Sunday, March 20, 2011

Free mixer-grinder, laptops, bus passes in DMK manifesto .......

The ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu on Saturday said it would distribute free mixies or grinders to women, free laptops to SC/ST students and free rice of 35 kg to BPL families if voted back to power.

In the election manifesto released by DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, the party also promised free bus travel to senior citizens besides free laptops to SC, ST and backward class students of government and government-aided colleges.

The manifesto also promised continuation of all welfare schemes implemented by the DMK government including free distribution of colour TVs and Re 1 per kg of rice.

In the 2006 assembly polls, DMK’s manifesto promising free colour TV, waiver of cooperative farm loans and one rupee rice scheme was instrumental in the party’s victory.

Union Home Minister P.Chidambaram had then described it as ‘hero’ of the polls.

In a bid to reach out to the fisherfolk, DMK promised to implement an insurance scheme in the event of their vocation being affected due to natural calamities.

This is in line with a similar existing crop insurance scheme.

The party further promised to increase to 2000 litres and 500 litres respectively the subsidised diesel and kerosene per month for mechanised and non-mechanised trawlers.

Efforts will be taken to promote sea farming, the manifesto said.

The party will also take up efforts to retrieve the contentious Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India by way of an accord in 1974.

On the Health and Family Welfare front, the party promised to implement a scheme wherein doctors would visit homes of senior citizens confined indoors and treat them.

Holding that nationalisation of rivers alone would end inter-state water disputes, the party will strive for this, Mr. Karunanidhi said adding DMK will stress on inter-linking of southern rivers as a first step.

While the party promised to strive for more foreign direct investments towards developing the less-industrialised southern districts, it however opposed FDI in retail business, saying it would affect “crores of small traders.” “We will press the Centre to ban future trading as it is responsible for food inflation and shortage,” thse manifesto said.


West pounds Libya with air strikes

TRIPOLI: French air raids and US Tomahawk missiles pounded targets in Libya on Saturday, in an international campaign to prevent Muammar Qadhafi from crushing a 
month-old uprising against his rule.

US warships fired 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Libya, targeting Qadhafi`s air defence sites, a senior US military official said.
Two days after a UN Security Council resolution authorised military action, French planes carried out an initial attack, destroying several armoured vehicles of Qadhafi`s forces, the French military said.

Libyan media said Western warplanes bombed civilian targets in Tripoli, causing casualties, shortly after France`s launch of the multinational air campaign against Qadhafi.
State television said hundreds of people had gathered at Bab al-Aziziyah, Qadhafi`s Tripoli headquarters, and at the capital`s international airport, ahead of the widely anticipated 
air strikes
“Crowds are forming around the targets identified by France,” the television reported, showing pictures of flag-waving people gathering to serve as human shields.
Britain also said its forces were in action on Saturday, as Russia`s foreign ministry expressed regret over the armed intervention under UN Resolution 1973 “which was adopted in haste”
According to France`s army chief, a first French air strike took place around 1645 GMT against “a Libyan vehicle clearly identified as belonging to pro-Qadhafi forces”.
Within the next hour, French Rafale and Mirage 2000 fighter jets conducted three other strikes, destroying armoured vehicles of the Libyan forces in the eastern region of Benghazi, the rebels` stronghold, the military said.

The operations are to continue through the night, the military said
In the rebel camp, celebratory gunfire and honking of car horns broke out in Al-Marj, 100km from Benghazi, to welcome the start of military operations against Qadhafi, correspondents said.As thousands fled Benghazi amid an assault by Qadhafi loyalists earlier on Saturday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy told a summit of world leaders in Paris that his country`s fighters were poised to attack. But Sarkozy said Qadhafi could still avoid the worst if he complied with the Security Council resolution by implementing a 
ceasefire to allow the diplomatic door to reopen

U.S. warships launch airstrikes at Libyan defense systems

Los Angeles Times | March 19, 2011 | 1:40 p.m.

