Bharat Ratna, Padma awards conferred on galaxy of achievers

The awards, which are announced on the eve of the Republic Day every year, this year included two Bharat Ratnas, three Padma Vibhushans, 12 Padma Bhushans and 34 Padma Shris

India’s high civilian honours – the Bharat Ratna and Padma awards – were on Monday conferred by President Pranab Mukherjee on a galaxy of prominent people who have done the country proud.

Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, was bestowed posthumously on freedom fighter and eminent educationist Madan Mohan Malaviya at an investiture ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday evening.

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who too was honoured with the Bharat Ratna, was presented the medallion and the scroll of the award last week at his residence because of his ill health.

President Mukherjee, in a simple yet elegant ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, presented the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri to a host of leaders and prominent people from various walks of life.

The awards, which are announced on the eve of the Republic Day every year, this year included two Bharat Ratnas, three Padma Vibhushans, 12 Padma Bhushans and 34 Padma Shris.

BJP leader and former deputy prime minister LK Advani, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Jagadguru Swami Rambhadracharya received the Padma Vibhushan.

Journalists Swapan Dasgupta and Rajat Sharma, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates were awarded the Padma Bhushan.

The Gates couple, however, could not come to personally receive their awards.

Poet-lyricist Prasoon Joshi, filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali and playwright Tarak Janubhai Mehta were some of the well-known people who received the Padma Shri.

Rajat Sharma shook hands with Prime Minister narendra Modi as he stood to receive Padma Bhushan.

People from the sports world included well-known wrestler Satpal, who received the Padma Bhushan for his outstanding performance in various international tournaments.

Renowned badminton player PV Sindhu and Indian hockey team captain Sardar Singh both received the Padma Shri.

The Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan was overcrowded as relatives and friends of the recipients occupied most of the chairs.

Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, many cabinet ministers and government officials were present.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was also present at the awards ceremony. He was seen interacting with the media freely after the function. Relatives and friends of the recipients cheered when the names of their loved ones were announced to receive the awards.

Some of them put their hands up while clapping and were seen pointing at the recipients of the honour.

On March 27, President Mukherjee made a break with protocol to drive down to Vajpayee’s Krishna Menon Marg residence to confer the highest honour on the nonagenarian Bharatiya Janata Party leader who has been keeping ill health.

Ansari, Modi as well as former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Advani were among those who attended the presentation on that day.

Modi expressed his gratitude to Mukherjee for going to Vajpayee’s home to personally hand over the award.

A photograph of the president presenting the medallion to Vajpayee was released later.

Vajpayee, 90, was the first non-Congress leader to serve India for a full five-year term (1999-2004). His earlier two stints in office lasted 13 days and 13 months, respectively.

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/

Personal details of Modi, top world leaders leaked

An email by the Australian immigration department accidentally revealed personal details of world leaders at the last G20 summit, including that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, a leading British daily reported on Monday.

An employee mistakenly sent the passport numbers, visa details and other personal identifiers of all world leaders attending the summit to the organisers of the Asian Cup football tournament, The Guardian reported.

After the privacy breach was brought to the notice of the director of the visa services division, she contacted the Australian privacy commissioner seeking his urgent advice. “The personal information which has been breached is the name, date of birth, title, position nationality, passport number, visa grant number and visa subclass held relating to 31 international leaders attending the G20 leaders summit,” the director said in the email, details of which were obtained under Australia’s freedom of information laws, according to the daily.

She attributed the breach to a human error, saying the employee “failed to check that the autofill function in Microsoft Outlook had entered the correct person’s details into the email ‘To’ field”, which led to the email being sent to the wrong person.

“The risk remains only to the extent of human error, but there was nothing systemic or institutional about the breach,” the director added. According to the officer, it was “unlikely that the information is in the public domain”.

However, the immigration officer went on to recommend that the world leaders not be made aware of the breach of their personal information.

“Given that the risks of the breach are considered very low and the actions that have been taken to limit the further distribution of the email, I do not consider it necessary to notify the clients of the breach,” The Guardian quoted her as saying in the email.

