCO
  • * Remarks by H. E. Mr Philippe Lalliot, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of France to UNESCO
  • * Remarks by H. E. Mr Michael Worbs Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Germany to UNESCO
  • * Remarks by Ms Susannah Gordon, Permanent Delegate of New Zealand to UNESCO
  • * Remarks by H. E. Mr Matthew Sudders, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to UNESCO
  • * Presentation by Indian expert Sq. Ldr. Rana Chhina on “India and the Great War: An Overview”
  • * Presentation by French expert Mr Yves Le Maner on “The colonial troops of the French and British Empires during WWI”
  • * Closing remarks by H. E. Ms Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of India to UNESCO Commonwealth Last Post

WWI – The story retold WW1a

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, by the time the First World War ended in November 1918, more than a million Indian personnel had been sent overseas and over 60,000 troops had sacrificed their lives. As far as the western front is concerned, 138,000 soldiers from India were sent to Europe during the First World War. Most of these soldiers were deployed at Ypres (Belgium) and at nearby Neue Chapelle in France during the period 1914-15. A very large number lost their lives in the campaign to halt the German advance and in the counter-attacks that followed the first chemical weapons attacks in early 1915. The supreme sacrifice of Indian soldiers in Europe is recorded in the major World War I memorial at Menin Gate, in Ypres, Belgium, and at the memorial for Indian soldiers in near-by Neue Chappelle in France.

After the war, India participated in the Peace Conference held at Versailles to establish the world’s first inter-governmental organization, the League of Nations. As a signatory of the Treaty of Versailles, India became a founder-member of the League of Nations, the precursor of today’s United Nations. In 1945, when the conference to establish the United Nations was held at San Francisco, India again participated and signed the Charter becoming a founding member of the United Nations. Indeed, India’s contribution to WWI and acceptance as a member of the global polity ensured that India became one of the founding members of other UN bodies such as UNESCO even before Independence.

ISRO’s MOM enters orbit around Mars!

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India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is closing in on the Red Planet and the Mars Orbit Insertion engine firing when it arrives on September 24, 2014 after its 10 month interplanetary journey.

India’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) is closing in on the Red Planet and the Mars Orbit Insertion engine firing when it arrives on September 24, 2014 after its 10 month interplanetary journey.

“Aaj MOM ka Mangal se milan ho gaya, aur Mangal ko MOM mil gayi (Today MOM met Mars and Mars found MOM),” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said congratulating scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bangalore today for putting India on the world map of space exploration and becoming the first to have a successful mars mission on debut.

A USD 74 million Indian spacecraft entered orbit around Mars today after an almost yearlong voyage, and for 11 percent the cost of the U.S.’s Maven probe. Mangalyaan, or “Mars craft” in Hindi, made orbit after a trip of about 661 million kilometers (411 million miles), ISRO said. The satellite is India’s first Mars mission and reached the red planet two days after the USD 671 million Maven craft. Mangalyaan, also known as the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), is expected to orbit Mars for six months and send data back to Earth until its fuel supplies are exhausted, according to ISRO. India’s USD 74 million mission seeks to map the Martian surface, study the atmosphere and search for methane gas, a sign that the planet can support life. India’s space program is the first to enter the Mars orbit in its first attempt, President Pranab Mukherjee said in a statement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the scientists after news of success of the Mission

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the scientists after news of success of the Mission

It was a historical achievement as India became the first country to successfully get a spacecraft into the Martian orbit on its maiden attempt. ISRO’s MOM spacecraft started orbiting the red planet at 7.47 am, but it was only 12 minutes later — because of a time delay in radio signals travelling the 680 million km — that scientists at ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network in Bangalore, could erupt in joy as Prime Minister Narendra Modi stood a happy witness. For most of the time the main engine was firing — 20 of the 24 crucial minutes — MOM was hiding behind Mars, adding to the suspense.

