Monday, May 10, 2010


Sunday, May 03rd 2009
Sikkim leads the way in the polls
With 82.07% , Sikkim has clearly led the way in terms of the number of voters who exercised their franchise during the 15th Lok Sabha elections. The increase in the voting numbers has been due to the interest shown by all political parties. For the first time all the eight political parties including four national parties like Congress, BJP, CPM and NCP fielded their candidates in many constituencies creating huge interest amongst the voters to participate in the election process. 

Monday, May 04th 2009
11 killed as Norwester sweeps Bengal
A powerful Norwester which hit several parts of West Bengal on Sunday killed 11 and injured around 15 people. The districts where maximum damage was reported was in Malda where seven people were killed. Several trees and electric poles were uprooted due to the powerful storm. This has also brought respite to the scorching heat conditions that the people were facing in West Bengal. 

Wednesday, May 06th 2009
Court to frame charges against Kasab 
The special court set up in Arthur Road Jail is likely to frame charges against Ajmal Amir Kasab, Faheem Ansari, Sabauddin Ahmed and 35 other accused believed to be in Pakistan apart from Kasab in the proceedings today. The Judge M L Tahaliyani accepted the "sanctions" and said the court would frame charges against the trio after considering the material against them. If found guilty, the accused may face punishment ranging from death sentence to life imprisonment and fine.

Thursday, May 07th 2009
Final round of the Lok Sabha elections
Thursday will witness polling across eight states and union territories to elect 85 MPs. The penultimate round of the 15th Lok Sabha elections will see around 1,315 candidates in the fray. As many as 9.46 crore people are eligible to vote in this phase (fourth phase). 

Wednesday, May 13th 2009
India enters final phase of the general elections
In the fifth and final phase of the Lok Sabha elections voting will take place in 86 constituencies across nine states and Union territories, including Tamil Nadu and most parts of the city of Calcutta. Over 10.78 crore voters have a say in electing 86 MPs to the 545-member lower house of parliament in this phase. 

Thursday, May 14th 2009
US Consulate denies H-1B visa curtailment 
The US Consulate general, Cornelis Keur in Hyderabad stated to the media that there wont be any curtailment of H-1B visas to Indians. However the US government has taken a decision to tie up its unemployment problem which is at 9% due to the downturn. But the Visa policy has not seen any significant changes and H-1B visas are being issued with a little bit more scrutiny. 

Friday, May 15th 2009
Financial health of airlines to be scanned by DGCA
The Director General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) has sent out detailed questionnaires to airlines for gauging their financial stability. This move has been the result of concerns over the poor health of Indian carriers and also to ascertain aircraft maintenance and passenger safety. Based on the responses from the sirlines an informal ranking of the carriers will be carried out. The carriers that figure low on the financial stability checklist will have to face more than routine checks on aircraft.

Saturday, May 16th 2009
Counting on, Cong seems to lead
The UPA government is probably set for another session at forming the government. The Counting of votes of the 15th Lok Sabha election is still in process, however early results reveal Congress to be leading in several constituencies. However in case of a close result or a hung Lok Sabha, the President holds the decision regarding the formation of the government.

Sunday, May 17th 2009
Congress takes a sweep at the elections
The election results did not fail to surprise this time as well with the Congress emerging as the single largest party after winning 201 seats which is the largest in 25 years. The UPA's seat tally goes to 261. The call taken by the Indian voter seems to be in favor of a stable government. Manmohan Singh is set to take charge as Prime Minister and become the only PM since Jawaharlal Nehru in 1961 to be voted back after completing a full five-year term. 

Monday, May 18th 2009
Congress to decide about cabinet formation
After the thumping win achieved by the Congress of the UPA government at the 15th Lok Sabha elections, the focus has moved towards the cabinet formation task. The Congress has to now address the claims of allies like DMK, NCP and the Trinamool Congress. A meeting of the Union cabinet has been scheduled for today.

Tuesday, May 19th 2009
India to send in medicines worth Rs 3.25 crores to Sri lanka
With the war in Sri Lanka declared as over by Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the parliament, India has decided to send 25 tonnes of medicines worth Rs 3.25 crore to help the displaced civilian Tamil population in the island country. According to a defense official an IAF IL-76 aircraft is slated to leave New Delhi for Colombo on May 22 with the relief material. It will be disbursed among the sick, the wounded and the internally displaced people in northern Sri Lanka

Wednesday, May 20th 2009
PM Singh set to stake claim to form govt 
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will stake claim to form the government today. Letters of support from members of the UPA alliances, independents and other parties to form the government will be submitted to the President today.

Thursday, May 21st 2009
H1-B Visas have 20,000 slots left
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) has still 20,000 slots left for the most sought after H-1B American work visa. The USCIS has been receiving applications for the financial year 2010 beginning October for seven weeks now since it opened. The H-1B petitions have totaled to about 45,500 where as the congressionally mandated cap is 65,000. This is in contrast to the previous years where the USCIS received petitions which outnumbered the mandated cap by several times. 

