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Nation at a Glance

Kids give an earful to raucous MPs

New Delhi (PTI): If MPs thought everything was fine with the way they conduct themselves in Parliament, here is a word of caution from the country’s children: don’t “shout” in the glare of cameras.

Participating in a chat with information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday ahead of International Children’s Day of Broadcasting, the children asked if she was aware that camera shots of MPs “shouting” in the House had an adverse impact on kids.

An astonished Swaraj assured the children that she was aware of this and promised to advise her colleagues in Parliament to better their conduct.

The discussion, organised by Doordarshan to mark the day which falls on the second Sunday of December every year, had 51 students from different schools in the capital bombarding the minister with queries. The day falls on December 8 this year.

An intrigued Shaurya, a fifth standard student, asked the minister what steps were being taken to prevent rising crimes against women in the capital. Assuring the children that the government was doing its bit to improve the situation, Swaraj stressed on the need to learn “self-defence” techniques.

Addressing the children’s request for cartoon versions of Indian epics, Swaraj urged filmmakers to focus more on the aspect.

UK hikes scholarship for Indians

New Delhi (PTI): UK has enhanced the annual scholarship budget for Indian students to £2 million to attract more of them to pursue higher education there. It also plans to initiate several new programmes from next year.

“Prime Minister Tony Blair recently raised the annual Chevening (scholarship) budget for India to £2 million (approximately Rs 14 crore) from the existing £1.2 million,” British High Commissioner Rob Young said here on Friday.

peaking at a reception hosted for students who had returned after completing scholarship programmes in the UK, Young said: “India remains at the heart of much of our scholarship and education programmes. We are determined to make Britain the preferred destination for Indian students.”

He said over 10,000 Indians are studying in the UK this year, which is an increase of 25 per cent compared to the last academic year, adding “we plan to take the figure to 15,000 within the next two years”.

Minister for cultural affairs at the British High Commission Edmund Marsden said that besides the existing 120 scholarships, several new ones in the information technology arena and for women in management and “developing leadership qualities” will commence from next year.

Police plea in House attack

new delhi: Delhi Police have decided to move the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court order refusing to accept intercepts of telephone conversations between three accused in the Parliament attack case as evidence under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, reports our special correspondent

Justice M.A. Khan, in his order on October 30, had said the intercepts of conversations between Sayed Abdul Geelani — a suspended Delhi University lecturer — and Shaukat Hussain, alias Guru, could not be treated as evidence as police had failed to adhere to the guidelines on wiretapping as mandated by the Act. Police are now preparing their petition after consulting legal experts and have time till January 30 to move the apex court. The law gives the prosecution and the accused 90 days to go to a superior court against a lower court’s order.

Ford racial row

london (PTI): A Ford worker of Indian origin has won a racial discrimination case against the company and was awarded a compensation of £150,000 by a tribunal. Fortyfive-year old Shinder Nagra was awarded the sum after an earlier hearing found motor vehicles manufacturer Ford guilty of racial discrimination.

Blasts case

mumbai (PTI): A special court hearing the 1993 bomb blast case here has curtailed the exemption granted to 89 accused, including film star Sunjay Dutt, and directed them to appear without fail on December 9. Failure to appear would compel the court to issue non-bailable warrants against them, designated judge p.d. kode warned.

Woman killed

Kolhapur (PTI): A woman was beaten to death by unidentified people during the day in Pawar colony on Thursday, police said. Ratan Nagaraj Naidu, 40, a widow from Coimbatore, was beaten to death with a bamboo stick, they said, adding that one person has been arrested.

Temple torched

Pondicherry (PTI): A temple at Jaya Nagar was allegedly torched following rivalry between two groups over worshipping rights. One person has been arrested and charged with arson, police said.

Kite flyers from almost a dozen countries will converge on the Vagator beach in Panaji to take part in a two-day carnival from January 18, 2003. With the theme “One sky one world”, the festival aims to bring together people from different cultures.


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