The scientists had waited for more than 300 days as MOM journeyed on through space, but the last 54 minutes were virtually unbearable. For, it was during this period that the orbiter first reoriented itself and then fired its engine and thrusters for about 24 minutes to get into the Mars orbit. For all the action at the ground station, there was not much the scientists had to do. More than 10 days ago, they had uplinked all the commands for the maneuvers to the spacecraft. MOM, like an obedient child, carried them out perfectly. MOM will remain a satellite of Mars, clicking pictures and sniffing out details on the atmosphere and morphology of the red planet for several months.

Through its journey since November 5, 2013 when PSLV-C25 lifted off from Sriharikota with the spacecraft in its nosecone, MOM has had a perfect voyage. The first litmus test came on Monday when it was to carry out time-tagged commands to reignite its main engine which had been idling for about 300 days since it left the Earth orbit on December 1, 2013. MOM did this in style, burning for the designated four seconds to show that the engine is in fine shape. On Wednesday, it proved its resilience.

As it goes around Mars on an elliptical orbit with the closest point around 420 km and the farthest around 80,000 km, MOM will employ five equipment that collectively weight 15kg to do scientific studies. The Lyman alpha photometer would measure the relative abundance of deuterium and hydrogen in the upper Martian atmosphere to understand previous presence of water on the red planet. A methane sensor will look for sources of the gas. While the Mars colour camera clicks away, a thermal infrared spectrometer will study heat emission, minerals and soil on Mars.

Before India, various countries have launched Mars missions, but out of the 51 attempts, only 21 were successful. India now joins the Martian club that comprises the US, Russia and the European Space Agency. Only the European Space Agency has got its orbiter right in the first attempt (Mars Express in 2003), but India can claim a first since the agency is a conglomeration of several countries.

Indian classical music and dance festival in Vrindavan

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Shubhendra Saskia 1 DSC_0935

Truly Indian culture that percolates to the grassroots and holds the heritage together like its soil! The holy city of Lord Krishna – Vrindavan, once again witnessed the best of Indian Classical Music and Dance on the occasion of Radha Ashtami (birth anniversary of Radha, the consort of Lord Krishna). Organised by Sangeet Shiromani Swami Haridas Sangeet Samiti, the 153rd edition of two day Sangeet Shiromani Swami Haridas Sangeet evam Nritya Samaroh concluded recently in Fogla Ashram in Vrindavan.

Rajendra Nirupama group 4 DSC_0362Inauguration day 1 -1 DSC_0054

The festival presented doyens of Indian Classical Music and Dance including Kathak recital by Pt Rajendra and Nirupama; Dhrupad Gayan by Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar; Taalchakra – Ensemble of percussion instruments, Bansuri and Vocals – by Pt Vijay Ghate on Tabla , Pt Shounak Abhisheki – Vocals, Pt Rakesh Chaurasia on Bansuri, Vidwan Shreedhar Parthasarathy on Mridangam, Mukul Dongre on Drums, Atul Raninga on Keyboards; Kathak recital – Guru Shishya Parampara – by Pt Arjun Mishra and his disciples; solo presentation of  Prashna Panchali – a Kavya Natika authored by Sunita Budhiraja and Directed by Dinesh Thakur with Preeta Mathur as the sole actor; Sitar and Chello Jugalbandi by Pt Shubhendra Rao and Smt Saskia Rao De Haas; Sufi Vocals by Ustad Ahmed Hussain and Ustad Mohammed Hussain.

Al Qaeda in India : a desperate move ?

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al qaeda calls for jihad against India

Al qaeda calls for jihad against India

On the face of it, the announcement by Al Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri to set up an al Qaeda unit in South Asia may sound alarming for a region that is already in turmoil due to extreme instability in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well the regularly occurring tensions between various religious communities in other countries, including India.

If all the terror groups were to come together and act in a concerted fashion, they could indeed pose a problem for the governments in South Asia and especially India, which is by far the largest nation and has the biggest population of Muslims in the world, with the exception of Indonesia.

