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MEW plans to implement new bill collection system

MEW plans to implement new bill collection system
KUWAIT: The problem of the Ministry of Electricity and Water in collecting payments from consumers will end soon through the establishment of prepaid counters, reports Al-Anba daily quoting Assistant Undersecretary for Consumers Affairs Abdullah Al-Hajiri.

Al-Hajiri said bidding on the project will start within four months, indicating the ministry is keen on implementing the new payment system as soon as possible. He explained the prepaid counters will allow the consumers to pay prior to the usage of services through the transmission of consumption amount to the machines of the ministry. He added this will enable the ministry to collect the dues even before the consumers use any of its facilities.

In a related development, Al-Hajiri revealed the ministry has collected KD 149 million out of KD 303 million unpaid bills since the start of its campaign in April. He added the ministry will continue the campaign, which includes disconnection of power supply in case the consumers fail to pay their accumulated debts within the specified period.
Source: Arabtimes

Exempt disabled women from coming to police station: Verma panel

Exempt disabled women from coming to police station: Verma panel

Police can record complaint of such woman at her residence

Considering the difficulties encountered by physically challenged women at each stage of the criminal-legal process, right from filing an FIR to testifying in court during trial, the Justice J.S. Verma Committee has recommended that they be exempted from coming to the police station and making repeated visits to courts for testimony.

In its report, the committee said that when a physically or mentally challenged woman lodged a complained of rape or sexual harassment, the complaint should be recorded by a woman police officer at the residence of such woman, or wherever she was comfortable. The complaint should be recorded in the presence of a special educator or interpreter, depending on the need of the complainant. The entire process of recording the complaint should be videographed under Section 154 of the Cr P.C.

Videographed ID

Similarly, during the process of Test Identification Parade (TIP), if the person identifying the arrestee is physically or mentally challenged, then the identification must also be videographed. Also, while recording the statement of a physically or mentally challenged woman in court, the Magistrate must take the assistance of a special educator or interpreter, depending on the needs of the complainant. Additionally, the recording of testimony of the woman should also be videographed so that the statement is treated as a statement for the purpose of cross examination during the trial and the disabled woman will not have to state the same thing repeatedly, the panel report suggests.

Full text of Justice Verma's report (PDF)

Importantly, the panel recommended that the use of the word “dumb witnesses,” for those who cannot speak, should be replaced with “persons who are unable to communicate verbally.” ‘Dumb witnesses’ is provided under Section 119 of the Indian Evidence Act.

“One of the major reasons why most cases involving rape of disabled women fail to convict the wrongdoer is because the testimony of the victim is not given due importance by the police or the court. The recommendations of the panel, if incorporated in the law, would go a long way in addressing this problem,” says Muralidharan, assistant convener of the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD).

The committee also invoked the idea of parens patriae (the principle that political authority carries with it the responsibility for such protection) to describe the role of the state. However, experience shows that protection by the state is like a double-edged sword. When the state takes over the role of the parent, it often overrides the opinion of the ward; the state then decides what is good for the ward and what is not. This could at times go against the interest of the disabled. This issue also needs to be addressed, the NPRD has said.

Further, the definition of special educator and interpreter requires clarity when these recommendations are incorporated into the law.

“In our deliberations with the committee, it was found that a special educator may not know sign language and an interpreter may know only a few signs and, therefore, may not be always equipped to provide required assistance in bridging the communication barrier between the victim and the legal system,’’ Mr. Muralidharan says.In the overall conclusions and recommendations, the committee has spoken of a “monitoring mechanism” for the safety and physical security of children, women, persons with disabilities, inmates of mental homes and widows and mandates that the ultimate responsibility for monitoring lie with the judiciary.

In addition, there has been proposed a one-stop ‘Emergency Response System,’ which is sought to be run by a civil contract agency which does not report to the police but to the civil administration of the city, and will be equipped to identify wireless telephone devices by GPS co-ordinates. Though not specifically stated, if this system were made accessible to persons with disabilities, even in the event that they were unable to communicate their distress, an emergency service would be at their doorstep for immediate assistance, a statement issued by the Inclusive Planet Centre for Disability Law and Policy, Chennai said.

Safe spaces

The committee affirmed that every citizen has a right to protection against violence and it is the duty of the state to provide safe spaces to all women, including disabled women. It recommended that such safe spaces should be accessible to the disabled in terms of architectural design, management and provision of services. To address abuse of disabled children within institutions, the committee suggested that all such institutions and homes must be registered with the High Court concerned with the acting court as the guardian of such children.

It recommended that the High Court concerned should act as an oversight mechanism to all the institutions in the State and that it must be the task of educational institutions to recognise discriminatory attitudes among children on the basis of gender, disability, caste and so on.