The report did not name the immigration officer.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office in India chose not to react, but a senior government official said: “We have seen the report and will take necessary action at our end on the matter.”

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/

Lee among tallest leaders, believed in India: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed Singapore’s founder leader Lee Kuan Yew, who was cremated on Sunday, as “among the tallest leaders of our times” and a friend of India.

Shortly after arriving here to attend the funeral of Lee who died on March 23, Modi said that Lee believed in India’s potential “more than many of us did”.

Modi was among the world leaders who gathered here to pay their last respects to Lee.

“The passing away of Lee Kuan Yew marks the end of an era. He was among the tallest leaders of our times,” Modi told the media.

“He was a global thinker who saw things ahead of others. He was an advocate of economic progress, but also made tireless efforts to advance peace and stability in our region,” he added.

Stating that Lee’s personal life was an “inspiration for many like me”, the prime minister wrote in the condolence book: “He (Lee) was a torchbearer of hope, not just for Singapore, but for all of Asia.

“Today, the flame is no more, but this was a torch that lit the lamp of hope in many new nations. As long as these lamps flicker, he will continue to inspire, eternally.

“…I bow to this committed Karma Yogi, this great man. On behalf of all Indians, I pay homage to him.”

Modi said Lee believed in India’s potential “more than many of us did”, adding “India’s relations with Singapore is one of our strongest relationships in the world and Singapore is a key pillar of India’s Act East Policy”.

Modi declared that India was with Singapore in this moment of grief by observing a day of public mourning on Sunday.

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/

WC won, Clarke bows out with fairytale ending

Australian skipper Michael Clarke who bid farewell to One-Day Internationals (ODIs) after his side became the world champions beating New Zealand on Sunday said it is the closest one can get to a fairly-tale ending.

Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to claim their fifth title.

Clarke guided his team to victory after playing a responsible knock of 74 runs.

“I don’t think I can leave on a better note. Like I say, there’s no such thing as fairy-tales, but it’s as close as it gets for me personally,” Clarke said.

On being compared to former World Cup winning captains of Australia, Allan Border, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, Clarke said: “Yeah, the amazing captains you’re talking about, I certainly don’t see myself in the same light as those captains. All I can say is it’s been an honour and a privilege to not only play for this country but to have the chance to captain Australia is something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.

“I’ve enjoyed every single minute of it in the one-day form. Hopefully it continues in Test cricket.”

Clarke also believes over the years the bigger players in the Australian team have always stood up in crunch situations, and that is what has made them the most successful team in the World Cups.

“I think the Australian way has always been about the big games. I think it’s probably something I learned at a young age, that the big players always stood up in major tournaments. You know, they weren’t scared of losing,” he said.

The 33-year-old received a standing ovation when he was making his way into the pavilion after his knock. Speaking on the adulation from the crowd Clarke said he wanted it for the team.

“Yeah, it’s been really special to be honest. Like I said, even announcing my retirement from One-Day cricket yesterday, I really didn’t want to take anything away from the team. Yeah, so even tonight, it’s still — you know, that was very special for me personally, but again, I really wanted to run off the field so I didn’t take that — I wanted that applause for the team,” he concluded.

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/

Policy on anvil to protect local weavers

Sale of imported silk as Assam silk must be halted: CM

With Rongali Bihu less than a month away, powerloom mekhela chadors and gamosas made in faraway places in UP, Gujarat and other states are now flooding the markets in Assam. These imported mekhela chadors and gamosas are priced much lower than the traditionally made Assamese mekhela chadors and gamosas, which are uniquely designed multi-use cloth having immense significance in Assamese society.

Expressing serious concern over the issue, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday announced that a separate handloom policy will be introduced to safeguard the interests of local weavers and keep the practice of producing traditional garments alive in the State.

Talking to media persons outside the Assembly, Gogoi said, “We can’t stop the import of mekhela chadors and gamosas from outside the State but a trader in the State should not sell such imported items by branding these as Assamese silk. In the cash memo, items should for example be mentioned as Benarasi silk and not as Assamese silk.”