U.S. and U.K. warships launched airstrikes at targets along Libya's coast on Saturday in an opening attack to degrade Moammar Kadafi's air defense systems and allow international allies to establish a no-fly zone aimed at protecting civilians.

More than 110 Tomahawk missiles were launched at more than 20 targets, targeting specifically surface-to-air missile sites and radar detectors that are part of the Libyan military's air defense infrastructure, said Vice Admiral William E. Gortney, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.

AIADMK, CPI-M sign seat sharing pact

Saturday,March 19, 2011 (19:22:32) IANS

Chennai, March 19: After discussions that lasted past on Friday midnight, the AIADMK agreed to let the Communist Party of India (CPI-M) contest from the 12 Tamil Nadu assembly seats the Marxists wanted."The talks went off well and we have got the 12 constituencies we wanted. Now our one-point agenda is to defeat the DMK in the (April 13) polls," CPI-M leader T.K. Rangarajan told the media.The AIADMK, which has said that it had mistakenly released earlier the list of 160 constituencies it wanted to contest, is now holding talks with its biggest ally, the DMDK led by actor-politician Vijaykant.

The DMDK reportedly wants to field candidates in 41 of the 234 Tamil Nadu constituencies.

And contrary to earlier reports, it is learnt that the AIADMK is also talking to its oldest ally, the MDMK of Vaiko. It was earlier thought that the AIADMK had dumped Vaiko.

Trouble arose for AIADMK after it on Wednesday unilaterally released the list of constituencies it desired to contest even while discussions were on with allies on seat sharing.

Most parties in the AIADMK front were furious on seeing the list. The list included seats won by the Left in 2006 and those sought by Vijaykant.
Faced with the threat of its disgrunted allies forming a third front and eating into its vote share, the AIADMK on Friday held further discussions with its electoral partners.

"The AIADMK says the earlier list was issued due to a mix-up," a CPI leader told the media.

On Friday evening, AIADMK leader and former chief minister J. Jayalalitha met leaders of the CPI, CPI-M, DMDK and other allies.

First to emerge from the meeting was the CPI team after securing its 10 constituencies.

The AIADMK has sewed up alliances for 74 of the 234 seats with 10 allies: DMDK (41), CPI-M (12), CPI (10), MNMK (3), PT (2), SMK (2), RPI (1), FB (1), KYF (1) and AIMMK (1). The MDMK could become its 11th ally.
The AIADMK will release a revised list of its candidates. (IANS)

Terror outfits may target WC final

UPDATED  19/3/2011 3:58:54 PM

Amit Kumar
New Delhi: As the pulsating final match of the current World Cup is to take place on April 2 at the gigantic Wankhede stadium, the security forces would be fully alert to repulse any attack from terror outfit.

With intelligence inputs suggesting terror attacks at cricket World Cup venues, the government has asked all states hosting these matches to fortify security at the stadiums including Mumbai`s Wankhede stadium. Pakistan has also caution India that some terror outfits can attack Wankhede stadium on April 2, the day Mumbai stadium host the World Cup final match.

The Centre has asked the police and security forces to establish multi-layered security ring like the one that was demonstrated during the Commonwealth Games here last year.

Inputs have suggested that terror groups like Al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba are looking for opportunities totarget the ongoing World Cup matches in the country. A foreign intelligence agency has recently conveyed to India that some members of an operational cell of the terrorists could already be in the country, possibly enteredthrough Nepal, and some more may add to their strength.

A handful of league matches will soon be followed by the quarterfinals and semi-finals in cities like Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Mohali and Mumbai in the forthcoming days. The final of the tournament will be played on April 2 at Mumbai`s Wankhede stadium.

The Centre has asked the states to beef up security along the coastline, oil installations and other places in cities where these matches are scheduled to take place. The security forces have also been asked to strictly follow and adhere to access control measures at the stadiums.

