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Thursday, March 31, 2011

BSF to stand guard with 'non-lethal arms' in Indo-Bangla border

Siliguri, Balurghat, 31 March : BSF will prefer non-lethal arms over their lethal weapons while resisting trans-border movements along the Indo-Bangladesh border to curb casualties.
The Special Director General of BSF (East), Pranay Sahay said at the North Bengal frontier headquarters at Kadamtala.
"Our target is to minimise killing and therefore, we have decided to use non-lethal arms to the extent possible to stop intruders. We have had a discussion on the issue with our Bangladeshi counterparts, who have also assured us of taking similar steps," Sahay said.
BSF is planning to equip their armed guards deployed at the border with Pump Action Bore Guns. "Shots fired from this gun do not cause death. The CRPF used it in Jammu and Kashmir to curb protests and the result has been extraordinary", the Special DG said.
"Casualties on the border while guarding it has decreased to a considerable level. We want to minimise it further," Sahay added.
According to reports available with the BSF, only three deaths have resulted from BSF jawans' shots this year as against the 52 deaths reported in 2010. The figure was 75 in 2009 as against 80 in 2008. "As death toll has come down a lot, our relationship with the border people has improved remarkably. This can be substantiated with the fact that seizure of cattle heads in 2011 is far better than the previous years," he asserted.
"However, we are working to improve relation with locals further. Monthly meetings are being held regularly and our men have increasing interacting with those living in the border areas," he added. Photos : Sankar Das
Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina likely to attend WC final
Mumbai, Kolkata, 31 March :
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to be in Mumbai to witness the World Cup final to be played between India and Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Besides Hasina, the other high-profile dignitaries who are making it to the Wankhede Stadium, the venue of the final on April 2, are President Pratibha Patil and her Sri Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa. (With PTI inputs)

Census: India's population now estimated at 1,210.2 million
ANI, New Delhi, 31 March :
India's population is now estimated at 1,210.2 million, an increase of over 181 million in the last 10 years, according to the provisional 2011 Census report released on Thursday.

Releasing the report, the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner Dr C Chandramauli said the country's population growth in 2011 is 17.64 per cent in comparison to 21.15 per cent in 2001. Of the total population, 623.7 million are males and 586.5 million are females.

This is an increase of 181 million people since the last Census - nearly equivalent to the population of Brazil. India's population is now bigger than the combined population of USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Among the states and Union territories, Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state with 199 million people and Lakshadweep the least populated at 64,429. The combined population of Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra is bigger than that of the US.
While Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Puducherry has the highest population growth rate of about 55 percent, Nagaland has the lowest. The density of population is highest in Delhi, followed by Chandigarh.

This is the 15th Census conducted since 1872. It was carried out in two phases, covering 640 districts and 5924 sub-districts. File Photo

ULFA calls Assam "bandh" on 2 April to protest PM visit
PTI, Guwahati, 31 March :
ULFA has called a 12-hour Assam bandh on 2 April to protest Prime Minister Manmohan Singh proposed visit to the state to campaign for party candidates for the first phase of Assembly elections, due on 4 April.

In a statement e-mailed to PTI, Arunodoy Dohotiya, publicity secretary of the Paresh Barua-led faction of the banned outfit said the shutdown has been called in line with the announcement made earlier that ULFA would call a bandh whenever a head of state or central leader visited the state.
West Bengal not economically bankrupt : CM Buddhadeb
Kolkata, 31 March :
West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today discounted Opposition claims that his government was economically bankrupt and said that the situation had never been so under the Left Front regime.

"It is true that the state has a debt burden of a little below Rs two lakh crore, but it is baseless to claim that the government has become bankrupt," he said during an interaction with students at Dinabandhu Andrews College in Garia, south Kolkata.

Noting that the financial situation in the country was very complicated which was also true for states, he said, "But, the situation has not come to such a pass that we can't pay salaries to teachers and doctors.
Never in the past has this happened and I can assure you that it will never happen.

France expressed strong support for Grameen Bank,Yunus
Dhaka, 31 March :
French Foreign Affairs Minister Alain Juppé has expressed strong support for the independence of the Grameen Bank and demanded fair trial of Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus.

“We made clear that France would like to ensure a fair trial for Muhammad Yunus,” he said in the French parliament today, according to a statement of Friends of Grameen.
He made the comments to make clear France’s position after the recent attempts by the Bangladesh government to oust the Grameen Bank founder and the subsequent court hearings.

Sourav has no political association : Election Commission
Kolkata, 31 March :
Election Commission today said it has not found any political association of Sourav Ganguly, selected by it as its brand ambassador for the West Bengal assembly elections, even as CPI(M) brushed aside Trinamool Congress' objection to the selection.

