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Showing posts from March, 2013

7 things you should know about PPF

1. PPF - a government backed long term small savings scheme

Public Provident Fund (PPF) is a scheme of the Central Government, framed under the PPF Act of 1968. Briefly, the PPF is a government backed, long term small savings scheme which was initially started by the Government because it wanted to provide retirement security to self-employed individuals and workers in the unorganized sector.
It is today the most popular investment made by Indian citizens. If you are keen on a safe investment, a decent rate of return, tax benefits (deduction and tax free interest) and have a long term investment horizon, then the PPF is for you. It is a disciplined investment avenue as your money is blocked for 15 years.
2. How do I open a PPF account? What should I keep in mind when opening my PPF account?
Head over to your nearest State Bank of India branch, or a branch of any of State Bank’s subsidiaries. You can also open an account in select nationalized banks, and the post office. Fill in the for…

Narendra Modi is a friend, but PM..., says RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

Narendra Modi is a "friend", says RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat  but side-stepped queries on the possible projection of the Gujarat Chief Minister as BJP's Prime Ministerial (PM) candidate, saying he was "not a political person". "He is my friend", said Bhagwat when asked by reporters what he thought of Narendra Modi. However, when asked whether he supported the demand for projecting the Gujarat Chief Minister as the Prime Ministerial candidate, the RSS chief said, "I am not a political person.....I am not here on a political visit". Bhagwat was speaking to mediapersons at the ongoing Maha Kumbh congregation here during which he is likely to attend the "Dharm Sansad" of Sangh Parivar outfit Vishwa Hindu Parishad. A section of BJP leaders have demanded that Modi be declared as the party's Prime Ministerial candidate. VHP leader Ashok Singhal had yesterday said the Gujarat Chief Minister enjoys the same popularity as that of the first…

VHP launches ‘Hindu Ahead’ campaign, with RSS blessings

THE Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on March 31 launched its nationwide "Hindu Ahead" campaign here with the slogan "prosperity and security of Hindus", ahead of the outfit's golden jubilee celebrations scheduled for August 2014. When asked if the movement has a political angle given its launch a year ahead of the 2014 general elections, VHP working president Pravin Togadia said, "The VHP has no apprehensions about supporting a leader who publicly takes a pledge to work for Hindus. Those who are leaders of Hindus will be our leaders. By mobilising people, we will pressure politicians and political parties to work for Hindus." The gathering at a football ground in the city's Kankaria neighborhood saw an estimated 5000-odd in attendance, including those who came from various parts of the state. RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and other Hindu outfit leaders and dozens of sadhus were also present. Interestingly, Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who is not in good t…

VHP will declare Gujarat by 2015: Togadiya

VHP will declare Gujarat a "Hindu state" by 2015 besides having its presence in all 18,000 villages of the state in the next two years, the outfit's leader Pravin Togadia claimed on April 1.

"In two years, the VHP will have a presence in all 18,000 villages of Gujarat and by 2015, we will declare Gujarat a Hindu state," VHP's international working president Pravin Togadia told VHP followers who gathered here for a 'Hindu Sangam' event.
The event was organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to launch a new movement called 'Hindu Ahead, for Hindu Security and Prosperity', which aims to reach out to Hindus in villages, towns, cities and tribal areas.
Invoking the issue of the "insecure Hindu", Togadia said, "To protect and prosper, Hindus themselves have to gear up, by becoming true practicing Hindus, aware Hindus and active Hindus".
The absence of Narendra Modi at the function was conspicuous though the VHP organised the even…

Nigeria Military Kills 14 Suspected Islamist Militants

VOA News March 31, 2013 The Nigerian military says its soldiers killed 14 suspected Islamist militants Sunday during an early morning raid on a house in the main northern city of Kano.

Military officials said one soldier died and another one was seriously wounded in the raid. The military's casualty figures have not been independently confirmed.

Those targeted were allegedly members of the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, a group often blamed for launching attacks on Christian holidays.

Boko Haram began violent operations in 2009. It has killed an estimated 3,000 people in attacks on churches, schools, government and newspaper offices, as well as in attacks on security forces, markets and the country's communications infrastructure.

However, human rights groups have accused Nigeria's security forces of killing hundreds more in operations to subdue the militant group. Most of the violence has been in northern Nigeria.a

What 'hostage video' reveals about Nigeria's Boko Haram

In the three-and-a-half minute video, one of the hostages, reading from a piece of paper, states that his captors are Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad. This is the official name for the Nigerian Islamist militant group popularly known as Boko Haram, which has waged an insurgency for more than a decade. The captors of a French family have outlined their grievances in a video It is impossible to independently verify that this is the group holding the seven French tourists. It is also not clear if the masked militants in the video are speaking on behalf of the entire group or its leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, or whether they are a faction. If the video is genuinely from Boko Haram then it shows us how this organisation is metamorphosing from being a local group with a mainly Nigerian agenda into a more international jihadist outfit. Securing a ransom payment could be an objective of the kidnappings but it seems just as likely that the overall aim of the Islamist militan…

Nigerian troops 'kill 14 Boko Haram militants' in Kano



A soldier was killed in the raid, and a potential suicide bomber was arrested in a car laden with explosives, a military spokesman said. Security has increased amid fears for the safety of Christians over Easter. Hundreds of people have been killed since Boko Haram fighters stepped up their campaign in recent years. The military said the group had been planning an Easter Sunday attack in the city. "This operation was conducted following a tip-off from our intelligence," military spokesman Iliyasu Abbah said, quoted by Reuters news agency. Residents reported gunfire and explosions early on Sunday, but there has been no independent confirmation of the casualties. Kano has seen a series of attacks blamed on Boko Haram, including a suicide bombing on 19 March - apparently aimed at Christians - which left more than 20 people dead. The group's deadliest attack so far occurred in the city in January 2012, when a series of bombings and shootings k…

