Saturday, 26 January 2013


Dr Sushma Dixit


Bharat Mata in Chains
All thanks to the creator of the universe and more significantly all due respect to our freedom fighters whose earnest endeavours have shown us sixty five independent summers. Their efforts in giving shape to our nation cannot be doubted. But an element of doubt does occur in the mind of an individual when one introspects or reads about the glorious past of the nation. One’s intelligence can pose thousand questions in seeking an answer for the lost glory. 
Where is that glory, where is that reverence now? Should it not be an oft-asked question by every true Indian? I apologise on the use of the word true Indian lest it should hurt anyone. But I believe that one is a citizen of a nation by the virtue of taking birth in that nation. Either one is a natural citizen or he is a naturalized citizen. He is an Indian hence. But to be acclaimed as a true Indian demands scores of parameter. Every True Indian should be compassionate, patriotic, and full of admiration for fellow beings, believer of Indian Philosophy, should feel proud of Indian Culture and values, should not downgrade Hindi speaking people so on and so forth. Altogether he should be a modest modern thought believing individual.  
But the increasing cases of rape, gang rape, acid-kand, eve teasing, molestation, sexual harassment, domestic violence, rising number of scams, growing scandals, mounting atrocity, cases of corruption are bringing disgrace to nation as a whole does not allow us to be a proud INDIAN. Though we have grown hearing and learning, India is my motherland as well I am proud to be an Indian. This is the oft- repeated remark on the eve of all national festivals. Hindi film songs have played a vital role in rejuvenating us with patriotic fervour on 26th January and 15th August. But this is confined to the celebration of those few days only.
Patriotism has great connection with love and respect. In a country which was once known as golden bird is probably now an eagle-in-chain. It is because we have lost reverence for the creator of the society. No matter how many merry songs we all sing on empowerment of women but she still remains a tertiary object, proven by the Delhi rape case. To our surprise after so much of hue and cry over the Delhi rape case, there has been no decrease in the cases of rape rather such heinous crimes have greatly increased. 

India is a land of 33 crores Gods and Goddesses. We are told that it is the original home of mother goddesses. This is the same land where in Vedic period women enjoyed a high, respectable and divine position. On the contrary women face total disrespect in the land today where it was said,
                “yatra naryastu pujyante,
                  ramante tatra devatah”
(Where women are respected there lies the dwelling place of God). 
Stories from mythology and folklore are recounted to prove that women in India have always been honoured and respected. But with time running at its pace and bringing about changes in the structure and pattern of society, in the norms and values of society, a considerable decline in the status of women has been seen. 
Can God, the creator of the cosmos ever live in the land of ‘mentally mutilated human being’, even now, certainly not!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Sensex slips below 20k-mark, Tata Motors drops 6%

Sensex slips below 20k-mark, Tata Motors drops 6%
Clean Media Correspondent

MUMBAI, Jan 25 (CMC) Hit by nearly 6 per cent loss in Tata Motors, the BSE benchmark Sensex today closed 103 points lower to slip below 20,000-level amid investors booking profits in realty, auto, metal and power sectors. 

After a better start at 20,072.28, the Sensex fell by 102.83 points, or 0.51 per cent to 19,923.78 as auto majors Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and M&M recorded losses. 

Tata Motors slumped 5.9 per cent after reports stated the company had issued a profit warning at Jaguar Land Rover. 
Realty space also saw selling today with HDIL tanking over 22 per cent. Others like Unitech, Anant Raj and Sobha Developers dropped in 5-7 per cent range, pulling down the BSE Realty by over 4 per cent -- the worst among sectoral indices. 

On the similar lines, the broad-based National Stock Exchange ined Nifty fell by 34.95 points, or 0.58 per cent to end at 6,019.35, after touching a low of 6,007.85. 

"The Nifty opened on a muted note and profit booking across the board ensured a weak closing near the psychological level of 6000," said Shubham Agarwal, Associate VP and Senior Technical Equities Analyst, Motilal Oswal Securities. 

Brokers said the selling pressure emerged at existing higher levels as investors sold blue-chips that had surged in the recent past on government's reform initiatives. 

Interest-rate sensitive stocks, like ICICI Bank, HDFC and SBI, logged losses ahead of cautious stance adopted by market participants ahead of the RBI policy meeting on January 29. 

However, a firm trend in FMCG, Information Technology and Capital Goods sectors saved the market from any major fall.

BJP threatens to stall Parliament over Shinde, Congress backs him

BJP threatens to stall Parliament over Shinde, Congress backs him
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Jan 24 (CMC) The BJP Thursday kept up its demand for the sacking of Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde over his "Hindu terror" remarks, threatening to disrupt parliament's budget session till the government is "forced" to drop him. The ruling Congress dismissed the protests as aimed to deflect attention from BJP's own problems. 

Speaking at a rally here as part of its protests against Shinde's remarks, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) new president Rajnath Singh and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj demanded that the Congress leadership apologise over Shinde's remarks. 

The BJP "will fight the issue in both houses of parliament", said Rajnath Singh, alleging that the prime minister "will not have the guts" to sack Shinde till Congress chief Sonia Gandhi speaks on the issue. 

"What is your (Gandhi) view on Shinde's remarks? If you do not give directions to Manmohanji that Shindeji should be sacked, I want to tell you, we will create a situation in both houses of parliament that Manmohanji will be forced to sack Shindeji. No power on earth will be able to stop it," said the newly-installed BJP chief. 

The budget session of parliament is expected to begin in the second half of February. 

"He (Shinde) has raised such a big question on the country's prestige, even then there is silence. No power will be able to save him (from sacking), the BJP will create such a situation in the country," said Rajnath Singh. 

"Till the time an apology comes on (Shinde's) statement, our agitation will continue," Sushma Swaraj said. 

"You have hurt national interest at a time when Pakistan is coming and beheading our soldiers. You are not attacking Pakistan but attacking the main opposition party," she claimed. 

"What do you want to tell the world? There might be terror camps in Pakistan, but here the main opposition party runs a terror camp! Do you want to say, terrorists are sitting in parliament? The leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha is heading a terror organisation?" she asked. 