-The Hindu

Traffic Dept ponders heavy fines for red signal, speed violations - Likely increase in car registration fee

Traffic Dept ponders heavy fines for red signal, speed violations - Likely increase in car registration fee
KUWAIT: Ministry of Interior represented by the General Traffic Department has been studying the prospect of increasing the fees for registration of vehicles in an attempt to minimize the number of vehicles owned by citizens and expatriates in Kuwait, reports Al-Anba daily quoting an informed source.

He revealed that a report on this study will be submitted to the National Assembly next March.

He indicated that the traffic sector is also planning to propose substantial fines on serious violations particularly crossing the red signal and speeding.

The source pointed out that the ministry will also indicate in the report its vision on how traffic accidents and resultant death cases can be reduced, stressing that the traffic sector desires the number of death cases due to traffic accidents should not exceed 330.
Source: Arabtimes

Ministry staff questioned in labor-related violations – Forgery of work permits

Ministry staff questioned in labor-related violations – Forgery of work permits
KUWAIT: Several Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor employees are undergoing investigations as they are suspected of being involved in violations connected to human trafficking, local newspapers reported yesterday. “Minister Thekra Al- Rashidi took a decision last weekend to refer a number of employees working in different ministry departments to the Migration Investigations Department,” a local daily reported yesterday quoting a ministry insider with knowledge of the case.
These employees could also be involved in forging work permits, according to the sources which refused to give any information about the number of employees involved or their positions. In other news, Al-Qabas newspaper obtained a statistical report released by the Migration General Department, which showed that 93,000 nationals of 12 states are currently living in Kuwait without a valid residency.
Among the ‘residency violators’ are 38,000 domestic helpers as pointed out in the report, a majority of them currently working illegally in people’s homes. Meanwhile, the sources which agreed to provide these statistics on the basis of anonymity, noted that data retrieved from the Information Systems General Department’s database revealed that “a large number” of violators have been living without a valid residency for years; some since the 1991 Liberation War. “This is an indication that many violators preferred to ignore the amnesty periods offered by the government in recent years and continued to live illegally in Kuwait,” the sources suggested.
According to estimates in the report, there are 24,000 Bangladeshi nationals living illegally in Kuwait, the largest among expatriate communities in the country, followed by the Indian community with 22,000 violators, Sri Lankans with 14,000, Indonesians with 8,000, Egyptians with 7,000, Filipinos with 6,000, Pakistanis with 4,000, Nepalese with 3,000, and Ethiopians with 1,000. The Iraqis and Iranians bring up the rear but the sources did not provide specific numbers.
Source: Kuwait Times

Municipality holds field campaign

Municipality holds field campaign
KUWAIT: As part of Kuwait Municipality’s continued campaign against sale of foodstuff unfit for human consumption and violation of norms, ten citations were issued to food stores in Al- Ardiya Industrial Area in the Farwaniya governorate.
The fines issued during the field campaign were on account of selling expired food items or stuff otherwise found unsuitable for sale and consumption. Foodstuff supervisor Mohamad Al- Azemi who headed the campaign emphasized the need for the municipality to play its supervisory role in a proactive manner by focusing on surprise field campaigns to check any aberrations committed by food stores and shops.
The main aim of the drive was to ensure that food stuff that reaches the end consumer is hygienic. Al-Azemi said inspection teams recorded samples at random from a number of food stores in Al-Ardiya. Samples of meat and chicken were kept in a special ice box and sent to the labs run by the Ministry of Health for necessary tests. The results will be out in less than a week and based on the results, any necessary action deemed necessary will be taken.
Al-Azemi said that during the campaign, they found in one the stores food items that had expired their fitfor- consumption date in September 2011. Among these were eight packs of sanbosa, each of 500 grams. Two packs of frozen vegetables, each weighing 400 grams, and a pack of sea food besides four kilograms of mashed potato were found, all in poor condition. Necessary citations were handed for these violations, in addition to eight more citations for not observing health and cleanlinessrelated norms.
Source: Kuwait Times

Gulfmart celebrates Indian 64th Republic day

Gulfmart celebrates Indian 64th Republic day

Kuwait's popular chain of Supermarket Gulfmart celebrated India's 64th Republic day at their Shuwaikh Showroom on January 26th.

Gulfmart Kuwait celebrated the joyous moment with their valuable customers and well-wishers at a  function held at Shuwaikh Branch. Indian Ambassador to Kuwait HE Satish C Mehta and Preeti Mehta inaugurated the celebration by cutting the cake in presence of TA Remesh, country head, Gulfmart and a galaxy of distinguished guests and eminent personalities from the Indian community.

During the celebration, MrsPreeti Mehta inaugurated the renovated telecom and mobile accessories section at the Gulfmart showroom.

Prominent members of the Indian community including IDF Chairman DrNabpoory, Business personalities including Kuldeep Singh Lamba, Ashok Kalra, Juzar Ali, Air India's Country Manager Mr. Ajay Sinha, VijayanKarayil, AbiVaricadu, Dr PC Nair, along with leaders of various Indian community organizations and Gulfmart officials attended the Republic Day celebrations.

