Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Merit cum Means Based Scholarship for Students Belonging to the Minority Communities

Merit cum Means based scholarships will be awarded to the students pursuing technical or professional courses at Under Graduate/Post graduate level in an Institution recognized by an appropriate authority.

1. The annual Income of Parents/Guardian of the students from all sources does not exceed Rs.2.50 lakh.
2. Students who got admission in to a college in Technical/Professional courses on the basis of competitive examination.
3. Students who got admission without facing any competitive examination but should have got not less than 50% marks at Higher secondary (Inter)/Graduation level.
4. 30% of Scholarships will be earmarked for Girl students. In case sufficient numbers of eligible girl students are not available, then the balance scholarships may be awarded to eligible boy students.
5. The Students who are permanent residents of Andhra Pradesh, but studying other States are also eligible.
6. Students who are studying in Top listed Institutions of Govt. Of India are eligible for full courses fee and also given First priority in Selection.
7. Students who are studying in Institutions other than Top listed Institutions are eligible for course fee of Rs.20, 000/- per annum or actual fees whichever is less.
8. The Scholarship holder under this scheme will not avail any other Govt. Scholarship or stipend.
9. Students who got Admission in other then Category `A Convener Quota can also apply.
Note:- Those who got  the GOI Scholarship for 2008-09 shall have to apply for Renewal of Scholarship for 2009-10.
  1. Distribution of Scholarships will be on the basis targets communicated by the Govt. of India among notified minorities (Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis).
  2. On the basis of marks obtained in class XII (Intermediate) for under-graduate courses and in the case of post-graduate courses, marks obtained in the under-graduate courses.
Type of Financial AssistanceRate for hostlerRate for Day Scholor
1.Maintenance Allowance (for 10 months)Rs.10,000/-per annum (Rs.1000/- p.m)Rs.5,000/- per annum (Rs.500/- p.m)
2.Course FeeRs. 20,000/ per annum or Actual whichever is lessRs.20,000/-per annum or  Actual whichever is less
Rate of Scholarship:
1. The students must submit their application through online in out website
2. The hard copy (printout) of the application form along with required documents shall be submitted to the District Minorities Welfare Officer / Executive Directors  Office of the concerned Districts through the institution and forwarded by the Principal of the concerned institution.
Note: The students persuing Post matric Scholarship courses Out side the Stateshould  submit Application through their Colleges directly to the Dedicated Cell .
  1. Income Certificate issued by Tahsildar/Salary Certificate from Employer/Affidavit on Non Judicial Stamp paper.
  2. Photo Copy of S.S.C or equivalent course Marks Memorandum Attested by the Principal.
  3. Photo Copy of Previous Course (Class) Marks list, Attested by the Principal.
  4. Bonafide Certificate issued by the Institution.
  5. Proof Permanent Residence (photocopy of Ration Card/Voter Id/ Electricity Bill / Gas Bill  or any other document of Father/Guardian).
  6. Photo copy of Bank A/c Pass Book of the Student.
  7. Photograph attested by Principal.
  8. Minority Community Declaration- Affidavit on Non Judicial Stamp Paper
  9. Details of Fee particulars and photocopies of fee receipts
The list of  the Technical & Professional  UG and PG Courses courses for which   scholarships could be sanctioned under this scheme are as follows:-
Engineering & Technology Courses (B.Tech/B.E./M.Tech.) 
(1) Aeronautical Engineering (AE)
(2) Agricultural Engineering (AG),
(3) Automobile Engineering (AUE),
(4) Applied Electronics & Instrumentation (AEI),
(5) Automation and Robotics (ARE),
(6) Bio-Medical Engineering (BME),
(7) Bio-Technology (BT),
(8) Ceramic Engineering/Technology (CT),
(9) Chemical Engineering (CH),
(10) Civil Engineering (CE),
(11) Computer Science and Engineering (CS),
(12) Electrical Engineering or Electrical & Electronics Engineering (EEE),
(13) Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE),
(14) Environmental Engineering (ENE),
(15) Food Technology (FT),
(16) Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM),