With the Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, heading the government, it may be easier for Islamic terror groups like the al Qaeda to raise the spectre of Muslims in India being targeted, persecuted and excluded. They would simply hark back to the Gujarat riots of 2002, the rather hawkish posture of the party, if not the government on the situation in Jammu & Kashmir, and the recent upsurge in Hindu-Muslim riots in Uttar Pradesh as well as the violence against the mainly Muslim migrants in the north-eastern state of Assam.

These, combined with a generous flow of funds, may be enough to sway a few Muslims from India, who do not really share the philosophies and thinking which attracts far larger number of Muslims from the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan or even the European nations as only a handful of Indian Muslims have been associated with al Qaeda.

A bigger challenge for al Qaeda, though, lies in competing with new star of Islamic terror groups, the Islamic State. Within a year, the former splinter group of al Qaeda has occupied a significant territory in the Middle East and has acquired all the trappings of a new country – frontiers, armed forces, a ‘government’ which collects taxes, dispenses justice and undertakes all other activities expected from any other government. In sharp contrast, the al Qaeda remains amorphous and does not have any physical assets or presence to show for itself after nearly two decades of existence.

The IS has definitely shown a magnetic pull on young Muslims from practically all over the world and it has also pulled in a few Indian Muslims. Hence, al Qaeda’s move to South Asia may be more of a desperate move to survive and remain relevant in the scheme of things of global Islamic terror groups rather than a strategic expansion or acquisition.

But still things could, however, work out more in favour of al-Qaeda if the new Indian government reacts very harshly or alarmingly to the announcement by al Zawahiri. The government would have to be very careful about making a distinction between reacting to this news in a strategic and selective manner rather than making a broad brushed clampdown on all sorts of Islamic groups in the country, which inevitably leads to harsher treatments of Muslims by the security organisations, notably the police, which has in the past three decades shown a great deal of over-enthusiasm in tackling the ‘Islamic terror’ in India.

The Indian courts have dismissed several dozens of cases of innocent Muslims being implicated under false charges. However, unfortunately, most of these detainees were released several years, often a decade, after their arrest and these cases do not help the cause of the government to show that it is acting in a fair manner and not targeting the Muslims. If the BJP government does not play its cards right, then it could send some more Muslims into the embrace of al Qaeda or IS than these organisations would muster on their own.

Peru: ‘A country of opportunities’ for India

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In an endeavour to strengthen its relationship with India in terms of trade and investment, International Affairs Committee – Americas of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry has organised an interactive session with Egdar Vasquez Vela, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade of Peru at PHD House, New Delhi on August 21, 2014.

Flag-Pins-Peru-India

Javier Paulinich Velarde, Ambassador of Peru in India and Luis M Cabello, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of Peru in India also presided the session. The interactive session highlighted the investment and trade opportunities in Peru. In addition, the session emphasised on the tourism destinations in Peru.

Talking about opportunities in Peru for trade and investment, Egdar Vasquez Vela said, “The trade between India and Peru has grown between five per cent and 10 per cent in the last 10 years. Exports have witnessed growth of about 29.52 per cent in the period of 2009-2013; while imports saw 36.17 per cent during the same period. Seeing the potential, we are looking forward to sustained growth. We are here to strengthen the relation with India and for this; negotiations for free trade agreement (FTA) will soon be discussed.”

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Highlighting the benefits of FTA, he said, “Once the FTA in place, this would benefit in terms of better cooperation, better investment, more movement of people and operations, and, increase of trade and employment. We (Peru and India) have many similarities and we together can explore opportunities in the sectors like mining, food, apparel, energy, etc.” The session discussed and deliberated on the emerging opportunities in the various sectors like agriculture and agribusiness, tourism, hospitality, fabrics and yarns, garments and fashion, pharmaceutical products, information technology, and, mining.