Variety of cultural programs including Punjabi Dance, ChendaMelam, electrical fireworks, orchestra etc added colors to the celebration.

Large number of Gulfmart customers with their family and kids enjoyed the colorful celebrations. Gifts were distributed to kids and the participants.

Customs ‘foil’ Indian trucker’s bid to smuggle in 1-1/2-kg drugs

Customs ‘foil’ Indian trucker’s bid to smuggle in 1-1/2-kg drugs
KUWAIT: The Abdali customs officers have taken into custody an Indian trucker for allegedly attempting to smuggle into the country one-and-a-half kilos of narcotic substance, reports Al-Shahed daily.

The daily quoting security sources said the substance was neatly hidden inside a secret location inside the truck.
The daily added the driver arrived at the Abdali border post with goods for a local company.

After all the procedures were completed the customs officer ordered his truck to be thoroughly checked because he found the trucker appeared nervous.

The drugs were found hidden in the secret location in the cabin and during interrogation the man admitted to the charge.

He has been handed over to the General Department for Drug Control.
Source: Arabtimes

MoI makes long leap in visa issuance

MoI makes long leap in visa issuance
KUWAIT: Ministry of Interior has made a long leap toward the project of merging information with the Kuwaiti embassies around the world to issue visas, in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reports Al-Shahid daily.

The daily quoting reliable sources said the ministry allotted a sum of KD 1,697,000 for implementation of the project, and KD 1,289,000 is already spent.

Also, there has been total support and coordination among the Kuwaiti embassies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Interior Ministry, and all embassies are currently running on the automation system, which will link the embassies to the Interior Ministry to issue visas and also follow-up visa applications, sources indicated.

Meanwhile, the system was run on experimental basis at one Kuwaiti embassy, and fingerprint devices have been installed in 10 embassies, including a follow-up system for both Immigration and Criminal Evidences Departments, while half a million visa stamps have been provided.
Source: Arabtimes

Municipality clamps down on unlicensed vendors at camps

Municipality clamps down on unlicensed vendors at camps
KUWAIT: Teams of Ahmadi Governorate Municipality have carried out a campaign against unlicensed vendors and makeshift restaurants and groceries at camping sites in Mina Abdullah and Julaiaa. Fahad Dughaim Al-Otaibi, in charge of the municipal branch in Ahmadi, said in a press release yesterday that the campaign aimed at clamping down on dealers who sell products, namely food and beverages, without abiding by relevant health and safety rules.
The campaign will continue till March, end of the camping season.

Kuwait, these days, is witnessing a moderate, sunny weather, with sporadic fog, encouraging many citizens and residents to erect camps in the desert regions for recreation.
Source: KUNA

Padma Vibhushan awardees 2013 announced

Padma Vibhushan awardees 2013


Union government announced the Pama award  winners for 2013.The award distribution ceremony will be held  later.


1.        Raghunath Mohapatra - Art - Odisha

2.      S Haider Raza - Art - Delhi

3.      Prof. Yash Pal - Science and Engineering - Uttar Pradesh

4.      Prof. Roddam Narasimha - Science & Engineering - Karnataka


Padma Bhushan


1.        Dr. Ramanaidu Daggubati - Art - Andhra Pradesh

2.      Smt. Sreeramamurthy Janaki - Art - Tamil Nadu

3.      Dr. (Smt.) Kanak Rele - Art - Maharashtra

4.      Smt. Sharmila Tagore - Art - Delhi

5.      Dr. (Smt.) Saroja Vaidyanathan - Art -  Delhi

6.      Shri Abdul Rashid Khan - Art - West Bengal

7.      Late Rajesh Khanna - Art - Maharashtra #

8.      Late Jaspal Singh Bhatti - Art - Punjab #

9.      Shri Shivajirao Girdhar Patil - Public Affairs - Maharashtra

10.   Dr. Apathukatha Sivathanu Pillai - Science and Engineering - Delhi

11.     Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat - Science and Engineering - Delhi