(17) Information Technology (IT),
(18) Instrumentation and Control Engineering (ICE),
(19) Leather Technology (LT),
(20) Marine Engineering (MRE),
(21) Materials Science & Technology (MST),
(22) Metallurgical Engineering (MT),
(23) Mechanical Engineering (ME),
(24) Mining Engineering (MN),
(25) Oil & Paint Technology (OPT),
(26) Polymer Science and Rubber Technology (PSR),
(27) Printing Technology (PT),
(28) Production Engineering (PE),
(29) Pulp & Paper Technology (PPT),
(30) Sugar Technology (ST),
(31) Textile Engineering/Technology (TXT),
(32) Transportation Engineering (TE).
Cement Technology 
(1) Post graduate diploma in cement technology
Fashion Technology (Degree from National Institute of Fashion Technology) 
1. B.FTech (Design): Fashion Design, Leather Dsign, Accessory Design, Textile Design, Knitwear Design, Fashion Communication.
2. B.FTech (Apparel Production).
3. Me.FTech: Management, Apparel Production, Design Space.
(1) Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM),
(2) Post Graduate Certificate in Management (PGCM),
(3) Executive Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Exec-PGDM),
(4) Master in Business Administration (MBA).
(1) B.Pharma
(2) M.Pharma.
Architecture & Town Planning (Under Graduate and Post Graduate level courses only) 
(1) Architecture (AR),
(2) Interior Design (ID),
(3) Building Construction Technology (BCT),
(4) Planning (PL).
Hotel Management & Catering Technology (Under Graduate and Post Graduate level courses only) 
(1)  Hotel Management & Catering Technology (HMCT)
Applied Arts & Crafts (Under Graduate and Post Graduate level courses only) 
(1) Applied Arts & Product Design (APD),
(2) Fine Arts/Applied Arts/Fine & Applied Arts (FA/AA/FAA),
(3) Fashion & Apparel Design (FAD).
(1) Master in Computer Application (MCA)
Design (Degree from National Institute of Design, Ahamdabad) 
(1) Graduate diploma in design
(2) Post graduate diploma programme in design
Medical & Para Medical courses 
(1) MBBS
(2) Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery (BAMS)
(3) Bachelor of Unani Medicine & Surgery (BUMS)
(4) Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine & Surgery)
(5) Post Graduate courses
(6) Bachelor of Physical Therapy (BPT)
(7) Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)
(8) Bachelor of occupational Therapy (BOT)
(9) Master of occupational Therapy (MOT)
(10) B.Sc. Nursing
(11) M.Sc. Nursing
(12) B.D.S.
(13) M.D.S.
Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry 
(1) B.VSc. & A.H. (Bachelor of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry)
(2) PG courses
Chartered Accountancy/Institute of Cost and Work Accountancy/Company Secretary 
(1) CA (Chartered Accountancy)
(2) ICWA (Institute of Cost and Work Accountancy)
(3) CS (Company Secretary).
(1) L.L.B.
(2) L.L.M.
Students studying in institutes listed in the scheme (70 institutes) will be entitled to reimbursement of full course fee. Students studying in other recognized institutes will be entitled for reimbursement of a maximum course fee of Rs.20,000/- per annum.
List of institutions eligible for reimbursement of full course fee under merit cum means based scholarship scheme for the students belonging to minority communities
(1)    Indian Institute of Technology,(IIT), Hauz Khas, New Delhi – 110016..
(2)    Indian Institute of Technology,(IIT), P.O. IIT, Kanpur – 208076
(3)    Indian Institute of Technology,(IIT), Powai, Mumbai – 400076.
(4)    Indian Institute of Technology,(IIT), P.O. Kharagpur, – 721302.
(5)    Indian Institute of Technology,(IIT), P.O. IIT, Chennai – 600036.
(6)    Indian Institute of Technology,(IIT), North Guwahati, Guwahati – 781039.
(7)    Indian Institute of Technology,(IIT), Roorkee – 247667.
(8)    Indian Institute of Management, Vastapur, Ahmedabad-380015.
(9)    Indian Institute of Management, Bannerghat Road, Bangalore-560076.
(10)  Indian Institute of Management, Joka, Diamond Harbour Road, Kolkata-700104.
(11)   Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, Kunnamangalam, P.O., Kozhikode -673571, Kerala.
(12)   Indian Institute of Management, Indor, Pigdamber, Rau, Madhya Pradesh-453331.
(13)   Indian Institute ofManagement, Prabandh Nagar, Off. Sitapur Road, Lucknow-226013.
(14)   National Institute of Technology, Calicut-673601.
(15)   S.V. National Institute of Technology, Surat – 395607 (Gujarat).
