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India targets tax evading billionaires
Report dated 02/05/2012 @ 8:19 PM
India's Finance Ministry is close to signing a deal with the Swiss government to end secrecy about undeclared bank accounts of the super rich. The Ministry said it will approach the Swiss government to obtain information under the 'liberal interpretation of the identity requirements for providing information', as agreed in the reworked Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement signed between the two countries.
Once signed the agreement will boost India's attempts to bring in billions of dollars in cash hidden in Swiss banks accounts.
India's tax authorities already began a crackdown on black money parked in Mauritius and Switzerland, after they received information on tax evading bank accounts at HSBC Switzerland.
This report was released shortly after India's second richest man, Lakshmi Mittal, founder of steel giant ArcelorMittal complained that the Indian government was too slow in permitting the construction of new steel mills. ArcelorMittal is headquartered in Luxembourg.
Mother of murdered schoolgirl Aarushi Talwar jailed
Report dated 01/05/2012 @ 7:54 PM
The mother of Aarushi Talwar who was murdered, has been jailed after a court rejected her interim bail application.
In January the Supreme Court ordered the parents to stand trial. They challenged a ruling from a lower court that ruled that the couple should be charged with murder, destruction of evidence and criminal conspiracy. The Talwars, both dentists, deny all the charges.
The CBI said circumstantial evidence pointed to the parents' involvement in Aarushi's death but there was a lack of hard evidence.
Aarushi 14, was murdered in her bedroom at the family home in Noida near Delhi, while her parents slept. She was found with her throat slit and a fatal head injury. A day later the bludgeoned body of their male domestic helper was found on the roof of the building.
Her father was arrested and later freed. Dr Talwar's dental assistant and two servants employed by friends and neighbours were also questioned and released.
Days after the murder a senior police officer said Aarushi had been murdered because she discovered her father's alleged extramarital relationship with another dentist. He also suggested the teenager could have been killed because Dr Talwar objected to her close relationship with the murdered domestic helper.
Over 200 million Indians suffer from poor quality of life : Survey
Report dated 01/05/2012 @ 7:54 PM
About 31% of Indian adults say they are suffering because of poor quality of life. A Gallup poll indicates that the poorest and least educated are most likely to consider themselves in this category but that suffering has increased among Indians at all income and education levels.
The research divides people into "thriving", "struggling" and "suffering" according to how they rate their present and future lives.
The key factors affecting Indians' well-being are income, education and employment - all linked and influenced by the workplace. Research reveals that a 'good job' or full time employment- is important to overall well being.
Globally only 13% of people rated their lives as "suffering".
The survey also showed that 73% of Indian respondents perceived corruption as being widespread in the government.
Over 100 feared dead after Indian ferry capsizes
Report dated 01/05/2012 @ 7:53 PM
At least 103 people have died after a ferry capsized during a storm in Assam state. More than 100 people are missing, while dozens of others were rescued or made it to safety. The vessel was carrying at least 300 passengers on the Brahmaputra river.
Boats are a common mode in the area and poor safety standards mean ferry accidents are common on the river but this is one of the worst disasters in recent memory. The ferry carried no lifeboats or life jackets and was overloaded.
Authorities say the incident happened in the remote district of Dhubri during heavy winds and rain. The vessel capsized and broke into two pieces during the storm when currents were very strong.
PM Manmohan Singh said he was grieved by the incident and has given instructions for all possible assistance to the government of Assam in relief operations.
Non stop recitation of Ramayana for 18 years at temple near Agra
Report dated 29/04/2012 @ 1:09 PM
At the Ram Hanuman temple in Achnera, a bustling town near Agra, the recital of the holy book Ramayana has continued for the past 18 years, to the pride of the residents. The 'akhand paath' or continuous recital started in 1994 and since then the Ramayana has been recited over 3440 times.
The temple is small, simple and has no resources. People contribute their coins as alms and pray there. This temple also has idols of Ram, Sita, Hanuman and Shivling and outside hangs a wall clock that records the number of times the Ramayana is read.
The priest says there has never been a shortage of 'pathaks' or readers who consider it a privilege to volunteer their services.