Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Should Uddhav Thackeray demand the resignation of Rajan Vichare?

Shiv Sena MP Rajan Vichare who force-fed a supervisor of the IRCTC canteen in Maharashtra Sadan on July 17 said on Wednesday he regretted the incident after he came to know that the man was a Muslim and was fasting for Ramzan.
He, however, added: "It's not written on anyone's face whether he/she is a Hindu or a Muslim. I got to know about it just now."
Television channels throughout the day showed a CCTV grab of Vichare forcing the supervisor to eat a chapatti.
As a mark of protest, the IRCTC has withdrawn its catering facilities from the sadan. On Wednesday, a two-member fact finding committee of group general managers was formed to investigate the incident. The committee will have to submit its report within three days.
Suhas Mamdapurkar, the manager of the sadan, was transferred on Wednesday in the wake of the controversy. Mamdapurkar, who also held the charge of assistant resident commissioner (security), could not be contacted. Both his mobile phones were switched off.
On July 17, a group of 11 Shiv Sena MPs, apparently angry over not being served Maharashtrian food, created a ruckus at the sadan. Vichare, according to the footage, forced catering supervisor Arshad Zubair to eat a chapatti.
At the Shiv Sena's office on the third floor of Parliament House, Vichare tried to defend himself. The four-time MP from Thane, who won this year's Lok Sabha election by a margin of 2.86 lakh votes, claimed he was only asking Zubair to taste the food "which was not fit for even animals".
Zubair was not available for the comment.
As the controversy raged on TV channels, the Sena claimed that the MPs were protesting against bad administration of the sadan, which was being falsely portrayed as a 'communal incident' by opposition political parties.
"Resident commissioner Bipin Mallick is the reason for all the problems here. He should be removed from here within two days; otherwise, we will raise the issue in Parliament," Sena MP Krupal Tumane, who too was part of the July 17 group, said. Mallick is currently not in the capital and was not available on phone.
Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan ordered an inquiry into the complaints by MPs regarding services provided in the Maharashtra Sadan. Chief secretary JS Saharia will submit a report.
But Chavan red flagged the rowdyism of the Sena MPs and said public representatives must recognise their responsibilities and behave accordingly.
Muslim and secular organisations in Mumbai unequivocally condemned Vichare's act. "They took out their anger on the supervisor. It happened when he was fasting, which is horrible. It was IRCTC that comes out with food. If they have courage, why do not they go and fight with railways and the railway minister. It is they who decide what menu to serve," Irfan Ali Engineer, director, Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, said.
"They are MPs and most of them are not first-timers. They have done this not in some ordinary place but in a government premise. The Modi government will send a wrong message if they do not take any action," Maulana Hakim Mehmood Dariyabadi, general secretary of all the India Ulema Council, said.
"This (uproar over the incident) is an attempt to silence Shiv Sena's voice. We are proponents of Hindutva but we don't have hatred for other religions," Uddhav Thackeray told reporters in Aurangabad.

Mars spacecraft completes 80% of journey

India's maiden mission to the Red Planet, Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) has completed 80 % of its 54.6 million kilometers to Mars. The MOM has now traveled a distance 540 million kilometers on its helio centric arc and the Mars Orbit Insertion will be carried out on September 24.
"The Mars Orbiter Spacecraft has travelled 540 million kilometers on its helicentric arc. Radio Signals from earth now take 15 minutes to reach MOM and return," the space agency said. Launched on November 5 the MOM is carrying compact science experiments, totaling a mass of 15 kg. The five pay loads of the Layman Alpha Photometer (LAP), Methane Sensor for MARS (MES), Martian Exospheric Composition
Explorer (MENCA), MARSColour Camera (MCC) and TIR imaging spectrometer (TIS). The Rs 450 crore expedition seeks to reveal whether there is methane, considered a precursor chemical for life, on the Red Planet.
Prior to the Mars Orbit Insertion on September 24 Isro has planned the last Trajectory Correction Manoeuvre (TCM) of the spacecraft which is likely to be was conducted in August.

Sachin Tendulkar reckons ton in Perth shaped his career

terming it his best Test ton, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar today said his career took flight following the knock of 114 on a bouncy WACA track in 1992, adding that the innings against a hostile Australian attack in Perth gave him immense confidence.

"One innings that changed my career or gave shape to my career was in Perth, 1992. Perth, at least at that time, was regarded to be the fastest wicket and the hostility of the Australian fast bowlers was something which was difficult to handle. I was able to score a 100 and I was only 19," he said during an interaction with school children here.

"And just two matches before that, I had scored a hundred in Sydney but they were two different kinds of surfaces. I knew that Perth was the kind of wicket which I would not get to play anywhere in the world and If I can bat on Perth and score runs then I am possibly equipped to go on any other track which is fast and bouncy and score runs there.

"My career was just starting. I had done well for a couple of years by then but it really took off after that Perth innings because I felt I was ready to take on the world. By no means I was over confident but I became a confident cricketer where any challenge put up against me, I was equipped to face that," he added.

The retired great interacted with Ryan International school children at north western Malad during the launch of `Kaspersky Kids Awareness Programme`.

His response came when he was asked by a student to rate his best Test century out of the 51 tons he had scored in his 24-year international career in which he also notched up 49 ODI hundreds to make it a round 100 centuries.

Tendulkar hung up his boots last November after a glittering career that saw him amass 15,921 runs in Tests, at an average of 53.78, and 18426 runs in 463 ODIs at an average of 44.83.

The batting maestro said though his father was not interested in cricket he supported Tendulkar when it came to choosing his career, and he would do the same for his children.

"In my case my father didn`t decide that I should play cricket. He gave me the freedom to express myself. Above all he found out what I was interested in and of course it was with the help of my brother.

