Telangana IAS officer sends legal notice to magazine


Telangana woman IAS officer Smita Sabharwal, who has served a legal notice on the English weekly magazine Outlook for a “defamatory” article on her, has been asked by State Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma to file a written complaint seeking registration of a criminal case.

Once the complaint is received, Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma is likely to forward the same to the police.

Sources said Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao took serious note of the article and asked the Chief Secretary to consider necessary action.

It is understood that they may issue a statement condemning the writing. In a related development, advocates also filed a complaint in the Saroornagar police station alleging that the report in the Outlook magazine was outrageous and hurt the sentiments of the woman officer and insulted the Chief Minister.

On Tuesday, Ms. Sabharwal had sent a legal notice to Editor-in-Chief of Outlook Krishna Prasad and its correspondent here for publishing the article along with an outrageous caricature in its issue dated July 6. The notice accused them of defamation and slander.

‘Sexist attitude’

The notice was sent on behalf of the 2001-batch IAS officer by her counsel B. Rachna Reddy demanding public apology in the next issue of the magazine.

“The public apology can’t be a non-descript formal apology in a tiny section of the magazine but should be a detailed one that meets the outrage and hurt her client [the officer] was subjected to,” Ms. Rachana Reddy said, adding that it should also address the issue of female professionals and Outlook ’s sexist attitude.

When contacted, the officer who handles over a dozen departments in the CMO, that there was a “conspiracy” behind the publication of the article.

Terming it distasteful, cheap and titillating carrying false and vexatious implications, the legal counsel said in the notice that from the innuendoes, satirical reference of past service and alleged appearance at a fashion show it would become amply clear that the article was directed at her client.

Meanwhile, the magazine has withdrawn the objectionable illustration from its web edition with a line stating that “the illustration accompanying the item “No boring babu” has been removed.”

The IAS Officers Association, which met here on Wednesday, adopted resolutions to lodge a complaint with the Press Council of India, file a petition with the National Human Rights Commission and initiate legal action against the magazine.

KCR announces Rs. 26 cr. for Ramzan celebrations


KCR announces Rs. 26 crore package for Ramzan celebrations

The Telangana government will host ‘Dawat-e-Iftar’ for Muslims across the State as part of the holy month of Ramzan on July 8.

The government also announced a Rs. 26 crore package to coincide with the official Ramzan celebrations that includes Rs. 4 crore for meeting Iftar expenses, Rs. 9.75 crore for distribution of clothes to poor Muslims, payment of honorarium to the tune of Rs. 12 crore per annum for Imams and Maozams (those who give call for Namaz) of mosques across the State and one time meal for inmates in all orphanages on July 8 for Rs. 25 lakh.

Speaking to media persons after discussing arrangements with District Collectors over video conference, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said the government had decided to do away with the practice of routinely organising an Iftar party in the city. It will now be observed at Nizam College grounds here and all over Telangana on July 8. The diplomats of Turkish and Iran consulates in the city and Ambassadors of Saudi Arabia and Indonesia at New Delhi will be invited for the Nizam College programme which will be attended by himself and other VIPs, he added.

President asks A.P., Telangana to work in harmony


President Pranab Mukherjee amply clarified the Centre’s stand on Hyderabad, when he said the city is of national prominence and not merely a state capital.

Delivering his address after release of the book ‘Uniki’ penned by Maharashtra Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, Mr. Mukherjee said that the region is very important owing to its development in the spheres of IT and education.

He asked Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to work in harmony for betterment of the country.

“In national and international relations, we can choose friends, but not neighbours. It is for us to decide if we want to live in peace and harmony or in perpetual tension,” Mr. Mukherjee said, in an unambiguous message to both the states embroiled in various post-bifurcation issues.

More trains, flights to Rajahmundry for pilgrims


The South Central Railway will operate several services from Hyderabad for the convenience of pilgrims attending Godavari Pushkaram at Rajahmundry next month. Booking for the trains will begin from 8 a.m. on June 28.

The Kakinada-Hyderabad-Kakinada special via Vijayawada, Guntur, and Nalgonda, will depart from Kakinada at 11 p.m. on July 12, 16, 20, and 24 and arrive in Hyderabad at 11.15 a.m. the following day.

In the opposite direction, the train will depart from Hyderabad at 3.45 p.m. on July 13, 17, 21 and 25 and arrive at Kakinada at 4.45 a.m. the next day.

