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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

BNP to go for simultaneous movement, Hartal, called next week

Dhaka, 31 May : BNP and its allies will launch simultaneous movement against Hasina government’s move to cancel the constitutional provision of non-party caretaker government to hold general elections.
Opposition sources said the opposition’s agitation may include countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal likely to be called next week.

Thirty-six people killed in two road mishaps in Assam state
PTI, Guwahati, Golaghat, 31 May : Thirty-six people were killed and 17 others injured in two road mishaps in Assam where a bus carrying a marriage party fell into a pond and an oil tanker caught fire this morning. 31 passengers, including 12 women, were killed and six persons critically injured when a bus carrying a marriage party fell into a pond in Kamrup (Rural) district last night.
The bus travelling from Guwahati to Dihu in Rangia sub-division of the district, fell into the 40 ft deep pond at Rajabari when a wooden bridge it was crossing gave in.
Six passengers were rescued and admitted to Mukundo Kakoti Civil hospital in neighbouring Nalbari district, the police said. The condition of the patients was critical. The bus was taken out of the pond by the police with the help of locals and Army personnel.
In the second accident, five persons were charred to death and 12 others injured when an overturned oil tanker they were collecting oil from burst into flames in Badulipara in Golaghat district early this morning. The tanker going to Jorhat overturned at Badulipura and soon some nearby locals gathered at the spot to collect fuel. When they were taking out the oil, an overhead wire fell on the tanker which burst into flames, police said.
The locals collecting the fuel were trapped in the blaze, police said, adding five persons were charred to death. 12 of the injured have been admitted to separate hospitals in the district. Photos : AFP

Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee visits "disputed" Singur
Kolkata, 31 May : West Bengal Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee Tuesday visited the "disputed" Singur site and said he will submit a note to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about the present condition of the land there.
"Apart from identifying the land, we are also preparing a note sheet about the condition of land right now. We will submit that note sheet to the chief minister," Chatterjee told reporters after the visit.
Rare Jamini Roy painting put up for sale by great grandson
PTI, New Delhi, 31 May : A rare unpublished painting done 70 years ago by Jamini Roy, one of the celebrated modern Indian artist, is now put up for sale his great grandson.
The 2.5 ft x 3.5 ft water colour on paper done in the traditional West Bengal folk art style Patua and depicting Lord Krishna and gopis was gifted by Roy to his cousin around 1908, according to his great grandson. "Jamini Roy was very fond of my great grandfather Provash Chandra Roy (my great grandfather) and considered him a venerable personality of his family. Roy gifted the painting to him on one of his birthdays," Subhra Ray,an additional private secretary to the Minister for Railways told PTI
Ray says due to certain compulsions and his inability to protect the artwork from the vagaries of nature he wants to sell the painting and is scouting for suitable buyers. "The work has been lying with our family in our ancestral home for many years in Beliatore, Bankura in West Bengal where the great painter was born," says Ray.
Born in 1887 Jamini Roy who received a Padma Bhushan in 1955, began his formal training in art at the Government School of Art in Kolkata in 1903. Roy began his career by painting in the Post- Impressionist genre of landscapes and portraits. However, by 1925, Roy abandoned the canvas and began experimenting on indigenous materials - lime coated surfaces made of cloth, wood and mats and also began using earth and vegetable hues.
The 1930s witnessed an upsurge in the artist''s career that spanned well into the 60s. Roy held several one-man exhibitions and numerous group shows. His works can be found in several private and public collections, institutions and museums all over the world, including the Lalit Kala Academy in Delhi and museums in Germany and the US.

UN to provide $ 2 billion to Bangladesh under UNDAF '12-16
Dhaka, 31 May : The United Nations (UN) agencies will provide around US$ 1.8 billion as grants for Bangladesh over a period of five years under the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2012-2016.
In this regard, an agreement will be signed between Bangladesh government and the UN country team at the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday in presence of Finance Minister AMA Muhith.
Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and UN resident coordinator Neal Walker are expected to sign the agreement, said an ERD high official.
The agreement envisaged that the UN to work in seven interrelated and complementary areas and is based upon the MDGs Bangladesh Progress Report 2009, jointly prepared by the Government and the UN.

The ERD official said that the UNDAF 2012-2016 for Bangladesh has been prepared in line with the draft Sixth Five-year Plan (SFYP), Vision 2021, MDG Bangladesh Progress Report and Perspective Plan through consultations with the UN agencies, civil society members and think tanks.
The agreement, known as UNDAF 2012-2016 is the guiding development plan for the UN system in Bangladesh.
UNDAF 2012-16 aims to raise US$ 1.8 billion for Bangladesh in seven priority areas which are led by individual UN agencies.
These areas are Democratic Governance and Human Rights (UNDP); Pro-poor Growth with Equity (UNDP); Social Services for Human Development (UNICEF); Food Security and Nutrition (WFP); Climate Change, Environment, Disaster Risk Reduction and Response (UNDP); Pro-poor Urban Development (UNDP); Gender Equality and Women's Advancement (UNFPA).
The official said that the projects to be taken under this assistance would be executed following the rules and regulations of the government and the UN agencies.
A meeting on the (UNDAF) 2012-2016 will be held on 5 June at the ERD to advance the process.
Earlier UNDAF 2006-2010 was undertaken, which was later extended to till end of 2011 under close coordination and collaboration with the government.
Six national priorities identified jointly by the GoB and UN are being addressed under the Bangladesh UNDAF 2006-2010.
The UNDAF 2006-2010 was formally signed by the then government on 30 March, 2005.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Bengal beat Manipur 2-1 to retain prestigious "Santosh Trophy"

Guwahati, 30 May : Bengal retained the Santosh Trophy with a 2-1 victory over Manipur in the summit clash to win their 31st title of the national championships on Monday.
Strikers Branco Cardozo (21st minute) and Budhiram Tudu (48th) scored for Bengal while Manipur pulled one back through Nabachandra Singh in the 75th minute at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. Manipur were playing in only their second final after winning the title in 2002.