Sushma Swaraj accused the Congress of "double speak" on Shinde's remarks, and said one of its general secretaries had justified Shinde's remarks and another had sought to distance the party from them. 

Shinde had referred to Hindu terrorism and saffron terrorism during the Congress conclave in Jaipur Sunday. 

"Whether it is BJP or RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism," he had said. 

Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury termed the BJP's nationwide agitation as an attempt to deflect public attention from its problems. 

"Why is the BJP threatening to agitate over (Shinde's) remark? They are doing this to deflect people's attention from their in-house problems and misguide them," she told reporters here. 

Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V. Narayanasamy termed the protests by the BJP as unwarranted. 

"People who were arrested in the Malegaon incident and the Samjhauta Express blast were found to be members of some of the Hindu fundamentalist groups and it was in that context the home minister said this. I don't see any kind of objection to any part of his statement," Narayanasamy told reporters. 

"Terrorism is terrorism; whether Hindu fundamentalism or Muslim fundamentalism, it is condemnable," he said. 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

L-e-T operative David Coleman Headley sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks

L-e-T operative David Coleman Headley sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks
Clean Media Correspondent

Shicago, Jan 24 (CMC) Lashkar-e-Taiba operative David Coleman Headley has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for his role in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks by a Chicago court on Thursday. The court of US district judge Harry D Leinenweber in downtown Chicago pronounced the sentence amidst an unprecedented security. 

Pakistani American, Headley, 52, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in October 2009 on charges of being involved in the planning and execution of the Mumbai terrorist attack in which more than 160 people were killed including six Americans. 

Headley later pleaded guilty to all the charges of 12 counts and agreed to provide all kind of support to the US government's effort against terrorism in exchange that he would not be given death penalty and would not be extradited to India, Pakistan or Denmark. 

For his cooperation with the US agencies against LeT and other terror organizations the acting United States attorney Gary S Shapiro sought 30-35 years of imprisonment for for him ahead of the sentencing.

Rajnath Singh steers diplomatic course on Narendra Modi, says no race in BJP for PM's post

Rajnath Singh steers diplomatic course on Narendra Modi, says no race in BJP for PM's post
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Jan 24 (CMC) Back at the helm by the sudden turn of events, new BJP President Rajnath Singh today steered clear of questions about the party's Prime Ministerial candidate or about Narendra Modi being one, saying there is no race in the party for the top post.

He said a call on the issue will be taken at the right time and leaders will decide.

"In our party, for the post Prime Minister or Chief Minister there is no race and nor does anyone stake their claim. Who will be the Prime Minister or Chief Minister, either our Parliamentary Board decides on this or the elected MLAs in the case of Chief Minister and MPs in the case of Prime Minister select their leader," Singh told reporters.

He, however, praised Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his good work in Gujarat during the past more than a decade which has seen the state's speedy progress and development.

The BJP chief said he would restructure the party soon after the National Council and National Executive meeting in mid-February and indicated that it could be held in Bhopal.

The party has kept the next meeting of the National Council and Executive in Bhopal, keeping in mind that BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh goes to polls later this year.

Asked if the party could stall Parliament during the forthcoming Budget session over Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's Hindu terror remarks, he said the BJP's strategy would be formulated ahead of the Session and the issue would be raised there.

Asked what role he foresees for the outgoing President Nitin Gadkari, Singh said "his role will certainly be there" and he would be a member of the BJP Parliamentary Board, the supreme decision-making body of the party.

Rajnath Singh said, "There is no prima facie case made out against Nitin Gadkari and the way baseless allegations were levelled against him, he got disturbed due to them and thus decided to resign till his name is cleared of all charges. The responsibility has now come on me."

About various problem confronting the party, the new BJP Chief said, "whatever little problems are there, will be sorted out soon through talks within".

On Karnataka, he said, the party will put its house in order but skirted questions about any possibility of a future tie-up with Yeddyurappa's party in the southern state.

It was under Singh's previous tenure as party president that BJP for the first time hoisted its flag in the South by setting up a government of its own. Karnataka goes to polls later this year.

On his role of leading the party in the run up to next general elections, he said, "it is not me alone who will do everything. I do not live in this illusion. I will work

together with the party and do everything to bring it to power in 2014 with the support and cooperation of all in the party."

He said the nation is looking at BJP with a lot of hope as the Congress-led UPA government has not lived up to the expectations of the people and failed on all fronts.

Lashing out at Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde for his Hindu terror remarks, Singh charged the ruling Congress with indulging in vote bank politics by "deliberately" making such statements through Ministers.

Singh said the country's prestige has been affected due to the Home Minister's remarks and demanded answer from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Singh questioned the "silence" of PM and the Congress chief on the issue.

"India's prestige has suffered a dent at the international level. I am surprised that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi have not uttered a word on such an important issue which affects the image of the country.

"If the country's Prime Minister or President of the ruling party do not speak up on such issues, how will this nation run," the BJP chief said.

Singh said, "Could the Prime Minister not condemn this. Was he not supposed to speak something on this? Was Sonia Gandhi not supposed to speak? I want to question the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi that has India's image not been affected due to the Home Minister's comments."

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Rajnath Singh returns to familiar political terrain

Rajnath Singh returns to familiar political terrain
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Jan 23 (CMC) Rajnath Singh, who was elected president of the BJP on Wednesday, finds himself in the familiar role of leading the party at a time when the party is dogged by factional feud and the Lok Sabha polls not too far away. 

61-year-old Singh from Uttar Pradesh, who takes over from Nitin Gadkari, returns to the political terrain in which the low-profile, soft-spoken and articulate leader found himself about six years ago when he was chosen by the saffron party to head it. General elections are due in May 2014. 

Singh’s dramatic elevation to the top party post caps a period of big political churnings within BJP divided on re-electing Gadkari as president for a second time. 

It was Singh who had handed over the baton to Gadkari in December 2009. But in a sudden and dramatic last-minute twist, Gadkari, facing allegations of dubious funding of his company, was last night forced out of the race for BJP President's post for a second term and Rajnath emerged the consensus choice. 