(16)   National Institute of Technology, Hazaratbal Srinagar – 190006. J&K.
(17)   Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad – 211004. (UP)
(18)   National Institute of Technology, Durgapur-713209.(West Bengal).
(19)   National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur – 831014, (Jharkhand).
(20)   Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur – 440001.
(21)   National Institute of Technology, Srinivasanagar, Surthakal – 574157.
(22)   National Institute of Technology, Warangal – 506004.(AP).
(23)   Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur – 302017. (Rajasthan)
(24)   National Institute of Technology, Rourkela – 769008, (Orissa).
(25)   Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal-462007
(26)   National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirapalli-620015
(27)   National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra – 132119. (Haryana)
(28)   National Institute of Technology , Silchar – 788010. (Assam)
(29)   National Institute of Technology, Hamirpur – 177001. (Himachal Pradesh)
(30)   National Institute of Technology, Patna, Bihar
(31)   Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, G.T. Road, Bye Pass, Jallandhar- 144004. Punjab.
(32)   National Institute of Technology, Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
(33)   National Institute of Technology, Agartalla, Tripura
(34)   ABV- Indian Institute of Information Technology and Managaement, (ABV-IIITM), MITS Campus, Gwalior – 474075.
(35)   Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Nehru Science Centre. Kamla Nehru Road, Allahabad – 211002.
(36)   Pandit Dwarka Prasad Mishra Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design & Manufacturing (IIITDM), IT Bhavan, Jabalpur Engg. Campus, Ranjhi, Jabalpur – 482011. Madhya Pradesh.
(37)   Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design & Manufacturing (IIITDM), Kancheepuram, Tamilnadu.
(38)    Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012.
(39)    Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad – 826004, Jharkhand.
(40)    National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology (NIFFT), P.O. Hatia, Ranchi – 834003, Jharkhand
(41)    National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Vihar Lake, P.O.-NITIE, Mumbai-400087.
(42)    School of Planning & Architecture, I.P. Estate, New Delhi – 110002
(43)    North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), Nirjuli-79110 (Itanagar), Arunachal Pradesh.
(44)    Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), Village-Longowal, Distt.- Sangrur, Punjab-148106.
(45)    All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
(46)    Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh.
(47)    National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences, Bangalore.
(48)    Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education & Research, Puducherry.
(49)    Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi.
(50)    Vardhman Mahavir Medical College & Safdarjung Hospital New Delhi.
(51)    Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi
(52)    National Institute of Design, Ahemdabad
(53)    National Council for Cement and Building Material, Ballabhgarh, Haryana
(54)    Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi
(55)    Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Kolkata
(56)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi,
(57)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore,
(58)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, Chennai,
(59)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar,
(60)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, Hyderabad,
(61)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kolkata,
(62)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, Mumbai
(63)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, Raibareli
(64)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kannur (Kerala)
(65)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bhopal
(66)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, Shillong
(67)    National Institute of Fashion Technology, Patna
(68)    Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management, Gwalior
(69)    Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management, Bhubaneshwar
(70)    Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management, Goa