Both the teams started on an aggressive note. While Manipur went all out for an early goal, Bengal preferred to play sensibly and gained in confidence as they played the waiting game. Branco put Bengal ahead in the 21st minute. He blasted a Francis Fernandes pass from the top of the box as Bengal went into the interval with a one-goal lead.
After changing ends, Bengal doubled the lead in the 48th minute. Midfielder Budhiram Tudu found the back of the net when he tapped in from close.
With no other option left, Manipur went all out. And it paid dividends when Nabachandra Singh reduced the margin in the 75th minute. Inspired by the goal, Manipur launched a series of attacks to restore parity but it all came a bit too late.
Bengal now have won their second consecutive title after a lull of 11 years since emerging champions in 1999. In the last edition, Bengal had beaten Punjab 2-0 in the final to regain the trophy. Photos : Chinmoy Roy
LF leaders to meet chief minister Mamata to protest attacks
Kolkata, 30 May : A delegation of Left Front leaders will meet West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee 3 June to complain about the "ongoing atrocities" on Left activists across the state. "A Left Front delegation will meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on 3 June at 5 pm and we will inform her about the ongoing atrocities on the Left activists across the state," Leader of Opposition Dr Surjya Kanta Mishra told mediapersons here.
Incidentally, this will be the first formal meeting between the two sides in about two years. Earlier during the Left Front regime, Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress had boycotted the state government since mid-2009 alleging that the government has blood on its hands.
B'desh will immediately stop brick export to India : Faruk
Sangsad Bhaban, Dhaka, 30 May : Bangladesh Commerce Minister Muhammad Faruk Khan said Monday in Parliament that Bangladesh will immediately stop export of bricks to India.
Replying to a supplementary question from treasury bench lawmaker Shahiduzzman Sarkar, he said that before stopping the export, the World Trade Oraganisation rules would have to be followed. Faruk Khan said: “We have taken steps to stop export of bricks and it would be implemented immediately.” He said that in the past few years, Bangladesh exported a significant quantity of bricks to India but it gave rise to several problems.
Ruling party lawmaker Shahiduzzman said such export of bricks is causing serious harm to soil fertility as the top-soil of lands is used for making bricks.
He also mentioned that export of huge quantity of bricks had stalled local development and construction works as the price of bricks shoot up.
Deep convection over Bay of Bengal, Signal No. 3 hoisted
Dhaka, 30 May : Deep convection is taking place over North Bay. Squally weather may affect North Bay and adjoining coastal area of Bangladesh.
Maritime ports of Chittagong, Cox’s bazar and Mongla have been advised to keep hoisted local cautionary signal number three ® three. All fishing boats and trawlers over North Bay have been advised to come close to the coast and proceed with caution till further notice, Met Office said.
GJM congratulates Mamata, says ray of hope after 34 years
Kolkata, 30 May : Pinning hopes in the new West Bengal government, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today appeared to soften its stand on Gorkhaland statehood, even as an official-level meeting to look into the Darjeeling issue was announced for 6 June.
"We want an early solution to the Darjeeling problem," Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters after a meeting with GJM President Bimal Gurung, General Secretary Roshan Giri and four newly-elected Morcha MLAs at the Writers'' Building.
Apparently softening its demand for Gorkhaland, Gurung said after the meeting, "this is not the time to discuss the issue." Describing the meeting as "good and cordial", he said, "There is a ray of hope after 34 years."

Bangladesh's Government drafts tougher Anti-Tobacco Law
Dhaka, 30 May : Bangladesh's ministry of health has drafted a 'stricter' tobacco control law amending the earlier one to curb the rising trend of tobacco users and related businesses, Deputy secretary Azam-e-Sadat says.
Smokeless tobacco products, like zarda, sada pata and gul, have been incorporated as 'tobacco products' in the draft law that suggests pictorial health warnings covering 50 percent of a cigarette packet to discourage smokers.
West Bengal Government to fill up vacant posts in Police
Kolkata, 30 May : The West Bengal government will fill up 63,000 sanctioned vacant posts in the state police, state Industry and IT Minister Partha Chatterjee said.
"The strength of the police in the state is 26,000, but there are 89,000 sanctioned posts. The government will fill up these posts and modernise the force," Partha Chatterjee said last night. In an oblique reference to the armed CPI(M) cadre, he said, "I wonder whom the previous government called in to fill in the shortage of 63,000 personnel in the police."
Partha Chatterjee, who is deputy leader of the Trinamool Congress Legislature Party, said that party supremo Mamata Banerjee has issued instructions to the rank and file not to seek revenge on political rivals following the party's landslide win in the elections.

Bachandri Pal to lead an all women team to Mount Everest
PTI, New Delhi, 30 May : After inspiring the likes of 45-year-old Premlata Agarwal to scale the Mount Everest, Bachandri Pal is all set to lead a 10-member all women contingent to a mountain trekking in Bhutan.
The expedition, named Snowman Trek, begins from Paro-Drukgyel Dzong and travels to the remote Lunana district before concluding at Sephu. The expedition will cover 11 high mountain passes with the maximum elevation of 5,230 metres and is considered as one of the most challenging expeditions. There will be four amateur participants in the group.
The contingent, which has got representation from different parts of the country, also includes two women - Lalmati Birully and Payo Murmu - from the tribal areas of Jharkhand.

While both of them along with Radha Rana (23) and Naina Dhakar (21) will undertook such type of expedition for the first time, the troop will have some experienced members in Chaula Jagirdar (Gujarat), Vasumati Srinivasan (Karnataka) and Bimla Deoskar (Maharashtra) apart from Bachendri herself.
Asked what inspired her to formulate such an expedition, Bachendri said she had missed the stretch during her 1997 trans Himalayan journey and wanted to make it this time around.
"While undertaking the trans Himalayan journey in 1997 I missed on this (Snowman Trek) stretch, and since then I had in my mind to trek the distance," said the first Indian woman to scale the Mt Everest.
Talking about the challenge ahead, the veteran mountaineer said, "The most difficult part of this journey is that we will be constantly trekking above 14,000 feet and going up to an altitude of about 19,000 feet."
On the inclusion of some fresh legs in the team, Bachendri said she has complete faith in their ability and said that the journey has the potential to turn around their lives.
"It is not just an expedition, to be very honest women in India are still lagging behind, this is a journey of women empowerment. The expedition will open up new avenues for these people," the 57-year-old insisted.
Talking to the reporters on the occasion Murmu, a mother of three, said it is great opportunity to earn a name for herself and her family. "My family did not raise any objections, instead they told me to go and do your best," Murmu said. Asked how she was preparing herself for the cumbersome journey, Murmu said she walks 4km daily to keep herself abreast for the challenge.
The expedition which starts from Tuesday, with the contingent flying to Siliguri from here, is supported by Tata Steel and is estimated to incur a price of Rs 15 lakh. File Photos


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mamata Banerjee "invite" Ratan Tata to "invest" in West Bengal

Kolkata, 29 May : West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today invited Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata to invest in the state and help rebuild it, three years after she led an agitation that forced the conglomerate to relocate its low-cost car plant to Gujarat.
The letter to Tata, handwritten by the chief minister, was in response to Tata's message congratulating her on her election as chief minister. In a separate development, NRI stakeholder in Haldia Petrochemicals (HPL), Purnendu Chatterjee , chairman of the Chatterjee Group (TCG), met state industry minister Partha Chatterjee to discuss the fate of HPL. Partha Chatterjee told reporters after the meeting: "Let's not have any pain in our heart. We have a new beginning now. There is an openness in the new government and there has been a meeting of hearts.

