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October 15, 2007

International Day of Non-Violence celebrated

Following the unanimous adoption of a Resolution on June 15, 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi's birth-day on October 2 as "International Day of Non-Violence", the first ever celebration at the High Commission of India, India House, Aldwych, London, was held amid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi's statue at Tavistock Square, London.

Homages were paid by Chief Justice of India, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Minister of Law and Justice Hansraj Bharadwaj, Attorney-General of India Milon Banerjee, President of India League Michael Foot, the Mayor of Camden, and members of India League. The High Commission organised a photo exhibition inaugurated by Michael Foot and the Acting High Commissioner of India.

The exhibition titled 'Mahatma Gandhi - Images and Ideas for Non-Violence' and drawn from a collection of photos of the Mahatma's statues, pictures and paintings from different countries was mounted by eminent Indian journalist, Vijay Rana. This was followed by a book launch of the entire collection of such photographs by Rana.

The exhibition titled 'Mahatma Gandhi - Images and Ideas for Non-Violence' and drawn from a collection of photos of the Mahatma's statues, pictures and paintings from different countries was mounted by eminent Indian journalist, Vijay Rana. This was followed by a book launch of the entire collection of such photographs by Rana.

A film on 'Satyagraha', courtesy the Ministry of External Affairs of India, was also screened on the occasion.

'Mahatma's ideals vital for world'

As nations continue to grapple with conflict, violence and terror, Gandhian values have become more vital than ever, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on October 2 as the world celebrated Mahatma Gandhi's 138th birth anniversary as International Day of Non-Violence.

"For as long as there is temptation to resort to violence in the human mind, the Mahatma's message of non-violence will tug at our hearts," the Prime Minister said at an event in Vigyan Bhavan to observe the day, where he also released a commemorative stamp.

"The fact that the international community has today come to observe this day as the International Day of Non-Violence in memory of Mahatma Gandhi, should ensure that generations to come would never forget the eternal message of the Mahatma."

The Prime Minister said the ideas and ideals of Gandhi - the Father of the Nation - will continue to resonate as long as there was strife and injustice, inequality and indignity, pain and suffering, and violence and hatred.

Gandhi's message lay in some key words associated with him - tolerance, truth, transparency, non-violence and self-respect - the Prime Minister added.

"There is permanence in these principles and values that transcends and unites humankind.

"You will agree with me that many 'isms' have battled for our minds over this past century, but few have succeeded in touching our hearts. Many political ideologies, and movements based on them, have come and gone, some with doubtful legacies and others with terrible consequences."

The Prime Minister was of the view that Gandhi's message of non-violence has been underscored time and again by the lives and teachings of great men of peace such as Martin Luther King Junior and Nelson Mandela. "Wherever and whenever injustice is redressed and freedom won through peaceful means, Gandhiji will always be remembered."

The Prime Minister stressed that Gandhi was not some 'lofty saint' but also a great 'political leader'.

"He was regarded as a Mahatma because he practised what he preached. Because he cared for the poorest of the poor, the weakest of the weak."

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Pranab Mukherjee visits London

Pranab Mukherjee, Hon'ble Minister for External Affairs of India, was on a one-day visit to London on October 3.

The Minister met Foreign Secretary David Miliband and discussed a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues with him.

The Mayor of London, Mr. Ken Livingstone, called on Mukherjee and briefed him on the involvement of the city of London in celebrating 60th Anniversary of India's Independence and discussed his forthcoming visit to India in November. The visit was part of an ongoing exercise of regular dialogue at the highest level between the two countries.

Ambani brothers world's richest

The Indian stock market boom has made the Ambani brothers arguably the richest in the world if one clubs the fortunes of Mukesh and Anil, which at $91.41 billion, is far ahead of even the Walton family of Wal-Mart.

Sons of legendary industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani, who started his career as a petrol station attendant in Yemen and later founded Reliance Industries, Mukesh and Anil split the business empire between them in June 2005.

While Mukesh controls shares worth $55.81 billion, Anil owns shares worth $35.6 billion in their respective groups, whose combined worth stands at just over $170 billion.

The wealth of the two brothers as also their group companies are based on the information available on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the closing price of the group companies on October 9.

First high-security bio-safety lab

After debating for over two years, the Indian Government has approved construction of the country's first high-security facility for handling and doing research with highly infectious organisms causing diseases in humans.

"The government has sanctioned Rs.1 billion ($25.4 million) for establishing the Biosafety Level-4 (BSL-4) facility," Lalji Singh, director of Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), said. Singh had mooted the proposal in 2005.

He said the facility would be set up in Andhra Pradesh, in the "industrial area" about 3 kilometres from CCMB, on a five-acre land given by the state government.

The ministry of science and technology has given CCMB - one of the institutes under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) - the responsibility for setting up the new lab as a "national facility".

India has a BSL-4 laboratory for handling deadly animal pathogens in Bhopal.

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Indian stocks set new record

Indian shares rose to a yet another record close on October 10, continuing their upward surge riding on robust foreign institutional investment (FII) flow, with the benchmark index up 2.1 percent, led by Larsen & Toubro and BHEL.

The 30-share sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) gained 2.1 percent or 378.01 points to close above the 18,500 mark at 18,658.25.

The Sensex moved tightly in a range of 18,436-18,703 and hit a record 18,703.67 for the fourteenth time in the last 15 sessions, with 20 of its components trading in the green.

Attributing the rally to robust FII funding for the positive momentum, an analyst said: "There was a combination of three factors. One, there is a huge hype on India."

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