Luis M Cabello presented the facts and figures of Peru for trade and investment opportunities. “Peru is stable economically and has been growing rapidly in the last decade. Economic growth has been driven by rising private investment. Peru is a leader in GDP growth in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The country is an attractive market for foreign investment, which registers $12 billion in 2012. Moreover, Peru offers a favourable legal framework for foreign investment. Tax regime is steady.”

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He added, “Peru is not only a destination for business, but also a tourist destination. Explore the new wonders of the world – Machu Picchu and Amazon – here. It is a culture and culinary destination. Even, many Indian movies have been shot here. So, visit the country, and explore trade opportunities and hidden travel treasures.”

In addition, the Ambassador Javier Paulinich Velarde announced the visit of the President Ollanta Humala next year and he informed that the agenda of his visit is the launch of FTA. With this initiative, looking forward to a strong relationship between India and Peru in terms of trade, investment and tourism!

Gulzar: The wizard of words turns 78

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b5ed51d5-b769-47c2-ad32-f0d2535d2bf6wallpaper1Lyricist-filmmaker Gulzar, best known for penning memorable hits like Tujhse Naaraaz Nahi and Tere Bina Zindagi Se besides directing critically acclaimed films like Aandhi and Mausam, turns 78-year-old today.

Gulzar’s words are magical. Ethreal poetry and Gulzar are synonyms. Be it his writing or direction, Gulzar presented a different side to every emotion, and brought new meaning to every situation. He can say very convoluted things in simple words and can make simple inscrutable. It is up to you, what you like!

Gulzar with RD Burman

Gulzar with RD Burman

Gulzar started his career in 1956 and as a lyricist and got his first break in Bimal Roy’s Bandini. He has worked with leading music directors like Sachin Dev Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Shankar Jaikishan, Hemant Kumar, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Madan Mohan, Rajesh Roshan, Anu Malik, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Gulzar developed outstanding creative partnerships with R D Burman, A R Rahman and Vishal Bhardwaj. His songs ‘Kajrare‘ and ‘Beedi jalai le’ changed the way Bollywood looked at the item songs. Apart from lyrics, he has contributed to several films as script, story and dialogue writer.

Gulzar's Mirza Ghalib series

Gulzar’s Mirza Ghalib series

Owner of one of the most vivid pens in the Hindi film industry, Gulzar was always an acclaimed poet even outside the industry. He is widely known for his outstanding work on the small screen where he directed TV series like Mirza Ghalib and Tahreer Munshi Premchand Ki. He wrote lyrics for several Doordarshan serials, including Hello Zindagi, Potli Baba Ki and Jungle Book which became very popular.

Gulzar has been honoured time and again for his work. Gulzar was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002, the Padma Bhushan in 2004. He has won a number of National Film Awards and 20 Filmfare Awards. Recently he also received Dadasaheb Phalke Award. He won the Academy Award for best original song for ‘Jai Ho‘ with AR Rahman for ‘Slumdog Millionaire‘ in 2009. In 2010, Gulzar also won the Grammy award for ‘Jai Ho‘. His extraordinary ability to touch a chord with people across generations and cultures makes the award particularly deserving.

AR Rehman and GUlzar bagged Grammy Award for Jai Ho

AR Rehman and Gulzar bagged Grammy Award for Jai Ho

His poetry has been published in three compilations: ‘Chand Pukhraaj Ka’, ‘Raat Pashminey Ki’ and ‘Pandrah Paanch Pachattar’ (15-05-75). His short stories are published in ‘Raavi-Paar’ (also known as ‘Dustkhat’ in Pakistan) and ‘Dhuan’ (smoke). He is also credited with having created a new type of stanza in Urdu poetry named ‘Triveni’ (stanza of three lines).

In his trademark kurta pajama, the poet remains an enduring and beloved figure—whether on a Bandra tennis court or a smoke-filled recording studio.

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