The Indian NavyCoast Guard, coastal police of the states and coastal villages have also been alerted. (With inputs from 

6 Things Not to Say During a Job Interview

When interviewing for a job, we all want to put our best foot forward, but sometimes we end up putting it in our mouths instead.

Even though you may feel comfortable chatting and making small talk with your interviewer, it’s best to leave some things unsaid.

We checked in with experts to find seven things you should never say during an interview.

1.) Don't Compliment the Interviewer's Appearance in Any Way
Don’t say: “I love your skirt!”

“Compliments on appearance are just too familiar,” explains Patricia Lenkov, an executive recruiter at New York City-based Agility Executive Search. “You are there for a purpose, and most interviewers want to keep that boundary. If you don’t maintain a little distance, they might take it the wrong way.”

If you are a man complimenting a woman, Lenkov added, it might be seen as sexist or derogatory, even if your intentions are pure. Compliments in same-sex interviews can also come across as insincere because the interviewer might think you’re just sucking up or trying to get on his good side.

“You’re really taking a risk by saying something even as innocuous as, ‘I like your boots,’” says Lenkov. “What if the person hates those boots and only wore them because they broke a heel on their other shoes? It could really work against you.”

If you’re the kind of person who enjoys giving compliments, Lenkov suggests researching your interviewer’s professional achievements before the interview and bring them up during the interview.

What to say instead: “I enjoyed reading about your corporate achievements in the paper last month.”

2.) Don’t Cry

Don’t say: “It was the hardest thing I ever went through, and I still break down just thinking about it.”

Crying the first time you meet might lead the interviewer to think you’re unstable, Lenkov says. Employers look for people who can handle high-pressure situations, and crying is a sign that you can’t handle the stress of being put on the spot in front of another person.

Showing a prospective employer you can manage your emotions is almost as important as showing you canmanage people, adds Lenkov.

“I understand that we all cry, we are all human, but in an interview setting you have to keep composure. In most jobs, you will be asked to appear in front of executives or clients at certain times, and the interviewer needs to see how you handle yourself on the other side of the table,” says Lenkov.
If possible, avoid telling emotional stories in interviews, Lenkov suggests. If a moving story is relevant to the interview process, practice telling it as often as possible to avoid getting choked up.
“If you tell at story 50 times and break down every time, that 51st time, you may not cry,” says Lenkov. 
“Practice until it becomes neutral, even if it makes you sad or angry.”
What to say instead: “It was difficult, but we pulled through.”

3.)  Don't Talk About Illnesses Unless They’re Relevant
Don’t say: “My back is killing me, and this time of year is rough on my asthma.”

“If there is a gap in your resume, it may be because you were in the hospital or had a serious illness, and then it’s relevant to the job,” says Lenkov. “But if you’re just talking about how sick you are, then it’s not relevant.”

Of course some medical topics can’t be avoided, Lenkov says. If you walk in on crutches, offer an explanation, but keep it light.

“Don’t say, ‘Oh my god, I had gangrene and they almost had to amputate my leg. Keep it simple and be jovial when you can.”

Steer clear of anything that invites an interviewer to give you sympathy, says Lenkov. If you detail the bad flu you just got over, the interviewer will feel obliged to offer commiseration or consolation of some sort, which weakens the professional boundaries.

What to say instead: “During the gap in my resume, I was recuperating from surgery, and it hasn’t been a problem since.”

4.) Don’t Talk about Problems at a Previous Company Unless it’s to Show How You Persevered
Don’t say: “I had so many problems with my former boss; he was a constant headache.”

“If you don’t specify that you found a solution to your problems, then any prospective employer will think that all you did was have problems at your last job,” says David Adams, vice president of learning and development at staffing firm Adecco.

If an interviewer asks about a problem you faced at your previous employer, she is more interested in your ability to solve the problem than the actual problem, Adams says.