According to a law under the Union Ministry of Textiles, the Assamese mekhela chador, Bodo dakhana, Manipuri mekhela (wrappers) and Assamese gamosa are reserved items exclusively in the handloom sector, and these cannot be manufactured through powerloom.

However, lack of a regulator and monitoring system has led to a flourishing trade of imported gamosas during Bihu festivities in the State.

Gogoi further informed that he has instructed Handloom and Textile minister Bismita Gogoi to visit Sualkuchi, hub of muga silk production in the State, to take stock of the situation there. “Departmental squads have also been activated to keep an eye on sale of imported mekhela chadors and gamosas, claiming these to be Assamese silk,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that a yarn bank will be set up in Sualkuchi soon to provide local weavers yarn at subsidized rate.

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/

Total lunar eclipse to be visible from NE

THE TIMINGS

* The eclipse will begin on 4th April at 15:45 hours

* It will be seen from many Northeast parts of the country like Aizwal, Dibrugarh, Imphal, Itanagar, Kohima, Tezu etc.

* The total duration of the eclipse will be 3 h 30 m.

A total eclipse of the moon will occur on April 4 (Saturday) and the totality phase will be seen at the time of moonrise from many places in the Northeast.

In India, the initial umbral phase of the eclipse will not be seen. At the time of moonrise, the totality phases of the eclipse will be visible from the extreme Northeastern region of India and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The rest of the country will only see the partial eclipse.

The eclipse will occur from 15.45 hours to 19.15 hours Indian Standard Time (IST).

It will be seen from many places in the Northeast including Aizwal, Dibrugarh, Imphal, Itanagar, Tezu and Kohima.

The eclipse will be visible in the region covering eastern Asia, Australia, North America, western half of South America, Antarctica, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

The totality of this eclipse will last for a very short duration. The eclipse will begin on 4th April at 15:45 hours. The totality will begin at 17:24 hours and it will end at 17:36 hours. The eclipse will end at 19:15 hours. The total duration of the eclipse will be 3 hrs 30 min.

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/

Centre pursuing NE issues on mission mode: Nirmala

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the central government would pursue all matters related to India’s northeast region on a “mission mode”.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked all central ministers to speedily deal with all issues of northeastern states and sort them out without any delay,” Sitharaman said.

Modi also asked the ministers to visit the region whenever needed, she said.

Sitharaman was speaking after inaugurating a land customs station (LCS) at Zokhawthar in Mizoram’s Champhai district on Wednesday.

Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla, senior officials from Myanmar and Indian Consul General at Mandalay Nanda Kumar were present on the occasion.

The National Democratic Alliance government would follow all matters associated with northeastern states on a “mission mode”, she added.

“The government is keen to directly deal with the people of northeast as we are on a mission mode. Steps would be taken for setting up of banks and post offices in the remote areas of the northeast,” the minister said.

The LCS in Zokhawthar, bordering Myanmar, will facilitate trade with the neighbouring country. It is equipped with a weigh bridge, plant quarantine building and toll gate.

Sitharaman said she has already inaugurated a ‘border-haat’ (border market) along the India-Bangladesh border in Tripura on January 13 and visited a border trade centre at Moreh (along the Myanmar border) in Manipur.

“Myanmar has border with four Indian states (Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh) and international trade between India and Myanmar currently stands at $2.28 billion,” she said.

With the development of infrastructure along the borders this trade volume would increase further, Sitharaman added.

She said that “India is setting up international standard multi-purpose integrated check posts along its borders with Bangladesh, Myanmar and Pakistan to increase trade and business with the neighbouring countries.”

“The ‘border haats’ are being set up along the India-Bangladesh border to increase trade in the local produce of both the nations,” she said.

(Source) The Sentinel Assam – The Largest Media group of North-East India — focused on news publishing. Combined circulation of the group is over 120,000 newspapers per day, making it the largest newspaper group in the region. The Sentinel is the only English daily in the Northeast India with five editions published simultaneously from Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Shillong, Silchar and Itanagar. For all local, news from Assam, national and international news please visit  http://www.sentinelassam.com/