What is important is that we have joy in our hearts now." Partha Chatterjee was engaged in a bitter tussle with the erstwhile Left Front government for the past few years over ownership and management control of HPL, which is now saddled with a nearly Rs 300-crore loss in the last fiscal and is desperate to return to profit. The case between Partha Chatterjee and West Bengal government is in the Supreme Court.
On the possibility of an outof-court settlement, the TCG chief said: "The new government is not aware of the nuances of the problems involved in HPL. They have to be briefed properly. We have been waiting for 6 years to sort out the issue legally. Supreme Court hearing is over and within a few months the judgement will be out."
Asked about TCG's stake in HPL, Chatterjee said: "We think we own 60% in HPL, but the government litigation says differently." According to the present official shareholding matrix, TCG & its associates hold 37.68% in HPL, the state 51.67%, while IOC and Tatas have 8.19% and 2.46%, respectively. He said there were plans to expand capacities at HPL. "New equity funds will not be required for expansion. There are enough equity funds." Cartoon : Satish Achary

Bangladesh's Pop legend Azam Khan remains unchanged
Dhaka, 29 May : The condition of Bangladesh's Pop legend Azam Khan remains unchanged at Square Hospital in Dhaka.
Famous cancer specialist Dr Qamruzzuman Chowdhury, who supervises Azam Khan's treatment, told Bengal Newz on Sunday, that "he has a little bit consciousness, but still on the life support system. We put him on drugs to maintain blood pressure."
A seven-member medical board earlier on Saturday feared that Khan's condition would turn from 'bad to worse' in the coming days as they could not treat his cancer spread in different parts of the body. He was detected with oral cancer in 2010 and underwent advanced treatment in Singapore twice that year.

Rabindranath Tagore second most known figure in China
Zafri Mudasser Nofil, New Delhi, 29 May : The Chinese may have the highest regard for Goutam Buddha but apart from him, the Indian name best known to them is Rabindranath Tagore.
"In the background of over two millennia of China and India having been interconnecting, interacting, and learning from each other, the Nobel Laureate was closest to our times, real and intimate to us," says Wang Bangwei of Peking University.
"From Sakyamuni (as Buddha is referred to in China) we have enjoyed more of a reverent godliness, and from Tagore we have enjoyed a tangible humanness that was noble and admirable," writes Wang in "Tagore and China", arguably the first full account in English of the poet''s visit to China and related issues.
Along with Wang, the book, published by Sage, is co-edited by Tan Chung, Amiya Dev and Wei Liming.
The book charts Tagore''s ''grand visit'' in 1924 undertaken in response to China's ''Tagore fever'' and the series of talks he gave there, their antecedents as well as impact. During the visit, the Chinese celebrated Tagore''s 63rd birthday and conferred him the Chinese name of ''Zhu Zhendan''.
"Tagore and China" is a collection of articles by eminent academics and scholars including the likes of Amartya Sen, Prasenjit Duara, Uma Das Gupta and Patricia Uberoi. Supplemented by some rare photographs, it is a tribute to Tagore''s 150th birth anniversary. Photo Courtesy : Paul Chung (President, The Indian Chinese Association)
Maldives to withdraw import duty on 'Bangladeshi products'
Dhaka, 29 May : Maldives has decided to withdraw import duties on Bangladesh products including medicines effective by the end of the year and improve trade and investment cooperation between the two South Asian nations.
Maldives Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem conveyed his government decision during bilateral talks with Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni at the Foreign Office Sunday afternoon.

Kingfisher Airlines plane makes emergency landing Airport
Kolkata, 29 May : A Delhi-Bangkok Kingfisher Airlines flight made an emergency landing at the NSC Bose International Airport here today due to a technical snag, officials said.
The plane made a safe landing at around 4am, they said. The passengers will be accommodated in another plane of the airline as engineers are inspecting the aircraft to detect the problem, officials said.
Wild mushrooms kill three at Trichna village in south Tripura
Agartala, 29 May : Three people, including a child and a woman, died and three others fell sick after consuming poisonous wild mushrooms in Tripura, officials said Sunday.
A district official said a few tribals at Trichna village in southern Tripura consume raw wild mushrooms Saturday night. The dead included a three-year-old child and a couple. Three more people were reported to be in critical condition.
Mamata's surprise hospital visits are publicity stunts: CPI(M)
Kolkata, 29 May : CPI(M) Sunday hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her surprise visits to state-run hospitals, terming them publicity stunts, adding these kind of activities bring out her 'whimsical and restless attitude'.
"Mamata Banerjee has started surprise visits to various state-run hospitals and her visits also includes a huge contingent of media persons. The presence of Mamata in the hospital campus creates ruckus both among the medical staffs and the patients, which in turn, hampers the health services in the hospitals. But she is not bothered about those problems that patient faces.... she is only bothered about the publicity of her visits," said an editorial published in CPI(M) mouthpiece Ganashakti.
After taking over the reigns of the state, Mamata Banerjee has paid several surprise visits to several state-run hospitals in city. Last week Mamata visited super-specialty hospitals SSKM hospital, Bangur Institute of Neurosciences (BIN) and Sambhunath Pandit Hospital. During her visit to these hospitals she had interacted with the doctors and the patients and enquired about the infrastructure of the hospitals.
Mamata Banerjee suspended BIN director Dr Shyamapada Ghorai for alleged misconduct and insubordination during her visit to the institute. The editorial also lambasted Mamta for suspending Ghorai and said that the suspension has created trouble for various patients lodged in the BIN.
'The only fault of Dr Ghorai was that she had asked her (Mamata) to come to the room and discuss the hospital issues rather than moving around with the contingent of the media persons which was creating problems for the patients. Many patients who were scheduled to be operated or treated by Dr Ghorai are facing life and death situation,' said the editorial, terming Dr Ghorai's suspension 'a sign of restlessness and whimsical attitude'.
'This kind of activities only projects the restless and whimsical attitude of Mamata. This government is only interested in threatening and pressurising others. It is not interested in an kind of logic but only in its whims and conditions,' it added
26 hurt in acid attack in North Tripura District, one held
Agartala, 29 May : At least 26 people were seriously injured, four of them critically, in an acid attack in Tripura, police said here Sunday. One person was arrested.
Police arrested jeweller Ratan Sarkar who threw acid on a vegetable vendor and others Saturday night in North Tripura district's Kailashahar town, 175 km from here. The jeweller had a quarrel with the vendor over the use of space in front of his shop. Following the argument, he threw nitric acid on the vendor and on the on-lookers who had gathered near the shop, a police spokesman said.
Challenges for disaster, climate risk reduction formidable in Bangladesh, says Global Assessment Report
UNB, Dhaka, 29 May : Despite continued success in addressing the global climate change impacts, the challenges for disaster and climate risk reduction remain formidable in Bangladesh due to increasing the intensity and complexity of disasters.
The disclosure was made in the newly published 'Global Assessment Report 2011 on Disaster Risk Reduction'.
The report said some challenges are persistent and recurring and the others are emerging. Nonetheless the country reaffirms its resolve to reduce the disaster and climate risks.
Bangladesh reiterate its commitment to 'disaster proof' its investment in the country along with increased interaction and cooperation with global community in resources, knowledge and technology sharing for the risk reduction of the millions of the most vulnerable women, men and children.
Only bolder investments of the government, civil society and international community could materialise the resilience of the vulnerable communities, the report observed.
The report identified Bangladesh as one of the frontrunner counties in aligning itself with the global agenda on disaster and climate risk reduction.
The Global Assessment Report (GAR) 2011 on the Disaster Risk Reduction was unveiled at a ceremony organized by the Disaster Management and Relief Division in the city on Sunday.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Dr K Basu pitches for FDI in Multi-Brand Retail to tame Inflation