“A lot of times people just use the ‘challenges faced question’ to criticize their former boss or the team they used to work with. Even if they were horrible, you have to include that key word ‘BUT,’ and then move on from there about what you did to succeed in that environment.”

Make sure your answer highlights how you overcame diversity and cooperated with co-workers.

“People who have those people skills go much further in their career and are hired much quicker when they can showcase that in an interview,” says Adams. “They see you as someone who can bring that same mindset to the new job.”

What to say instead: “I dealt with several problems, but worked through them all successfully.”

5.) Don’t Force Rapport

Don’t say: “I see you have kids. I love kids!”
Don’t try and force commonalities with your interviewer, advises Adams. Items in the interviewer’s office might reflect his or her hobbies and interests, but it doesn’t mean you have to like the same things.

“If someone has pictures up of their kids, and you comment on them but you don’t have kids of your own, it feels completely fake,” says Adams. “Or if someone has a tennis trophy up and you comment on it, then be prepared to answer the question, ‘Do you play tennis?’ If you have to say ‘no,’ then it’s like, ‘why did you ask in the first place?’”

Rapport cannot be forced. If you don’t see anything you have in common with the interviewer, that’s fine; stick to small talk about the weather or ask questions about the company.

And don’t be scared of a pause in the conversation; it gives the interviewer time to take notes or form the next question.

One of the most important things to remember during any interview is not to lie, advises Adams. You should never put yourself in a position where you have to answer a question that you’re not prepared to answer.
What to say instead: “Your offices are great. How long has your company been at this location?

6.)  Have No Questions

Don’t say: “Nope. I think you went over everything. See you later!”
Not having questions is the kiss of death, says Michael Neece, co-founder of career building site

Not having questions communicates you don’t have any interest in the company and are just looking for a paycheck, says Neece. If nothing else, candidates should ask something like, “What would be the three major things you need me to accomplish,” or “What are the qualities of people who are very successful at your company?” suggests Neece.
Candidates who don’t ask questions also come across as unprepared and unengaged.

“Interviewers are more impressed with questions you ask than with the answers you give,” says Neece.

“They learn something about how you think by the questions you ask, and it lets them know what kinds of things you pay attention to. If you’re asking a question about trends or challenges in their industry, you’re really communicating, ‘Hey, I’m interested in doing this job.’”

What to say instead: “I noticed that your company has won several awards. What do you think gives you that competitive edge?”

7.) Don’t Say You Were Fired

Don’t say: “At my last job, I got canned.”
“Even if you were fired you just don’t want to use that word,” says Neece. “It’s a really loaded word.”

Saying you were fired could shift the tone of the interview, and a prospective employer might start focusing on your bad attributes and wondering why you were dismissed instead of looking at your positives and focusing on your qualifications.

“The truth is, you may be highly qualified and extremely good at your job, but it wasn’t a good fit at the company,” says Neece. “But if you use the word ‘fired,’ immediately, the interviewer may not be able to see past that.”
But don’t lie; your prospective employer may contact your former employer for more information. Find a way to explain the situation without using the word “fired.”

“You can say it was not a good fit and you and your employer went your separate ways,” says Neece. “Then describe what you learned from the experience and what you’re focused on now.”

What to say instead: “It wasn’t a good fit at my last job, but I learned a lot about my skills and abilities and what I want to bring to my next position.”

 UPDATED  19/3/2011 3:23:12 PM


Serial write up


Globalization has presented new challenges for the realization of the goal of women’s equality, the gender impact of which has not been systematically evaluated fully. However, from the micro-level studies that were commissioned by the Department of Women & Child Development, it is evident that there is a need for re-framing policies for access to employment and quality of employment.

 Benefits of the growing global economy have been unevenly distributed leading to wider economic disparities, the feminization of poverty, increased gender inequality through often deteriorating working conditions and unsafe working environment especially in the informal economy and rural areas. Strategies will be designed to enhance the capacity of women and empower them to meet the negative social and economic impacts, which may flow from the globalization process.

