T H E H E A R T B E A T O F T H E I N D I A N C O M M U N I T Y
SINGAPORE, WEEKEND OF FRIDAY,
SEPTEMBER 8, 2017
MCI (P) 043/09/2017
With love... (Left) Senior Parliamentary Secretary
(Ministry of Education and Ministry of Trade and
Industry) Low Yen Ling presenting the trophy to Madam
Indranee. Others in the picture (from left)
Patrick Jonas, Mr Chandra Das, State Bank of India
country head Soma Sankara Prasad, editor-in-chief of
English, Malay and Tamil Media Warren Fernandez and
Tamil Murasu editor Jawharilal Rajendran.
(Above) Mr Prasad of SBI presenting a cheque of
$10,000 to the winner.
Madam Indranee Nadisen
fostered 43 children over 35 years
REPORT ON PAGES 12 & 13
SIIEXPO DAZZLES: PAGES 14, 15 & 16
Onam celebrated with fanfare
MALAYALEES across India
celebrated the Onam festival with
much fervour and gaiety.
Kummatti mask dance was per-
formed in many parts of Thrissur in
Kummatti acts as the companion
of Lord Shiva, who visits houses to
usher in happiness and prosperity.
The artistes take to the streets
dressed up in clothes woven with
grass and wear colourful masks,
singing and dancing to songs prais-
ing characters in various legends.
Compulsory for TN drivers
to carry original licence
IT IS mandatory for drivers in Tamil
Nadu to carry their original driver’s
licence instead of a photocopied
one. The new rule was implemented
on Sept 5.
The aim is to effectively revoke
the licences of offenders, which is
currently a problem as most drivers
carry only photocopies.
Drivers who petitioned against
the move had said that carrying the
original would increase the risk of
theft or loss.
Large-scale power theft in Delhi
OM Prakash has been sentenced to
two years’ jail and fined Rs57 lakhs
for distributing stolen electricity to
over 700 consumers in Nangloi in
The Special Court of Karkar-
dooma also convicted Shiv Mangal
from Seelampur for power theft.
He was caught stealing over 30
kilowatt for industrial purposes.
In July, a young engineer died
and four officials were seriously
injured when they were attacked by
Haryana to set up Ayush
University in Kurukshetra
INDIAN president Ram Nath
Kovind has approved the proposal
to set up the world’s first ayurveda,
yoga, unani, siddha and homeopa-
thy (Ayush) University at Haryana’s
The state’s health minister Anil
Vij said the university, which will be
spread over 40 hectares, will “have
the best study and treatment in all
branches of Ayush”.
He added that undergraduate
and postgraduate departments of
Ayush will be opened in which
“ancient science will be brought to
the public with the help of modern
Colleges in Chennai fined
for mass copying
FOUR colleges affiliated to the
Madras University have been fined
Rs50,000 for mass copying. Three of
them are in Chennai.
It was reported that students at
the university’s affiliated colleges
were found having mobile phones
and printed copies of answers in
the examination centres.
At a meeting last month, the
Madras University decided that the
process of penalising repeat offend-
ers will be made permanent and
the colleges will lose the privilege
of being examination centres.
Helicopter tour in Tirupati
from Sept 9
A HELI-TOURISM package is be-
ing launched in Tirupati so visitors
can have a bird’s eye view of the
temple town from Sept 9.
The 15-minute tour will cover the
city, where important structures —
including the Govindaraja Swamy
temple, S.V. University, Chandragiri
fort, Srinivasa Mangapuram temple,
Srivari Mettu and S.V. Zoo Park —
More helicopters will be used
during the annual Srivari Brahmot-
savam as there will be many people
visiting the area at that time.
Driver saves dog from getting
run over on Mumbai tracks
THE driver of a local train in
Mumbai managed to stop it in time
to save a dog that was sitting on
the tracks. The incident happened
at the Churchgate station of the
Western Railway in Mumbai.
Mr R.P. Meena stopped the train
and blew the horn, but the dog did
not move from the tracks.