12.    Dr. Ashoke Sen - Science and Engineering - Uttar Pradesh

13.    Dr. B.N. Suresh - Science and Engineering - Karnataka

14.   Prof. Satya N. Atluri - Science and Engineering - USA *

15.    Prof. Jogesh Chandra Pati - Science and Engineering -  USA

16.   Shri Ramamurthy Thyagarajan - Trade and Industry - Tamil Nadu

17.    Shri Adi Burjor Godrej - Trade and Industry -  Maharashtra

18.    Dr. Nandkishore Shamrao Laud - Medicine - Maharashtra

19.   Shri Mangesh Padgaonkar - Literature & Education -  Maharashtra

20. Prof. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak - Literature & Education -  USA*

21.    Shri Hemendra Singh Panwar - Civil Service -  Madhya Pradesh

22.  Dr. Maharaj Kishan Bhan - Civil Service -  Delhi

23.  Shri Rahul Dravid - Sports - Karnataka

24.  Ms. H. Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom - Sports - Manipur


Padma Shri


1.        Shri Gajam Anjaiah - Art - Andhra Pradesh

2.      Swami G.C.D. Bharti alias Bharati Bandhu - Art - Chhattisgarh

3.      Ms. B. Jayashree - Art - Karnataka

4.      Smt. Sridevi Kapoor - Art - Maharashtra

5.      Shri Kailash Chandra Meher - Art - Orissa

6.      Shri Brahmdeo Ram Pandit - Art - Maharashtra

7.      Shri Vishwanath Dinkar Patekar alias Nana Patekar - Art - Maharashtra

8.      Shri Rekandar Nageswara Rao alias Surabhi Babji - Art - Andhra Pradesh

9.      Shri Lakshmi Narayana Sathiraju - Art - Tamil Nadu

10.   Smt. Jaymala Shiledar - Art - Maharashtra

11.     Shri Suresh Dattatray Talwalkar - Art - Maharashtra

12.    Shri P. Madhavan Nair alias Madhu - Art - Kerala

13.    Shri Apurba Kishore Bir - Art - Maharashtra

14.   Shri Ghanakanta Bora Borbayan - Art - Assam

15.    Smt. Hilda Mit Lepcha - Art - Sikkim

16.   Smt. Sudha Malhotra - Art - Maharashtra

17.    Shri Ghulam Mohammad Saznawaz - Art -  Jammu and Kashmir

18.    Shri Ramesh Gopaldas Sippy - Art - Maharashtra

19.   Ms. Mahrukh Tarapor - Art - Maharashtra

20. Shri Balwant Thakur - Art -  Jammu & Kashmir

21.    Shri Puran Das Baul - Art -  West Bengal

22.  Shri Rajendra Tikku - Art -  Jammu &Kashmir

23.  Shri Pablo Bartholomew - Art - Delhi

24.  Shri S. Shakir Ali - Art - Rajasthan

25.  Sh. S.K.M Maeilanandhan - Social Work - Tamil Nadu

26.  Ms. Nileema Mishra - Social Work - Maharashtra

27.  Ms. Reema Nanavati - Social Work - Gujarat

28.  Ms. Jharna Dhara Chowdhury - Social Work - Bangladesh *

29.  Late Dr. Ram Krishan - Social Work - Uttar Pradesh #

30. Late Manju Bharat Ram - Social Work - Delhi #

31.    Prof. Mustansir Barma - Science and Engineering - Maharashtra

32.  Shri Avinash Chander - Science and Engineering - Delhi

33.  Prof. Sanjay Govind Dhande - Science and Engineering - Uttar Pradesh

34.  Prof. (Dr.) Sankar Kumar Pal - Science and Engineering - West Bengal


-- AVM

Gulfmart invites to Celebrate Indian Republic Day

Gulfmart Celebrating Indian Republic Day


On the auspicious occasion of 64th Indian Republic Day on 26th January 2013, Gulfmart Kuwait is Celebrating this joyous moment in association with our valuable customers and well-wishers.


We, Gulfmart Management, cordially invite your presence with family to the ceremony at Gulfmart’s premium branch at Shuwaikh, on 26th January 2013 at 06:00 pm and to participate in the celebration.


It’s an honour for us to have His Excellency Mr. Satish C. Mehta, Ambassador of India to Kuwait and his wife Mrs. Preeti Mehta as our Chief Guests.


Valuable gifts will be distributed to kids and the participants. Almost, 1000 guests are expected to attend the function and wide coverage of the program will be done through visual and print Medias.


Let us remember the golden heritage of our country and Honoring the Glory and Power of our free homeland together. Let us together commence a journey of peace, harmony and progress.