The party probably had little choice except to fall back on Singh’s non-controversial image and a high degree of acceptability among rival groups in the organization. 

Singh has again been brought back by the party as chief just three days after the Congress elevated AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi as vice president. 

How Singh will reshape the BJP to counter Congress’ charm offensive remains to be seen though he has often lauded BJP’s democratic strength which has enabled a "commoner" like him to lead the party. 

From a college lecturer in Physics, Rajnath Singh's rise in politics has been gradual and steady during which he had been BJP chief from 2006 to 2009 and earned the reputation of being an able administrator as Union Minister twice and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. 

Currently a Lok Sabha member from Ghaziabad, Singh has emerged from the ranks as a political heavyweight in the party largely due to his proximity to BJP’s spiritual mentor RSS. 

After taking over BJP?s reins from veteran leader LK Advani in December 2005, Rajnath Singh sought to rebuild the party by focusing on basic Hindutva ideologies and said there would be "no compromise" on building the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. 

However, he not only failed to steer the party to power in the 2009 general elections but BJP’s poll tally dropped by 22 seats compared to 2004 Lok Sabha polls. 

Born on July 10, 1951 at Bhabhaura village in Uttar Pradesh's Chandauli district, Singh obtained MSc degree in physics from Gorakhpur University and was appointed lecturer in the K B Post graduate degree college in Mirzapur in 1971. 

Singh’s association with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh began in 1964 when he was only 13 year old. Even as lecturer he remained attached to RSS. 

Rising step by step, he began his political innings with BJP's student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in 1969 as its organising secretary in Gorakhpur and rose to become the secretary of the then Bharatiya Jan Sangh's Mirzapur unit in 1974. 

During the Emergency, Singh joined Jaiprakash Narayan's movement and was arrested in July 1975 before being released in 1977. 

Singh made his debut in electoral politics when he became an MLA in Uttar Pradesh in 1977. In 1983, he became state Secretary of BJP and a year later he found himself leading the Uttar Pradesh unit of BJP's Youth Wing (BJYM). 

His political rise continued with his elevation as National General Secretary of BJYM in 1986 and subsequently its National President in 1988. 

In the same year, Singh was elected Member, Legislative Council in UP, a position he held till 1994, serving in between as Education Minister in the Kalyan Singh government until it was dismissed in December 1992 following the Babri Masjid demolition. 

As Education Minister in UP, Singh had courted controversy by enacting the Anti-Copying Act which had opposition parties up in arms against him. 

Although active in UP politics for long, Singh’s entry into Parliament came only in 1994 when he was given a Rajya Sabha ticket and also appointed Chief Whip of the BJP in the Upper House. 

He was again brought back as party president in UP in 1997 in the wake of turbulence in state politics in 1997 and held the position till 1999 when he was first inducted into Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government as Surface Transport Minister. 

It was under Singh that Vajpayee’s dream project, National Highway Development Programme was launched. 

Singh’s shuttle between UP and the Centre continued when on October 28, 2000, he was chosen to succeed veteran leader Ram Prakash Gupta as Chief Minister of UP. Singh remained at the helm till 2002 when the party faced a drubbing at the hands of Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party in the state. 

After BJP decided to support BSP chief Mayawati as chief minister of UP, a move Singh had opposed, he returned to national politics as BJP’s national General Secretary. Soon, Singh, hailing from a farmer’s family, again found his way back into the Vajpayee cabinet as Agriculture Minister after Ajit Singh parted ways with NDA in 2003. 

Singh’s journey up BJP hierarchy continued as he became its national President on December 31, 2005. His stint at the party helm saw BJP scoring some high points as it captured power in several states and also installed its first-ever government in Karnataka creating history by hoisting the saffron flag in the South as the ruling party. 

An author with a book on "Unemployment, its Reasons and Remedies" to his credit, Singh is married with two sons and a daughter. 

Chautala and son jailed for 10 yrs in teachers' appointmet

Chautala and son jailed for 10 yrs in teachers' appointmet
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Jan 22 (CMCFormer Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala, his MLA son Ajay Singh Chautala, and eight others were Tuesday sentenced to 10 years in jail for criminal conspiracy, forgery, use of forged documents and corruption in the 1999 JBT teachers recruitment scam.

The sentencing by a special CBI court in the capital took place as a few thousand supporters of Chautala’s Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) party threw petrol bombs, hurled stones and clashed with police outside the court complex. The imprisonment of the Chautalas is a serious blow to the INLD and is expected to help the Congress in the assembly polls due in 2014.

Special Judge Vinod Kumar had last week convicted 55 people, including the Chautalas, for their role in the corruption in the recruitment of 3,206 teachers for government primary schools in 18 districts of Haryana in 2000 when Chautala senior was the chief minister.

The sentencing had been set for Tuesday and thousands of INLD supporters had gathered outside the court before proceedings started. Police had to close the gates of the court complex in Rohini and resort to caning and firing tear gas shells after the protesters tried to break through the barricades and climb over the gates of the complex before the sentencing started.

The protesters hurled stones at the police and the court building after the sentencing, causing the police to fire more tear gas shells to disperse the mob.

While the immediate responsibility of leading the INLD could end up with Om Prakash Chautala’s other MLA son Abhay Singh Chautala, Haryana unit president of the party, Ashok Arora has said that the CBI court ruling will be challenged in a higher court and Chautala senior will continue to lead the party even from jail.

Chautala’s sentencing is also expected to be exploited by rival leaders in the assembly session next month with the BJP already demanding that he step down from the position of leader of the opposition.

Chautala’s then political advisor Sher Singh Badshami, then OSD Vidya Dhar, the then primary education director Sanjiv Kumar and five senior education department officers of various districts were the others imprisoned for 10 years.

Comparing their role in changing recruitment lists of their respective districts to the difference between “a person planning a terrorist act and the person executing it”, the court held that “both deserve the same punishment”.