Women and Agriculture

5.5 In view of the critical role of women in the agriculture and allied sectors, as producers, concentrated efforts will be made to ensure that benefits of training, extension and various programmes will reach them in proportion to their numbers. The programmes for training women in soil conservation, social forestry, dairy development and other occupations allied to agriculture like horticulture, livestock including small animal husbandry, poultry, fisheries etc. will be expanded to benefit women workers in the agriculture sector.

Women and Industry

5.6 The important role played by women in electronics, information technology and food processing and agro industry and textiles has been crucial to the development of these sectors. They would be given comprehensive support in terms of labour legislation, social security and other support services to participate in various industrial sectors.
5.7 Women at present cannot work in night shift in factories even if they wish to. Suitable measures will be taken to enable women to work on the night shift in factories. This will be accompanied with support services for security, transportation etc.

Support Services

5.8 The provision of support services for women, like child care facilities, including crèches at work places and educational institutions, homes for the aged and the disabled will be expanded and improved to create an enabling environment and to ensure their full cooperation in social, political and economic life. Women-friendly personnel policies will also be drawn up to encourage women to participate effectively in the developmental process.
Social Empowerment of Women


6.1 Equal access to education for women and girls will be ensured. Special measures will be taken to eliminate discrimination, universalize education, eradicate illiteracy, create a gender-sensitive educational system, increase enrolment and retention rates of girls and improve the quality of education to facilitate life-long learning as well as development of occupation/vocation/technical skills by women. Reducing the gender gap in secondary and higher education would be a focus area. Sectoral time targets in existing policies will be achieved, with a special focus on girls and women, particularly those belonging to weaker sections including the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes/Minorities. Gender sensitive curricula would be developed at all levels of educational system in order to address sex stereotyping as one of the causes of gender discrimination.


6.2 A holistic approach to women’s health which includes both nutrition and health services will be adopted and special attention will be given to the needs of women and the girl at all stages of the life cycle. The reduction of infant mortality and maternal mortality, which are sensitive indicators of human development, is a priority concern. This policy reiterates the national demographic goals for Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) set out in the National Population Policy 2000. 

Women should have access to comprehensive,affordable and quality health care. Measures will be adopted that take into account the reproductive rights of women to enable them to exercise informed choices, their vulnerability to sexual and health problems together with endemic, infectious and communicable diseases such as malaria, TB, and water borne diseases as well as hypertension and cardio-pulmonary diseases. The social, developmental and health consequences of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases will be tackled from a gender perspective.

6.3 To effectively meet problems of infant and maternal mortality, and early marriage the availability of good and accurate data at micro level on deaths, birth and marriages is required. Strict implementation of registration of births and deaths would be ensured and registration of marriages would be made compulsory.

6.4 In accordance with the commitment of the National Population Policy (2000) to population stabilization, this Policy recognizes the critical need of men and women to have access to safe, effective and affordable methods of family planning of their choice and the need to suitably address the issues of early marriages and spacing of children. Interventions such as spread of education, compulsory registration of marriage and special programmes like BSY should impact on delaying the age of marriage so that by 2010 child marriages are eliminated.

6.5 Women’s traditional knowledge about health care and nutrition will be recognized through proper documentation and its use will be encouraged. The use of Indian and alternative systems of medicine will be enhanced within the framework of overall health infrastructure available for women.


6.6 In view of the high risk of malnutrition and disease that women face at all the three critical stages viz., infancy and childhood, adolescent and reproductive phase, focussed attention would be paid to meeting the nutritional needs of women at all stages of the life cycle. This is also important in view of the critical link between the health of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women with the health of infant and young children. Special efforts will be made to tackle the problem of macro and micro nutrient deficiencies especially amongst pregnant and lactating women as it leads to various diseases and disabilities.