PTI, New Delhi, 27 May : Concerned over rising inflation in India, the Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) today suggested opening up multi-brand retail to foreign investors and changes in agriculture marketing laws to check the rate of price rise.
"We are taking a clear position on FDI in multi-brand retail. Of course, it is a recommendation, not policy," Chief Economic Advisor and IMG Chairman Dr Kaushik Basu told reporters here.
The IMG, he added, favours formulation of a model Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) law, which could be adopted by the states to remove supply bottlenecks at the local level. "There is a need to revise the AMPC Act to reduce the price gap between farm gate and consumer prices. We need a model act to be adopted by states," he added.
Concerned over high inflation, the government in January had appointed a high-level inter-ministerial group to suggest steps to tame the rate of price rise.
Headline inflation stood at 8.66 per cent in April, much above the Reserve Bank''s comfort level of 5-6 per cent. Food inflation was 8.55 per cent for the week ended 14 May. Inflation continues to remain firm despite the host of steps taken by the government as well as the Reserve Bank of India over more than a year. File Photo

We have no indigenous population, Bangladesh tells UN
Dhaka, 27 May : Bangladesh has told a UN forum that it has "no indigenous population".
Dhaka has also objected to a study on the status of implementation of an accord the government signed in 1997 with the Buddhist tribals of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).
The accord, signed by the Sheikh Hasina government to end years of insurgency, had "nothing to do with the indigenous issue", Bangladesh's representative told the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
Bangladesh 'clarified' its stand over indigenous issues at the ongoing 10th session of the UN forum in New York 25 May, New Age newspaper said Friday quoting the International Jumma Organisation.

Buddhism is the third largest religion in Bangladesh with about 0.7 percent of population adhering to Theravada Buddhism. Most of the practitioners are from the southeastern district of Chittagong and CHT.
When the colonial British partitioned India before leaving in 1947, CHT was allotted to then East Pakistan even though the division was on religious lines.
The Buddhist tribals who live in CHT and surrounding areas have since faced discrimination from successive governments that have sought to settle Bengali Muslims to dilute the strength of the Buddhist population.
This policy has led to frequent clashes between the indigenous people and the settlers.
Many of the key provisions of the 1997 agreement remain unimplemented.
Iqbal Ahmed, first secretary in the mission to the UN, represented the country in the session especially marked for discussions on the report prepared by UN special rapporteur Lars Anders Baer.
A high-level delegation from Bangladesh, led by the state minister for CHT affairs, Dipankar Talukdar, cancelled its trip to New York at the last minute.
"Bangladesh does not have any 'indigenous' population… The accord has nothing to do with `indigenous issues and therefore, the government of Bangladesh reiterates its position that the forum, which is mandated to deal with `indigenous issues, does not have any locus standi in discussing the issues related to the CHT Peace Accord," the diplomat told the session.
"We urge the (UN) forum to dedicate its valuable time to discuss issues related to millions of indigenous people all over the world and not waste time on issues politically concocted by some enthusiastic quarters with questionable motives," he added. File Photos : Arifur Rahman


Thursday, May 26, 2011

More time needed to study Tata-WB Govt's Singur pact : Partha

Kolkata, 26 May : Though it was announced that the Mamata Banerjee's government would make public the agreement between the former West Bengal government and Tata for its Nano project at Singur, Industry minister Partha Chatterjee today said more time was required to study the legal implications.
"We are examining the legal issues. There are many parties involved, not only the Tatas. There are 54 vendors which exist on paper.
More time is needed to study and to examine the legal implications," Partha Chatterjee, told reporters after a meeting with the principal industry secretary, WBIDC managing director and IT secretary.
He said it was fortunate that Anindya Mitra, tipped to be the new advocate general by the present government, was familiar with the issue.
The Calcutta High Court in September, 2008 had restrained the WBIDC from making the agreement public on a petition moved by the Tatas.