Sri Lanka Tamil party says Muslim Congress could discuss with them on ethnic issue

Tuesday, 31 May 2011 - 10:22 AM SL Time

Sri Lanka`s major Tamil party, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has said the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) could hold discussions with the TNA leadership instead of participating in the talks between the government and the alliance. 

TNA parliamentarian Suresh Premachandran has told the media that the TNA had a good relationship with the SLMC and kept the major Muslim party informed of the developments in the talks between the government and the TNA. 

Premachandran made this comment in the backdrop of the SLMC insisting that the party be given an opportunity to represent the Muslim community at the talks between the Government and the TNA on finding a political solution to the ethnic issue. 

Parliamentarian H. M. M. Harees has said that all efforts made to solve the ethnic issue so far have failed due to the non-inclusion of the Muslim community

Silencing Bahrain's journalists

Lamees Dhaif tells Al Jazeera: "They can stop us from telling stories now, but they can't stop us forever."
 Last Modified: 31 May 2011 14:23

Women and local journalists have long been at the forefront of the movement for change in the Arab world. Bahrain's Lamees Dhaif is both, and for nearly a decade she has been an outspoken proponent of social justice in the small island nation.

Thirty-four-year-old Dhaif spoke to Al Jazeera in Doha this past weekend about her career as a journalist and the recent government crackdown that has silenced her and many others in the Gulf kingdom.

Dhaif described herself as a "golden child" when she entered journalism in 2002, saying she had "everything it takes" to be a great journalist. Since then, Dhaif has become one of the most recognised and controversial personalities in Bahrain's media.

"I came with an aggressive approach to journalism," she said. "In Bahrain, they try to avoid conflict in journalism; they don't want to upset anyone. It's a small society, so if you write about someone you're going to upset his relatives."

Dhaif, a Shia Muslim who comes from a "conservative" background, said: "I criticised the [Shia religious establishment] and I've been the target of my own people."

"And then I started to target the powerful and the elite, someone had to say something."
"For example, we have 21 sports unions in Bahrain, and the heads of 17 of them are members of the royal family," Dhaif explained. "I asked, 'why is the chairman of the swimming union so fat?' I asked the same for the minister of health, 'shouldn't he be a doctor?'"

"In the beginning I was smart, a little bit spoiled. I wanted to prove myself. When I put my hand deeper in my work and went for the first time to the villages and saw poverty and injustice, I started to despise myself for thinking that working in the media was something that could make me a star."
"I started addressing issues that made the powerful want to destroy me, I made many enemies," Dhaif said.

Dhaif described the government's campaign to ruin her reputation. Statements were made about her physical appearance and behaviour, claims she dismisses as rumours and attempts to "shrink" her in the conservative Gulf society.
Dhaif said these attacks backfired and "only made me more determined, and spreading the rumours made me more known".

However, lately Dhaif has been silenced since the government imposed martial law to suppress a protest movement that began in February of this year.

Bahrain, a key ally of the US and home to its Navy's fifth fleet, is controlled by a Sunni monarchy. Shia, who make up more than two-thirds of the population, lack rights and are excluded from most high-level political positions and the security forces.

The protest movement resembled those in Tunisia and Egypt which came before and succeeded in ousting the respective heads of both states. In Bahrain, protesters demanding change started their own Tahrir Square-like sit-in at Manama's Pearl Roundabout, before they were forcibly removed. The government later destroyed the roundabout.

One month after protests began, the Bahrain monarchy imposed martial law and invited thousands of Saudi troops to help quell the uprising.


Since that time, more than 30 protesters have been killed and hundreds of protesters, human rights advocates, medical workers, journalists and others have been rounded up and imprisoned by the authorities. Rights groups have condemned the widespread detention and subsequent torture and abuse reportedly happening inside the prisons. At least four detainees have died in custody, and two have been sentenced to death. Amnesty International has condemned military trials in Bahrain as "politically motivated and unfair".

Dhaif described how her family had come under threat for her work, and, encouraged by her relatives, she took a break from writing since martial law began. "I stopped [practicing journalism] because I didn't want to be arrested. If I'm arrested now, how can I document the others in jail? Everyone is arrested."

Since the crackdown began, many activists, journalists and others have gone into hiding to avoid arrest by authorities - which posted pictures of the "wanted" on various media outlets, including Facebook.

"We reached a point where we're scared to even write on our laptops because it's the first thing they take when they invade our homes. So, I keep all the stories in my head," Dhaif said.

"They can stop us from telling stories now, but they can't do it forever. Even the dead will tell their stories."

The government and state media in Bahrain have portrayed the protest movement as sectarian and attempted to justify the crackdown by warning against Iranian influence in the country. In April, Bahrain's foreign minister said that foreign troops would stay in the country to remove any "external threat", that he associated with Iran.

According to Dhaif, in Bahrain, "there are some Shia who have a lot. And there are a lot of Sunnis suffering, but they're scared to [act] because the government makes them scared of Iran".
"The government says that the protesters want Iran [to control Bahrain] ... it's an old song that they've sung for decades. What the hell do we want with Iran?
 It is not a civilised government, it is a dictatorship. We wish a better life for the people in Iran."