64th Republic Day celebrations at Indian Embassy – Kuwait

64th Republic Day celebrations at Indian Embassy – Kuwait
                - by  A.V.Murali Manohar
Pleasant weather, excellent atmosphere, great mood for over 1000s of Indians, who attended the 64th Republic day celebrations organized by Embassy of India, Kuwait.
With a warm welcome by Sri Manoj Kumar, an Embassy official, the Indian flag was hoisted by His Excellency Sri Satish C Mehta. With the National Anthem being played, emotions were very high and all cheered up “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” (Long Live Mother India).
Ambassador Mehta, read the messaged of Sri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India, which he had delivered to Indians yesterday on the eve of 64th Republic Day. Later Ambassador gave a short message to Indians living in Kuwait, requesting them to strictly follow local rules. He also mentioned the services extended by Embassy to general public and shown keen interest to provide better services with the recently opened Open Session, every Wednesdays.
The cultural event began with the Band display by Girls of Indian Community School, Salmiya followed by Band by Mohammedi Scout.
Students of Indian Community School - Junior Branch, presented a cultural dance from various part of India, including Folk Dance, Gharba and Bhangra. The school already presented a Tableau of Peacock, National Bird of India.
Followed thereafter were patriotic songs by Hum Bengali Hum Punjabi by student of Integrated Indian School; Yeh hai desh tera by students of Indian Community School, Amman Branch; Tum Chalo - tho Hindustan chale by students of Indian International School, Mangaf; Satyamave Jayate by students of Fahaheel Al-Wataniya Indian Private School, Ahmadi and finally Vande Matram by Sri Suresh Salian and his team.
On the special occation of India’s Republic Day, various Kuwait media and web portals  issued special supplement.  also brings out a special for celebrating republic day with valuable matters and potos..It can be viewed on this link;
The day ended with the reception hosted by the Embassy of India for Indians who attended the event. Ambassador of India, Sri Mehta interacted with the community members and exchanged with everyone greetings with the public. The celebration was attended by cross section of the Indian community and everyone was in high spirits singing the patriotic songs of India.
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NASA joins probe to solve ‘dark energy’ puzzle

NASA joins probe to solve ‘dark energy’ puzzle


NASA has nominated three US science teams totalling 40 new members for the Euclid Consortium.

NASA has teamed up with the European Space Agency to probe one of the most fundamental questions in modern cosmology — the existence of dark matter.

ESA’s Euclid mission, a space telescope designed to investigate the cosmological mysteries of dark matter and dark energy will launch in 2020, NASA said.

Euclid will spend six years mapping the locations and measuring the shapes of as many as 2 billion galaxies spread over more than one-third of the sky.

It will study the evolution of our universe, and the dark matter and dark energy that influence its evolution in ways that still are poorly understood.

The telescope will launch to an orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrange point L2 — the location where the gravitational pull of two large masses, the Sun and Earth in this case, precisely equals the force required for a small object, such as the Euclid spacecraft, to maintain a relatively stationary position behind Earth as seen from the Sun.

“NASA is very proud to contribute to ESA’s mission to understand one of the greatest science mysteries of our time,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, in a statement.

NASA and ESA recently signed an agreement outlining NASA’s role in the project. The US space agency will contribute 16 state-of-the-art infrared detectors and four spare detectors for one of two science instruments planned for Euclid.

“ESA’s Euclid mission is designed to probe one of the most fundamental questions in modern cosmology, and we welcome NASA’s contribution to this important endeavour, the most recent in a long history of cooperation in space science between our two agencies,” said Alvaro Gimenez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

In addition, NASA has nominated three US science teams totalling 40 new members for the Euclid Consortium. This is in addition to 14 US scientists already supporting the mission.

Euclid will map the dark matter in the universe. Matter as we know it — the atoms that make up the human body, for example — is a fraction of the total matter in the universe.

The rest, about 85 per cent, is dark matter consisting of particles of an unknown type. Dark matter first was postulated in 1932, but still has not been detected directly.

It is called dark matter because it does not interact with light. Dark matter interacts with ordinary matter through gravity and binds galaxies together like an invisible glue.

While dark matter pulls matter together, dark energy pushes the universe apart at ever-increasing speeds. In terms of the total mass-energy content of the universe, dark energy dominates. Even less is known about dark energy than dark matter.

Euclid’s observations will yield the best measurements yet of how the acceleration of the universe has changed over time, providing new clues about the evolution and fate of the cosmos, researchers said.