"My father was not interested in cricket at all but it was my brother`s initiative. My brother said we need to make him join a summer camp and partially also because I was a very naughty kid. That is how my career started," he said.

"I want the same thing to happen to my children. My son (Arjun) enjoys cricket. Earlier he enjoyed playing football and then it was chess. Now it is cricket.

"So whatever he wants to be in life, all I have asked him is to be sincere and honest. I have told him that I will support you and guide you in whatever you want to be in life.

"So is the case with my daughter (Sara). She wants to follow her mother`s footsteps. She wants to become a doctor or go the medical side and she has full backing. So it is their choice," he added.

Tendulkar factor adds to pressure on Sindhu

(Reuters) - Venkata Pusarla Sindhu has to contend not only with the hopes of her nation but the pressure of impressing her most famous fan in the Commonwealth Games badminton competition.
The 19-year-old knows that her country’s most well-known sportsman, cricket great Sachin Tendulkar, will be taking a keen interest when she competes in the women’s singles in Glasgow starting on Tuesday.
The master batsman and leading run-scorer in test history presented her with a car when she became the first Indian to win the junior Asian Championship in 2012.
"I met him (Tendulkar) and he gave me a car, I was very happy,” Sindhu said. “He said, 'well done' and he congratulated me. It was a real surprise.”
Sinhu, the top seed, is among the favourites to win gold in Glasgow after her Indian team mate and defending Commonwealth Games champion Saina Nehwal withdrew due to injury.
“You can give your best, but sometimes your strokes won't go and it's not your day," she said.
"Even though some of the players are not up to your level, from the first point you have to play your game and finish it off. You should not take anything lightly."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

Priyanka Chopra stuns with gritty punches and powerful dialogues in 'Mary Kom'

he first look of 'Mary Kom' had created waves with Priyanka Chopra's gritty and strong look reprising the role of ace boxer and Olympian medalist Mary Kom. 
The film starring Priyanka Chopra traces boxer Mary Kom's journey from battling the societal norms and gender prejudices to reinventing her love for boxing post motherhood. 

In the trailer, Chopra, who stars as Mary Kom in the film with the same name, can be seen in a workout attire, with her hair tied in a pony tail, striking a similarity with the boxer's look. An Indian flag along with a boxing ring is visible as Priyanka is seen battling a competitor. 
Though the video does not give away much, it manages to create palpable curiosity about the film. 

Worries for iPad as Apple faces challenges on all fronts

The current iPad, available in a 10-inch and 8-inch model.
Apple sold 35.2 million iPhones around the world last quarter, up from 31.2  million a year ago.
But the iPad hasn’t been so favoured. Sales were down last quarter by 9 per cent compared with a year ago, meaning Apple sold just 13.3 million iPads, about a million fewer than analysts had been expecting.
The iPad is now so out of favour that Apple CEO Tim Cook didn’t mention it in his statement.
“Strong sales of iPhone and Mac and the continued growth of revenue from the Apple ecosystem” were behind the record June-quarter revenues of $US37.4 billion ($39.8 billion), and quarterly net profit of $US7.7 billion, he said.
Telsyte analyst Foad Fadaghi said the slowdown in iPad sales was the biggest worry in the results, due to Apple’s expectation that growth will continue as tablets gradually overtake traditional PCs in market share. It appeared customers were holding on to existing iPads longer than they do with phones, where upgrades were more frequent due to phone plan changes.
“iPads continue to decline following a very strong previous couple of years,” Mr Fadaghi said.
“We are revising our upgrade or replacement cycle estimates for iPads, given the longevity of older iPads such as the strong-selling iPad 2.”
It’s not just the fact that old iPads keep working that’s discouraging ­people from buying new ones. Serious competitors to the iPad had been slower to emerge than competitors to the iPhone – Apple is still number one in tablets, if only just, but it lost its number one spot in phones in 2012 – but they have come out of the woodwork this year, with Samsung, Microsoft, Sony, Google and others all producing worthy, and often cheaper, tablets.
Microsoft says its Surface 3 Pro tablet, which competes with the iPad as a PC replacement, has enjoyed much more success than previous Surface Pro tablets did, though Microsoft chief financial officer Amy Hood cautions it’s still too early to tell how well it will sell.
James Turner, an adviser at Intelligent Business Research Services, says it’s inevitable that Apple’s products will drift away from the number one spot.
“Apple faces a choice now. Apple can follow the market and respond to every flick of the windsock of market demand, or it can stay true to its original purpose, which was to build the best devices it could. If Apple stays true to that original purpose, I expect that it will only ever maintain a small percentage of the market, but it will probably be the most profitable part of the market.
“[But if it enters] the mad arms race of trying to give consumers everything they want from one minute to the next, then Apple will become irrelevant because it will be trying to compete against a vendor – Google – that gets its money very differently.”

Efforts on to monitor Himalayan glaciers

NEW DELHI: Efforts are underway for the regular monitoring of the dynamics and climate studies of Himalayan glaciers, minister of state for science and technology Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday. 

"Efforts are underway for regular monitoring of glacier dynamics, snow and glacier melting, geometrical changes and climate studies of the Himalayan glaciers," Jitendra Singh said in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha. 

He added: "A number of glaciers have already been taken up for long-term measurements on glacier-climate interaction by several government agencies." 

Studies so far show the Himalayan glaciers are melting. However, the rate, amount and patterns differ. 

"The Wadia Institue of Himalayan Geology in Dehradun has set up a number of Automatic Weather Stations to collect real-time weather parameter data at different altitudes in the glacierised areas of the Himalayas to assist and evaluate the climate change...," the minister said. 

Jitendra Singh added that his ministry has also identified a few benchmark glaciers for continuous monitoring to understand their dynamics.