Another train on the same route will depart from Kakinada at 7.30 p.m. on July 14, 18, 22 and 26 and arrive in Hyderabad at 9.30 a.m. the next day. In the opposite direction, the train will depart from Hyderabad at 3.45 p.m. on July 15, 19, 23 and 27 and arrive at Kakinada at 4.45 a.m. the next day.

The Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam-Hyderabad via Vijayawada, and Kazipet special will depart from Hyderabad at 11.15 p.m. on July 12, 16, 20 and 24 and arrive in Visakhapatnam at 2.15 p.m. the next day. In the opposite direction, it will depart from Visakhapatnam at 4.05 p.m. on July 13, 17, 21 and 25 and arrive in Hyderabad at 8.30 a.m. the next day.

The Hyderabad-Srikakulam Road-Hyderabad special train via Kazipet and Vijayawada will depart from Hyderabad at 4 p.m. on July 14, 18, 22 and 26 and arrive in Srikakulam Road at 10.15 a.m. the next day. In the opposite direction, the train will leave Srikakulam Road station at 1.15 p.m. on July 15, 19, 23 and 27 and arrive in Hyderabad at 8.30 a.m. the next day.

In another announcement, the GMR Hyderabad International Airport authorities said Jet Airways and SpiceJet would shortly increase the number of their services to Rajahmundry by one more flight. Jet Airways, which has been operating two flights a day, will increase it to three, while SpiceJet, which has been operating one, will raise it to two.

Now, buy Nirmal toys online


The Department of Posts has plans to market the exquisitely crafted Nirmal toys online, a move aimed at giving a boost to the famous but tiny industry located at Nirmal in Adilabad district. The Department has obtained consent towards this from the Nirmal Toys and Arts Industrial Cooperative Society, which looks after the manufacture and marketing of the soft wood toys, crafted by 40 Naqash artisan families.

“The images of the toys and relevant information will be displayed on our website once our Circle office (AP Circle) at Hyderabad gives the go ahead in favour of online marketing,” says Adilabad Superintendent of Posts, A. Venkat Reddy. The marketing will be done through the eshop online outlet.

The effort of the Postal Department, however, is not a first in selling Nirmal toys online, a 400 years old form of art and craft. An earlier effort by a private software company from Hyderabad, which designed a website for the purpose in March, has gone abegging for a simple reason, which demonstrates the economic condition of the artisans. “We have not sold even one toy online because we cannot purchase cartons to pack the items,” reveals B.R. Shankar, manager of the Society. “If only we could purchase a machine to make cartons,” he sort of thought aloud. “The offer of the Department of Posts to sell our products has once again revived hope for the industry,” the manager observes in an enthusiastic tone. “I am certain this will solve the problem of packing the toys,” he adds.

After just a second, the demeanour of Mr. Shankar underwent a drastic change as he seemed to remember something. His concern owed itself to the threat of the industry coming under the net of Value Added Tax in near future.

“The government should exempt our products from taxes if it wants the artisan community to lead a dignified life,” the manager appeals. “Though we are paying Turnover Tax at present, we will have to pay hefty VAT once our annual turnover crosses Rs. 40 lakh,” he discloses.

Department of Posts plans to market

the toys

Yadagiri power plant rehabilitation to cost Rs. 500 crore


The Rehabilitation and Resettlement of 4,000 MW Yadadri Thermal Power Plant of Damarcherla will cost the Telangana government an estimated Rs. 500 crore.

According to a report forwarded by the district administration to the State government recently, land acquisition alone, to cover as many as 2,503 families, would cost Rs. 352 crore. The process will take at least five months. Among the people to be displaced, 1,622 families are tribals while 109 families belong to the Scheduled Castes. As many as 121 families from two villages would also lose their houses under the project. They would get a new colony with the government planning to provide all facilities by investing Rs. 90 crore. Out of the 4,656 acres of land acquired, 2,260 acres of land belongs to farmers. Energy Minister G. Jagadishwar Reddy said that they would offer more than three times the land value to each farmer, apart from providing employment to one person from each family. Those who do not want to take up the job would have two options. First, they can get Rs. 5 lakh, a one-time payment, or Rs. 2,000 per month for 20 years.

