Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Some newspaper articles

Here are a number of articles from the papers. The first two are from “The Telegraph” (UK) & the last is from “The Sydney Morning Herald”. The last article is particularly interesting given the Australian Prime Minister is currently in Delhi:

Bollywood's glittering star couple set to wed

Bollywood superstars Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor are set to marry in India's 'wedding of the year'

Indian Bollywood actors Kareena Kapoor (left) and Saif Ali Khan Photo: AFP
2:42PM BST 15 Oct 2012

Two of Bollywood's biggest stars, Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, are set to tie the knot tomorrow in India's celebrity wedding of the year, a relative said.

Actor Khan, 42, will marry actress Kapoor, 32, at the grand Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai in a union that has long been the subject of frenzied media speculation in the movie-mad country.

"The wedding is taking place tomorrow and then we will have a reception in Delhi later on. It is a very joyous moment for our family," the bride's uncle, actor Rishi Kapoor, told AFP.

The Bollywood couple, India's answer to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, have been dating for four years and appeared together in this year's spy flick "Agent Vinod".

They both come from illustrious families with established links to the movie business.

Kapoor, whose hits include "3 Idiots" (2009) and "Jab We Met" (When We Met, 2007), hails from Bollywood's foremost acting dynasty, begun by her great-grandfather Prithviraj.

Her grandfather Raj Kapoor was a cinematic legend while his brothers and a number of relatives have become well-known names in the industry. The bride's mother also appeared in films in the 1960s and 70s.

Khan became the new Nawab (Muslim prince) of the former princely state of Pataudi last year after the death of his famous cricketing father Mansur Ali Khan, better known as "Tiger Pataudi".

His mother Sharmila Tagore is an award-winning actress and his sister Soha is also in the business.

Khan, who starred in 2001's "Dil Chahta Hai" (The Heart Desires) and "Hum Tum" (You and Me, 2004), has two children with his previous wife Amrita Singh. They were divorced in 2004.

Local media reported that a private pre-wedding "sangeet" party was held on Sunday at Kapoor's Mumbai residence. She wore an ornate traditional orange dress with a golden blouse, while Khan dressed in white.


Indian baby suffers horrendous burns in shocking dowry dispute

An Indian woman has died and her 13-month-old daughter suffered horrendous burns after her husband and father-in-law set them on fire as they slept, in a dispute over a dowry payment.

Idika's mother, Pravartika Gupta, died in the hospital on Sunday shortly after making a statement to a magistrate 

By Dean Nelson, New Delhi
6:29PM BST 15 Oct 2012

The case has shocked India, a country where people have become use to reports of bride burnings and dowry murders - there are more than 8,000 women killed every year because their husbands' and in-laws' demands for lavish dowry payments are not met.

What is particularly alarming is the attempted murder of a daughter and grand-daughter whose first birthday they had celebrated just weeks earlier.

In Delhi's Safdarjung hospital, 13-month-old Idika's eyes peer fearfully out from her heavily bandaged face as she fights for her life, after suffering 55 per cent burns.

Her mother Pravartika Gupta, a 25 year-old technology graduate, died in the hospital on Sunday shortly after making a statement to a magistrate.

She told the magistrate that as they were sleeping in their room on October 6, a fire broke out just in front of their bedroom door and no-one came to their rescue.

Her father-in-law suffered minor burns in the fire, but ran away from the hospital before police could arrest him. Both he and Pravartika's husband are now on the run after police said they would be charged with murder, attempted murder and making illegal dowry demands.

Her uncles claimed Idika's father Ashutosh Gupta, a media event planner, and his father, a local government engineer, had been angry with Pravartika not only because their dowry demands had not been met, but also because they had wanted their first child to be a son.

Idika's uncles kept a vigil outside the hospital last night as nurses treated her in an intensive care burns unit where she is being kept heavily swaddled in bandages and cooling gels inside a protective tube.

