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September 2011


UNESCO honour for Tagore

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on September 13 launched a programme honouring Rabindranath Tagore, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and French poet Aime Cesaire for their work that “carried high the standard of humanist values”. Coming from varied geographic, social and political backgrounds, Tagore, Neruda and Cesaire still showed a commitment to speaking for the voiceless, the UN body said.

“By challenging relations based on domination and submission – whether they concern colonialism, fascism or racism – their message attains a universal dimension,” it said. Launched in the wake of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures of 2010, the programme aims to promote translations, publications and creations connected to the three writers, facilitating the dissemination and adaptation of their message.

“By challenging relations based on domination and submission – whether they concern colonialism, fascism or racism – their message attains a universal dimension,” it said. Launched in the wake of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures of 2010, the programme aims to promote translations, publications and creations connected to the three writers, facilitating the dissemination and adaptation of their message.

“By challenging relations based on domination and submission – whether they concern colonialism, fascism or racism – their message attains a universal dimension,” it said. Launched in the wake of the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures of 2010, the programme aims to promote translations, publications and creations connected to the three writers, facilitating the dissemination and adaptation of their message.

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President, Vice President and Prime Minister greet nation on Eid

Pesident of India Smt Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Vice-President Hamid Ansari greeted the nation on the occasion of Eid-ul- Fitr on August 30. Wishing all ‘Eid Mubarak’, the President said the festival “brings joy and happiness on the culmination of the month of Holy Ramzan, a period of fasting, prayer and charity.

“May this festival strengthen mutual goodwill and inspire each one of us to follow the path of love, friendship and harmony,” she said. Eid was celebrated across the country on August 31.

“May this festival strengthen mutual goodwill and inspire each one of us to follow the path of love, friendship and harmony,” she said. Eid was celebrated across the country on August 31.

“May this festival strengthen mutual goodwill and inspire each one of us to follow the path of love, friendship and harmony,” she said. Eid was celebrated across the country on August 31.

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RBI draft norms for new commercial banks unveiled

Broking houses and realty firms are proposed to be made ineligible for new licences to operate commercial banks in the norms drafted by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), India’s central bank. It wants aspirants to be Indian entities with a sound track record of 10 years.

“The aggregate non-resident shareholding in the new bank shall not exceed 49 percent for the first five years, after which it will be as per the extant policy,” say the draft norms issued recently by the RBI for comments.

“Entities in the private sector owned and controlled by residents with diversified ownership, sound credentials and integrity and having successful track record of at least 10 years will be eligible to promote banks,” it says. Entities that earn 10 percent or more from realty, construction or broking activities, either individually or taken together in the past three years, will not be eligible for such licences, RBI has proposed.

RBI, which has called for comments from all interested parties before October 31, also says that certain additional requirements may be stipulated in case of companies that earn 40 percent or more from nonfinancial business. Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had announced last year in his Union Budget speech that it was the government’s intent to open up the banking sector further. The RBI, on its part, had also launched a discussion paper on the subject.

Among the companies hoping to apply for banking licences include the Tatas, the Aditya Birla Group, Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, Bajaj Financial Services and Shriram Finance. RBI said final guidelines would be issued and the process for licences would be started after receiving feedback on the draft as also after certain vital amendments to Banking Regulation Act, 1949. Other highlights of the draft include a minimum capital of `5 billion. This apart, a wholly owned non-operative holding company also has to be set up to oversee both the banking and other financial companies within the promoter group.

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