Holding that “the forging of award lists amounted to forging of ‘valuable security’ punishable under section 467 of IPC which provides sentence up to life imprisonment” the court said that “considering the enormity of the offences and the manner in which politician-bureaucrat nexus has resulted in depriving such a large number of candidates of their constitutional rights, I do not find any reason for leniency in sentencing those convicts who were masterminding the entire conspiracy or assisting in the execution of the same”.

Sanjiv Kumar, who was also the ‘whistleblower’ in the case, was given the same punishment as the main accused after the court observed that he had “taken a consistent false stand in respect of the award lists”. Further, observing that the law did not have any provisions to protect whistleblowers, the court set out principles to deal with them in the future.

Another district education officer who had admitted in court that he had signed false result sheets “under pressure” was sentenced to five years in jail. The other convicts, who are principals of government schools and junior education officials and had told the court that they had acted under pressure, got four years in jail.

The court praised their “moral values” and observed that the accused had fully cooperated with the CBI during the investigation “despite knowing that by being truthful they were inviting their conviction”.

The court order also “suggested” that the Haryana government remove the teachers recruited after being given a “12.5 per cent to 20 per cent increase in their interview marks” in the forged result sheets. The court said such candidates should not be allowed to remain in their jobs and added that a district-wise merit list be prepared for candidates whose results had not been tampered with.

The court, however, made it clear that the decision to remove or go for fresh recruitment was to be taken by the government and the court had given “only a suggestion to the government and not a direction”.

LoC incidents won’t hurt peace process, Salman Khurshid says

LoC incidents won’t hurt peace process, Salman Khurshid says
Clean Media Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Jan 18 (CMC) Further de-escalating tensions, foreign minister Salman Khurshid on Friday said recent incidents are not going to impact the ongoing peace process between the two countries. Suggesting that India is looking favourably at Pakistan's offer for talks to sort out the LoC issue, Khurshid said in Jaipur that there was a "positive content" in the statement that has come from Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Pakistani high commissioner to India Salman Bashir.

"It is welcome and it should be getting an appropriate response from our side," Khurshid told reporters.

He said the matter will come up for discussion at the ongoing Congress Chintan Shivir. "Peace process is not going to be undermined by these incidents. We hope that we will find a resolution to all these matters and we have treated the whole issue with great care and the closest attention possible," Khurshid said.

The foreign minuster said India had invested a lot in the peace process.

"And it was done because it is strategically and tactically important for India's role in the world," he added. On the talks offer by Pakistan, Khurshid said, "We are trying to work on it and the prime minister has been trying to ensure things remain in control and our concerns are addressed and situation doesn't deteriorate. All these things have to be kept in mind."

In an interview Bashir had said that despite its own reservations about ceasefire violations by Indian forces, Pakistan was willing to discuss all Indian concerns over the LoC developments, not excluding even New Delhi's demand for investigations into the beheading of an Indian soldier. He still maintained though that it was "not understandable" for Pakistan how could India blame Pakistan for the act without any evidence.

Last-minute twist: Gadkari out, Rajnath set to be new BJP president

Last-minute twist: Gadkari out, Rajnath set to be new BJP president
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Jan 23 (CMC) In a sudden and dramatic last-minute twist, BJP president Nitin Gadkari, who faces charges of dubious funding of his company, was on Tuesday night forced out of the race for BJP president's post, followed by the BJP leaders agreeing on the name of Rajnath Singh for the office.

In a late-night development, Gadkari issued a statement opting out of the BJP presidential elections scheduled on Wednesday, saying he did not want that charges against him should in any way adversely affect the interests of BJP. "I have, therefore, decided not to seek a second term as the BJP president," said Gadkari, who is expected to propose Rajnath Singh's name in the elections.

The BJP Parliamentary board will meet on Wednesday at 9.30am to endorse Rajnath's name and he will file his nomination papers around 11.30am, party sources said. This, while sources close to Rajnath said he was happy that the party has shown immense trust in him and that he has a challenging task in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls.

The 62-year-old Rajnath, who had preceded Gadkari as BJP president till 2009, emerged the new choice at a hurriedly-called meeting of top leaders, including Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, M Venkaiah Naidu and RSS representative Ram Lal.

LK Advani, who was dead set against a second term for Gadkari, was away in a place near Mumbai and attended a function with Gadkari, but the two did not even exchange a word, reflecting the chill between them. Also considered close to RSS, Singh appeared to have tilted the balance in his favour.

Gadkari, whose candidature was being strongly pushed by RSS despite reservations within the party, was all set for re-election before senior leader Yashwant Sinha decided on Tuesday evening to throw his hat in the Wednesday's elections.

The move by Sinha, who had earlier demanded Gadkari's resignation in the wake of allegations of impropriety by his firm Purti Group, forced change on the candidate.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Ranchi ODI: Kohli shines as India take 2-1 lead vs England

Ranchi ODI: Kohli shines as India take 2-1 lead vs England
Clean Media Correspondent

Ranchi, Jan 19 (CMC) Indian bowlers put in an inspired show before Virat Kohli returned to form with a rollicking unbeaten 77 as the hosts thrashed England by seven wickets in the third one-dayer to make captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's first match in his home town a memorable one on Saturday.
First bundled out the visitors for a paltry 155 in 42.2 overs riding on Ravindra Jadeja's 3/19 and then chased down the target with 21.5 overs to spare to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match match series.
Nearly 40,000 vociferous spectators at the newly built JSCA Stadium cheered Kohli, who rediscovered his form, and other Indian batsmen as they went about the run chase without much fuss in what turned out to be a rather lop-sided contest.

The script unfolded like a dream for home boy Dhoni as he won the toss and his bowlers responded magnificently by skittling out the visitors for a meagre total though it was not a difficult wicket to bat on.

Only Joe Roots (39) could hang around for long while opener Ian Bell (25) and Tim Bresnan (25) were the other contributors as England lost wickets at regular intervals.

Apart from Jadeja, who again excelled with his left-arm spin, R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma chipped in with two wickets apiece to maintain the pressure on the hapless Englishmen who never recovered from the early jolts.