Dhaif asked: "Do all Sunnis want a government like Saudi Arabia? So why do they accuse any Shia of wanting a religious government like in Iran?"

Unlike protests in other Arab nations, Dhaif contends that the majority of protesters in Bahrain do not want "isqat al-nitham" (to overthrow the regime), but rather reform and equal rights.

"Bahrainis are peaceful and intelligent people, and we deserve a modern country. We deserve to be treated as citizens and partners, not followers and slaves. We don't want to rule, we don't want their palaces, their thrones, their Rolls Royces and their jets, we just want to be treated with dignity."

"If the government said 'let us keep our thrones, and we'll offer you the dignity you deserve' the people would accept," Dhaif said.

"If the government gives them real rights there would be no need to protest. [The government] should stop being so stubborn - they can't change the people, but the people can change them."

Pakistan ISI leaders had no role in Mumbai plot: court

The Mumbai attacks also left more than 300 people wounded after coordinated strikes on high-profile targets by 10 heavily armed extremists. -AFP Photo

CHICAGO: The leadership of Pakistan’s ISI spy agency was not involved in planning the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks, self-confessed plotter David Coleman Headley testified Tuesday.

Headley, who has pleaded guilty to 12 terror charges arising out of the attacks on India’s financial capital, said during the Chicago trial of his childhood friend, Tahawwur Hussain Rana, that no more than a handful of ISI agents were involved in the plot.
“The colonel might have known and someone in the group might have known,” Headley testified.

But when asked by Rana’s defense attorney if he meant that neither the head of the ISI nor its senior leadership were involved Headley testified “Yes.”
The Mumbai attacks, in which 166 people were killed, stalled a fragile four-year peace process between India and Pakistan, two South Asian neighbors and nuclear-armed rivals, which was only resumed in February.
Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency has long been suspected of involvement and three ISI agents were named as co-conspirators by US prosecutors.
However, Headley’s testimony supports Pakistan’s assertion that the ISI’s involvement was limited to a handful of rogue agents.

Rana is accused of providing Headley with a cover and acting as a messenger, with prosecutors alleging he played a behind-the-scenes logistical role in both the Mumbai attacks and another abortive plan to strike Copenhagen.

Rana, a Canadian-Pakistani and Chicago businessman, has denied all charges, and his defense attorneys argue that he was duped by his friend, whom he had met in military school.

The Mumbai attacks also left more than 300 people wounded after coordinated strikes on high-profile targets by 10 heavily armed extremists.

PM urges Ramdev to give up fast plan

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday reached out to Baba Ramdev, promising to work for a practical and pragmatic solution to corruption and retrieval of black money and urged the yoga guru to shelve his plans to go on fast from June 4. 

With Ramdev opposing the Anna Hazare group's insistence on bringing the PM under the Lokpal's ambit, Singh accorded considerable importance to the yoga healer's views. "This is not a personal issue. We all agree with Ramdev that corruption is a big problem and we are committed to tackling it with all the resources at our disposal," Singh said. 

The PM's careful remarks came soon after his letter to Ramdev "welcoming his constructive suggestions to improve governance". He also said the government "is eager to work with you and members of civil society towards building a just and prosperous India". 

Keeping Ramdev in good humour is quite critical for the government in view of sharp differences with the Hazare group on Lokpal's powers to examine actions of MPs in Parliament, judiciary and the PM. 

The government strenuously denied the allegation that it was backing off from a Lokpal but did point out that a consensus will have to include opinion other than the Hazare group's views. An unqualified acceptance of the group's views was not acceptable, sources said informally. 

The government is in close touch with Ramdev, explaining its initiatives on black money and the guru in turn did the Centre a big favour by echoing his discomfort over the PM being subject to scrutiny by the anti-corruption ombudsman. The guru, who commands a vast following, also said he was satisfied with some of the government's responses. 

Official sources said it was not clear whether Ramdev would call off his fast as to do so would allow the Hazare group to snigger about the guru being influenced by the government. But it is hoped he will not adopt high pressure tactics and will be prepared to settle for measures or appeals the government considers. 

Singh wrote to Ramdev about finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and officials holding discussions with him and said, "I hope you will now reverse your decision to go on a hunger strike unto death." 