Thursday, May 21st 2009
Manmohan Singh to be sworn as PM on May 22nd
Dr. Manmohan Singh will be sworn in as the Prime Minister for his second session in office at the oath taking ceremony scheduled for the 22nd of May. President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday appointed Manmohan Singh Prime Minister and invited him to name his Council of Ministers. 

Saturday, May 23rd 2009
UPA to take up the Gorshkov deal soon
The Russian carrier craft Admiral Gorshkov deal which is soon to be settled upon will be the UPA government's first big defence procurement decision. India and Russia have so far been entangled in bitter disagreement regarding the refit of the Gorshkov and its cost escalation. However the two countries have now come back to negotiations to settle the deal. Three Indian teams would be visiting Russia in quick succession and would ensure that the deal is sent to the cabinet committee for security approval by the end of July this year. The Russian carrier has been rechristened 'INS Vikramaditya' and India has already made an initial payment of $500 million to Russia. 

Tuesday, May 26th 2009
Violence in Punjab
Anger among the followers of Dera Sachkhand Ballan, a sect of dalits has caused violence in Punjab. The cause of the violence has been the shootout at a Gurdwara in Vienna where one of its key leaders were killed. Two people have been killed in the riots so far and violent mobs have blocked rail tracks and highways. Curfew has been clamped at Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Phagwara and Hoshiarpur and authorities have called out the Army at Jalandhar. 

Tuesday, May 26th 2009
West Bengal faces cyclone fury
Cyclone Aila ripped through many parts of West Bengal and Orissa killing up to 23 people on Monday. The Met department which had predicted the occurrence of the cyclone could not predict the devastation it would cause because of its ferocious nature. The cyclone Aila was backed up by gale- force winds which touched up o 120 km/hour. The city of 10 million people was plunged into darkness as massive electric poles and trees fell. Kolkata airport shut down for the entire day on Monday with more than 40 flights being cancelled.

Wednesday, May 27th 2009
Aila toll crosses 60
Aila the furious cyclone which swept across and wrecked havoc in many parts of South Bengal including the capital Kolkata earlier this week has now affected Darjeeling, Kuseong and Kalimpong subdivisions. The death toll has now reached 64. 

Thursday, May 28th 2009
New US ambassador to India
US President barack Obama appointed former democrat congressman from Indiana Timothy J Roemer as the new US ambassador to India. Mr. Roemer was earlier appointed as a member of the 9/11 Commission, investigating the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States by former President George W Bush.

Friday, May 29th 2009
After AWAC induction, India talks tough
After having entered the exclusive club of countries which operate advanced Awacs( airborne warning and control systems) on May 25th India assumed a tough stance with Russia and Israel in connection with weapons delivery deadlines. Both these countries are the two largest defense suppliers to India and have incurred delays in weapon supplies. The first of the three Phalcon Awacs had been originally scheduled for delivery in December 2007. At the Awacs induction ceremony defence minister A K Antony said that deadlines must be respected at any cost and also expressed his anguish at huge delays in the other defence projects as well. Ambassadors from both Russia and Israel were present during the ceremony.

Friday, May 29th 2009
H1N1 virus isolated by scientists in India
India has been successful in isolating the deadly H1N1 influenza virus thus achieving a major breakthrough in the attempts to create a vaccine for the flu. Scientists from the National Institute of Virology(NIV), Pune have managed to grow the virus which is the first step in developing an effective vaccine against the H1N1 virus. The Influenza virus was isolated from the nasal samples of the country's only positive swine flu patient in Hyderabad. 

Saturday, May 30th 2009
India concerned over attacks against Indian students in Australia 
As more reports of the growing violence against Indian students in Australia emerge, the Indian government expressed its concern about the alleged racial attacks to the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. The racial attacks on Indian students in Australia took on bigger proportions on Friday as one of the victims continued to be in a coma. In the last few weeks, there has been a spate of attacks on Indians, the latest being the attack on Baljinder Singh who was stabbed by two men in the abdomen as he was leaving a railway station. The case of these racist attacks came to light after four Indian students were brutally attacked by gatecrashers at a party in Melbourne. The Australian PM has intervened in the matter as the Indian government made its concerns public. 

Sunday, May 31st 2009
LS likely to have first woman speaker
Meira Kumar, Union Minister of Water Resources has been named as the candidate for the next Lok Sabha speaker. Ms Kumar has now resigned from the Union minister's post to take charge as the new LS speaker. The five time MP, Meira Kumar came as a surprise choice of the UPA. Meira Kumar is an MP from Bihar's Sasaram constituency and would be the first woman to hold the office of Lok Sabha Speaker, if selected.

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