India also lost opener Ajinkya Rahane (0) early but Gautam Gambhir (33) and Kohli steadied the innings to some extent by putting on 67 runs for the second wicket.

After Gambhir's dismissal, Kohli and Yuvraj Singh (30) accelerated the pace of scoring with a flurry of explosive shots much to the delight of the home crowd. Yuvraj was, however, out with 12 runs left.

Kohli blasted as many as two sixes and nine fours during his knock which formed the cornerstone of the Indian response.

Dhoni hit the winning runs by pulling Steven Finn to the square-leg boundary to trigger off scenes of celebration in the galleries and the Indian dressing room.

The two teams will now travel to Mohali for the fourth match to be held on January 23.

The biggest positive for India was Kohli's return to form as he became the second fastest batsman -- behind Vivian Richards -- to get into the 4,000 ODI runs with his 22nd half-century.

With 12 runs required, Yuvraj was bowled by James Tredwell as Dhoni, who usually bats at number seven, promoted himself to number four with the crowd welcoming their hero with a deafening cheer.

Finn was brought into the attack with England looking for Dhoni's wicket for a possible an anti-climax but it was the Indian captain all the way. Even his shot that hit the stumps raced to a boundary taking India five runs off the target.

Chasing a small target, India did not have any trouble barring the third over blip when Finn bowled Rahane for a duck with a delivery that nipped back, crashing the right-hander's gate before uprooting the off-stump.

The English bowlers tested the Indian top-order with raw pace and bowling short but did not have much impact as the home side cruised to 48 for one in 10 overs.

The stage was set for Kohli to get back his silken touch and the right-handed youngster did exactly that with an aggressive approach.

James Dernbach bowled short with 140-plus kmph to Kohli who responded well with three boundaries on the trot as the whole stadium erupted in joy.

Kohli then hit two consecutive boundaries to Finn, one of them an elegant drive past mid on, to race to 31 from 28 balls with India firmly in control of the match.

Gambhir looked rusty, but with Kohli going all guns blazing, it hardly was a reason to bother for India.

England persisted with Finn as the tall pacer bowled eight overs at stretch but Kohli remained firm taking on the visiting attack as India raced to 70/1 in 15 overs, with a lopsided equation of 86 needed from 35 overs.

England finally broke the stand that yielded 67 runs, when Gambhir stepped out to James Tredwell but only to be caught by Root.

The clamour for the local hero Dhoni to come out at the middle grew at the stands but the Indian skipper resisted the temptation and stuck to the order with Yuvraj coming at number four.

Kohli, meanwhile, completed his 22nd half-century in 58 balls, and when on 49, he got past his 4,000 ODI runs in second quickest time in history. Kohli reached the mark in his 93rd innings, behind Sir Viv Richards' record of 88 innings.

Yuvraj supported Kohli well with a 30 and then left it to Dhoni to finish off the match in style in front of his home crowd.

Earlier, England once again fell flat against slow bowlers as a disciplined Indian bowling attack skittled them out for a paltry 155.

Left-arm spinner Jadeja once again produced an impressive spell with three wickets for 19 runs, while off-spinner Ashwin and pacer Ishant Sharma took two wickets each.

Quelling the element of doubts about his availability after he was hit on right thumb at yesterday's practice, captain Dhoni had everything right from the toss in the first match at his home venue.

First, he called it right at the toss, put England to bat and reduced them to 98 for six from 68 for three at one stage.

Even there was a bit of luck going in the skipper's favour as a poor umpiring decision by Indian official S Ravi gave the home side the prized scalp of Kevin Pietersen.

After the fall of Pietersen, English batsmen showed little appetite to stay at the crease as the Indian slow bowlers made their presence felt in front of a capacity crowd of 39,000 at the JSCA Stadium which is hosting its first international match.

Joe Root was the England top-scorer with 39 as the visiting top-order failed miserably.

After being reduced to 98 for six, Root and Tim Bresnan stitched 47 runs for the seventh wicket but after the fall of the former, it was all over for England.

Civilised behaviour must for peace: Sonia to Pakistan

Civilised behaviour must for peace: Sonia to Pakistan
Clean Media Correspondent

Jaipur, Jan 18 (CMC) Congress President Sonia Gandhi sent out a firm message to Pakistan on Friday underscoring the fact that any dialogue to promote regional peace “must be based on accepted principles of civilised behavior”, even as she said that India would never compromise its vigil on its borders.

Days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, following the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers on the Line of Control, said that it could not be business as usual with Pakistan, and in the wake of the Bharatiya Janata Party seeking to use the episode to corner the government, Ms Gandhi used the platform of the Congress chintan shivir to address the issue.

“Better and closer relations with our immediate neighbours will not only make for regional peace,” she said, “they will also have a positive impact on some of our border states.”

Meanwhile, Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, on the margins of the shivir, in response to a question, told journalists that Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s offer to discuss “all” concerns related to the LoC was a “positive indication, good indication”. But India would wait for a formal proposal before responding formally.

He also urged the press not use words like “softening and hardening [of stand].” There was a “positive content in some of the statements that have come from both the [Pakistani] Foreign Minister and the High Commissioner [in Delhi]”, he said, adding that “the positive content in it is welcome and it should beget an appropriate response from our side.”

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

BSE Sensex ends higher; ITC, SBI gain

BSE Sensex ends higher; ITC, SBI gain

Clean Media Correspondent

Mumbai, Jan 09 (CMC) The BSE Sensex ended higher on Tuesday, led by gains in defensive shares including index heavyweight ITC Ltd and as State Bank of India rose after BofA Merrill upgraded the stock.

Traders say markets are now awaiting fresh impetus from the government as it tries to contain the ballooning fiscal deficit and meet its disinvestment target.

Fitch Ratings reiterated on Tuesday its 'negative' outlook on India's sovereign credit rating, citing concerns about slowing economic growth, persistent inflationary pressures and an uncertain fiscal outlook.

Broader earnings outcome of blue chip companies such as Infosys on Friday and Tata Consultancy Services on Monday will set the tone in the coming weeks. Analysts will watch management commentary for direction on the technology sector.