SC ask Sourav Ganguly to return land to West Bengal govt
New Delhi, Kolkata, 26 May : Former India captain Sourav Ganguly received a serious set-back on Thursday after the Supreme Court quashed the land allotment to him by the West Bengal Government in 2000.
A bench headed by Justice A K Ganguly quashed the allotment of 63.04 'katha' land in the posh Salt Lake city and asked the cricketer to surrender the land within two weeks.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by a West Bengal-based NGO Humanity and others. The NGO challenged Calcutta High Court's order which had upheld the state government's decision of allotting the land to Ganguly.
The bench also directed the government to refund the money paid by Ganguly for the land.
Court puts on trial three suspected northeast insurgents
PTI, New Delhi, 26 May : A Delhi court has ordered trial of three Manipuri youths, suspected to be the members of northeast-based banned insurgent outfit Kanjalipak Communist Party, for allegedly raising fund for terror activities.
Additional Sessions Judge S S Rathi ordered their trial while framing charges against them for allegedly committing offences under the anti-terror law UAPA.
"Prima facie offences punishable under provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) are made out against the three accused persons," the judge said.

Crime trail leads to illegal B'deshi immigrants, 140 deported
IANS, New Delhi, 26 May : 'I was born and brought up in Midnapore in West Bengal. I have come here to earn a living. I am not a Bangladeshi,' pleaded 30-year-old Zakir. However, the identity documents he produced were found to be fake by Delhi Police which wasted no time in deporting him.
Zakir is one of the so-called 140 illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who have been deported from the capital, particularly northeast Delhi, in the past five months following a special drive by police.
The drive was launched after a spate of robberies and other crimes showed the involvement of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, police say. Not only that, police found out that some travel agents were bringing them here and helping them get Indian identity documents.
The agents also provide them a safe passage home after they commit a crime, and bring them back again after a cool-off period - of course, for a hefty sum, say police. 'A large number of Bangladeshi immigrants have illegally sneaked in and are staying in northeast Delhi. We have created special teams to identify and deport them,' Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Kumar Jain told IANS.

'In the last five months, our teams have arrested around 140 illegal immigrants and handed them over to the FRRO (Foreigner Regional Registration Offices), which then deported them,' said Jain. Police claim the drive has also led to a dip in the crime rate. 'We are now looking for the agents who bring Bangladeshi immigrants in the city,' he added.
Areas like Seelampur, New Usmanpur, Jafrabad, Khajoori Khas and Seemapuri in the city have many Bangladeshi ghettos, which provide a safe hideout to the criminal elements within the community.
During the course of investigation, police found that the immigrants enter India illegally by crossing the border near Rajshahi, a Bangladesh border town, and Boghkalam in West Bengal's Murshidabad district.
Jain said some of the immigrants even obtain ration cards, voter identity cards and Permanent Account Number (PAN) cards. 'They get all these documents by furnishing false documents. They also open accounts in various banks by furnishing these documents,' he added. 'Some of them have been staying in Delhi for several years. They have a wide network across the city. They work as non-skilled workers in small units and many are labourers and domestic helps,' said Jain.
He said the illegal immigrants frequently change their residence and move to different slum areas to avoid detection. 'Whenever the beat constables get suspicious, they change their houses,' said Jain.
As the immigrants speak Bengali fluently, police find it hard to distinguish them from people in West Bengal.
'An immigrant once convinced us that he is from West Bengal and had all the necessary documents to prove that,' said Jain. When this IANS correspondent spoke to Zakir, he said he had all the documents to prove he was an Indian. But not only were his papers fake, he was also found to be involved in a fraud case, police said.
Police also detained some illegal immigrants during a servant verification process. 'We are keeping an eye on them on a regular basis and have also intensified house-to-house verification as a preventive measure,' added Jain.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pre-Paid Mobiles allowed roaming facilities in Indian North-East

IANS, Agartala, 25 May : Pre-paid mobile phone users in India's northeast have for the first time been allowed to use roaming facilities by the central government even as the ban will continue in Jammu and Kashmir, officials say.
'The union home ministry has lifted the bar on roaming facilities in pre-paid mobile phones in the northeastern region. The decision was enforced Tuesday,' Deb Kumar Chakraborty, general manager of the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, told IANS.
He said the decision would be applicable for BSNL and all private telephone operators and said it came in the wake of the improved security situation in the northeast region.
'Like other parts of India, pre-paid mobile phone customers in northeast India, who have been facing severe hassles without roaming facilities, can now enjoy them,' Chakraborty said.
He said the union home ministry took the decision following a proposal of BSNL and other telephone service providers after an improvement in the law and order situation and other pertinent aspects.
Mobile phones were introduced in the northeast in 2004. Post-paid mobile phones there have always had roaming facilities. According to the official, there are more than 20 lakh BSNL pre-paid mobile phone customers in the northeast, besides lakhs of pre-paid mobile phone users of other private operators.

"BNP wants good relations with India on win-win situation"
UNB, Dhaka, 25 May : Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia, now in USA, Tuesday said her party BNP wants good relations with India on the basis of mutual benefits.
She made the remarks replying to a question how BNP considers Bangladesh’s relation with neighboring India at the Atlantic Council of USA in Pennsylvania on Tuesday afternoon.
Her entourage member BNP vice-chairman Shamser Mobin Chowdhury told UNB over phone that Khaleda delivered a statement on democracy, governance and economic development of Bangladesh at the Atlantic Council, a think tank outfit.
The Council stimulates dialogue and discussion about critical international issues to enrich public debate and promote consensus on appropriate responses in the Administration, the Congress, the corporate and nonprofit sectors, and the media in the United States and among leaders in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The former Prime Minister said the unresolved issues between Dhaka and New Delhi will have to be resolved on a win-win situation respecting each other’s independence and sovereignty.
Khaleda said the outstanding issues will have to be worked out through discussions. She said if India wants durable solutions to the long running problems, they should discuss the issues with all the political parties of Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi films to be showcased in India coming months
New Delhi, 25 May : In a first-of-its-kind initiative by the International Federation of Film Societies, a package of eight films representing the "new wave of Bangladeshi cinema" will be showcased across India and other parts of the world in the coming months.
The package comprising Morshedul Islam's 'Chaka' (Wheel), Tanvir Mokammel's 'Chitra Nadir Parey' (On the banks of river Chitra), Golam Rabbani Biplob's 'Swapnadanay'(On the wings of a dream), Abu Sayeed's 'Opekkha'(The Wait), Enamul Karim Nirjhar's 'Aha', Toukir Ahmed's 'Joyjatra' (Journey of Triumph), Murad Parvez's 'Chandragrahan' (Lunar Eclipse) and Mustafa Sarowar Faroqui's 'Third Person Singular Number', will be screened in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

IIT-JEE results declared, over 13,000 successful in India
PTI, Kanpur, 25 May : Results of the Indian Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admissions into prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) were declared here today with 13,602 students passing the examination.
Announcing the results, Director of IIT-Kanpur Prof Sanjay Govind Dhande said that IIT-Madras zone aspirant Immadi Purudhavi Tej topped the prestigious examination followed by Shubham Mehta of IIT-Bombay zone who got the second rank.