Her uncle Rajesh Gupta said Pravartika had married Ashutosh Gupta in 2010 after the families had agreed a dowry payment of 1,200,000 Rupees (£15,000) and a Honda City car to the groom's parents. They had spent £15,000 on the wedding ceremonies, had paid 1,000,000 rupees (£11,700) in cash and were about to pay the remaining balance when the in-laws demanded a new apartment too.

"They said they had given a flat to their daughter's in-laws in dowry and we should do the same. They are economically well-off but greedy," he said.

"We bought gold and clothes for them on the baby's first birthday but they were not satisfied. A flat would cost between 30 lakhs rupees (£35,000) and a crore (£117,000).

They said you got our royal family, you are not as good as we are. You must be proud to be our relatives and you must pay."

Women's rights campaigners said the attack on a baby girl as well as a mother was "extreme" even in a country where people have become "desensititised" because of the high number of dowry deaths.

"They were going to kill the mother and they didn't want the daughter. Then the man will marry again and get another dowry. With a child, someone has to look after it, and no-one wants the responsibility of a girl if it had a boy this would not have happened. It is appalling," said Ranjana Kumari of the Council for Social Research.

Outside the hospital, Idika's shocked surviving relatives were trying to grasp how such barbarity could have been committed for money.

"Why did he do this? He had everything, a beautiful wife, a beautiful girl, a prosperous house. What was in his mind we don't understand," said Rajesh Gupta.


India questions its own nuclear industry


Date: October 15, 2012
Ben Doherty

INDIA'S nuclear industry, Australia's newest prospective uranium customer, has been slammed by that country's own auditor as dangerously unsafe, disorganised and, in many cases, completely unregulated.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard arrives in Delhi late today, ahead of a three-day program of meetings in the Indian capital.

Australia's emerging nuclear relationship with India will be a key component of talks between Ms Gillard and her Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh.

The two countries will soon begin negotiations on a safeguards agreement to allow Australian uranium to be sold to India, after the Labor Party last year dropped its long-standing opposition to trading with countries outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Ahead of Ms Gillard's arrival in Delhi, Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Australia's relationship with India was ''in good working order''.

''The Indians are happy with the progress on this. We always, where there is the sale of Australian uranium, we always have a treaty that governs it, and puts in place all the safeguards we require,'' he said.

While Indian media have reported Australia and India are poised to sign a uranium safeguards agreement during Ms Gillard's visit, The Age understands any deal is several months from being finalised.

Australia holds the world's largest uranium reserves and exports more than 7000 tonnes every year, including to China. The government's refusal to sell to India was a source of continuing friction between the two countries. India's last nuclear weapons test was in 1998, but its civilian nuclear industry is growing rapidly, with the number of operating nuclear plants expected to rise from 20 to more than 60 over the next decade.

But India's comptroller and auditor-general, Vinod Rai, has found the body that oversees nuclear safety in India, the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, is ineffective, mired in bureaucracy and negligent in monitoring safety.

Sixty per cent of regulatory inspection reports for operating nuclear power plants in India were either delayed - up to 153 days late - or not undertaken at all. For power plants under construction, the number of regulatory inspections delayed or not done was 66 per cent.

Smaller radiation facilities operate throughout the country with no licences and no oversight at all. In many cases there are no rules for nuclear operators to follow. Despite an order from the government in 1983, the board has still not developed an overarching nuclear and radiation safety policy for India.

And even when laws do exist and are broken, the existing legislation gives the board almost no punitive power. In some cases, the fines for nuclear safety transgressions are as low as 500 rupees - less than $10.

India has had nuclear scares already. In 2010, a gamma irradiation machine containing Cobalt-60 was sold off by Delhi University for scrap. Pulled apart, it unleashed a massive dose of radiation, killing one person and putting another six in hospital.

The Indian government has legislation before parliament to replace the board with a new body, the proposed Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority.

But Prabir Purkayastha from the Delhi Science Forum said: ''It is a very weak piece of legislation, that makes the regulator subservient to a group of ministers. It is a weakening of the current regulation.''

This article was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/india-questions-its-own-nuclear-industry-20121014-27l0a.html

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