"Third-quarter earnings would be a key focus in the near term, but I don't expect earnings to give material positives," said Vijay Kedia, director at private wealth management firm Kedia Securities.

The impact of government policies would be felt only after a few months, Kedia added.

The BSE Sensex rose 0.26 percent, or 51.10 points, to end at 19,742.52.

The broader Nifty ended 0.22 percent higher, or 13.30 points, at 6,001.70.

Defensive stocks led the gainers on value buying, with cigarette-maker ITC Ltd (ITC.NS) ending 2.4 percent higher. Its shares fell 3.9 percent last month and 2.7 percent in January till Monday's close.

Drugmakers rose, with Cipla Ltd (CIPL.NS) ending up 1.2 percent, its all-time highest close at 429.50 rupees. Dr Reddy's Laboratories (REDY.NS) also ended at a record high 1,908.15 rupees.

Shares of education services provider Educomp Solutions (EDSO.NS) surged 3.2 percent after announcing the sale of its entire 50 percent stake in Eurokids International.

State Bank of India shares ended up 1.04 percent.

Earlier, Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded state-owned banks SBI, Bank of Baroda (BOB.NS), and Oriental Bank of Commerce Ltd (ORBC.NS) to 'buy'.

The investment bank said the upgrades came on the back of a steepening bond yield curve in anticipation of rate cuts by India's central bank, stronger-than-expected loan recoveries, and reduced quality pressures.

Among decliners, shares of Larsen & Toubro Ltd (LART.NS) fell 1.3 percent after Citigroup and Barclays downgraded the engineering conglomerate on concerns over order cancellations and weak investment cycle.

Citi downgraded L&T to 'neutral' from 'buy' and cut its target price to 1,732 rupees from 1,855 rupees, citing cancellations in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, slow-moving orders, as well as a weaker domestic economic growth.

Oil companies fell on profit-taking after a recent rally, with Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL.NS) dropping 1.8 percent after rising 13.54 percent in the previous four sessions, while Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL.NS) ended 1.2 percent lower.

Infosys Ltd (INFY.NS), India's second-largest software exporter, fell 1.3 percent on investor caution ahead of December quarter earnings on Friday.

Infosys was trading at a 36 percent discount to its 10-year median P/E, the widest gap among large-cap Indian technology stocks, according to Thomson Reuters' StarMine estimates.

Asaram Bapu does a U-turn, says how can he blame the gang-rape victim

Asaram Bapu does a U-turn, says how can he blame the gang-rape victim
Clean Media Correspondent

Mumbai, Jan 09 (CMC) In a dramatic U-turn, Asaram Bapu said on Tuesday that he had not made any insensitive comments about the Delhi gang-rape victim and said that he would apologise if he was at fault. 

Reports had earlier quoted the self-proclaimed godman as saying, “Only 5-6 people are not the culprits. The victim daughter is as guilty as her rapists... She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop... This could have saved her dignity and life. Can one hand clap? I don't think so.” 

Asaram had said that the Delhi braveheart must share the blame for the gang-rape. He had even said that the 23-year-old paramedic could have begged before the rapists to leave her. 

But, talking to Times Now today Asaram Babu retracted from his statement and tried to portray that he was misquoted. 

“I talked about the girl very lovingly. How can I be so cruel and say that the girl was to be blamed. She is the victim,” he said. 

The self-proclaimed godman also told the TV channel that when he loved even a snake how could he say anything untoward about the media? 

Earlier today, Asaram Bapu had called those criticising him as “barking dogs”. 

Addressing his supporters, an unapologetic Asaram had described himself as elephant and said, “First one dog started barking. Then another dog started barking. And then all dogs started barking. If the elephant runs after dogs, then their (dogs) value increases and the elephant’s decreases. Why should I run after them?” 

He had also blamed the critics and media for misconstruing his previous remarks. 

The godman had further said that he is against harsher punishments for the accused as the law could be misutilised. 

Pak troops kill two jawans, behead, mutilate one of them

Pak troops kill two jawans, behead, mutilate one of them
Clean Media Correspondent

Mendhar (Jammu and Kashmir) Jan 08 (CMC) An Indian soldier was beheaded and another killed by Pakistani troops after they crossed over into Indian territory in the Mendhar sector of Jammu & Kashmir on Tuesday, in a grim reminder of the brutality perpetrated during the 1999 Kargil conflict which can make peace making even more difficult. 

The "border action team" of the Pakistani Army took advantage of the thick fog in the thickly-forested mountainous region to sneak 500 to 600 metres across the Line of Control (loC) before they were driven back after a fierce gun-battle and even close-quarter combat with Indian troops that went on for over 30 minutes shortly before noon on Tuesday. 

The incursion and ceasefire violation seemed to be a diversionary manoeuvre to push infiltrators into J&K, as has been the earlier practice of Pakistani Army. However, it met with adequate fire-power from the Indian troops who, tipped off by the Intelligence Bureau, were fully alert to thwart any nefarious design. 

After the gun battle, the bodies of Lance-Naiks Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh, part of an "area domination patrol" of the 13 Rajputana Rifles, were found. One of them was badly "mutilated". Although the Army did not give more details of the barbarism, sources said the retreating Pakistani soldiers had chopped off the "head" of one of the Indian soldiers and taken it back with them. 

An outraged Indian Army dubbed the crime "yet another grave provocation" by the Pakistan Army, and said that it would be "taken up sternly through official channels". Given the gravity of the situation, PM Manmohan Singh, who was in Kochi in the afternoon, was briefed over the phone. 

"We condemn the provocative action. The government will take up the incident with the Pakistan government. We expect Islamabad to honour the ceasefire agreement (which came into force in November 2003) strictly," said the defence ministry. 

Predictably, the Pakistan military denied its troops had crossed over into India or indulged in a ceasefire violation on Tuesday. "It looks like Indian propaganda to divert world attention from the raid conducted by Indian troops on one of our posts on Sunday, in which one of our soldiers was killed," it said. 