Arunachal CM, Governor congratulate Jamsenpa for record
PTI, Itanagar, 25 May : Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin and Governor Gen (Retd) J J Singh today congratulated Anshu Jamsenpa for creating a world record of scaling the Mt Everest twice in the same season.
In his congratulatory note, Gamlin said, "you have done it. I was elated by the news of you creating a world record of scaling the Mt. Everest twice in the same season in 10 days span."
Jamsenpa became the first mother in the world to make it to the summit twice in one climbing season.
"You have already become a role model for the youth of the state to emulate and I am sure, you will continue to put your best foot forward and bring many more laurels to our state. We are proud of you," Gamlin pointed out.
The Governor Singh, in a separate message, hailed Jamsenpa for carving a niche in the mountaineering history.

WB Trinamool Congress government govt scraps water tax
Kolkata, 25 May : The Trinamool Congress government has decided to do away with water tax from the 127 municipalities in the state. Water tax had levied to comply with the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
"None of the municipalities across the state will collect water tax from next month. Our government is against collection of water tax," said Firhad (Bobi) Hakim, urban development and municipal affairs minister, in the presence of Union minister of state for urban development Saugata Roy.

Australia's Santos to drill for more gas offshore Bangladesh
Reuters, Dhaka, 25 May : Australia's Santos International (STO.AX) said on Wednesday it would invest more than $100 million on a three-well offshore drilling programme in Bangladesh.
"We will begin drilling work from October 2011, and if successful, will be able to provide some much needed relief to the present gas shortages," said John Chambers, president of Santos in Bangladesh.... READ FULL STORY
Legendary singer Bob Dylan turns 70, Shillong celebrates
PTI, Shillong, 25 May : For the 39th consecutive year, Shillong yesterday celebrated legendary American singer Bob Dylan's birthday as the 'Tambourine Man' turned 70.
The birthday boy has never cut the cake here, but that has never stopped this rock capital from throwing a bash for the singer, thanks to his fan Lou Majaw who is also known as 'Shillong's Bob Dylan'.
Several bands from various north-eastern states belted out Dylan numbers at the Laban Sports Club and Cloud Nine to mark the occasion.
No other Indian city perhaps has been celebrating the birthday of the philosopher-musician without a break for 39 years now. Led by Lou, Dylan fans from all over the country and outside assemble here to observe the living legend's birth anniversary.
Lou goes on to narrate how Dylan captured his imagination in the prime of his youth.

"Aila hit people" still live on embankments in Bangladesh
UNB, Khulna, 25 May : Though two years has passed after the cyclone “Aila” hit the southwest coastal belt of Bangladesh, many people still live in on embankment in an inhuman condition.
Some 190 people were killed, several thousand were injured and most of the houses were damaged when the ‘Aila’ hit on 25 May, 2009 11 coastal districts, of which Dacope and Koyra upazilas of Khulna district and Shyamnagar and Ashasuni upazilas of Satkhira district were worst affected.
Visiting Sutarkhali Union under Dacop upazila, UNB Correspondent M Jahangir Alam found that a number of people still live in makeshift huts on the embankment at Telir Kona.

Anisur Rahman, 43, of Gainpara under Sutarkhali union parishad said 50 affected families took shelter on the embankment. Besides some relief they were given Tk 20,000 in cheque as house building grant. “But I could not yet cash the cheque,” said Anis. He along and five other families of Gainpara have to stay on the embankment. Like Anisur, other inhabitants of the locality (Gainpara) did not get the government grant. But other Aila affected families got Tk 12,000 each as house building grant while remaining Tk 8,000 will be given later, said Dulal Bain, 55, of Sutarkhali.
The prime minister on 23 July last year announced Tk 20,000 as house building grant to each of the affected families.
District administrations said the aila affected families already got Tk 12,000 and the remaining Tk 8,000 is yet to be disbursed.
Jomsher Ahmed Khandakar, deputy commissioner of Khulna said repair and reconstruction of the damaged embankments have almost completed. He hoped that those living on the embankments will return home shortly.
Sources said the government had stopped food aid for the aila affected people from last January resulting in sufferings of the people, specially those lived live on the embankments.
Nearly 47% of the land was used for agriculture before the cyclone Aila hit the coastal belt. But the area has now reduced to 37% due to the salinity.
According to the recovery needs assessment report for Cyclone Aila launched in March by a consortium of international NGOs working in Aila, some 18,421 houses, out of the severely affected 42,250 were reconstructed by the affected people or with the help of NGOs. Photos : UNB, Indrajit Dutta


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

BD govt sign $140m loan agreement with IDB for Padma Bridge

UNB, Dhaka, 24 May : After the World Bank and Japan, Bangladesh government signed another loan agreement of US$ 140 million with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Tuesday morning to finance the Padma Multipurpose Bridge (PMB) Project.
The agreement was signed at the Ministry of Finance in presence of Finance Minister AMA Muhith and visiting IDB president Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali.

IDB will provide US$ 140 million to finance the construction of the PMB project with the approach roads and toll plaza.
Of the estimated cost of US$ 2.97 billion for the country’s longest 6.15 km Padma Bridge project, the government has already signed a US$ 1.12 billion credit agreement with the World Bank on 28 April and another US$ 415 million credit agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on 18 May.
The Padma Bridge will connect the southwestern region with the rest of the country.
IDB was the first among the co-financiers (Abu Dhabi Fund, ADB, JICA and World Bank) of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge to approve financing for this mega-project that will help to boost the economy of Bangladesh and improve road connectivity in the region. Photo : Ashraful Alom tito

Bangladesh National vitamin 'A' plus campaign on 29 May
Dhaka, 24 May : The Bangladesh national vitamin 'A' plus campaign will be observed across the country on 29 May with a view to preventing blindness including night-blindness among the children.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to open the Vitamin A plus campaign at Ganabahaban in the morning of 28 May.
On this day, all the children aged between 1-5 years will be given one high-powered vitamin A capsule (200000 IU) and all other children aged between 2-5 years to be fed with one anti-worm (Elbendazol-400mg) tablet.
Besides, for the first time all the children aged between 6-11 months in Satkhira, Barisal, Gopalganj, Comilla and Moulvibazar districts and Rajshahi and Barisal city corporation areas will be fed with one high powered blue coloured vitamin A capsule (100000 unit) on an experimental basis this year.

