Monday, November 20, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Brad: Southern India Next Visit
In a televised interview with NDTV's Barkha Dutt, Brad Pitt discussed how much he enjoyed and was fascinated by the people and culture of India during his recent visit to the country. Click on the links above for more, including the unfortunate controversy that erupted.
Two additional points worth noting, Pitt loves Indian food, namely: chicken masala, dal and naan and secondly (and of interest to Telugu fans), is that the actor would like to visit Southern India during his next visit.
Fingers crossed for an Andhra visit then.
State to offer health insurance for poor
Hyderabad, Nov. 19: The State government will implement health insurance to the families which come Below Poverty Line in the State from January 14 next year. Official sources said Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy will launch the scheme as a Sankranti gift to the poor. As per the scheme, the premium amount for a family would be around Rs 300 out of which the beneficiary would have to pay only Rs 50 while the government will subsidise the remaining amount. Another important feature of the policy is that the poor can walk out of any superspeciality hospital or government teaching hospitals without paying a single rupee whatever the cost of the treatment may be.
Official sources said the insurance companies would bear expenditure up to Rs 2 lakh while the remaining cost of the treatment, if any, would be borne by network of hospitals. Diseases pertaining to heart, cancer, brain and kidney will be covered under the scheme. However, minor illness or diseases for which adequate facilities exist in the government hospitals and special health programmes implemented for diseases like tuberculosis, blindness, leprosy, AIDS and filaria will not be covered in the scheme.
The government will enter into a contract with the insurance agency which quotes the lowest premium and different agencies like self help groups and civic supplies besides health would be involved in identifying the beneficiaries. The sel-ected insurance company will establish an effective collaboration with the network hospitals, establish the treatment protocol, costs and reimbursement procedures. According to an estimate, there are about 1.5 lakh patients require bypass surgery out of which 15,000 belong to BPL families. Similarly, 15,000 out of 20,000 rheumatic heart diseases, 4,000 out of 5,000 with congenital heart diseases and 30,000 out of 75,000 cancer patients belong to BPL.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Remembrance Day and Indian Soldiers
Remember our soldiers, who were either great-grand parents or grand parents of some of us. They fought along with Allied troops and lost their lives in thousands during great wars of 2oth century. They neither got the recognition they richly deserve or treated as equals of others, except for few. It is unfortunate that no one ever mentions about them during 'Remembrance Day' celebrations in Northern America and Europe.
Some of the accounts that occurred.. .
Over 1,300,000 soldiers of Indian ancestry fought in the First World War. It remains the largest volunteer army ever assembled in the history of the world. It was the largest number of soldiers fighting from the British Empire after those from the British Isles. Not Canada, not Australia, no other part of the Empire contributed as many troops.
Two and half million Indian soldiers fought in the Second World War. You might want to read those sentences again.
If this group of soldiers came from anywhere in the Western world and if they were white, there'd be monuments to them in every major Western capital in the world.
Giving credit to the often-overlooked soldiers of two World Wars
"Slim's Fourteenth Army was known as the "forgotten army" and forgotten it remained", says Mark Tully, former BBC India correspondent.
Read full story...
Monday, November 06, 2006
Tollywood : No more dubbing films in Telugu
The Producers Council of Telugu films which met on October 23 in a special general body meeting discussed various issues pertaining to the Telugu film industry. The discussions were reviewed by the executive body later and took some key decisions.
As a majority of the film producers sought a ban on the dubbing films in Telugu, the producers council had come to a decision to stop entertaining the dubbed films in Telugu. In a statement released to the press and also through an advertisement, the Producers Council says, 'The producers who make films with low-budget are not getting theatres to release their films. It is well aware that many people in the film industry would get employment through such small budget films. As of now, more than 200 films had completed their shooting, got the first copy ready but failed to see the light. They were remaining in the labs. However, the other language films are being dubbed into Telugu and are being released in theatres with ease. It is surprising to note that an equal number of dubbing films are being released along with the straight films. Because of these dubbing films, the small budget films are almost vanishing, thereby several workers in the film industry were losing employment opportunities. Further, nobody is coming forward to make small budget films as they fear that they could not release the film in time.
So, it has been decided to urge all the Telugu film producers to stop making dubbing films from November 6, 2006. Those who had already decided to dub the films and purchased the rights from other languages should produce the copies of the rights purchased from the original maker, other lab confirmation letters etc., to the Producers Council within a week and register themselves with regard to these dubbed films. Those who registered with the Producers Council about the dubbing rights would get complete cooperation from the council. Such producers could release their dubbing films at any date as per their choice and convenience. But such applications will not be permitted after the due date. If any of the Telugu producers who turna blind eye towards this resolution would not get any kind of cooperation from the Producers Council.'
The council also discussed some more points in the meeting. But no decision was taken on these issues and would be decided later. They are: Stop giving advertisements to the film magazines, as some of them were exploiting the situation by resorting to false propaganda either in positive or in negative way. It may be mentioned here that it was already resolved not to give big advertisements like half page / full page in newspapers and dailies. Now it was planned to implement the same rule to the film magazines. The film units are resorting to some other kind of publicity in the name of paid coverage. The film magazines are publishing the interviews of producer / director / hero of a particular film. Though it looked as an interview, the film magazines used to charge for it which is called 'Paid Coverage' in the film parlance. The Producers' Council is also planning to stop such practice in future. However, the Council is yet to announce its decisions on these issues.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Golden Jubilee for Southern India
Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala are now among the most advanced of India's states.
State governments have been honouring individuals who fought for the creation of the states, with political parties glorifying them as "martyrs".
Activists are urging central government to give more powers to the states.
While many linguists say all the four south Indian languages (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayaalam) have emerged from a common pool, those who speak these languages have developed separate ethnic identities.
They have been asserting their identities in various forms.
The British created the Madras Presidency as the biggest geographical administrative unit, comprising areas where the four languages were spoken.
But after independence, the demand for separate states based on a common language grew.
People speaking Telugu were the first who wanted to be separated from the Madras Presidency and have a separate state called "Andhra Pradesh".
One of the Telugu Congress leaders (Potti Sriramulu) died fasting for a separate Telugu state.
This triggered off a series of protests forcing the central government to consider the demand for four separate states in the south.
After studying the demand through various administrative committees, the Indian government formed four different states - Madras Presidency (now Tamil Nadu), Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala on 1 November, 1956.
However, in the last 50 years, their interstate relationships seem to have soured, mainly due to disputes over water resources.
Despite this, analysts say, in the last 50 years, all the four southern states have shown highly positive signs of growth in their industrial as well as human development indexes.