Apart from constructing houses for 121 families, the government will also pay Rs. 50,000 for shifting their house and Rs. 50,000 towards settlement. Farmers who have cattle and livestock, will get Rs. 25,000 for transporting them, while those who are running business, would also get an equal amount.

Issuing a notification for land acquisition and R&R, the State government declared that they would be able to complete the R&R within five months. The authorities also promised to relocate three religious structures in the villages. As part of compensatory afforestation measure, the State government had allotted 8,654 acres land.

Focus on electronic hardware-making: KTR


Telangana IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao on Friday said the State government was keen on ensuring the development of the electronic hardware manufacturing sector.

Declaring that IT is also about hardware, he said the growth, unlike software sectors, should be broad-based. “It should spread to all corners of Hyderabad… not just Gachibowli and Kondapur,” he said.

Mr. Rao, interacting with presspersons at the inauguration of mobile phone-maker Celkon’s plant in Medchal, said an eco-system would be created to attract fab manufacturers.

“This is just the beginning,” he said, referring to Celkon’s facility, adding that the government was in talks with mobile makers and Indian Cellular Association. Micromax has already decided to set up a unit.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao was keen on a mobile manufacturing hub, the IT Minister said, pointing out that hardware units generated more jobs, particularly low-end, to accommodate youths with lesser qualification and those marginalised.

Unlike previous regimes (of erstwhile A.P.), the government’s approach on attracting fab plants is the “other way round”, by facilitating several end user units first.

Setting up of hardware clusters in Maheswaram, Medchal and Ghatkesar, around Hyderabad, was a measure.

The focus was on analog wafer fabrication manufacturers and discussions were held with Cricket Semiconductor of the U.S. (Earlier this year, the firm had announced plans for an analog fab unit with $1 billion investment in Madhya Pradesh).

Mr. Rao said he would soon visit South Korea and Japan to promote Telangana as an ideal destination.

Highlighting the industry-friendly initiatives, he said: “We will go all out [supporting] with land, power, water, tax incentives… train prospective candidates at our cost. What happened [for] software will be done for hardware.”

IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan said Micromax was likely to get necessary approvals for its 50-acre facility at Ravirala in the first week of July.

Reasons for mobile makers evincing interest in setting up a plant in India were primarily because of rising wages in China; countries imposing barriers against imports from China; and having a presence near huge consumer base.

On the Maheshwaram cluster, he said it was coming up on 1,000 acres and several units from Kushaiguda were likely to shift there.

 

IT companies to hire 2.3 lakh engineers this fiscal: Nasscom


Fresh recruitment by the Indian IT and ITES companies will be around 2.3 lakh during the current financial year, a top functionary of Nasscom said on June 26. BVR Mohan Reddy, chairman of IT and ITES industry body Nasscom, also said that the reported visa-related probe on TCS and Infosys by the US government is not “unusual”. “There will be intake in this financial year. Last year the fresh intake was 2.3 lakh engineers what we recruited. We anticipate the number would be roughly in the same range. We also see at this point of time productivity and efficiency increase and more amount of automation took place. The current forecast is approximately the same as an intake from freshers,” Reddy said at a press conference. On the industry growth expectations, Reddy said they would take a call on reviewing of growth projection in February during Nasscom Leadership Summit. To a query, he said the Nasscom does not see anything unusual in the reported probe on TCS and Infosys and vouched that the Indian companies are 100 per cent regulatory complaint. “If you look at regulators and the regulations around the world, they will constantly keep targeting whether the regulations are followed or not…So there will be audits done from time to time…So these are not something we feel that are unusual at this point of time,” the Nasscom head said. “And given the type of compliances that the Indian companies have done and the transparency that they have shown, Nassscom and also member companies which are involved in the H1 visa process uses are pretty confident that there is 100 per cent compliance with regulatory issues,” he said. According to the US media reports, the Labour Department there has opened an investigation against TCS and Infosys for “possible violations of rules for visas for foreign technology workers under contracts they held with an electric utility Southern California Edison. On the market situation, Reddy said there is “softness” in some of the European markets. According to him, regions such as Germany, UK and France are doing well, though the situation in Greece is a “cause of concern.” – See more at:

HawkEye begins survey of TS roads


An Indo-Australian joint venture is undertaking survey of 9,000 km of roads across Telangana to assess their quality and help in improvements.