Power tariff hike: State government under attack

After Opposition parties, the Congress Government drew flak from within the party for the power tariff hike proposals with Union Minister of State for Tourism K. Chiranjeevi shooting off a letter to AICC general secretary State affairs-incharge Ghulam Nabi Azad seeking his intervention. In his letter, he told Mr Azad that it was not appropriate on the part of the government to go ahead with the tariff hike without discussing it in the party forum and wanted him to convene a meeting of the party’s coordination committee at the earliest. The committee could then suggest an appropriate course of action. MAJOR SETBACK: VHR Another senior leader, V. Hanumantha Rao, told reporters in New Delhi that the tariff hike, if implemented, would turn out to be a major setback to the party facing general elections in a year. He too addressed a letter to the Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, asking him to drop the proposal. On the other hand, the PCC president, Botcha Satyanarayana, appealed to th…

EC differs with govt on funding of political parties, writes again

New Delhi: The Election Commission has differed with the government on the amendment of law with regard to funding of political parties. The EC does not agree with the law ministry that modifications proposed by it in ‘Form 24A’, used by political parties for mandatory declaration of donations received by them, requires amendment in the electoral law. It feels it can be done through amendment of rules. Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath. Image courtesy PIB The law ministry had recently replied to the EC that its demand regarding removing the limit of Rs 20,000 and making it mandatory for parties to show on record all voluntary donations, irrespective of the sum, has been referred to the Law Commission as it will require an amendment in the Representation of the People Act, 1951. The Law Commission is working on the issue of electoral reforms. The EC, however, has said in its second letter to the Law Ministry that to implement the proposal of modifying the ‘Form 24A’ the ministry w…

Why Nitish Kumar is unlikely to break up with BJP for 2014

The chief minister of Bihar, India’s second most populous state, is thought to be reconsidering his partnership with the Bharatiya Janata Party. If he goes ahead, Nitish Kumar, a devotee of the socialist intellectual Ram Manohar Lohia, could influence the 2014 general elections in favour of Sonia Gandhi. This has excited our newspapers. However I find it difficult to see why Nitish’s Janata Dal (United) would consider breaking with the BJP. PTI His allying of Lohiaite socialists with Hindutva has produced the best caste coalition of any state in India. It is a formidable combination that is likely to stay in power a long time if it stays together. The JDU-BJP team commands 40 percent of the vote in Bihar. This is remarkable for such a fragmented state, and invincible in our first-past-the-post electoral system. In India’s largest state Uttar Pradesh by comparison, Mulayam Singh won a majority with only 29 percent of the vote. His rival Mayawati, just 3 percent behind, was trounced 22…

Modi enters BJP parliamentary committee

Narendra Modi was on March 31 inducted into BJP’s parliamentary board signalling that the Gujarat chief minister is set to play a larger role at the centre. Modi’s trusted aide Amit Shah was also elevated to the position of general secretary of the party. Ironically, Shah was not made part of the Gujarat cabinet for his alleged role in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh murder case. Narendra Modi in this file photo. PTI The young Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi was promoted as general secretary of the party as well. It was significant that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan did not make the break despite being the chief executive of a state like Modi, equal number of times. Another popular face of the party Smriti Irani was made one of BJP vice presidents along with firebrand leader Uma Bharti. Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Pratap Rudy was made general secretary along with Murlidhar Rao and Ramlal. Rao is supposed to have a cordial relationship with the RSS. BJP Central Office Bearers Earlier t…

5 facts about Varun Gandhi

BJP President Rajnath Singh announced the party’s core team on March 31. The announcement is significant as this is the team which will play a key role in strategising for the 2014 elections. While Narendra Modi‘s elevation has garnered a lot of attention, another elevation that is significant is that of Varun Gandhi who was promoted as general secretary of the BJP. Here are five quick facts about the Gandhi in BJP. •  Young gun:Feroze Varun Gandhi is currently the member of Parliament (MP) from Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh. When Varun was elected in 2009, he was only 29 years old, making him one of the youngest MPs in Parliament. The fact that at 33 years he has been elected to BJP’s core committee and made general secretary at such a young age is another standout achievement. It’s safe to assume that Varun Gandhi will be used by the party to appeal to young voters. • 2009 victory: Varun Gandhi won his seat from Pilibhit on a strong note. The young BJP leader defeated his rival by a marg…

Modi, Varun, Uma Bharti: BJP now has a poll strategy

NARENDRA MODI importance to the BJP has finally got an official stamp. He has made a comeback in the party’s highest decision making body, Parliamentary Board and another important body in an election year, Central Election Committee. His close confidante Amit Shah has been made general Secretary and is expected to be given important trouble shooting assignments to signify that he could be a key back room strategist for the party in preparing for the 2014 Parliamentary elections. Though Modi had earlier been part of these two bodies, inducted by LK Advani in 2004 and continued there when Rajnath Singh became party president last time in 2006. He was however, subsequently dropped using the excuse that since Parliamentary Board decided on chief ministers and no other chief minister was a Member in 12-member body, there was no pressing reason for Modi to be there. Then, it was also said that as member of these bodies he hardly had been absent from the meetings of the two committees. Guj…

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To write on general topics and specially on films;THE BLOGS ARE DEDICATED TO MY PARENTS:SHRI M.B.L.NIGAM(January 7,1917-March 17,2005) and SMT.SHANNO DEVI NIGAM(November 23,1922-January24,1983)