6.7 Intra-household discrimination in nutritional matters vis-à-vis girls and women will be sought to be ended through appropriate strategies. Widespread use of nutrition education would be made to address the issues of intra-household imbalances in nutrition and the special needs of pregnant and lactating women. Women’s participation will also be ensured in the planning, superintendence and delivery of the system.

Drinking Water and Sanitation

6.8 Special attention will be given to the needs of women in the provision of safe drinking water, sewage disposal, toilet facilities and sanitation within accessible reach of households, especially in rural areas and urban slums. Women’s participation will be ensured in the planning, delivery and maintenance of such services.

Housing and Shelter

6.9 Women’s perspectives will be included in housing policies, planning of housing colonies and provision of shelter both in rural and urban areas. Special attention will be given for providing adequate and safe housing and accommodation for women including single women, heads of households, working women, students, apprentices and trainees.

Photos:Courtesy :BBC News and UNICEF
To be continued...........

How to Get to Sleep and Feel Refreshed in the Morning

When you come home from a long day at work you may find yourself exhausted and pining for your bed. However, chances are, one you get there you won't be able to sleep, be it due to a racing mind or physical discomfort. Even if you get plenty of sleep, you may find yourself groggy in the morning.


1.                             1
Leave your worries behind you. A racing mind can make it hard to get to sleep. Before you head to bed, take care of all the things that you are able to that would otherwise weigh on your mind. It may even help if you make a list of things you need to do for the next day. This, hopefully, will eliminate all of the "Oh! I can't forget to get my oil changed!" thoughts that can bombard you when you're looking forward to a good nights sleep. Make this part of your bedtime routine so that you can sleep easy!
2.                             2
Help your body unwind. One great way to relax before heading to bed it take a warm bath or shower. There are many soaps and body washes that are specifically formulated to help you relax. Some of these will be obvious by their names- often containing words like tranquility, soothing and calming. Aptly named or not, your best picks for soothing scents are lavender, vanilla, ginger, bergamot, sandalwood, chamomile and jasmine.
3.                             3
Have a drink. Before bed you should also have something warm to drink all of this preparation is meant for you to relax so that it is easier for you to fall asleep. The drink you have should not be something you think everyone is having it could be some warm tea with milk (the reason it is not hot tea is because you don't want to start sweating before you sleep because these extra heat can make it hard to stay asleep, and also you don’t want to spill it on yourself and burn!) or just some warm milk or hot chocolate.
4.                             4
Empty your bladder. After your drink you might want to go to the toilet because you don't want to ruin your sleep by having to get up during the night, so don't forget to empty your bladder before you go to bed!
5.                             5
Make yourself comfortable. When you have successfully done everything the key is to make sure that you have on something you find comfortable, not something you think is a bed time outfit. Being comfortable in your nightgown or pj's is essential; don't wear something that will have you tossing and turning all night.
6.                             6
Refresh yourself. If you feel you had a good night sleep, just wake up and relax yourself.
o       When you get up in the morning the best thing to do is to just get straight up and have a hot steamy shower, this really wakes you up seeing as you will still be in your sleepy stages. When you're done go and brush your teeth. You will now be feeling fully clean and ready for the day ahead.

o                                                        Having a hot drink after this should make you even more lively, but don't forget breakfast: the most important meal of the day. If you don't have it, you'll find that you'll be snacking by 11:00.

o       Having music on in the background is always a good idea because music just tends to make people feel good so having it playing in the morning while you're getting dressed should leave you in a good mood

o        Do Yoga or Meditate - This is useful before you go to bed, and after you wake up. Try doing it after a bath before you go to bed, or before the shower you'll take to feel refreshed in the morning.

o        Stretch!- Stretching in the morning or before you go to bed helps you to loosen up tightened muscles and feel more comfortable throughout the day. Don't exercise before bed though. This could cause you to stay up longer due to increased blood flow and a rise in heart beat.