-The Hindu


My Fellow Citizens:
On the eve of our 64th Republic Day, I extend warm greetings to all of you in India and abroad. I convey my special greetings to members of our armed forces, paramilitary forces and internal security forces.
2.     India has changed more in last six decades than in six previous centuries. This is neither accidental nor providential; history shifts its pace when touched by vision. The great dream of raising a new India from the ashes of colonialism reached a historic denouement in 1947; more important, independence became a turning point for an equally dramatic narrative, nation-building. The foundations were laid through our Constitution, adopted on 26 January 1950, which we celebrate each year as Republic Day. Its driving principle was a compact between state and citizen, a powerful public-private partnership nourished by justice, liberty and equality.
India did not win freedom from the British in order to deny freedom to Indians. The Constitution represented a second liberation, this time from the stranglehold of traditional inequity in gender, caste, community, along with other fetters that had chained us for too long.
3.     This inspired a Cultural Evolution which put Indian society on the track to modernity: society changed in a gradual evolution, for violent revolution is not the Indian way. Change across the knotted weaves of the social fabric remains a work in progress, impelled by periodic reform in law and the momentum of popular will.
4.     In the last six decades there is much that we can be proud of. Our economic growth rate has more than tripled. The literacy rate has increased by over four times. After having attained self sufficiency, now we are net exporters of food-grain. Significant reduction in the incidence of poverty has been achieved. Among our other major achievements is the drive towards gender equality.
5.     No one suggested this would be easy. The difficulties that accompanied the first quantum leap, the Hindu code bill, enacted in 1955 tell their own story. It needed the unflinching commitment of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Babasaheb Ambedkar to push through this remarkable legislation. Jawaharlal Nehru would later describe this as perhaps the most important achievement of his life. The time has now come to ensure gender equality for every Indian woman. We can neither evade nor abandon this national commitment, for the price of neglect will be high. Vested interests do not surrender easily. The civil society and the government must work together to fulfill this national goal.
Fellow Citizens:
6.     I speak to you when a grave tragedy has shattered complacency. The brutal rape and murder of a young woman, a woman who was symbol of all that new India strives to be, has left our hearts empty and our minds in turmoil. We lost more than a valuable life; we lost a dream. If today young Indians feel outraged, can we blame our youth?
7.     There is a law of the land. But there is also a higher law. The sanctity of a woman is a directive principle of that larger edifice called Indian civilization. The Vedas say that there is more than one kind of mother: birth mother, a guru's wife, a king's wife, a priest's wife, she who nurses us, and our motherland. Mother is our protection from evil and oppression, our symbol of life and prosperity. When we brutalise a woman, we wound the soul of our civilization.
8.     It is time for the nation to reset its moral compass. Nothing should be allowed to spur cynicism, as cynicism is blind to morality. We must look deep into our conscience and find out where we have faltered. The solutions to problems have to be found through discussion and conciliation of views. People must believe that governance is an instrument for good and for that, we must ensure good governance.
Fellow Citizens:
9.     We are on the cusp of another generational change; the youth of India spread across villages and towns, are in the vanguard of change. The future belongs to them. They are today troubled by a range of existential doubts. Does the system offer due reward for merit? Have the powerful lost their Dharma in pursuit of greed? Has corruption overtaken morality in public life? Does our legislature reflect emerging India or does it need radical reforms? These doubts have to be set at rest. Elected representatives must win back the confidence of the people. The anxiety and restlessness of youth has to be channelized towards change with speed, dignity and order.
10.   The young cannot dream on an empty stomach. They must have jobs capable of serving their own as well as the nation's ambitions. It is true that we have come a long way from 1947, when our first Budget had a revenue of just over Rs.171 crore. The resource base of the Union government today is an ocean compared to that drop. But we must ensure that the fruits of economic growth do not become the monopoly of the privileged at the peak of a pyramid. The primary purpose of wealth creation must be to drive out the evil of hunger, deprivation and marginal subsistence from the base of our expanding population.
Fellow Citizens:
11.   Last year has been a testing time for us all. As we move ahead on the path of economic reforms, we must remain alive to the persisting problems of market-dependent economies. Many rich nations are now trapped by a culture of entitlement without social obligations; we must avoid this trap. The results of our policies should be seen in our villages, farms and factories, schools and hospitals.
Figures mean nothing to those who do not benefit from them. We must act immediately, otherwise the current pockets of conflict, often described as "Naxalite" violence, could acquire far more dangerous dimensions.
Fellow Citizens:
12.   In the recent past, we have seen serious atrocities on the Line of Control on our troops. Neighbours may have disagreements; tension can be a subtext of frontiers. But sponsorship of terrorism through non-state actors is a matter of deep concern to the entire nation. We believe in peace on the border and are always ready to offer a hand in the hope of friendship. But this hand should not be taken for granted.
Fellow Citizens:
13.   India's most impregnable asset is self-belief. Each challenge becomes an opportunity to strengthen our resolve to achieve unprecedented economic growth and social stability. Such resolve must be nourished by an avalanche of investment, particularly in better and greater education. Education is the ladder that can help those at the bottom to rise to the pinnacles of professional and social status. Education is the mantra that can transform our economic fortunes and eliminate the gaps that have made our society unequal. So far education has not reached, to the extent desired, to those most in need of this ladder. India can double its growth rate by turning today's disadvantaged into multiple engines of economic development.
14.   On our 64th Republic Day, there may be some reason for concern, but none for despair. If India has changed more in six decades than six previous centuries, then I promise you that it will change more in the next ten years than in the previous sixty. India’s enduring vitality is at work.
15.  Even the British sensed that they were leaving a land which was very different from the one they had occupied. At the base of the Jaipur Column in Rashtrapati Bhavan there is an inscription:
        “In thought faith…
        In word wisdom…
        In deed courage…
        In life service…
        So may India be great”     
The spirit of India is written in stone.