"We have examined the question of Ganguly as a brand ambassador and ascertained that there is no such evidence (of the former Team India's affiliation to CPI-M as claimed by Trinamool)," state deputy Chief Electoral Office Dibyendu Sarkar told reporters here..... READ FULL NEWS @ West Bengal Elections 2011
"Bangladesh lays great importance on relations with China"
Dhaka, 31 March :
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said that Bangladesh laid great importance on the relationship with China and other neighboring countries.
Bangladesh is learning from the experiences of China in different areas, she said when Vice Governor of Yunan province of China Li Jiang paid a courtesy call on the PM at her office. Briefing reporters after the meeting, PM’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad said that the Prime Minister mentioned that Bangladesh has a friendly relationship with China for a long time.
Union Home considering opening border markets in Tripura
Agartala, 31 March :
With the increase in trade between Tripura and Bangladesh, the Centre is considering a state government proposal for opening border markets and introducing flights on the Agartala-Dhaka-Chittagong routes.

The Union Home Ministry has informed the state that it was considering to open two 'haats' or border markets in West and South Tripura districts, state Commerce and Industries Minister Jiten Chowdhury told reporters.

Japan hails Bangladesh's gesture during its Emergencies
Dhaka, 31 March :
Japan today appreciated Bangladesh's gesture during its emergencies as the Bangladesh relief materials reached in Tokyo.
"On behalf of the Government and the people of Japan, Embassy of Japan in Dhaka deeply appreciates the cooperation extended by Bangladesh government and its people," said a press release of the embassy here.
Dissent in West Bengal Congress ahead of Assembly polls
Kolkata, 31 March :
The dissent in Congress ranks ahead of the West Bengal Assembly polls has worsened in several districts over the alliance with Trinamool Congress and selection of party candidates with Congress rebels filing nominations as independents in some places.... READ FULL NEWS @ West Bengal Elections 2011

Bangladesh banking sector switches over to mobile-banking
It’s a milestone towards modern banking : BB governor Atiur

BSS, Dhaka, 31 March :
Country’s banking sector has formally introduced ‘mobile-banking’ service, a major step towards modern banking, eyeing on a broader access for non-banking communities efficiently and at affordable cost.
Mobile banking is a banking process that provides for financial services like cash-in, cash-out, merchant payment, utility payment, salary disbursement, foreign remittance, government allowance disbursement through mobile technology devices and any mobile set can be used for mobile banking.

Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd (DBBL) in collaboration with Banglalink and CityCell has introduced the services. So far, ten banks have been given approval to introduce mobile-banking, and DBBL is the first bank to come up with this service.

Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman formally inaugurated the service Thursday through depositing and withdrawing money in two outlets in Nayapaltan and Puranapaltan area. Later, the governor addressed a ‘meet the press’ at Hotel Purbani in the afternoon.

Arunachal state launches IT project for dissemination of info
PTI, Itanagar, 31 March : With a mission to bring governance to the doorsteps of people, Arunachal Pradesh has launched an innovative IT project to disseminate information to the people in a faster way.

"Under the ambitious Arunachal Pradesh State Wide Area Network project, digitalisation of database and government records will be done which would enable a common man to obtain documents like ration card, inner-line permit, driving license and land records without any hassles and at considerably low cost," Parliamentary Secretary for Science, Technology and IT, Jomde Kena said.

Chennai's M S Technogroups to start operations in Kolkata
Kolkata, 31 March :
Chennai-based M S Technogroups will shortly start operations here through interactive-process outsourcing (IPO) in the verticals of manufacturing, healthcare, public utility and hospitality.

The company is working with telephone operators like Airtel and Vodafone to enable subscribers to get queries answered through a special interactive service available on their mobile devices, Director of MS Technogroups Yogesh Shankar today said.

Mizoram has 6 lakh mobile phone users: Economic Survey
PTI, Aizawl, 31 March :
Mizoram, which has a population of around 10 lakh, has more than six lakh mobile phone users as of February 2011 against over 5.5 lakh in February 2010.

With the communication revolution having reached the remotest corners of the state, mobile phone connections increased by 6.98 per cent from 6,01,189 to 5,61,917 during the past one year, the latest Economic Survey tabled in the Assembly by Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla on Tuesday said.

Farmers exposed to health risk for excess use of pesticides
UNB, Chuadanga, 31 March :
Excess use of pesticides in agricultural land put the lives of huge number of farmers of four upazilas here at health risk.

Concerned sources said pesticides worth about Tk 20 crore are used annually in lands of Sadar, Alamdanga, Damurhuda and Jibonnagar upazilas.
Huge quantities of different types of vegetables are produced in the district. About 35 percent of country’s vegetables are produced in the district, sources said.
Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources said there are a total of 97,582 hectares of cultivable land in the district.
There are 75 dealers in the district to sell pesticides. Each dealer sells pesticides worth about Tk 25 lakh to 30 lakh on an average annually, said Abdul Kader, a dealer of Sadar upazila.

The farmers spray 200 gram liquid pesticide on per bigha of paddy field. Pesticides are used in vegetable field every two or three consecutive days. Hence, two to three kgs of liquid pesticide are required for per bigha of land in one season.
District health department sources said farmers here are eating foods along with poison. Use of pesticides resulted in various diseases as most of the vegetables are being cultivated using excess pesticides.
Besides, the land is also losing its fertility.
Many useful insects along with different species of birds are on the verge of extinction for the rampant use of pesticides. As they have no knowledge about the use of pesticide, the farmers are gradually being inclined to excess use of pesticides.

Local sources attributed the lack of responsibility of agriculture department to the present sorry state.