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Two Indians win Women's Empowerment Journalism Awards
Report dated 25/05/2014 @ 1:50 PM
Diageo has honoured five winning journalists from across the Asia-Pacific for outstanding reports on women's issues, at the inaugural 2014 Women's Empowerment (WE) Journalism Awards ceremony in Singapore. The winners from India were Sumnima Udas of CNN and Nilanjana Bhowmick of Time Magazine.
Udas was named Journalist of the Year for her reporting on gender issues in India including the 2012 rape and murder of a young medical student.
Bhowmick won the award for Online Story of the Year, for her article 'India's Golden Girls: How Sports and the Olympics Can Uplift Women', which highlighted sports as a tool for empowerment of girls in India.
According to Abanti Sankaranarayanan, Managing Director, Diageo India, they received over 300 entries from 11 countries across print, online and broadcast media.
AAP - another blow as Shazia Ilmi & Captain Gopinath resign
Report dated 25/05/2014 @ 1:46 PM
The Aam Aadmi Party whose disastrous show in the general elections dealt them a major blow, has suffered another blow, with founder leader Shazia Ilmi resigning from all posts in the party.
Captain G R Gopinath, founder of Air Deccan also announced his resignation from the AAP and criticised Arvind Kejriwal for 'shoot and scoot' politics.
Ms Ilmi said there is a lack of inner party democracy in AAP and accused Kejriwal of ignoring other leaders and surrounding himself with a 'crony clique'. She said there is a need to reinvent the AAP and go beyond agitation.
Arvind Kejriwal sent to Tihar jail in defamation case
Report dated 22/05/2014 @ 3:52 PM
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal was sent to Tihar jail after a Delhi court ordered him to be taken into judicial custody as he repeatedly refused to furnish a bail bond or a personal bond in a criminal defamation suit filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari who Kejriwal named on his list of "India's most corrupt". Kejriwal also argued in the court that he has not committed any heinous crime and he was not looking for any exceptional treatment.
AAP activists staged a protest outside Tihar forcing the authorities to impose Section 144 outside and inside the prison, that prohibits mass gatherings.
Some AAP workers including senior party leader Yogendra Yadav were detained by police. Yadav condemned the police's move to evict the protesters saying they were not doing anything illegal and called it police high-handedness.
Modi invites Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif to inauguration
Report dated 22/05/2014 @ 1:34 PM
Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi invited Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his inauguration next week. Sharif is on the guest list of leaders from the eight member regional group invited to attend Modi's swearing in ceremony on May 26.
Modi reached out to members of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation, a sign he may be seeking to calm ties between smaller nations such as Nepal and Bangladesh, and is seeking to address concerns that rival China is making inroads in the region.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa's office confirmed he will fly to Delhi for the occasion. In effect if Mr Sharif cannot attend, the new administration in Delhi is signalling its wish to re-engage with its immediate neighbour. After his own election last year Sharif's administration had also suggested India's prime minister be invited to attend, but Manmohan Singh declined.
One foreign policy analyst said inviting regional leaders is a smart political move as India being the largest country in the region, it should be reaching out to its neighbours. Jitendra Kumar an associate of Modi's from the RSS said he believes Pakistan is interested in improving relations with India and he expects that things will improve as Modi is a good administrator.
What do our Parliamentarians get
Report dated 21/05/2014 @ 6:51 PM
The Lok Sabha secretariat has released a booklet to let newly elected Lok Sabha members know what their entitlements are. However the booklet does not suggest an MP is required by rule to do anything in particular apart from of course representing the people in Parliament, participate in debates, raise concerns, discuss problems, but none of it is mandatory. MPs do not have a job description but must do what their party directs.
Newly elected MPs will be paid a salary of Rs.50,000 per month as well as Rs.2000 as daily allowance when the MP signs the register when attending Parliament or House Committee sessions. The MP is also entitled to a Rs.45,000 constituency allowance. He or she will receive rent-free accommodations, air and train travel, 3 landlines and 2 mobile phones with free calls. The MP can also spend up to Rs.200,000 on a computer and the amount will be refunded.
There is a water and electricity entitlement as well as a loan of Rs.400,000 to buy a 'conveyance' that will be repaid in installments with interest as applicable. The MP can also buy furniture up to Rs.75,000 and can get sofa covers and curtains laundered every three months!