UN pays Kuwait $1.3bn Iraq war compensation

UN pays Kuwait $1.3bn Iraq war compensation
GENEVA: The United Nations said it paid out about $1.3 billion in compensation to Kuwait yesterday over Iraq’s invasion of the state in 1990. The Geneva-based UN Compensation Commission said the payments related to damage to Kuwait’s oil wells, pipelines and equipment during the seven-month occupation by Iraqi forces and subsequent losses to production and sales. It said it has now paid out a total of $40.1 billion to over 100 governments and international organisations in reparations for the invasion, with about $12.3 billion still to be paid. Payments to meet Kuwait’s claims are funded by a percentage of the proceeds of Iraqi oil sales, currently at five percent.
Source: Kuwait Times

Assembly approves law to privatise Kuwait Airways – Carrier to buy 20 new planes

Assembly approves law to privatise Kuwait Airways – Carrier to buy 20 new planes
KUWAIT: The National Assembly yesterday approved an Amiri decree calling to transform Kuwait Airways Corporation (KAC) into a shareholding company operating on a commercial basis. Twenty-nine MPs and Cabinet ministers voted for the law, nine voted against it while six lawmakers abstained. Chairman of the new Kuwait Airways Company Sami Al-Nasef told the Assembly that only 10-12 aircraft of KAC’s ageing fleet of 17 planes were operational while the rest were under “extended maintenance”.
“Initially we plan to replace the current old fleet of 17 aircraft. We look to purchase 20-21 new aircraft within the next two years, and the process will be gradual,” Nasef said, adding it was still premature to put a price on the planned purchase of aircraft, half of which will be small and the other half large. Nasef later told reporters that the new company is actively negotiating with aircraft manufacturers in order to buy new planes as early as possible.
Nasef and Communications Minister Salem Al-Othaina, who oversees the carrier, had warned that without passing the decree, the loss-making KAC will incur more losses. Othaina said that during the past four years, KAC posted a loss of KD 105 million and the airline took loans from local banks worth KD 180 million. Under the legislation, the government will pay all the losses posted by KAC because it is a totally state-owned establishment. Some MPs estimated the losses the government will pay at KD.450 million while others said the government is obliged to pay all the losses posted by KAC since 2004.
The new decree amended several key articles in a law passed in Jan 2008 to privatize KAC within three years, but the law could not be implemented because of no foreign or local investors bid to purchase the 35 percent stake of KAC under the law. Othaina said major obstacles obstructed the implementation of the law because it was issued just before the global financial crisis and that it continued to post losses. MP Safa Al-Hashem said KAC is “clinically dead” and the decree was needed to revive it, adding that it only has just KD 5 million in cash and without passing the decree, it will need to borrow more money.
Nasef said KAC has been badly affected by political disputes between the government and previous assemblies and as a result, previous assemblies refused to pass the final statements of KAC since 2004, thus preventing the government from paying its losses and forcing the company to borrow, which complicated its losses. The Assembly also passed the new corporate law which replaces the old law that was issued in the 1960s and was described as outdated.
Source: Kuwait Times

Ambassador's Indian Republic day Message

Message of HE Mr. Satish C Mehta, Ambassador of India to Kuwait,

on the 64th Republic Day of India


On the occasion of the 64th Republic Day of India, I convey my warm greetings and good wishes to all Indian nationals in Kuwait as well as  to our Kuwaiti and other friends.  


On this important day in 1950, the Constitution of India came into effect and India became a sovereign, secular and democratic Republic. Our Constitution encapsulated our values and beliefs of equality, justice, freedom of thought, speech and choice, rule of law and secularism. It has stood the test of time and India has blossomed into a participatory and caring democracy. As envisioned by our founding fathers, India has also stood for peace and harmony around the world. Besides being the world’s largest democracy, India is also one of the most diverse countries where many different faiths, languages, ethnicities and cultures coexist peacefully.In fact, unity in diversity has been our leit motif.


Political consolidation in India was accompanied by efforts to transform our agrarian economy into a modern economy. India today is the third largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity.Despite economic downturns in various parts of the world, as a result of prudent economic policies and management and attractive investment policies, in the last two decades, India has averaged a 7% growth, second highest among major economiesIt is one of the most preferred destinations for foreign investments. Indiais endowed with a large middle class that is creating a huge domestic market. It is also one of the youngest nations in the world, with more than half of its population in the working age group. This demographic dividend is expected to significantly contribute to India’s growth in the coming years.


Our emphasis on promoting science and technology is paying handsome dividends. We now have the third largest pool of qualified scientific and technical manpower in the world. Indiais amongst the few countries which can develop and launch its own remote sensing satellites or has full spectrum of nuclear technology. Our IT and IT Enabled Services sector, with a revenue of US$ 100 billion last year has elevated the country as a software giant and a global outsourcing hub for business and knowledge processes.India is fast emerging as a key centre for research and development. The day is not far when India would become the knowledge capital of the world.


A large domestic market, availability of skilled and talented manpower, attractive policies, and a dynamic private sector hungry to grow is contributing to India’s emergence as a major manufacturing hub. To give an example, there is hardly a major international automobile company that does not or is not planning to have a manufacturing plant in India. We manufactured 20 million vehicles of all variety and exported about 3 million units last year.


