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October 1st, 2009

Gandhi Jayanti celebrated in UK

High Commissioner of India and company

On the occasion of the 140th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a function was jointly organised by the High Commission of India, London, and India League at Tavistock Square in Central London on October 2.

India's Minister for Law and Justice;, Veerappa Moily; the newly-appointed High Commissioner of India, Nalin Surie; Secretary to the Ministry of Law, T.K. Vishwanathan; Mayor of Camden, Councillor Omar Faruque Ansari; Chairman of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Maneck Dalal; Secretary of India League, Manab Mazumdar; President of the Overseas Indian Congress, D.L. Kalhan; and members of the media paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.

Commemorating the "greatest human being that ever walked on this earth", Minister Moily said that according to Gandhiji's advice, if everyone could eschew "the seven great sins the world would be a better place".

Speaking on the occasion, Surie stated that Gandhi was an iconic figure, influencing great personalities like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel, and most recently, U.S. President Barack Obama. The methodology of Satyagraha in civil life and the principles of truth, nonviolence, and respect of religion and diversity, which Gandhiji espoused, had a major impact on the evolution of modern civil society, Surie observed. These values were recognised by the U.N. which had unanimously declaredMahatma Gandhi's birthday as the International Day of Non-Violence.

"We need to commemorate this noble soul. We need to emulate his values in our daily life," the High Commissioner added.

In the evening, cultural programmes were organised by The Nehru Centre and the Cultural Wing of the High Commission of India.

Moily visits Britain

Veerappa Moily with Jack Straw

Veerappa Moily, India's Minister of Law & Justice, visited London from September 29 to October 2 to participate in the traditional ceremonies marking the opening of the legal year in England and Wales. Apart from participating in the ceremonial functions, the Minister also held a bilateral meeting with Rt. Hon Jack Straw, Secretary of State for Justice, and Lord Bach. He also had discussions with the Law Society of Britain and the Directorate of Judicial Studies Board. Moily participated in a roundtable on Alternate Dispute Redressal and Mediation, and also interacted with Members of the Judiciary, the Bar Council of Britain and the Lincoln's Inn. The Minister also held meetings with Baroness Usha Prashar, the Chair of Judicial Appointments Committee, and with Indian lawyers working in London.

The Minister attended the Gandhi Jayanti celebrations on October 2, organised by the High Commission of India and the India League at the Tavistock Square.

Moily was accompanied by T. K. Vishwanathan, Law Secretary.!


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Chandrayaan-I finds water on Moon

ISRO Chairman G. Madhavam Nair

In a sensational scientific discovery, India's maiden lunar mission Chandrayaan-I has found evidence of water on Moon. "The Moon has distinct signatures of water," top American scientist Carle Pieters confirmed on September 24. The evidence of water molecules on the surface of Moon was found by the moon mineralogy mapper (M3) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States on board Chandrayaan," M3 Principal Investigator Carle Pieters said in a paper published in the journal Science.

M3 was one of the 11 scientific instruments on board the lunar spacecraft that was launched October 22, 2008, by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The mission was aborted on August 30 after Chandrayaan lost radio contact with Earth.

Crediting ISRO for its role in the findings, Pieters said: "If it were not for them (ISRO), we would not have been able to make this discovery."

ISRO Chairman G. Madhavan Nair had said on September 23 that he could not yet confirm the presence of water on Moon, but "before the end of this week, we will let you know". However, confirming the finding and terming it a "major discovery", Pieters said the discovery of water on the lunar surface would reinvigorate studies of the Moon and potentially change the thinking on how it originated.

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Nalin Surie takes charge as HC

India's New High Comissioner Nalin Surie

India's new High Commissioner to Britain, Nalin Surie, arrived in London on September 18 and pending the presentation of his Letters of Credence to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, assumed duties as the High Commissioner of the Republic of India to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Surie was born on July 24, 1951, and is married with two daughters. A Master's in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, Surie joined the Indian Foreign Service in July 1973.

Surie has served in Indian Missions in Hong Kong, Brussels, Dar-es-Salaam, Thimphu, New York (Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN), Warsaw (Ambassador) and Beijing (Ambassador)

He also worked in the UN Division at the Ministry of External Affairs from 1977 to 1979. He was Director, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, from 1989-1991.

Subsequently, he served as Joint Secretary, East Europe, Ministry of External Affairs, from 1991-1994. Surie also served as Joint Secretary/Additional Secretary, East Asia, from 2000-2003.

Before assuming his post as High Commissioner, Surie was Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs for the last three years.

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