Thunderstorm kills five including 4 children in Malda district
Malda, 24 May : Five persons including four children were killed and thousands of houses were damaged in Malda when a thunderstorm ravaged the district on Monday.
Harischandrapur II, Chanchal I, Kaliachak II & III, and Manikchak blocks were the worst affected.

Bangladeshi singer regales with Rabindranath's songs...
Pallab Bhattacharya, New Delhi, 24 May : A "jugalbandi" of Rabindranath Tagore's songs and their recitation may sound simple but its innovative presentation here made it stand out in the midst of activities marking the poet's 150th birth anniversary.
Eminent Bangladeshi Rabindrasangeet singer Dr Chanchal Khan and leading recitation artist Dahlia Ahmed took the dais n Delhi for the first time and their rendition and recital of Tagore's songs for one and half hours in front of a packed audience recently made it a memorable one.
The programme was not directed at just Bengali- speaking people. A sizable presence of non-Bengali speaking people among the audience in the Maitree Hall of Bangladesh High Commission was also drawn into the event as both Dr Chanchal Khan rendered the English versions of Tagore's songs and explained the theme, background and context of the songs. He was ably supported by Dahlia. File Photo : STAR

Anindya Mitra to be new Advocate General of West Bengal
Kolkata, 24 May : Barrister Anindya Mitra is set to be the new Advocate General of West Bengal, while senior advocate Debasish Roy is to take over as Government Pleader.
Anindya Mitra will succeed Balai Roy as the new Advocate General of the state, officials said here. The file relating to his appointment has been sent to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her clearance, following which a gazette notification will be made, they said.

Construction of school-cum-cyclone shelters to begin in June in Sidr hit areas, IDB President witnesses deals signed with contractors
Dhaka, 24 May : The construction of about 100 school-cum-cyclone shelters will begin next month in the countries Southwestern areas where the devastating cyclone Sidr hit in November 2007 leaving thousands of people dead.
Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will provide the fund from a donation made by an anonymous philanthropist soon after the Sidr hit the area.
The charity donor entrusted a total of US$ 130 million (about Tk 910 crore) to the IDB with a condition that his name will never be disclosed. The IDB sponsored a special programme titled “Fael Khair Programme for Relief of Cyclone Sidr Victims in Bangladesh to implement the project in two components.
Photo : UNB
Lightning kills seven in Malda and South 24 Parganas dists
Malda, Kolkata, 24 May : Seven persons, including five teenagers, died and five others injured after being struck by lightning in separate incidents in Malda and South 24 Parganas districts, police said today.
Four of them, including a woman, died after being hit by thunderbolt in Baisnabnagar, Manikchak, Englishbazar and Kaliachak blocks of Malda yesterday, they said. Two others, from Gajole and Manickchak blocks of the district, who were admitted to hospital with serious burn injuries succumbed this morning, police said, adding that the injured were treated at different health centres.
In South 24 Parganas'' Dholakat area, 54-year-old farmer Bhim Haldar, who was working in his field, died on the spot after being hit by lightning.
The thunderstorm damaged mango orchards, spread over an area of 2,250 hectares in Malda, a horticulture officer said. The total loss in mango cultivation was estimated at Rs 2.41 crore, the officer added.

USAID supports move to conserve Sundarbans Eco-System
UNB, Dhaka, 24 May : The Sundarbans is the jewel in the crown of Bangladesh’s protected area system, said Denise Rollins of USAID, at a workshop in the city today.
The Mission Director for United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was speaking at the workshop organized by the Government of Bangladesh to discuss ways the government, donor partners and the private sector can work together to conserve the wetlands and forests of Bangladesh, particularly in the Sundarbans.

In her remarks, Rollins said, “The Sundarbans is also the essence of ‘co-management,’ which brings together different government agencies, development partners, the NGO community, and more than one million Bangladeshis living on the Sundarbans borders striving to save their environment.”
As part of the USAID-funded Integrated Protected Area Co-Management (IPAC) program, the workshop was organized to create a platform for different stakeholders working in the Sundarbans to share their activities and experiences and to encourage collaboration and coordination in conserving nature where possible.
The US Government, through USAID, has supported co-management for conservation in Bangladesh for more than a decade, and currently provides $13 million through this program to conserve 25 protected forest areas and wetlands of Bangladesh through co-management - a concept that brings together the community and the government to promote transparency and accountability in conserving and managing these important natural resources.
The US Government, through USAID, administers programs in five key areas in Bangladesh: Improving health and pre-primary education; creating income opportunities for rural poor; supporting good governance; enhancing food security; and strengthening disaster preparedness and providing emergency assistance following natural disasters.
Since 1971, the U.S. Government has provided over $5.8 billion in assistance to Bangladesh, said a release of US Embassy in Dhaka.


Monday, May 23, 2011

West Bengal Govt examining legal issues for Singur' land return

Kolkata, 23 May : The West Bengal government today started examining all legal issues involved for the return of 400 acre to farmers who unwillingly parted with their land in Singur for the abandoned Tata Nano project.
"All legal issues are being examined. A file will be handed to the Industries Minister (Partha Chatterjee) tomorrow," Industry Secretary Dipankar Mukherjee told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Industry Secretary asked the 'West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation' to prepare a file on Singur.
After his request, state Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh, Dipankar Mukherjee and WBIDC MD Dr Subrata Gupta met to discuss the issues involved.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday, immediately after assuming office, had said the government would return 400 of the 1000 acres acquired for the Nano project which subsequently shifted to Gujarat's Sanand.
She had said that the Tatas were welcome to set up a project on the remaining 600 acre of 1000 acre.
The Tatas were paying the annual rental till date for the land given on lease.
Mamata Banerjee had also sought to make public the agreement reached between the erstwhile Left Front government and the Tatas on the Nano project. File Photo

Substantial progress made in implementing Indo-Bangla joint communiqué : Dipu Moni
UNB, Dhaka, 23 May : Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni today claimed that substantial progress has been achieved in implementing the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Communiqué, particularly resolving Bangladesh’s concerns over sharing of the Teesta waters, border demarcation and trade imbalance.
Responding to a question at a regular press conference at the Foreign Ministry, she said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi in January last year has generated much expectations and many of the issues would be resolved through the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Bangladesh.
Although Dr Moni could not say about the date of Dr Manmohan Singh’s Dhaka visit, she said it would take place ‘soon.’
Asked about the service charge for giving transit to India, she said it is a very big issue involving many factors. She said the service charge would also depend on how much user countries like India, Bhutan and Nepal would benefit by using the transit offered by Bangladesh.
The Foreign Minister said the National Board of Revenue is working on it in a bid to ensure a win-win situation for the countries concerned.