But the decapitation of the Indian soldier on Tuesday evoked memories of the barbaric way in which during the 1999 Kargil conflict Captain Saurabh Kalia was tortured by his Pakistani captors who later handed over his badly mutilated body to India. Kalia's father is still fighting to get Pakistan to punish the soldiers who were responsible for his son's brutal torture. 

The defeat in Kargil did not chasten the Pakistani security establishment into mending its ways and stop violating the Geneva Convention which lays down how captured soldiers should be treated. In February, 2000, infamous Pakistani terrorist and al-Qaida member Ilyas Kashmiri had led a raid on the Indian Army's "Ashok Listening Post" in the Nowshera sector to kill seven Indian soldiers. 

Even then, Kashmiri had taken back to Pakistan the head of a 24-year-old Indian jawan, Bhausaheb Maruti Talekar of the 17 Maratha Light Infantry, as a trophy to brandish. He is believed to have been honoured by General Pervez Musharraf himself at a ceremony later. 

On Tuesday, the defence ministry said the director-general of military operations (DGMO), Lt-General Vinod Bhatia, had already taken up the issue "directly" with his Pakistani counterpart. With the PM landing back in New Delhi later on Tuesday, the ministry of external affairs is likely to summon a top Pakistani official on Wednesday to lodge a strong protest over the matter. 

Sources said Army chief General Bikram Singh also briefed national security advisor Shivshankar Menon on the "significant escalation" in ceasefire violations by the Pakistan Army in recent days. "Pakistan Army is regularly giving covering fire to help terrorists infiltrate into J&K, especially in the Rajouri, Uri and Keran sectors. If there were 61 such violations in 2011, as many as 120 have been recorded in the last one year," said an official. 

India has already denied Pakistan's earlier allegation on Sunday, holding that it was actually Pakistani soldiers who opened "unprovoked heavy machinegun and mortar fire on Indian post in the Uri sector". Indian troops had just responded to it "in a calibrated manner". The external affairs ministry also asked Pakistan to ensure that the "sanctity of the LoC is maintained".

Hate speech case: MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi arrested

Hate speech case: MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi arrested
Clean Media Correspondent

Hyderabad, Jan 08 (CMC) Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was finally arrested on Tuesday in a hate speech case. He was arrested one month after he made the controversial speech. 

He has been charged under section 122 and 153 (A). 

Owaisi was straightaway taken under high security in a convoy of cars to Nirmal in Adilabad district, more than 200 km from here. 

Security was also tightened along the route to Nirmal in the Telangana region of the state. 

42-year-old Owaisi, the floor leader of his party in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly, is expected to be produced before a court in Nirmal in connection with the registration of a case against him for alleged provocative speeches regarding the disputed Bhagyalakshmi shrine in the Charminar area.

Earlier in the day, Owaisi was subjected to medical tests to ascertain if he was fit to face questioning. 

A team of doctors at the government-run Gandhi hospital conducted more than 10 tests on Owaisi. As per the medical report, Owaisi has adhesions and hernia in the abdomen and a bullet in right thigh pressing on sciatic nerve. 

The MIM MLA in Andhra Assembly was at the hospital since around 11 am today. The police whisked the MIM leader from a separate entrance from where his supporters and the media had gathered at the hospital. 

Earlier in the day, Owaisi’s supporters reportedly attacked vehicles outside Gandhi hospital. Many areas of Old Hyderabad are supposedly tense. 

Owaisi had moved the High Court, seeking orders to restrain police from arresting him and also to quash cases booked against him in various police stations over his alleged hate speeches. 

Hours after Owaisi, who returned from London early Monday, cited ill-health and sought four days' time to personally appear for questioning before police in Nirmal town, the investigation officer visited the MIM leader's house to ascertain his condition. 

Police in Nizamabad had also directed Akbar to appear before them on Tuesday in connection with a similar case in that town. 

In his petition, Owaisi also sought directions to police to stop registering cases. He argued that cases can't be registered in many police stations over his one or two speeches. 

He alleged that a section of media telecast only part of his speech and police booked cases due to pressure from media. He also claimed that his political rivals were filing series of complaints.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

FIR against Zee News for exposing victim's identity

FIR against Zee News for exposing victim's identity 
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Jan 05 (CMC) Police has taken strong action against TV news channel which on Friday, Jan 4 aired an interview of a 28-year-old software engineer, who was the lone witness of brutal Delhi gangrape case. 

Media reports say Delhi Police lodged a case against Zee News channel at the Vasant Vihar police station for revealing the identity of the gangrape victim by carrying an interview of her friend. Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said that the case will be filed under Section 228 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, which pertains to disclosure of identity of victims of certain offences, including rape. 

In an interview on Friday, the friend of the 23-year-old Delhi gangrape victim criticised police and public apathy which led to the death of the girl. The 23-year-old paramedical student was gangraped and brutally assaulted by a group of six men when the two boarded a bus around 9 pm in south Delhi's Munirka area after watching a movie in a cinema hall on Dec 16. "I wish I could have saved her," the male friend of the victim, who died in a Singapore hospital on Dec 29, exclusively told Zee TV. "After throwing us off the bus, they tried to mow us down but I saved my friend by pulling her away in the nick of time. We were without clothes. We tried to stop passersby. Several auto rickshaws, cars and bikes slowed down but none stopped for about 25 minutes. Then, someone on patrolling, stopped and called the police," he told Zee News.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Delhi gang-rape a result of lack of respect for women: Astronaut Sunita Williams

Delhi gang-rape a result of lack of respect for women: Astronaut Sunita Williams
Clean Media Correspondent

Pune, Jan 4 (CMC) US astronaut Sunita Williams addresses the media at Baikonur cosmodrome on July 13, 2012, two days before she along with her crew is due to blast off to the International Space Station from Baikonur cosmodrome on July 15.

American astronaut of Indian origin Sunita Williams has condemned the recent Delhi gang-rape case, and cited it as a case of lack of respect for women in the country. Severely assaulted and raped by five men and a teenager on December 16, the victim died from her injuries on December 29, her plight shaking the conscience of many urban middle class Indians who consider gender rights as important as poverty alleviation.