An onlooker, who was waiting
for this train, went to lift the dog
to safety, attracting applause from
When Mr Meena was told that
he had done a wonderful thing, he
shrugged and told the Press Trust
of India “it is nothing”.
E-rickshaws in Gurugram
for convenient last-mile
IN SUPPORT of safe last-mile con-
nectivity in Gurugram, the Delhi
Metro Rail Corporation in col-
laboration with Smart-E company
has launched 1,000 e-rickshaws
(below) at five metro stations
across the city — HUDA City
Centre, IFFCO Chowk, M.G. Road,
Sikandarpur and Guru Dronacha-
rya metro stations.
The rickshaws can sit up to four
people and can cover distances
within a 5km radius.
The e-rickshaw will provide
some respite to commuters who
depend on non-metered auto-rick-
shaws or app-based cabs to reach
There is no official word on the
fare, but it is expected to start from
Rs10 a passenger on a sharing
basis and Rs30 on a non-sharing
September 8, 2017
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Sisterhood of defence ministers
NDIA’S new defence minister
Nirmala Sitharaman (above) is
now a member of a powerful
sisterhood of 16 female defence
ministers — a sign of rising women
empowerment in an overwhelm-
ingly male-dominated arena.
Ms Sitharaman, who got the
portfolio on Sept 3, heads the
world’s third largest defence force
of 1.4 million personnel. It is also
the strongest of those headed by
female defence ministers.
She and Ms Florence Parly of
France are the only two women
to head the defence ministry of
Ms Parly succeeded another
woman, Ms Sylvie Goulard, who
stepped down after less than two
months on the job amid allegations
that as a member of the European
Parliament, she had used assistants
to do work for her party, the Dem-
France has a defence force of
204,00 active duty personnel in-
cluding reservists, according to the
Global Fire Power (GFP), which
tracks military statistics from
around the world.
In Bangladesh with 160,000 ac-
tive duty military personnel, Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina holds the
The other important women
defence ministers are (with the
size of their active duty military
personnel according to GPF in pa-
renthesis): Italy’s Roberta Pinotti
(247,000), Germany’s Ursula von
der Leyen (180,000), Spain’s Ma-
ria Dolores Cospedel (124,100),
South Africa’s Nosiviwe Mapisa-
Nqakula (78,050), and Australia’s
Marise Payne (60,000).
Africa has another woman hold-
ing the defence portfolio, Ms Ray-
chelle Omama of Kenya.
Her position is uncertain now
because Kenya’s Supreme Court
has annulled the election of Presi-
dent Uhuru Kenyatta and called
for a fresh election.
Three small countries formed af-
ter the break-up of Yugoslavia in a
region that was wrecked by wars,
civil wars and insurgencies in the
1990s have women defence min-
isters: Ms Marina Pendes in Bos-
nia and Herzegovina, Ms Radmila
Sekerinska in Macedonia, and Ms
Andreja Katic in Slovenia.
The other European defence
ministers are Norway’s Ine Marie
Eriksen Soreide, the Netherlands’
Hennis-Plasschaert and Albania’s
Ms Olta Xhacka is scheduled to
succeed Ms Khodeli this month.
Latin America has only one
woman defence minister, Ms Mar-
tha Elena Ruiz Sevilla of Nicara-
gua, a country that has seen pro-
longed civil war and insurgency.
North America has none, al-
though Ms Kim Campbell held the
defence portfolio in Canada for
less than six months before becom-
ing prime minister in 1993.
In 1960, Sri Lankan prime min-
ister Sirimavo Bandaranaike be-
came the first woman to hold the
defence portfolio and she was fol-
lowed by Mrs Indira Gandhi, when
she became India’s prime minister.
Ms Marta Elisabeth Rehn of
Finland in 1990 became the first
woman who was not a prime min-
ister or president to head a defence
The first woman in Asia to hold
the portfolio solely as minister was
Japan’s Yuriko Koike. She held the
job for less than two months in
2007 and resigned after revela-
tions that navy personnel leaked
classified information about the
high-tech Aegis radar systems.
Indo-Asian News Service
September 8, 2017
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