Border Security Force writes to govt on 'Dhruv' helicopters
New Delhi, 23 May : The Border Security Force (BSF) has written to the Government for replacing indigenous 'Dhruv' helicopters saying they did not fulfil its operational requirement. "The Advanced Light Helicopters- Dhruv-- are not helpful in our operations like casualty evacuation and troop reinforcements. They are useless for us. Most of the times these helicopters are under servicing and there are issues about its capabilities to fly beyond a certain height," BSF sources said.
The BSF air fleet at present has six ALH 'Dhruvs' and two more will soon be inducted.
Agartala promotes puppetry through "Putul Yatra festival"
ANI, Agartala, 23 May : To promote and encourage the use of puppets, a daylong edition of the Putul Yatra or the Putla was recently held here.
Being organised by Sangeet Natak Akademi, Tripura Sanaskriti Samanya Kendra, Tripura Puppet Theatre and Department of Information and Culture Affairs of the state government, the festival saw puppeteers from across the country.
The festival aims to raise awareness about the ancient art of puppetry that is facing extinction due to the growing popularity of cinema, TV and other forms of modern entertainment. "The tradition of puppetry is in a state of decline, so we aim to preserve and promote it in each and every village of the state," said Gautam Kumar Das, organizer
The large number of people who turned up for the festival were thoroughly entertained by the interesting stories, endearing characters, colorful sets, lively music, songs and choreography.
"I liked the show. I hope such programme will be held in the future also, so that the children can see them," said Satarupa Karmakar. "I think such festivals will help the new generation learn about our culture and heritage of which puppetry is a part. Such festivals should be held more often. It can be a very good source of entertainment and I enjoyed the programme.," Manish Lodh.
Puppetry amalgamates drama, music and painting into an imaginative medium to put across social ideas and religious or mythological stories to its audience.

Critic Chidananda Dasgupta dies
Kolkata, 23 May : Eminent film critic, academic and director Chidananda Dasgupta died at his home here late Sunday night following old-age complications. He was 89. Dasgupta was the father of actress-filmmaker Aparna Sen.
He was suffering from acute broncho pneumonia and Parkinson's disease, doctors said. Dasgupta was a multi-faceted talent, who started off as a college lecturer, then switched to advertising but made his name as a film critic and historian.
Alongside doyens like Satyajit Ray and Bansi Chandragupta, he founded the country's first film society dedicated to feature films - Calcutta Film Society - in 1947 soon after independence. The society was the harbinger of the new wave cinema in the country, playing an important role in making world cinema accessible to Indian viewers and also started the film society movement.
Later, Dasgupta played a leading role in setting up the Federation of Film Societies of India, which also contributed to enhancing the cinematic sense among budding directors, actors and film goers.
He wrote over 2,000 articles on cinema in several periodicals and magazines, and in 1980 authored "The Cinema of Satyajit Ray" which is regarded as one of the most authentic research on the film maestro.
Dasgupta directed seven films "The Stuff Of Steel" (1969), "The Dance of Shiva" (1968), "Portrait of a City" (1961), "Amodini" (1994), "Zaroorat Ki Purti" (1979), "Rakhto" (1973) and "Bilet Pherat" (1972). He was given the lifetime achievement award at the Osian Film Festival in 2004.

25 killed, 82 injured in lightning strikes in B'desh 11 districts
Dhaka, 23 May : At least 25 people were killed and 82 others injured in separate lightning strikes in during storm in Chandpur, Chapainawabganj, Bhola, Pabna, Natore, Manikganj, Jamalpur, Khulna, Rajshahi, Bogra and Joypurhat districts Monday.
Chief Minster Mamata to revive century-old 'Basumati press'
Kolkata, 23 May : West Bengal Chief Minster Mamata Banerjee today said that her government would revive the century-old Basumati Sahitya Mandir, which is now lying in a moribund state.
"I called Union Minister of State for Urban Development minister Saugata Roy and sought the expertise of his ministry in reviving and running press," Chief Minster told reporters here. The chief minister said she had urgedSaugata Roy to give a report to her within three months about how to revive the press.
Teacher in cabinet, Pupils jubilant but 'worried' of learning
Malda, 23 May : Their teacher has successfully passed in her examination already and also received the reward today, but Subhrajit, Maman or Bulti are not quite sure of who would teach them from now onwards as their only teacher has already shouldered the heavier responsibility of a state cabinet minister from this afternoon.
Sabitri Mitra, the only cabinet member from Malda district, is not only the teacher-in-charge of Rajendra Dutta Primary School located at Sadarghat area under Sadar primary circle, but also the only teacher who has taught the students with her best might so far. Mitra joined the school as an assistant teacher in October, 1983 when she had at least four colleagues with whom she imparted education to the students.

With the passing of time, the primary school has faced not only dearth of students but also an acute crisis of staff. After the headmaster of the school retired few years back, there was no replacement. The senior teachers used to serve as the teacher in charge to run the school. As her only remaining colleague retired on 31 December, 2010, Sabitri Mitra is the only teacher of the institution having strength of 30 students presently. She is also the teacher in charge of the school now.
Hence, the students besides being jubilant of the success of their dear madam, are adequately pensive that she would not be teaching them any further. Subhrajit Saha, a student of class IV or Maman Das of class II have no distinct idea of the importance of the ministerial berth. They only said: “We are very happy that madam has become a minister. But who will take our classes then!” Bulti Das, a student of class III and another fond student of Mrs Mitra said innocently: “Madam will definitely give us more chocolates than she usually does.” But she is not very sure if their madam would teach them as before.
The district primary school council (DPSC) chairman Zahirul Islam did not have the any information about the scarce staff strength of the school of the new cabinet minister. Having the information from Bengal Newz correspondent for the first time, Islam said: “I would definitely look into the matter and something must be done so that innocent pupils are not deprived at any cost. ”The chairman informed that as the new government has assumed office today, he would discuss the matter with the district inspector of schools (primary) on a priority basis. Photo : Uday Mandal