Interacting with students through a videoconference in Pune on Thursday from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the USA, Williams denounced the behaviour of men towards women in India. She said, "I guess my bottom line thoughts on this is, I think it is irresponsible not to honour women as equal as men in all fields. Why not? I don't even see a reason why anybody would think any differently."

The case also cast a spotlight on an epidemic of violence against women in India, where a rape is reported on average every 20 minutes. Media coverage of such crimes has intensified in the wake of the outcry over the Delhi attack.

Further illustrating her own example, Williams said she herself has strived to excel in such a field, which is male dominated and get the respect she deserved. "I think I have also tried to be as equal as possible. Of course physical size and shape is a little bit different. Women are generally little bit smaller than men. So that is something you can't overcome. But as best as I could, I tried to do as equal a job as any of the gentlemen that were around me," she added.

Sexual violence against women is widespread in India, say gender rights activists, and crimes such as rape, dowry murders, acid attacks, honour killings, child marriages and human trafficking are common. But the savagery of this crime - where the victim was raped for an hour and tortured with an iron rod, which did serious damage to her internal organs - has stirred national debate and put gender issues on the political agenda.

The Indian-American astronaut also added that India has a lot of potential of producing world class astronauts. "So I hope what you are doing is right on top. I am anxious and hoping that there would be more Indian astronauts in the future. I think there is a whole room full of people there who are interested in it. And obviously it came out this evening. And I am hoping there would be many more to follow in my footsteps," said Williams.

The session was held as a precursor to the 3rd Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad — an Indian student parliament and was organised by a local educational institution in Pune.

BSE Sensex falls on weak Asian markets; oil stocks up

BSE Sensex falls on weak Asian markets; oil stocks up
Clean Media Correspondent

Mumbai, Jan 04 (CMC) The BSE Sensex falls 0.29 percent, while the Nifty is down 0.34 percent. Asian shares fell on Friday, tracking overnight weakness in global equities after senior Federal Reserve officials expressed concerns about continuing to expand stimulative bond buying, but the dollar extended gains as U.S. debt yields rose.

Stocks also fall on profit-taking ahead of the weekend, with Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC.NS) down 1.3 percent while Tata Motors(TAMO.NS) is down 1.1 percent.

However, state-owned oil companies gain on expectations the government could soon raise diesel prices, dealers say.

A government official last month was quoted in local media reports as saying the petroleum ministry has proposed a gradual rise in diesel prices, by 1 rupee a litre every month over a 10-month period.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC.NS) is up 5.9 percent, Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL.NS) gains 4 percent, while Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL.NS) is up 3.2 percent.

States must institute lokayuktas to clean up the system

States must institute lokayuktas to clean up the system
Clean Media Correspondent

New Delhi, Jan 04 (CMC) The Supreme Court has upheld the appointment of retired judge R A Mehta as Gujarat's lokayukta, disregarding chief minister Narendra Modi's objections to him. Modi had protested that governor Kamla Beniwal had bypassed his government in selecting Mehta. The Supreme Court, however, held the appointment valid on the basis of 'primacy of opinion' of the high court chief justice who, besides Beniwal and the opposition leader, had endorsed Mehta's selection. The Gujarat lokayukta post, caught in political brinkmanship, had been lying vacant since 2003. The revival of such an important anti-corruption institution is a step in the right direction. Other states, too, must now emulate this example. 

At a time when the country has been jolted by a succession of scams, instituting lokayuktas as well as strengthening the existing ones, are key to the success of an anti-corruption drive. State-level anti-corruption ombudsman organisations can play an effective role in highlighting and weeding out corruption. At present, barring in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka, these institutions have no effective powers except to forward recommendations to the government on corruption allegations against public servants. A powerful lokayukta, on the other hand, can make a real difference. For instance, the Karnataka lokayukta, under Santosh Hegde, exposed massive systemic corruption in mining.
 The subsequent furore forced then powerful BJP chief minister B S Yeddyurappa to quit his post. States have enormous powers over day-to-day economic activities, from granting licences to disbursing permits in crucial corruption-ridden sectors like land, mining and construction. Recent revelations about coal allocation irregularities bear testimony to this. To achieve systemic reform, lokayuktas must be made an integral part of the Lokpal process. State governments can no longer take the plea of federal rights and stall them in their respective states.

Oil company scrips help Sensex rise 51 points

Oil company scrips help Sensex rise 51 points
Clean Media Correspondent

Mumbai, Jan 03 (CMC) Rising for the third straight day, the BSE Sensex, on Thursday, ended 51 points higher, and the NSE Nifty closed above 6000-level for the first time in two years led by IT and refinery stocks, amid firming global cues.

The BSE benchmark index rose by 50.54 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 19764.78, a level last seen in January 2011. The 30-share index had gained 288 points in previous two sessions.

Similarly, the 50-share NSE index Nifty ended 16.25 points up at 6009.50. This was the first time in two years that NSE Nifty closed above the 6,000-mark.

“Markets consolidated after recent rally, but inched higher to close above 6000-mark led by gains in IT and Oil and gas stocks. Throughout the day, profit-booking was visible in banking stocks and momentum shifted to mid cap and small cap counters,” said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.

Reliance Industries and ONGC gained around 1.5-1.9 per cent. In the IT pack, Infosys and TCS jumped by 1.24 per cent each while Wipro inched up by 0.93 per cent.

Brokers said the sentiment was bolstered after the U.S. budget bill was cleared and reports said the Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory index rose to 50.7 in December from 49.5 a month ago, signalling better outlook for IT firms.


The rupee on Thursday fell for the first time in three days losing 15 paise to end at 54.50 against the dollar due to renewed demand for the U.S. currency, especially from oil importers.

The Indian currency commenced weak at 54.44 a dollar from its previous close of 54.35 at the inter-bank foreign exchange market and touched a high of 54.36 in afternoon deals.

Later, it fell back to a low of 54.62 on some hesitancy in local equities and dollar buying by importers. It managed to recover some ground and settled at 54.50, a fall of 15 paise.