On the job is HawkEye, a vehicle fitted with advanced equipment to mine for data related to the road it takes. “We got the government contract three months ago,” says G. Parasuraman, managing director of Indian Road Survey and Management Pvt Ltd, a joint venture of Australian Road Research Board based out of Melbourne and Chennai’s Taisei International.

The Hawkeye 2000 Professional Network Survey Vehicle, from Australia, is an alternative to manual assessments and equipped with digital cameras, GPS, front laser-mounted beam and sub-projection lasers. The high speed data collection equipment would primarily be surveying 9,000 km covering State and national highways, besides major district roads before and after their improvements.

Telangana is the first State where work on this scale is being undertaken in the country, Mr. Parasuraman said, adding the concept is new but picking up fast. The work helps in generating comprehensive data pertaining to road quality, functional road parameters and the facilities. Though it was initially tough for the JV company, formed in 2009, to convince those concerned about the need for such work, things were changing with growing emphasis on quality control and safety aspects.

General Manager Abhishek Tiwari added that one of the driving forces for the change is the World Bank introducing the technology to projects it funded in the country.

IRSM recently inaugurated its 200-seater data analysis centre in Hyderabad, a facility where information on roads from various parts of the world is processed. The headcount of the centre will double to 200 by the end of this fiscal, he added.

 

Cyberabad police stations to sport a corporate look


Seeking to live up to its name and outdo their Hyderabad counterparts, the Cyberabad police is going to take up remodelling of its police stations on the lines of IT offices.

Visitors to the police stations will have access to a help desk, reception centres, a complaint receiving cell and toilets. And moreover, they will not be looked upon with suspicion but will be greeted with a ‘hello’ or ‘namaste’.

“The building and interior set-up are being redesigned on lines of corporate offices. Our priority is to provide a friendly ambience for visitors,” Cyberabad Commissioner C.V. Anand said. Suggestions from Human Resource professionals of corporate companies were also looked into before finalising the works.

Barracks

All police stations will have separate barracks spread over 1,500 sq ft to house outstation forces.

The barracks will have beds for 25 personnel, showers, bath and washroom facilities. Apart from a dining hall, the stations will also be equipped with a bell of arms, a small armoury.

Taking into account the strenuous work of the police station staff, separate rest room for SIs and Inspectors have also been planned.

This apart, the Cyberabad Commissionerate at Gachibowli is also up for a revamp. A budget of Rs. 7 crore was earmarked for the project by the State government. Three additional floors are being constructed in the building to accommodate offices of DCPs, SHE teams, Counter Intelligence Cell, Ministerial and Accounts staff.

The Cyberabad Command and Control Centre is also being built with a big video wall. “The video wall be split into three – with the first one connected to closed circuit cameras, second to the HTRIMS signals and the last for tracking the movement of patrol cars,” the official said.

Seeking to live up to its name and outdo their Hyderabad counterparts, the Cyberabad police is going to take up remodelling of its police stations on the lines of IT offices.

Visitors to the police stations will have access to a help desk, reception centres, a complaint receiving cell and toilets. And moreover, they will not be looked upon with suspicion but will be greeted with a ‘hello’ or ‘namaste’.

“The building and interior set-up are being redesigned on lines of corporate offices. Our priority is to provide a friendly ambience for visitors,” Cyberabad Commissioner C.V. Anand said. Suggestions from Human Resource professionals of corporate companies were also looked into before finalising the works.

Barracks

All police stations will have separate barracks spread over 1,500 sq ft to house outstation forces.

The barracks will have beds for 25 personnel, showers, bath and washroom facilities. Apart from a dining hall, the stations will also be equipped with a bell of arms, a small armoury.

Taking into account the strenuous work of the police station staff, separate rest room for SIs and Inspectors have also been planned.

This apart, the Cyberabad Commissionerate at Gachibowli is also up for a revamp. A budget of Rs. 7 crore was earmarked for the project by the State government. Three additional floors are being constructed in the building to accommodate offices of DCPs, SHE teams, Counter Intelligence Cell, Ministerial and Accounts staff.

The Cyberabad Command and Control Centre is also being built with a big video wall. “The video wall be split into three – with the first one connected to closed circuit cameras, second to the HTRIMS signals and the last for tracking the movement of patrol cars,” the official said.

 

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