"We will work with Ramdev earnestly in finding a practical and pragmatic solution to the problem. The question is what is possible and what is feasible. There are laws," Singh told the media on Tuesday, hinting that the government depends on cooperation of foreign governments and their laws on evidence to extract black money. 

"We hope Ramdev will recognise we are sincere and serious about tackling corruption," the PM said, adding that corruption was not a divisive issue and hoped all concerned would cooperate in tackling it. 

In his letter, the PM said, "We are committed to deal with the problems of corruption, black money in our economy and illicit funds deposited in foreign banks. We welcome your constructive suggestions to improve governance."

After Raja, it's Maran in line of 2G spectrum fire

NEW DELHI: UPA government's DMK headache shows no sign of going away, with the BJP on Tuesday raising the issue of alleged misuse of office by yet another nominee of M Karunanidhi in the Union Cabinet, textiles minister Dayanidhi Maran. 

Reacting to reports that Maran as telecom minister in UPA-1 allegedly coerced the promoter of cellular service provider Aircel to sell out to Malaysian company Maxis, BJP said the minister as well as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh owed an explanation. BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad also underlined the allegation that a subsidiary of Maxis, Astro All Asia Network, invested Rs 830 crore in Sun Direct TV -- Maran's family concern -- soon after the Aircel-Maxis deal to demand an explanation from the textiles minister. 

With the principal Opposition raising the pitch on alleged corruption by DMK ministers and stressing that the PM kept defending A Raja, another DMK nominee to have handled the telecom ministry, even after CBI had launched investigations against him, Congress distanced itself from the controversy over Maran. "If a question has been asked of Dayanidhi Maran, he is the best person to answer it," the Congress spokesperson said. 

Maran has denied the charge and has slapped a legal suit against publications that levelled the charge. His legal counsel said that C Sivasankaran, promoter of Aircel, wanted to sell his company since 2004. He also said Maran had no share holding or interest in any form in Sun Direct TV and was in no way connected with any of its business transactions. 

BJP was undeterred by the legal notices sent by Maran. "He should clarify, is there a conflict of interest here or not." The party added that the PM clarify his position on the issue. "As you all know, the authority of determining pricing of spectrum was taken out of the purview of group of ministers at Maran's instance," Prasad said. He also emphasized that the PM kept defending Raja even after CBI had started probing the 2G scam. 

The allegation against Maran comes at a time when government and Congress are seeking to buffer themselves from the 2G spectrum scam by stressing that there was no interference with CBI's investigations. There is already a fear that the effort may be undercut by Raja and other 2G spectrum scam accused by saying that the former telecom minister had kept the PM and his principal secretary T K A Nair in the loop. The allegation against Maran may only add to the worry, also because of the indication that the BJP is planning to highlight the coincidence that Aircel's application for Unified Access Service Licence and spectrum was cleared after it was acquired by Maxis. 

BJP sees DMK as the weak link in the UPA's flank and wants to use it to keep up the pressure. "Why is it that the companies belonging to DMK leaders -- be it Kalaignar TV or Sun TV – are embroiled in allegations of corruption," Prasad asked.

Missing Pakistani journalist murdered

   (syed Saleem Shahzad)
Anita Joshua

ISLAMABAD: Syed Saleem Shahzad, the Pakistani journalist reported missing from Islamabad since Sunday evening, was found dead 150 km south of the federal capital 48 hours after he disappeared. His body bore torture marks and news of his murder triggered another round of criticism of intelligence agencies; the third instance in May when the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) has come under frontal attack.

Shahzad's disappearance had set off speculation of him being picked up by intelligence agencies for his article suggesting that the attack on the naval airbase, PNS Mehran, was in retaliation to the Navy's crackdown on al-Qaeda operatives and sympathisers within the service, and its refusal to release some of these elements who had been arrested.

The first of his two-part article appeared on May 27 in Asia Times Online of which he was the Pakistan bureau chief. Shahzad – who covered terrorism-related issues extensively — was last seen on Sunday at 5 p.m. when he left his home to participate in a television programme.

On Monday, 24 hours after he went missing, some Pakistani journalists were apparently told that he had been picked up by intelligence agencies on suspicion of writing for the al-Qaeda and would be released by Monday night.