Creation of infrastructure, essential for economic development, is receiving the highest priority. In the last 5 years almost US$ 500 billion was invested in infrastructure and in the coming 5 years we plan to invest almost a trillion dollars of which half would be by domestic private sector or foreign investment. Besides physical connectivity we are also creating electronic connectivity. We are one of the fastest growing telecom markets in the world with a mobile phone user base of over 929 million (second largest in the world) and over 137 million Internet users(third largest in the world).


To encourage foreign investment in the country, the Government last year announced a slew of policies like permission for foreign investment in multi-brand retail sector, investment up to 49% by foreign airlines in the Indian carriers, raising the foreign investment cap in insurance sector to 49%, allowing Qualified Foreign Investors to directly invest in Indian equity etc. 


Even as India is attracting foreign investment, Indian companies have been reaching out to the world with the purpose of investing in various sectors.Our companies have appreciably invested overseasin the last few years through mergers and acquisitions or via direct investments, which has helped them access high-growth markets, acquire knowledge and technology, attain economies of size and scale, and leverage international brand names.


While our successes have been many, we are fully mindful of the  enormous challenges and expectations that remain to be addressed, especially in eradicating poverty, malnutrition, diseases, and illiteracy as well as eliminating rural-urban divide, social inequalities, and regional disparities.The government has initiated a number of social development programmes aimed at inclusive growth like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojnaetc.Our strength in IT is being leveraged in transforming governance and implementing schemes.


In the area of foreign policy, Indiaseeks mutually beneficial relations with all countries in the world and towards this end, is working with them on issues of common concern like terrorism, climate change, global economic crisis, and energy & food security.  Our experience of tackling developmental challenges within a democratic framework,  and our emphasis on building convergences and consensus  have helped us play a key role in addressing international challenges as well as promoting peace, progress and prosperity globally.


India’s relations with Kuwait are longstanding, close and growing. We have been an integral part of each other’s life and consciousness for generations. Our engagement has been multifaceted and continues to grow. Our relationship extends beyond historical and cultural linkages to encompass political, trade and economic interests. India-Kuwait trade increased by 43% in 2011-12 and reached a record US $ 17.5 billion. Indiahas consistently been among Kuwait’s top trading partners and recent years have witnessed new opportunities opening up insectors like human resource, medical tourism, hospitality and IT.


High-level visits and other exchanges between our two countries have provided the platform to further strengthen bilateral relations and explore new avenues of cooperation. Prominent among these in the last year included those by Minister of Overseas India Affairs Mr. Vayalar Ravi, Minister of State for External Affairs Mr. E. Ahamed, Advisor to Prime Minister Mr. T.K.A. Nair and Mr. Rahul Gandhi, MP. Besides, institutional mechanisms like Joint Working Groups on Labour, Employment and Manpower as well as Hydrocarbons were convened last year. A Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Health was signed in April 2012 and the first Foreign Office Consultations between the two countries took place in May 2012. Both sides have been working closely to further intensify engagements at all levels. 


The over 650,000 strong Indian community in Kuwait plays an  important role in bilateral ties. It is the largest expatriate community in Kuwait and is present in practically every segment of society. It has a reputation for being industrious, talented, disciplined and law abiding. Our community’s contribution to the development and prosperity of Kuwait is appreciated. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude for the benevolence bestowed on the Indian community by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait, and for the goodwill of the friendly people of Kuwait.


Indiadeeply values the contribution of its nationals in Kuwait. I am delighted that the Indian Doctors Forum, Kuwait was honoured with the coveted Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award on January 9, 2013 by our Rashtrapatiji in recognition of its services. 


The Embassy has been consistently trying to improve the quality of its services to the Indian community in Kuwait. The outsourced service centers for passport and visa services have been functioning satisfactorily. Besides, from May 2012, an optional paid courier service facility for home-delivery of processed passports to the applicants has been initiated and this has been well-received. In addition to the daily “Consular Open House” at the Embassy during which a senior consular official could be met without appointment, I have started an ‘Open House’ every Wednesday where any Indian citizen can meet me without an appointment for any unresolved matter. In addition, the Embassy’s “Indian Workers Welfare Center” set up in September 2009 has been providing the much needed support system to our workers with its help desk, labour complaints desk, toll-free 24x7 telephonic helpline, free accommodation, free legal advice clinic and employment contract attestation system. It will be our endeavour to upgrade our services to the Indian community and respond to their expectations.


On this joyous occasion,as we commit ourselves anew to serving our people, our motherland, and the larger cause of humanity, I wish every Indian in Kuwait good health and prosperity. I also take this opportunity to convey best wishes for the continued good health and well-being of HH the Amir, HH the Crown Prince, HH the Prime Minister, and the friendly people of the State of Kuwait.


Jai Hind!



The Embassy of India will remain closed on 24th JANUARY, 2013, Thursday on account of Id-E-Milad.

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